Chief medical officer at the Health Board Arkadi Popov was named Citizen of the Year 2020 on Tuesday at a Citizen's Day recognition event by Minister of Culture Tõnis Lukas (Isamaa).
Popov is a doctor and healthcare manager as well as chief medical official at the Health Board. He has worked as the head of the North Estonia Medical Center's ambulance center and from December will start as chairman of the management board of West Tallinn Central Hospital. He has studied medicine at the University of Tartu and psychology in St. Petersburg.
Popov said the recognition is a great honor.
"When this year began, I did not have the slightest idea that any titles would suddenly appear on my horizon. This is a great recognition for me. I don't know if I am worthy of it, because what I did was done in collaboration with other doctors, colleagues from the Health Board, the ministry. And in fact, every person living in Estonia contributed very strongly, because it is not possible to fight the crisis alone. We need a team," Popov said.
Minister of Culture Tonis Lukas said: "In this extraordinary year, it is appropriate to recognize those citizens who took responsibility and did more than was expected of them. Arkadi Popov's clear speech and decisive behavior in the fight against coronavirus has been extremely encouraging. He is one of those, under whose leadership and as a result of the joint efforts of the entire Estonian people, we are still able to enjoy culture and have been able to keep our lives as open as possible. He and other leaders like him are making Estonia a safer place to live."
Altogether 12 candidates were nominated for the title of Citizen of the Year 2020. The honorary title is accompanied by a monetary prize as well as a miniature sculpture, titled "Blossom of the Society", by Reti Saks.
The tradition of awarding the "Citizen of the Year" was initiated in 2003 by the former minister of population affairs Paul-Eerik Rummo, and this year, it was awarded for the 18th time. The Citizen's Day is celebrated on November 26 and is dedicated to all Estonian citizens and aspiring citizens.
Editor: Helen Wright