Dr. Robert Strang Community Hero awards

Twenty Nova Scotians to receive the Dr. Robert Strang Community Hero Award

Twenty Nova Scotians who have inspired others, raised spirits or helped people cope during the COVID-19 pandemic have been chosen to receive the Dr. Robert Strang Community Hero Award. A committee chose the 20 winners from 179 outstanding applications.

Receiving the award are:

1. Mathew Benvie, Halifax 11. Anni Isenor, Halifax
2. Patricia Bishop, Port Williams 12. Vince Landry, Dartmouth
3. Crystal Blair, Debert 13. Mary Janet MacDonald, Port Hood
4. Lisa Bond, North Sydney 14. Richard Martell, Falmouth
5. Dr. Barry Clarke, Halifax 15. Rebeccah Raphael, Halifax
6. Jan Coates, Wolfville 16. Lawrence Shebib, North Sydney
7. Kevin Patrick Del Val, Stellarton 17. Georgia Skinner, Halifax
8. Wayne Ettinger, Kempt Shore 18. Matt Spurway, Dartmouth
9. Loukman Ghouti, Halifax 19. Athanasius Sylliboy, Eskasoni
10. Michael Hatt, Port Hawkesbury 20. Susan Wright, Ellershouse

Each winner will receive one of Dr. Strang’s famous neckties, autographed by him and framed.

During the month of June, the winners’ names will be announced on Doctors Nova Scotia’s social media channels (Facebook and Twitter) and on the YourDoctors.ca blog.

In December 2020, Nova Scotia’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Robert Strang, donated some of the zany neckties he had worn to help lighten the mood during the year’s COVID-19 media briefings to decorate a Christmas tree for the Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia’s annual Festival of Trees fundraiser. Doctors Nova Scotia was the successful bidder for that Christmas tree.

The Dr. Robert Strang Community Hero Award was created so the neckties could continue to uplift and inspire Nova Scotians, in honour of Dr. Strang and the team at Nova Scotia Public Health. Doctors Nova Scotia partnered with Nova Scotia Health and IWK Health to offer this award. A committee with representatives from each organization reviewed 179 nominations and selected 20 winners.

This award is about recognizing the unsung heroes among us who have put others first and gone the extra mile to serve their communities during this difficult time.


“Even during the pandemic, Nova Scotians are working hard to help others. This award is about honouring those who have gone above and beyond to make life better for people in their communities,” said Nancy MacCready-Williams, CEO of Doctors Nova Scotia. 

“This award honours the dedicated staff at Nova Scotia Public Health and likeminded members of our community who continue to inspire us with their commitment to support the health and safety of Nova Scotians during this challenging time. It’s this Nova Scotia spirit that makes us the envy of the country,” said Dr. Brendan Carr, President and CEO of Nova Scotia Health.

“This award is a great tribute to the incredible spirit of Nova Scotians. In this extraordinary year, our colleagues, friends and neighbours have stepped up in so many ways to support one another. These awards are a wonderful way to recognize Nova Scotians who are working hard behind the scenes to keep their communities safe,” said Dr. Krista Jangaard, President and CEO of IWK Health.


Barb Johnson
Senior communications advisor
1-800-563-3427 ext. 4915