Congratulations to Our 2018 Award Recipients

Student Leadership – Rising Star Award

Lucy Wang, University of Alberta

I have had a long-standing passion for family medicine, and was selected to be junior rep of the U of A Family Medicine Interest Group {FM IG) in my first year of medical school. In my second year, I became the senior rep, leading my team in organizing 14 various events for the promotion of family medicine among students. I was subsequently elected the co-chair of the CFPC’s Section of Medical Students, working with CFPC executives, staff, and student representatives from all 17 Canadian medical schools to address issues in family y medicine important to medical students. Currently, I look forward to pursuing an exciting career as a family physician.

Quick Facts

The one thing I Love about family medicine is: the scope of practice makes family medicine extremely challenging, but it’s what makes it so exciting. Looking ahead at a long career, I know it will be filled with continuous learning and self-improvement.

My family medicine mentor is:: all of my family medicine teachers thus far!

The one thing that surprised me about being a family physician is: the diversity in family practice. One practice can look so different from the next!

If I wasn’t a family physician, I’d be: possibly an occupational therapist! I think problem solving to improve patients’ quality of life is great work.

Captain Stephanie Smith, University of Calgary

Stephanie Smith is in her final year at the Cumming School of Medicine. Prior to medical school, she was a Critical Care Nursing Officer in the Canadian Armed Forces for 12 years. During that time, she completed two deployments in Afghanistan and a deployment with the Disaster Assistance Response Team to the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan.

Stephanie was VP External Affairs on the Calgary Medical Student Association, and the student representative on the AMA and the CPSA boards. She is the President of the Canadian Federation of Medical Students and is passionate about promoting physician health and wellness, which lead to her development of the Simulated Training for Resilience in Various Environments (STRIVE) course.

Quick Facts

The one thing I Love about family medicine is: I love that I have the opportunity to connect with my patients on all aspects of their care, including healthy lifestyle choices and health promotion strategies. The ability to work with patients in a variety of clinical areas within a rural community is something I am most passionate about. I look forward to my career as a FM physician in the Canadian Armed Forces.

My family medicine mentors are: Dr. Michelle Warren and Dr. Rob Warren

Family Medicine Resident Leadership Award

Dr. Chris Koo, University of Alberta

I was born and raised in Vancouver, but to most people’s surprise I now call Edmonton my home. I enjoyed serving fellow residents on the Family Medicine Residents’ Association (FMRA) and the Provincial Association of Resident Physicians of Alberta (PARA), with a special focus on physician health & wellness… and also tended to do whatever else needed to be done. I hope to continue mentorship of medical trainees. When I’m not working, you will find me cooking up a storm, playing the piano, hiking a mountain, working on my photography skills, or wiping out the competition in a board game.

Quick Facts

The one thing I love about family medicine is: that learning about people beyond their medical problems is part of my job. Medicine is inherently interesting, but it is so much richer when you put it in the context of someone’s life.

Family Medicine Mentor: too many to mention! Dr. Neil R. Bell (my residency faculty advisor) deserves special mention, and I will give a special shout-out to Drs. Janet Craig and Wendy Dawson (community preceptors).

The one thing that surprised me about being a family physician is: The sheer scope and flexibility inherent in my career. I can pick and choose among clinic work, hospitalist work, obstetrics, surgical assist, emergency medicine, addictions medicine… It’s all in the scope of family medicine!

If I wasn’t a family physician, I’d be: a pâtissier. Although, who says I can’t eventually find a way to be both…?

Family Medicine Resident Leadership Award

Dr. Molly Whalen-Browne, University of Calgary

Dr. Molly Whalen-Browne is passionate about refugee and women’s health, as well as medical education. She is a recent graduate of the University of Calgary Family Medicine program and has completed Enhanced Skills training in Women’s Health at the University of British Columbia as well as a MSc in Global Health at McMaster University. She is currently completing a Professional Diploma in Tropical Medicine & Hygiene in the United Kingdom. Molly is a member of the CFPC Besrour Centre, where she works to help advance primary care around the world. Outside medicine, Molly enjoys hiking, yoga, cooking and travel.

Quick Facts

The one thing I love about family medicine is: the flexibility and scope of practice. I love that family doctors are able to reinvent themselves, in order to adapt to the needs of their community.

Family Medicine Mentor: my mom, Dr. Karen Whalen-Browne, is the hardworking, dedicated and caring family physician that I aspire to be. I have also been fortunate to have many incredible preceptors, most notably Dr. Chris Gorrie.

The one thing that surprised me about being a family physician is: the resiliency of patients. I am fortunate to have learned so much from the people I have met in this role.

If I wasn’t a family physician, I’d be: a global health researcher or an environmentalist.

Outstanding New Professional Award

Dr. Lindsay Jantzie, Calgary

Dr. Jantzie is a family physician in Calgary. She completed medical school at the University of Alberta and moved to Calgary for her residency training. Her practice includes comprehensive family medicine at Circle Medical in Southeast Calgary, obstetrical care and deliveries out of the Foothill Hospital, and medical education as a division director with the Calgary Family Medicine Residency Program. Lately she is brainstorming on her next travel get away and planning her wedding in May 20129 to her fiancé, Anthony.

Quick Facts

The one thing I love about family medicine is: the privilege of being a part of so many patients’ lives; and the ability to recreate myself in my career by developing new skills and passions over time.

Family Medicine Mentor: my mother, Dr. Judy-Diane Cooney.

The one thing that surprised me about being a family physician is: I had no idea I would want to work in so many different areas of medicine; despite choosing this career for its flexibility, I continue to search for ways to make all my work passions fit, and collaborating with all the amazing colleagues I am inspired by.

If I wasn’t a family physician, I’d be: a science teacher.

Outstanding New Professional Award

Dr. Dinesh Witharana, Spruce Grove

Dinesh Witharana is a family physician in the west Edmonton area who primarily focuses on community primary care of palliative patients. He often brings residents with him to his hospice rounds and home visits. He also enjoys participating on The Provincial Palliative Tumor Group as an Executive Member, the AMA Section of Palliative Care Fee Committee, The ACFP’s First Five Years In Practice Committee, and the Core Committee for the Cancer Strategic Clinical Network. He lives in Spruce Grove with two amazing children, Nala and Kaius, and his extraordinary wife, Wing

Quick Facts

The one thing I love about family medicine is: travelling with my patients and families on their life journeys. Family physicians are tasked with being an advocate for their patients to have a better quality of life. It can be a daunting responsibility but is an incredible honour at the same time.

Family Medicine Mentor: Dr. Brenda Ireland. As a resident, she fostered my passion in palliative medicine. When I graduated, she gave me the opportunity to practice palliative medicine despite my lack of credentials. Family physicians without credentials or publications face immense barriers from progression in their career. Her grace and dedication to improve the lives of others regardless of these barriers continues to inspire me.

The one thing that surprised me about being a family physician is: how isolating it can be. Despite being surrounded by support staff and other health care professionals every day, the ultimate burden of helping your patients falls onto your shoulders. But when you carry that burden and succeed, it is the most prestigious reward any career can offer.

If I wasn’t a family physician, I’d be: a firefighter. They are willing to risk their lives everyday, and there isn’t a paycheque that can compensate them for taking that risk. But you take that risk as a team, and I would love to experience that sacred bond with your crew.

Recognition of Excellence Award

Dr. Flora Aladi, Calgary

Dr. Aladi obtained her medical education from the University of Calabar in Nigeria. She immigrated to Canada in 2003 to join her husband. She received her Family Medicine training from the University of Calgary and have been practising for seven years. She has published 10 papers in the areas of health disparities and fuzzy logic (Organizational Informatics). She is currently the Medical Director of Health Watch Medical Clinic. She is also an American board-certified Independent Medical Examiner. She has a special interest in women, maternal and child health, anti-aging, and obesity. During her free time, she likes to travel, watch movies, and shop.

Quick Facts

The one thing I love about family medicine isthat it’s dynamic and versatile.

Family Medicine MentorDr. M Abolarin

The one thing that surprised me about being a family physician isthe ability to do what I love doing while having a balanced life.

If I wasn’t a family physician, I’d be an obstetrician/gynecologist.

Dr. Sheryl Clain, Calgary

Dr. Clain is graceful to work with some of the most resilient people in Calgary, the patients of the CUPS Health Centre and the Alex Mobile Youth Health Bus. Both organizations aim to reduce the barriers that many people face when accessing health care and work to incorporate the principles of acceptance and support which are paramount to optimal health. After almost 20 years of a diverse practice, Dr. Clain has learned much from her patients and colleagues and hopes to see greater awareness and understanding of vulnerable populations both in Calgary and globally, so that society can effectively address the inequality in the basic determinants of health.

Quick Facts

The one thing I love about family medicine isfocusing on the whole person to help them achieve their goals.

Family Medicine Mentor: All my colleagues at the CUPS Health Centre and the Alex Youth Centre; Dr. Gordon Dickie at the University of Western Ontario.

The one thing that surprised me about being a family physician ishow motivating an effective therapeutic alliance can be.

If I wasn’t a family physician, I’d be: I would likely be marginally employed on a tropical beach.

Dr. Teresa Killam, Calgary

Dr. Teresa Killam is a family physician with the Calgary Foothills Primary Care Network.  She practises Low Risk Obstetrics at the Riley Park Maternity Clinic and the Foothills Medical Centre. She holds a Master’s Degree in Adult Education and teaches communication skills to medical trainees with the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Calgary. She completed residency training at Women’s College Hospital in Toronto. She has advocated for trauma informed practice in primary care settings and the implementation of ACE score history-taking into prenatal care in Calgary.  Above all, she is a busy mom trying to keep up with my three active kids!

Quick Facts

The one thing I love about family medicine is: the privilege of knowing my patients.

Family Medicine MentorDr. Elywn Brown and Dr. Karen Zwiers.

The one thing that surprised me about being a family physician is: that being at a birth with a family is an unbelievable miracle, even after 15 years of attending deliveries.

If I wasn’t a family physician, I’d bea teacher.

Dr. Katrina Nicholson, Cochrane

Dr. Ted Vant, Calgary


Family Physician of the Year

Dr. Mike Allan, Edmonton

Dr G. Michael Allan (Mike) is the Director of Program and Practice Support in the College of Family Physicians of Canada and Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at University of Alberta. He has been in practice 20 years, given over 300 invited presentations and published over 100 articles. He contributes to a regular evidence-based update (called Tools for Practice) distributed to over 32,000 clinicians and published in the journal “Canadian Family Physician.” He also co-presents a weekly medical podcast (on i-tunes) called Best Science Medicine podcast.

Quick Facts

The one thing I love about family medicine is: large Variety of complex different medical and health issues we see.

Family Medicine Mentor: Dr. Stan Lubin.

The one thing that surprised me about being a family physician is: getting to know the life stories of our patients

If I wasn’t a family physician, I’d be: an ecologist.

Patient’s Medical Home – Outstanding Family Practice Award

Dr. Margaret Churcher’s Clinic, Calgary

Scopa Neighbourhood Italian, Calgary, AB

Wild Rose Medical Centre, Olds

The Wild Rose Medical Centre began in 1994 with 3 MDs.  We have now 18 physicians having moved location to expand and accommodate needed physicians for the community. We provide services throughout the community as well as at or principle clinic. , We hold clinics at the seniors care facilities and  our local College.  We have been part of the Peak to Praries PCN since its inception and provide a dedicated perinatal care clinic with their supports in addition to in-clinic Chronic Disease Management counselling.

ACFP Champion Award

ACFP Opioid Response Task Force

The ACFP Champion award recognizes leadership and volunteerism on behalf of the ACFP within the past five years, and is independently reviewed and supported by the Award and Recognition Committee.

The work of the Task Force has been, and continues to be, very effective in finding, developing, and implementing solutions to resolve the current opioid crisis; which, if done right, will ultimately lead to a new era where complex patients will receive the full comprehensive care they require and deserve and in time, and if implemented well, new resources and team-based care will become more preventative than reactive. This kind of dramatic change can only come from dedicated, selfless people like the members of the ACFP Task Force. They are comprised of compassionate and understanding individuals. In the humblest way, the people, the process, and product should all be commended as examples of how to take a complex issue and think about it beyond just health care and into the community in which we serve.” Dr. Brad Bahler, Family Physician Sylvan Lake

ACFP Opioid Crisis Response Task Force was struck in late December 2016 and it has been active ever since. Eleven family physicians have stepped up to work closely with our partners and to gather information on related CPD opportunities, supports, and new initiatives to better equip our members and colleagues in primary care.

ACFP Opioid Response Task Force Members

  • Dr. Justin Balko, Edmonton
  • Dr. Srini Chary, Calgary
  • Dr. Ted Findlay, Calgary
  • Dr. Christine Kennedy, Fort McMurray
  • Dr. Tina Korownyk, Edmonton
  • Dr. Bonnie Larson, Calgary
  • Dr. Jazmin Marlinga, Calgary
  • Dr. Tally Mogus, Edmonton
  • Dr. Jovita Ojadi, Red Deer
  • Dr. Jennifer Walker, Edmonton
  • Dr. Monica Wickland-Weller, Edmonton
  • Ms. Terri Potter, ACFP Executive Director