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Kamsack doctor awarded 2021 Saskatchewan Order of Merit

"The only way to do great work is to love what you do." ~ Steve Jobs
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Dr. Michael Bishop of Kamsack has been honoured as one of the recipients of the 2021 Saskatchewan Order of Merit. He credits the support of his wife, Sally, as the foundation of his success.

KAMSACK – A retired local doctor has been named to the list of recipients honoured with the 2021 Saskatchewan Order of Merit. During a phone interview from his home in Kamsack, Dr. Michael Bishop, originally from London, England, said he was quite pleased to be acknowledged along with the other recipients.

The retired 84 year-old physician explained he was notified of the award two weeks before the official list of recipients was announced on October 14. The recognition follows a number of other accolades the doctor has earned, including the Saskatchewan Centennial Medal.

“I have always enjoyed helping people and I have always wanted to be a physician,” shared Bishop. “Although physicians are well-respected and paid well – even if they weren’t, I still would have chosen it as a profession. I have thoroughly enjoyed my career.”

Bishop is a proud father to three adult children, nine grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren who all reside in the province. He describes Kamsack as being an exceptional place to live and raise a family.

Having moved from the United Kingdom, along with his wife, Sally, in 1965, Bishop immediately began working in Kamsack as a family physician and continued the practice until he was 65 years old. For the following 10 years, he would commute to the city of Yorkton to work as a Senior Medical Officer (otherwise known as Chief of Staff) at the Yorkton Regional Health Centre (formally known as the Yorkton Union Hospital).

After retiring at the age of 75, Dr. Bishop continued to check in on patients at the Kamsack Nursing Home – many of which he had known and taken care of over the past 50 years.

It was just three years ago when Dr. Bishop said it was nature that forced him to finally slow down. This time, his own health was threatened, and he underwent a major heart operation.

“I would sincerely like to thank the staff at the Yorkton Regional Health Centre, the Kamsack Hospital, and the Regina Cardiac Unit who all contributed to my diagnosis and surgery – and they all did a very good job.”

Today, Dr. Bishop is feeling well and delighting in hobbies like fishing, boating and gardening in the beautiful parkland area surrounding his Kamsack home.

“I can’t say I know much about the technical aspects of gardening,” admitted Bishop with a chuckle. “My wife is the real talent. I am more of an enthusiastic labourer.”

The Town of Kamsack has also recognized the doctor’s contributions with a dedicated walking trail in his name. The “Dr. Michael Bishop Walking Trail” runs through a portion of the town of Kamsack.

“I would like to sincerely thank everyone who welcomed me as a stranger [to Kamsack] in 1965 and kudos to all of the patients and friends from Kamsack, Veregin, Togo, Keeseekoose First Nation, and Cote First Nation.”

Dr. Bishop said he is grateful for the many wonderful relationships he has made with people from the surrounding towns, cities, and First Nation communities.

“And certainly, I would like to thank my wife, Sally. I could not have achieved anything without her. Her support has always been fantastic. In fact, she has been more active and deserving of awards than I have…and our children have too.”

Six outstanding Saskatchewan citizens will be invested into the Saskatchewan Order of Merit, the province's highest honour, during a ceremony in November, according to a release.

"The 2021 recipients of the Saskatchewan Order of Merit are remarkable citizens who are most deserving of this prestigious honour," Lieutenant Governor Russ Mirasty said.  "I offer my sincere congratulations to each recipient and I thank them for their invaluable contributions to our province."

The 2021 recipients are:

  • Mavis Ashbourne-Palmer, Regina
  • Michael Bishop, Kamsack
  • Albert Brown, Saskatoon
  • Marie-Anne DayWalker-Pelletier, C.M., Balcarres
  • Hart Godden, Regina
  • Solomon Ratt, Regina

This year's recipients of the Saskatchewan Order of Merit will join the 252 individuals who have previously been invested.

Dr. Michael Bishop is described as a pillar of his community and the epitome of a small-town doctor, continued the release. Michael has been a physician in Kamsack since emigrating from England in the 1960s. In addition to his busy practice in Kamsack, Michael has served as a town councillor. He also played a leadership role in planning and fund raising for the expansion of the nursing home in Kamsack. After retiring from his full-time practice, Michael continued to serve as a physician for residents of the nursing home for many years. Michael still supports the local health foundation and is active in welcoming newcomers to the medical community in Kamsack.

Michael has also been a leader in health care throughout the province. He is a former Senior Medical Officer of the Sunrise Health Authority. He is a Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Saskatchewan College of Medicine. In addition to being awarded a lifetime membership in the Saskatchewan Medical Association, Michael served two terms on the board of directors. He has also been awarded lifetime memberships in the Saskatchewan College of Physicians and Surgeons and the Canadian Medical Association. Michael is a recipient of the Saskatchewan Centennial Medal.

Michael brought many residents of Kamsack into the world and has cared for and supported them over the many years. He is seen as more than just a doctor, but also as someone who is genuinely interested in the lives of his patients and community.

The Saskatchewan Order of Merit was established in 1985 to recognize excellence and achievement from outstanding Saskatchewan citizens. They have made significant contributions in areas such as art, agriculture, business and industry, community leadership, public service, research and volunteer service. The Saskatchewan Order of Merit is recognized in the Canadian Honours System.

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