2019 MSA Academic Awards
Congratulations to the winners of our 2019 Vancouver Medical Staff Association Academic Awards.
Bobby Miller Award for Excellence in Teaching
2019 winner: Dr. Alana Flexman
After completing her residency at UBC, Dr. Flexman joined Vancouver Acute’s Department of Anesthesia in 2010. (She was awarded the top resident academic prize as well as the collegiality award.) She then took a two-year fellowship in neurosurgical anesthesia at the University of California, San Francisco, where she received a faculty teaching award. She was appointed the head of neurosurgical anesthesiology at Vancouver Acute in 2016.
Dr. Flexman has received numerous other awards over her career for her excellent teaching skills. She was awarded the Master Teacher Award three times in six years and the UBC Giannoulis Resident Appreciation Award in 2017 and again in 2018. She is known as a superb academic and clinical anesthesiologist as well as an exemplary teacher.
She has contributed strongly at national levels to the Canadian Anesthesia Society and is now its section chair. Dr. Flexman also sits on the executive of the Society of Neurosurgical Anesthesia and Critical Care and has presented at national and international meetings in Canada, the US, and Japan. She was appointed to the editorial board of the Journal of Neurosurgical Anesthesiology in 2019 and to the Canadian Journal of Anesthesia in 2019.
2019 winner: Dr. Alissa Wright
Dr. Wright graduated from the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Medicine in 2007. She pursued a general internal medicine residency in Toronto followed by an infectious diseases residency at UBC. Following that she completed a two-year clinical and research fellowship in transplant infectious diseases and the Compound Host Program at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard University.
Dr. Wright was recruited to VGH in 2014 as the first transplant infectious diseases trained ID specialist in BC and assumed the role of the director of the Transplant ID Program. Over the last five years she has earned the respect of her main referring services as an excellent clinician. She has also provided numerous services and guidance to the various transplant programs including, infection surveillance, diagnostic algorithms, pre-emptive therapy, pre-printed orders, infection control recommendations, management guideline development and regular attendance at transplant-related rounds.
Dr. Wright consistently puts her patients’ interests first and foremost and serves as a powerful patient advocate.
2019 winner: Dr. Chris Carlsten
Dr. Carlsten is a professor of medicine and head of Respiratory Medicine Division at UBC. He is also a Canada Research Chair in Occupational and Environmental Lung Disease and holds the Astra-Zeneca Chair in Occupational and Environmental Lung Disease. In addition, he is director of the Air Pollution Exposure Laboratory and also holds positions at the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies, UBC SPPH and Centre for Heart Lung Innovation.
Dr. Carlsten has over 120 peer-reviewed articles and is a recognized national and international leader in the field of air pollution and health effects related to inhaled exposures. His laboratory investigates the cardiopulmonary-immunological health effects of exposures using a number of controlled inhalational exposures.
At the provincial level, Dr. Carlsten has been a member of the BC Occupational and Environmental Health Research network and a member of the BC Lung Association. Internationally, he has had numerous leadership roles with the American Thoracic Society including chair of the Program Committee for the Environment and Population Health Assembly and a member of its executive committee.
Dr. Carlsten is a strong advocate for air quality and is often interviewed on local media regarding health risks associated with air pollution and smoke exposure. He has previously been recognized by UBC with the Martin M. Hoffman Award for research excellence in the UBC Department of Medicine.
Larry Collins Award for Committee Service
2019 winner: Dr. Andrea Townson
Dr. Townson has been acting co-head of the UBC Department of Medicine since 2017. She is also a dedicated physician serving her patients in the field of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and has been equally dedicated in her contributions to her colleagues at GF Strong, VCH, UBC, and the Vancouver Medical, Dental and Allied Staff Association through the Facility Engagement Initiative.
Dr. Townson was the program director for the UBC Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Residency Training Program and the chair for the Program Committee from 1999 to 2000. She has been a member of many university committees including the UBC Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Research Committee since 2003, the UBC Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Residency Training Program Committee since 2008, the UBC Department of Medicine Executive Committee since 2008, the UBC Department of Medicine Academic Appointments, Reappointments, Promotion and Tenure Committee since 2009, the Department of Medicine Equity Committee since 2009, and an ad-hoc member of the Department of Medicine Recruitment and Resources Committee since 2011.
She has been the co-chair of the Regional Rehabilitation Program with the Vancouver Coastal and Providence Health Care authorities since 2013. Dr. Townson is actively involved in clinical teaching with medical students and residents on the spinal cord injury unit at GF Strong as well as scheduled clinical skills teaching for medical students in the musculoskeletal and bedside clinical skills teaching blocks. She has been a reviewer for several peer-reviewed journals. She was the recipient of the Theo van Rijn Award for Contribution to the UBC Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Residency Program in 2012.
Dr. Townson was also an active contributor to the VGH/UBC/GF Strong Facility Engagement Initiative from 2016-2018.
Bringing Clinical Renown to Vancouver Community of Care
2019 winner: Dr. Charles Scudamore and the Hepatobiliary team
Dr. Scudamore began his career at VGH in 1976 when he served as a GP locum. He rejoined VGH in 1983 as a general surgeon with a view of developing a hepatobiliary transplant program. He is currently the director of Transplantation at VGH.
He and a team started hepatobiliary and pancreatic surgery at VGH in 1985. Hepatobiliary and pancreatic surgeries were virtually unrecognized at that time. No one operated on livers; very few surgeons were undergoing pancreas resections at that time, and no one resected bile ducts. There was some shunt surgery going on, but very few people did it. Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) was in infancy and Dr. Scudamore was charged to increase it. He was the only ERCP surgeon for several years.
In 1985, he helped start the multidisciplinary trauma service. This was the concept of a trauma response team to preadmission trauma alerts. This model continues today and has been a shining example of how to manage trauma services.
Dr. Scudamore was the first one to do a ERCP sphincterotomy and stone retrieval, the first one to put a pancreatic stent in place, the first one to use balloon manometry in the biliary tree, the first biliary stent for cancer in the hepatobiliary region, the first endoscopically resected ampulla of Vater, and the first to do a transgastric pseudocyst drainage. These are now standard procedures.
2019 winner: Dr. Kelly Mayson
Over the years, Dr. Mayson has made enormous contributions to improving standards in the quality of health care. Her interest began as medical director of the post-anesthesia care unit at VGH where she served from 1995 to 2006. She led the introduction of the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) to Vancouver Acute and UBC Hospital in 2012. That benchmarked VA departments against other NSQIP hospitals and provided risk-adjusted comparisons.
Dr. Mayson began tracking of certain anesthesia variables in the NSQIP database. Her involvement started a pneumonia prevention initiative (iCOUGH), as well as the active pre-warming of patients to decrease perioperative hypothermia. She introduced Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) to VGH and has seen it grow to the provincial level.
Dr. Mayson has contributed to the Regional Quality Steering Committee and became a physician advisor for the Physician Led Quality Initiative. She has mentored and coached numerous medical students, residents and fellows in quality and safety initiatives over the past 15 years. She was selected as the western representative of the Canadian Anesthesiology Society’s Quality and Safety Committee.
Dr. Mayson has led several conferences and workshops since 2011, many of them on a yearly basis, striving to improve her knowledge and education others in the area of quality in health care. She is a collaborator with Alberta ERAS, the Canadian Patient Safety Institute and a variety of ERAS centres o the newly formed working group called Enhancing Recovery Canada: Mobilizing Knowledge for Safe, Quality Surgical Care.