2016 CMA Award Recipients watch videos
CMA Medal of Honour
Alvin Libin’s philanthropic leadership in the health sector has resulted in progressive and ground-breaking research, care delivery, and education initiatives in Alberta and Canada. His generosity has raised the standards of academic medical care, benefitting practitioners and patients alike.
The son of Russian immigrants, Mr. Libin built his success in Calgary through business endeavours in real estate, health care, oil and gas, and financial services. He is president and CEO of Balmon Investments, a co-owner of the Calgary Flames hockey team, and co-founder of Villacentres, a long-term care network.
He generously shares his business acumen and leadership skills with medical philanthropy. Chair of the board of trustees of Foothills Medical Centre (1980–90), he also chaired the Alberta Heritage Foundation of Medical Research (1990–2000) and saw the Foundation’s endowment more than triple to $1 billion. He later chaired the Alberta Ingenuity Fund (2000–06).
In 1984, Alvin and his late wife created the Alvin and Mona Libin Foundation which contributes about $1,000,000 annually to the community for medical scholarships, community work, and non-profit organizations. In 2003, Alvin and Mona committed $15 million to the University of Calgary and Calgary Health Region to create the Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta. Since then the Institute has supported more than 175 clinicians and researchers, graduate students, and trainees who are pursuing excellence in cardiovascular research and education.
Among his many awards and honours are the Order of Canada (Officer), the Alberta Order of Excellence and the Alberta Medical Association’s Medal of Honour. Mr. Libin is the 33rd recipient of the CMA Medal of Honour.
Dr. Dana Hanson
CMA Medal of Service
Dr. Dana Hanson became a leader in organized medicine in Fredericton, NB, but his legacy is international. For more than 40 years he has worked to improve patient care and physician well-being through the New Brunswick Medical Society, the Canadian Medical Association, and the World Medical Association. This exceptional physician is the 46th recipient of the CMA Medal of Service.
A graduate of Dalhousie University, Dr. Hanson practised general medicine prior to studying internal medicine at Dalhousie and dermatology at McGill. He established a dermatology practice in Fredericton in 1981.
In the 1990s he served as president of the New Brunswick Medical Society (NBMS) and the Atlantic Provinces Dermatology Association. Dr. Hanson began his long affiliation with the Canadian Medical Association in 1988 as a delegate, and in 1995 serving as Deputy Speaker and Speaker of General Council until 2001. His CMA presidency in 2002–03 paralleled the Romanow and Kirby Commissions, involving him in the discussions that resulted in the First Ministers Accord on Health Care and a 10-year plan to strengthen health care. Also during his tenure the CMA Centre for Physician Health and Well-being was established.
He joined the CMA delegation to the World Medical Association in 2005 and became president of the international organization in 2009–10. There he worked for the protection of physicians from unethical conduct enforced by some governments, improvements in patient care, and for resiliency for frontline providers.
His honours include the Order of Canada and the Order of New Brunswick, the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal as well as exceptional achievement awards from the Canadian Dermatology Association and the NBMS.
Dr. David Naylor
F. N. G. Starr Award
Whether challenging the status quo with evidence or proposing innovative ways to examine or change health services, Dr. David Naylor has had a transformative influence on health policy, medical research and education, and Canada’s health care system.
In the early 1990s Naylor established and led Toronto's Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences [ICES]. During the mid-1990s he helped broaden the Medical Research Council of Canada into the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. After the 2003 SARS outbreak, he chaired a national inquiry that led to the creation of the Public Health Agency of Canada. In 2009–10 he co-authored a widely-acclaimed international report on educating health professionals for the 21st century. Most recently he chaired a national advisory panel on health care innovation that has proposed bold steps to reduce growth in healthcare spending while improving the quality and accessibility of care.
A medical graduate of the University of Toronto, Naylor attended Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, earning a doctorate in social and administrative studies, and then trained in internal medicine at Western. Joining the Department of Medicine at U of T in 1988, Naylor had a stellar career, eventually serving as dean of medicine (1999-2005), and president (2005–13).
A Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, Officer of the Order of Canada, and foreign member of the US National Academy of Medicine, Dr. Naylor has received numerous other honours and awards for leadership in research, innovation, policy, and administration public health. He is currently Professor of Medicine and President Emeritus at U of T.
Dr. Brenda Millar
CMA May Cohen Award for Women Mentors
Dr. Brenda Millar studied medicine at the University of Alberta and did her family medicine residency at Memorial University of Newfoundland. In 1991 she returned to Alberta to open a family practice in Grande Prairie, a rural farming community burgeoning with the discovery of oil.
The structure of the local medical training program owes much to Dr. Millar. Recognizing the need for a satellite HIV clinic in the Peace Region, she sought mentorship and specialty support at University of Alberta Hospital so that she could coordinate care locally and save patients a 500 km trip. She was one of the founding members of the “Doctor of the Day” hospitalist call system, wherein a rotation of family doctors cares for inpatients without primary care connections and follows them into the community.
As associate clinical professor at the University of Alberta, she served Rural Alberta North district as preceptor for 10 years. As co-leader of the family medicine residency program (2008–14), she guided the development of an adaptive curriculum that has made the small, geographically isolated training program very popular. In addition to providing exceptional patient care and a rich learning environment, “Mother Millar” helped her residents with whatever was needed: a journal club, child care, referrals for an elective, constructive criticism, or a hug.
Mentees say she has delivered on her commitment to train competent, confident family physicians. That she has influenced many doctors to choose rural practice is a testament to her grassroots mentorship and genuine interest in seeing the whole person.
As a locum physician since 2015, she continues to teach FM residents
Dr. Susan Swiggum
CMA May Cohen Award for Women Mentors
Dr. Susan Swiggum is one of Canada’s leading voices for medical-legal risk management, patient safety, and physician leadership. She has received numerous awards for her outstanding performance and is a well-known advocate for women physicians.
After graduating in medicine from the University of Ottawa, she practised in rural Ontario. In 1985 she returned to residency and completed a fellowship in dermatology. In 1987 she joined the University of Ottawa’s faculty of medicine, achieving the rank of full professor in 2000.
The following year she joined the Canadian Medical Protective Association as a physician risk manager. Since 2015 she has been senior advisor for safe medical care.
Long active in organized medicine, Dr. Swiggum served as president of the Federation of Medical Women of Canada and national spokesperson for the Canadian Dermatology Association. Her leadership in these societies resulted in her involvement with the CMA Committee of Affiliates and with many other roles in the national organization, including the CMA Board of Directors, the CMA Women’s Physicians’ Issues Committee, MD Management and national leadership conferences. She also was a member of the task force on equity of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.
In every capacity she has been a mentor to women physicians. Not only does she inspire others with her ability to multi-task a busy family life and an academic practice, she also has influenced and encouraged the career and leadership choices of her younger colleagues. Her mentorship continues long after the initial relationship is established because of her genuine personal and professional interest in others.
Dr. Carolyn Bennett
CMA Sir Charles Tupper Award for Political Action
Dr. Carolyn Bennett is the first parliamentarian and cabinet minister to receive the Sir Charles Tupper Award for Political Action.
First elected in 1997, and subsequently re-elected six times, Dr. Bennett is the Liberal Member of Parliament for the riding of Toronto-St. Paul’s. In December 2003, in the wake of the SARS outbreak, Prime Minister Paul Martin appointed Carolyn as the first ever Minister of State (Public Health). In her two years as Minister, she set up the Public Health Agency of Canada, appointed the first Chief Public Health Officer for Canada, and established the Public Health Network, which enabled all provinces and territories to work with the federal government to protect the health of Canadians.
Other parliamentary duties have included Chair of the Standing Joint Committee on the Library of Parliament and serving on the Standing Committee on Health. In opposition she served as critic for Aboriginal Affairs, Health, and Democratic Renewal.
After the 2015 Liberal victory, Dr. Bennett was appointed as Minister of Indigenous Affairs and Northern Development.
Dr. Bennett studied medicine at the University of Toronto and practiced family medicine in downtown Toronto before entering politics. She is also the author of “Kill or Cure? How Canadians Can Remake Their Health Care System,” published in 2000.
She is recipient of the Royal Life Saving Society Service Cross, the EVE Award for contributing to the advancement of women in politics, and the CAMIMH Mental Health Champion Award. Other honours have come from the Society of Gynecologists and Obstetricians and the College of Family Physicians of Canada.
British Columbia Aboriginal Network on Disability Society (BCANDS)
CMA Award for Excellence in Health Promotion
The British Columbia Aboriginal Network on Disability Society (BCANDS) is Canada’s only stand-alone Indigenous organization dedicated to serving the needs of First Nation, Métis, and Inuit individuals and families living with a disability. For 25 years, BCANDS has provided disability and health related services to British Columbia’s rural and urban residents and its 203 First Nation communities.
Profiled nationally by Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, BCANDS delivers person-centred disability case management services in a variety of areas, including disability and health benefits, tribunals, tax and savings programs, housing, employment, education, adaptive technologies and medical equipment.
BCANDS additionally administrates the on-reserve Persons with Disability (PWD) / Monthly Nutritional Supplement (MNS) Adjudication Programs, maintaining over 6,000 client files and overseeing adjudication for BC’s First Nation communities.
The BCANDS Health Resource Information and Support Service Centre (HIRSSC) provides health related materials and is involved with events throughout B.C. to provide information, create partnerships and raise awareness of Indigenous health and disability needs.
Other recent initiatives include the National VisitAble Housing project, the 2016 Vancouver Island Aboriginal Disability and Wellness Gathering and the 2017 Indigenous Disability and Wellness Gathering.
Disability rates among Indigenous Canadians are over twice that of the rest of the population. By raising awareness and knowledge BCANDS has created positive change and transformed thousands of lives. It is a testament to its vision and collaborative leadership that British Columbia declared November 2015 to be the first-ever Aboriginal Disability Awareness Month – a proclamation that will be echoed by Saskatchewan in 2016 and hopefully other provinces in the future.
Azalea R. Lehndorff
CMA Award for Young Leaders (Student)
Azalea Lehndorff overcame tremendous personal challenges to gain a high school diploma and go on to college. Today she is changing the future for young Afghan students through education, which is one of the most important social determinants of health.
Ms. Lehndorff is a “doer” who is committed to the greater good and who is not afraid to advocate for change on a large scale. While attending Burman University in Lacombe, Alta., she became aware of a local charity called A Better World. With their assistance, she initiated and now manages the 100 Classroom Project, which strives to build 100 classrooms in Afghanistan. To date the community development project has built more than 70 classrooms in seven schools and reached more than 15,300 students, many of them girls. In 2015 she was also the project manager for a Canadian initiative to provide winter clothing and blankets to 30,000 people displaced in Iraq because of the ISIS conflict.
Ms. Lehndorff is beginning her second year of medical school at the University of Calgary. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Burman and a Masters of Public Health in Global Health from the University of Alberta.
Ms. Lehndorff has received several citizenship awards for her humanitarian work, and in 2014 was named Young Alumnus of the Year by Burman University. She is an inspiration to fellow students, who have seen that in medicine, world-changing leadership can come from one person.
Her story has been the focus of a TEDx Talk, which is available on Youtube.
CMA Award for Young Leaders (Student)
Scarborough’s Latif Murji was just beginning medical school at the University of Toronto when he conceptualized Stand Up for Health, an immersive simulation that gives healthcare students a better understanding of the social determinants of health through experiential learning. Participants are placed in the role of Canadians living in poverty and must interact, make choices, and solve the challenges of their particular circumstances. The latter portion of the workshop consists of a facilitated discussion on challenges faced by marginalized Canadians as well as on public policy that leads to a healthy and equitable society.
Evaluative research has determined that participants gain greater knowledge of the social determinants of health, and exhibit enhanced empathy and compassion following the experience. Stand Up for Health, which now includes a train-the-trainer “Bootcamp” component for facilitators, has become an official curricular activity within the University of Toronto and Western University medical programs.
Dr. Murji has also found success in peer engagement through social media. As director of marketing for the university’s 2013–14 Gift of Life Campaign, he mobilized an inter-professional team in what became Ontario’s largest organ donor campaign. He also served as a student leader as part of the 2014 National Day of Action against cuts to refugee health care.
In 2015 Dr. Murji received the OMA Medical Student Achievement Award. He also is a recipient of his alma mater’s Dr. Norman Bethune Award for community leadership and high academic standing.
In July 2016 he began a family medicine residency in Toronto.
Dr. Debraj Das
CMA Award for Young Leaders (Resident)
Dr. Debraj Das has excelled in philanthropic and academic endeavors since he enrolled at the University of Alberta as an undergraduate student in 2006. After completing three years of his Bachelor’s degree, Debraj entered the U of A’s Faculty of Medicine and graduated in 2013 when he began his residency in Internal Medicine.
During his undergraduate years, Dr. Das founded the Soccer Superstars program to mentor at-risk youth in Edmonton. He continued this strong sense of community service as a resident physician when he organized his peers for the local PARAdime campaign, which provided backpacks full of everyday necessities to vulnerable youth. Dr. Das was also voted to be a Chief Medical Resident for the Internal Medicine program and has been the recipient of multiple awards for superior academic achievement and personal commitment to community service.
Nationally, he has demonstrated exceptional leadership through his enthusiastic involvement with the Canadian Cardiovascular Society where he helped organize Trainee Day, which has provided cardiovascular trainees across Canada with innovative programming related to career planning, simulation sessions, lectures and workshops.
Outside of Canada, Dr. Das has spent many months as an international advocate and volunteer, spending time in India, Ghana, and Nepal on medical and humanitarian missions.
Dr. Das will begin his fellowship in Adult Cardiology this July at the Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute. Already identified as a future leader in the field of Cardiology, he envisions a Canadian practice as an academic clinician-scientist who focuses on acute coronary syndromes and heart failure.
Dr. Vera Krejcik
CMA Award for Young Leaders (Resident)
Dr. Vera Krejcik describes herself as “a physician health leader who advocates for physicians with disabilities” and “a passionate resident doctor with a keen interest in improving the patient experience and outcome.”
And because of a twist of fate, the native of Cochrane, AB, has become a national leader, advocate, and role model.
Dr. Krejcik took her undergraduate degree at Queen’s University and studied medicine at the University of Calgary, graduating in 2011. Shortly before beginning a residency in internal medicine, she had elective surgery for an arteriovenous malformation. A post-surgical stroke occurred and while she survived, Dr. Krejcik lost the full use of her left arm and leg. She remained committed to a medical career, however; after recovering, she switched to a psychiatry residency. There she saw a need for education and advocacy about disability.
After discovering the Canadian Association of Physicians with Disabilities, Dr. Krejcik quickly designed an interactive website for the association and in 2012 she was elected president. She has represented the CAPD at a Canadian Physician Health Conference and at Specialist Forum meetings and General Council of the CMA. As CAPD president she also was a keynote speaker at the Alberta Medical Students’ Conference and Retreat in 2014. One of her proud accomplishments is collaborating to create a bursary to support a medical student with a disability, in memory of Dr. Ashok Muzumdar, CAPD’s founder.
Dr. Krejcik will finish her psychiatry residency in 2019 and plans to practise in Canada. One likely practice focus is mind-body medicine and collaborative care.
Dr. André Bernard
CMA Award for Young Leaders (Early Career)
Dr. André Bernard is committed to social justice and health equity for all. Based in Halifax, he is a leader on the world stage in advocating for strong global health policy and medical professionalism.
The Mabou, NS, native did his medical training and anesthesiology residency at Dalhousie University. During his residency training he also attended the London School of Economics and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, where he earned an MSc in health policy, planning, and financing.
Since 2012 he has been a staff anesthesiologist at Capital Health and assistant professor in Dalhousie’s Department of Anesthesia, Pain Management, and Perioperative Medicine. As medical director for pre-operative clinics, he has improved systems for perioperative medicine. An active international volunteer, he is a founding member of the department’s global health program, a trustee of the Canadian Anesthesiologists’ Society International Education Foundation, and has offered extensive leadership in global health.
As a former President of the Canadian Federation of Medical Students, he demonstrated four years of national student leadership during medical school. He subsequently was chair of the Canadian Association of Internes and Residents advocacy committee, among numerous provincial roles. Dr. Bernard is presently the CMA’s representative at the World Medical Association, sitting as a member of Council. In spite of his youth, Dr. Bernard has been an effective champion of improved governance, inclusivity, and an enhanced advocacy role for the WMA. He has inspired younger physicians who are part of the WMA Junior Doctors Network and is seen as an outstanding mentor for trainees around the world.
Dr. Meredith Giuliani
CMA Award for Young Leaders (Early Career)
Dr. Meredith Giuliani is passionate about student learning and teaching innovation. Since joining the faculty of the University of Toronto in 2012, she has emerged as a change agent for medical education.
Initiatives she has championed include smoking cessation education for patients; a personalized learning program that meets practical training needs for the global radiation oncology community; an inter-professional enrichment program for cancer trainees; high-fidelity e-learning and simulation training for radiation oncology residents; and a Grand Rounds program to attract international thought leaders in cancer care to Toronto. She also co-developed a summer studentship program to expose future physicians to radiation oncology. In 2013 she was chosen to receive a CMA Future Leader in Oncology Award, one of many early-career honours she has received.
Dr. Giuliani studied medicine in England, graduating in 2007. During residency training in radiation oncology at the University of Toronto, she also completed a masters of education degree. The 360⁰ Trainee Evaluation paradigm that formed the basis of her thesis is still being used in the U of T residency program.
Now assistant professor in the U of T department of radiation oncology, she also is director of undergraduate medical education and associate director of postgraduate medical education. At Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, she is interim director of cancer education and program director of the personalized learning program. She chairs the education committee of the Canadian Association of Radiation Oncology and has been a leader in national CanMEDS based curriculum development for the Royal College Specialty Committee.
Dr. Chip Doig
CMA Dr. William Marsden Award in Medical Ethics
An internship at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver in the late 1980s – ground zero at the height of the AIDS/HIV epidemic – was a catalyst in Dr. Christopher Doig’s decision to explore the world of medical ethics.
As a resident, mentored by the late Dr. Douglas Kinsella, he participated in clinical ethics consultations and a research ethics board. This prompted him to establish the tradition of Resident’s Medical Ethics Day at the University of Calgary. After beginning his career as an academic clinician in critical care medicine, he earned a certificate in health care ethics from the University of Washington School of Medicine. Years of research, teaching, writing, and consulting in medical ethics, along with his experience in critical care medicine and end-of-life decision-making, has made him a respected expert, educator, and opinion leader in this field.
Since 1995 he has been a member of the Calgary faculty of medicine. He currently serves as professor and head of the department of critical care medicine, and regional clinical department head (Calgary) for Alberta Health Services.
He teaches medical ethics in many disciplines, including medicine, other health care professions, and law. As a consultant he has had a strong influence in the field of research ethics at Alberta’s universities, the College of Physicians and Surgeons, and the Alberta Cancer Board. He also has been an expert advisor to the provincial and federal governments. A former president of the Alberta Medical Association, Dr. Doig has served on the CMA Board of Directors and Committee on Ethics. An avid biker, swimmer, and soccer player, Dr. Doig currently ranks 4th in his family in scoring, but is hoping to improve.
Dr. Jordan Cohen
CMA Physician Misericordia Award
Dr. Jordan Cohen is a psychiatrist with expertise in physician health training at all levels of medical education. Because of him thousands of trainees and practising physicians are better equipped to manage their health and maintain their professionalism.
Physician well-being is always at the heart of his work. In 2005 Dr. Cohen joined the faculty at the University of Calgary, where he has won a number of teaching and research awards. He was the director of student affairs for the faculty of medicine (2006–09) and was recently the postgraduate residency training director for the department of psychiatry from 2009 to June 2016. He developed and for many years chaired an undergraduate course in physicianship/well physician. In recent years he has created a formalized mentorship training program for psychiatry residents. In July of this year Dr. Cohen re-located to the North Shore of Vancouver where he continues to be involved in medical education and inpatient leadership at the HOpe Centre at Lions Gate Hospital.
He has consulted for physician support programs offered by both the Alberta Medical Association and the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta. Nationally, he was the co-developer of the acclaimed CanMEDS Physician Health Guide of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. He also has contributed to physician health initiatives and conferences organized by the CMA. Dr. Cohen is also deeply committed to his psychiatry practice for children, adolescents, and young adults suffering with mental illness.
In 2009 Dr. Cohen won a CMA leadership award as an early-career physician. This Physician Misericordia Award further acknowledges his exceptional commitment to the profession.
Dr. Jane Lemaire
CMA Physician Misericordia Award
Throughout her career Dr. Jane Lemaire has passionately engaged doctors in the hope of a future where physician health and well-being is seen as a quality indicator for the health care system.
After graduating in medicine from the University of Ottawa, Dr. Lemaire completed a residency in internal medicine in Seattle, Washington. In 1991 she joined the faculty of the University of Calgary, where she currently holds the rank of clinical professor. She has a reputation as a superb clinician and role model for female internists.
One of her positions in the department of medicine is vice-chair of physician wellness and vitality. Collaborating with sociologist Dr. Jean Wallace, she has conducted extensive research on physician stress, coping behaviour, and workplace satisfaction. Their novel work led to many publications as well as the development of the Well Doc? Initiative, which educates physicians at all career stages about physician wellness and its importance to patient care.
Another achievement is the Senior Physician Initiative, an innovative program that seeks to capture the wisdom and knowledge of physicians who are winding down their careers. Dr. Lemaire is also co-lead for Wellness for the Ward of the 21st Century Research and Innovation Center.
She has been an important voice on the advisory committee of the Alberta Medical Association’s Physician and Family Support Program, which she currently chairs. Dr. Lemaire also has a longstanding interest in international health and supporting medical education in developing countries, notably Laos. A member of the International Alliance for Physician Health, she frequently speaks at international forums about her work.
Lieutenant Colonel William Patton
John McCrae Memorial Medal
Lieutenant-Colonel William Patton is an Emergency Physician at University of Alberta Hospital in Edmonton, Alberta, where he is currently employed on the Emergency Surgery / Trauma (ACES) Service. He completed his medical degree & residency at the University of Alberta, and holds the rank of Associate Clinical Professor of Surgery.
LCol Patton enrolled in the Canadian Armed Forces in 2000. He completed a tour of the Golan Heights with UN peacekeeping forces in 2004. As Base Surgeon Edmonton during the height of the Afghanistan War, LCol Patton led the team responsible for domestic support and care of casualties returning to Western Canada from overseas.
In 2008 he deployed to Afghanistan as the Officer Commanding the NATO Role 3 Multinational Medical Unit at Kandahar. He was the Chief Trauma Team Leader at the hospital, and led his team that was responsible for the emergent care of injured Afghan civilians, NATO coalition forces, and Canadian soldiers.
LCol Patton has championed mental health care within his affiliated brigade, and has driven initiatives to enhance front-line medical care and collaboration between civilian health care facilities and combat units. In 2014 he was appointed Reserve Medical Officer Advisor to the Surgeon General.
Despite the demands of his civilian practice, LCol Patton continues to be a very active reservist, and has sought out assignments in Haiti, in southern Alberta during the devastating floods of 2013, and in the High Arctic of Canada. A born and raised Calgarian, he is married to his wife Carolyn, and has two adult sons, Dane & Braunagh.