Each year, at the association’s annual conference, Doctors Nova Scotia recognizes physicians who are making a big difference for patients and their communities. The awards celebrate some of the most dedicated, innovative and caring doctors in the province.
Distinguished Service Award: Dr. Stan Kutcher
Psychiatrist Dr. Stan Kutcher was awarded the Distinguished Service Award for his contributions to the treatment and understanding of adolescent mental illness. Practising since 1985, Dr. Kutcher helped pioneer research on youth with major mental illnesses. As a clinician, researcher and educator, he helped bridge areas that often sit as silos within medicine. He has held several leadership roles, including head of psychiatry and associate dean of international health at Dalhousie University and the Sun Life Financial Chair in Adolescent Mental Health at Dalhousie and the IWK. Recently appointed to the Senate, Dr. Kutcher plans to champion evidence-based health priorities to improve health and mental health outcomes for all Canadians.
Rural Physician of the Year Award: Dr. John R. Hamilton
Antigonish ophthalmologist Dr. John R. Hamilton was recognized for his dedication to providing surgical and medical vision care for patients across northern Nova Scotia and eastern Cape Breton. For 37 years, he has provided a network of satellite clinics in rural communities, bringing continuity of care for patients living in remote areas. Thanks to his work, diabetic eye screening and treatment in this region is one of the highest in Nova Scotia. Instrumental in recruiting ophthalmologists and sourcing the equipment they need for their work, Dr. Hamilton supervises a state-of-the-art ophthalmology service in Antigonish.
Dr. William Grigor Award: Dr. Sue Zinck
A child and adolescent psychiatrist at the IWK, Dr. Sue Zinck received the Dr. William Grigor Award for her commitment to improving mental health care access for children and adolescents of all genders. Dr. Zinck practises at the Community Mental Health Clinic in Halifax and at the IWK Bipolar Disorders care clinic. Seeing a need for clinical expertise and support for transgender youth, she co-founded the IWK Trans Health Team, the first transgender health clinic for youth in the Maritimes. She also teaches and supervises medical students, residents and fellows. At Dalhousie Medical School, Dr. Zinck led the redevelopment of the human sexuality curriculum for first-year students.
Physician Health Promotion Award: Dr. John Fraser
A family physician specializing in in addiction and pain management, Dr. John Fraser was awarded the Physician Health Promotion Award for his dedication to serving marginalized Nova Scotians. Practising for 40 years at the North End Community Health Centre in Halifax, Dr. Fraser has devoted his career to building programs that bring crucial services to marginalized people. He was instrumental in developing a number of community-based programs, including Phoenix House, Direction 180 and Shared Mental Health Care. He also works at the Pain Management Unit at the QEII and enjoys educating medical learners and colleagues about chronic pain, addiction and harm reduction.
Doctors Nova Scotia Senior Membership Award: Dr. Dora Stinson
Neonatologist Dr. Dora Stinson was recognized for her contributions to the care of newborns in the Maritimes. Practising in Halifax since 1975, Dr. Stinson helped found the neonatal intensive care team and develop the practices of neonatal care at the IWK. She has trained thousands of medical learners over her career. She has also participated in the Nova Scotia Reproductive Care Program, including as neonatal co-director. Though retired, Dr. Stinson continues to assist her colleagues in newborn care and teaching, and provides clinical care through the Nova Scotia Perinatal Follow-Up Program.
Doctors Nova Scotia Senior Membership Award: Dr. Herbert Orlik
Dr. Herbert Orlik won the Senior Membership Award for his 45-year career as a psychiatrist, educator and advocate for child and youth mental health. He has served in key leadership roles, including head of child psychiatry at the IWK and director of undergraduate psychiatry at Dalhousie University. Developing undergraduate and postgraduate programs, Dr. Orlik has helped establish psychiatry as a core subject for medical students in Canada, boosting the understanding of mental illness among physicians. He continues to teach medical learners, noting that one of his greatest joys is seeing his students succeed in their chosen fields.
CMA Honorary Membership Award: Dr. Sherry Litz
Dr. Sherry Litz received the CMA Honorary Membership Award for her contributions in pediatric anesthesiology. Over her more than 30 years in practice, Dr. Litz was instrumental in developing best practices for pediatric cardiac surgery and pediatric critical care in the Maritimes. She is a go-to colleague for managing care of the sickest patients and providing compassionate support to their families. While chief of pediatric anesthesia at the IWK for 12 years, Dr. Litz enjoyed recruiting new physicians into the fold. She continues to work in pediatric anesthesia at the IWK and at the South Shore Regional Hospital in Bridgewater, N.S.
CMA Honorary Membership Award: Dr. Kim Crawford
Dr. Kim Crawford was honoured for his excellence in the practice of general internal medicine in rural Nova Scotia. For 34 years, Dr. Crawford has worked in Liverpool, N.S. while also providing care in Shelburne and Bridgewater. He has become an invaluable mentor and ally for family doctors, helping them give their patients fulsome spectrum of care, in particular, patients who fall outside of a specific subspecialty. He has also lent his expertise to several leadership roles, including chief of medicine and chief of staff, and numerous key positions with Doctors Nova Scotia, the Canadian Medical Association and the Canadian Medical Protective Association.
CMA Honorary Membership Award: Dr. Albert Doucet
Dr. Albert Doucet was recognized for his 35-year career as a family physician and advocate for his community. Dr. Doucet ran a comprehensive family practice in Liverpool, N.S. where he cared for his own hospital patients, worked in the emergency department and assisted in the OR; he did his own obstetrics, tonsillectomies, vasectomies and D&Cs. He also taught medical students and acted as a CAPP examiner for international medical graduates. Now retired from clinical practice, Dr. Doucet is chair of the Queens General Hospital Foundation. His efforts have helped bring equipment and infrastructure to the hospital and attract physicians to the community.
Do you know a doctor that deserves to be celebrated? Leave a comment and tell us all about them!