A long-time family physician from Ridgetown is taking his expertise into a leadership role with a renowned international organization.
Dr. John Button, now retired, was elected as the vice-president for Kiwanis International over the weekend.
Button won the election at an event down in New Orleans.
Button says he was elected by beating out two Americans, with 57 per cent of the vote. With the win, this means he will be president of Kiwanis International during its 100 year anniversary.
“Its a very significant election because this means I will be the president of Kiwanis International in the year 2014 and 2015,” he said. “In 2015 Kiwanis International will be 100 years old… so there will be a Canadian at the helm for the 100th anniversary celebration.”
Button says he is very excited about working the Kiwanis world-wide service project as well – an effort focused on eliminating maternal-neonatal tetanus which kills a newborn every nine minutes. He says it is a heart wrenching and heart warming story, and the efforts have eliminated maternal-neonatal tetanus from five countries since December.
Button said Kiwanis is planning to raise over $140 million through this world-wide project.
“Immunity towards childhood diseases is something we take for granted in North America, as well as access to clean and safe healthcare,” he said. “In many areas of the world a woman’s access to health care is determined by her husband and her in-laws. Many times a woman’s access to healthcare is denied on that basis.”
Button says he will be learning a lot from the current president and president elect for Kiwanis International during his tenure as vice-president.
Button officially takes over his post as vice-president in October.