» Go to news main

Celebrating our Outstanding Faculty Members

Posted by Jennifer Lewandowski on July 10, 2020 in News
The Faculty of Medicine celebrated its champions of teaching and research virtually in 2020.
The Faculty of Medicine celebrated its champions of teaching and research virtually in 2020.

At the Faculty of Medicine Annual Faculty Meeting held virtually on June 2, a few of the many people dedicated to research, teaching and mentoring at Dalhousie Medical School were celebrated and recognized for their efforts and achievements over the recent academic year.

Faculty members attended this year’s award ceremony exclusively through a digital channel, a distinct change from the ceremony’s previous locale; the foyer of the Tupper Building, a fifteen-storey high-rise with a two-storey annex linking it to the Clinical Research Centre.

The nominees presented with this year’s awards demonstrated significant accomplishments in their work directly related to Dalhousie’s leadership competencies, both as a team member or team leader.

“These recognized individuals are making the most of their time at Dalhousie Medical School, seizing opportunities and opening themselves up to new experiences and perspectives. They are a reminder of what can be accomplished through leadership, passion and engagement,” said Dr. David Anderson, Dean of Medicine at Dalhousie University.

Recognizing the contributions of faculty members in the areas of research, education, and community service is a key component of the Dalhousie Faculty of Medicine strategic plan, #DalMedForward. As well, acknowledging the important contributions, big and small, helps drive the university’s excellence.

“I am confident our students will continue to benefit from our faculty members’ passion for education for years to come. Their successes are proof they care about educating the next generation of physicians and scientists.”

For more information on the awards please visit the website.  

Faculty of Medicine Excellence in Education Awards

Two awards were created to acknowledge excellence in education among faculty members: The Faculty of Medicine Early Career Educator Award and the Faculty of Medicine Award of Excellence in Education.

The Early Career Award of Excellence in Education recognizes a faculty member in their first seven years of their initial appointment. This year, Dr. Robyn McLaughlin (Department of Pediatrics) received the award for her demonstrated leadership, initiative, service and innovation at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels, as well as her significant contributions to Continuing Professional Development.

Dr. McLaughlin was responsible for overseeing the Pediatric Component of the Skilled Clinician Program from 2013 to 2017, updating the 50-page book used by residents and tutors and developed one of the three cases used for simulated patient sessions. 

The Award of Excellence in Education recognizes those faculty members who have eight or more years of teaching experience in the Faculty of Medicine. This year’s award was presented to Dr. Irena Rot (Department of Medical Neuroscience).

Dr. Rot’s contributions to Undergraduate Medical Education at Dalhousie Medical School are significant. She delivers lectures in several units, and participates in all UGME gross anatomy labs, and serves as Anatomy Component Head for the Metabolism I and Msk/Derm units. In 2018, the Class of 2021 named Dr. Rot Med II Teacher of the Year. More recently, Dr. Rot expertly navigated the COVID-19 pandemic and was able to quickly adapt to the circumstances by changing the exam format and providing online resources to students to ensure their anatomy education was not adversely impacted.

Faculty of Medicine Award for Excellence: Clinical Practice

Two awards were created to acknowledge excellence in clinical practice: The Faculty of Medicine Early Career Award for Excellence in Clinical Practice and the Faculty of Medicine Award for Excellence in Clinical Practice.

The Early Career Award for Excellence in Clinical Practice recognizes a faculty member in their first seven years of their initial appointment. This year’s recipient was Dr. Ashley Miller, who joined the Division of General Medicine three years ago and has already achieved immense success.

In short time, Dr. Miller designed and implemented a successful program that brings care for those with advanced heart failure, redesigned the way in which General Internal Medicine provides care and support to patients in the ambulatory setting, and became a clinical spokesperson for Medicine’s approach to COVID-19 care throughout Nova Scotia. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Miller has been a transformational leader, setting up clinical pathways, admission order sets, the COVID-19 ward at the QEII, and Community COVID-19 Collaborative Virtual Clinic Team.

The Award for Excellence in Clinical Practice recognizes a clinical faculty member with eight or more years of experience in patient care and service to the teaching hospital or community. Dr. Mark Sadler, a professor in the Division of Neurology and this year’s recipient, has provided decades of exceptional care for patients with epilepsy in the Maritime provinces, and served as an outstanding teacher, role model, and mentor for many trainees.

Dr. Sadler has been synonymous with the “Epilepsy Program” at Dalhousie University for the past three decades. During this time, he has developed and fostered a program that rivals any in Canada for the degree and depth of services offered to patients with epilepsy in the Maritime provinces. As the Medical Director of the Epilepsy Program at the QEII Health Sciences Centre, Dr. Sadler facilitates weekly Epilepsy Conference Meetings with other departments including Neurosurgery, Neuropsychology, and Neuroradiology.

Dr. Allan Cohen Memorial Award for Community Service

This award recognizes faculty, staff, and students who work to fulfill the mission of the Medical School by displaying outstanding community service with health-related organizations and causes. This year’s award winner, Dr. Sarah Shea, is a Professor of Pediatrics, a Developmental Pediatrician, and has been a member of the Department of Pediatrics since 1986.

Throughout her career, Dr. Shea has been an energetic and passionate advocate for children, and their families, with neurodevelopmental disabilities, both at the IWK, provincially and nationally, and has demonstrated outstanding community service with health-related organizations.

Dr. Shea recently chaired the Nova Scotia Commission on Inclusive Education, which published its recommendations in 2018. Knowing that one third of Nova Scotian students need some form of support in the classroom, the report called for new investments in personnel, including psychologists, speech language therapists, school-based nurses and resource teachers. This moved the Province to invest $15 million dollars to create 100 new positions.

Faculty of Medicine Community Teacher of the Year Award

The Community Teacher of the Year Award recognizes a current faculty member who teaches and practices in one of the Faculty of Medicine’s distributed teaching sites across the Maritimes.

Dr. Brian Moses (Division of General Internal Medicine), recipient of this year’s award, is the site director for the Yarmouth residency training program, and has been providing a high-quality learning experience for all types of learners at the Yarmouth Regional Hospital for over a decade. Dr. Moses was chosen for his ability to continually demonstrate the importance of continued learning. His abilities, knowledge and dedication as an educator and mentor are an example for learners choosing to pursue a career in community medicine.

The Wayne Putnam Award

The Wayne Putnam Award recognizes individuals who consistently contribute in notable ways to the continuing education of Maritime physicians. This year’s recipient was Dr. Dennis Klassen (Division of General Surgery).

Dr. Klassen joined Dalhousie in 2002 and was the first fellowship-trained minimally invasive surgeon in Atlantic Canada. Surgeons throughout the Maritimes would routinely call on him to come to their institution for mentorship in specific minimally invasive surgery cases. On more than 20 occasions, Dr. Klassen obtained temporary privileges at hospitals throughout the Maritimes, not for his own benefit, but for the benefit of the patient and the opportunity to pass along his knowledge to other surgeons. He was instrumental in the initiation of the Dalhousie Minimally Invasive Surgery Fellowship Program in 2008 and has been a cornerstone in that program over the subsequent 12 years.

Faculty of Medicine Awards for Excellence in Medical Research

The Faculty of Medicine Awards for Excellence in Medical Research are made in tribute to Dr. J. Donald Hatcher whose vision as Dean of Medicine led to the establishment of Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation (DMRF). In partnership with the DMRF, four awards were created to acknowledge research excellence and to encourage continued efforts in medical research.

The Dr. J. Donald Hatcher Award for Medical Research

Named in honour of Dr. J. Donald Hatcher, this research award recognizes excellence in medical research and is offered to a final year undergraduate medical student who, upon graduation, is considered to have carried out the most meritorious and significant research at Dalhousie during the undergraduate medical program including electives.

This year, the award went to Ms. Grace Park for her RIM project studying oncology nurses who act as cancer patient navigators in the health care system in the final stages of life. Ms. Park published two manuscripts from her work. She found that cancer patients are more likely to use navigation services than those who die of other causes and provide the first characterization of navigation services and patient populations.

Faculty of Medicine Award for Excellence in Basic Research

This year’s Excellence in Basic Research award was presented to Dr. Jeanette Boudreau (Department of Microbiology & Immunology). While Dr. Boudreau studies fundamental immunology, she has kept a keen eye on its importance in clinical medicine and devoted her expertise to understanding the roles of natural killer (NK) cells in cancer. No stranger to receiving awards for her work, Dr. Boudreau has received national awards from the Terry Fox Foundation, NSERC and the Canadian Cancer Society in addition to Research Nova Scotia and the Beatrice Hunter Cancer Research Institute.

Faculty of Medicine Award for Excellence in Patient-Oriented Research

Accepting this year’s award was Dr. Karthik Tennankore (Department of Medicine, Division of Nephrology). Dr. Tennankore came to Dalhousie in 2013 as a staff nephrologist and assistant professor. Since that time, he has become a leader in clinical trials research on kidney disease and organ replacement locally and in Canada. His research interest is in the outcomes of patients on kidney transplant waitlists and how to improve the success of transplantation using large datasets to predict outcomes. To date, he is the author or co-author of more than 75 manuscripts on his work, which examines the frailty and of physical activity on transplant success.

Faculty of Medicine Early Career Investigator Award

This is awarded to a faculty member who is within the first five years of their appointment and has demonstrated research excellence at an early stage of their career. This year’s award was presented to Dr. Alyson Kelvin (Department of Pediatrics) who arrived on the Dalhousie scene in 2018.

Quickly establishing her research program in emerging viruses, Dr. Kelvin’s research has informed the development of improved influenza vaccines. Recently, she turned her work in the direction of the COVID-19 pandemic and received two new CIHR operating grants as Principal Investigator for this work, making hers a popular face of COVID-19 research in Canada in the local and national press outlets.

The Max Forman Senior Research Prize

The Max Forman Senior Research Prize is the DMRF’s most prestigious award. It is presented to a member of the faculty whose research achievements have enriched both the academic environment and advanced scientific understanding. The recipient of this year’s esteemed award was Dr. John Archibald (Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology).

As the current director of the center for Comparative Genomics and Evolutionary Biology (CGEB), Dr. Archibald is catalysing change for excellence at Dalhousie.  Dr. Archibald has demonstrated his skills as a leader on several publications involving large international collaborations, one of which involved more than 70 international co-authors. In fact, his work has been cited more than 6,800 times.