Congratulations to Doctors of BC's 2021 award recipients

March 7, 2022

Every year, we acknowledge the outstanding contributions of physicians, residents, and medical students around the province through our Doctors of BC Awards. Congratulations to all 2021 recipients, each of whom has made a real difference for patients, the profession, and our health care system. Winners will be recognized at the annual Awards Event, postponed until May 2022. Questions? Email .


Dr Don Rix Award for Physician Leadership

Established in memory of the late Dr Donald Rix, this award recognizes lifetime achievements and exemplary physician leadership so outstanding that it serves as an inspiration and a challenge to the medical profession in British Columbia.

Dr David Wensley

Presently the Medical Director of the Pulmonary Function Department at BC Children’s Hospital, Dr David Wensley is a respirologist with decades of experience in improving care for critically ill children. His exemplary medical career has seen him in a wide variety of roles, including Medical Director of BC Children’s Intensive Care Unit and Director of the Pulmonary Function and Sleep Laboratory at UBC, among others. Through his passion for technology he has pursued research regarding the importance of computers in medicine, along with many projects focused on improving critical paediatric care.


Dr David M Bachop Gold Medal for Distinguished Medical Service

The Dr David M Bachop Gold Medal is given to a BC doctor who has made an extraordinary contribution in the field of organized medicine and/or community service. Achievement should be so outstanding as to serve as an inspiration and a challenge to the medical profession in BC.

Dr Marius PienaarDr%20Marius%20Pienaar%20

Dr Pienaar’s commitment to his patients and his passion for improving women’s health, along with his positive, can-do attitude, is behind the decades of exemplary medical care he provided patients and communities in Northwest BC. A true public servant, he is known for providing a state-of-the art specialist service to his community, as well as public talks in his community on topics such as gynaecological cancer prevention and HPV immunization.


Dr David M Bachop Silver Medal

The Dr David M Bachop Silver Medal in general medical practice is presented annually to the UBC family practice resident or the practice-eligible British Columbia registered general practitioner who achieves the best overall result in the Family Practice Certification.

Dr Chee Jian Ko (2021)Dr%20Chee%20Jian%20Ko%20web

Dr Chee Jian Ko completed his medical degree at the University of Melbourne, Australia, returning to his home country of Malaysia to practice medicine, the last years of which was as a general practitioner. He emigrated to Canada in 2011 and completed the Family Practice Residency at the UBC St Paul's IMG program in 2021. Dr Ko is currently completing his return of service in a family practice in Vancouver, and plans to continue serving the community in a full-service family practice.

Dr Svetlana Bortnik (2020)Dr%20Svetlana%20Bortnik%20

In summer 2020, Dr Svetlana Bortnik completed the UBC Surrey-South Fraser Family Medicine Residency program, and immediately started community longitudinal family practice in a busy clinic in Surrey. She hopes to continue providing care to her patients as she continues her medical career.

Dr Michelle Hanbidge (2020)Dr%20Michelle%20Hanbidge%20

Dr Michelle Hanbidge graduated from University of Alberta Medicine in 2018 and finished her Family Medicine Residency in Abbotsford, BC. She is currently providing long-term locums in Vernon, BC, including Obstetrics and Indigenous care at the Okanagan Indian Band.



Doctors of BC Silver Medal of Service

The Doctors of BC Silver Medal of Service is awarded to physicians who have made outstanding contributions to medicine and/or the improvement of British Columbians’ welfare.

Dr Mark CorbettDr%20Mark%20Corbett

Dr Mark Corbett is known for his decades long commitment to his full-service family practice and his tireless patient advocacy. He’s played a vital role in serving his colleagues through the many Doctors of BC positions he’s held, including Chair of the Board during the Association's governance restructure. Dr Corbett’s humanity and compassion are evident in his impressive work in medical education and palliative care, and his commitment to transparency, integrity, and to the care of his patients make him a respected and trusted colleague to many. 

Dr Nasir JethaDr%20Nasir%20Jetha

A Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics and former president of Doctors of BC (2011-12), Dr Nasir Jetha has served his patients, community, and the medical field in a plethora of leadership roles, all with his trademark dedication to excellence. He begin teaching at UBC in 1985, through which he received the Wyatt Teaching Award of Excellence, and has worked with the Canadian Medical Association in a broad range of capacities. Dr Jetha’s humanitarian volunteer work has seen him involved extensively with local community activities, as well as relief work in other parts of the world.  

Dr Shirley SzeDr%20Shirley%20Sze%20

A champion of health care systems transformation, Dr Sze began her medical career in full-service family practice in Kamloops. Over the course of her distinguished career, she has provided exemplary service within Doctors of BC, and to British Columbians, particularly in the areas of care for children and youth with mental health and substance use concerns. Her admirable dedication to more effective, thoughtful systems of care is recognized by many.


Excellence in Health Promotion Awards

These awards recognize an individual, a non-profit, and an organization that are working to improve the health and safety of British Columbians. Nominees must have demonstrated a concern for health and safety through specific actions or initiatives that show ingenuity and creativity, and result in change with the potential for positive, long-term improvement.

Individual – Dr Carolyn ShiauDr%20Carolyn%20Shiau%20

A major leader in COVID-19 vaccination efforts in the Fraser Health region, Dr Carolyn Shiau’s support, dedication, and passion for quality improvement has had a tremendous positive impact on vaccine rollout. A pathologist at Royal Columbian Hospital, Shiau was one of the first physicians to volunteer as an immunizer in both the RCH clinics, and long-term care homes. As the vaccine campaign progressed, Shiau became lead physician for Fraser Health North and physician liaison to the FH Vaccine Coordination Centre, with 28,000 doses delivered daily at the peak of the campaign. The sense of community and organized systems cultivated by Dr Shiau played a crucial role in what was a mammoth undertaking for all involved.

Non-profit – South Asian COVID Task ForceCOHP%20Non-Profit%20South%20Asian%20COVID%20Task%20Force%20

The BC Chapter of the South Asian COVID Task Force (SACTF) is a grassroots, non-political volunteer organization created by physicians and community leaders from diverse backgrounds from across the country to address the disproportionate levels of COVID-19 cases in the South Asian community. Through an extensive educational and empowerment campaign, the SACTF developed a presence on both traditional and social media to educate the community, including the successful “This is Our Shot” campaign, which featured vaccine FAQs in more than 30 languages, and town halls with expert speakers. By improving accessibility to credible information and addressing concerns specific to the South Asian community, the SACTF helped boost vaccine uptake and reduce transmission of COVID-19.

Organization – Thrive Health

ACOHP%20Organization%20Thrive%20Health previous winner in this category in 2020’s awards for the BC COVID-19 Support and COVID-19 Self Assessment Tool, Thrive Health’s software platform is being used in even more innovative and efficient ways to help British Columbians. New initiatives WorkClear and Workplace created workflows for individuals to complete self-assessments, schedule PCR and antigen tests, and upload their vaccine status for verification, among other features. Used by universities and organizations across the province, its platform was deployed in UBC, SFU, UVic, and a variety of workplaces. The platform now supports more than 500,000 users, and has made a major impact on workplace and campus safety in BC.


Changemaker Awards

Each year the Changemaker Award honours one medical resident and one medical student who have demonstrated exemplary leadership and dedication in advancing the policies, views, and goals of Doctors of BC or of a resident or student organization through grassroots advocacy efforts.

Changemaker Resident

Dr Kirsten RocheDr%20Kirsten%20Roche%20

A psychiatry resident, Dr Kirsten Roche’s work to improve the lives of people who are at risk, have been affected by, or even victimized by human trafficking, can be seen in her creation of the first UBC chapter of the Canadian Alliance of Medical Students Against Human Trafficking (CAMSAHT). In early 2021, she became Co-President of CAMSAHT National, supporting and establishing chapters across Canada with her innate leadership skills. Dr Roche also established a VP of Research role at CAMSAHT, and multiple projects in this field are ongoing. Thanks to her continued leadership and hard work in this complex area, she is a powerful advocate for change among her peers, and beyond.

Changemaker Student

[Dr] ViviVivian%20Tsang%20an Tsang

[Dr] Vivian Tsang is a true innovator, whose stellar work towards a province with equitable healthcare access is admirable. Along with a whole host of academic and humanitarian achievements, this award recognizes her accomplishments during her time as a medical student. [Ms Tsang] co-founded the BC COVID-19 medical student response team, which organized more than 800 medical students in community and para-clinical roles across the province – contributing a collective 40,000 hours of work. She also wrote harm reduction policies with the BCCDC and tackled stigma that prevented people who use drugs from seeking care, both of which successfully changed journalistic standards with the Canadian Association of Journalists.