Dr Barrie Purves died 11 March 2016 from complications of multiple myeloma for which he had been successfully treated for nearly 14 years. He is survived by his wife, Sherrill Purves; three daughters; and four grandchildren.
Dr Purves graduated from the University of Saskatchewan in 1967 and, after interning at Chicago Cook County Hospital, moved to BC to do his residency in neurosurgery at Vancouver General Hospital/UBC Hospital, which he completed in 1975. Dr Purves was active on the committee that negotiated the first PARI contract for UBC residents. He then joined Dr Brian Hunt at Lions Gate Hospital and together they built a busy practice in North Vancouver, which extended to include Burnaby with active privileges at Burnaby General Hospital. They maintained full coverage of these services with a 1-in-2 call for 12 years before they were joined by a third neurosurgeon. Dr Purves also found time to serve as head of the Department of Surgery at Lions Gate Hospital, then chief of staff at Lions Gate Hospital in the 1980s, and as the North Shore representative for Doctors of BC from 1982–84.
In 1992, frustrated by the lack of resources to treat the neurosurgery patients in BC, Dr Purves left the province to join three neurosurgeons in a neurosurgery group in Sioux City, Iowa. He worked there at two hospitals (Mercy Medical Center and St. Luke’s Medical Center) and then played an important role in establishing a Speciality Surgical Center in North Sioux City, South Dakota. His interpersonal skills were also critical for establishing a multidisciplinary group practice called the Center for Neurosciences and Spine. He retired from that practice in 2004 after 2 years of treatment for multiple myeloma.
Fortunately Dr Purves was able to enjoy another 12 years of pursuing his hobbies and friendships, which included a passion for good food and wine, travelling the world to see the wine-growing regions, teaching neurosurgery for 1 month for each of 3 years in Indonesia with the international group FIENS, hunting and building, and enjoying his grandchildren as they arrived.
Dr Purves is remembered by patients, friends, and family as a caring, competent, and compassionate man who enjoyed life with a twinkle in his eye, and who endured the trials of his medical treatments for many years with grace and fortitude.
—Sherrill Purves, MD
—Brian Hunt, MD
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