Dr. Jawahar (Jay) Kalra (MD) is a professor of pathology and laboratory medicine in USask’s College of Medicine. (Photo: Submitted)

USask’s Kalra re-appointed to prestigious national board

One of Canada’s premier public policy organizations has again called on Dr. Jawahar (Jay) Kalra (MD) of the University of Saskatchewan (USask) to serve on its board of directors.

By James Shewaga

Kalra has been re-appointed to the board of the Council of Canadian Academies (CCA), an influential non-profit organization of leaders from across the country dedicated to informing Canadian public policy development.

“It is an honour and a privilege for me to be re-appointed and I am proud to be serving on this board, where our mission is to look at evidence-based expert assessments globally,” said Kalra, who was re-appointed for a second three-year term and is also chairing the audit, finance and human resources committee. “This is a privilege for me, and it is an honour to represent the university. I am a proud member of the faculty of the University of Saskatchewan and we have many talented and extraordinary people and this is all credit to our university.”

Kalra is an award-winning professor of pathology and laboratory medicine in USask’s College of Medicine, now in his 36th year in the college since joining USask in 1985. He previously served as head of the Department of Pathology (1991-2000) and head of the Department of Laboratory Medicine, Saskatoon District Health (1994-2000). In addition to being an active researcher and educator at USask, Kalra has filled major leadership roles, including serving six years as chair of University Council and as a member of USask’s Board of Governors after being re-elected in 2019 for a second three-year term.

Kalra has also served as national president of numerous medical associations, including the Intersociety Council of Laboratory Medicine of Canada, the Canadian Chairs of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, and the Canadian Association of Pathologists. He is also the former treasurer and a board member of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, one of the three founding academies of the CCA, along with the Royal Society of Canada and the Canadian Academy of Engineering.

Kalra said he is looking forward to the opportunity to continue to work with the distinguished members of the CCA board, featuring national and international leaders in the fields of natural, social and health sciences, as well as engineering and the humanities.

“This is a marvellous board to work with,” said Kalra, who is also a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, an Elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine, U.K, and a Canadian Certified Physician Executive leader. “It is a privilege to serve on this board with people like (Dr.) David Dodge (PhD), who was the governor of the Bank of Canada, (Dr.) Donna Strickland, a Nobel Laureate in physics, and (Dr.) Bartha Knoppers (PhD), who is a prominent lawyer and research ethics expert. It is an honour for me.”

Locally, Kalra volunteers with a number of local and provincial community organizations, including having served as president of Saskatoon Folkfest, the Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan, Saskatchewan Intercultural Association and the Saskatoon Nutana Rotary Club, as well as chair of the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (Saskatchewan Division) and a board member of Heart and Stroke Foundation of Saskatchewan. For his service to the community and country, he received a variety of awards, including named Saskatoon’s Citizen of the Year in 2016 and honoured along with former NBA all-star Steve Nash in the 2013 RBC Top 25 Canadian Immigrant awards.

While he appreciates having the opportunity to contribute nationally, Kalra’s remains firmly focused on his students and his work on campus.

“I still very much enjoy teaching and doing scholarly work,” said Kalra. “And I am just putting, as a co-editor, a couple of conference proceedings books together and continue to be active in research and clinical services in the Saskatchewan Health Authority. The University of Saskatchewan has a lot of great people and it is an honour to work with them.”