Honorary Doctorate Recipient

Dr. Richard Rainville

Honorary Doctorate of Sacred Letters

Richard Rainville has invested much of his life advocating for vulnerable populations, in the north and across Ontario. He has over 32 years of experience liaising and fostering positive networks with government, community-based organizations and other service providers to develop and deliver supportive, clinical and educational programs related to HIV, Hepatitis C, Harm Reduction and 2S-LGBTQ+ communities.


Since 1999, Richard has served as Executive Director of Réseau ACCESS Network -HIV/Hepatitis Health & Social Services, in Greater Sudbury.  As an advocate for those living with, affected by, or at risk of HIV, Hepatitis C as well as those struggling with issues of substance use and mental health, Richard along with his dedicated team have helped lead several initiatives of benefit to clients living in the Greater Sudbury and across the north, including direct client and clinical support, as well as education and prevention services.  The organization’s holistic approach strives to ensure at risk individuals receive timely, stigma-free, and supportive care when seeking testing or treatment for HIV/AIDS, Hep C and related health issues. Richard is also passionate about creating healthier communities on the whole, and dedicates much of his efforts to raising public awareness and promoting ongoing education about the transmission and prevention of these viruses.  He has also donated much of his time to develop community partnerships and training programs for organizations and volunteers within Greater Sudbury and beyond. 


In 1992, Richard was involved as Co-Chair with “Dialogue 92”, the first conference on HIV/AIDS held in Sudbury. He also played a key role in the establishment of the first MSM (men who have sex with men) Health Clinic in Northern Ontario, and created and facilitated a palliative care training program for volunteers so they in turn could provide services to individuals living with/dying from complications related to AIDS and who remained at home.  He has championed and advised numerous initiatives over the years, including participating as a lead on two key research projects through The Ontario HIV Treatment Network and the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care.


Throughout his extensive career, Richard’s wisdom, experience and perspective have been utilized and implemented across various organizations and committees, along with provincial health and community support services.  Richard continues to participate with various Boards and Committees within the community and the Province, most recently being appointed to the Ontario Advisory Committee on HIV/AIDS; the Ontario AIDS Network where he serves as Treasurer; the co-lead for the Application Committee for the development of a Supervised Consumption and Treatment Services site in Sudbury, and is a former Board member of the St Joseph’s Health Centre. 

“I am humbled and truly honoured to be recognized with this Honorary Doctorate of Sacred Letters. Huntington University is symbolic with its compassion, outreach and core values that promote the betterment of our community and society as a whole. I am grateful to be recognized for my work and encourage everyone to do their part to ensure that the right to quality health care, and other vital social services, are preserved and delivered for everyone in our great society.”