2021 VMDAS Annual Awards
Congratulations to the winners of our 2021 Vancouver Medical Staff Association Annual Awards.
Bobby Miller Award for Excellence in Teaching 2021 winner: Dr. Caroline Gosselin
A geriatric psychiatrist, teaching has been inherent in Dr. Gosselin’s work, from inpatient to operating suite, day-hospital, ambulatory, and outreach settings. She has taught hundreds of medical students, psychiatry and family practice residents, and geriatric medicine fellows from UBC and other Canadian and international universities.
In 1988, Dr. Gosselin developed the first geriatric psychiatry course for the UBC post-graduate program, which she then directed for 21 years. Her lectures on legal aspects of geriatric psychiatry relied on multiple case examples from her own work, and exemplified the application of BC laws into clinical practice. This approach resulted in strong evaluations and her first teaching award in 1993.
Dr. Gosselin went on to participate in the Geriatric Psychiatry Outreach Team’s Monday afternoon teaching clinic for 30 years. She also served as director of continuing medical education for the UBC Department of Psychiatry. Her experience as the first director for electroconvulsive therapy at VGH led to her initiating a weeklong ECT training course in 2010 for PGY3 residents. This course is now given twice a year by a group of local ECT clinicians. The value of this mode of teaching was recognized in subsequent teaching awards and has since been used as a model by other Canadian universities. During the pandemic, Dr. Gosselin quickly developed a training video in lieu of hands-on sessions.
Nominated by Dr. Randall F. White, Medical Director, Vancouver Community Mental Health Services and Dr. JJ Sidhu, Head, VA/VC Department of Psychiatry
Clinical Excellence 2021 winner: Dr. Manraj Heran
Dr. Heran works as a pediatric interventional radiologist at BC Children’s Hospital, and as a diagnostic and interventional neuroradiologist at Vancouver General Hospital. During his career, he has served as Division Head of Neuroradiology at VGH, Director of the UBC Neuroradiology Fellowship, and now as the Head of Interventional Radiology at BC Children’s Hospital.
Dr. Heran’s areas of special interest and expertise include cranial vascular anomalies, acute stroke, and complex neurovascular malformations. He was instrumental in building the Stroke Neurology and Interventional Neuroradiology program at VGH. He is dedicated to providing timely care to patients with difficult spine conditions who require a needle or catheter placed in a difficult-to-access anatomical location, to treat severe pain, or to prepare patients for resective surgery.
In many centres, the working relationships between surgeons and radiologists whose clinical practices overlap in the world of intervention are problematic and confrontational. However, at VGH, under Dr. Heran’s leadership, the interventional neuroradiologists and interventional neurosurgeons work side by side in collaboration and set an example of what true interdisciplinary collegiality can be. This has great benefit for patients.
Dr. Heran is renowned and respected among his colleagues locally, across BC, and across the country, for his technical excellence, judgment, and dedication to quality care. He is the “go to” person for difficult neurovascular problems in British Columbia.
Nominated by Dr. Gary Redekop, Division of Neurosurgery, Head, Department of Surgery
Scientific Achievement 2021 winner: Dr. Jessica McAlpine
Dr. McAlpine was recruited from her fellowship at Yale University to join VGH/UBC in 2006. She is a professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the Dr. Chew Wei Chair in Gynecologic Oncology.
Dr. McAlpine is among Canada’s finest surgeon-scientists, a translational researcher of the highest order and the global leader in the molecular classification of endometrial cancers. She has published extensively with over 280 publications, which have been cited over 6,200 times in the last five years. This level of productivity and impact for a surgeon-scientist at any stage in their career is exceptional. She is a highly sought-after collaborator both locally and internationally and serves on national and international governing and research consortia.
In addition to Dr. McAlpine’s important contributions to ovarian cancer research and prevention, she has built a highly successful and nationally and internationally funded translational research program focused on the molecular stratification of endometrial and vulvar cancers to triage patients to different levels of care. Through a series of highly cited publications, she has led the translation of the results of The Cancer Genome Atlas project into clinical practice, developing surrogate methods for diagnosis of the four molecular subtypes of endometrial carcinoma.
The impact of her research on cancer control is already evident. In January 2020, this diagnostic test (ProMisE) became clinically available for any woman in BC. Her research in both endometrial and vulvar cancers has been highly influential in the World Health Organization’s latest edition of the Classification of the Female Genital Tract Tumours medical textbook published in September 2020. Her research in endometrial cancer is viewed by the Society of Gynecologic Oncology of Canada as one of the most profound and important work happening in gynecologic cancer research in Canada today bringing precision medicine to women with this disease.
Dr. McAlpine is now leading national and international efforts to apply ProMisE stratification for endometrial cancer and subtype stratification of vulvar cancers in clinical trials. With the incidence of endometrial cancer increasing at rates best described as epidemic and vulvar cancer a disease considered a “forgotten woman’s cancer,” Dr. McAlpine’s research is changing the landscape of gynecologic cancer control globally, improving access to testing, providing more information for patients and clinicians, and ultimately will improve outcomes for women with these diseases.
Nominated by Dr. Sarah J. Finlayson and Dr. Marette Lee, Department of Gynecology
Larry Collins Award for Committee Service 2021 winner: Dr. Ryan Paterson
Dr. Paterson has dedicated considerable time and effort in supporting Vancouver Acute through his work on various committees. He has served on the executive committee of the Vancouver Acute Medical Staff and served terms as both vice president and president of the Vancouver Acute Medical Advisory Council. Dr. Paterson has also served as the vice president and as acting secretary/treasurer of the Vancouver Acute Medical Staff Association. He also served on the executive of the VPSA Engagement Working Group Finance Committee.
Dr. Paterson is an exemplary member of the Department of Urologic Sciences and is respected and well-liked by his colleagues. His work on various committees has served as a role model for junior members of the department. He is actively involved in various provincial and national committees, thereby raising the profile of Vancouver Acute. His institutional knowledge and experience are a tremendous resource. For this reason, he remains the alternative representative for his department on both the Vancouver Acute Medical Advisory Council and the Vancouver Acute Surgical services Council.
Nominated by Dr. Martin Gleave, Head, Department of Urologic Sciences, UBC
Bringing Clinical Renown to Vancouver Community of Care 2021 winner: Dr. Peter Munk
Dr. Munk completed his fellowship in musculoskeletal imaging at the University of California, San Francisco in 1988 and joined the University of British Columbia and VCH in 1989. In his early career, his research focused on interventional procedures for treatment of epiphora. He developed the original balloon catheter dilation procedure for treatment of epiphora and ran the first clinical trial utilizing this treatment. Along with the image-guided procedure, Dr. Munk also invented the Munk Scale for Epiphora (tearing), which is now widely used around the world in clinical ophthalmology practice and research.
Dr. Munk’s clinical interests have since shifted to interventional musculoskeletal procedures for pain management. Most recently, he is focusing on the effectiveness of cryoablation and cementoplasty procedures for the treatment of soft tissue and bone tumors, as well as its palliative use in pain management for bone cancers. Dr. Munk has also led highly productive research programs in collaboration with Orthopedics and General Surgery studying orthopedic sports injuries and imaging bone injuries that are typically difficult to identify.
Dr. Munk has published over 280 articles in peer-reviewed journals. He is a board member for the Asian Pacific Association of Medical Journal Editors, a member of the Editor’s Advisory Board for the Medical Journal of Australia, and an Associate Editor for the British Journal of Radiology. In 2017, he received an honorary degree from The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. Dr. Munk continues to advance and diversify our health care community by attracting fellows from around the world to train and conduct research at VGH.
Nominated by Dr. Savvas Nicolaou, Head of Emergency Radiology, VGH
Special Service 2021 winner: Dr. David Sweet
Dr. Sweet is chair of the British Columbia COVID-19 Therapeutics Committee that provides evidence-based recommendations to the province. This committee is comprised of frontline clinicians and pharmacists, members of the Pharmaceutical Services Division of the Ministry of Health, and researchers from all BC’s health authorities. Dr. Sweet has managed to achieve committee consensus on a range of issues and he strives to create an equitable environment where all viewpoints are acknowledged and members feel free to give input.
Dr. Sweet also sits on the COVID-19 Therapies Review and Advisory Working Group. This committee was formed to deal with practical matters of drug supply and allocation. His work here has led to recommendations that ensure adequate tocilizumab allocation and even reallocation of supplies to Alberta when our pandemic was receding and theirs was surging.
He is passionate in striving to ensure patients receive evidence-based care and that frontline clinicians feel supported in their decision making. Throughout the pandemic, Dr. Sweet has shown leadership, humility, and enthusiasm not only around the work of caring for COVID patients as an intensivist but for ensuring all patients across the province have access to the best practices management of COVID-19.
Nominated by Dr. Alissa Wright, Director, Transplant Infectious Disease Program and Dr. Allison Mah, Clinical Assistant Professor, Infectious Diseases
Excellence in Early Career 2021 winner: Dr. Andrea MacNeill
Dr. MacNeill was a highly sought-after young surgeon with superb academic and clinical experience and training. She received her MD from the University of Toronto and completed General Surgery residency at UBC. As a resident, she distinguished herself as a first-rate technical surgeon and is among the best clinical surgeons to graduate from our General Surgery Program. After completing residency training, she went to the University of Toronto for a Fellowship in Surgical Oncology. We are extremely fortunate to have recruited her back to UBC and VGH, where she has become a cornerstone of our Surgical Oncology service. She does some of the most complex cases, including sarcoma and advanced peritoneal malignancies, navigating her patients to excellent outcomes through a combination of compassion, technical brilliance, meticulous attention to detail, and a commitment to multidisciplinary teamwork and systems development. She has earned the respect and admiration of her colleagues and patients for her exemplary professionalism.
Dr. MacNeill’s academic trajectory has been equally remarkable. During the research year of her residency, she completed a Master’s degree in Environmental Change at the University of Oxford. During her graduate studies, she devised a method to measure the environmental footprint of operating rooms, and she is among the first surgeons in the world to recognize the enormous impact of surgical care on greenhouse gas emissions and the environment. Her work was published in Lancet Planetary Health, to global recognition and acclaim. She has already influenced the way that operating rooms consider their role in the global climate change movement, and her research methods have been applied widely. Numerous national, provincial, and local organizations have been inspired by this work to elucidate their own strategies to reduce their environmental impact.
Dr. McNeill’s clinical excellence, her scientific accomplishments, and her inspiring and inclusive leadership style position her well to build one of the most transformative programs in the history of the Department of Surgery. By working at the intersection of health care and the climate change movement, and by applying rigorous scientific methodology, her program of research will have a profound effect on the future of health care. She has successfully advocated for inclusion of planetary health as a strategic priority for VCH, resulting in the creation of a Planetary Health portfolio overseen by the Office of Transformation and Strategy.
Nominated by Dr. Gary Redekop, Head, Department of Surgery
Community Service 2021 winner: Dr. Mike Norbury
Dr. Norbury has been a member of the Vancouver Community medical staff since 2015, working as a family physician at Raven Song Community Health Centre and currently as Interim Senior Medical Director for Vancouver Community. He also continues in his role of Program Medical Director for Vancouver Community Primary Care Services and Interim Medical Director for end-of-life programs in Vancouver Community. Prior to joining VCH, Dr. Norbury worked as a family physician for the NHS in Scotland.
Dr. Norbury leads our teams with courage, conviction and integrity – all with a sense of humour and humanity. He has a clear vision for community services and draws on his clinical experiences to bring a realistic and practical perspective to system change. He brings levity to challenging conversations.
Dr. Norbury provides outstanding care the clients he serves in his clinical role and administrative leadership across the community through his many roles and contribution with the Vancouver Community leadership team. He has brought a partnership with operations and is a role model in the community for dyad leadership. Dr. Norbury has also been leading the implementation of the newest urgent and primary care centres across the city.
Dr. Norbury has been instrumental in the community with VCH’s pandemic response. He has provided exemplary leadership during COVID 19 pandemic, offering calm and steady leadership for Vancouver Community.
Nominated by Dr. David Hall, Head, Department of Family and Community Practice and Bob Chapman, Interim Vice President, Vancouver Community, VCH