09 November 2009

The passing of renowned Christchurch medical professor and long-time NZMA member Sir Don Beaven, who died in a house fire on Wednesday, is a huge loss to the medical profession and the country, said NZMA Chair Dr Peter Foley.

“Sir Don was a pioneer in diabetes treatment and prevention, and was responsible for many initiatives in public health. As co-patron of Diabetes New Zealand he was a passionate advocate who made a significant difference to the lives of people with diabetes.” 

“He touched many lives and was instrumental in laying the foundation for diabetes research in New Zealand and overseas,” said Dr Foley.

Over the years Sir Don Beaven had received many awards and honors, including the Distinguished Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the 2005 New Year Honours. He had also served as the New Zealand diabetes representative to the World Health Organisation and the International Diabetes Foundation for over 20 years.

He was also foundation professor of the Christchurch School of Medicine and former chairman of the Canterbury Area Health board.

Dr Foley said that the NZMA wanted to express its heartfelt condolences to Sir Don’s family and colleagues.