A Seabird Island doctor was recently honoured with a lifetime achievement award.
The 2023 B.C. Rural Health Awards were recently handed out via the Rural Coordination Centre of British Columbia (RCCBC).
Dr. Robert Fox (traditional name Gohkkanahkami) was honoured with the Award of Excellence in Rural Medicine Lifetime Achievement. Fox grew up on the Blood Reserve in southern Alberta. He worked in rural Alberta until he began practicing medicine on Seabird Island in 2007.
“His impact was immediate,” reads a statement from the RCCBC. “His approach to seeing community members demonstrated a knowledge of the cultural challenges his patients face, while providing individualized care and treatment in a friendly, welcoming manner.”
Fox continued his education at the University of British Columbia (UBC) to earn credentials as an addictions physician.
“Community members believe his efforts have helped to reduce deaths and overdoses from opioid use, and other toxic substances,” the RCCBC stated.
Fox and his team provided primary care for any Indigenous person between Yarrow and Boston Bar – covering 22 First Nation communities. He also started local diabetes, mental health and medical education initiatives.
The RCCBC touted Fox as a major contributor of bridging the gap between medical practicioners and First Nations patients.
Founded in 2006, the RCCBC is dedicated to improving healthcare in rural communities across the province. They have offices in Vancouver, Prince George, Courtenay and Penticton.