WELLINGTON COUNTY – A Wellington County resident is being honoured for his long career and impact he’s had in Canadian healthcare and medicine.
Dr. Andreas Laupacis, who lives outside of Arthur, is among 99 new appointments to the Order of Canada where he was named an officer.
Laupacis said in a phone interview it was “pretty cool” to be named to the order alongside some big names like hockey player Sidney Crosby or curler Colleen Jones.
“You’re told about a month before so I’ve known this for a month and I’ve had to kept it a secret,” Laupacis said. “It’s obviously a big honour.”
A media release from the Governor General of Canada about the appointees said Laupacis was named “for his ongoing contributions to the field of medicine and to a broad range of health care initiatives in Canada and around the world.”
The 68-year-old Laupacis has had a varied career that has seen him as a clinical practitioner, researcher, policy advocate and professor including at University of Toronto, St. Michael’s Hospital and the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute.
“I went from London to Ottawa in 1991 to establish a new research unit that would study the delivery of health care in Canada and internationally,” Laupacis said as an example. “When I left nine years later to see it as a flourishing organization it’s just incredibly satisfying.”
As he got older, Laupacis said he got more involved in the administrative side of things and was often advocating politically for improved health care policy.
“Health care can be pretty politically and I was trying as much as I could to try to have science and evidence used as much as possible in making decisions around health care,” Laupacis said.
Laupacis was a hospitalist or a general internist for much of his career at the same time, working occasionally in hospital emergency departments and palliative care before stepping back from that a few years ago.
Recently he spent time as the editor-in-chief of the Canadian Medical Association Journal where he is currently a senior deputy editor, a role he does remotely from his country home in Wellington County where his wife is from.
Ultimately, Laupacis said teaching and mentoring the next generation of physicians and medical practitioners is what will have the biggest impact.
“To see them develop their own career and seeing them make a difference, of all the things I’ve done I think is what I’m most proud of,” Laupacis said.
“I still stay in close contact with a lot of the people that I may have been a supervisor of like 15 to 20 years ago.”
Laupacis said he’s looking forward to the ceremony where he may get to meet some of the others who are being or have been named to the Order of Canada.
“I’m hoping maybe at the ceremony I’ll get to meet some of the people I don’t know who have done really great work in their communities,” Laupacis said.
“That will be new to me and then probably reflect the really great fabric that makes up Canada. That’s something I’m really looking forward to.”