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Rotary International

Medical Director of 800 Hospitals

"Dr. Ken Williams"

At age 18, Ken Williams was working as a logger and then a high rigger in the B.C. forests. It's a dangerous job now. Back then it was treacherous. He was a bright young guy. There was something different about him. Four of the other loggers in the camp noticed it, pooled their money and made a commitment to finance Ken's medical education. They didn't want him to face a life of hardships which was the loggers' fate back then. And still is.

Off Ken went back to school, finally graduating from the University of Manitoba as Dr. Kenneth Williams, M.D. He returned to the B.C. interior to practice and repay his mentors who had shown faith in him and made his new life possible. He told me... "I was in practice up in the East Kootenays for about eight years, pushing back the frontiers of ignorance. I quit that and went on to different careers from there."

He enrolled at Yale University and specialized in hospital management. Over the years he was medical director of several hospitals in Canada, including Hamilton's St. Joseph Hospital, where he remained for a number of years. The U.S. beckoned... he went ... and within a short while was medical director of 800 Catholic hospitals in the U.S. and Canada. "I got tired of being the organization man. After five or six years I decided to launch out. ]'d read the book 'Jonathon Livingston Seagull' and simply said. .. to hell with it ... my wife said if you don't like it, quit. So I quit, and started up my own consulting firm on an international basis. It just grew and grew."

His advice for achieving is simple, "there's no free lunch. You have to get out and bust your tail if you want to do it. The wagon trains west aren't running anymore, but there's still so very much opportunity in Canada and the U.S. but particularly in Canada."

Dr. Williams is retired and lives with his wife in Victoria. He repaid the loans to the four loggers who saw something in him they were willing to stake their money on. He repaid their cash investment during the first few years following graduation. The dividends they received in personal satisfaction continued a lifetime. Two of his four mentors are still alive. Dr. Williams sees them often.

Achieving runs in the Williams family, Dr. Williams is the very proud father of well-known sportscaster Brian Williams.



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