Dr. Paul Handa has been practicing medicine in New Brunswick for more than 40 years. His vision and determination to improve patient care and to teach and mentor new doctors has been instrumental in the development of health care in our province.
He has demonstrated great leadership throughout his career in medicine, not only in providing and advocating for leading-edge care for his patients, but also by introducing new treatment methods and promoting medical research.
He received his medical degree from Punjab University in 1960 and took his internship and residency in internal medicine in the United States, Ontario and Quebec, becoming specialized in nephrology.
He began his practice as an internist in Saint John in 1969. He served as chief of medicine at the former DVA /West Saint John Community Hospital, as an attending nephrologist at the former General Hospital and St. Joseph’s Hospital and finally as head of nephrology for the Saint John Regional Hospital and the former Atlantic Health Science Corporation.
Dr. Handa was instrumental in the creation and development of the Renal Dialysis Program in New Brunswick in 1970. This has allowed patients with acute and chronic renal diseases to be treated locally instead of being treated at medical centres out of province at great inconvenience and expense. He was instrumental in establishing the Kidney Foundation of Canada in New Brunswick and the introduction of the Organ Procurement Program in our province.
He became the first Maritime physician to launch blood pressure screening surveys in 1976, established an echocardiography unit and introduced ambulatory blood pressure monitoring and clinical trials in New Brunswick.
Dr. Handa was also instrumental in developing post-graduate medical studies in New Brunswick and was a leader in establishing the medical program in Saint John in association with Dalhousie University Medical School, where he held the rank of professor of medicine and associate professor of physiology and bio-physics.
In recognition of his many contributions to the community and to his profession, he was awarded the 1998 Order of Merit by the New Brunswick Medical Society and was made a life member in 2005. He was named a laureate of the American College of Physicians, Atlantic Provinces in 2004, and a master of the American College of Physicians - Internists in 2009. He was honoured with the degree of Doctor of Science by the University of New Brunswick in 2003.
Dr. Paul Handa is receiving the Order of New Brunswick for his outstanding and pioneering contributions in the field of medicine as a doctor, teacher and leader in research and treatment and for making the lives of countless New Brunswickers better.