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UNBC to award provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry with honourary degree

Dr. Henry will receive an honorary Doctor of Law degree at UNBC’s June 25 convocation
B.C. Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry is set to receive an honorary Doctor of Law degree at UNBC’s convocation this year.

Henry is being bestowed a parchment virtually from the post-secondary school in June as UNBC is recognizing her leadership on the COVID-19 pandemic and drug overdose emergency.

She served as deputy provincial health officer for three years before her promotion to provincial health officer in 2018. As the province's most senior public health official, Dr. Henry is responsible for monitoring the health of all British Columbians and undertaking measures for disease prevention and control and health protection.

“I am honoured to be recognized by the University of Northern British Columbia in this way,” she said in a news release.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us the importance of putting aside whatever differences we may have and working together with common purpose to explore, discover and innovate. This is what UNBC is all about and why I am so proud be receiving this Honorary Doctorate.”

Dr. Henry’s served in a number of senior roles at the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) and Toronto Public Health, including as the operational lead in the response to the SARS outbreak in Toronto in 2004.

Internationally, she's worked with the WHO/UNICEF polio eradication program in Pakistan and with the WHO to control the Ebola outbreak in Uganda and has been actively involved in mass gathering health planning in Canada and internationally.

She is a specialist in public health and preventive medicine and is board certified in preventive medicine in the U.S. She graduated from Dalhousie Medical School, completed a master’s in Public Health and residency training in preventive medicine at the University of California, San Diego and in community medicine at University of Toronto. She is an associate professor in the School of Population and Public Health at the University of British Columbia.

Dr. Henry will receive her honorary doctorate during the College of Science and Management ceremony at 9:30 a.m. on June 25.