Building a culture of appreciation at the College of Medicine

The College of Medicine is celebrating the staff and faculty recipients of its 2023-24 college awards.

By Jeanette Neufeld

(Photo: Amy Thorpe)

Dr. Marilyn Baetz (MD), interim dean of the College of Medicine, was the event's emcee. (Photo: Amy Thorpe)

These awards are designed to reflect strategic priorities and values of the college and the University of Saskatchewan (USask) and highlight what makes the college unique, such as opportunities to recognize our rural members and the Regina campus. But most importantly, they're a way to build a culture of recognition and appreciation in the college. 

"Continuing to build this culture of appreciation is so important. These awards are a chance to celebrate and acknowledge our college community, the work that people do and encourage a great workplace environment," says Dr. Marilyn Baetz (MD), interim dean of the College of Medicine.  

This year the college recognized 25 individuals and six teams for their work through online announcements and in-person events—including a staff and faculty appreciation event in Saskatoon in June and the Regina campus appreciation event in May. One remaining award, the Louis Horlick Spirit of the College award, will be presented at the upcoming Highlights in Medicine Conference and Reunion.

"I want to extend my congratulations to these individuals on their well-deserved awards," says Baetz.

Some of the honours such as the Excellence in Teaching Award, the Louis Horlick Spirit of the College award, and the Sydney Inskip Service Award have been in place for more than a decade, while many have been developed over the last couple of years.

Attendees at the Faculty and Staff Recognition event. (Photo: Amy Thorpe)

"We aim to create an array of awards so that any member of the college could potentially be nominated for something. This provides an opportunity to highlight those who may be more behind-the-scenes and not always receive the public recognition they deserve," says Dr. Erin Prosser-Loose (PhD), Engagement and Recognition specialist for the College of Medicine.

Prosser-Loose says the college is seeing increased numbers of nominations with every call and hopes that the momentum will continue to build. She notes that some of the awards have also already provided a successful starting point for university and national award nominations and anticipates more of these wins to come.

For a full write-up on each award and its winner and nominator, as well as award criteria and information about how to nominate a colleague, visit the College of Medicine appreciation, recognition and awards page.

College of Medicine 2023-24 Award Winners

Louis Horlick Spirit of the College Award: Valerie Arnault-Pelletier, Senior Lead Indigenous Programming and Initiatives

This award recognizes an individual who has contributed service over and above the call of duty and shows the spirit, dedication, and enthusiasm that Dr. Louis Horlick (MD) exemplified during his career. The award was established by the Alumni Association in honour of Dr. Louis Horlick, Professor Emeritus, Department of Medicine, for his contributions to the College of Medicine.

Living Our Values Award

The Living our Values Staff Award recognizes members who have been exceptional in exemplifying one or more of the College of Medicine's values in their work and actions.

  • Karen Amundson, Financial Administrator, Undergraduate Medical Education (UGME)  
  • Tracy Arnold, Program Administrator, Department of Academic Family Medicine (Regina campus)   
  • Jeanine Dice, Senior Administrative Assistant, Department of Pediatrics  
  • Natalya Mason, Community Engagement Specialist in the Division of Social Accountability  
  • Sue Schmidt, Student Affairs Coordinator at the (Regina campus)  

Strategic Star Awards 

This award recognizes staff members whose exceptional actions in the last year contributed to at least one of the College of Medicine Strategic Priorities. 

  • Kristine Hunter, Masters of Physical Therapy Coordinator in the School of Rehabilitation Science 
  • Dr. Jennifer O’Brien (PhD), Research Associate in the Department of Anesthesiology 
  • Krista Trinder, Program Evaluation Specialist, UGME 

Team Achievement Awards  

This award recognizes a team of staff members whose exceptional actions, including demonstration of collegiality, respect, and inclusiveness, have been key in the achievement of an outcome, or in making progress towards an outcome. 

  • Academic Family Medicine Team:  
    • Dr. Rhonda Bryce (MD), Research Officer 
    • Cynthia Carey, Program Admin, Swift Current 
    • Jaclyn Randall, Manager 
    • Dr. Sheila Smith (MD), Program Director Jalene Jepson, Coordinator, Enhanced Skills 
    • Georgie Blackwell, Program Admin, Saskatoon 
    • Janice Skilliter, Program Admin, La Ronge 
    • Heidi Brown, Program Admin, Prince Albert 
    • Jana Knezackova, Communications Manager 
    • Kristen Huebner, Program Admin, Northwest 
    • Bobbie McLaughlin, Program Admin, Southeast  
    • Kayla Woo, Department Assistant 
    • Tracy Arnold, Program Admin, Regina 
    • Shelley Christianson, Manager, Medical Education 
    • Michelle Koehn, Coordinator, Academic Programs 
    • Dorothy Whitbread, Program Admin, Moose Jaw  

  •  Advanced Diagnostics Research Laboratory Team:  
    • Dr. Mary Kinloch (MD) Pathologist 
    • Dr. John DeCoteau (MD), Medical Director 
    • Karen Mochoruk, Lab Manager  
    • Tselmeg Ulzii, Medical Lab Technologist (MLT) 
    • Lindsay Sellar, Clerical Assistant 
    • Carolina Gonzalez, Research Technologist 
    • Holly Giasson, MLT 
    • Anita Lazkowski, MLT  
    • Taryn Welford, MLT 
    • Shena Dagenais, MLT 
    • Tatiana Katrii, Research Technologist 
    • Lori Podaima, MLT 
    • Tracey Wichart, MLT 
    • Gaby Tanumihardja, Bioinformatics Scientist 
    • Audrey Doepker, MLT 
    • Yvonne Beaudry, MLT  
    • Dr. Darryl Yu (MD), Pathologist  
    • Dr. Hui Wang (MD), Pathologist 
    • Roark Franke, MLT  

  • Postgraduate Medical Education (PGME) Accreditation Oversight Team:  
    • Loni Desanghere, PGME Research Specialist 
    • Maureen Lumbis, Executive Assistant to Associate Dean PGME  
    • Audrey Kincaid, PGME Accreditation Administrator 
    • Tanya Robertson-Frey, Program Evaluation Specialist 
    • Ope Okunola, Education and Metrics Coordinator (retired)  

  •  Regina Simulated Patient Education Team:
    • Kayla Trevena, Simulated Patient Educators 
    • Wyatt Wiebe, Simulated Patient Educators 

Faculty Leadership Excellence Award: Dr. Bill Roesler (PhD), Professor and Department Head, Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology  

The award recognizes an individual faculty member who has shown outstanding leadership and achievements while exhibiting care in building a healthy workplace, teams, and citizens. 

Faculty Development Captivator of the Year Award: Dr. Andries Muller (MBChB), Professor, Department of Academic Family Medicine  

This award acknowledges members involved in faculty development (FD) who have presented their work contributing to needs identified by UGME, PGME, or CPD. The award also recognizes inclusive presentation skills, and interaction and engagement with the audience in a meaningful way. 

Faculty Development Deirdre Bonnycastle Champion of Change Award 

This award pays tribute to the work done by Deirdre Bonnycastle as an innovator in Faculty Development and acknowledges those who go above and beyond in contributing to faculty development and creating change in medicine. 

  • Dr. Helen Chang (MD), Associate Professor in the Department of Academic Family Medicine, Regina campus 
  • Dr. Rob Woods (MD), Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine 

Excellence in Teaching Award 

This award recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to the teaching mission of the College of Medicine and are acknowledged by their peers and students as being exceptional in practicing their art and craft. 

  • 2024: Dr. Kyle Anderson (PhD), Assistant Professor in the Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology, and Immunology. He was nominated by Dr. Bill Roesler and Dr. Linda Chelico. 
  • 2024: Dr. Jacqueline Kraushaar (MD), Assistant Professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Regina campus 
  • 2023: Dr. Nassrein Hussein (MD), Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine 

Regina Campus Teaching Awards  

  • Dr. Rashmi Bhargava (MD), Assistant Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Regina campus 
  • Dr. Taegen Fitch (MD), Assistant Professor in the Department of Academic Family Medicine, Regina campus 
  • Dr. Joan Hamilton (MD), Assistant Professor in the Department of Academic Family Medicine, Regina campus 

Sydney Inskip Service Award: Sherrill Bueckert, Admissions Coordinator 

This award is made possible through the generosity of alumni Drs. Ivan Jen (MD) and Suzanne Yip (MD), who wished to memorialize Sydney Inskip, a staff member who impacted the couple when they were undergraduate medical students. The award is a tribute to Inskip’s kind spirit and recognizes non-academic staff members who have made outstanding contributions and have enhanced the work environment in the College of Medicine. 

Continuing Medical Education (CME) Teaching Excellence Award: Dr. Alexander Wong (MD), Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, Regina campus 

This award recognizes a faculty member who colleagues, learners, and participants deem as excellent in their teaching at the CME level. 

Annual Excellence in Research Award  

The award recognizes faculty members who showed the highest level of excellence and significantly impacted research over the past year. Excellence can be in the form of innovation, engagement, impact, and productivity in research. This can be demonstrated by advances in knowledge in biomedical, clinical, and population health areas as well as through research related to patient health, health services, health equity, behaviour, social impacts, and/or medical education.  

  • Dr. Gary Groot (MD), Professor in the Department of Community Health and Epidemiology 
  • Dr. Alexandra King (MD), Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine and Cameco Chair in Indigenous Health and Wellness 

Research Career Achievement Award: Dr. Ali Rajput, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Medicine 

The award recognizes faculty members who have had significant research impact over their career. This includes recognition of excellence, leadership, and capacity building through their research program as demonstrated by advances in knowledge as well as through research related to patient health, health services, health equity, behaviour, social impacts, and/or medical education. 

Research Mingling Minds Award: Dr. Stuart Skinner (MD) and the Wellness Wheel Team. Skinner is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine, Regina campus. 

The award recognizes individuals or teams who have exhibited the highest commitment to conducting inter-disciplinary research and/or to approaching research areas with novel, outside of the box approaches. 

  • The Wellness Wheel team includes: 
    • Mary Zettl 
    • Danita Wahpoosewyan  
    • Nikki Williamson  
    • Noreen McLenaghan  
    • Dr. Mamata Pandey (PhD) 
    • Vicki Schultz 
    • Maria Folk  
    • Trisha Campbell  
    • Susanne Nicolay 
    • Michelle Dornan  
    • Dessie Jo Sutherland  
    • Stacey Naytowhow  
    • Dr. Cara Spence (PhD) 
    • Dr. Kieran Conway (MD)  Dr. Megan Clark (MD)  

Rural Medicine Education Innovation Award: Dr. Daniel Irvine (MD), Assistant Professor of Family Medicine, La Ronge.  

This award recognizes rural faculty members who have created new, or adapted existing, tools, curriculum, or programs, for use in rural-focused teaching and learning. 

Rural Partnership Award: South East Family Medicine Team  

 This award recognizes rural members (individuals or teams) who work in partnership in advancing academic medicine in rural Saskatchewan. 

  • The team includes: 
    • Dr. Mahmood Beheshti (MD), Assistant Professor of Family Medicine, Weyburn 
    • Dr. Kristin Foy (MD), Assistant Professor of Family Medicine, Moosomin  
    • Dr. Aileen Hamilton (MD), Assistant Professor of Family Medicine, Humboldt 
    • Bobbie McLaughlin, South East Site Program Administrator, Moosomin