EDMONTON, ALBERTA--(Marketwired - Sept. 26, 2013) - On Friday, September 27, the Alberta Medical Association (AMA) will honor four outstanding Albertans for their commitment to improving health care for the people of our province. The evening awards presentation will take place during the AMA's Annual General Meeting and Representative Forum (RF) 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.

The AMA Medal of Honor is presented to non-physicians who have made significant personal contributions to ensuring quality health care for the people of Alberta.

This year's Medal of Honor recipient, Darlene R. Schindel, has devoted her entire career to advocating for the health and wellbeing of Albertans. Ms Schindel is a Registered Nurse, educator and leader who has made significant contributions to medical research and medical education. Her nursing leadership improved processes and procedures at two Edmonton hospitals. She was instrumental in the development and management of a province-wide neuromodulation program. Ms Schindel co-authored a publication on Parkinson's disease, and later helped develop programs, teaching tools and models for the Alberta Bone and Joint Health Institute in her role as senior advisor. Today, she is the Edmonton health champion for 'NSTEP (Nutrition, Students, Teachers, Exercising with Parents) Eat, Walk, Live program, which aims to fight childhood obesity.

The AMA Medal for Distinguished Service is given to physicians who have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to their communities and passion for their work. The following three recipients this year have made outstanding contributions to the medical profession and to the people of Alberta and, in the process, have raised the standards of medical practice for our province.

Dr. Werner J. Becker is a Calgary neurologist and headache specialist who has fundamentally changed how people living with neurological issues and migraines manage their conditions. He was the driving force behind the creation of two innovative programs - the Urgent Neurology Clinic and the Calgary Headache Assessment and Management Program (CHAMP). He was closely involved in the development of the Calgary Chronic Pain Centre, where he has been the medical director of its headache program since its inception. He also organized a national task force that developed the consensus statement for a Canadian Migraine Strategy. Dr. Becker is a professor in the Department of Clinical Neurosciences at the University of Calgary. He was recently a recipient of the American Headache Society's John R. Graham Clinician's Award.

Dr. Cyril B. Frank is a renowned orthopedic surgeon whose contributions as a surgeon, teacher, researcher and advocate have improved outcomes for countless Albertans living with orthopedic injuries or illnesses. He was research and clinical director of the University of Calgary Sport Medicine Centre, chair of orthopedic surgery at the University of Calgary and scientific director of the Institute of Musculoskeletal Health and Arthritis for Canada. Currently, he is chief executive officer of Alberta Innovates-Health Solutions and earlier this year was named Alberta's first representative to the Health Council of Canada. In 2011, Dr. Frank was named, by Alberta Venture magazine, one of Alberta's 50 Most Influential People, and he recently received both the Order of the University of Calgary and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.

Retired Camrose psychiatrist Dr. Suna A. Smith worked for almost four decades to enhance rural services and supports to improve the lives of Albertans suffering with mental health issues and in the process increased community understanding and compassion. As the medical director and consultant psychiatrist for Rosehaven Care Centre in Camrose, she developed an innovative adult day program for patients with dementia and her work on elder abuse informed and guided policy makers across Canada. She also developed the Department of Psychiatry at St. Mary's Hospital in Camrose - the first rural psychiatric unit in the province - and spent 17 years teaching in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Alberta. She is a recipient of the Canadian Mental Health Association Dedication Award.

Contact Information:

For more information or to request an interview,
please contact: Alberta Medical Association
Shannon Rupnarain
Director, Public Affairs
Cell: 780.907.9003