CMA Celebrates Leaders in Health Care

Ottawa, June 19th

“This is a group of dedicated people. Their tireless work, commitment and passion have led to innovative thinking, greatly benefiting those around them,” said Dr. Chris Simpson, CMA President. “Their remarkable contributions to the health and safety of others make them true inspirations and highly deserving of these awards.”

The 2015 CMA awards recipients are:

  • Camille Dow-Baker, professional engineer, Calgary, AB, will be awarded the Medal of Honour for helping to provide better water and sanitation to nearly 10 million people in 68 countries.
  • Dr. John Gray, Ottawa, ON, will be receiving the Medal of Service for his improvements in the safety of medical practice and the reduction of medico-legal risk for Canadian physicians.
  • Dr. Norman Campbell, Calgary, AB, has earned the Frederic Newton Gisborne Starr Award by successfully changing public nutrition policy and transferring scientific knowledge about hypertension into medical practice. In doing so, he has improved its prevention and control, globally impacting public health on stroke and heart disease.
  • Dr. Allison McGeer, expert researcher, Toronto, ON, merits the May Cohen Award for Women Mentors as she demonstrates outstanding and ongoing support to students and trainees at all levels of medicine.
  • Dr. Emily Reynen, Montreal, QC, is the first medical trainee to receive the Sir Charles Tupper Award for Political Action. Dr. Reynen has undertaken a wide variety of admirable political advocacy roles enhancing the interest, engagement and education of medical students on her campus while studying at McGill University.
  • The Norlien Foundation, Calgary and Edmonton, AB, will be receiving the Award for Excellence in Health Promotion for their Alberta Family Wellness Initiative (AFWI). By mobilizing and connecting synthesized scientific research about early brain and biological development, they are able to engage with change agents and leaders to develop and support a multitude of activities in early childhood development, mental health and addiction to bring about positive, evidence-informed change in policy and practice for the benefit of children and families.
  • The Awards for Young Leaders will go to:
    • Soniya Sharma (Student), Richmond Hill, ON, who stands out for her experience and accomplishments in medical politics, academics, research and extracurricular activities while a medical student. This includes being elected to the executive council of the Aesculapian Society and representing her university, Queen’s, at the Canadian Federation of Medical Students and the Ontario Medical Students Association.
    • Dr. Amol Verma (Resident), Oakville, ON, is the co-principal investigator of the General Medicine Inpatient (Gemini) registry. Now being piloted at six Toronto hospitals, it has a huge potential to improve quality of care and health policy across Canada.
    • Dr. Alika Lafontaine (Early-Career), Grande Prairie, AB, is a leader in almost every aspect of his life: academics, research, community service, entrepreneurship and more. He is committed to raising public awareness of First Nations and Aboriginal issues in Canada.
  • Dr. Paul Byrne, neonatologist, Edmonton, AB, has earned the Dr. William Marsden Award in Medical Ethics. Through his stimulation and leadership of a vibrant ethics culture at the University of Alberta, he has advanced ethics thinking beyond academics and research and into government, clinical settings and the bedside.
  • Dr. I. Michael Kaufmann, Toronto, ON, merits the Physician Misericordia Award for founding the Physician Health Program of the Ontario Medical Association. Serving more than 8,000 doctors and students since 1995, this program is designed to assist professionals with substance abuse, psychiatric disorders, and other personal health problems.
  • The John McCrae Memorial Medal is being awarded to:
    • Lieutenant-Colonel Paul Charlebois, Dartmouth, NS, who has served on humanitarian and disaster relief missions, participated in military missions in Italy and Bosnia-Herzegovina, and deployed to Afghanistan four times. The only internal medicine and critical care physician at the Kandahar Air Field multinational medical unit, he provided 24/7 care to wounded NATO soldiers, enemy combatants, and civilians.
    • Lieutenant Colonel Robert Stiegelmar, orthopedic surgeon, Sherwood Park, AB, is a major contributor in the treatment of soldiers severely wounded in Afghanistan who are sent to Edmonton for treatment. He is known for his diligent care and compassion for Canadian Forces members who have been injured in combat.


The CMA will be presenting the 2015 awards to their recipients during their 148th annual general meeting on Tuesday, August 5th at 6 p.m., at the Cunard Center in Halifax.

The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) is the national voice of Canadian physicians. Founded in 1867, the CMA is a voluntary professional organization representing more than 80,000 of Canada’s physicians and comprising 12 provincial and territorial medical associations and 60 national medical organizations. CMA’s mission is helping physicians care for patients. The CMA will be the leader in engaging and serving physicians and be the national voice for the highest standards for health and health care.

For more information:
Dominique Jolicoeur
CMA Communications
tel: 613.731.8610 x2038
Cell: 613.809.5669


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