The Canadian Dermatology Association Announces 2023 Award Recipients

OTTAWA, June 19, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Canadian Dermatology Association (CDA) is excited to announce this year’s recipients of its Member Awards and Public Education Awards.

Each year, the Membership and Awards Committee thoroughly reviews nominations received using a robust scoring system.

2023 CDA Member Awards

These awards recognize certified dermatologists for excellence in leadership, clinical care, education, and research in the medical care of skin, hair, and nails.

Lifetime Achievement Award: Dr. James D. Walker and Dr. Peter Hull

This award honours certified dermatologists who have made a lasting impact in dermatology through their professional accomplishments. This year's CDA Lifetime Achievement Award honours two outstanding members.

Dr. James D. Walker founded several initiatives that changed dermatology and medicine across Canada during his 40-year career. He developed and constructed the first Mohs Surgical Unit to treat skin cancer at The Ottawa Hospital (TOH). He also helped raise more than $3.7 million to build a dermatology centre of excellence at TOH in 2018.

Nationally, Dr. Walker founded Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada, which helped lobby to change our society’s relationship with cigarette smoking. He also helped found the Clinical and Scientific Meetings, which occur biannually and provide ongoing education for dermatologists from as far away as Kuwait, Europe, and the rest of Canada.

Dr. Walker has contributed to the training of countless medical students, residents, and dermatologists. His clinical work included working at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) in pediatric dermatology and numerous outreach clinics in Pembroke, Carleton Place, and the prison system. He was the head of dermatology at CHEO for 15 years and the head of dermatology at TOH and the University of Ottawa for 12 years.

Dr. Peter Hull’s longstanding commitment to excellence in dermatology began in 1978 when he completed his dermatology training at the University of Pretoria. He was recruited at the University of Saskatchewan in 1990, one of only four dermatologists in the province at that time, and worked there until 2013.

Dr. Hull spearheaded the University of Saskatchewan’s return of service program, connecting with postgraduate medicine and other dermatology programs across Canada to provide strong training opportunities for graduates. In 2014, he moved to Dalhousie University, where he was fully active in clinical work, teaching, and research until his retirement in April 2023. Dr. Hull continues to run the Epithelial Genetics lab at Dalhousie University.

Over his distinguished career, he published on a wide range of dermatological conditions, including contact dermatitis, the role of filaggrin in patients with multiple contact sensitivities, and skin peeling disorders. Dr. Hull has mentored numerous medical students and residents and has served on PhD committees.

Award of Merit: Dr. Régine Mydlarski

The CDA Award of Merit recognizes outstanding contributions to the CDA and dermatology. This year’s recipient, Dr. Régine Mydlarski, co-founded the Dermatology Residency Program at the University of Calgary in 2009 and served as the program director for six years. She gives selflessly to trainees across the country. During the COVID-19 pandemic, when dermatologists were challenged to provide care with health restrictions in place, Dr. Mydlarski supported the community by sharing facilities, supplies and reorganizing work and on-call schedules to ensure that patients with dermatological illnesses were not neglected.

Practitioner of the Year Award: Dr. Robert Tremaine

The CDA Practitioner of the Year Award honours Canadian dermatologists who provide excellence in patient care to their community and whose major focus is clinical practice. This year’s recipient, Dr. Robert Tremaine, has dedicated his professional life to helping patients in Atlantic Canada. He has been practicing community and academic dermatology for 34 years. He started his dermatology practice in 1989 and co-founded Atlantic Dermatology Consultants, where he has worked ever since. Always ready to lend a hand or give a suggestion on difficult cases, Dr. Tremaine has helped countless patients over the years.

Early Career Volunteer Award: Dr. Sophia Colantonio and Dr. Aaron Drucker

The CDA Early Career Volunteer Award recognizes residents, fellows, and new dermatologists who are committed to giving back to society through volunteer activities that have a medical or dermatological aspect. This year, the award recognizes two outstanding CDA members, Dr. Sophia Colantonio and Dr. Aaron Drucker.

Dr. Sophia Colantonio, board-certified in Canada and the U.S., has been involved in the education of students and residents for years. Most recently, she lectured for the CDA Resident Academic Study Hour and the National Dermatology Resident Lecture Series. She also helps prepare residents for their Royal College exams by running OSCE stations and participating in DRIVE, a program focused on dermatological education. Dr. Colantonio also serves on the board of the CDA and has taken on several local leadership roles, including director of the Ottawa Dermatology Journal Club.

Dr. Aaron Drucker has volunteered as a medical contributor to the Eczema Society of Canada (ESC) since 2015 and engaged with more than 20 projects in that time. He has worked to create and update medical content, develop new patient resources for websites and print publications, served as a guest speaker, and reviewed research data. His work has allowed ESC to deliver medically accurate programming and up-to-date disease information, including patient-facing content explaining phototherapy, systemic medications, and treatments for eczema. Dr. Drucker also partners with patients to ensure his research answers their questions directly.

Resident’s Writing Award: Dr. Janelle Cyr

The CDA Resident Writing Award recognizes dermatology residents who contribute and share their expertise and experiences within the dermatology community and have contributed significant knowledge in the dermatology field through publications.

This year’s award recipient is Dr. Janelle Cyr, a CDA member and PGY5 dermatology resident at the University of Ottawa. She receives the award for the work that she and her co-authors presented in the article “Draping in Dermatology: A Patient’s Perspective,” which was published in the CDA’s Journal of Cutaneous Medicine and Surgery.

2023 CDA Public Education Awards

The CDA Public Education Awards honour those in the industry, media, and not-for-profit sectors who have furthered the understanding of dermatologic issues and encouraged healthy behaviours in the medical care of skin, hair, and nails. Projects and activities recognized were completed between January 1, 2022 and December 31, 2022.

CDA Public Education Award: Not-for-Profit Category

Award recipient: Canadian Hidradenitis Suppurativa Foundation (CHSF)
Patient Education Resources Project

The CHSF published a second edition of the Hidradenitis Suppurativa (HS) electronic book on its website in 2022. It identifies the common concerns and unanswered questions of patients with a disease that can be difficult to treat. The content was updated based on advances in research; new chapters were also written on smoking cessation, wound care, diet, and pain management. An abbreviated summary for dermatologists to print for their patients was published on the CHSF’s website.

CDA Public Education Award: Media (Print)

Award recipient: CBC Kids, Street Cents

These TikTok and YouTube short videos are geared towards youth and explore hair and skin products to see if they work, if they’re worth buying, and if teens are getting what is marketed. The videos also explain terms that teens encounter in the beauty aisle or online, incorporating fun facts so that each video offers a bite-sized nugget of information that teens enjoy watching.

CDA Public Education Award: Media (Print)

Award recipient: The Skin and Joints Podcast

The Skin and Joints Podcast brings together a multidisciplinary team of dermatologists, pharmacists, and rheumatologists to have authentic conversations on the practical management of inflammatory diseases. In 2022, 11 episodes were published on major podcasting platforms about diagnostic guidelines and practical approaches, including therapies to manage giant cell arteritis, psoriasis/psoriatic arthritis, atopic dermatitis, chronic spontaneous urticaria, and hidradenitis suppurativa. The podcast simplifies complex medical concepts and emphasizes knowledge translation, making it accessible to patients and healthcare professionals.


Founded in 1925, the Canadian Dermatology Association (CDA) is the national voice of Canada’s certified dermatologists, the physician experts in skin health. The CDA is committed to uniting dermatologists through education and advocacy, fostering a strong, united professional community, and promoting excellent patient care through continued professional development.

Together, we advocate for the certified dermatologist and their essential role in the Canadian healthcare system; protect the value of our specialty and the expertise of our members; and support our members as a strong community of Canadian dermatologists.

To learn more about the work the CDA does, visit and join the conversation on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Instagram.


Tanya Baglole
Manager, Marketing & Communications
Canadian Dermatology Association