Alberta Medical Association

Alberta Medical Association

September 26, 2007 17:24 ET

Alberta Medical Association Recognizes Distinguished Albertans for Their Commitment to Medicine and Our Province

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Sept. 26, 2007) - The Alberta Medical Association (AMA) will honor five outstanding Albertans on Friday, September 28 during the annual general meeting and Representative Forum (RF) in Calgary. The AMA's Medal of Honor and Medal for Distinguished Service represent the highest honors bestowed by the AMA and its members.

The AMA Medal of Honor is presented to non-physicians who have made a significant contribution to ensuring quality health care for the people of Alberta. This year the AMA is recognizing two Medal of Honor winners - two women who have dedicated immeasurable time and energy to improving the lives of elderly and disabled Albertans.

Diana McIntyre is a nurse, a nurse educator and health care administrator who has dedicated herself to improving the quality of care for long-term care patients and support for caregivers. She is a passionate advocate for maintaining quality of life in long-term care, and has served on many provincial and national committees related to health. She is the founding president of the Edmonton chapter of the Canadian Liver Foundation and the founder of the Alberta Caregivers Association.

Louise Miller helped found the Spinal Cord Injury Treatment Centre Society (SCITCS) in 1987, and has been instrumental in establishing the SCITCS Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) Exercise Clinic and the recently opened SCITCS FES Research Laboratory at the University of Alberta. She was the first non-politician woman appointed to the Board of Directors of the Royal Alexandra Hospital, and chaired Edmonton's Advisory Board for People with Disabilities. She is also the producer of Daring to Live; a book presented to all spinal cord injury patients at the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital.

The AMA's Medal for Distinguished Service is given to physicians who have made an outstanding personal contribution to medicine and to the people of Alberta, and in the process have contributed to the art and science of medicine while raising the standards of medical practice. This year three physicians are being recognized with Medals for Distinguished Service. They are Edmonton pediatric neurologist, Dr. Keith E. Aronyk, Pincher Creek physician and rural medicine pioneer, Dr. Catherine L. Scrimshaw, and the late Dr. Harvey A. Reist, a general practitioner from Daysland. (Dr. Reist passed away on September 14. We will be honored to present this award to his family.)

Pediatric neurosurgeon, Dr. Keith Aronyk was instrumental in the development of the pediatric surgery department at the Stollery Children's Hospital, where he served as chief of pediatric surgery from 1999-2005. For many years, he was the only pediatric neurosurgeon in northern Alberta and is credited with saving the lives of many Alberta children. Dr. Aronyk is a respected researcher, who has published extensively, particularly in relation to the treatment of hydrocephalus. Since 2000 he has also been an associate professor of neurosurgery at the University of Alberta. In 2005, he was named an AMA Physician of the Century.

Dr. Catherine Scrimshaw is a rural physician serving the Pincher Creek region who has worked tirelessly to improve access to health care, especially for patients in remote and isolated populations. Her research work has focused on such areas as identifying opportunities and barriers to additional surgical skill training for rural physicians, evaluation strategies for rural primary care and improving community involvement in primary health care.

The late Dr. Harvey Reist was a general practitioner and rural physician who served the residents of Daysland and its surrounding communities for over 48 years. He was the driving force behind reconstruction of the Daysland Hospital in 1961 and its expansion to its current 30-bed size in 1993. He spent 25 years as chief of staff at the hospital, helped to establish the Battle River Medical Group - a peer review and on-going education group - and was a past mayor of Daysland. In 2005 he was a recipient of a Centennial Medal from the Province of Alberta.

The awards, along with several awards for long service, will be presented this Friday, September 28 during a presentation at the AMA's annual general meeting and Representative Forum, the Evening with the President Gala, held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Calgary, Alberta.

Contact Information

  • Alberta Medical Association
    Shannon E. Rupnarain, MBA, ABC
    Director, Public Affairs
    (780) 907-9003