Dr. Donald Rix to receive CMA's highest honour

Thursday, August 13, 2009

On August 19, the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) will present the 2009 F.N.G. Starr Award to Western alumnus, businessman, philanthropist and community volunteer Dr. Donald Rix (BA'53, MD'57, DSC'98).

"His spirit of generosity is a source of inspiration to all health professionals," said CMA president Dr. Robert Ouellet. "He is an exceedingly generous physician who is widely admired by the medical profession for his dedication to making his community and the world a better place."

"I consider it a great honour to receive the F.N.G. Starr Award", said Dr. Rix. "I always felt that being involved in the community was the right thing to do. By donating time and money, my wife and I have worked to try to meet educational challenges felt in isolated communities and to fulfill our international commitment to bring help and hope to the Khmer people of Cambodia."

An innovator with a longstanding interest in linking science, technology, industry and education, Dr. Rix is chairman of the board of directors of LifeLabs Medical Laboratory Services, Stirrat Laboratories and Trainor Clinical Laboratories. He is also chairman and director of CanTest Ltd., Prime Trials Inc., and Europa Ltd.

Dr. Rix studied arts and medicine at The University of Western Ontario, and earned his specialty certificate in general pathology in 1968. He is a fellow of the College of American Pathologists, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, and the American Society of Clinical Pathologists. He has been awarded honorary doctorates by the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) and the universities of Western Ontario, Simon Fraser, British Columbia, and Victoria. In 1992 he was admitted as a fellow in the Royal Society of Medicine.

Dr. Rix is also a generous financial supporter of medical education and research. He donated more than $2 million to Western to establish Schulich's Dr. Don Rix Clinical Skills Learning Building and generously supported the Dr. Don Rix Protein Identification Facilty in Schulich's Siebens-Drake Medical Research Insitute. In 2009 he donated $4 million to UBC, half of which will endow bursaries for medical students in financial need.

Dr. Rix found time for his medical associations during his busy career. A former member of the BCMA board of directors and various committees, he continues to chair the finance committee. At the national level, he served on the CMA's finance and allied health professional committees. His generous spirit extended to his colleagues: Dr. Rix established a physician's benevolent fund to help those in the profession who are unable to look after themselves due to illness. A senior member of both the British Columbia and Canadian medical associations, he was awarded the BCMA Silver Medal of Service Award (2004).

Among his many accolades, he includes investiture in the Order of British Columbia (2004) and the Order of Canada (2007). He is a member of the Sovereign Order of St. John of Jerusalem, Knights Hospitaller and in 2002 was awarded the Queen's Golden Jubilee Award.

Dr. Donald Rix will become the 44th recipient of the CMA F.N.G. Starr Award at a special ceremony at the TCU Place in Saskatoon, Sask. as part of the CMA's 142nd annual meeting.