Dr. Don Greve receives Sask.'s highest honour for service to medicine, community
Saskatchewan Order of Merit 2020 recipient Dr. Don Greve saw a lot during his 45 years practising medicine in the Rosthern area, but nothing that compares to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This is an exceptional experience that we’re going through now,” said Dr. Greve. Tuberculosis and sexually transmitted diseases were challenges to medicine when he practised, but were well-managed and brought under control. The SARS scare of 2003 was limited to Eastern Canada.
“These don’t compare in any way to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dr. Greve, adding he has been impressed with measures taken by the medical community and the people of Saskatchewan to minimize the spread of COVID-19.
“The people in public health have done a great job,” he said. “We’ve seen the government and the public health department give us good leadership, and people of the province have done well, too. There were challenges, but our province has done well,” he said.
Dr. Greve is a medical leader in his own quiet way, too. He was named by Lt.-Gov. Russ Mirasty as one of this year’s recipients of the Saskatchewan Order of Merit, the province’s highest honour.
“I was surprised, humbled and felt honoured to firstly be nominated by local leadership and then confirmed by the Saskatchewan Protocol office that I would be a recipient for the Saskatchewan Order of Merit award,” he told the SMA. “I’m just a representative for a lot of people who got involved with a lot of the things that I got involved with, a lot of partners and people. It’s a very humbling experience and an honour.”
Career spans 45 years in medicine, 30 years on town council
Dr. Greve started his career in Rosthern in 1961, practising medicine for 45 years and serving as a Saskatchewan coroner for 39 years. He served on committees of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan, and Rosthern town council for 30 years. His imprint dots the Rosthern landscape – he helped develop the Station Arts Centre, the Seager Wheeler Farm into a national historic site, and the Valley Regional Park. He has been active with the Kinasao Lutheran Bible Camp, Rosthern Trinity Lutheran Church and Communities in Bloom committee. He currently chairs a committee lobbying to replace the Rosthern Hospital.
Dr. Greve believes the Order of Merit recognizes a lifetime of medical and civic service.
“Forward thinking as to future cultural, spiritual, recreational and health care aspects of a vibrant, progressive community were always on my agenda,” he said. “I invested time and effort to see our medical practice become a regional service, bringing health care to our satellite clinics in communities of the Twin Rivers District and adjacent First Nations, thus securing the hospital as the hub for a stable physician and health-care centre.”
Dr. Greve delivered about 1,800 babies in that hospital, provided anesthetics and performed surgical procedures such as hernias, appendectomies, tubal ligations, and fractures. After five years of practice, Dr. Greve spent a year as a pediatric resident in the Halifax Children’s Hospital at Dalhousie University to improve his pediatric skills.
He returned to Rosthern, where he and his wife raised three children. The community had everything the family wanted - educational, cultural, spiritual and recreational opportunities – all located near bigger cities, rivers and northern lake land.
Since retirement 14 years ago, they have travelled the world, spent quality time with family, friends, children and grandchildren and pursued a number of activities, from involvement with their faith community to gardening, biking, golfing, curling, and watching the Toronto Raptors and Saskatchewan Roughriders. Their cottage at Christopher Lake provides quiet times for reading, fellowship, hiking, sailing and painting.
“Rosthern and district has been an excellent community to practise medicine, raise a family and experience fulfilment in many areas of one’s life journey,” Dr. Greve said.