One of Canada’s respiratory health pioneers, Dr. Bill Jeanes, passed away on July 1 in Ottawa at the age of 95.
As a member of the Canadian Lung Association staff, I had the privilege of meeting Dr. Jeanes for the first time in 2001 when he came to our office in Ottawa during the Christmas season, armed with photos and other memorabilia from the past.
As the years went by, Dr. Jeanes would make his seasonal visit and it was always such a pleasant opportunity to hear about how our organization was formed and listen to stories about the people who shaped our history.
I don’t think a year went by that he didn’t pay us a visit to talk about the rich heritage of the lung health movement in Canada. In the last few years he was finding it more difficult to come in person so he would give us a call just to check in on the latest developments at CLA and of course, to reminisce.
Dr. Jeanes made a significant contribution to lung health starting in the 1950s when he came to Canada from Britain to become the Medical Director of The Canadian Tuberculosis Society. Dr. Jeanes also founded The Canadian Thoracic Society and helped transform The Canadian Tuberculosis Society into what is now the Canadian Lung Association.
Dr. Jeanes’ career spanned 50 years, 20 of those with the CLA. He was known for his contributions to TB and public health worldwide through his work with the World Health Organization and the Canadian International Development Agency.
For many of us at The Lung Association, Dr. Jeanes will be fondly remembered for his wonderful story telling, his engaging personality, and for his dedication to improving the lung health of Canadians.
We extend our sincere condolences to his family.