OCFP 2018 Awards Recipients

The OCFP is proud to celebrate the outstanding skill, knowledge and dedication of family doctors across Ontario through the 2018 Awards program. The recipients exemplify the vital work family doctors do to help keep Ontarians healthy.

Reg L. Perkin Ontario Family Physician of the Year

The Family Physician of the Year Award recognizes an outstanding CFPC family physician member from Ontario who exemplifies the best of what being a family doctor is all about, including exceptional care of patients combined with a significant contribution to the health and well being of communities and society in general.  The award is named in honour of Dr. Reg L. Perkin, College of Family Physicians of Canada Executive Director from 1985 to 1996. The Reg L. Perkin recipient is chosen from the Regional Family Physician of the Year award recipients.

Dr. Dieter Poenn, Little Current

photo of Dr Dieter Poenn

Dr. Poenn obtained his medical degree from McMaster University and completed his residency at Queen’s University. He is lead physician at the Northeastern Manitoulin Family Health Team and has been medical director at Manitoulin Centennial Manor (a municipal home for the aged in Little Current) since 1990. He runs a family practice in Little Current, as well as the Wiikwemkoong First Nation, and provides emergency department and inpatient care for the Manitoulin Health Centre, where he served as president and more recently, vice president of the medical staff.

Dr. Poenn has been an associate clinical professor of family medicine at the University of Ottawa since 1997 and an assistant professor at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine since 2005. He has been a provincial coroner since 1993 and holds numerous advanced care certifications. He is a Fellow of the CFPC and holds a COE certification and a Diploma of Sports Medicine.

Dr. Poenn is passionate about his family, his community and the natural wonders of Manitoulin Island. He chose to work in rural family medicine for the broad scope of practice. Remaining committed to the communities of Little Current and Wiikwemkoong First Nation has earned him the trust and confidence of the people of Manitoulin, the ultimate reward for his efforts. 


Regional Family Physicians of the Year

The Regional Family Physician of the Year Award recognizes seven physicians - one from each region of the province - who provide exemplary care to their patients and are passionately involved in activities that contribute to excellence in family medicine.

Region 2: Dr. Rochelle Dworkin, Hanover

photo of Dr. Rochelle DworkinDr. Dworkin arrived in Hanover (pop. 7,000) to do a six-month locum 32 years ago, unsure of her future career in medicine. Not initially planning on pursuing family medicine, she ended up staying and embracing full-spectrum rural family medicine. Dr. Dworkin thrived on working in a variety of acute medical settings – the ED, the OR, with in-patients and in obstetrics – while developing and maintaining relationships with her practice population. She has served as president, chief of staff and head of obstetrics at her hospital.

Dr. Dworkin embraced teaching rural family medicine to medical students and mentoring residents, the majority of whom practise in rural Ontario. She received a MClSc degree in family medicine in 2010 and was the site director for the Hanover Family Medicine training program (Western University) from its inception in 2009 until 2017.

Dr. Dworkin received the Rural/Regional Teacher of the Year Award (2013) and the Schulich Award of Excellence for Faculty in Distributed Sites (2017) from Western University.

Region 3: Dr. Joseph Lee, Kitchener

Dr. Joseph Lee croppedDr. Lee and his wife, Dr. Linda Lee, have been family physicians in Kitchener-Waterloo for more than 30 years. He is an associate clinical professor with McMaster University’s Department of Family Medicine and provided leadership in the founding of the McMaster Kitchener-Waterloo family medicine residency program, the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine’s Waterloo regional campus, the Centre for Family Medicine Family Health Team, the KW4 Health Link and the KW4 Community Leadership Table. In 2015 he was named one of Waterloo Region’s iconic change makers.

Dr. Lee is a passionate advocate for primary care service, education, research, collaboration and innovation. His research interests include interprofessional primary care for the physically disabled (including spinal cord injuries), family medicine education and family physician stress and burnout. He chairs and serves on numerous boards and committees.

Dr. Lee and his wife are the proud parents of Jenn, Mike and Lissa and grandparents to Thomas. He enjoys tennis, golf and travel.

Region 4: Dr. Brian Watada, Milton

photo of Dr. Brian WatadaDr. Watada is from Toronto, where he completed his undergraduate medical degree at the University of Toronto in 1996. He completed the family medicine residency program at McMaster University in 1998. Dr. Watada settled into a practice in Milton and is currently working with the Prime Care Family Health Team there. He is also a staff physician at the Milton District Hospital and an investigating coroner for North Halton.

Dr. Watada has served as co-chief of family medicine as well as the physician program leader at the Milton site for Halton Healthcare Services. In addition, he was an on-site physician at the 2015 Pan Am Games and has been a peer assessor through the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario. However, his most important job has been as a husband to Cynthia and a father to Brandon and Kimberly, who have been the inspiration for his career.

Region 5: Dr. Tomislav Svoboda, Toronto

photo of Dr. Tomislav SvobodaDr. Svoboda is a family physician with an appointment at St. Michael’s Hospital, a scientist, an associate professor and a public health specialist. His focus has been addictions and mental healthcare for chronically homeless individuals.

He was the first medical director of Seaton House, Toronto’s largest homeless shelter. He founded the Inner City Health Associates, Canada’s largest multidisciplinary practice providing healthcare in shelters and drop-in centres and part of a growing provider movement aimed at ending homelessness. He co-founded Art Manuel House, a residence with a managed alcohol program for chronically homeless people, named after the friend and colleague with whom he co-developed the first such shelter-based program in Canada.

A student of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh and social justice activist Dr. Philip Berger, Dr. Svoboda likes camping, lives communally, advocates a vegan diet, rides a bike and has boycotted cars and planes for the past 12 years--all activities he believes will cure most human and planetary ills.

Region 6: Dr. Erika Catford, Orillia

Photo of Dr. Erika CatfordDr. Catford graduated from medical school at the University of Toronto in 2005 and completed her rural residency through U of T in 2007. She then completed a fellowship in low-risk obstetrics and began her medical practice in 2008.

Dr. Catford has privileges at Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital, where she does in-patient and obstetric care and assists in the operating room. She is also a former chair of the Department of Family Medicine there. She runs a medical practice in her ambulatory clinic as well as being the house doctor at a long-term care facility.

In 2016, Dr. Catford co-founded Mariposa House Hospice, which is now building a five-bed residential hospice in her community. Dr. Catford is an active medical teacher and has supervised more than 40 resident physicians from the University of Toronto. She has served as director of the teaching practice program for more than 10 years and was formerly the director of the rural residency program.

She is the proud mother of a 10-year-old daughter and is an avid fisherwoman in her spare time.

Region 7: Dr. Lyne Pitre, Ottawa

Photo of Dr. Lyne PitreDr. Pitre graduated from the University of Ottawa’s Department of Family Medicine in 1988 and opened an office in Ottawa with her colleague, Dr. Jean A. Roy. She became an active member of the Montfort Hospital in 1988, providing acute in-patient and obstetrical care.

In 1992, Dr. Pitre began her teaching career as one of the first preceptors of the Montfort family medicine residency program, Ontario’s only francophone residency program. In 1996, she became program director, a role she held for 20 years. She has trained more than 200 francophone family physicians. She is an associate professor at the University of Ottawa.

In 2011, Dr. Pitre completed a Master’s degree in medical education at the University of Dundee and established the Montfort Academic Family Health Team. In 2015, she became the director of medical education at the Institut du Savoir Montfort, Montfort’s Knowledge Institute. She is also a member of the Affaires Francophones at the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Medicine.

Dr. Pitre enjoys painting, golf and cottage life, but her greatest source of pride is her husband, Francis, and their children, Anik, Marie-Pier, Matthieu, Matthias and Alexandre.

Community Teacher of the Year

The Community Teacher of the Year Award celebrates excellence in a community family medicine preceptor. This award is nominated by Ontario’s family medicine residents and medical school students.

Photo of Dr. Lianne Gauvin

Dr. Lianne Gauvin, Hearst

Dr. Gauvin was born and raised in Hearst, a rural francophone community in Northern Ontario. After completing a Master’s degree in biochemistry, she entered medical school as part of the charter class at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine. She established her practice in her hometown, where she practises rural family medicine and emergency medicine. She is currently president of the medical staff at the Notre-Dame Hospital and is the vice president of the Nord-Aski Family Health Team.

As an associate professor with the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, Dr. Gauvin truly enjoys sharing her passion for medicine with medical students and residents. In return, she finds that working with learners enriches her career. ;She is quite humbled that they have nominated her for this award.

In her spare time, she enjoys running, kayaking and camping with her family. She is thankful for the ongoing support of her family and colleagues.


Family Medicine Resident of the Year

The Resident of the Year Award recognizes outstanding teaching skills and commitment to education among family medicine residents currently enrolled in a family medicine residency program in Ontario. 

Photo of Dr. Stephanie Klein

Dr. Stephanie Klein, Toronto

Dr. Klein completed her family medicine training at the University of Toronto. She was based at North York General Hospital, where she served as co-chief resident. Dr. Klein’s passion for physician wellness led her to develop an education scholarship project on implementing a Balint group program into a family medicine residency. This work received the top Resident Academic Project Award at U of T and the CFPC Resident Award for Scholarly Achievement. 

Dr. Klein’s clinical interests include comprehensive family medicine and geriatrics. She conducted a quality improvement project on reducing benzodiazepine use in the elderly that was recognized with a QI Impact Award. 

Throughout her training, Dr. Klein was involved in program leadership and teaching medical students. She will be joining an academic family practice in North York and the Geriatric Day Hospital at North York General. Outside of medicine, Dr. Klein is an avid golfer, sports fan and animal lover.


Board Awards of Merit

Bestowed by the adjudication panel and the OCFP Board of Directors, this award recognizes ongoing contributions to the profession of family medicine through comprehensive and compassionate medical care, continuity of care and an unwavering commitment to the health and wellbeing of patients.

Photo of Dr. Sarah Jane Batten

Dr. Sarah Jane Batten, Ottawa

Dr. Batten first trained as a nurse in England and has had a varied career: medical school at McGill (1986), residency at Memorial (1988), rural family practice in Labrador City (1988–93), relocating to Ottawa (1993), performing deliveries at the Riverside Hospital/General Hospital (until 2005) and establishing a family practice (1994).

She adopted electronic medical records in 2005 and opened her own clinic in 2010. She was IT lead and associate lead physician for the clinic of seven physicians. She implemented the use of tablets to improve patient care and was instrumental in offering services such as diabetic education, dietician services and geriatric assessments. She became the go-to expert for procedures, mental illness and overall medical advice.

She has practised the full spectrum of family medicine, from deliveries, surgical assists and med-evac transfers to small procedures, home visits and palliative care. She has mentored students, residents and colleagues. Dr. Batten cared deeply for her patients’ wellbeing, delivering personalized comprehensive care with respect, compassion and a dose of humour. She retired in 2017.

Photo of Dr. Reid Cameron

Dr. Reid Cameron, Hornepayne

Dr. Cameron was raised on the Lake of the Woods in Kenora, Ontario. After completing a BA in education and a Master of Social Work degree, he completed medical training at McMaster University and residency at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine.

For 18 years, he has practised rural medicine in Hornepayne, where he has served as the chief of staff and lead physician of the Hornepayne Community Hospital. This challenging environment includes primary, emergency, acute and long-term care.

Dr. Cameron has enjoyed serving as a clinical preceptor and mentor to nurse practitioners, medical students and residents. He appreciates practising with an outstanding clinical team and has represented the Rural and Northern Group Practices in contract negotiations with the Ministry of Health.

Every day brings the opportunity to serve a diverse and unique population of independent, resilient and engaging northerners. Dr. Cameron, his wife and their four boys are grateful for the kindness and support of their community.


Family Practices of the Year

The Family Practice of the Year Award celebrates the accomplishments and hard work of the members of selected family practices in delivering comprehensive services and continuity of care for their patients.

For 2018, two practices were selected for this Award.

Family Practice of the Year – General Practice

Photo of the staff of Medical Associates of Port Perry

Medical Associates of Port Perry

Medical Associates of Port Perry was founded in 1968. What started as a 4,000 square foot building is now a 63,000 square foot multi-storey healthcare facility with 40 physicians and more than 120 staff. The team includes a diagnostic imaging centre and the North Durham Family Health Team. Medical Associates physicians practise comprehensive primary care in a rural setting and provide clinical services that include ER, in-patient care, obstetrics, anesthesia, surgical assistance to our general surgeons, nursing home care, palliative care and coroner services.

As part of their commitment to serving the healthcare needs of their community, Medical Associates provides a walk-in clinic, open 363 days per year. Medical Associates is also a teaching site for the University of Toronto, Queen’s University and the Rural Ontario Medical Program, welcoming more than 40 learners annually. Medical Associates considers it a privilege to be a member of, and to serve the Port Perry community.

Family Practice of the Year - Focused Practice

Photo of the staff of the Hospice of Windsor and Essex CountyThe Hospice of Windsor & Essex County

The Hospice of Windsor & Essex County is humbled and honoured to receive the Ontario College of Family Physicians’ Family Practice of the Year Award for Focused Practice.

Since 1979, the Hospice of Windsor & Essex County has grown and evolved from a community-based volunteer service to a multidisciplinary team-oriented service for palliative and end-of-life patients in Essex County. Providing a holistic and compassionate approach, the hospice offers wide-ranging clinical and non-clinical services to their patients, including palliative care physicians and nurses, social workers, spiritual care, wellness programs and compassionate volunteers supported by dedicated administrative staff.

Their mission is to support, educate and empower those who are affected by orare caring for a person with a life-altering diagnosis to enable them to achieve their desired quality of life.


2018 Award of Excellence

The Award of Excellence recognizes outstanding contributions in a specific area pertaining to the specialty of family medicine: patient care, community service, hospital or health-care institutions, College activities (CFPC or OCFP), teaching, research or other elements of the academic discipline of family medicine. 

Dr. Amy Montour, Brantford, is recognized for her commitment to ensuring culturally appropriate care with and for Indigenous peoples, including improving the palliative care experience for patients and their families.

Dr. Susan McNair, London, is recognized for her leadership in improving care for victims of sexual abuse and human trafficking, and working collaboratively to address the issue in Southwestern Ontario.

Drs. Douglas Friars, Risa Adams, Joan Mackenzie Chan and Dorothy Bakker, Guelph, are recognized for creating the Act As One Service (AAOS) initiative to address gaps in care and improve integration, collaboration and access to necessary mental health and addictions care in Guelph.

Dr. Karen Tu, Toronto, is recognized for her research and creation of the Electronic Medical Record Administrative Linked Database (EMRALD), which has sparked outstanding research output.

Dr. Lynne Schwertfeger, Timmins, is recognized for her leadership in delivering family-focused palliative care and for her key role in the creation and operation of the Timmins Hospice Centre.

Dr. James Pencharz, Mississauga, is recognized for his leadership in expanding the Credit Valley Family Health Team Inter-Professional Primary Care Team to offer additional seniors, mental health and addictions supports.

Dr. Caroline Collins, Brampton, is recognized for her leadership in transitioning the Early Pregnancy Clinic to Peel Memorial Hospital and for her role in creating and growing the Maternity Care Clinic and the Mother and Baby Clinic.

Dr. Rebecca Van Iersel, Orillia, is recognized for her clinical and strategic leadership to advance the North Simcoe Muskoka LHIN’s opioid crisis response and its medical assistance in dying, mental health, transgender and musculoskeletal programs.

Dr. Nanky Rai, Toronto, is recognized for her leadership in health system improvement, health education and human rights advocacy, which includes the opening of the Moss Park overdose prevention site in Toronto.

Dr. Yelena Chorny, Guelph, is recognized for her dedication and advocacy for addiction treatment and her leadership in the creation of Guelph’s new Rapid Access Addictions Clinic.

Dr. Mohamed Alarakhia, Waterloo, is recognized for his contribution to digital health in family medicine, which has been instrumental in creating a better-connected system in Waterloo-Wellington, benefiting patients and those who care for them.

Archive of Award Recipients

To see recipients from previous years, please visit our Awards Archive.