Winners of the 2022 Alumni Awards of Distinction

Posted on Thursday, September 29, 2022

By Tiffany Barnes-Huggins
Marketing and Communications Officer

On behalf of Dr. Bernard Jasmin, dean of the Faculty of Medicine, here are the 2022 recipients of the Alumni Awards of Distinction. This year’s awards were presented at the Faculty of Medicine Awards and Recognition Gala 2022 on the evening of Saturday, Oct. 1.

Exceptional Leadership Awards: Dr. Jason R. Frank, Dr. Harinder Sandhu and Dr. Peter Walker

The Exceptional Leadership Award is presented to an alum who has demonstrated professional excellence, leadership and dedication to the community. This award honours excellence in advancing the delivery of health care working across academic hospitals and research pillars. The recipient is a true champion in the realm of medicine who demonstrates excellence as a community leader.

Dr. Jason R. Frank (MD 1997): Dr. Jason R. Frank is a clinician-educator with a focus on all aspects of health profession training.  He is a professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Medicine as well as an attending physician at the Ottawa Hospital. He serves as the founding director for the Centre for Innovation in Medical Education (ciMED) at the University of Ottawa. Formerly, he worked as the Director, Specialty Education, Strategy and Standards in the Office of Specialty Education at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. He obtained an MD from the University of Ottawa, an FRCPC in Emergency Medicine at the University of Toronto and a Masters of Education from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. He is known for his work on all aspects of medical education, particularly the CanMEDS Project, and competency-based medical education (CBME). He is the founder and chair of the International CBME Collaborators consortium and the Competence by Design project. A past finalist for Canada’s Top 40 Under 40, he has been recognized for his contributions to medicine and teaching. He is the recipient of the 2013 Council Award Honouring Outstanding Physicians, from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, and was made an honorary Fellow of the Australian Orthopedic Association in 2015 for his contributions to surgical education. In 2020, he was given the Ian Hart Award by the Association for Medical Education in Europe, one of the highest international honours for contributions to health professions education.

Watch the acceptance speech of Dr. Jason R. Frank.

Dr. Harinder Sandhu (PhD 1982): Dr. Sandhu has a brilliant thirty-five-year record of public service. He has been the face of Dental Education at Schulich Dentistry, Western University, both provincially and nationally, for over fifteen years. Dr. Sandhu has a unique quality of bringing divergent views together for the common good. As a prolific researcher, especially in the area of periodontics, Dr. Sandhu has received numerous academic awards and invitations to provide lectures on Periodontology worldwide.  Dr. Sandhu spent many years serving in leadership capacities at the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry at Western University as a Director, as Vice-Dean, as the Chair of the Periodontics Division, and as the Chair of the Admissions Committee in Dentistry. Dr. Sandhu received his initial dental training from Guru Nanak University in India and his Ph.D. in Anatomy in 1982 from the University of Ottawa. He received his Certificate in Periodontics in 1985 from Loma Linda University and was supported by MRC of Canada during his pre-doctoral and post-doctoral training. He joined Western in 1985 as a Career Scientist of the Ontario Ministry of Health, joined the Faculty of Dentistry in 1987 and was promoted to the rank of full professor in 1998.  He has more than forty publications in international journals and has been inducted as a Fellow of the American College of Dentists (FACD), International College of Dentists, as well as memberships with the Ontario Dental Association and the American Academy of Periodontology.

Watch the acceptance speech of Dr. Harinder Sandhu.

Dr. Peter Walker (MD 1972): Dr. Peter Walker is a former Professor and Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Ottawa. He was instrumental in constituting formal agreements between the Faculty and seven teaching hospitals, including the newly established Ottawa Hospital, the University of Ottawa Heart Institute, CHEO, Hôpital Montfort and the Royal Ottawa Health Care Group. As dean of the faculty between 1995-2006, student numbers in the MD Program increased from 84 to 152 students and graduate student numbers surged from 167 to 400. The medical school also developed two additional undergraduate programs, one in French and the other for Indigenous students. The Indigenous Program was developed in partnership with Indigenous partners and with the guidance of uOttawa Elder William Commanda. By the end of his tenure, the faculty's research funding had nearly tripled from $31 million to $114 million, allowing for the construction of a wet lab research addition and plans for further additions including simulation, evaluation, dry research space and student amenities. In 2016, Dr. Walker won the health, science and technology category for Radio-Canada/Le Droit’s Personality of the Year award for his expertise as chief executive officer and scientific director at the Bruyère Research Institute. His accomplishments impressed the judges, particularly his role in obtaining the prestigious World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Knowledge Translation and Health Technology Assessment in Health Equity designation.

Watch the acceptance speech of Dr. Peter Walker.

Lifetime Achievement Awards: Dr. Donna Ouchterlony, Dr. Denis-Richard Roy and Dr. Valerie M. Weaver 

The Lifetime Achievement Award honours a lifetime of significant contributions to the community and achievement in health care and medicine. Recipients are leaders in their respective field and have demonstrated professional excellence and selfless dedication over their years of work.

Dr. Donna Ouchterlony (MD 1967): Dr. Donna Ouchterlony is a pioneer in the neurorehabilitation field and obtained her MD from the University of Ottawa in 1967. She started one of the first neurorehabilitation units in Canada at the Riverdale Hospital where she worked as director of the unit for 29 years (now known as the Hennick Bridgepoint Hospital). She then moved on to the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre where she developed the acute care brain injury rehabilitation program and co-founded the Outpatient Mild brain Injury Clinic with Dr. Anthony Feinstein. For 20 years she served as the director of the Head Injury Clinic at St. Michael’s Hospital which became the largest multidisciplinary clinic of its kind in Canada. She was a founding member of the Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) network and served as chair of the Referral Process Committee for 5 years. She has presented and published internationally and was one of the authors of the second edition of the guideline on Mild Traumatic Brain Injury. She has also designed courses on concussions for the OMA & College care of Family Physicians. Dr. Ouchterlony’s work has impacted many communities including First Nations and those who serve in the military, through her projects to diagnoses and manage head injuries. This year she was appointed to the Order of Canada for her pioneering approaches and decades- long commitment to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of acquired brain injuries.

Dr. Denis-Richard Roy (BA 1968, MD 1972, EMBA 1996): Dr. Denis-Richard Roy is an internationally recognized leader and physician specializing in nephrology. He was the President and CEO of Health Sciences North from 2009 up until his retirement in June 2017.  Under Roy's tenure, the former Sudbury Regional Hospital changed its name to "Health Sciences North," to reflect the hospital’s expanding role in research and medical training. Dr. Roy earned a BA, MD and EMBA from the University of Ottawa in 1968, 1972 and 1996 respectively. His post-doctoral education includes an MRC Research fellow, Renal physiology from Stanford University in the United States. Dr. Roy was CEO of the Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal (CHUM) from 2002 to 2008.  Dr. Roy has held numerous leadership positions with McGill University Health Centre, Royal Victoria Hospital, Montreal Thoracic Institute and the Centre hospitalier régional de l’Outaouais and was most recently Consulting Manager at CHUM.  He has been a member of several provincial, national and international boards including the Association of Canadian Academic Hospitals, Canadian Council on Health Services Accreditation and the Medical Research Council of Canada and served as Vice Chair of the Founding Board for the Canadian Patient Safety Institute.

Dr. Valerie M. Weaver (PhD 1992): Dr. Valerie M. Weaver is the Director of the Center for Bioengineering and Tissue Regeneration and Professor in the Department of Surgery at the University of California (UFC) in San Francisco. She is cross-appointed to the Departments of Radiation Oncology and Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences at UFC and is a member of the Helen Diller Cancer Center and the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regeneration Medicine and Stem Cell Research at the University of California. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry at the University of Ottawa in 1987, graduating Summa cum Laude, and a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Ottawa in 1992. Dr. Weaver is an internationally recognized expert on the extracellular matrix (ECM) and she is credited with establishing the field of Tumor Mechanobiology. Her stem cell program addresses the role of tissue tension on stem cell expansion and early human embryonic development. She is an editor on journals including MBoC, Dev Cell and iScience and is frequently sought after for speaking engagements both nationally and internationally. She has been recognized for her research and leadership through prestigious awards including: the Colin Thomson Medal of Honor from the Worldwide Cancer Research, the National Cancer Institute Outstanding Investigator Award, and most recently the Biomedical Engineering Society Shu Chien Achievement Award in 2022.

Rising Star Achievement Awards: Dr. Marc Carrier, Julie J. Burtt and Dr. Siba Haykal Hunter

The Rising Star Achievement Award recognizes an outstanding alum who has demonstrated professional excellence and exceptional leadership while making significant contributions to health care and medicine. This award honours young alumni with 10 to 20 years of professional experience in their medical specialty.

Dr. Marc Carrier (MD 2002): Dr. Carrier is Head of the Division of Hematology in the Department of Medicine at The Ottawa Hospital, a Professor in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Ottawa and a Senior Scientist in the Clinical Epidemiology Program at The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute. He obtained his MD from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Ottawa in 2002. He holds a Tier 1 Research Chair in Venous Thromboembolism and Cancer from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Ottawa. He has won prestigious awards such as the New Investigator Award from the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada and the Dr. Michel Chrétien Researcher of the Year Award for his study published in the New England Journal of Medicine that improves care for VTE patients around the world.  His clinical research is focused on venous thromboembolic disease and cancer, including cancer screening, prevention and management.

Dr. Siba Haykal Hunter (MD 2007 & BSc 2004): Dr. Siba Haykal Hunter is a Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon and Assistant Professor of Surgery at the University Health Network. Dr. Haykal graduated from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Ottawa in 2007 and subsequently completed her residency training in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the University of Toronto in 2016. During her residency, she completed a four-year PhD in tissue engineering, regenerative medicine and immunology with a focus on tracheal reconstruction. Dr. Haykal completed fellowship training in microsurgical reconstruction at the Albany Medical Centre in Albany New York where she holds a position of Assistant Professor. She is also cross appointed to the Division of Thoracic Surgery within the University Health Network. Her clinical focus is on complex oncological reconstruction and microsurgical reconstruction of the breast, head and neck and extremity. Her research focuses on tissue-engineered techniques for tracheal reconstruction and the immunology of vascularized composite allotransplantation. Dr. Haykal has been the recipient of numerous grants and awards for her clinical, academic and research work including a CIHR Vanier Scholarship. Most recently, in 2021, she was named as an honoree of Canada’s Top 40 under 40 award which recognizes Canadian leaders who inspire others, are visionaries and creative problem solvers, and give back to communities.

Watch the acceptance speech of Dr. Siba Haykal Hunter.

Julie J. Burtt (Spéc./Hon.; BSc, Physiology 2007):  Mrs. Julie J. Burtt is a Radiation and Health Sciences Specialist at the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC). She received a Bachelor of Science in Physiology with Honors in 2007 from the University of Ottawa. Mrs. Burtt has over 15 years of experience in the field of radiation biology with primary area of research being human health impacts from exposures to low doses of ionizing radiation. Mrs. Burtt has extensive experience in risk communication and frequently provides expert scientific and technical information to the CNSC Commission and various stakeholders including the public, Indigenous Peoples, and other stakeholders. Mrs. Burtt is a member the International Commission on Radiological Protection, as well as a past (2019 and 2020) Canadian advisor to the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) and continues as a Technical Expert for the UNSCEAR secretariat. She is also a member of the National Energy Agency’s Expert Group on Non-Radiological Public Health Aspects of Radiation Emergency Planning and Response and a scientific committee member with the Canadian Organization on Health Effects from Radiation Exposure. In her spare time, Mrs. Burtt is actively pursuing her PhD in Human Studies and Interdisciplinarity at Laurentian University.

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The Student Assistance Fund at the Faculty Of Medicine provides financial support to all students enrolled in the Faculty of Medicine

Dr. Jason R. Frank

Dr. Harinder Sandhu

Dr. Peter Walker

Dr. Donna Ouchterlony

Dr. Valerie M. Weaver

Dr. Marc Carrier

Dr. Siba Haykal Hunter

Julie J. Burtt


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