Dr. Robert Alexander Strang
Doctor of Laws, honoris causa
Today, Cape Breton University confers the degree Doctor of Law, honoris causa, on behalf of all public health professionals, on a man whose leadership and knowledge of public health and medicine, is only rivaled by his care and compassion for the people of Nova Scotia, Dr. Robert Strang.
Dr. Robert Strang is Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMOH) in Nova Scotia, appointed in August 2007. He received his medical degree from the University of British Columbia (UBC) and completed Family Practice and Public Health and Preventive Medicine residencies at UBC. An advocate for sport and athletics, Dr. Strang played rugby for the University of British Columbia and then the UBC Old Boys in Vancouver. In 1983, Dr. Strang represented Canada against England at London’s Twickenham Stadium, one of the sport’s most recognizable venues.
Dr. Strang was an Associate Medical Officer of Health in South Fraser Health, BC, from 1997-1999. In 1999, he moved to Halifax to become Medical Officer of Health for Capital District Health Authority. He was acting provincial Deputy Chief Medical Officer of Health prior to his CMOH appointment.
He is passionate about public health and has worked with non-government organizations such as Smoke Free Nova Scotia, Heart and Stroke Foundation and Public Health Association of Nova Scotia, all for the betterment of the health and wellbeing of Nova Scotians.
Dr. Strang has an adjunct appointment with Dalhousie University, Department of Community Health and Epidemiology.
In March of 2020 when a pandemic emerged as a threat to global citizens, Dr. Strang and his public health colleagues were thrust into the spotlight. COVID-19 forced public health practitioners into new, much more public roles, where they now had to build public trust and reassurance while implementing new and sometimes controversial health protocols and policies.
Recognizing that the pandemic, and its subsequent health measures were not easy for people, Dr. Strang, along with many other public health professionals, often took the time to address Nova Scotia’s youngest demographic, reassuring the children of our Province that these measures would keep them and their families safe. During some of our darkest hours and their longest hours, it was Dr. Strang and his team who were the bright light we all needed. Under Dr. Strang’s guidance, Nova Scotia has become one of the safest places in the world because of our low case numbers, solid public health protocols and the willingness of Nova Scotians to adhere to them.
In December 2020, Dr. Strang was awarded the Lieutenant-Governor’s Award for Excellence in Public Administration during the pandemic.