By: Matt Jalink, MSc Candidate in Community Health and Epidemiology
Each year we recognize one student, resident and faculty member who have made outstanding contributions to the Global Health community at Dalhousie. The Global Health Awards celebrate leadership, mentorship, work with marginalized communities (locally and/or globally), engagement in global health research, and advancement of global health initiatives at Dalhousie.
We are very pleased to announce the 2018 Global Health Award recipients:
- Allan Kember (student)
- Dr. Thomas Brothers (resident)
- Patti Melanson, RN (faculty)
Dr. Ron Stewart Award for Student Leadership in Global Health
Established in 2006, the Dr. Ron Steward Award is given to a student who has demonstrated leadership in global health and a commitment to improving the health of marginalized communities during their studies at Dalhousie University. The award honours Dr. Stewart’s personal, professional, and educational support and dedication to global health and the advancement of social capital worldwide. Dr. Stewart was a formal provincial Minister of Health and Order of Canada recipient. He is responsible for enriching students’ experiences at the Dalhousie Medical School for many years as a popular and accomplished educator and as a past director of the Medical Humanities program.
Allan Kember is a fourth year medical student enrolled at Dalhousie Medical School. In addition to studying to be a clinician, Allan has had an impressive start to his research career. A co-founder of the “Prenabelt”, a device designed to discourage women from sleeping on their backs during pregnancy; Allan proposed the use of the belt in Accra, Ghana to improve perinatal health outcomes. He completed the study and established strong partnerships and friendships throughout his time in Ghana.
Allan continues to demonstrate his commitment for improving maternal health outcomes in areas with low resources through his work with his Ethiopian colleagues investigating the Post Fistula Incontinence Severity Scale, which he presented at the Dalhousie University Global Health Day.
Allan has also been a great support to his classmates interested in becoming involved in global health, helping them to organize electives and forge their own relationships and networks. In 2016, Allan provided invaluable assistance to the Bethune Round Table Global Surgery Communications Committee, helping to promote the international conference both locally and abroad.
Dr. Jock Murray Award for Resident Leadership in Global Health
The Dr. Jock Murray Award was established in 2010 to recognize a resident who demonstrates outstanding commitment to global health as they advocate for marginalized populations and explore new ways to engage in clinical service, education, and research. The award is in honour of Dr. Murray, a world-renowned expert in multiple sclerosis, medical humanities, and medical history, and was a past Dean of Dalhousie Medical School and Professor Emeritus at Dalhousie University. Dr. Murray is also an Officer of the Order of Canada, and member of the Order of Nova Scotia.
Dr. Thomas Brothers is an internal medicine resident at Dalhousie University with exceptional leadership in the global health space. Tommy has shown a keen commitment to working with marginalized communities through his clinical and research work both locally and abroad.
During Tommy’s medical training he completed clinical electives focused in HIV-positive populations, inpatient care of people who use IV drugs in Vancouver, and has worked in addiction medicine in both Halifax and Toronto. He participated in two international electives during his undergraduate medical education, and has sought out additional skills training such as an online Diploma in Addiction Medicine from the University of British Colombia.
Tommy has been a leader and facilitator for providing opportunities for his classmates and fellow health professionals in the global health space. He cofounded the student-run clinic-working group, a precursor for the HOPES interprofessional student-run clinic. Additionally, Tommy recruited and organized student volunteers for the HaliVax vaccine delivery program, which allowed student volunteers to accompany Mobile Outreach Street Health (MOSH) nurses to shelters and soup kitchens to help deliver vaccines.
Tommy’s research experience equals if not surpasses his already impressive clinical work. His research in medicine project (RIM) focused on the health of people aging with HIV, which involved collaborating with the Canadian HIV community, an Italian research group, and the World Health Organization. Other areas of his research include treatment of opioid use disorders, harm-reduction interventions, and knowledge translation initiatives.
Tommy was unable to attend our awards ceremony as he was presenting his work in Vancouver, so he recorded a wonderful acceptance video that we share here: tommy_award_video.
Dr. John Savage Memorial Award for Faculty Leadership
The Dr. Savage Memorial Award was started in 2003 in memory of Dr. John Savage, a friend and colleague of the Dalhousie Medical School and ambassador of the need to promote health communities worldwide. Dr. Savage served as a physician, Premier of Nova Scotia, and Mayor of Dartmouth. He has had a long-standing commitment to global health, particularly in West Africa with the Nova Scotia Gambia Association. This award is given to a Dalhousie Medicine faculty member who exhibits outstanding leadership in global health and humanitarian contribution to global health.
Patti Melanson has focused much of her nursing career towards helping the vulnerable and marginalized people of Halifax and Nova Scotia. She was responsible for developing the Mobile Outreach Street health Program and is a leader in bringing primary care to street-involved and homeless people throughout the HRM.
It can’t be understated the impact Patti has had on our vulnerable and marginalized populations. She serves as the Executive Director of the North End Community Health Centre, and has developed a broad range of skills to assist people dealing with physical and mental health challenges. She has provided support counseling and clinical assessment, as well as delivering educational programs concerning sexual health, stress management, and suicide prevention.
Patti’s approach to working with these populations has made a profound impression on her colleagues, as her work is rooted in a deep respect and acknowledgment of dignity for the individuals she works with. Her humble, supportive, non-judgmental demeanor is invaluable in the contexts that she works in. She is a leader in filling the gaps in our healthcare system, helping those who slip through.
Patti is an outstanding leader who is passionate about being an advocate and contributor towards improving the health of some of our most vulnerable.
Congratulations to these impressive and inspiring individuals! We are excited to see the future you are building.
To find out more about our awards, or do nominate someone for 2019 please visit our Global Health Awards page.