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Monday, 11 February 2013

Clyde Hertzman - a fallen Canadian Public health hero

Canada has prematurely lost a public health hero.

Clyde Hertzman has been an inspiration, leader, and mentor for public health professionals in Canada and globally.  His mild mannered approach to public health tutored many over the years.  The past years have been devoted to a shared passion – the betterment of opportunity for children in Canada. Perhaps fitting that seven of Canada's provinces have inserted a February holiday to acknowledge the value and importance of family time in the development of children.  

Clyde’s legacy will always be found in the Human Early Learning Partnership and the work done on measuring the preparation of children for kindergarten and the school years.   For those not familiar, the fruits of his vocation are documented at http://earlylearning.ubc.ca/ .  He modelled excellence by putting his beliefs openly on the table, following a rigorous approach to public health methodology, and building a great team -  something all of us should aspire to.  

His contributions to the wellbeing of children were formally recognized just a few weeks ago  in being named to the Order of Canada, an award that regrettably he will not collect in person. 

Sadly, Clyde passed unexpectedly February 8th at the far too young an age of 59. He will be dearly missed by the public health community in Canada and internationally.

Thank you Clyde for inspiring a generation of public health professionals.  We all wish that you will continue to inspire and will continue to watch over the successful implementation of your vision.


  1. I work in public health and have kept a notebook for over 24 years. I have over 20 notebooks in my drawer now, and refer to them every now and them to remember some historical tidbit.
    My notebooks that have notes from Clyde's presentations have "Includes Hertzman!" written on the covers, with flags marking the pages, because I refered to them so often. Not just because what I learned was so great, but also because quoting Clyde gave what I was saying immense credibility. Everyone's attention meter went up when he was mentioned.
    A giant in early years public health.
    Thanks for giving him such a nice tribute DrP.

  2. Awful to pass away at only 69.