Dr. S. Lawrence (Larry) Librach
Role at the Centre
Founder and Past-Director, Temmy Latner Centre for Palliative Care
Year started at the Centre
Year became a doctor
Larry Librach seems altogether too cheerful for a man who has helped change the face of palliative care in Canada. You expect a sober, grave elder-statesman. You get your favourite uncle – a playful man with a glint in his eye that tells you a smile is never very far away. You might not suspect this man commands respect around the world for his work in Canada.
Larry was the Director of the Latner Centre for 20 years and its principal architect. He’s one of the world’s leading experts in palliative care, and he has personally helped shape Canada’s approach to palliative care and the discipline of palliative medicine.
And yet the way he tells it, it all sounds more like a happy accident than a single-minded obsession. You have to listen carefully to realize that nobody would have overcome the obstacles he describes without huge reserves of energy and determination.
Larry has been involved in palliative care for more than 30 years and has been building the Temmy Latner Centre, from the ground up, for 20 of those years.
He has brought his good-natured energy to everything he has done. We don’t have the space to mention his many offices, awards, publications and distinctions. Suffice to say that Larry, along with co-pioneer Frank Ferris, built the model for palliative care which shaped and continues to shape palliative care in Canada.
If you were to ask him which of his achievements he’s most proud of he’s likely to cover his embarrassment with a modest remark or a joke, but our best guess would be: his grandchildren and the fact that he has changed palliative medicine in Canada forever and for the better, in that order.