Lieutenant-General Romeo Dallaire, a Canadian humanitarian and best-selling author who has worked passionately as an advocate for genocide prevention, mental health and war-affected children, will headline the 11th annual Dr. Bob Ewert Memorial Lecture and Dinner this spring.
The annual event honours Dr. Bob Ewert, the first medical specialist in Prince George, and is a key fundraiser for the Northern Medical Programs Trust, an endowment fund that supports students in healthcare studies at the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC).
As Force Commander of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda in 1994, Dallaire witnessed one of the worst genocides in modern history in which more than 800,000 Rwandans lost their lives in less than 100 days. Defying commands to withdraw, Dallaire stayed and, together with a small military force, assisted those seeking help from UN forces. Twenty years later, he has become an outspoken champion for human rights. After resigning from the Senate of Canada in May, he is now focused on raising awareness for the prevention of war atrocities and plight of child soldiers, research into post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and writing.
In 2013, Dallaire was the recipient of an Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree from UNBC.
”Romeo Dallaire is a true Canadian hero whose courage and dedication to helping those in dire need has been an inspiration to many, both in Canada and around the world,” said Dr. David Nelson, president of the Northern Medical Society, in a press release. “His harrowing first-hand experiences and ongoing human rights activism across the globe will offer a compelling keynote address at the next Ewert Dinner, a highly-anticipated annual event in Prince George.”
Each year, this special evening features a celebrated lecturer and inductions into the Northern Medical Society Hall of Fame. Previous lecturers have included environmentalist David Suzuki, journalist Gwynn Dyer, and astronaut Chris Hadfield. In addition, the Rising Star Award is awarded during the dinner to recognize a current student planning to pursue a health care career in the north.
“The Ewert lecture is the largest annual appeal for the Northern Medical Programs Trust at UNBC,” says Kathie Scouten, Development Manager with UNBC. “The trust supports medical and nurse practitioner students with exposure to rural practice in northern communities, helping to inspire future graduates to consider careers in the north.”
To date, the Trust has provided 370 grants to help more than 200 students integrate unique northern clinical experiences with their health care education. Many of the Northern Medical Program graduates that have completed residency requirements are now practicing in northern BC. More than two-thirds of the UNBC Family Nurse Practitioner graduates are working in rural, northern or remote BC communities.
The Dr. Bob Ewert Memorial Lecture and Dinner is presented by the Northern Medical Society, UNBC, the Prince George Community Foundation, and Northern Health. This year’s event will be held on Saturday April 11, 2015 at the Prince George Civic Centre. Tickets cost $125 each or $1,000 for a table of 10, and are available from the Office of Development at UNBC at 250-960-5750, online at www.unbc.ca/giving, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.