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Quebec Health Minister to Speak at Inaugural Distinguished Quebec Address Nov. 8

PLATTSBURGH, NY — Philippe Couillard, the minister of health and social services in the Government of Quebec, will be the first speaker in the Inaugural Distinguished Quebec Address at the State University of New York College at Plattsburgh on Monday, Nov. 8. The address, which is open to the campus and community, will begin at 1:30 p.m. in the Hyman and Frances Krinovitz Recital Hall in Hawkins Hall.


Philippe Couillard Sponsored by the Institute on Quebec Studies, Couillard will speak on "Public Health Care in Quebec: A Model for North America."

Couillard was awarded a doctorate in medicine from the Université de Montréal at the age of 22 and became a certified neurosurgeon at 28. By the time he was 32, he was the head surgeon in the Department of Neurosurgery at the Hôspital Saint-Luc.

Actively involved in his medical practice as well as in teaching and medical administration, Couillard was a co-founder of the Department of Neurosurgery in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. He has also served as a member of the Council and of the Health and Public Policy Committee of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

As an active member of the Department of Surgery of the Centre hospitalier universitaire de Sherbrooke, he served as coordinator of scientific activities for the Department of Surgery of the Centre universitaire de santé de l'Estrie, was co-representative of the Quebec Association of Neuro-Surgeons and of the Federation of Medical Specialists of Québec, and was an elected member of the James IV Association of Surgeons in 2002.

Couillard also held the positions of head surgeon and director of the Department of Surgery at the Centre hospitalier universitaire de Sherbrooke and was a professor at the Faculty of Medicine of the Université de Sherbrooke.

In April 2003, Couillard was elected a member of the Quebec Parliament to represent the Mont-Royal section of Montreal. He was subsequently named minister of health and social services under Quebec Premier Jean Charest.

Dr. Christopher Kirkey, the director of the Center for the Study of Canada, which oversees the Institute on Quebec Studies, said the Distinguished Quebec Address is one of several new initiatives being sponsored by the Institute.

"We are very pleased that Minister Couillard has agreed to speak at the inaugural Distinguished Quebec Address," said Kirkey.  "This annual address is the premier program initiative of the Institute on Quebec Studies and will feature prominent individuals from the public and private sector speaking on current Quebec social, cultural, business and political issues."

Established in February 2004, the Institute on Quebec Studies offers students a minor program in Quebec Studies. The 18-credit hour multidisciplinary program provides students with an intensive immersion in Quebec, including the completion of two full courses in French language instruction.

In addition to the Distinguished Quebec Address, the Institute will also sponsor a number of other initiatives, including: Quebec Speakers Series, Quebec Scholar-in-Residence Program, Quebec Business Policy Forum, and a one-day annual celebration of Quebec - Celebrons Quebec! The Institute will also coordinate numerous field trips, internship and scholarship opportunities for students interested in Quebec.

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