winter 2012

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Doctors in the News


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Dr. Andrew Furey with young patient in Haiti.

NL Chapter College of Family Physician awards; MUN alumnus of the year; Moonbeam Children's Book award; Queen's Diamond Juilee Medal; Fluorspar mines history; and, the medal of Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice

By NLMA Staff

Family Physicians receive awards
The Newfoundland and Labrador College of Family Physicians handed out four awards to physicians at its 24th Annual Scientific Assembly at the Delta in St. John’s on October 25. Dr. Edgar Mayo from Burin Bay Arm was named the 2012 Family Physician of the Year. Dr. Gabe Woollam of Happy Valley-Goose Bay and Dr. Hulbert Silver of Grand Falls-Windsor also received Awards of Excellence. Team Broken Earth, a group of 30 health care professionals from Memorial University and Eastern Health, received the Award of Recognition for its humanitarian relief efforts in Haiti.

Dr. Andrew Furey named MUN Alumnus of the Year
During its annual Alumni Tribute Awards gala on November 20, Memorial University honored four outstanding alumni, including Dr. Andrew Furey who received the Alumnus of the Year award. Dr. Furey is an orthopedic surgeon and assistant professor of surgery at Memorial. He is also the co-founder and president of Team Broken Earth, a task force providing volunteer medical care in Haiti. Under Dr. Furey’s leadership, Team Broken Earth has completed six successful missions to Haiti and has captured global recognition.

Doctor wins gold at Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards
In November, an expert panel of educators, librarians, booksellers, and reviewers in Michigan honored Edge of Time by St. John’s author Dr. Susan M. MacDonald with a Gold Medal Moonbeam Award. Dr. MacDonald is the Medical Director of Palliative Care for Eastern Heath and is an Associate Professor of Medicine and Family Medicine at Memorial University. The Moonbeam Children’s Book Award recognizes the best in North American children’s and young adult writing and illustration. Her novel was selected as the top in its class in the Fantasy/Sci-Fi category for young adult fiction. It was one of only 5 Canadian books to receive the gold medal. Edge of Time, which is published by Breakwater Books, was also a finalist for the 2012 Bruneau Family Children’s/Young Adult Literature Award in Atlantic Canada.

Dr. Albert Cox recognized by Queen
Dr. Albert Cox, retired dean of medicine and vice-president (academic) at Memorial University, has been awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal. The commemorative medal is a tangible way for Canada to honor significant contributions by Canadians. During his career, Dr. Cox held a variety of academic and professional positions at Memorial, including professor and chairman of medicine; associate dean for clinical affairs, Faculty of Medicine; dean of medicine; vice-president, health sciences and professional schools, and vice-president (academic). He also a number of hospital appointments including chairman of medicine, General Hospital; chief, Division of Cardiology, General Hospital; and, senior consultant (medicine) at all major hospitals in St. John’s. Dr. Cox received his medal at a ceremony held recently at Government House in British Columbia, where he currently resides.

Retired physicians releases book on Fluorspar Mines
Dr. John R. Martin is the author of the new book The Fluorspar Mines of Newfoundland: Their History and the Epidemic of Radiation Lung Cancer, which details the social and occupational health history of the St. Lawrence mines. Dr. Martin is a retired physician and professor of medicine at Memorial University. He was also chief occupational medical officer for Newfoundland and Labrador from 1984 to 1992. The book details how two mines were established in St. Lawrence following the discovery of a rich fluorspar deposit in the 1930s. In the 1950s, a marked increase in cases of cancer was discovered in the miners and a decade later nearly 20 per cent of households in the community had lost a family member to lung cancer. Dr. Martin tells the history of the mines, while focusing on the health hazards experienced by the miners, and how the mining companies, workers, governments, and health services came to terms with the unfolding human tragedy. Dr. Martin’s compelling history also takes on new significance as the mines are set to reopen with the support of the provincial government and renewed confidence in the community due to modern ventilation technology and vigilant monitoring. The book is available to order online from McGill-Queen’s University Press, Chapters and Amazon.

Physician receives Cross of Honour
Dr. Robert Walley has been awarded the medal of Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice, also known as the Cross of Honour by Pope Benedict, for his dedication to the cause of life and the health of women on a world-wide basis. Archbishop Martin W. Currie awarded him the medal during a ceremony at St. Pius X Roman Catholic Church in St. John’s on December 9, 2012 . It is the highest medal that can be bestowed to non-clergy members by the Papacy. Dr. Walley is an obstetrician and gynecologist in St. John’s and professor at Memorial University. He is also the founder of MaterCare International, an organization of Catholic obstetricians, gynecologists and other health professionals dedicated to reducing maternal mortality and morbidity throughout the world. Dr. Walley has provided volunteer medical care in West Africa since 1981 and has provided crisis response health care throughout the world, including Haiti following the 2010 earthquake. In May, MaterCare International officially opened a new maternity hospital in Kenya. To learn more about the organization or to make a donation, visit the MaterCare International website.

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Nexus DEFINED
A connected group or series; a bond, a connection.

Nexus is published quarterly for Newfoundland and Labrador's physicians. It is a forum for the exchange of views, ideas and information for members.