Dr. Lindy Lee Memorial Fund for the Advancement of Addiction Medicine

The Winnipeg Foundation


Dr. Lindy Lee
Dr. Lindy Lee. Photo courtesy of Dr. Ken Van Ameyde.

Dr. Lindy Lee saw goodness in patients where most doctors saw addicts beyond hope.

A physician who worked for more than two decades in the Emergency Room at Health Sciences Centre, Dr. Lee turned her career to addiction medicine, work that was little-understood and frequently controversial. She proved to be a game-changer in the field and a champion for those struggling with addiction.

Dr. Lee focused on harm reduction – for example, prescribing methadone (a safer option for opioid addicts) – in a medical community where the mindset was especially abstinence-oriented. She worked to educate her peers and reduce the stigma around addiction among healthcare professionals. She successfully fought for more stringent oversight of prescription practices and greater financial support for harm reduction programs.

But the most rewarding part of her career was seeing patients get their lives back on track, reunite with families, get a job or go back to school. Dr. Lee continued to work after her diagnosis of colon cancer and saw patients until two weeks before her death in 2014.

Many Winnipeggers owe their lives to Dr. Lee. All of us benefit from her extraordinary commitment to creating a stronger, safer and more understanding healthcare system.

In her memory, family, friends and colleagues have established a fund in Dr. Lee’s memory at The Winnipeg Foundation. It will continue her ground-breaking work and exceptional care for some of the most marginalized and promising members of our community.