Biographical Sketch:  The Honourable Dr. A. M. House Return to Telemedicine

Arthur Maxwell House (1926-2013), physician, Lieutenant Governor of Newfoundland and Labrador (1997-2002), and Professor of  Neurology, Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN), was born in Glovertown, Newfoundland, on August 10, 1926, the son of Arthur James House and Ellen Jane House (nee Blackwood). In 1952 he married Mary Jeannette Christie of Windsor, Nova Scotia, whom he met while attending Dalhousie University. They have three children, Rosemary, Christopher and Peter, and 5 grandchildren.

Dr. House attended Elementary and High School in Glovertown. He was awarded a Kellogg Scholarship and then attended Memorial University College for pre-medical studies (1943-1947). He then went to Dalhousie University, graduating with an M.D., C.M. (1947-1952). Next, Dr. House worked as a general practitioner in Baie Verte (1952-1954). He left General Practice in 1954 to do Specialty Training in Psychiatry (1954-1956) at the Waterford Hospital, St. John’s (Dalhousie Program). From there he attended Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill University (1956-1959) for Specialty Training in Neurology, receiving Certification in Neurology in 1959. Dr. House completed further post-graduate work in Neurology at the National Hospital, Queen’s Square, London, England (February-June 1965).  He became a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians & Surgeons (1972).

Dr. House practiced Neurology in St. John’s for four decades (1960-1997). Throughout his career Dr. House held a number of appointments at the General Hospital, St. John’s, including: Chief, Division of Neurology (1966-1981); Director, Electroencephalography Laboratory (1961-1985); Director, Department of Diagnostic Neurophysiology (1986-1992); Chief of Staff (1966-1974); and Member of Board of Governors of The General Hospital Corporation (1968-1974).

Dr. House has held a variety of academic and professional positions at Memorial University of Newfoundland including: Director, Continuing Medical Education (1968-1977); Assistant Dean, Continuing Medical Education (1973-1981); Associate Dean, Clinical Affairs (1977-1981); Associate Dean, Continuing Medical Education and Clinical Affairs (1981-1984); Associate Dean, Professional Affairs (1984-1992); Member, Planning and Development Committee, Memorial University Health Sciences Complex (1971-1974); Member, Integrating and Coordinating Committee, Memorial University Health Sciences Complex (1974-1993); Director, Telemedicine, Memorial University of Newfoundland (1977-1988); Chair, TETRA (Telemedicine and Educational Technology Resources Agency) (1988-1996); Interim President, Memorial’s Seabright Corporation; (1992-1993); Special Advisor, Office of the President (1993-1996); Honorary Research Professor (2002); and Professor Emeritus (2003).   

Dr. House became the 10th Lieutenant Governor of Newfoundland and Labrador on February 5, 1997. He was the first in this position to establish a Government House web site on which all his activities in office were documented.

After retirement from the Vice Regal in 2002, Dr. House returned to the Practice of Medicine and to Memorial as Honorary Research Professor.  He continues to be active in clinical practice and telehealth projects in Tele-cancer services and health care generally. 

Dr. House served on many Provincial and National organizations and committees including: Treasurer, Newfoundland Medical Association (1966-1973); Chairman of the Board, Agnes Pratt Home for the Aged (NL) (1970-1972); President, Canadian Neurological Society (1971-1972); Director, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons Teleconference Project (1981-1983); Member of the Board, Science Advisory Board, Northwest Territories (1982-1985); Member, Board of Trustees, National Museums of Canada (1988-1990); Member, Board of Trustees, National Museum of Science and Technology (1990-1995); Member, Board of Directors, SatelLife (1988-1995); Vice President, SatelLife (1992-1995); Chair, Ethics Committee, Canadian Space Agency (1994-1995); and Expert Reviewer, European Commissions’ Annual Technical Project Review (Health Sector) (1996).

Dr. House was involved in research projects throughout his career, particularly in the area of Telemedicine and Telecommunications. He is regarded as a world leader in this area and for the past three decades has been an active presenter on this subject at conferences and symposiums throughout the world.  As recently as July 2006 he gave presentations at Telemedicine Conferences in Madrid and Barcelona, Spain.  Dr. House is the author of many journal articles and papers for a variety of publications.   

Dr. House has been the recipient of many awards throughout his career including: Award for Communications Week at Expo ’86 in Vancouver; Member of the Order of Canada (1989); Atlantic Canada Innovator of the Year (1990); Medal of Service, Canadian Medical Association (1997); James H. Graham Award of Merit, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (1998); Honorary doctorate of laws (LLD), Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia (1998); Honorary doctorate of laws (LLD),  Memorial University of Newfoundland (1999); Lifetime Achievement Award, the Marconi 100th Anniversary Wireless Vision Conference and Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (2001); Professor Emeritus, Memorial University (2003); Officer of the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador (2005); and Appointed Honorary Member of the Canadian Medical Association (June 2007).

Dr. House died on October 17, 2013.

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