Posted on April 5, 2017 by Tia Lalani

On March 1, Augustana hosted alumna Dr Ronald Lett at the annual Community Awards Banquet, where he received the 2016 Distinguished Alumni Award.

Dr Ronald Lett (’71) has dedicated his life not only to helping people but to training other health professionals to do the same in areas where they may not have previously had the opportunity. As Co-Founder and International Director of the Canadian Network for International Surgery—which has formal partnerships with ten university surgical departments, among other organizations—Dr. Lett and the CNIS have trained and qualified over 150 Canadian surgeons to teach their counterparts overseas, resulting in the total training of over 25, 000 African practitioners who now have the ability to offer lifesaving surgical skills. Emphasising active learning, CNIS provides workshops on burn treatment, bone infections, and C-sections in countries where medical and surgical assistance is a luxury that many cannot access.

Before founding CNIS, Dr Lett co-founded the Injury Control Centre – Uganda, as well as the Injury Prevention Initiative for Africa, a network that includes thirteen countries. Alongside his position as CNIS, he co-chairs the African Canadian Committee for Essential Surgical Skills, is Scientific Associate of both the Injury Control Centre – Uganda and Injury Control Centre – Tanzania, honorary member of the IPIFA Steering Committee and Adjunct Professor of Surgery at McGill University and the University of British Columbia.

Dr Lett’s journey began in Camrose, as he attended Camrose Composite High School before studying at Camrose Lutheran College for one year, and then going on to the University of Alberta to complete undergraduate medical and post-surgical training. He then completed a Masters in Injury Epidemiology at McGill University. As an inspiring figure to Augustana’s current undergraduate students, Dr Ronald Lett has proved that humble beginnings can lead to great things.

Recipient of the 2016 Distinguished Alumni Award, Dr Lett attended the Augustana Community Awards Banquet on March 1 to publicly accept the award, and present on living fully, which starts with making a difference.

“Dr Lett’s story exemplifies many of the most important values of this campus,” says Dean Allen Berger. “This fact, along with the many other recognitions he has received, including induction to the Camrose Composite High School Wall of Fame in 2004 and the University of Alberta Alumni Honour Award in 2008, reveal that this award is long overdue.”


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