Perry Kendall

Image of Dr Perry Kendall


"One of my career highlights was leading a process that (working with federal, provincial and municipal governments and affected individuals) led to the opening of Insite, so far (but hopefully not for long), North America's only sanctioned supervised injection site."

Dr. Perry Kendall received the Legacy Premier’s Award in 2015 and was inducted into the Hall of Excellence the same year. Dr. Kendall devoted his professional life in British Columbia to promoting and pursuing innovative health care, focusing on preventing disease and promoting population health.

Dr. Kendall is responsible for courageously advancing a number of complex health issues in B.C., such as:

  • Legislation to give pharmacists the ability to prescribe emergency contraceptive pills to women
  • Promoting the health and well-being of B.C.’s Indigenous Peoples
  • Initiating legislation to make HIV/AIDS a reportable disease
  • Supporting harm reduction as an evidence-based approach to reducing the negative consequences of harmful substance use

Dr. Kendall became B.C.’s Provincial Health Officer (PHO) in 1999. The PHO, as the senior public health official in British Columbia, monitors and reports on the health of the population. They provide independent advice to the Minister of Health and senior health officials on ways to improve the health of British Columbians.

A former medical health officer for the City of Toronto and former CEO of the Addiction Research Foundation of Ontario, Dr. Kendall is considered to be one of Canada’s leading authorities on public health and drug addiction. He was co-chair of the task group on the feasibility of supervised injection site research and was instrumental in developing needle exchange programs and Canada’s first safe injection site in Vancouver in 2003.

Dr. Kendall made a valuable contribution to Canada’s pandemic planning and response during the H1N1 pandemic. As co-chair of the Pan-Canadian Public Health Network Council, Dr. Kendall led the charge, along with other health professionals and governments across the country, to implement Canada’s pandemic response plan. The plan was the foundation for managing the pandemic and it mitigated its impact with regards to social disruption, illness and death. Canada’s comprehensive pandemic response plan is recognized worldwide.

Thanks to Dr. Kendall’s steadfast efforts, public health and chronic disease prevention have increased their profile significantly over his tenure.

Legacy: Dr. Perry Kendall