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Doctors Manitoba Award winners share UM medical college connection

February 26, 2024 — 

The list of this year’s Doctors Manitoba Award winners has been released and the Max Rady College of Medicine is once again well represented.

Six of the recipients have connections to the Max Rady College of Medicine, including Physician of the Year Dr. José François. Five winners are faculty members, three are alumni and one is a resident.

“Congratulations to the 2024 Doctors Manitoba Award recipients,” said Dr. Peter Nickerson, vice-provost (health sciences), dean, Max Rady College of Medicine, and dean, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences. “I’m proud to see the positive impact our UM community members are making on health care in the province. They demonstrate the leadership and dedication we strive to instill in all our students.”

The winners are nominated by their physician peers and selected after an evaluation by an awards committee. A gala to celebrate the award recipients will take place in May.

“When I think about this year’s winners, there is a common thread that connects them, and that is the way they have used their voices to advocate for change in the interests of their patients and the systems they work in,” said Dr. Michael Boroditsky, president of Doctors Manitoba. ​“This takes no small measure of courage and the ability to see ahead to how what we accomplish today makes a difference for those who follow.”

Dr. José FrançoisPortrait of Dr. José François. [], associate professor and former head of the department of family medicine at the Max Rady College of Medicine, has laid the foundation to turnaround the family doctor shortage in Manitoba. He has championed expansions for family physician training, better support for international medical graduates, targeted initiatives for rural, northern and francophone training and he supported new models of care and remuneration for longitudinal family practice, among several other important achievements.


Portrait of Dr. Stephen Kowalski. Dr. Stephen Kowalski, professor of anesthesiology, perioperative and pain medicine at the Max Rady College of Medicine, and his dedicated attention to the care of patients in anesthesia and critical care, clinical research, education and administration have contributed to the lives of those here in Manitoba and beyond. In a career spanning four decades, his keen intellect has been a constant, matched with his dedication to supporting others along the way.


Portrait of Dr. Dick Smith. Dr. Dick Smith was a groundbreaking physician who led the way in both the treatment of HIV/AIDS in Manitoba and the compassionate care for members of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community. He founded the first clinics specializing in their care and was an outspoken voice and hero to those he helped throughout his 52-year career.


Portrait of Dr. Lerly Luo. Dr. Lerly Luo, a public health preventive medicine resident at the Max Rady College of Medicine, is dedicated to improving the health of populations and strengthening health systems by building bridges between the worlds of acute care, community medicine, and public health. She holds a master of public health from Harvard University and has advised ministries of health internationally on the design of national strategy for strengthening chronic disease care. She is a passionate advocate, having worked to represent the needs and voices of others and access to health for all on the world’s stage.


Portrait of Dr. Sara Goulet. Sara Goulet, [B.Sc. (Hons)/97, B.Sc.(Med.)/05, MD/05], associate dean (admissions), and assistant professor of community health sciences and family medicine at the Max Rady College of Medicine, is dedicated to breaking down the barriers that prevent Indigenous people from receiving the care they deserve, and leading the way for those who can provide it. A family physician and advisor for Ongomiizwin Health Services, she is a force for building new systems that create better outcomes for everyone involved.

Portrait of Dr. Kristel van Ineveld. Kristel van Ineveld [MD/89, M.Sc./00], associate professor of internal medicine and program director for geriatric medicine subspecialty residency at the Max Rady College of Medicine, is being honoured for her contributions to interdisciplinary geriatric care and education which have been influential across Canada, resulting in informed and compassionate care for older patients. In her roles as an administrator, researcher and advocate, she helps navigate systems with an unmatched understanding of how they work now and their potential for the future.

Portrait of Dr. Helen Pymar. Dr. Helen Pymar, professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at the Max Rady College of Medicine, is a valued educator and mentor to medical and physician assistant, nurse practitioners, midwives, family medicine, international medical graduates, and obstetrician gynecologist learners. She is a proponent of free access to contraception, safe and accessible abortion care and best practices for early pregnancy complications, providing a voice for Manitobans throughout her 20-year career.

With files from Doctors Manitoba

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