U of M President Emeritus inducted into hall of fame

October 19th, 2012 · No Comments · Health, Medicine, News Release

For five decades, University of Manitoba President Emeritus Arnold Naimark has played a major role in building health education and research in Canada through the institutes he has led and the programs he has been key in developing.

The Winnipeg-born-and-raised doctor, who is a professor of physiology and medicine and also dean emeritus in the Faculty of Medicine, will be inducted into the prestigious Canadian Medical Hall of Fame during a ceremony in Halifax in May of 2013. He is the seventh University of Manitoba scientist so honored and follows laureates from previous years: Bruce Chown (1995), Henry Friesen (2001), Charles Hollenberg (2003), James Hogg (2010), Allan Ronald (2011), and John Dirks (2012).

“Dr. Naimark’s visionary spirit and extraordinary leadership has resulted in transformative change at the University of Manitoba and in how patients are treated in Canada’s North,” said president and vice-chancellor Dr. David Barnard. “We are proud he is a member of our community and we congratulate him for this much-deserved honour.”

Naimark, who is also director of the Centre for the Advancement of Medicine at the U of M, was chosen in the builder (innovative leadership) category. The hall recognizes individuals whose contributions to medicine and health sciences have led to extraordinary improvements in human health.

After joining the department of physiology in the 1960s, Naimark co-developed a leading laboratory for the investigation of respiratory disease and the first clinical unit in the world devoted exclusively to intensive respiratory care. Soon after, the U of M alumnus became dean of the Faculty of Medicine, creating a new department of family medicine and a division of Community Medicine that includes the Northern Medical Unit, which has become a model for health care delivery to the First Nations, Metis and Inuit. In 1981, he became the university’s president and vice-chancellor. During his 15-year tenure the university’s endowment increased nearly six-fold and included major developments at the health science campuses.

Considered one of the country’s foremost educational administrators, Naimark’s biography shows a lifetime of leadership in the development of departments, universities, institutions and organizations at the local, provincial and national level. His advice is routinely sought by a long list of health sciences and educational bodies across Canada.

He was the founding chair of the Canadian Health Services Research Foundation and spearheaded a plan that made it one of the most preeminent organizations in health sciences research in Canada today. He was also the founding chair of the Canadian Biotechnology Advisory Council, providing policymakers with a framework when dealing with issues related to genetic modification. And he was integral in the launch of the Manitoba Health Research Council, which has facilitated funding for the province’s researchers for more than three decades. He currently serves as chair of the Genome Prairie Board, chair of CancerCare Manitoba and as a member of the National Statistics Council and the Research Council of the Institute for Advanced Research.

“Today, Dr. Naimark’s legacy is to see thriving departments, institutions, and organizations flourishing because at critical moments in their history they were the beneficiaries of his leadership and counsel, and as a result, Canadians have a stronger, more vibrant health sciences enterprise and a more informed health system,” says Henry Friesen, Senior Fellow with the Centre for the Advancement of Medicine.

Established in 1994 and located in London Ont., the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame honours medical heroes of the past, present and future. The national charitable organization creates an enduring tribute to individuals who through discovery and innovation have contributed to improved health in Canada and around the world.

For more information contact Janine Harasymchuk, marketing communications office, University of Manitoba, at 204-474-7300.

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