Doctors Manitoba has unveiled its 2021 award recipients, a group of extraordinary specialists and family physicians focused on delivering exceptional care to Manitobans. 

In this pandemic year, we are celebrating doctors who have helped protect us from COVID-19, and others who have continued to care for their patients despite the disruptions and uncertainty the pandemic has caused,” said Dr. Kristjan Thompson, President of Doctors Manitoba. The Doctors Manitoba annual awards celebrate the outstanding contributions of physicians from around our province.” 

The physicians we are recognizing this year are talented individuals and we’re lucky they call Manitoba home,” said Dr. Michael Boroditsky, Chair of the Doctors Manitoba Awards Committee. We are unveiling our award recipients now, during this third wave, to recognize and show our support for these extraordinary physicians. A celebration of their achievements will follow this fall.” 

This year’s honourees include the following group of courageous and committed individuals dedicated to advancing the medical profession and improving care for Manitobans.

Physician of the Year

Dr. Brent Roussin was nominated and selected by his peers, recognizing his truly exceptional contribution to the medical community and to the people of Manitoba over the last year. He has been the most regular, public face of the profession during the pandemic as he leads the fight against COVID-19. All physicians are trained to weigh risks and benefit with patients at an individual level, and Dr. Roussin has had to do this for our province’s whole population for over a year now.

Distinguished Service Award

Dr. Murray Kesselman, a pediatric specialist and associate professor, is recognized for his years of distinguished service and his dedication to the most ill and impoverished children in Manitoba and Nunavut. His overseas medical volunteering has been disrupted by the pandemic, but he has continued virtual sessions with a group of pediatric intensivist trainees in Cambodia. 

Humanitarian Award

Dr. Maryanne Crockett, a pediatric infectious disease specialist, is this year’s Dr. Jack Armstrong Humanitarian Award winner. She is an outstanding clinical and research leader who has nurtured transcontinental healthcare initiatives for children. She has worked on humanitarian responses around the world, including in Albania, Kosovo and Mozambique, and is currently the Director of Research and Knowledge Translation at the Institute for Global Public Health at the University of Manitoba. 

Resident of the Year

Dr. Heather Watson is a strong advocate for resident wellness, but she was singled out as Resident of the Year for her commitment to improving health and access for marginalized women. In fact, she created her own fellowship focused on psychosocial obstetrics and gynecology. She has leveraged her expertise to promote physician well-being during the pandemic while working to develop treatment protocols for COVID-19 in pregnancy. 

Medals of Excellence

Dr. Kerrie Wyant is a family physician who works with vulnerable populations at the Aikins Street Community Health Centre. She brings her expertise in trauma-informed care to her medical practice and she is a champion of team-based care. She has been pulled into the COVID-19 response for vulnerable patients and inner-city residents, including as a lead with the downtown assessment and testing downtown. 

Dr. Chris and Mairi Burnett are pillars in the rural medical community. After meeting in medical school in Scotland they spent time in the Republic of Congo and Albania before settling in rural Manitoba. Today, they are based in Niverville where they have built a holistic medicine practice. 

Dr. Demitre Serletis is an epilepsy/​pediatric neurosurgeon who has spearheaded a proposal for comprehensive pediatric and adult epilepsy services, including the advancement of epilepsy neurosurgical cases and the opening of the first pediatric epilepsy monitoring unit in Manitoba. Dr. Serletis serves as Director of Epilepsy Surgery, and is also a researcher at the Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba. 

The Cadham Laboratory leadership team is recognized for spearheading the COVID-19 specimen processing during the pandemic, developing innovative solutions to worldwide shortages in lab supplies and creative changes to speed up turnaround times. The team includes Dr. Paul van Caeseele, Medical Director, Dr. Jared Bullard, Associate Medical Director, and Dr. Kerry Dust (PhD), a scientist specializing in medical microbiology and infectious diseases. 

Additional information about the award recipients is available online. A gala celebration honouring the winners will be held this fall. 

The Doctors Manitoba awards are the highest honour bestowed upon physicians in the province. An open call for nominations is held every fall and a committee of physicians reviews the nominees and selects the award recipients.