2015 Doctors Manitoba Awards

Dr. Estelle Simons

Dr. Estelle Simons

Dr. Estelle Simons was born and raised in Vancouver, BC. She is a professor in the Department of Pediatrics and Child Health and the Department of Immunology at the University of Manitoba.

She obtained her BSc and MD (Honors) from the University of Manitoba. She trained in Pediatrics and in Allergy/Immunology at the University of Washington. She is a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Canada, a Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatrics, and a Diplomate of the American Board of Allergy and Immunology.

As a Clinician Scientist at the University of Manitoba, she founded the Section of Allergy and Clinical Immunology in the Department of Pediatrics in 1975 and served as Section Head from 1975-2005. She directed the Royal College Training Program in the then-new specialty of Clinical Immunology from 1976-1991 and has subsequently played a role in mentoring many Fellows who are now leaders in this specialty throughout Canada.

Dr. Simons served as President of the Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (CSACI) (1982-1984), Chief Examiner in Clinical Immunology for the Royal College (1984-1987), and Chair of the Royal College Clinical Immunology Specialty Committee (1988-1994). She also served as Chair of the Allergy Section of the Canadian Pediatric Society (1989-1991) and as Founder and President of the Manitoba Allergy Society (1985-1988).

She was elected as the President of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) in 2005-2006. She served as a member of the Board of Directors of the World Allergy Organization (WAO) from 2000-2007 and co-chaired the World Allergy Congress in Vancouver in 2003.

Four decades ago, Dr. Simons pioneered innovative approaches to the investigation of medications given for allergic diseases such as asthma, allergic rhinitis, urticaria, and anaphylaxis. With her colleagues, she published some of the first pediatric studies of medications now widely used in these diseases, moving treatment from an empirical basis to a scientific basis and helping to mitigate the impact of the allergy epidemic. In addition, with her colleagues, she has contributed to improved understanding of immunologic mechanisms in allergic diseases; as an example, they were the first to publish on Skeeter Syndrome (large local reactions to mosquito bites) and on anaphylaxis to mosquito bites.

She has authored or co-authored more than 560 peer-reviewed original publications and edited or co-edited 8 textbooks, including Middleton’s Allergy: Principles and Practice, the leading allergy reference textbook worldwide. Since 1994, she has been The Medical Letter’s contributing editor for allergic diseases. Since 2006, she has been involved as an author/editor of the Anaphylaxis section of UpToDate.

Dr. Simons has been honored with many national and international awards. These include the MRC Queen Elizabeth II Scientist Award (1975-1981), the Rh Award from the University of Manitoba (1988), the CSACI Research Award (1991), the Manitoba Medical Association Scholastic Award (1999), the Canadian Medical Association Medal of Service (1999), the Anaphylaxis Canada Achievement Award (2003), the Commemorative Medal for the Queen’s Golden Jubilee (2003), the WAO Scientific Achievement Award (2007), the AAAAI Distinguished Service Award (2009), the AAAAI Distinguished Clinician Award (2012), and the WAO Distinguished Service Award (2013). She was elected a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences in 2013.


Distinguished Service Award

For recognition of services rendered to patients and the community which have enhanced the image of the physician through devotion to the highest ideals of the medical profession and in the promotion of the art and science of medicine through teaching, writing and administration.



Dr. Jitender Sareen

Dr. Jitender Sareen

Dr. Sareen is a Professor of Psychiatry in the Departments of Psychiatry, Psychology and Community Health Sciences at the University of Manitoba. Dr. Sareen is widely recognized as one of the most gifted researchers and educators in psychiatry in Canada. His contributions to the field are immense and his prolific record to date is a strong indication that he is becoming a world leader in psychiatric epidemiology.

Dr. Sareen is the Assistant Head for the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority Adult Mental Health Program. He also serves as Director of Research and Anxiety Services in the Department of Psychiatry. He chairs the Research Committee and is a board member for the Canadian Psychiatric Association.

Dr. Sareen has been supported by numerous national and local peer-reviewed grants in the areas of military mental health, indigenous suicide, and homelessness. Although his research interests are quite diverse, he is leading a large partnership grant with First Nations communities in Northwestern Manitoba to improve the understanding of suicide and suicide prevention measures (Swampy Cree Suicide Prevention Team). Dr. Sareen is also the Winnipeg Site Co-Principal Investigator for the Mental Health Commission of Canada’s Research Demonstration Project in Homelessness and Mental Health (At Home / Chez Soi Study).

Dr. Sareen has published over 240 peer-reviewed publications in the areas of traumatic stress, anxiety disorders, aboriginal suicide, psychiatric neuroimaging, and military mental health. Many of these publications have been in high impact journals including: JAMA, JAMA Psychiatry, and Psychological Medicine.

Dr. Sareen has received several awards for excellence in clinical research (Canadian Psychiatric Association, Canadian Institutes of Military and Veterans Health Research Forum and the Academy of Cognitive Therapy) and teaching (University of Manitoba).


Scholastic Award

For Scholarly activity in the health professions (examples of scholarly activity are research, teaching and writing)




Dr. Bill Pope

Dr. William Pope

Winnipeg-born, Dr. William (Bill) Pope completed his medical school and anesthesiology training at the University of Manitoba and the Clinical Research Centre in Harrow, U.K. He has been section head of Adult Anesthesia at the HSC, program director in Anesthesiology and undergraduate associate dean at the University of Manitoba, as well as chief oral examiner in Anesthesia for the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

Dr. Pope took a law degree in “late youth” and was executive vice-president, Medical Services for St. Joseph’s Hospital in Hamilton, Ont., returning to Winnipeg to be Assistant Registrar (Complaints) at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba.

In 1999, Dr. Pope was appointed the CEO and Registrar of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba. Dr. Pope has been a visionary in his role of Registrar and has guided the organization through governance model changes, the introduction of the International Medical Graduate (IMG) programs, the institution of the Physician Assistant Education Program (PAEP) and was instrumental in the introduction of the Manitoba Physician Achievement Review program (MPAR) and the Manitoba Practice Assessment Program (MPAP).

Dr. Pope was President of the Federation of Medical Regulatory Authorities of Canada (FMRAC) in 2005-06 and had to deal with such issues as internet prescribing and emergency preparedness. In the past, Dr. Pope has been a member of the Credentials and Accreditation committees of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, as well as a member of the Written Examination Committee and Chief Oral Examiner for Anesthesia.

Dr. Pope has also participated on a number of committees that have dealt with health care administrative issues including:

  1. Manitoba Committee to Recommend Regulation for RNEP (Extended Practice Nursing) to the Minister of Health and College of Registered Nurses
  2. Advisory Committee for Physician Assistant School
  3. Faculty Executive Council, Medicine, University of Manitoba

Dr. Pope is very involved in community, social and artistic organizations including past service on the boards of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Manitoba Opera, the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, Manitoba MusicBarock, Opera Hamilton, and the United Way of both Greater Winnipeg and Hamilton-Wentworth. He presently sits on the boards of St. John’s College [U of Manitoba], PLAN Canada [formerly Foster Parents Plan], and the Council of the Royal College of Physicians & Surgeons of Canada where he is also a member of the CEO review committee, the Governance Committee and is the Vice-Chair of the board of Royal College Canada International. For the last six years, he has been a member of the selection committees for the Rhodes Scholarship winners for Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta; the Future Leaders of Manitoba, and the winner of the Winnipeg Walk of Fame.

Health Administration Award

For contribution to policy and/or in administration of health care.





Dr. John Embil

Dr. John Embil

Dr. Embil is a Full Professor in Internal Medicine, Section of Infectious Diseases and Medical Microbiology at the University of Manitoba as well as the Medical Director of the Health Sciences Centre and Winnipeg Regional Health Authority Infection Prevention and Control Programs.

Dr. Embil’s commitment to infection prevention and control is remarkable. His daily efforts in infection prevention and control strive to ensure both patient and staff safety. In addition, Dr. Embil is an accomplished clinical investigator whose research activity includes illnesses that are relevant to Manitoba and individuals from northwestern Ontario, specifically, diabetic foot and blastomycosis. He has produced close to 175 peer reviewed publications, and delivered close to 400 invited publications.

Dr. Embil has also been a local pioneer in promoting and education concepts of infection prevention and control. He is chair of the Bug Day Committee. Bug Day is a daylong academic program focusing on the areas of infection prevention and control, drawing between 1,500-2,000 participants either onsite or in remote and rural locations that are reached by Telehealth.

In his promotion of infection control, Dr. Embil has created a superhero character named “Soapy”. Through his character, Dr. Embil has produced a number of Soapy related materials to promote safety through infection prevention and control. This includes annual calendars that are distributed province-wide and serve as a yearlong reminder of the importance of infection prevention and control.

Dr. Embil has also created a book entitled “You’ll Like Clean hands:. In this parody of Dr. Seuss’ “Green Eggs and Ham”, Soapy attempts to inspire a non-believer in the virtues of proper hand hygiene. This book has been distributed throughout Manitoba and is currently being used as an educational tool in some schools, daycare centres, and in the Pediatric Infection Prevention Strategy. There were so many requests for the booklet that the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority placed a downloadable version of the booklet on their website.

In addition to these local infection prevention and control activities, Dr. Embil also has also sat on the Public Health Agency of Canada Infection Prevention and Control Guidelines Committee. John also represents Winnipeg on the Canadian Nosocomial Infection Surveillance Program and the Canadian Hospital Epidemiology Committee. Dr. Embil is also a member of the Guidelines Committee for the Canadian Diabetes Association, Infectious Diseases Society of America and International Working Group for the Diabetic Foot. He has served as co-author in the guidelines for each of these committees.

Health or Safety Award

For contribution toward improving or promoting the health or safety of Manitobans or humanity generally




Dr. Johan Du Plooy

Dr. Johan du Plooy

Dr. Johan du Plooy completed his medical training at the University of Pretoria in 1979. After working in a family practice clinic in South Africa from 1980 to 1985, Dr. du Plooy emigrated to Canada. Dr. du Plooy started his Canadian practice in McCreary Manitoba in 1986. This was a rural practice where, in spite of the cultural shock from emigrating from South Africa, he endeared himself to his patients, the hospital staff and his collea gues in neighbouring communities.

Dr. du Plooy moved to Neepawa in 1989 where he became a member of a 3 physician clinic. Finally, in 1995 Dr. du Plooy moved to Brandon to become a partner in a large multi-specialty clinic. In each of these practices, he has shown himself to be an energetic, enthusiastic, knowledgeable and competent physician who embodies all that a Family Physician should be. Both patients and colleagues see him as a caring, devoted and compassionate physician who delivers high quality services to patients.

Dr. du Plooy has been a mentor to countless students and residents. His quiet empathy and sense of humor has served as a model for all interpersonal relationships, regardless of whether they are medical colleagues, patients, nurses, hospital or administrative staff.

A few years ago, Dr. du Plooy began the transition from full time Family Physician to part time family medicine and part time oncology with the Cancer Care outreach in Brandon. He also provided palliative care and pain management consultations.  No matter the time of day or night, Dr. du Plooy always made himself available to patients in need of his services. Since the completion of the Western Manitoba Cancer Centre in Brandon he has completed the transition to full time oncology. Here, Dr. du Plooy exemplifies the compassion and empathy of a physician working in this field.

Dr. du Plooy is married to Suzanne and they have two sons living in Winnipeg and a daughter who is a physician in British Columbia.


Physician of the Year

For significant contribution to the practice of medicine and/or to the community by a member of Doctors Manitoba.