Dr. Moe Lerner, MD, FCFP, FACEP, CCFP(EM) died peacefully on January 9th at St. Boniface Hospital at the age of 64.
He was predeceased by his parents, Pearl and Art Lerner. He is survived by his siblings, Yale (Carol), Anne, Meda, Michèle and Cara (Jonathan). He was a loving and devoted uncle and great uncle to 10 nieces and nephews and 7 great nieces and nephews. He is also survived by his sisters-in-law Marie-Anne and Giselle and their families.
After graduating from medicine and working as a primary care physician at the Health Sciences Centre for several years, Moe became Director of Emergency Services at Seven Oaks Hospital and held that position for over a decade. During the same period, he was medical director of the City of Winnipeg Ambulance and Paramedic Services. Moe went on to work in a variety of different health institutions and served on numerous boards, task studies, commissions and similar groups. He served as a consultant to the Health Reform Office, which helped to fashion among other things, the regional health authority system, and served for a time as the medical director of the Aboriginal Health and Wellness Centre. He was a lecturer and Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Manitoba, and appeared at numerous conferences both in Canada and the United States.
Moe was a man of many talents who had a strong presence and was generally the life of the party. He was a certified lifeguard at a young age, and utilized this skill as an administrator and counselor at Camp Massad. He was active in sports including tennis, volleyball and curling, and was a talented artist, cartoonist and musician who played the guitar, banjo and ukulele, leading many a sing-along. He combined his comedic and musical talents with his medical knowledge to become a highly successful medical expert on CBC radio.
Moe loved, and was loved by, so many friends who have remained loyal to him throughout his life. Moe’s compassion knew no bounds. He was always available when anyone needed medical help or moral support. He was a leader in the fight for the rights of the obese and was internationally renowned for his work. Moe appeared on numerous television and radio shows in Canada and the US, and his many writings and broadcasts can still be seen online. He was featured in a National Film Board documentary titled “Fat Chance”.
While Moe’s mobility was severely limited in the past few years, he maintained his advocacy for the obese. Dr. Jon Gerrard, in speaking to his introduction in the Manitoba Legislature of Bill 207 in 2016, said: “Madam Speaker, I want to begin my remarks on Bill 207 by acknowledging the contributions of Dr. Moe Lerner to this bill. He’s helped me to understand the nature of the prejudice and discrimination which those who are obese can be subject to”.
Many thanks to the staff at St. Boniface and Deer Lodge Hospitals and especially to his friend and physician, Ian Maharaj.
Moe will be missed by so many.