OTTAWA -- Ottawa's medical officer of health will be receiving an honorary degree from Algonquin College this June.

The college said Monday that Dr. Vera Etches would be honoured at its virtual convocation ceremony on June 23.

“Our College Community, and the broader community we serve, are indebted to Dr. Etches and the team she leads at Ottawa Public Health. Her wisdom, strength and compassion have helped guide our path forward through these challenging months,” said Claude Brulé, Algonquin College President and CEO in a release. “Her leadership has helped to save lives and is providing us the most effective route back to life as we knew it before COVID-19.”

The college notes that many graduates will be moving into jobs in the health-care field in the coming months and that their learning in the midst of a global pandemic will inform their work for years to come.

“I want learners to remember that while they are presently learning to navigate the system, we will also need them to work to inform, innovate, challenge and change the system over time,” Etches is quoted in the release saying.

“To continue improving healthcare, we have to remain responsive to the dynamic needs of the community. We all must be adaptable, and the academic and real-life education we receive is a good foundation to make a difference to improve the health and wellbeing of people in our community.”