University congratulates Aberdeen academics recognised in New Year’s Honours

University congratulates Aberdeen academics recognised in New Year’s Honours

Many congratulations go to Aberdeen academics recognised in the New Year’s Honours.

Professor Lewis Ritchie, who already has an OBE, has received a knighthood for services to the NHS in Scotland.

Ms Myra Pearson, recently retired as Head of the University's School of Education, has received an OBE for services to higher education.

And Maggie Gill, Chief Scientific Adviser to the Scottish Executive Environment and Rural Affairs Department as well as Sixth Century Chair in Integrated Land Use within the University’s School of Geosciences, has been made an OBE.

Professor Ian Diamond, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University said: "I am absolutely delighted to add my congratulations to those honoured today who are or have been valued colleagues and students at the University of Aberdeen.

“Professor Sir Lewis Ritchie has made a tremendous academic and practical contribution to the delivery of first-class healthcare in Scotland. Myra Pearson, now OBE, has been an inspirational leader of the University's School of Education as well as making an important national contribution to education in Scotland. Maggie Gill, who also receives an OBE, has made a huge national and international contribution to rural and environmental science. We are extremely proud of their achievements and of all those associated with our University who have been honoured today."

Professor Sir Lewis Ritchie, James Mackenzie Professor of General Practice at the University, is a GP at Peterhead Health Centre and Community Hospital, and Honorary Consultant in Public Health Medicine with NHS Grampian.

Sir Lewis, who has been a GP in Peterhead for the last 30 years, said: “I feel very humbled to be recognised by this honour.  It has been a great privilege to serve NHS Scotland in a number of capacities and to assist the development of healthcare services and better ways of caring for patients and preventing illness.

“I am conscious of how much my contributions have crucially depended on the steadfast support of my family and by very many colleagues throughout Scotland, beginning in my practice at Peterhead and the Centre of Academic Primary Care at the University of Aberdeen.

“This award says less about my own endeavours and speaks more about the collective achievements of colleagues working on behalf of NHS Scotland.   I am particularly mindful at this festive time, of the magnificent commitment of all frontline healthcare workers and support staff.”

In 2001, Sir Lewis was appointed OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, for services to general practice and primary care in Scotland.

He has led and chaired a number of national committees and reports including: computers/eHealth, research, immunisation, community hospitals, cardiovascular prevention/management, community pharmacy, academic GP careers, and promoting professionalism and excellence in medicine.

Sir Lewis currently chairs the Scottish Medical and Scientific Advisory Committee (SMASAC), which provides advice from all medical specialties to the Scottish Government and previously chaired the Biomedical and Therapeutic Research Committee of the Chief Scientist Office (BTRC). 

He led the national implementation of the Meningococcal C and the Adult Pneumococcal Immunisation Programmes in Scotland and recently chaired the Service Delivery Group of the H1N1 (Swine Flu) Immunisation Programme. 

Sir Lewis and his team pioneered the use of computers for cardiovascular prevention and telemedicine links from Peterhead Community Hospital. He has also contributed to innovative telecare service developments throughout Scotland, including NHS 24.