Winners of 2015 Awards of Excellence in Rural Medicine announced at 2015 RECC

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From left to right: Drs. Nancy Anderson, Michal Smialowski, Eric Paetkau, Marlowe Haskins, Phillip Malpass, Paul Stent. Missing: Drs. Neil Leslie, William Watt


Eight British Columbia rural physicians were recognized and feted for their accomplishments and contributions to rural medical practice at the Rural Emergency Continuum of Care (RECC) medical conference held in Penticton, BC on Friday, May 23.

Five physicians – Drs. Nancy Anderson (Bella Coola), Marlowe Haskins (Smithers), Neil Leslie (Revelstoke), Phillip B. Malpass (Nelson), and William Watt (Fort St. John) – were honoured for their outstanding service, their facilitation of best clinical practices, their role as opinion leaders in their communities, and their personal and professional excellence in rural medicine.

Three physicians – Drs. Eric Paetkau (Sunshine Coast), Michal Smialowski (Tatlayoko Valley), Paul Stent (Fort St. James) – were recognized with lifetime contribution awards for outstanding service, facilitation of best clinical practices, personal and professional excellence, as well as their lifelong dedication to their rural communities over the span of decades.

The intent of this year’s Awards of Excellence was to recognize ‘Local Opinion Leaders’ – physicians who benefit their communities by influencing health care provision. These leaders share their advanced knowledge with other local providers by virtue of strong social networks and positively influence healthcare outcomes in their community.

This is the second year that the Rural Coordination Centre of BC (RCCbc) and the University of Northern British Columbia Northern Medical Program (UNBC NMP) have recognized physicians for their contribution and dedication to rural medical practice in British Columbia. In 2014, ‘Outstanding Mentors’ were recognized for their contributions to the training and mentorship support of rural doctors.

The awards were provided and hosted by UNBC NMP and RCCbc at the annual RECC rural medical conference. A call for nominations was issued in February through BC Rural Update, the eNewsletter of the RCCbc. A committee consisting of representatives from UNBC, RCCbc , and the University of British Columbia selected the 2015 recipients through a consensus process.

The Awards of Excellence in Rural Medicine are made possible through the generous funding provided by the Joint Standing Committee on Rural Issues (JSC). The JSC is a joint collaboration between the BC government and the Doctors of BC that provides policy oversight as well as funding for rural physician programs to increase recruitment and retention of doctors in British Columbia.

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