2017 MSA Academic Awards
Congratulations to the winners of our 2017 Vancouver Medical Staff Association Academic Awards.
Bobby Miller Award for Excellence in Teaching 2017 winner: Dr. Stephen Nantel
A clinical professor and head of the UBC and VGH Divisions of Hematology, Dr. Nantel is also the director of the VCH Research Institute’s Hematology Research Program and a senior staff member with the Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Program of BC. He also has a general hematology practice.
Dr. Nantel’s special interest in hematology education and certification has been ongoing for 20 years and he teaches at both under-graduate and post-graduate levels at UBC. During his tenure as program director for hematology, he reorganized the training program and helped establish a formal ambulatory program. At the under-graduate level, Dr. Nantel was involved with the development of the blood and lymphatics section of the problem-based learning course and has taught this since its inception. He also teaches bedside clinical skills and is recognized by his students and peers for his teaching excellence.
Dr. Nantel served an initial eight-year term on the Royal College Exam Board for hematology starting in 1994 and was the chief examiner for hematology for four years. He returned to the exam board in 2011 and was an examiner through 2016.
Over the course of his career, Dr. Nantel has been recognized for his outstanding contributions with several awards. Last year he received VGH’s Master Teacher Award and he is also the recipient of the Donald M. Whitelaw Award for Outstanding Grand Rounds, the Fay R. Dirks Award for Excellence in Teaching, and the Hoffman-La Roche Award for Outstanding Faculty Lecture.
Clinical Excellence 2017 winner: Dr. Graham Wong
The Clinical Excellence Award is the latest in a long list of recognitions Dr. Wong has received over his illustrious career including, in 2012, the Vancouver Medical Staff Awards’ Bobby Miller Award for Excellence in Teaching. Dr. Wong is the clinical director of the coronary care unit at VGH as well as the regional physician lead for acute coronary care for VCH and Providence Health Care. If that’s not enough, Dr. Wong is also a clinical associate professor of medicine at UBC, the director of education for VGH’s Division of Cardiology, the medical co-director of VCH’s ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) program, and he sits on the national steering committees for the GRACE and CANRACE registries of acute coronary syndromes and the CLARIFY registry of patients with stable coronary artery disease.
Under Dr. Wong’s leadership, the cardiac care unit has seen a marked expansion in its clinical workload, complexity of patients, and throughput. This increase has been matched with care systems that have ensured ongoing improvement in outcomes for patients with life-threatening illnesses. Dr. Wong has identified care paths for optimal therapy, participated in guidelines at the national level to direct best therapies, and worked tirelessly at the regional level to create harmonization and implementation of best care pathways for patients with acute coronary syndrome.
Dr. Wong conducts a robust ambulatory practice and is cherished by his patients. He has strong relationships with his colleagues, and is a popular mentor with junior faculty and residents. He reflects, in the words of his nominator, “a generation of new general cardiologists who have chosen not to focus entirely on one aspect of clinical delivery but has remained with a breadth of impact as an intentional generalist.”
Scientific Achievement 2017 winner: Dr. J. Mark Fitzgerald
People all over the world are literally breathing easier thanks to Dr. Fitzgerald’s tremendous body of research investigating airway diseases (COPD and asthma). He has published over 400 papers and editorials in high impact journals, and his research has included extensive collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. He sits on the scientific committee of the Global Initiative in Asthma (GINA) and is part of its executive committee. In addition, he has been part of the Canadian Asthma Consensus Working Group since 1989 and was the founding chair of the Canadian Respiratory Clinical Research Consortium. He is also a past president of the Canadian Thoracic Society.
Dr. FitzGerald is head of the Respiratory Medicine Divisions at both UBC and Vancouver General Hospital and the director of the Centre for Heart and Lung Health and a senior scientist at the Centre for Clinical Epidemiology and Evaluation at the Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute.
The work of Dr. Fitzgerald and his colleagues took centre stage this April when a $29 million anonymous gift to the VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation for research and treatment of COPD and asthma was announced. This funding cements our reputation as a world leader in airways research, which is largely due to Dr. Fitzgerald’s contributions.
Dr. Fitzgerald has also received a VGH Scientist Award, a BC Lung/CIHR Scientist Award, and a Michael Smith Foundation for Health Distinguished Scholar Award.
Larry Collins Award for Committee Service 2017 winners: Dr. Soma Ganesan and Dr. Terry Waters
Dr. Ganesan’s service to the community includes volunteering on the boards of several mental health organizations and immigrant services societies. He is also a founding member of the Vancouver Association for the Survivors of Torture—a non-profit group dedicated to serving and treating refugees and immigrants who suffer from psychological and physical injuries as a result of political violence and torture.
Dr. Ganesan was himself a refugee, having come to Vancouver from Vietnam in 1981. He has been a practicing psychiatrist in Canada since 1988 and is the founder and director of the Vancouver General Hospital Cross Cultural Clinic, which provides culturally sensitive and language-specific mental health assessment and treatment.
Dr. Ganesan is the head medical director in the Department of Psychiatry, Vancouver Acute & Vancouver Community Mental Health and Addictions as well as a clinic professor of psychiatry at UBC. He serves in a variety of capacities on local, provincial, national and international programs and is also a valued member of the Medical Advisory Committee. Dr. Ganesan is well-known in the community for his long-standing and tireless commitment to the improvement of psychiatric care in Vancouver.
Dr. Waters is an attending anesthesiologist with Vancouver Acute Care as well as a clinical associate professor in UBC’s Department of Anesthesia. He has been involved with the Vancouver Acute liver transplant program since its earliest days, becoming section head of anesthesia for liver transplantation in 1998. In that capacity, he has worked closely with liver transplant surgeons and the BC Transplant Society to build a highly successful program that has virtually doubled its volumes.
Dr. Waters is known for his strong contributions to liver transplant anesthesia. He put together a clinical group of anesthesiologists and organized the provision of clinical anesthesia services to ensure every transplant recipient receives the most expert clinical care.
Blood transfusion services are another of Dr. Waters’ areas of special service. He was the chair of the Blood Transfusion Service Committee from 2004 to 2015—one of only a few anesthesiologists to hold such a position in Canada. He developed the perioperative blood transfusion management program that benefits thousands of patients and that has revolutionized transfusion. The program has led to an increased use of cell-saver technology and the result has been a significant reduction in the need for homologous blood transfusion in many major surgical cases.
Bringing Clinical Renown to Vancouver Community of Care 2017 winner: Dr. Michael Barnett
A hematologist, Dr. Barnett spends his professional time treating patients with hematological malignancies and has a particular interest in the myeloid leukemias. He is currently a clinical professor at the UBC Department of Medicine and also serves at the Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Program of BC.
Dr. Barnett trained in medical oncology at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital in London before coming to Vancouver in 1986. He served as director of the Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Program for five years, after which he returned to England for two years. He became the head of VGH’s Division of Hematology in 2003 until 2013 and, as such, was head of the province’s only bone marrow transplant centre. He and his team worked in conjunction with the BC Cancer Agency as leaders in scientifically directed and clinically excellent care. The Division of Hematology excelled under his direction with multiple clinical activities in areas such as thrombosis care.
Modest by nature, Dr. Barnett shies away from including his many accomplishments on his CV, but his contributions have put Vancouver on the forefront of providing innovative therapies to patients with blood diseases. He has his colleagues’ highest level of respect and appreciation.
Special Service 2017 winner: Dr. Gavin Stuart
Known as an exemplary physician, administrator, teacher, leader and clinician, Dr. Stuart’s contributions have resonated on local, provincial, national and international stages.
Dr. Stuart was dean of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of British Columbia from 2003 to 2015 and continues to be a professor in the university’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. In 2009, he was appointed as UBC’s Vice Provost Health—a post he held until 2016—which involved representing the university in health-related interactions with other universities and health authorities. Dr. Stuart stepped down from that role in order to commit further to his work as executive strategy lead for the new BC Academic Health Sciences Network.
Dr. Stuart continues to publish in peer reviewed journals, to co-investigate several research studies, and to teach. He also serves as a director of the executive board for the Gynecologic Cancer InterGroup, an international consortium of clinic trials groups committed to high quality clinical trials for women affected by gynecological cancer.
Dr. Stuart is a member of our outstanding gynecological oncology team based at VGH and the BC Cancer Agency and he is the principal investigator of many large phase III clinical trials. He is also a consulting physician at BC Women’s Hospital.
A graduate of the University of Western Ontario, Dr. Stuart was made an honorary alumnus of UBC’s Faculty of Medicine in 2009 and, that same year, received the Presidential Medal Award from the Society of Gynecologic Oncology.