We all have our personal heros and – I need to stop today an acknowledge two people that made me a better person and a better leader.

The better known one – Dr. Maya Angelou passed away this week. The other – passed away four years ago this week – Dr. Christine Simard and was just acknowledged in this week’s Globe and Mail.

I never got to see in person Dr. Angelou, but her writing shaped much of how I see the world. My favorite quote from her is a core concept of the way I try to live my life.


I did get a chance to meet Dr.  Christine Simard in person and her real life courage inspired in a way that only real encounters can. People often talk about leadership and humility, but rarely is it something that you actually get to see. Dr. Simard was a general surgeon who completed six tours of duty outside of Canada, including four to Afghanistan – often as the sole surgeon present, on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. She saved countless lives by being unassumingly amazing at her craft, and doing complicated procedures requiring advanced sub-specialty training. She did them because there was no other choice – truly a matter of life and death. I really think Dr. Simard lived her life by the Maya Angelou quote above.

Dr. Christine Simard

They were both forces that made the world a better place and their light will shine on.

Alexandra T. Greenhill, MD, CEO cofounder myBestHelper

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