4th year grad Dr. Alison Fine presented inaugural Dr. Dana Winterburn Memorial Award

Friday, May 17, 2013

The Dr. Dana Winterburn Memorial Award was presented to a 4th year medical student at the 2013 Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry convocation held at Western University on Friday, May 17.

The Department of Family Medicine would like to congratulate Dr. Alison Fine, the inaugural award winner.

Alison has an interest both in Family Medicine, and in working with Aboriginal or Indigenous communities, two of Dr. Winterburn's passions.

"I am honoured to receive the Dana Winterburn Award. Throughout medical school I have been involved in First Nations health. I met Dr. Winterburn while collaborating on a session on the psychological effects of residential schools. During my clinical rotation I appreciated her gentle approach to all her patients," said Alison. "I am entering my family medicine residency in northern Manitoba and hope to bring her emphasis on recognizing and respecting patients' culture and history to my work. I would like to thank Dr. Winterburn's family and colleagues for making this memorial scholarship possible."

Dr. Winterburn was an Associate Professor in the Department of Family Medicine and a beloved physician at the Byron Family Medical Centre when she was tragically killed in a car accident last April. Her friends, patients and family members gave generously to a memorial fund which grew to over $19,000. But another $7,000 was needed to make this an endowed award at Foundation Western, and a lasting tribute.

After learning of the effort to start a student award aimed at Aboriginal health, Bruce Power stepped up and graciously topped up the memorial fund in order to establish the Dr. Dana Winterburn Memorial Award.

"We are deeply saddened by the loss of Dr. Dana Winterburn. Dr. Winterburn's special interest in Aboriginal health and education is a model for what Bruce Power strives for in our relationships with the local Aboriginal communities," says James Scongack, Vice-President, Corporate Affairs. "Bruce Power is proud to be associated with the Dr. Dana Winterburn Memorial Award."

Dr. Winterburn was the first Aboriginal graduate from the Doctor of Medicine program at the University of Alberta. Prior to joining Western, she also served as a family physician at the Middlesex London Health Unit and the North Lambton Community Health Centre serving the Kettle Point First Nation.

Chair of the Department of Family Medicine, Dr. Stephen Wetmore says, "Dana was proud of her Aboriginal roots and contributed significantly as a member of the Native Physicians Association of Canada, the Indigenous Physicians Association of Canada, and the Canadian Aboriginal Leaders in Medicine. She also loved teaching. This award is a fitting tribute to a truly remarkable woman. Dana's family and I want to thank everyone who contributed, and especially Bruce Power, for making the award a reality."

Dana's colleagues from the Byron Family Medical Centre had this to say.

"Dana dedicated her life to her daughter, family, friends, teaching and medical career. Dana was loved by the staff, her patients, and students alike. She was an exceptional teacher and was honoured with several teaching awards as well as the Martin J. Bass award for exceptional contributions to family medicine in service, teaching, research and administration. Dana Winterburn was an accomplished family physician and educator, taken from us too soon. Her friendly nature, strong commitment, and wise counsel will definitely be missed by the Department of Family Medicine. Her legacy will live on through the Memorial Award that has been set-up in her name through Western and the Department of Family Medicine at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry."

This award was created to honour Dana's outstanding commitment to family medicine and the communities which she served in her lifetime. It is awarded to a student who may exemplify many of Dana's virtues of having strong leadership skills, an interest in palliative care, aboriginal health issues and mental health in addition to being a highly skilled clinician with strong patient-doctor relationships