CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwired - Sept. 18, 2014) - On Friday, September 19, the Alberta Medical Association (AMA) will honor four outstanding Albertans for their commitment to improving health care and the lives of all Albertans. The evening award presentation will take place during the AMA's Annual General Meeting and Representative Forum (RF) at the Hyatt Regency in Calgary. The AMA's Medal of Honor and Medal for Distinguished Service represent the highest honors bestowed by the AMA and its members.

The AMA Medal of Honor is presented to non-physicians who have made a significant personal contribution to ensuring quality health care for the people of Alberta. This year's Medal of Honor recipient is an accomplished neuroscientist whose work changed the trajectory of stem cell research.

Dr. Samuel Weiss is renowned for his crucial 1992 discovery that neural stem cells are present in the adult mammalian central nervous system. Dr. Weiss's discovery triggered aggressive research activity and excitement about the potential therapeutic roles of neural stem cells in treating neurological disorders. He helped establish the Hotchkiss Brain Institute on the University of Calgary campus, which conducts cutting-edge neuroscience research and advances the understanding and treatment of diseases such as multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, stroke and depression. Dr. Weiss is considered one of the world's most preeminent experts in the study of nervous system disorders.

The Medal for Distinguished Service is given to physicians who have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to their community and passion for their work. Each of this year's three recipients 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. Donald E.N. Addington is a Calgary psychiatrist whose 1989 Calgary Depression Scale for Schizophrenia, a measure of depression and suicidal thinking in schizophrenia, has been translated into 36 languages and is the international gold standard measure for research on depression in schizophrenia, with over 1,000 citations. Over the years, Dr. Addington's research has resulted in the development of a host of quality improvement products for clinicians and programs. His emphasis on educating the public about psychotic disorders has had a tremendous impact on people living with the disorders and those who care for them. He is a professor in the Department of Psychiatry, University of Calgary, a member of the Mathison Centre for Research and Education, and board chair of the Canadian Psychiatric Association.

General practitioner, obstetrician and gynecologist Dr. Steele C. Brewerton began his distinguished medical career in rural Alberta in 1948 and has lived the classic image of the country doctor, including riding in a horse-drawn sleigh a mile in a snowstorm to deliver a baby. Throughout his career, he has worked to raise the standards of medical care and treat his patients skillfully and compassionately. Dr. Brewerton and his partners initiated an early version of a health care insurance plan, whereby a family could purchase a contract for $25 a year that covered the costs of any medical care needs that could arise for the families. After 30 years of practice in Alberta, 20 years in Texas and 1-1/2 years on a charitable medical mission, Dr. Brewerton retired and now lives in Cardston, Alberta.

Dr. Thomas E. Feasby has worked tirelessly throughout his career to create nationally and internationally recognized clinical/research programs. In 1993, Dr. Feasby founded the internationally recognized Calgary Stroke Program, which has resulted in Calgarians experiencing the best stroke outcomes in Canada. He also founded Calgary's Neuromuscular Clinic, ALS Clinic, and recruited clinician-scientists to the Calgary Multiple Sclerosis Clinic, resulting in Canada's leading MS program. As dean of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Calgary, Dr. Feasby improved future access to family physicians by increasing the undergraduate medical class enrolment from 120 to 175 students per year. He continues to practice medicine at the Urgent Neurology Clinic and the Neuromuscular Clinic at Foothills Medical Centre.

Contact Information:

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