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Legacy of Pinewood Centre founder honoured

Politicians, Lakeridge Health staff and family members recently joined together for the unveiling of a room named in honour of the late Dr. B. George Blake at Pinewood Centre. Blake helped to establish the centre more than 50 years ago. (Photo courtesy of Lakeridge Health)

Nearly 50 community members gathered recently to recognize the contributions of a local mental health and addictions advocate.

The late Dr. Buxton George Blake, who passed away in January 2018, was memorialized through the opening of a room named in his honour at Oshawa’s Pinewood Centre, which he helped to establish.

A plaque was also unveiled commemorating his work to advance a “compassionate and healthy community.”

More than half a century ago, Dr. Blake’s pioneering work to create a healing environment for people with alcohol addiction led to the formation of Pinewood, which now spans 13 locations across Durham Region and the GTA.

Matthew Anderson, CEO and president of Lakeridge Health, said Dr. Blake made “tremendous contributions to improving the lives of people in our community from all walks of life.”

“As a result of his tireless advocacy and passionate leadership, people throughout Durham Region have access to the highest standard of mental health and addictions care close to where they work and live,” Anderson stated.

As the event was hosted during National Nursing Week, a new mentorship and bursary program for nurses in collaboration with Durham College was also introduced.

“We are delighted to partner with Lakeridge Health on this special mentorship and bursary program,” said Dr. Judith Innocent, executive dean for the School of Health and Community Services at Durham College. “In keeping with Dr. Blake’s legacy of inspiring future generations of students and promoting an inclusive community, recipients of this special award will receive a hands-on learning experience in mental health and addictions nursing.”

Members of Blake’s family were in attendance for the special ceremony.

“Our family is honoured by the recognition from Lakeridge Health and the City of Oshawa,” said Yashin Blake, Dr. Blake’s son. “My father was a remarkable person during his lifetime and had a positive impact on so many people at Lakeridge Health and in the community. His memory and legacy will live on at Pinewood Centre and through the special mentorship and bursary program.”