Bill Nelems, MD, FRCSC

Flags will be lowered at UBC‘s Okanagan campus on Wednesday, April 12, in memory of Dr. Bill Nelems who passed away on March 31, 2017, at the age of 77.

A pioneering thoracic surgeon, Dr. Nelems led Canada’s largest telemedicine program, and was instrumental in improving healthcare delivery throughout British Columbia. He was a former member and founder of the BC Provincial Thoracic Surgery Program and was active in teaching and research. He received the 2009 Award of Excellence in Medical Achievement by the BC College of Physicians and Surgeons.

A UBC Professor Emeritus Surgery with the Faculty of Medicine, Dr. Nelems was a member of the Centre for Heart, Lung and Vascular Health Scientific Advisory Committee at UBC Okanagan, preceptor and problem-based learning tutor for Southern Medical Program students, and over the past decade had been closely involved with the School of Nursing through his work with the Okanagan-Zambia Health Initiative.

He was highly respected for his life-long work to improve healthcare in the Okanagan and BC and for his dedication to crucial health research projects such as the implementation of telemedicine systems and establishing training for health care teams in remote rural regions. Dr. Nelems’ work around the world and in our local communities was recognized in 2008 with the inaugural UBC Okanagan Alumni Community Builder Award.

Our condolences to Dr. Nelems‘ wife Mary Ellen, the entire Nelems family, his many colleagues and all who knew him.

Celebration of Life this spring

Recognizing the role Dr. Nelems played in the wider community, the Nelems family will hold a public celebration of life in a few months.

Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting the Online obituary.