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10 Nova Scotia doctors honoured for their work

Many talented and innovative physicians call Nova Scotia home. Each year, Doctors Nova Scotia (DNS) celebrates its hard-working and highly skilled members who are making a difference for patients and communities.

This year, DNS and the Canadian Medical Association have honoured 10 physicians and one medical student for exemplary achievement.

Pictured above, from left to right: medical student Neha Khanna, Dr. Tim Holland, Dr. Ajantha Jayabarathan, Dr. Tommy Brothers, DNS past-president Dr. Colin Audain, CMA president Dr. Joss Reimer, Dr. Robin Bustin, Dr. Carol Ann Critchley, Dr. Shelagh Leahey, Dr. Peter Poulos and Dr. Leo Pereira.

Distinguished Service Award: Dr. Ajantha Jayabarathan (Dr. AJ)
After 33 years of practising family medicine, Dr. Ajantha Jayabarathan (Dr. AJ) has been awarded the Distinguished Service Award in recognition of her dedication and expertise that has transformed the lives of her patients and played a pivotal role in building capacity and empowering family physicians across Nova Scotia. In 2021, she created the Nova Scotia Health Geo-View, a virtual mapping tool that helps physicians access socioeconomic data and search for community-based services and other information to help their patients.

Dr. William Grigor Award: Dr. Timothy Holland
Family physician Dr. Tim Holland has received the Dr. William Grigor Award for his advocacy efforts and dedication to boosting patient access to quality health care. Past-president of Doctors Nova Scotia, Dr. Holland co-founded the Newcomer Health Clinic in Halifax, where he now serves as medical lead. He also runs a family practice at the Sipekne’katik Health Centre and played a pivotal role in founding both the Canadian Refugee Health Network and the Doctors for Decriminalization coalition.

Physician Health Promotion Award: Dr. Daria Manos
Radiologist Dr. Daria Manos receives the DNS Physician Health Promotion Award in recognition of her outstanding work with the Nova Scotia Lung Screening Program. She has advocated for a provincial lung cancer screening and prevention program since 2011 in an effort to reduce the number of Nova Scotians dying of lung cancer. On average, the radiologist on the ‘chest desk’ at the QEII diagnoses one new case of lung cancer each day. Dr. Manos has an extensive list of publications, lectures widely, and runs an annual Physician Leadership Workshop for women in radiology.

Community Specialist of the Year Award: Dr. Leo Pereira
Dr. Leo Pereira is receiving the Community Specialist of the Year Award for his excellence in providing diabetes care for patients in rural Nova Scotia. An internist for 34 years, Dr. Pereira practised at Saint Martha’s Regional Hospital in Antigonish and provided travel clinics in the Eastern Zone, at locations including Victoria County Memorial Hospital in Baddeck, Strait Richmond Hospital in Evanston and Saint Anne’s Centre in Arichat. Dr. Pereira improved outcomes and standards of care, educated providers and lowered complications for his patients. He retired in December 2023.

Community Family Physician of the Year: Dr. Peter Poulos
North Sydney general practitioner Dr. Peter Poulos receives the DNS Community Family Physician of the Year award in recognition of his 42-year career as a primary care physician and, over the past 20 years, as a palliative care physician with the Cape Breton Palliative Care Service, which includes providing patient care in hospital, in the community and in hospice. Dr. Poulos also mentors medical learners, teaching family medicine residents in palliative care.

Outstanding Medical Student Award: Neha Khanna
Third-year medical student Neha Khanna is receiving the Outstanding Medical Student Award for her leadership to integrate equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) into medical curriculum and foster a more inclusive learning environment. In the role of vice-president of EDI with the Dalhousie Medical Student Society, Ms. Khanna created a guide for faculty on the use of inclusive and first-person language. She also co-established the first Addiction Medicine Interest Group at Dalhousie.

Outstanding Resident Award: Dr. Thomas (Tommy) Brothers
Dr. Tommy Brothers has received the Outstanding Resident Award for promoting a culture of harm reduction and helping to build an inpatient addiction medicine consultation service at the QEII Health Sciences Centre, improving health care for people who use drugs. He also helped to organize and implement Atlantic Canada’s first supervised consumption site, the HaliFIX Overdose Prevention Site.

Doctors Nova Scotia Senior Membership Award: Dr. James Chandler
Psychiatrist Dr. James Chandler is being honoured with the Senior Membership Award for his outstanding contributions providing care to patients in Yarmouth and surrounding communities. Over more than 35 years of practice, Dr. Chandler has worked in several capacities at Yarmouth Regional Hospital and was often the lone child psychiatrist working in southwestern Nova Scotia, providing compassionate care to patients and their families.

Doctors Nova Scotia Senior Membership Award: Dr. Shelagh Leahey
Dr. Shelagh Leahey has received the Senior Membership Award in recognition of her 47 years of providing care for people in the Yarmouth area. She has seen her career transition from family practice (including obstetrical work) to providing palliative care, working in medical administration, and finally helping to establish a family medicine residency training site in South West Nova.

Canadian Medical Association Honorary Membership Award: Dr. Carol Ann Critchley
Dr. Carol Ann Critchley is being honoured with the CMA Honorary Membership Award in recognition of her more than 45-year career as a family physician in Sydney. For many years she worked in the emergency department and provided hospitalist care. She now works in obstetrics, assists in the operating room, and is a general practitioner in oncology at the cancer centre. Dr. Critchley has served as president of medical staff in the Cape Breton District Health Authority and has participated in the family medicine residency training program in Cape Breton.

Canadian Medical Association Honorary Membership Award: Dr. Robin Bustin
Berwick family physician Dr. Robin Bustin has received the CMA Honorary Membership Award in recognition of more than 40 years of service to his community. He helped form the Berwick Family Practice, which is now a collaborative practice and training site for family practice residents. Since semi-retiring in 2023, Dr. Bustin provides care for people with opiate use disorder and wound care to patients in long-term care facilities.

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