Left up to Steven Lewis, this short (and grossly incomplete) collection of his writings might be called “The Golden Fleece.” His choice reflects his own perception of his contribution to reshaping the healthcare agenda in Canada.

We disagree. As chronicled by the comments – interspersed in this collection– of Steven’s longtime friends and colleagues, his contributions have influenced, inspired and, at times, irritated us. Steven is an advocate for medicare. He believes in equitable access to healthcare for all, and he believes it can be achieved within a public-payer model. But he also believes that Canadian healthcare in the 21st century is in need of reform, and that those responsible for change should be held accountable. Steven’s writings are pointed and direct, and highly crafted. His gift for writing makes his work at once entertaining, thought-provoking and sometimes acerbic. Some essays are analytical, while others react to a situation or event. All reflect his passion and his ultimate desire to incite change where change is required, and to hold accountable those who have perpetuated a less than high-performing healthcare system. It is no secret that some critics take issue with Steven’s perspective and passion. But over the years that he has been writing for Longwoods, as well as his multitude of other academic journals and books, many critics have also commended him for his honesty and bravery.

With his numerous publications and invitations to speak at public forums, Steven has had the ear of politicians and bureaucrats. He has lectured to nursing students and medical students, and has helped shape healthcare leadership in Canada.

In this 60th year of his existence, we pay tribute to our friend, whom we hope continues to influence and inspire us.

About the Author

Kira Leeb is Director, Health System Performance at the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI). Kira has held several positions within CIHI since she started in 2000. While at CIHI, Kira has overseen the production of serial reports, such as Health Care in Canada and Health Indicators as well as numerous special reports. From 2006-2008, Kira was seconded to the Health Council of Canada where she supported the Council’s mandate to report on health care renewal. Kira holds a MA in Psychology