Dr. Ron Stewart, a leading pioneer of emergency medicine in Canada, was elevated to Companion of the Order of Canada late last year. 

Dr. Stewart, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Emergency Medicine, was first inducted as a member of the Order of Canada in 1993, in large part for his leading role in establishing emergency medicine as a specialty field of medicine in Canada. 

Early in his career, Dr. Stewart had to leave his home province of Nova Scotia, where he had been practicing family medicine, and travel to Los Angeles to pursue specific training in emergency medicine. There was no emergency medicine training in Canada at the time. After several years in Los Angeles and a stint in Pittsburgh, Dr. Stewart returned to Canada as a well-qualified emergency medicine specialist and began his work to establish the specialty in Canada. 

A former Minister of Health in Nova Scotia, Dr. Stewart is well-known for his work to establish a cohesive emergency health service, to expand home care services in the province, to establish paramedicine as a research area, and to introduce stronger tobacco control. The promotion to Companion recognizes his many years of sustained contributions to the field of emergency medicine, to medical humanities, and to the health-care system and community at large.

The Order of Canada was created in 1967 and is one of the nation’s highest civilian honours. Dr. Stewart has many other honours to his name, including Hero of Emergency Medicine, from the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a Distinguished Service Award from the Canadian Healthcare Association.