Besides their distinguished careers in Canadian medicine and their honours as Companions to the Order of Canada, Drs. Henry Barnett (“Barney”) and John Evans share one other important connection. They are close friends.
That friendship was evident when Evans contributed $100,000 to support the creation of the Kathleen and Dr. Henry Barnett Chair in Stroke Research at Western.
Though in failing health, Evans travelled from Toronto to London to pay tribute to Barnett at a recent event held in his honour. “I wanted to be there because of Barney and to say hello to an old, dear friend,” said Evans.
He first met Barnett at the University of Toronto when he was a medical student. “Since the very early stages of my career, Barney has been a superb scientist and role model to me,” said Evans.
A Rhodes Scholar, Evans served as founding dean of the McMaster Faculty of Health Sciences, president of the University of Toronto, and founding director of the World Bank’s population, health and nutrition program in Washington.
For his accomplishments, Evans has been inducted into both the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame and the Canadian Business Hall of Fame.
“I tell people all the time how instrumental Barney has been for all of my contributions and how I owe much of my success to him,” said Evans.
As friends do, Barnett is quick to point out the same about Evans. “He sparked the best in me whenever we met,” said Barnett, a neurologist and researcher who helped establish the Robarts Research Institute in 1986. “From first acquaintance until now, he has been an inspiration to me as a scientist who continuously seeks to achieve excellence.”
Because of Barnett’s vision and commitment to interdisciplinary medical research, the chair named in his honour will advance critical discovery into the prevention and treatment of strokes.
“This initiative is a fitting legacy to build on Dr. Barnett’s tradition of research excellence,” said Dr. Michael J. Strong, dean of Schulich Medicine & Dentistry. “The support that Dr. Evans has shown to his friend is evidence of how these two pioneering doctors and researchers have shaped each other’s work. We are grateful for Dr. Evans’s donation, which will enhance our efforts to fully fund the Barnett Chair and accelerate stroke research.”
To learn how you can contribute to advancing stroke research by supporting the $5-million Kathleen and Dr. Henry Barnett Chair in Stroke Research, contact Vicki Hayter, Schulich Medicine & Dentistry (519.661.2111, ext. 86236).