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Dr. R.C. Patel retires after 45 years of service to Gimli and surrounding area

This November, Gimli Community Health Centre’s Dr. R.C. Patel retired after providing nearly 45 years of dedicated service to the Interlake-Eastern RHA. Dr. Patel began his practice in Gimli in 1973 and is well-known by colleagues and patients alike for his conscientious, sincere and empathetic care of his patients as well as patients of his colleagues.

He is especially well reputed for continually going above and beyond in caring for his patients. At times he would see patients seven days a week and would even accept calls from home when emergencies arose.  Upon his arrival in Gimli in 1973, he undertook to continue in his primary specialty, obstetrics care, having had a huge obstetrical practice in his beloved country, Uganda.  He has delivered many of the community’s babies, going on to offer care to those same children into their adulthood.

Dr. Cary Chapnick, a former colleague, recalls many examples of Dr. Patel’s deep compassion, such as recently buying flowers for the widow of a patient and regularly attending the funerals of patients who have passed away.  His colleague, Dr. Sunil Patel, recalls R.C. Patel’s unwavering support in helping him travel to  conferences and meetings both in Canada and overseas by willingly taking on the care his patients while he was away.  It is this dedication to patients that has set a very high standard of care for others to achieve.

As the chief of staff for Gimli hospital for many years, many of Interlake-Eastern RHA’s nurses and physicians have a strong respect for Dr. Patel’s work ethic and his collegiality. Many have said that he never declined a request to help out his colleagues: taking shifts in the emergency room, canceling personal travel plans to attend a patient, filling in for doctors who lived and worked in Winnipeg, and switching days on call. According to Ruby Tretiak, former director with the Interlake Regional Health Authority, Dr. Patel and his wife also regularly opened their home to his clinic staff and hosted team dinners that “were far more elaborate than anyone would ever have anticipated.”

What many people may not know about Dr. Patel is his dedication and generosity to community and his philanthropy in so many areas. He was particularly devoted to supporting worthy causes within the Hindu community. He was known to regularly invite his staff to come to temple with him and donated significant funds to support the following causes: the Swaminaryan Temple in Toronto, Winnipeg’s Raj Pandy Hindu temple and local Sportcentre, the development of an Encyclopedia on Hinduism, a heritage centre for abandoned girls in Rishikesh, the Devka University for Indigenous Women and the creation of a neonaial intensive care unit at Swami Yogi Maharaj Hospital. Within Manitoba, he also provided significant donations to establish a local walking track for seniors and donations in support of the Johnson Memorial Hospital and the Canadian Museum of Human Rights.

On behalf of the Interlake-Eastern Regional Health Authority, thank you Dr. Patel, for your many years of dedicated and compassionate service to our region. We wish you all the best in your well-deserved retirement.

Dr RC Patel
Dr, R.C. Patel

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