Brandon University will award an honorary doctorate to top provincial Covid-fighter Dr. Brent Roussin

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The face of Manitoba’s fight against Covid-19 will be honoured next week at Brandon University’s Convocation.

Dr. Brent Roussin, the province’s Chief Provincial Public Health Officer and Manitoba’s single most visible official leading the fight against the pandemic, will receive an honorary doctorate from BU.

“Since Covid was first detected and then spread around the world, Dr. Brent Roussin has been front and centre leading Manitoba’s response. He has exemplified thoughtfulness, care, understanding, and respect for both science and humanity — values that Brandon University strives to pass on to all our graduates,” said BU President Dr. David Docherty. “Many of our honorary degrees are presented to recognize a lifetime of work. Dr. Roussin has provided a lifetime’s worth in just the past year and a half, and we very pleased to recognize his indispensable contributions.”

Dr. Roussin was freshly installed as Chief Public Health Officer when the pandemic began, and he stepped resolutely into an unexpected and long-lasting spotlight. In the early weeks, his daily briefings were must-watch moments for Manitobans, who relied on his straightforward assessments to guide them. As weeks turned to months, and now past a year, his steadfastness has remained a reassuring presence.

From Winnipeg, Dr. Roussin has both a medical degree and a law degree, and he continues to be a practicing physician. A specialist in public health and preventive medicine, he previously served as medical officer of health for the federal First Nations and Inuit Health Branch. He is also an assistant professor in the department of community health sciences at the University of Manitoba.

As Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Roussin has demonstrated an unflappable calm in conveying to all Manitobans both the serious nature of the pandemic, and the responsibilities we all have to keep our communities safe.

Faced with the unenviable task of balancing public health and social needs with political realities and economic demands, Dr. Roussin used a combination of courage and caution to walk a difficult line, giving his leadership an authority that Manitobans trust.

Earlier this month, Dr. Roussin was also named Manitoba’s 2021 Physician of the Year by Doctors Manitoba.

Brandon University bestows individuals with an honorary degree based on significant service to the university community or society; excellence in professional life or public service; or advancement of knowledge through research or teaching. Each year nominations are received from within the BU community as well as from other supporters of the University.

Dr. Roussin will be conferred with a Doctor of Laws (honoris causa) from BU, which will be presented by video during a virtual Convocation ceremony on Thursday, May 27.


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