Nova Scotia is home to many innovative and talented physicians. The association’s annual achievement awards are one way that Doctors Nova Scotia (DNS) celebrates its hard-working, highly skilled, dedicated members.
This year, Doctors Nova Scotia honours nine physicians and one medical student for exemplary achievement.
Neonatologist Dr. Michael Vincer receives the Distinguished Service Award in honour of his outstanding contributions to the care of infants in the Maritimes. Dr. Vincer practised neonatology in Halifax for 37 years, initially at the Grace Maternity Hospital and then at the IWK. For more than three decades he was medical director of the Perinatal Follow-up Program, providing care to premature and high-risk infants. He expanded the program from a hospital model to a provincial program, including establishing travel clinics, for infants in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. He also designed a provincial database to evaluate infant outcomes and the role of maternal and newborn illnesses and was part of a Canadian group that designed a national database for pre-term infants.
Dr. William Grigor Award: Karthik Tennankore, MD, SM, FRCPC
Nephrologist Dr. Karthik Tennankore is being honoured with the Dr. William Grigor Award for his dedication to advancing research and clinical care for Nova Scotians with kidney disease. Dr. Tennankore has practised for nine years as both a clinician and clinical researcher. As a clinician, he has led major innovations in the care of home dialysis patients, including expanding the province’s nocturnal hemodialysis program and developing new methods of monitoring home therapy patients. In his former role as the Central Zone Home Dialysis Clinical Lead, he helped to promote a home-first philosophy that doubled the number of Nova Scotian patients receiving dialysis at home. His two greatest accomplishments have been to receive national funding through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research for a multicentre study evaluating frailty among waitlisted kidney transplant candidates. This led to his other great achievement, being appointed as the QEII Foundation Endowed Chair in Transplantation Research.
Community Specialist of the Year Award: Brian Moses, MD, FRCPC
Dr. Brian Moses is being honoured for his excellence in general internal medicine and his dedication to teaching medical learners in rural Nova Scotia. Since completing residency in 2008, Dr. Moses has been providing care at his clinic in Yarmouth and at the Yarmouth Regional Hospital, where he offers specialized clinics for the community. As chief of internal medicine for the Western Zone, he provides internal medicine services, covers for other departments and champions the medical community to potential physician recruits. He is also an assistant professor at Dalhousie University and site lead for the Yarmouth site of the Dalhousie general internal medicine fellowship program.
Community Family Physician of the Year: Dr. Marlene Fuhrmann
Dr. Marlene Fuhrmann receives the Community Family Physician of the Year Award in recognition of her contributions as a family physician and her leadership providing obstetrical care in rural communities. In practice for 38 years (37 of them in Antigonish), Dr. Fuhrmann provides family medicine and comprehensive obstetrical care for people in northern Nova Scotia and Cape Breton. As the backbone of primary care obstetrics at St. Martha’s Regional Hospital for the last decade, Dr. Fuhrmann often provided 24-hour coverage for days and weeks at a time, filling in gaps to ensure patients were supported. Over her career, she has also held prenatal clinics in Indigenous communities. In 2020, when she was the lone family physician providing obstetrics in Antigonish, she established the family practice prenatal clinic at the hospital. The clinic has improved services for patients and built a sustainable foundation for the future.
Outstanding Medical Student Award: Emma McDermott
Third-year medical student Emma McDermott wins the Outstanding Medical Student Award for her leadership and advocacy on planetary health and environmental sustainability. Ms. McDermott is a co-founder of the Dal Med Green Team, a student-led group that promotes green initiatives at Dalhousie University and hospitals across the Maritimes. As an emerging leader with the Dalhousie Healthy Populations Institute, she has helped provide education on planetary health and sustainable health systems. On the national level, she is a student member of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (Nova Scotia chapter) and the 2022 co-chair of the Canadian Federation of Medical Students’ Health and Environment Adaptive Response Task Force.
Outstanding Resident Award: Dr. Hayam Hamodat
Dr. Hayam Hamodat, a PGY2 trainee and clinician in the Dalhousie Internal Medicine Postgraduate Program, is receiving the Outstanding Resident Award for her dedication to patient care, advocacy and medical education. Over the course of her medical training, she has helped improve care for newcomers and vulnerable Nova Scotians. Dr. Hamodat stands out as a leader committed to improving the work environment for racialized health-care providers in Nova Scotia. She has raised awareness of the racism she experienced on the job from patients, sparking a wider discussion of the system changes needed to better support health-care staff and trainees. She has shared her expertise in media interviews and on panels and committees to address equity, diversity and inclusion in medicine.
Doctors Nova Scotia Senior Membership Award
Dr. Ken Murray
Dr. Ken Murray receives the Doctors Nova Scotia Senior Membership Award for his long and distinguished career as a family physician and anchor of Cape Breton’s medical community. Dr. Murray grew up in Halifax and initially only planned to work in rural Cape Breton for two years. Almost 50 years later, he continues to be one of the area’s most dependable practitioners. Medical practice is very different now but no less challenging, with new technologies, electronic medical records and advanced diagnostic tools all changing patient care. A skilled and approachable mentor, he has been a role model to over 100 medical students and residents, helping to guide learners along their career paths.
Dr. John Hanly
Halifax rheumatologist Dr. John Hanly is being honoured with the Doctors Nova Scotia Senior Membership Award for his extensive contributions as a leader, researcher and teacher. He spearheaded the establishment of both the Arthritis Centre of Nova Scotia and the Arthritis Research Centre, supporting new research on arthritis and autoimmune rheumatic diseases, and improving clinical care for countless Nova Scotians. He also led efforts to establish an endowed research chair in rheumatology at Dalhousie University and the QEII and an endowment fund for rheumatology research at the QEII Foundation. Respected internationally as a prolific researcher, Dr. Hanly helped to establish and lead a large, international, multi-centre cohort study of systemic lupus. He has also created the Dalhousie lupus registry, thus benefitting patients locally and abroad.
CMA Honorary Membership Award
Dr. Nabil Nader, FRCSC
Amherst surgeon Dr. Nabil Nader is being recognized with the CMA Honorary Membership Award for his leadership and outstanding contributions in surgery. Dr. Nader’s surgical career has spanned 39 years and multiple locations. He studied medicine at St. Joseph’s University in Beirut, Lebanon, and completed his post-doctoral residency training in general surgery at Université Laval in Quebec. Dr. Nader did his medical education in Lebanon during the country’s civil war. As his skills developed in the theatre of war, so did his dedication to his practice as a surgeon and his commitment to care for those in need during unspeakable hardship. After leaving Lebanon with his family, Dr. Nader took multiple locum positions in Nova Scotia prior to settling in Amherst in 2006. For the past 16 years, Dr. Nader has worked at the Cumberland Regional Health Care Centre in Amherst. Through his leadership, he has transformed the hospital’s surgical department into a centre of excellence for complex abdominal surgery.
Dr. John Fraser
Halifax family physician Dr. John Fraser is being recognized with the CMA Honorary Membership for his leadership providing care for Nova Scotians who live with substance use disorder, chronic pain and homelessness. During his 43 years in practice, Dr. Fraser has created or participated in shaping many of the programs in Nova Scotia that support the care of marginalized people. He practises family medicine at the North End Community Health Centre (NECHC), a community-based health centre on Gottingen Street. He also provides care to patients with chronic pain and substance use disorder at the QEII Pain Management Unit and at Pain and Addiction Albro Lake (PAAL), a new community-based clinic he helped establish in north-end Dartmouth. For many years, he provided care at Direction 180 and the Metro Turning Point Shelter.
The awards will be presented at Doctors Nova Scotia’s 2022 annual conference scheduled for June 4 at Digby Pines Golf Resort and Spa in Digby, N.S.
Nominations for the 2023 Achievement Awards will open in summer 2022.
Doctors Nova Scotia honoured eight doctors for their contributions to the medical profession in 2021. For a complete list of all physicians honoured in past years, check out this list of achievement award winners.