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Connect, Converse, Catch-Up - John Richmond

Mr. Lakes shares his weekly conversation with former KES student, John Richmond (Class of 2000).

John has become a true scholar helping to improve global health systems.  I remember John arriving at King’s-Edgehill School in Grade 7 from Fredericton, New Brunswick. He never earned his honours tie; however, he has been on a rising road of scholastic progress. John is presently an Assistant Professor in Healthcare Management and Leadership at the University of Sheffield in England. He agreed that he was a late bloomer academically; however, the seeds were planted in the classrooms of KES. John recalls fondly foundational texts from his study at Kings including George Orwells Nineteen Eighty-Four and William Goldings The Lord of the Flies. “It is definitely a case of hard-work, perseverance and an interest in what I do,” says John from his study in Sheffield.

John played football at St Francis Xavier University, following his brother’s footsteps, then proceeded to an MBA at l’Universite de Moncton, a PhD at Warwick Business School and, to top it off, he completed a Post-Doctoral Fellowship evaluating the UK National Health Service.

John has wisely not ensconced himself in an “Ivy Tower of Academia,” as he worked for several years in Moncton in the health insurance industry and in medical risk management.  John’s focus pivoted when he recognized that the health care system was very good at writing reports and stating causes but not very effective at systematically learning from errors made in the aftermath of errors made. He decided he wanted to study the process and help expedite healthcare quality improvement, evaluation methods, and improve health emergency management.  

John’s goal is to be a preeminent provider of expertise in Health Emergency Management. This is, of course, very timely as this would encompass natural disasters, violent acts, or global afflictions which we all understand now more presciently – pandemics.

John’s wife Anastasia is also an esteemed scholar in Finance at Cass Business School in London. John met his bride (from Russia) at Warwick, which is no surprise when I heard his explanation of life in the UK in 2021. “We talk about multi-culturalism in Canada, but here you really feel it,” he says. John and Anastasia enjoy yoga and walking in British Parks. “That’s our story of COVID”, says John succinctly. “Work and walks.”  He also is an avid reader of Science Fiction.

John recently completed a very influential paper for the International Journal of Disaster Risk. It analyzed Canadian health emergency management professionals’ perspectives on the effectiveness of disaster preparedness activities in response to COVID-19. 

Although John played football for StFX, it was rugby that he excelled in at KES. “I always remember that Mr. Penaluna called the rugby term the ‘golden season’,” he recalls fondly. Normally, the spring term at KES is indeed a “golden season”, as we enjoy the climate, competitions and closings. As joyous as it is, there is always some anxiety floating in the air during Prize Day as young people measure themselves internally as ties and prizes are awarded.

Dr. John George Richmond, an Old Boy, academic, researcher and systematic life-saver and is a reminder that one should never feel they have reached a scholastic peak under the age of 20.  Stay devoted as we tend to overestimate what we can accomplish in a year, but under-estimate what we can accomplish in a decade.

The next decade is surely bright for John and Anastasia as it has never been more apparent that “health is wealth” and that systems and design are the key to achieving the best health for the most people.  John’s role in this has provided a career of satisfaction and a lifestyle built on steady progress and focus.

Kevin Lakes
Junior School Teacher
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KES inspires academic, athletic and artistic excellence with a commitment to the traditional community ideals of gentleness and learning, dignity and respect, so that students may discover and cultivate their unique potential, prepare for post-secondary education and develop a life-long enthusiasm for the spiritual and intellectual growth necessary to flourish in the contemporary world.

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King's-Edgehill School is a coeducational boarding and day school for grades 6 through 12, located in Windsor, Nova Scotia, Canada.