Doctors of BC Award Recipients of 2016

June 9, 2016

Every year, Doctors of BC acknowledges the outstanding contributions of physicians around our province by presenting a number of awards. Achievements are recognized in areas such as physician leadership, health promotion, and outstanding contributions to health care, medical research, and clinical practice.

Dr Don Rix Award

The Dr Don Rix 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.

This year’s recipient, Dr David Hardwick, has dedicated his more than 60 year career to advancing and expanding research and clinical work in the field of pediatric pathology and to protecting the values of academic freedom. Over his extensive and remarkable career he developed relationships that advanced the academic and scientific missions of UBC, especially as they relate to its teaching hospitals and research facilities; helped establish BC’s first children’s hospital; was instrumental in establishing the medical student association; and has been the pediatric pathology department head for several BC hospitals. His work has been recognized across North America earning him the Canadian Silver Jubilee Medal, an honourary law degree from UBC, and numerous awards from the US and Canadian Academy of Pathology. Showing no interest in slowing down, Dr Hardwick remains an energetic presence at UBC and an influential leader in the affairs of pathology organization and inter-institutional relationships.

Doctors of BC Silver Medal of Service

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

Dr Paul Dubord has dedicated much of his professional career to helping people regain their sight. He has played a significant role in delivering ophthalmic services and mentorship around the world, including developing National Programs in Canada, the United States, Japan, and India. He is the founder and driving force behind Eyesight International, a non-profit organization dedicated to eliminating blindness and bringing self-sustaining eye care to people in developing countries. He has been actively involved with the World Health Organization in multiple roles and has received countless awards for his leadership.

For more than 40 years, Dr David Fairholm has held a number of leadership positions in medical education and faculty development. He has been instrumental in the development of neurosurgical departments, neurosurgical training programs, surgical education programs, and accreditation processes in developing countries around the world. He has been engaged in undergraduate and postgraduate surgical education with UBC and has served as a member on key curriculum and strategic committees responsible for reforming UBC’s Faculty of Medicine’s undergraduate curriculum.

Dr Michael Golbey has spent his career committed to putting patients first and to bettering the health care system as a whole. For 20 years he has been actively involved with both Doctors of BC and the Canadian Medical Association (CMA), holding such positions as Chair of the General Assembly, and later President, of Doctors of BC; and Chair of the Board, CMA. In one of his most significant roles as Co-Chair of the former Physician Information Technology Office (PITO) Steering Committee he was instrumental in not only the development of PITO, but also Electronic Medical Records – here in BC and across Canada.

Dr David M. Bachop Gold and Silver Medals for Distinguished Medical Service

The Dr David M. Bachop Awards are given to a BC doctor who has made an extraordinary contribution in the field of organized medicine and/or community service.

Gold Medal winner:

Dr Katherine Paton lives by the mantra “stand up and contribute” – something she has been doing admirably for her patients and the profession for 30 years. She has participated in national and international organizations in her field of Ocular Oncology, helped establish the Proton Therapy Program for Ocular Tumors here in BC, and has trained and mentored countless medical students, residents, and fellows. She has served on numerous committees over the years, including the Doctors of BC Board for more than a decade.

Silver Medal winner:

Dr Sarah Yager completed her family residency program in Nanaimo and upon completion, chose to undertake the challenge of an additional three months of training in Women’s Health at UBC. With a particular interest in rural health care, she has been a locum physician in the Yukon, the Northwest Territories, and in rural parts of BC, as well as taking on low risk obstetrics in Surrey.

Dr Cam Coady Medal of Excellence

The Dr Cam Coady Award commemorates Dr Coady’s great love of medicine and ensures that his goals and objectives to achieve excellence in health care continue to be fostered.

For the last 30 years, Dr Shelley Ross focused her career on family practice medicine with a significant emphasis in obstetrics – delivering close to 300 babies every year. In 2012, Dr Ross closed her practice to step into the role of President of Doctors of BC. Since then, she has been Co-Chair of the General Practice Services Committee and the Practice Support Program Steering Committee, and is a member of the Shared Care Committee. In addition to her advocacy work through these committees, Dr Ross continues to serve patients throughout BC doing full-service family practice locums and obstetrics in maternity clinics and hospitals.

Council on Health Promotion Awards of Excellence

Doctors of BC’s Excellence in Health Promotion Awards recognize the special efforts of individuals, non-profit and for-profit organizations.

Non-Profit category:

Options for Sexual Health (Opt) operates sexual and health information clinics across BC. In addition to the clinics, Opt also runs Sex Sense, an information service that provides the public with answers to their sexual health questions, and delivers educational workshops to train schools and healthcare professionals on a variety of sexual and reproductive health issues. Last year, Opt clinics provided nearly 23,000 individuals with more than 30,000 services. And from 2014-2015, almost 10,000 school-aged students participated in Opt workshops, and more than 500 professionals – nurses, teachers, social workers, counsellors and youth care workers – received sexual health education training. Dr Marisa Collins, Medical Director for Opt, accepted the award on behalf of the organization.

Individual Category:

Dr Derek Poteryko and Dr Kelvin Houghton are instrumental in promoting valuable health promotion initiatives to residents in Nanaimo, BC, with a specific focus on Doctors of BC’s annual Walk with your Doc event. Not only does their annual event attract more than 400 people, but they hold twice monthly walks for patients complete with a health discussion, and they have created a culture of innovation by using lifestyle interventions to treat chronic disease.

Changemaker Awards

The Changemaker Award recognizes medical residents and students who have demonstrated exemplary leadership and dedication to the cause of advancing the policies, views, and goals of Doctors of BC, or of a medical Resident/Student organization in BC, through grassroots advocacy efforts.

Student award:

Mr Arun Agha is a second year medical student in the Vancouver-Fraser Medical Program. He has displayed exemplary leadership in his role with the Vancouver Street Soccer League, a non-profit organization created to improve the health and wellbeing of homeless individuals, those at risk of being marginalized within their communities, and individuals recovering from drug and alcohol addictions through a culture of inclusiveness and competitive soccer. He has also been involved with the BC Cancer Agency’s Summer Student Research Project investigating exercise promotion to address chronic illness, and has helped develop sport-based group therapy for people with major depressive disorder and cancer.

Resident award:

Dr Brandon Sheffield is a senior resident in anatomic pathology at the University of British Columbia. He has shown exemplary leadership in his advocacy work for personalized medicine treatment for cancer patients and with his contributions to the BC Cancer Agency’s Personalized OncoGenomics project. He has helped champion a new curriculum at UBC to educate pathologists, as well as oncology-related specialists, in genomic medicine. He has also made significant improvements to two aspects of patient care: helping develop a less invasive diagnostic exam for malignant mesothelioma cancer and helping identify inefficiencies in the classification of ER-positive breast cancers enabling more accurate subtyping and treatment.

CMA Honourary Membership Award

Honorary membership is an honour bestowed on those who, at the age of 65, having been active members of the Association for at least 10 years, have been nominated by their provincial/territorial medical association and have had their nominations approved unanimously by the Board of Directors of the CMA. The nominees are held in high regard by their colleagues, they are humanitarians who have put into practice the aims and ideals of our profession.

Honorary Members:

  • Dr Geoff Appleton
  • Dr Jean Carruthers
  • Dr John Fleetham
  • Dr Kenneth Fung
  • Dr Peter Konkal
  • Dr William McDonald
  • Dr Ralph Rothstein
  • Dr Anthony Salvian
  • Dr Evelyn Shukin
  • Dr Beverly Spring
  • Dr Paul Thiessen
  • Dr Hugh Tildesley, posthumously
  • Dr Kenneth Turnbull