Alumni of Distinction Award winners announced

Friday, August 9, 2013

Annually, at the Dean’s Homecoming Gala, the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry recognizes the achievements of alumni through the Alumni of Distinction Awards. The prestigious awards are given to people who are leaders in their field, live the values of the School through their dedication, and are making the human experience and life’s journey better for others.

The 2013 Medical and Dental Alumni of Distinction Awards recipients include:

Hugh Allen, MD’48
Community Service Award

If you know Dr. Allen, you know of his caring heart, and the passion he holds for his job, the students he has taught and the patients he has treated. You would also know his compassion doesn’t stop on a local level as he has played a significant role in addressing health disparities in underdeveloped countries. Living the School’s values of social responsibility, throughout the past 10 years he has made yearly visits to Yemen, one of the poorest countries in the world. With an extremely high prenatal and maternal mortality rates, Dr. Allen’s visits involved the supervision of the surgical training of obstetricians/gynecologists, where he modified his teachings and techniques to the needs and expertise of the trainees and the local environmental challenges.

Douglas Bocking, MD’43
Professional Achievement Award

Innovative, determined and passionate are just a few words you could use to describe retired physician, Professor Emeritus, former Dean of Medicine of Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, and Vice-Provost of Health Sciences at Western, Dr. Bocking. His contributions to the advancement of Schulich Medicine are extensive. Dr. Bocking’s innovative leadership in medical education led to the creation of the first academic department dedicated to family medicine. His fervent passion for bettering the lives of others does not stop at the School as he has sat on numerous boards throughout his career giving back as an historian and conservationist. He has also been recognized with many awards, including being named a Member of the Order of Canada in 1999.

L. Suzan Ekim, DDS’01
Young Alumni Award of Distinction

If you ask Dr. Harinder Sandhu, Director and Vice-Dean, Schulich Dentistry, he will tell you “whatever Dr. Ekim touches turns to gold,” and he’s not wrong. After graduating at the top of her class and receiving the gold medal of distinction, Dr. Ekim completed her Orthodontics Residency Specialty Certificate and master’s degree in Science at the University of Minnesota. Holding strong to the value of Schulich Dentistry of social responsibility this young alumnus is well-known amongst the orthodontic community and an educational leader in her field. Dedicated to giving her patients the beautiful smile they deserve, today she runs a successful practice and is a clinical assistant professor at the University of Minnesota teaching orthodontic care of cleft lip/palate and surgical orthodontic patients.

Brian Feagan, MD’83
Professional Achievement Award

Inflammatory bowel diseases are painful and debilitating, but fighting for better treatments on behalf of millions is Dr. Brian Feagan. His tireless efforts and unwavering dedication have been instrumental in advancing new therapies for those who suffer. Focused on the design and implementation of randomized clinical trials of therapy, he is an internationally recognized expert in the field and a leading force in clinical trials, research and evidence-based medicine and has brought worldwide acclaim to the Robarts Research Institute. His tremendous achievements, together with his commitment to excellence in both clinical and academic medicine truly set him apart as a role model for his students and colleagues.

David Jaffray, PhD’94
Excellence in Basic Sciences Research Award

Identified as one of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40, and a recipient of Western’s Young Alumni Award in 2004, it can be said Dr. Jaffray has accomplished much in a short period of time. The Head of Radiation Physics at Princess Margaret Hospital and a Senior Scientist within the Ontario Cancer Institute, Dr. Jaffray’s research in image-guided radiation therapy focuses on the development of novel imaging systems and concepts to improve the precision of therapy and translating these advances to clinical practice. Along with being professor in Departments of Radiation Oncology, Medical Biophysics and Institute for Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Toronto, Dr. Jaffray’s interest in commercialization has led to the development of a variety of commercial products including software and hardware.

James E. Jean, DDS’73
Alumni of Distinction Award

“Absolutely humbled” by the recognition, was one of this year’s recipients Dr. James (Jim) E. Jean, DDS ’73. However, as you learn more about his commitment to Schulich Dentistry and its students, it is immediately obvious that he is most deserving. Upon graduating, Dr. Jean opened a dental practice, and a year later he went back to the School. This time, however, he wasn’t the student, but the teacher, serving in the role as a part-time pre-clinical instructor. That was 40 years ago. This fall, he returns to the clinic. In addition to teaching on the clinic floor, Dr. Jean, now an assistant professor, mentors 12 to 14 students annually.  

Kenneth H. Wright, DDS
Honorary Alumni of Distinction Award

 A much loved professor, Dr. Wright has been described as “a highly regarded periodontist, a popular and inspiring teacher, a man of enormous consciousness and sense of personal responsibility, and a creative and resourceful innovator.” Amongst his many accomplishments, Dr. Wright created the Dental Outreach Community Services (DOCS), a program which for five years has been providing free dental care to people in the City of London who are less fortunate and don’t have access to dental insurance.

Schulich Medicine graduates receive Western Alumni Association Awards
Every year the Western’s Alumni Association offers an annual awards program that recognizes alumni who have made outstanding contributions to their profession or communities. This two Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry alumni were among the recipients. Our congratulations to Dr. Robert Farley, BA’50, MD’54 on receiving the Dr. Ivan Smith Award; and to Dr. Margaret Kavanagh BA’74, MD’78 on receiving the Professional Achievement Award.





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