Alberta Medical Association

Alberta Medical Association

September 22, 2011 16:28 ET

Alberta Medical Association Bestows Highest Honors on Five Outstanding Albertans for Their Roles in Improving Health Care

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Sept. 22, 2011) - On Friday, September 23, the Alberta Medical Association (AMA) will honor five exceptional Albertans for their dedication to health care and the people of Alberta. The evening award presentations take place during the AMA's annual general meeting and Representative Forum being held at the Westin 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 to recognize their contributions to the advancement of research, education, health care organization and health education, as well as their efforts to raise the standards of health care in Alberta. This year's recipients are two extraordinary Albertans who have volunteered countless hours in these ways.

The first Medal of Honor recipient is melanoma survivor and patient advocate Tanny Nadon, who, inspired by a chance encounter with a fellow patient, has devoted much of the past 13 years to educating Albertans about the illness. Mrs. Nadon is an outspoken activist dedicated to ensuring that people understand the importance of sun safety, self-examinations, skin cancer screening and early detection. She organizes and participates in skin cancer awareness and screening events and networks with Canadian dermatology and melanoma specialists to ensure their education materials reach the public. She brings her personal experience to her role as a board member for several organizations.

The second Medal of Honor is being awarded to an individual whose tireless work has helped to advance medical education and health research. Gail O'Brien, together with her husband, invested $5 million to establish the O'Brien Centre for the Bachelor of Health Sciences Program at the University of Calgary. Her fundraising efforts have helped to raise more than $300 million for health research and to create the $450,000 Grant Gall memorial fund that supports medical and health science students in their international health electives.

The Medal for Distinguished Service is given to physicians who have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to their community and passion for their work. Recipients this year include a pediatrician and adolescent medicine expert, Dr. April Elliott; a gastrointestinal oncologist and cancer control leader, Dr. Anthony Fields; and a dermatologist and melanoma treatment pioneer, Dr. Thomas Salopek.

Dr. April Elliott is renowned for her contributions to medicine and her compassion and care for marginalized youth in our community. She is the founder and developer of the Calgary Adolescent Treatment Services (CATS) clinic – a model for providing medical care to adolescents who might not otherwise have access – and chief of the Division of Adolescent Medicine at Alberta Children's Hospital in Calgary. Lauded for her approach to adolescent medicine, her work has been profiled in numerous publications and has made her a sought-after presenter. She has served on several committees and is a clinical associate professor at the University of Calgary.

Recognized and respected across Canada for his skill in the treatment of gastrointestinal cancers and his leadership in cancer control programs, Dr. Anthony Fields' contributions to medicine have shaped cancer diagnosis, treatment and prevention within the Province of Alberta. Throughout his career, he has held a variety of critical leadership positions with the University of Alberta Hospital, the University of Alberta, the Cross Cancer Institute and the Alberta Cancer Board. Among his many honors and awards, he was named one of 100 Physicians of the Century in 2005 by the AMA and College of Physicians & Surgeons of Alberta.

Dr. Thomas G. Salopek is recognized nationally and internationally for his outstanding contributions to dermatology and for pioneering treatments that have set new standards for care. He was instrumental in the creation of the successful Multidisciplinary Melanoma Clinic at the University of Alberta Hospital – a revolutionary, multidisciplinary concept that expedites treatment and allows physicians to work together on a cohesive treatment plan. In addition to being a founding member of the Canadian Melanoma Conference and associate professor at the University of Alberta, he has published dozens of articles and abstracts and presented at meetings around the world.

For more information, or to request an interview, please contact Shannon E. Rupnarain or Ronald A. Kustra.

Contact Information

  • Alberta Medical Association
    Shannon E. Rupnarain
    Director, Public Affairs
    Cell: 780.907.9003

    Alberta Medical Association
    Ronald A. Kustra
    Assistant Executive Director, Public Affairs
    Cell: 780.990.4271