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It's Order of Canada for local cancer expert

Chochinov, 2 other Manitobans listed

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The Governor General named one of Manitoba's leading cancer specialists in palliative care to the Order of Canada Monday.

Dr. Harvey Chochinov was made an officer of the Order of Canada in this summer's list posted on the Governor General's website.

An appointment as officer recognizes a lifetime of achievement and merit of a high degree, especially in service to Canada or to humanity at large.

Two other Manitobans were recognized by the Order of Canada.

Jean Giguère of Winnipeg was named a member of the Order of Canada "for her voluntary service in promoting the arts and Canadian culture."

Frank L. McKinnon, who spent many years in Carman, and in the Calgary area, was also named a member of the Order of Canada, for fostering amateur sport in his province, notably as commissioner of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League.

Speaking earlier this week, Chochinov said the real significance of the award is that it recognizes the importance of palliative care.

"It is deeply humbling and I'm honoured," Chochinov said. "Anything that draws attention to the area of palliative care is important. As much as we have made inroads, there is still a vast amount of work to be done," Chochinov said.

The majority of Canadians have spotty access to end-of-life care, a patchwork quilt effect where better care is concentrated in urban centres. Within that pattern, some 15 per cent to 30 per cent of Canadians have access to comprehensive quality palliative care.

The accompanying bio to the Governor General's appointment described Chochinov as an international leader in the field of palliative care.

He is a distinguished professor at the University of Manitoba, the director of palliative research at Cancer Care Manitoba and he holds the only Canada Research Chair in Palliative Care. In a career that spans nearly 25 years, his focus had been on the psycho-social dimensions of palliative medicine, such as sense of dignity, purpose and meaning at the end of life.

"His pioneering and innovative work on dignity therapy is an approach being used by health-care providers worldwide," the Governor General's website stated.

As co-founder of the Canadian Virtual Hospice, he is also being recognized as a guiding force in the development of an online palliative care resource centre, which provides support and personalized information to patients, families, health providers, researchers, educators and policy makers across Canada.

Recipients will be invited to accept their insignia at a ceremony to be held at a later date.

Chochinov has lectured all over the world and holds many earlier honours.

In 2008 he was named recipient of the National Cancer Institute and Canadian Cancer Society O. Harold Warwick Prize. In 2009, the University of Manitoba awarded Chochinov their highest research honour, the Dr. John M. Bowman Rh Institute Foundation Award to name two previous awards.

The Order of Canada, one of the country's highest civilian honours, was established in 1967, during Canada's centennial year, to recognize outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation.

Over the last 45 years, more than 6 000 people from all sectors of society have been invested into the order.


To see the full list of the Governor General's latest appointments, go to

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 2, 2014 B3

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