2019 Doctors Manitoba Awards

Physician of the Year

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

Dr. Joanna Lynch

There is a new generation of physicians from the University of Manitoba entering practice in underserved areas and Dr. Joanna Lynch deserves much of the credit for this change. With the support of the university and the WRHA, Dr. Lynch established an inner-city home clinic, built a network of partners in northern communities, and laid the administrative and educational foundations for the Northern Remote Stream of the Department of Family Medicine. This program has been sending a dozen or more physicians into northern practice every year since 2010 and many of them are choosing to continue their practice there. Dr. Lynch continuously enhances her skills to match the needs of her patient population. For many years she practiced inpatient and obstetrical care. Recently in response to the opioid epidemic she added addiction medicine to the list of services she provides to her vulnerable inner- city population.

Dr. Lynch has been Medical Director of the Northern Connection Medical Centre since 2010 and has been an Assistant Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Manitoba since 2006. Since 2008, Dr. Lynch has also been the Assistant Program Director of the Northern Remote Family Medicine Program at the University of Manitoba. She has won awards for her teaching at the undergraduate and postgraduate level. In 2015 she was awarded the PARIM Off-Site educator of the year.

Dr. Lynch finished her Family Medicine training at the University of Manitoba in 1994. Since 1994, she has provided care in a variety of setting including community health centres, private practice and academic teaching clinics. Over the years, her practice has included a full scope of family medicine including intra-partum obstetric care, emergency care, hospital medicine, personal care home attendance and end-of-life care. Dr. Lynch has a special
interest in the areas of addiction medicine, refugee health, women’s health, teen health and dermatology as well as in working with First Nations, Inuit and Metis populations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Distinguished Service Award

Given in 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. Wes Palatnick

Many regard Dr. Palatnick as one of the ‘founding fathers’ of emergency medicine in Manitoba—a title well deserved. He was one of the first certified Emergency Medicine specialist in Manitoba, qualifying in 1985, and was instrumental in the development of the specialty in Manitoba. He was the head of the Section of Emergency Medicine at the University of Manitoba and the Medical Director of the WRHA Emergency Program for 10 years. He was also the Director of the HSC Department of Emergency Medicine for over 15 years. One of the longest serving Royal College Program Directors in Canada, Dr. Palatnick has helped shape the hearts and minds of countless physicians practicing today. Spanning a medical career of 38 years, his commitment to academic growth, excellence, mentorship, and leadership has played a key role in the successes of a myriad of graduates at both the undergraduate
and postgraduate level. This commitment includes being the emergency medicine residency program director for 16 years. Dr. Palatnick brings the knowledge and experience of a consummate professional who has spent his entire career putting the interests of his patients at the forefront and it is this same commitment that has driven his achievements and inspired generations of his students to do the same.

Dr. Palatnick is internationally recognized for his work in the field of toxicology. He has contributed numerous articles, book chapters, lectures, and significant publications that have changed the way we all practice today. Aside from his innumerable clinical obligations in the ER and his consuming academic/administrative responsibilities, Dr. Palatnick also serves as one of two clinical toxicologists providing on- call consultations for the entire province of Manitoba. So many patients have benefitted from his remarkable clinical expertise, compassionate care, and tireless efforts.

Dr. Palatnick’s long-standing and continued contributions in the Emergency medicine community includes his work with the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians (CAEP). His work includes being on numerous committees and the Board of Directors (2000 – 2009) and therefore has had a substantial impact on CAEP and emergency medicine at the local, national and international level. Dr. Palatnick was awarded the CAEP President’s Award in 2017 in recognition of his service to the medical community.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr. Jack Armstrong Humanitarian Award

For outstanding contributions by a member or former member of Doctors Manitoba in the service of humanity either within Canada or abroad.

Dr. Gerard McCarthy (posthumously)

Dr. McCarthy was born in the small village of Portaferry, County Down in Northern Ireland. He went to Queen’s University, Belfast initially as a Sciences student but at the urging of his sister Pauline transferred to Medicine. In medicine he found a true passion and purpose. He graduated from the School of Medicine in 1964. He worked as a houseman and Registrar at the Mater Hospital in Belfast and found his gift in Obstetrics. He completed his exams in Obstetrics in 1969. At one of the many Nurse and Registrar dances during this time, he met the true love of his life, Marie Gavin, who was also a nurse at the Mater Hospital.

In 1970, he worked in Ballymena, County Antrim where his two daughters, Rachel and Fiona, were born. Due to a lack of jobs for obstetricians he then emigrated from Northern Ireland to Canada. Dr. McCarthy and his family moved to Winnipeg, Manitoba and after a few months of internship completed his Canadian Medical exams and went into practice at the Mall Medical Clinic. His son, Brendan was born in 1974 in Winnipeg. His Obstetrical career was committed to ensuring the best possible care for all of his patients. He was deeply committed to the care of the Northern Medical Communities which he visited for his entire career. He would take helicopters, boats, skidoo’s and hovercrafts to see his patients at the nursing stations. He felt a kinship with these communities from his experiences in Northern Ireland and understood the many obstacles his patients had in their lives. He treated his patients like family and had an uncanny ability to remember the names and children of all the generations of patients he delivered. He provided his patients with his personal cellphone number and he would answer their questions at any time of the night. He was more than a doctor to many of his patients – he provided a safe place and was a friend, consoler and social worker.

Dr. McCarthy had a sixth sense when it came to childbirth and was famously known for his skills with the Kielland forceps. The number of woman and children he ensured were safely delivered is a testament to his skills and his stamina. He could be anywhere and have a woman come to him with their now older child, still thanking him for what he had done years earlier. Dr. McCarthy’s legacy in obstetrics in Manitoba will be ensured by not only the patients he took care of but by all the obstetricians he taught and mentored over the 47 years he worked.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Resident of the Year

For excellence in academic and clinical training and noteworthy contributions to the resident’s home program/specialty or residency program.

Dr. Terry Colbourne

Dr. Terry Colbourne always has a fresh and unique viewpoint on multiple different issues regarding resident training and practice. Nationally, he is a leader in advocating for resident privacy and resident input into the accreditation process. He has played an integral role in the development of national principles regarding resident data collection, accreditation and competency based medical education (CBME). These principles serve as the voice for Canadian residents and are used by various policy makers. He has represented the interest of Canadian residents at many tables including sitting on the CaRMS Board and several Royal College Committees. He has also participated in multiple accreditation site visits as a resident surveyor, most recently at the Dalhousie University accreditation in November 2018.

Dr. Colbourne has been actively involved with the Resident Doctors of Canada Board (RDoC) throughout his entire residency. He served a term as Vice President for the organization, on the Board of Directors and as a member and co-chair of their Training Committee for multiple years. He is currently serving as the Training Committee co-chair.

Dr. Terry Colbourne is a final year resident in Respiratory Medicine at the University of Manitoba, having completed his core internal medicine training at the same institution. In addition to his work provincially and nationally, Dr. Colbourne is an excellent respirology fellow. He was selected and served as chief resident for both the internal medicine and respirology programs in his senior years, and has always been regarded as one of the hardest working residents.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Health or Safety Promotion Award

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

Dr. Kenneth Kasper

Dr. Ken Kasper’s efforts to streamline, standardize and improve access to quality HIV care in both the tertiary and primary care setting led to the establishment of the Manitoba HIV Program in 2007 and he has been the HIV Program Director ever since. The Manitoba HIV Program is a true partnership between primary and specialized care and established a centralized referral system to link patients to care quickly and has set standards and quality monitoring processes to ensure people living with HIV in Manitoba are receiving quality HIV care. Dr. Kasper has supported primary care providers at the HIV Program Community Site, Nine Circles, and he has worked to build partnerships with collaborating primary care providers throughout the Province.

Dr. Kasper travels to Churchill regularly to provide care in collaboration with local primary care practitioners. He has made countless trips to Brandon, Swan River and other communities in need to provide direct patient care and education which continues to build capacity and help patients receive care in their own communities. Dr. Kasper’s efforts have led to the establishment of a satellite site of the Manitoba HIV program in Brandon in 2016 and continues to create strong primary care partnerships throughout Manitoba. Since 2011, Dr. Kasper was also the Inaugural ID specialist to develop a relationship with Manitoba’s Stony Mountain federal penitentiary where he spends time now in a developed clinic on site, treating HIV and other Infectious diseases twice per month.

In addition to providing direct clinical care, he has been a strong advocate for patients living with HIV and has been a consultant to the primary care practitioners who provide HIV care in the community at Nine Circles Community Health Centre.

Dr. Kasper is an assistant professor in the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Manitoba and an infectious disease specialist working at Winnipeg’s Health Sciences Center hospital and Nine Circles Community Clinic. He is also the director of the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority HIV Program and the Manitoba HIV Program. His research interests include both medical education with a focus on HIV and an HIV Industry based research program where Manitobans get the opportunity to try the latest HIV medications in phase 3 trials. Dr. Kasper has been a member of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Manitoba since 1999. He maintains a busy clinical practice in Internal medicine/ID with his focused HIV care in both the inpatient/ outpatient department at Health Sciences Centre.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr. Laurie Ireland

Dr. Laurie Ireland has been one of the driving forces behind the development of the Manitoba HIV Program. Her work in this capacity has led her to seek out innovative solutions to improve access to care and resources for Manitobans living with HIV in northern, rural and remote communities across the province. She has been on the forefront of introducing and championing the eConsult service to Manitoban physicians, along with Dr. Alex Singer, Dr. Luis Oppenheimer, collaborating patient partners and other stakeholders. This eConsult service is expected to help improve and provide more equitable access to specialist expertise and care throughout the Province.

Nine Circles is the primary care site of the MB HIV Program and Dr. Ireland is now the primary care lead for the MB HIV Program, the Medical Director at Nine Circles Community Health Centre (where she has worked for over 11 years) and is currently co-lead for the eConsult Manitoba implementation initiative.

In addition to these efforts, Dr. Ireland has been instrumental in establishing Nine Circles Community Health Centre as a partner in training Family Medicine Residents in the University of Manitoba’s Northern Remote Program. As a result, a rotation at Nine Circles has been integrated into the Northern Remote Program for first year residents, ensuring they have exposure and experience in the management of the complex care of patients with HIV, Hepatitis C, syphilis and other sexually transmitted infections, as well as exposure to the management of substance use disorders within a primary care context.

Dr. Ireland is a family physician who graduated from the University of Manitoba medical school in 2005. She then completed her family practice residency in the St. Paul’s program at the University of British Columbia in 2007. Prior to returning to Winnipeg, she completed an enhanced skills program with a preceptorship in HIV primary care at the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Health Administration Award

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

Dr. Don Klassen

Dr. Klassen has been a dedicated family physician at the C W Wiebe Medical Centre in Winkler and at Boundary Trails Health Centre for many years. His work at the hospital includes having privileges in family medicine, anesthesia, and emergency medicine. As the medical director for Manitoba’s Office of Rural and Northern Health since its inception in 2002, Dr. Klassen has been an active rural/northern representative on a variety of provincial and university committees dealing with rural/ northern recruitment and practice issues. Through this involvement he was able to provide a consistent perspective on rural and northern recruitment and practice issues and advocate for meaningful change. This has included significant changes to the College of Medicine’s admissions policies to increase rural/northern student admissions and to its curriculum to increase exposures to rural/northern practice.

In addition to his work in the above clinical areas, he has been an Associate Professor at the University of Manitoba, Department of Family Medicine since 2003. In 2007 Dr. Klassen was part of a committee at the University of Manitoba that developed the Northern/ Remote Family Medicine Residency stream as an expansion of the College of Medicine’s distributed education initiative. In 2011, Dr. Klassen was appointed Associate Head (Distributed Medical Education), Department of Family Medicine. He played a significant role in the development of family medicine training sites (FMEDECs) in Brandon, Steinbach, Winkler/Morden, Portage, and Selkirk; currently two thirds of all UofM FM residents do the majority of their residency training ‘beyond the perimeter’.

Dr. Klassen has received a number of awards and honours for his medical work including being selected Family Physician of the Year by the Manitoba College of Family Physicians, and in 2015, he was awarded the Rural Long Service Award by the Society of Rural Physicians of Canada.

Dr. Klassen completed a Bachelor of Science in 1970 and a Teaching Certificate in 1972 at the University of Manitoba and subsequently completed his medical degree in 1976, followed by training in family medicine and FP/anesthesia.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scholastic Award

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

Dr. Debra Wirtzfeld

Dr. Wirtzfeld’s main areas of research interest include hereditary cancer syndromes (gastric and colorectal), standardization of treatment at a national level and lifestyle issues in surgery. Other areas of research interest include molecular therapeutics in colorectal cancer, colorectal cancer tissue banking, and quality of life in patients undergoing treatment for rectal cancer.

Her main area of focus is on leadership development and training of medical trainees. She is looking to develop programming that instructs students on recognizing their interaction styles, especially in conflict, and how to appreciate views of other team members, as well as how initiatives can be achieved through goal setting and strategic planning.

She joined the Department of Surgery at the University of Manitoba in July 2008. From 2008-2014, Dr. Wirtzfeld was Provincial Lead for Surgical Oncology. She was the Regional Lead for General Surgery with University of Manitoba and Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA) from 2014 to 2018.

Dr. Wirtzfeld completed her postgraduate training in General Surgery at the University of Calgary in 1998. She continued her surgical training in the Surgical Oncology Fellowship with Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, New York from 1998-2000. In 2009, she completed her MSc. in Clinical Epidemiology with Memorial University of Newfoundland. Other training included completion of the Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) Program for Women in 2010 and Level I Certification in University and College Administration. Most recently, she completed a certificate in Certified Executive Coaching from Royal Roads University. Dr. Wirtzfeld will complete her MBA with a specialization in management consulting in 2019.

 

 

 

 

 

 

To view the CMA Honorary Membership recipients click here.