2023 VMDAS Annual Awards
Congratulations to the winners of the 2023 Vancouver Medical, Dental and Allied Association Annual Awards.
Bobby Miller Award for Excellence in Teaching: Dr. Amanda Hu
Dr. Hu joined the Department of Surgery in 2017 and immediately expressed an interest in education. She was appointed the undergraduate medical education director for the Division of OTL-HNS in 2018 and excelled in that position. She has been a strong advocate for undergraduate education on the behalf of the Division, organizing seminars to familiarize students with OTL-HNS through clinically related discussions but also a “day in the life” series and promoting outreach OTL-HNS opportunities. Her involvement with resident teaching is well recognized. She has engaged the provincial OTL-HNS community as well as provincial allied subspecialties and speech pathologists.
Dr. Hu’s contribution to teaching has been recognized on many occasions. In 2019, only two years into her Vancouver practice, she was awarded the A.D. McKenzie Clinical Teaching Award by the Department of Surgery. She received the PJ Doyle Teaching Award for excellence in resident teaching from our Division in both 2020 and 2021. In 2020 she received the H. Rocke Robertson Award from the Department of Surgery for excellence in teaching at both undergraduate and graduate levels.
Dr. Hu continues to dedicate herself to undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate training and education.
- UBC undergraduate OTL-HNS medical director for the last five years
- Creator and mentor of OTL-HNS medical student interest group
- Collaborating with community OTL-HNS specialists to develop new elective opportunities for medical students in Richmond, Nanaimo, and Kelowna
- Providing subspecialty laryngology education to OTL-HNS residents
- Director of laryngology academic education series for OTL-HNS residents
- Developed a fellowship in laryngology at UBC
Continuing medical education:
- Organizes quarterly laryngology rounds for community OTL-HNS, speech language pathologists that are now potentially virtual for participants allowing access to all BC specialists and speech pathologists
- Organizes yearly World Voice Day rounds
- Received Knowledge Translation Grant from Michael Smith Foundation to create a webinar on the health effects of inhaling cannabis
- Invited speaker at many provincial societies
Nominated by Dr. Scott Durham
Bringing Clinical Renown to Vancouver Community of Care: Dr. John Mayo
After his residency in Radiology at UBC, Dr. Mayo completed fellowships in Body Imaging and Cardiac Imaging at the University of California, San Francisco. His special interests lie in CT pulmonary angiography, radiation dose measurements in chest CT, lung cancer screening and thoracic MRI. He has been a professor at UBC since 1987, participating in multiple continuing education activities, including radiology rounds, cardiac CT angiography rounds, thoracic surgery rounds and respirology rounds. His unique partnership between Radiology and Cardiology led him to be appointed as a full professor of radiology and cardiology in 2007.
Dr. Mayo’s work reflects years of innovative clinical programs development and a commitment to clinical practice. He has extensive experience in cardiovascular thoracic and musculoskeletal radiology. Dr. Mayo was the head and medical director of the Department of Medical Imaging at Vancouver Acute Services from July 2012 to August 2021. During his nine years of leadership, Dr. Mayo was committed to supporting and promoting clinical, research and teaching excellence at the largest medical imaging facility and only accredited level 1 trauma centre in British Columbia.
During his tenure as head and medical director, Dr. Mayo’s major accomplishments include the implementation of 24/7 radiology services at VGH in 2013 along with working with the VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation and the Vancouver imaging radiologists to make financial contributions towards the purchase of medical equipment for the Radiology Department at VGH. Furthermore, Dr. Mayo provided steady leadership to the Department of Radiology throughout the COVID pandemic. Other notable work included the implementation of CT scanning for the diagnosis of pulmonary embolism in 1995, CT scanner radiation dose reduction in 2000 and assisting with the clinical implementation of voice recognition dictation software in 2014. The implementation of voice recognition decreased median report turnaround times from 14 days to six hours, substantially improving clinical efficiency of the Radiology Department.
Dr. Mayo has held many partnerships for advanced clinical research. In 2001, he had a program project with a funding grant of $435K on chemoprevention of lung cancer for the National Institute of Health in the USA with Dr. Stephen Lam of BC Cancer. Due to this research project, Drs. Mayo and Lam are now leading the launch of a lung cancer-screening program throughout British Columbia since May 2022. Due to his partnership with thoracic surgery, Dr. Mayo developed the fuzzy wire localization technique to enhance video-assisted thoracic surgical resection of small lung nodules. His partnership with cardiology resulted in the introduction of the cardiac CT imaging as a joint program between radiology and cardiology in 2005.
Currently, Dr. Mayo participates in the Promotions Committee at UBC Department of Radiology and is a member of the Clinical Research Ethics Board. He has been the chairman for the Chest CT Radiation Dose Committee of the Fleischner Society and a member of the BCIT Medical Imaging Technologist Practice Advisory Committee since July 2008.
Dr. Mayo has won many awards for clinical research including Best Thoracic Radiology Poster Award from the World Congress of Thoracic Imaging in Seoul, Dr. Gordon E. Trueman Award for a unified patient radiation dose tracking system, Robert Wallace Boyd Research Award for the comparison of CT-guided FNA biopsy versus CT-guided core needle biopsy of pulmonary nodules.
Overall, Dr. Mayo is a passionate, devoted, focused physician and mentor. His exceptional research record and dedication to clinical improvements in healthcare highlights an individual who has made important contributions to health-care services and clinical studies.
Nominated by Dr. Savvas Nicolaou
Clinical Excellence: Dr. Wendy Yeomans
Dr. Yeomans is a family physician and member of the Department of Family and Community Practice. She has over 30 years of service with VCH at Vancouver General Hospital and she has led the integration of palliative care throughout VGH. She has also contributed to improvements in the broader palliative care system across our health region. She has been integral to the development of the specialist Palliative Care Program. In the words of her colleagues, Dr. Yeomans is an “advocate, leader, educator, renowned clinician and an inspiration to those who provide end-of-life care or care for those with life-threatening illnesses.”
Dr. Yeomans has made numerous contributions to VGH. She is the medical director of the Palliative Care Program and has led this role since 1994. Dr. Yeomans has been instrumental in helping broaden the understanding of palliative care from being solely about caring for those at end of life, to its integration early on in a patient’s illness experience. She has championed the palliative approach to care across our services.
Under her leadership, the Palliative Care Program, including the Palliative Care Unit and the Palliative Consult Service, has grown to provide exceptional care to those with complex care needs. She keeps patients and families front and centre in all her endeavours. Dr. Yeomans also created a new palliative care resource nurse role which has increased support to other allied health professionals by providing clinical and education expertise in palliative care.
Her colleagues universally describe Dr. Yeomans as a highly skilled clinician. They also note her impact on expanding palliative care knowledge and skill throughout VGH and the region. Dr. Yeomans is regularly asked to support resident teaching including the Departments of Medicine, Psychiatry, ENT, Vascular Surgery, Geriatrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology and Family Medicine. Dr. Yeomans is a champion for team-based care and physicians, nurses, care aids, and other allied health regularly remark on her willingness to support the best care for patients. Dr. Yeomans has supported generations of physicians, nurses, and allied health providers in the development of their palliative care skills.
Dr. Yeomans is also actively involved with the Regional Palliative Care Program and in supporting the delivery of palliative care in the community. Dr. Yeomans has a been an important collaborator with the Regional Palliative Approach to Care Education (RPACE) team and in the development of the Serious Illness Conversation Guide.
Dr. Yeomans is a founding member of the Canadian Society for Palliative Care Physicians, and the president of the Section of Palliative Medicine at the Doctors of BC for two terms. Not only demonstrating excellence in clinical practice, Dr. Yeomans is also a capable leader and supports her teams through challenging situations with ease. This has been especially true during the COVID-19 pandemic. She supported her team through challenges such as the relocation of the Palliative Care Unit to multiple locations throughout Vancouver Acute to support urgent needs of the hospital in managing its bed base during the COVID surge. Despite these challenges she has ensured the program never stopped delivering exceptional care to patients.
Importantly, Dr. Yeomans collaborated on the development of a COVID-19 specific order set to support those dying of COVID-19, and along with operations conducted a COVID-19 specific interdisciplinary learning review to ensure patients at VGH were getting optimal symptom management and end-of-life care.
Nominated by Dr. David Hall
Community Service: Dr. Nori MacGowan
As the medical director of the Vancouver Community Palliative Care Program, Dr. MacGowan has led the program through significant changes since her appointment in 2022 with a vision of creating a program that provides seamless palliative care through evidence-based initiatives that improve the lives of patients and their families in an environment where all health-care professionals are able to thrive both professionally and personally.
Dr. MacGowan has demonstrated her commitment to quality palliative care for patients in Vancouver Community since 2008 as a clinician, medical coordinator, and now medical director for the Vancouver Community Palliative Care Program.
As a leader, Dr. MacGowan has the courage to be seen as her whole, best, and authentic self. She approaches leading by sharing her own vulnerabilities and frustrations with a fractured system, which has encouraged her team to have more open and candid conversations, enabling a new level of dialogue. Her leadership style has unlocked organizational bottlenecks and enabled her team to work together much more effectively. She has continually advocated to move beyond siloed hierarchies to a create a network of multidisciplinary teams working together with transparency, trust, and collaboration that offers Vancouver Community a more adaptable and powerful organizing construct.
As a leader, she has a vision to generate holistic impact for all stakeholders with a mindset of possibility, which has allowed the program to attract new physicians over the last year. In addition, the Vancouver Community Palliative Care resident elective is now very sought after and one of the physicians within the program was awarded the “Exceptional Clinical Preceptor for 2022 -23 Family Practice Enhanced Skills residency program.
Dr. MacGowan participated in the Physician Quality Improvement cohort this year and her project “Improving Access to Community Palliative Care Physician Consultation - Doctor of the Day” was extremely successful in increasing referrals from 15 to 20 per month to 50 to 60 per month in a six-month period with no additional physician resources through consolidation of referral forms to increase ease of referral, adapting nursing workflows to increase access to refer and attendance at
interdisciplinary care conferences by an assigned doctor to support the team. Her work was chosen to be presented at the Rapid Fire Session of the recent Quality Forum in June. Through this work, Dr. MacGowan also mentored a medical student and a first-year palliative care new physician staff in quality improvement.
Additionally, this year Dr. MacGowan completed the Sauder Leadership Course and her project “Improving Access to Community Palliative Care for Patients without a Family Physician” led to a successful VPSA Small Steps, Big Ideas award for the project “Development of a short-term integrated model of primary and palliative care for unattached patients.” This project has been further supported by an expression of interest grant from the Doctors of BC for $25,000 to further delineate the project through focus groups with additional health-care providers and patients and their caregivers. Through this project, Dr. MacGowan has consulted with physicians and medical staff across VCH and the province.
Nominated by Dr. Lynn Straatman, Dr. Michael Norbury, and Bob Chapman
Excellence in Early Career: Dr. Ryan Flannigan
Dr. Flannigan has made substantial contributions to the Department of Urologic since his faculty appointment five years ago by initiating and developing programmatic growth in a male reproductive research program at UBC. His vision is to establish a regenerative platform for men with the inability to produce sperm. To accomplish this, he has made key collaborations in computational sciences and biomedical engineering to bolster both the discovery and regenerative aspects of his research program. This strategic approach may serve as the foundation for programmatic growth and create a realistic opportunity to translate findings back to the clinic. Dr. Flannigan also understands the value of interdisciplinary research in making significant scientific discoveries and has seamlessly interdigitated into the Vancouver Prostrate Centre, and other departments in UBC.
Academically, Dr. Flannigan has been exceptionally productive during his first five years of his faculty position, despite a nearly complete shutdown with COVID-19 for one of the three years. He has focused on developing the foundations and platforms of a multifaceted research program since arriving on faculty. He has developed several translational research directions in male reproduction and sexual medicine and is strategically growing his team and adding expertise with collaborators. His primary focus is in developing novel therapeutic approaches and technologies to change the paradigms around treatment for male infertility (RegenerAIT –Regenerative & Advanced Infertility Therapeutics program), Peyronie’s Disease (iPT –innovations in Peyronie’s Therapeutics) and erectile dysfunction (iEREC – innovations in ERECtile dysfunction). Establishing these programs demonstrates that Dr. Flannigan is developing the framework for his programmatic vision of becoming a world-renowned academic program for male reproduction and sexual medicine.
Beyond his programmatic set up, Dr. Flannigan has had exceptional research output. He has completed four clinical trials to date, two of which are already published. To date, he has published 73 manuscripts, and over 120 abstracts. Since he has started his faculty position, Dr. Flannigan’s scientific studies have also been very productive with two recent significant publications developing an artificial intelligence-based platform for detecting rare sperm in microTESE specimens and the world’s first personalized human 3D bioprinted testicular tubules as a step towards regenerating sperm production. Over 140 media outlets with >600 million unique monthly viewers reported on this achievement. Dr. Flannigan also just published a world’s first development of hiPSC-derived testis myoid cells and a state-of-the-art review on in vitro spermatogenesis in the prestigious Nature Reviews Urology, both relevant to this project. Dr. Flannigan has also successfully competed for ~$2.3 million as PI, and over $4 million combined with coinvestigator grants including prestigious CIHR, CFI, MSFHR, DOD and NFRF competitions. Relevant to this proposal, Dr. Flannigan has established salary support for himself through the UBC Faculty of Medicine Translational Research Award, UBC Faculty of Medicine Distinguished Achievement Award for overall early career excellence and AUA Rising Star Award given to one early career urologist in the world per year.
Dr. Flannigan has also proven to be an emerging leader in his field. He has provided international lectures in China, Britain, the American Society of Andrology on in vitro spermatogenesis, American Urologic Association, and the Sexual Medicine Society of North America. He coauthored the Canadian Urologic Association erectile dysfunction guidelines, and the AXYS international Klinefelter fatherhood guidelines. He is leading the Canadian Urologic Association Azoospermia guidelines currently under international peer review. Dr. Flannigan has recently won the prestigious American Urologic Association Rising Stars Award, which is limited to one urologist per year. He has also been nominated for the ASRM New Investigator Award in 2022, UBC clinical research distinguished achievement award in 2022, Society for Study of Male Reproduction nominee for AUA Early Career showcase in 2021 and 2022, and Study of Reproduction’s Rising Star Webinar Series just this week. Dr. Flannigan has co-initiated a Canadian Oncology Sexual Health Initiative (COSHI). He is also committed to educating future surgeon-scientists as he started UBC’s first ever male reproduction and sexual medicine fellowship and serves as the program director. His inaugural fellow successfully competed for >$80K in research funds. He is actively involved in graduate student, resident, medical student and undergraduate supervision, and education.
Clinically, Dr. Flannigan is extremely proficient and serves as the provincial lead for all of the complex infertility, erectile dysfunction and Peyronie’s disease management. He is responsible, caring, and is at the forefront of clinical and surgical techniques. He tracks his surgical outcomes and recently reported among the highest male infertility microsurgery outcomes in the world.
Nominated by Dr. Martin Gleave
Larry Collins Award for Committee Service: Dr. Nadia Zalunardo
Dr. Zalunardo joined the Department of Medicine, Division of Nephrology in 2014 and has always shown a strong interest in leadership and quality improvement. She has taken leadership courses for Medical Women, Advocacy for Change, and Communicating for Success through the Canadian Medical Association Physician Leadership Institute. She took a quality improvement course through the VCH Physician Lead Quality Improvement Group and also undertook training in Lean in Healthcare through Lean Healthcare West.
Dr. Zalunardo became chair of the Vancouver Medical Advisory Committee in 2020 and continues in this position currently. During this time, she has demonstrated superb leadership. She listens to concerns brought up by the medical staff and addresses these in a thoughtful manner. She is highly respectful and listens extremely well. She has taken on strong leadership in terms of ensuring recognition of physician stress and burnout and has met with senior leadership to ensure that optimal strategies are in place to help deal with these significant issues. She has been very interested and a strong proponent of EDI principles. She is acknowledged as a strong advocate of resident education and has been the UBC Residents Site Director for the Division of for Nephrology at VGH from 2009 to present.
Dr. Zalunardo is regularly involved in didactic teaching. She has been the VGH PI on numerous Nephrology trials. She has been an abstract reviewer for the American Society of Nephrology. She is an interviewer for the CaRMS residency match for Nephrology from 2012 to present. She has served as a member of the of the Renal Program Budgeting and Marginal Analysis Working Group at VGH in 2013, and as a member of the VGH Renal Program Operations Committee from 2010 to present. She has served as the Medical Director for the Kidney Care Clinic at VGH from 2010 to present. Dr. Zalunardo has been a reviewer for multiple journals. She has served as the chair of the Management Committee for the Pacific Nephrology Group from 2015 to 2018 and has been a member at large of the Management Committee, Pacific Nephrology Group from 2012 to 2015.
Dr. Zalunardo has written a significant number of journal publications. Dr. Zalunardo is an extremely astute, highly knowledgeable clinician who is well respected by her peers.
Nominated by Dr. Ken Gin
Scientific Achievement: Dr. Jason Andrade
Dr. Andrade did his internal medicine and cardiology training at the University of British Columbia followed by a fellowship in cardiac electrophysiology at the Montreal Heart Institute. He joined Vancouver General Hospital as a staff cardiologist in 2012 and is currently an associate professor of medicine at the University of British Columbia and an assistant professor at the Université de Montréal.
Dr. Andrade is the Director of Electrophysiology at Vancouver General Hospital. He is co-chair of the Canadian Cardiovascular Society (CCS) Atrial Fibrillation Guidelines and the CCS Device Therapy Guidelines. He is the chair of the Canadian Heart Rhythm Society (CHRS) Device Committee and medical chair for Heart Rhythm Disease for the Cardiovascular Disease Network in the province of British Columbia. Not only is Dr. Andrade clinically superb, he has also distinguished himself as a talented and prolific researcher. He has authored over 250 scientific publications predominantly in the domain of atrial fibrillation. His number of publications is impressive with over 257 articles published to date. Many of these are in the most prestigious journals, including the New England Journal of Medicine Circulation, the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, the Journal of the American Medical Association, and Lancet. His first author of publications has ranked in the 99th percentile for citations annually for the past seven years. Out of his publications, fully 104 are first authored and 26 are senior authored. His H-factor is outstanding at 42.
Dr. Andrade’s research has predominantly focused on atrial fibrillation. He has led several multi-centre randomized clinical trials, which have changed our fundamental understanding of the management of atrial fibrillation. One of these was the Cryoballoon versus Irrigated Radiofrequency Catheter Ablation (CIRCA-DOSE) study trial which was a Heart and Stroke Foundation-funded RCT published in Circulation. This trial was described as providing invaluable information to the patient, the electrophysiologist and the medical community. The CIRCA-DOSE study has provided valuable insights into issues including quality of life, health-care utilization, sex differences, autonomic changes, risk prediction, and clinical classification of atrial fibrillation. Over a two-year span, the CIRCA DOSE study produced 18 publications allowing many junior faculty to write first authored publications under Dr. Andrade's mentorship.
The Early Aggressive Intervention for Atrial Fibrillation (Early AF) trial was a National Centers of Excellence-funded RCT that was presented as a late-breaking clinical trial at the American Heart Association meeting in 2020 with simultaneous publication in the New England Journal of Medicine. This was one of the first trials using invasive cardiac monitoring that demonstrated that catheter ablation as the first treatment for atrial fibrillation was far superior to anti-arrhythmic drugs and reducing arrhythmia recurrences and improving quality of life and reducing hospitalizations.
The Cardiology community has embraced this study, which demonstrated that rhythm control is superior to a rate control strategy. This is what has been highlighted as one of the top studies in 2020 by Medscape and the European Heart Journal in 2021. This led to a meta-analysis of first-line ablation that was published in the Journal of American College of Cardiology by Dr. Andrade.
In 2022, Dr. Andrade presented another late-breaking clinical trial at the American Heart Association meeting, that was again, simultaneously published in the New England Journal of Medicine. This demonstrated that ablation changes the natural history of atrial fibrillation and reduces the progression to persistent atrial fibrillation compared to anti-arrhythmic drugs. This trial was recognized as one of the top clinical trials in 2022 by the American College of Cardiology, and the top story in cardiac electrophysiology in Journal Watch.
Dr. Andrade has also presented more than 400 invited lectures all over the world, including Japan, Australia, Spain, Turkey, Copenhagen, Poland, England and many Canadian and US academic centres.
He has authored several textbooks and multiple book chapters focused on atrial fibrillation, ablation, and cardiac cryoablation. In addition, he has developed several medical apps. Dr. Andrade has received multiple awards for his research contributions. These include the Dr. Robert E. Beamish Award from the Canadian Cardiovascular Society for original research that is expected to have the greatest potential impact on cardiovascular medicine, the Rising Star Alumni Achievement Award from the University of Ottawa, the Donald M. Whitelaw Award, the Joseph J. Diamond Award, the Peter J. Armanious Award, and the Richard E. Beck Prize.
Dr. Andrade is undoubtedly one of the top researchers in the world in the field of atrial fibrillation, which is a growing epidemic around the world. His research contributions will undoubtedly result in improved outcomes for these patients. Not only is his research groundbreaking, his commitment to translation is also unprecedented. He has co-chaired several iterations of the Canadian Cardiovascular Society Atrial Fibrillation guidelines that have helped to guide the treatment of this complex disease by GP’s internists and cardiologists.
Nominated by Dr. Kenneth Gin
Special Service: Dr. Jan Hajek
Dr. Hajek joined the VGH Infectious Diseases group in 2010, having trained in Toronto and worked in TB services at BCCDC. He came with a solid foundation in tropical medicine and global health and has worked consistently in the tropical medicine clinic at VGH and co-leads the annual UBC Tropical Medicine CME course with Dr. Katherine Plewes. Beyond these contributions, however, Dr. Hajek has made ongoing and lasting personal contributions to global health through his work with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF; Doctors Without Borders). This has included volunteering as a physician in Guinea and Sierra Leone during the horrific Ebola outbreak in 2014, accepting the great personal risk that entailed. He has also spent a year in Uzbekistan developing an MDR-TB treatment program and was involved in a Hepatitis E outbreak response in South Sudan. He still serves as a telemedicine consultant for MSF and has engaged other members of the division to participate as well. Outside his work with MSF, he has been involved in a program in Gulu, Uganda, to work with and train local medical personnel, first as part of the Department of Medicine’s program there, and later, on his own when the program moved to Rwanda. He still volunteers as a staff consultant at that hospital.
Beyond his personal contributions to global health, Dr. Hajek has a strong personal connection with vulnerable patients. He has served as an infectious disease consultant for The Community Transitional Care Team (CTCT; an acute care clinic that provides transitional care and IV antibiotic treatment for patients with substance use disorders and socioeconomic barriers in the Downtown Eastside). Not only is he involved in direct patient care, but he is also leading research projects about the benefits of such services. Beyond this formal role, Dr. Hajek has taken a direct role in ensuring vulnerable patients receive the care they need. This has included visiting patients in single room occupancy hotels on the Downtown Eastside to make sure they take their antibiotics and other important medications. He has also advocated to the hospital to pay for television for patients who cannot afford it as a way to support adherence to care and has been known to pay for this himself if no other funding is available. Early during the response to the COVID pandemic, Dr. Hajek was attending on the COVID ward. This was pre-vaccines when the risk of infection remained daunting for health-care providers. Dr. Hajek would always spend extra time in the rooms just talking with patients who were isolated and alone when most care providers only popped in for the required care needs. Dr. Hajek never ceases to see the humanity in the person in front of him. For one such COVID patient with advanced dementia who was dying, not from COVID, but from the refusal to eat without his wife beside him, Dr. Hajek advocated tirelessly to make an exception to the strict infection control protocols to allow family to visit, ultimately saving the patient’s life. He is never afraid to go above and beyond what is expected of a physician, when a patient’s health is at risk.
Dr. Hajek is an integral part of the UBC Division of Infectious Diseases subspecialty training program. He participates weekly, and is a frequent lecturer, at the tropical medicine rounds. Beyond this, it is Dr. Hajek’s example of empathetic and equity seeking care that is an absolute inspiration to the next generation of ID doctors. Dr. Hajek is the kind of person others aspire to be when they enter into the field of infectious diseases and he is an exemplary role model for his colleagues and trainees alike.
In addition to these clinical and educational activities, Dr. Hajek has been a strong advocate for planetary health and animal welfare. He led a campaign (ultimately successful) to ban mink farms in BC during the COVID-19 pandemic, due to the high risk of spread and potential for development of new variants because of the crowded housing conditions. As a practicing vegan, he has advocated for reduction in animal-based meals at division events, through the lens of data on contributions of animal husbandry (particularly cattle) to global climate change. He has also written several articles in the media advocating for evidence-based medicine, health equity, and public health policy.
One example that that speaks to Dr. Hajek’s personal convictions took place during a trip to Kenya to strengthen partnerships with Aga Khan University and help establish clinical ties with rural hospitals. After one lunch meeting, a local man who was quite inebriated approached our group asking for money and the restaurant hosts called the police to intervene. When they started becoming physically violent towards the man, Dr. Hajek stepped in and begged them to stop, reassuring them that the man had meant no harm. This was an act of bravery entirely in keeping with Dr. Hajek’s personal convictions. The cliché “practice what you preach” may sound tired, but when you meet someone who embodies it, the concept is inspiring.
Nominated by Dr. Ted Steiner