Dr. Hildes was a co-founder and chairperson for the CSCH, and was active within the International Union for Circumpolar Health (IUCH). He was a mentor and friend to generations of doctors, nurses, scientists, community health workers and advocates within circumpolar regions.
After serving in World War ll, Dr. Hildes engaged in research on human physiology, especially with respect to adaptation to cold temperatures. This work led him to undertake many trips to Canadian and international circumpolar arctic regions. He developed a deep understanding of the medical needs of circumpolar people and the challenges facing health care workers in remote regions.
In 1970, Dr. Hildes formed the Northern Medical Unit at the University of Manitoba. The Unit now bears his name and continues its mission based on his founding principles of health care service delivery, teaching and research.
An early advocate for the empowerment of Indigenous people in health and health care issues, Dr. Hildes was a consultant, researchers, teacher, clinician and friend to Indigenous people from coast to coast in Canada, and around the world.
A devoted family man, Dr. Hildes was supported and sustained by the love of his wife Marianne, and his children Elske, Joseph and David.