EDMONTON, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Sept. 20, 2012) - On Friday, September 21, 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 Hotel in Edmonton. The AMA's Medal of Honor and Medal for Distinguished Service represent the highest honors bestowed by the AMA and its members.
The 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 a bioengineer whose research is improving mobility for people who have suffered spinal cord injuries. Vivian Mushahwar, PhD, an adjunct professor in the Centre for Neuroscience at the University of Alberta, has dedicated her career to developing rehabilitation interventions for improving and restoring lost functions such as standing and walking, while reducing the formation of pressure ulcers in people with reduced mobility. This work led to the creation of Smart-e Pants, a revolutionary intelligent electrical stimulation-based system for preventing ulcers. More than 200 Alberta nurses, and physical and occupational therapists have been instructed on how to use the Smart-e Pants intervention.
The second Medal of Honor is being awarded to an individual who has devoted herself to improving access to care for children and families living with asthma. Shirley van de Wetering leads the Child Asthma Network (iCAN), which provides clinical resource tools to Calgary and High River community physicians, their patients and families. The combined efforts of Ms van de Wetering and her team have contributed to a significant reduction in emergency visits for children with asthma in the Calgary Zone. She also developed the iCAN website, which is recognized locally, nationally and internationally. She currently leads Calgary's Community Pediatric Asthma Service.
The Medal for Distinguished Service is given to physicians who have made outstanding personal contributions to the medical profession and to the people of Alberta, and have contributed to the art and science of medicine and raised the standards of medical practice.
This year's recipients are three extraordinary Albertans who have devoted countless hours in these ways.
Dr. Ian R. Lange, a Calgary obstetrician and gynecologist, was instrumental in introducing to Alberta the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada's "Managing Obstetrical Risk Efficiently" or "MORE OB" program. MORE OB is a comprehensive improvement program that focuses on creating a culture of patient safety in obstetrical units. A professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the residency program director at the University of Calgary, Dr. Lange is currently working on developing a "Point of Care" ultrasound course, structured around helping first-year residents in obstetrics and gynecology improve the ability to provide timely and accurate fetal assessment.
Dr. Eldon R. Smith was instrumental in establishing Calgary as one of the strongest cardiology centers in Canada. He is a respected cardiologist who worked tirelessly to build and recruit the clinical and research leadership for cardiac science in Calgary. Dr. Smith's efforts increased Alberta's capacity to prevent and treat cardiac disease. In the early '80s, he developed a core cardiology training program, which remains to this day one of the most popular training programs in Canada. Dr. Smith is board chair of the Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta and sits on many other boards of foundations, societies and organizations. He is an Officer of the Order of Canada.
Throughout his distinguished career, Dr. D.H. Ross Truscott served in many clinical, leadership and research roles that advanced pediatric cancer care in our province. A consultant with the Southern Alberta Pediatric Oncology Program since its inception in 1970, Dr. Truscott also mentored and trained many physicians who emulate his compassionate approach to cancer care. Until earlier this year, Dr. Truscott was director of the Long-Term Survivors Follow-Up Clinic at the Oncology Program at Alberta Children's Hospital. After four decades of devotion to caring for children with various cancers, Dr. Truscott retired at the end of 2011.