Dr. Jack Kitts speaks about his Order of Canada appointment

Photo courtesy The Ottawa Hospital

Following Mark Woermke’s report of Dr. Kitts’ recent appointment as Member of the Order of Canada by the Governor General (Click HERE to read that article), he shared his personal reaction with The Current, saying,

My initial reaction was a sense of disbelief because I didn’t feel I was worthy of such an honour.  I have always been uncomfortable with personal awards and recognition.  Once reality set in, I felt very humbled and honoured because I have so many people to thank for making me the person I am.  I will cherish this honour always and will never forget those who helped me along the way.

The Current asked him how he felt his experience as a Valley lad had prepared him for his career and this honour. His answer was to the point:

In the Valley everyone knows everyone and we greet each other with a wave or a smile.  When someone is in need, we come together to help.  My goal after becoming CEO was to create a hospital with similar values and a culture [to] that I was raised in. Today, The Ottawa Hospital provides compassionate care to patients because every member of our staff is committed to treating patients and families as they would treat a loved one.

His alma mater, Madawaska Valley District High School, has just held its annual graduation ceremony. We asked Dr. Jack what message he had for the people of the Madawaska Valley, especially the young people as they set out on their careers. His response was three-fold:

First, pursue your dreams and have confidence that small town people can achieve great things in the big city.

Second, never forget where you came from – your roots will guide you.

Third, “You can accomplish anything in life so long as you don’t care who gets the credit.” This is a quote from Harry S. Truman and I recall learning it at MVDHS when I was in Grade 9 and I have always lived by it.

The investiture ceremony for Order of Canada appointees will be in the fall. The Current congratulates Dr. Jack Kitts.


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