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Trailblazers in health care: Celebrating the recipients of the 2022 CMA Awards

·6 min read

OTTAWA, ON, April 21, 2022 /CNW/ - Combating antimicrobial resistance. Launching innovative solutions for physician burnout. Championing refugee health.

These are just a few examples of how recipients of the 2022 Canadian Medical Association (CMA) Awards are having an impact — at home and abroad — despite more than two years of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"These 12 extraordinary recipients are true role models — through clinical work, research, mentorship and advocacy they are making exceptional contributions," says CMA President Dr. Katharine Smart. "Not only are they helping to transform health care today, they are also shaping future generations of physicians."

Learn more about the remarkable recipients of the 2022 CMA Awards below.

Dr. John Conly
F.N.G. Starr Award for lifetime achievement

Dr. John Conly's work has improved human health on a global scale. An infectious disease specialist and professor at the University of Calgary, Dr. Conly has worked for decades on antimicrobial resistance, infection prevention and health care innovation; his contributions have significantly affected medical practice, research and policy. In 2002, he founded the research and test-site Ward of the 21st Century. More recently, he chaired the World Health Organization's COVID-19 Infection Prevention and Control Guidance Development Group. Dr. Conly is described by colleagues as humble, creative and a dedicated humanitarian. For his vision and collaborative leadership, he is this year's recipient of the CMA's highest honour.

Dr. Jane Lemaire
Dr. Léo-Paul Landry Medal of Service

Dr. Jane Lemaire is a passionate advocate for recognizing physician wellness as a quality indicator of the health care system. Currently a clinical professor in internal medicine at the University of Calgary, she has helped lead the charge to better support physicians, create much-needed resources and ensure high-quality patient care in Alberta. Among her many achievements, she is the co-founder and physician lead for Well Doc Alberta, a pan-provincial physician wellness initiative focused on education and prevention.

Dr. Meb Rashid
CMA Award for Political Advocacy

Please note that to reflect our commitment to reconciliation and the need to acknowledge the colonial harm done to Indigenous Peoples, the CMA has renamed the Sir Charles Tupper Award for Political Advocacy to the CMA Award for Political Advocacy.

A champion for refugee health in Canada, Dr. Meb Rashid has helped address systemic discrimination and racism in health care. He is the founder and medical director of the Crossroads Clinic at Women's College Hospital in Toronto. He co-founded Canadian Doctors for Refugee Care, which helps refugees access health insurance. His political advocacy includes successfully fighting federal cuts to refugee health coverage, which began in 2012 and were reversed by the Federal Court in 2014. Dr. Rashid is also actively fostering the next generation of refugee health advocates across the country.

Dr. Cornelia Wieman
May Cohen Award for Women Mentors

The definition of a physician leader, Dr. Nel Wieman not only holds the distinction of being the first Indigenous woman to become a psychiatrist in Canada, but through decades of clinical and advocacy work she has also mentored countless women and Indigenous physicians and medical learners. The deputy chief medical officer at First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) and the president of the Indigenous Physicians Association of Canada (IPAC), Dr. Wieman prioritizes nurturing future physicians as well as building bridges with grassroots organizations.

Dr. Boluwaji Ogunyemi
CMA Award for Young Leaders (Early Career)

With a deep commitment to health equity, Dr. Boluwaji Ogunyemi supports patients who are Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) in his dermatology practice. He is also in the process of setting up a specialty dermatology clinic for this underserved patient population. Beyond his clinical work, Dr. Ogunyemi advocates for inclusion in medicine through peer-reviewed publications, public speaking and freelance writing for media outlets such as The New York Times. He is known among his peers and colleagues at Memorial University of Newfoundland as a physician leader, educator and active community volunteer.

Dr. Shannon Ruzycki
CMA Award for Young Leaders (Early Career)

Recognized for advancing equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) in the medical workplace, Dr. Shannon Ruzycki is leading tangible changes locally as a general internist at the University of Calgary, provincially with Alberta Health Services and nationally with the Canadian Resident Matching Service. Her work led to the development of a provincial peer support network for physicians who have experienced harassment or discrimination. As a champion for EDI principles, she advocates for structural changes in medicine and incorporating EDI literacy into medical education.

Dr. Shane Arsenault
CMA Award for Young Leaders (Resident)

A resident in neurology at Memorial University of Newfoundland, Dr. Shane Arsenault is known as the voice of his peers. His work as a representative of the Professional Association of Residents of Newfoundland and Labrador (PARNL) has contributed to the Faculty of Medicine's strategic planning. He has also worked as the PARNL representative of Resident Doctors of Canada (RDoC) and served as a liaison member between RDoC and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons' Committee on Specialties.

Dr. Amit Persad
CMA Award for Young Leaders (Resident)

Dr. Amit Persad is a force for resident physicians in Saskatchewan. The neurosurgery resident implemented virtual rounds at the University of Saskatchewan to help medical students learn during the COVID-19 pandemic. As chief negotiator for Resident Doctors of Saskatchewan (RDoS), he helped reach a collective bargaining agreement with the Ministry of Health and the university. He was RDoS's president in 2020–21 and recently spearheaded a professionalism task force.

Armaghan (Army) Alam
CMA Award for Young Leaders (Student)

Army Alam's mental health advocacy has national reach. The University of British Columbia medical student co-founded the Canadian Peer Support Network, which brings peer support initiatives and training to organizations across Canada, and is an advisor for the Bell Let's Talk Diversity Fund, which funds mental health initiatives for the Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) communities. He is also the youngest sitting board member of the Mental Health Commission of Canada.

Angela Huynh
CMA Award for Young Leaders (Student)

Angela Huynh's research is already making a difference. While working toward her MD at Western University, she has made significant contributions to both the Ontario and Canadian guidelines for COVID-19 vaccine administration. She has been the first author of numerous publications related to COVID-19. In addition, she rejoined her PhD supervisor's laboratory when the pandemic hit to help in the transition from research on clotting and thrombosis to a focus on COVID-19.

Dr. Stephanie Smith
Dr. Brian Brodie Organizational Leadership Development Award (Resident)

After noticing the rise in burnout and depression among medical learners, Dr. Stephanie Smith developed a program called STRIVE — Simulated Training for Resilience In Various Environments. A medical officer at CFB Gagetown in New Brunswick, she developed the program based on her experience deploying as a critical care nursing officer in the Canadian Armed Forces. She is now expanding STRIVE across Canada.

Mehul Gupta
Dr. Brian Brodie Organizational Leadership Development Award (Student)

Mehul Gupta isn't waiting for his MD to make an impact. In 2017, he founded Youreka Canada, a national non-profit empowering young innovators, thought leaders and active citizens through educational opportunities and mentorships. He has also worked closely with Kids Help Phone and on campaigns to increase awareness of mental health resources for Canadian youth. Mr. Gupta is currently studying medicine at the University of Calgary.

SOURCE Canadian Medical Association

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View original content: http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/April2022/21/c2769.html