A catalyst and innovator for public health in British Columbia, Dr. John Blatherwick has served as a medical health officer in B.C. – and a strong voice for improved health – for 36 years.
Dr. Blatherwick is a persuasive champion of public health, and a force of influence in his community. He is Canada’s longest serving medical health officer, having held his current position in Vancouver for 23 years.
Not hesitating to take controversial positions when he has believed doing so was important to public health, Dr. Blatherwick is known for his strong stands on tobacco use in the workplace, harm reduction programs for injection drug users, safe sex, and AIDS care, among many others.
Dr. Blatherwick pushed for drinking water treatment in the Vancouver area, introduced new immunization programs, and school health initiatives that have improved the health of school children.
He took the lead for Vancouver Coastal Health in Olympic medical planning, served for 39 years in the Canadian Forces Reserves, and represented Canada for six years at NATO as the head of the Canadian Forces Reserve Medical Group.
Dr. Blatherwick has been uniquely skilled at turning complex medical information into straightforward messages he has delivered with skill to the public.
Even with his demanding and high-profile work life, Dr. Blatherwick has also been actively involved as a volunteer. This has included sitting on numerous community boards, while also playing, coaching and refereeing sports.