DR. KIMIT RAI has been a member of the Canadian Society of Plastic Surgeons since 1977. From 1994 to 2000 he served the Society and its members as Secretary-Treasurer, Vice-President, President and Past President. Dr. Rai also acted as Local Arrangements Chair to host the CSPS Annual Meeting in 1991 and 2003 in Whistler, BC, thereby joining the small club of members to have undertaken the task twice.
Dr. Rai completed his training at the University of British Columbia in 1975, when he was certified in Plastic Surgery, subsequently gaining American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) certification in 1977. He represented the CSPS as an examiner for the ABPS from 1993 to 2004. He has served as Vice-President (1994) and President (1995) of the Northwest Society of Plastic surgeons in addition to serving on the Canadian Medical Association and American Society of Plastic Surgeons Ethics Committees as well as the CSPS Judicial Council.
In the midst of this busy career, a chance meeting with Dr. Bill Riley, founder of Operation Rainbow (USA) led Dr. Rai to join a surgical mission to the Philippines and to volunteer for several international medical missions. Inspired by the organization’s work, in 1998 he co-founded Operation Rainbow Canada, a non-profit organization that provides free cleft lip and palate surgery to impoverished children and young adults in developing countries was formed. Today, the organization has successfully completed 23 missions in nine countries. It has no paid staff. Dr. Rai serves as both teacher and mentor on the missions, providing education and hands-on training to the Canadian medical residents who volunteer their time, and the health care professionals in the host countries. Operation Rainbow has also trained Canadian plastic surgery residents, as well as anesthesia fellows and pediatric residents in BC Children’s Hospital. Dr. Rai was honored by the the University of British Columbia in 2014 with a Faculty Community Service Award.
In 2013, he was the recipient of a Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award. Dr. Rai is an inspirational leader whose work has improved the lives of thousands of underprivileged children and provided invaluable training for Canadian health professionals and those in host countries who will carry on the work.
Dr. Rai was presented with the Canadian Society of Plastic Surgeons Lifetime Achievement Award on Friday, June 5, 2015 at the President’s Banquet held at the Fairmont Empress Hotel in Victoria, British Columbia.