Ben Chan 8T7

Respected medical researcher and health care advocate honoured

He is a bush-plane-travelling doctor, a respected medical researcher, an avid blues musician, and a committed health care advocate. For these reasons, as well as a host of others, Ben Chan Vic 8T7 has been chosen by the Alumni of Victoria College (AVC) as this year’s Distinguished Alumni Award winner. Chan received the award at a dinner in his honour on May 18.

Chan has worked closely with provincial and national policy-makers to improve health care in the areas of physician human resource planning, primary care delivery and assessment of quality of care. His research in these areas is informed by his experience as a travelling doctor serving more than 60 rural communities in eight provinces and territories across Canada. Internationally, Chan has co-led a Canadian-Italian mission to improve access to hospital services for Palestinian refugees in Lebanon.

“Vic holds a very special place in my heart,” says Chan. “I have many fond memories of my student experience and it is no coincidence that my closest friends today are people I met while at Vic.  It’s where I spent my most formative years and it’s through my many activities in student government while at Vic that I developed my lifelong passion for public service.”

When he graduated in 1987 with a BSc, Chan received the Moss Scholarship, the University of Toronto’s highest undergraduate award. He subsequently obtained his MD from U of T, master of public health from Harvard and master of public affairs from Princeton.

Chan currently serves as the chief executive officer of the Health Quality Council in Saskatoon, an independent agency dedicated to improving the quality of health care in Saskatchewan. Prior to his move west, Chan was a senior scientist with the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, an organization first developed and led by Professor David Naylor, now president of the University of Toronto. Chan also served as an assistant professor in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto.