Doctors Manitoba unveiled its 2022 award recipients, a group of extraordinary physicians focused on improving medical care and health outcomes for Manitobans. 

The physicians we are recognizing this year with our awards have one thing in common — their devotion to improving the health of Manitobans,” said Dr. Kristjan Thompson, President of Doctors Manitoba. Some of these extraordinary physicians played a key role in leading our province through the pandemic, and some found a way to advance other essential medical priorities despite the disruptions caused by COVID-19.”

The Doctors Manitoba awards are the highest honour bestowed upon physicians in the province. Award recipients are nominated by their physician peers and selected after a thorough evaluation by the Awards Committee.

We are proud of the exceptional group of physicians being honoured this year,” said Dr. Michael Boroditsky, Chair of the Doctors Manitoba Awards Committee. Through this difficult pandemic, it has been physicians like these that inspire excellence in the medical profession. We are truly fortunate to have them here in Manitoba.”

This year’s honourees include the following group of courageous and committed physicians:

Humanitarian Award

Dr. Joss Reimer has become the most trusted and reliable source of COVID vaccine information through her calm, honest and reassuring updates to Manitobans. She has continuously reviewed emerging evidence and sought collaborative advice to ensure vaccines were given first to those most-at-risk, while also leading to an impressive level of vaccine uptake across the province. Her selfless leadership to inform and protect Manitobans during the pandemic is the very definition of medical humanitarianism.

Physician of the Year

Dr. Marcia Anderson played a key role in Manitoba’s pandemic response. By leveraging data showing the disproportionate impact COVID-19 was having on diverse Black, Indigenous or Racialized communities, she was able to influence provincial policy to approve earlier access to vaccinations and targeted outreach initiatives to encourage vaccine uptake. These efforts led to a major public health success story, by reducing the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on diverse BIPOC communities in the subsequent wave of the pandemic. 

Distinguished Service Award

Dr. Brian Postl has a distinguished medical career as a pediatrician, researcher and health system leader. As the first CEO of the WRHA, a founding member of the Winnipeg Poverty Reduction Council and most recently Dean of the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, his clinical experience in Winnipeg and in Northern remote communities has guided his efforts to champion health equity. His work has led to many improvements, such as new admissions criteria for medical school to ensure future physicians more accurately reflect the Manitoban population they will serve. 

Resident of the Year

Dr. Dorothy Yu is a natural leader who exceeds expectations through her community service, patient advocacy, academic achievement, or her clinical work as the Chief Resident of Psychiatry. She led initiatives to reduce wait times for psychiatric consultation, collaborated on national research projects and helped to increase her Department’s success in attracting talented medical students from across Canada. Through the pandemic, she has made the support and health of her resident colleagues a focus for her term. 

Medals of Excellence

Dr. Benson Yip is a trailblazer in the colorectal surgery community, as a surgeon, leader and educator. He founded the University of Manitoba’s first clinical colorectal fellowship program, which has garnered national recognition. He is as well known for his eagerness to support medical learners as he is for his deep level of personal engagement with his patients. Through his many contributions, Dr. Yip has made an incredible mark in Manitoba’s surgical community.

Dr. Barry Lavallee has been driven through his distinguished medical career by Indigenous patients and their stories. As a clinician, educator, researcher, administrator, advocate and mentor, his work has centred around the self determination of Indigenous communities. This drive is behind his most recent work with Keewatinohk Inniniw Minoayawin, an initiative to transform health and wellness services so that they are reflective of the needs and priorities of First Nations people in Manitoba’s north.

Dr. Trina Mathison has dedicated her career to serving patients in Western Manitoba. As a rural physician, she has a broad scope of practice including cancer care, inpatient care, emergency medicine and surgical assistance, as well as offering care for the elderly and palliative care. She is often described as a team player by colleagues in Dauphin and she is well-loved by her patients.

Dr. Jai Shankars innovative work has transformed neurovascular care in the few years he has been in Manitoba, most notably driving significant improvements in acute stroke care. As an interventional radiologist, his work has optimized diagnostic imaging for stroke patients while introducing new neuro-interventional devices to improve patient care. He has played a key role in creating the province’s first dedicated stroke unit, set to open later this year. 

Additional information about the award recipients is available here. A gala awards celebration to honour the winners will be held later this spring.