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Dal Medicine’s alum of the year improves the lives of transplant patients worldwide

Posted by Elizabeth Conrad on November 18, 2022 in News
Dr. Robert Liwski, winner of the Dalhousie Medical Alumni Association's top award for 2022. (QEII Foundation photo
Dr. Robert Liwski, winner of the Dalhousie Medical Alumni Association's top award for 2022. (QEII Foundation photo

The Dalhousie Medical Alumni Association has announced the recipients of its 2022 DMAA Alumni Recognition Awards — six deserving members of the alumni community, who will be honoured at a dinner on November 25, 2022.

“We are thrilled to present the Alum of the Year Award to Dr. Robert Liwski (BSc ’94, PhD ’99, MD ’03), head of the Division of Hematopathology at the QEII Health Sciences Center, and a professor in the Department of Pathology at Dalhousie University,” says Dr. Cindy Forbes (MD ’85), president of the DMAA. “His work in discovering and implementing new technologies in the tissue-typing laboratory has improved the lives of transplant patients worldwide.”

As Director of the Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) Laboratory in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the QEII, Dr. Liwski has contributed enormously to optimizing the care of solid organ and bone marrow transplantation patients in Atlantic Canada.

“Dr. Liwski has made major innovations in transplant matching that have decreased the time it takes to match transplant recipients with their donors,” explains Dr. Forbes. “He is recognized internationally, and we are proud he is a Dal Med alum.”

Medicine is one of Dal’s largest Faculties, graduating 160 students each year who go on to join an alumni community of 10,500.

From veterans to up-and-comers

Among the other award recipients being honoured is Dr. Cyril Moyse (MD ’72), who will be presented with the prestigious Honourary President Award for his leadership and outstanding commitment to family medicine on Prince Edward Island throughout his nearly 50-year career. In addition to his practice, Dr. Moyse has served as clinical instructor and preceptor at Dalhousie’s Department of Family Medicine.

The 2022 Family Physician of the Year Award will go to Dr. Mary Frances Moriarty (MD ’77). Seen as a leader among her peers, Dr. Moriarty is network lead, Dartmouth for the Department of Family Medicine in Central Zone – where one of her main roles is to recruit, welcome, and help mentor new physicians in the area. Dr. Moriarty has served as an advocate for all family physicians in Dartmouth with her work as their representative to Nova Scotia Health.

Dr. Stephanie Snow (MD ’05), staff medical oncologist at the QEII and associate professor in the Faculty of Medicine, will receive the 2022 Young Alum of the Year Award. This award recognizes Dr. Snow’s commitment to patient advocacy. She serves as the current president of Lung Cancer Canada and sits on the medical advisory committees of several other patient advocacy groups in colorectal and gastric cancer.

Recognizing residents

Since 2020, the DMAA also presents two Dalhousie Medical School residents with honours. Dr. Matt Lowe (MD ’19) is the recipient of the Resident Leadership Award, Family Medicine, while Dr. Matt MacGillivary (MD ’18) will receive the Resident Leadership Award, Royal College Specialties and Subspecialties.

Dr. Lowe’s passion for patient advocacy led him to sit on the Nova Scotia Health committee that created the Medical Assistance in Dying protocol, while Dr. MacGillivary has taken on countless volunteer opportunities in his busy dermatology residency, including involvement with Resident Doctors of Canada committees, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia, and Doctors Nova Scotia.

Both Drs. Lowe and MacGillivary are fixtures among their peers and colleagues as resident leaders within the Faculty of Medicine.