Dr. Anne Doig has vivid memories of her father, a rural physician in the late 1950s, loading up his car with medical supplies to help patients at all hours of the day.
“He would keep an emergency kit and sleeping bag in the car and go to someone’s aid, especially in the winter,” said Doig, who developed an understanding of the needs of rural medicine early in life. By her fifth birthday, she told her mother: “I’m going to be a doctor, like Dad.”
Indeed, practicing medicine is a family affair for the Doigs, who settled in Saskatoon in 1961. Anne has remained there since and has been a highly respected physician for 40 years. She is especially proud to be caring for third and fourth generations of the families her father looked after in his rural practice.
She’d always known about STARS given that her brother was an intensive care physician in Alberta and shared stories of founder Dr. Greg Powell and his charity. However, the importance of the service hit home in 2008 when Doig’s son was in a highway collision. Due to the extent of his injuries, STARS was dispatched. “John may not have survived his acute head injury without timely intervention,” said Doig.
STARS was invited by the Saskatchewan government into the province in 2011, and local, well-respected representation was needed to round out the volunteer board of directors. Doig decided it was time to give back to the organization that had given her family so much. “As the board, we have a responsibility to listen to the dreams and innovative aspirations of STARS, and have the foresight to see which ones we can pursue and make possible,” she said. “STARS is integral to emergency health care.”
For Andrea Robertson, president and CEO at STARS, Doig is another example of the highly qualified volunteers on the board.
“Hailing from a family of respected doctors, Anne Doig is an incredible physician, and STARS is fortunate to have her on our board,” said Robertson. “Anne is passionate about accessible, quality health care for rural residents, and her commitment to the STARS mission makes her invaluable to our organization.”