Campus News

Published by Communications and Public Affairs 519 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338

News Release

January 23, 2006

Doctors Without Borders Founder to Speak at U of G

The founder of the Canadian chapter of Médecins sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF), an international organization dedicated to providing medical care to people living in vulnerable areas of the world, will speak Feb. 1 at 5:30 p.m. in Peter Clark Hall.

Richard Heinzl, who founded MSF Canada in 1990, will present “Lessons From Abroad: The Opportunities of a Borderless World,” the story of how he and his colleagues faced an overwhelming humanitarian crisis during the Iraq War and relied on the lessons they’d learned from their international aid work. At the peak of the crisis, Heinzl was treating up to 300 patients a day. He will also discuss the importance of using a non-conventional approach to problem solving, coping with change and transformation, and the global impact of technological change.

“The goal is to inspire students to reflect on their own abilities and possibilities for change and transformation,” said organizer Suzanne Welstead, a therapist in U of G’s Counselling Services office. “We want to reach people on campus that might not otherwise seek any connection to Counselling Services, and give students an opportunity to consider what their passion might be so they can feel encouraged to live out their own vision.”

Over the past 15 years, hundreds of medical and non-medical Canadian volunteers have travelled abroad with MSF Canada, responding to public health emergencies such as epidemics, food security issues and environmental crises in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Rwanda and Sudan.

MSF Canada, one of 18 international branches of the organization, now boasts five offices across the country. In 1998, MSF Canada’s president was named president of MSF and accepted the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the program.

Heinzl has received numerous awards and citations for his efforts, including being named to Report on Business magazine’s Top 40 Under 40 list. He is vice-president of Vivid Health Solutions, which creates motion picture and new-media solutions for the health sciences, and former CEO of CardioView Inc., a Toronto-based information-technology company specializing in cardiology.

Tickets are $5 and can be purchased in advance at the Student Support Network in Raithby House, Monday to Friday from noon to midnight, or at the front desk at Counselling Services, located on level 3 of the University Centre. Remaining tickets will be sold at the door.

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, (519) 824-4120, Ext. 53338, or Rebecca Kendall, Ext. 56982.

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