The Global Health Office would like to congratulate our three 2016 Global Health Award winners: Dr. Gail Tomblin Murphy, Dr. Anca Matei and Maike van Niekerk. The winners of the Global Health Awards, presented annually, were announced at the Gold-headed Cane Award Gala on Saturday May 7th. These awards are presented to individuals who advance the global health community at Dalhousie through:
- demonstrated leadership in global health
- work experience with marginalized communities
- engagement in global health research
- mentorship in global health (Residents and Faculty only)
- promotion, development and enhancement of global health at Dalhousie (Residents and Faculty only).
Dr. John Savage Memorial Award for Faculty Leadership in Global Health
This award was established in 2003 in memory of Dr. John Savage, a friend and colleague of the Dalhousie Medical School and a tireless champion of the need to promote healthy communities worldwide. A former physician, Premier of Nova Scotia and Mayor of Dartmouth, Dr. Savage had a long-standing commitment to global health projects in Africa with the Nova Scotia Gambia Association and other organizations. The Dr. Savage Memorial Award for Faculty leadership in Global Health recognizes an outstanding humanitarian contribution to global health by a Dalhousie Medical School faculty member.
This year’s recipient is Dr. Gail Tomblin Murphy, Professor in the School of Nursing, Faculty of Health Professions, and Department of Community Health and Epidemiology in the Faculty of Medicine at Dalhousie University. She is also the Director of Dalhousie’s WHO/PAHO Collaborating Centre on Health Workforce Planning and Research and the Inaugural Director of the School of Nursing’s Centre for Transformative Nursing and Health Research.
Dal’s designation as a WHO/PAHO Collaborating Centre is a major honour. Only researchers with a track record in a given field—including several years of international work—can earn the distinction. Dr. Tomblin Murphy has been building this expertise since she joined Dal’s Nursing faculty in 1990.
Dr. Tomblin Murphy has led projects in Brazil, Jamaica, Zambia and Nunavut. Her research involves planning for health systems and health human resources for populations facing health challenges like malaria, HIV/AIDS, aging and pandemic illness. Dr. Tomblin Murphy’s collaborative work has led to the development of theoretical and analytical frameworks for needs-based planning and service-based planning that have been utilized nationally and internationally.
Dr. Tomblin Murphy is constantly championing global health – whether it be at the community level, when visiting an orphanage or a rural health centre in Zambia, Brazil, or Jamaica or at the systems level, when meeting with government officials and other high-level stakeholders in Canada, the US or other countries. She has been a dedicated global health researcher, mentor and leader to students, faculty, and policy-/decision-makers here in Canada and internationally.
Dr. Jock Murray Award for Resident Leadership in Global Health
This award was established in 2010 to recognize excellence within residents who demonstrate commitment to global health as they advocate for marginalized populations and explore new ways to engage in clinical service, education and research in under-serviced populations in Canada and abroad. Dr. Murray is a world-renowned expert in multiple sclerosis, medical humanities and medical history. Dr. Murray is a former Dean of Dalhousie Medical School; Professor Emeritus at Dalhousie University and remains active in the Medical Humanities Program. He is an Officer of the Order of Canada and member of the Order of Nova Scotia. Dr Murray is a strong advocate for the values within global health.
This year’s recipient is Dr. Anca Matei. Anca began her residency in Obstetrics & Gynaecology in 2012 and almost immediately expressed a keen interest in global health. Within a year, she was asked to sit as a resident member on the Department’s global health advisory committee and has remained an engaged and important member of the group. Dr. Matei established that local global health was a critical component and soon formed a Global Health Interest Group, providing opportunities for residents to engage with vulnerable and underserved women in the Halifax Community.
Dr. Matei has orchestrated several education sessions on reproductive and sexual health at Adsum House and Phoenix Youth Services. She has also coordinated outreach work with the Refugee Health Clinic and the North End Community Health Centre. She has drawn her fellow residents into these initiatives and has repeatedly given her time, energy, and expertise at the local level.
Internationally, Dr. Matei has been involved with Kybele, a non-profit humanitarian organization which strives to improve childbirth safety worldwide. She has travelled twice with a Kybele team to Cape Coast, Ghana, to participate in quality improvement projects. She is currently on a six-week internship at the World Health Organization to learn more about how international health organizations can, and sometimes cannot, improve global health.
Dr. Ron Stewart Award for Student Leadership in Global Health
Established in 2006, this award is presented to a student who has demonstrated leadership in global health and a commitment to improving the health of marginalized communities during their time at Dalhousie. This award honours Dr. Stewart’s personal, professional and educational support and dedication to global health and the advancement of social capital worldwide. Dr. Stewart, a former provincial Minister of Health and Order of Canada recipient, has been enriching students’ experiences at the Dalhousie Medical School for many years as a popular and accomplished educator, past Director of the Medical Humanities program and as a key champion for global health education.
This year’s recipient is Maike van Niekerk, a third year nursing student who is a global health leader committed to community service and outreach in the field. Through a research project with Dr. Amy Bombay, she looked at the influence of historical trauma on the psychological well-being of Indigenous Canadians diagnosed with cancer. She presented at the World Indigenous Cancer Conference in Australia, as well as the annual American Psychosocial Conference in California.
She has also been a Canadian delegate at the United Nations Youth Assembly, been a speaker on Plan Canada’s Because I am a Girl Speakers Bureau, and sits on the Dalhousie School of Nursing Diversity committee.
In an attempt to make healthcare accessible for cancer patients across Newfoundland and Nova Scotia, Maike initiated Katrin’s Karepackage. This program is named in her mother’s memory, as she passed away from breast cancer when Maike was 15. Maike has raised over $55,000 by biking across Newfoundland and running 7 consecutive marathons in 7 days across the province.
She has been awarded the National Canadian Cancer Society’s Outstanding Youth Leadership Award, as well as the Newfoundland and Labrador Canadian Cancer Society Inspirational Achievement in Volunteer Youth Leadership. Moreover, Maike was a speaker at Dalhousie’s 2016 TedX, inspiring fellow students to get involved in taking leadership in global health.
Note: Award winner bios were taken from their nomination letters, and award descriptions were taken from the Dalhousie Global Health Office website.