CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwired - Sept. 22, 2016) - On Friday, September 23, the Alberta Medical Association (AMA) will honor six Albertans who have dedicated their lives and their careers to improving the health care and wellness of Albertans. The evening awards 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. The AMA Award for Compassionate Service will also be presented.

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 there are two Medal of Honor recipients.

Dave Colburn is a tireless advocate for student health and wellness. First elected to Edmonton Public Schools in 2004, Mr. Colburn was instrumental in eliminating unhealthy foods from school vending machines and played a pivotal role in championing several other important issues. This included working to stop school closures in mature communities and creating policies to protect the rights of LGBTQ students. Mr. Colburn holds a master's degree in sociology from Dalhousie University and spent more than 30 years working as a conductor and locomotive engineer with first CN Rail and later Via Rail. Today, he is a student wellness advisor for the Canadian School Boards Association and a student wellness consultant for the Alberta School Boards Association.

Dr. Jocelyn M. Lockyer's commitment to medical education and to advancing the role of family physicians has had a measurable impact on the health and wellbeing of people across Alberta. A highly respected leader, scholar and researcher, she has been instrumental in developing educational programs, activities, courses and tools at the University of Calgary that improve both physician practice and patient care. Dr. Lockyer holds a master's degree in health administration from the University of Ottawa and in 2002 received a PhD from the University of Calgary's Faculty of Education. A passionate educator and researcher, she has been involved in several collaborative research projects. In 2012, Dr. Lockyer was appointed senior associate dean of Medical Education in the Cumming School of Medicine.

The Medal for Distinguished Service is awarded 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 in our province.

Dr. John M. Conly is considered one of the world's preeminent experts on antimicrobial resistance. He has served in several leadership roles at the University of Calgary, including as head of Internal Medicine and co-chair of the Institute of Inflammation, Infection and Immunity (now the Snyder Institute). In addition to his expertise in antibiotic resistance, infectious disease, hospital epidemiology and molecular epidemiology, Dr. Conly is an expert in health care innovations, particularly the use of technology to enhance health care delivery. Dr. Conly is a professor in the departments of Medicine, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, and Immunology and Infectious Diseases at the University of Calgary. He is also the medical director, Infection Prevention and Control, at the Foothills Medical Centre and medical director of Alberta Health Services Antimicrobial Utilization and Stewardship program.

Dr. Christopher J. (Chip) Doig, a former president of the AMA, is a highly respected expert on the care of the critically ill and a tireless champion for the medical profession. Dr. Doig joined the staff of the Foothills Medical Centre in 1995. In 2004, he became the ICU medical director in the Department of Critical Care Medicine, where he quickly became known for his expertise in resuscitation of the critically ill and his ability to manage patients with severe sepsis and multiple organ dysfunction syndrome with care and compassion. Dr. Doig is an accomplished researcher with numerous publications in leading national and international journals. He was recently bestowed the Canadian Medical Association's Dr. William Marsden Award in Medical Ethics for his exemplary leadership, commitment and dedication in advancing and promoting excellence in medical ethics.

Dr. Charles H. Harley is a skilled clinician, impassioned teacher and visionary leader who has dedicated his almost 50-year career to the advancement and improvement of health care for patients and their families. He has served in many leadership roles including as facility medical director at the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital. He has been instrumental in the creation of many important initiatives, including the expansion of physiatrist positions to support stroke and brain injury rehabilitation and implementing bed map changes to the Glenrose to facilitate patients returning home rather than transferring to continuing care. In 1972 Dr. Harley embarked on a teaching career that would span several decades and influence thousands of medical students. He helped develop the pioneering International Medical Graduate Clinical Preceptorship Program, where he has served as medical director since 2003.

This year, the AMA will also present its second annual Award for Compassionate Service, given to a physician who has demonstrated outstanding compassion, dedication and extraordinary contributions to volunteer or philanthropy efforts to improve the state of his or her community.

Dr. Annalee Coakley has dedicated her career to caring for marginalized and vulnerable patients, including the many refugees who arrive in Canada dealing with myriad health issues after enduring unimaginable trauma. As medical director of the Mosaic Refugee Health Clinic in Calgary, she not only provides compassionate care to new Canadians, but also advocates for her patients locally, nationally and internationally, and works tirelessly to ensure her patients receive the highest standard of care. She was part of a team of concerned citizens who spoke out about cuts to the Interim Federal Health Program, spending countless hours working directly with patients who had been declined status or lost their health care privileges. More recently, Dr. Coakley marshaled the community to welcome and care for the influx of Syrian refugees arriving in Calgary.

Contact Information:

Shannon Rupnarain
Assistant Executive Director, Public Affairs
Alberta Medical Association
Cell: 780.907.9003