Dr. Biju Mathew was also the 2018 citizen of the year. (THE NEWS/files)

Maple Ridge psychiatrist earns B.C. Achievement award

Dr. Biju Mathew helped start youth wellness centre.

Dr. Biju Mathew of Maple Ridge was honoured Wednesday as one of 25 recipients of this year’s B.C. Achievement Community Awards.

The awards were issued by the B.C. Achievement Foundation,

“Our communities are made stronger by British Columbians who go above and beyond,” said Premier John Horgan. “Thanks to the 2019 recipients for helping build a better province for everyone.”

“It is an honour to celebrate the excellence and dedication of these 25 outstanding British Columbians,” added Anne Giardini, of the foundation.

“On behalf of all of us at the B.C. Achievement Foundation, thanks go to each one of them for strengthening their communities and inspiring others to community action.”

Mathew was also the 2018 citizen of the year, issued by the Mapel Ridge Community Foundation.

Mathew is president of the B.C. Psychiatric Association, has served with the Ridge Meadows Hospital Foundation, helped turn Maple Ridge’s Youth Wellness Centre from dream to reality, and is president of the Ridge Meadows South Asian Cultural Society.

Mathew became interested in psychiatry as a student in a Mumbai hospital. He pursued that and arrived in Canada in 1989.

He has spoken out and helped out with a variety of causes, from helping start the youth wellness centre – now Foundry – to visiting Medicine Hat in 2015, when the Cliff Avenue homeless camp was underway, to see first-hand how that city implemented a Housing First program.

An independent committee selects the B.C. achievement award recipients, who will be recognized in a formal presentation ceremony at Government House in Victoria on May 1.

Each recipient will receive a certificate and a medallion designed by B.C. artist Robert Davidson.

The B.C. Achievement Foundation is an independent foundation established and endowed by the province to celebrate excellence in the arts, humanities, enterprise and community service.

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