Honouring and Celebrating our Outstanding Members
The ACFP is proud to celebrate the physicians, students, residents, and clinics who demonstrate what “Excellence in Family Practice” truly means. Check out our 2019 Award recipients, and consider nominating a peer today!
ACFP Family Physician of the Year
Dr. Cindy Landy, Calgary
Recognition of Excellence
Dr. Prabhjot Bedi, Calgary
Dr. Randall Berlin, Calgary
Dr. Itua Iriogbe, Camrose
Dr. Carla Laidlaw, Edmonton
Dr. Suzanne Squires, Edmonton
Dr. Declan Unsworth, Jasper
Patient’s Medical Home – Outstanding Family Practice
Bonnyville Medical Clinic, Bonnyville
Westgrove Clinic, Spruce Grove
ACFP Student Leadership – Rising Star Award
University of Alberta – Kerry Howell
University of Calgary – Tina Guo
Family Medicine Resident Leadership Award
University of Alberta – Dr. Charissa Ho
University of Calgary – Dr. Chloe MacLean
ACFP New Professional Award
Dr. Carly Crewe, Sundre
Dr. Sharon Reece, Wabasca
ACFP Champion Award
Dr. Diana Hong, Edmonton
ACFP Long-term Service Award
Dr. Dorcas Kennedy, Lethbridge
Dr. Cindy Landy
I am a graduate of the U of C, a family physician, and the medical director of the Circle Medical SCPCN Breastfeeding Clinic. I am proud to be a wife and mother, and I enjoy live music and running.
The one thing I love about family medicine is: Getting to be a part of my patients’ lives.
My family medicine mentor is: Heather Armson.
One thing that surprises me about being a family physician is: Just how much work is required outside of clinic hours.
If I wasn’t a family physician, I’d be: A concert roadie.
Dr. Prabhjot Bedi
I was born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba. I was interested in medicine from a young age. My dad is a recently retired GP and my mom is a dedicated nurse of over 40 years. Their work inspired me to pursue a medical career. I did my undergraduate degree and medical school at the University of Manitoba and came to Calgary in 2011 for Family Medicine residency. I’ve been practicing at an inner city clinic in Calgary ever since. I have a special interest in mental health and enjoy working with the Shared Mental Health program. Apart from my work, I enjoy travelling and fitness classes. My partner James and I are animal lovers. We have a pet bird, cat and will soon be adopting a greyhound!
One thing I love about Family Medicine: Helping my patients through various stages of their lives.
My family medicine mentor is: Dr. Bhupinder Bedi.
One thing that surprised me about being a Family Physician: How much support I receive from my colleagues.
If I wasn’t a Family Physician I’d be: Veterinarian.
Dr. Randall Berlin
I completed medical school and my family medicine residency in Edmonton. I then headed to the US for extra training in emergency medicine. Upon completion, I returned to Calgary and practiced emergency medicine for 15 years. In 2003, I began a slow transition back into family medicine. I have now been at The Alex Community Health Centre in Calgary for 16 years. Working with vulnerable populations has helped me grow as a physician and a human being. I am forever grateful to my colleagues and patients for the mentorship they have provided. I recently became a diplomat of the American Board of Lifestyle Medicine and I am working on a health coaching course. So grateful to be able to practice medicine.
One thing I love about Family Medicine: The relationships with my patients.
My family medicine mentor is: Dr. Kerri Treherne
One thing that surprised me about being a Family Physician: How emotionally tiring it can be.
If I wasn’t a Family Physician I’d be: an American Ninja Warrior.
Dr. Itua Iriogbe
My experience working as a family physician in Alberta over the past 10 years has been rewarding and fulfilling. I graduated from the University of Lagos; I completed my Fellowship and Master’s degree in Family Medicine from the University of Pretoria. I am a Canadian Board-Certified Family Physician. Interested in Occupational and Disability Medicine with a backbone of Family Medicine as evidenced by Fellowships in Occupational Medicine from the Canadian and American Boards respectively (FCBOM, FACOEM) and Fellowship in Disability Medicine (FACIME). I am an executive director in both the Canadian Board of Occupational Medicine (CBOM) and the Occupational and Environmental Medical Association of Canada (OEMAC). I am a committed lifelong learner.
One thing I love about Family Medicine: The diversity of clinical presentations affecting the different body systems.
My family medicine mentor is: The late Professor Matthews of the University of Pretoria, Middleburg Campus, South Africa.
One thing that surprised me about being a Family Physician: You never stop learning, new guidelines and updates are deployed regularly.
If I wasn’t a Family Physician: I would be a successful commander in the Marine Corp.
Dr. Carla Laidlaw
Born and raised in Calgary, Alberta, I moved to Edmonton in 1999 to attend Medical School. Following Med School, I completed my Rural Family Medicine Residency based out of Red Deer, Alberta. Immediately following residency, I started at Westgrove Clinic in Spruce Grove and never left! In addition to my office work at Westgrove Clinic, I am the physician lead for the Youth Mental Health Clinic and also perform no-scalpel vasectomies. When I am not at work, you can usually find me playing ultimate frisbee, water-skiing or coaching one of my two kids at soccer.
The one thing I love about family medicine is: Getting to know your patients well and being a part of their lives.
My family medicine mentor is: Dr. Melanie Currie.
One thing that surprised me about being a family physician is: How diverse family medicine is! You can truly tailor your practice to do the work that you love through areas of special interest.
If I wasn’t a family physician I’d be: Scuba diving instructor.
Dr. Suzanne Squires
Dr. Squires has practiced family medicine for 16 years, mostly out of Westgrove Clinic in Spruce Grove, AB. She also spent three enjoyable years practicing in Vernon, BC. For most of her career, she has been passionate about incorporating low-risk obstetrics into her family practice. More recently, she has changed her focus to make personal and systemic changes that would increase the community’s capacity to address common mental health conditions in children and youth, as this was a deeply felt community need. As Vice-Chair of the Westview PCN Board, she has actively engaged with community partners to build an Integrated Youth Hub as well as a primary care-led Youth Mental Health Clinic. She is deeply grateful for the training she received through the CanREACH pediatric metal health mini-fellowship CME program in Calgary. She will be joining their faculty this year to start teaching the program in Edmonton, and is part of the steering committee to bring this training program to the Edmonton region. Dr. Squires is an Associate Clinical Professor with the Family Medicine Residency Program at the University of Alberta and is a delegate of the AMA Representative Forum for the Edmonton Zone.
The one thing that I love about family medicine is: The people you meet!
My family medicine mentor is: Dr. Mark Wigmore (my oldest brother and teacher of clinical pearls)
One thing that surprised me about being a family physician is: How enjoyable and humbling a commitment to life-long learning can be.
If I wasn’t a family physician I’d be: A downhill ski instructor.
Dr. Declan Unsworth
Dr. Declan Unsworth is a family physician, medical preceptor and a community medical director in Jasper, AB. He has helped coordinate a number of fundraising initiatives, which have raised close to $250,000 for his local hospital and he is currently working on establishing a health care foundation trust. He volunteers with Parks Canada, as a member of the Canadian Mountain Parks Backcountry Medical Committee, to provide medical direction and backcountry protocols for visitor safety specialists and he also volunteers with local mechanized ski operations. He enjoys many outdoor activities including skiing, running and cycling.
One thing I love about Family Medicine is: Solving undifferentiated patient concerns.
My family medicine mentor is: All of my preceptors and colleagues over the years, with special mentions to Dr. Nigel Flook and Dr. Donna Chisholm.
One thing that surprised me about being a Family Physician is: How much I’d enjoy the sense of community present in small towns.
If I wasn’t a Family Physician I’d be: a pro cyclist.
Bonnyville Medical Clinic
Bonnyville Medical Clinic is a rural multidisciplinary clinic consisting of 16 full-time family physicians, six part-time family physicians, one internist, and three nurse practitioners. Their staff of 18 are also closely supported by the Bonnyville PCN and their group of nine nursing staff. Bonnyville Medical Clinic aims to be a rural centre of excellence for their community. Staff, students, and residents pride themselves on being a standard bearer for the Patient’s Medical Home and Rural Medicine!
The best thing about working at our clinic is: In short, fantastic relationships. There is an incredible level of engagement amongst an exceptional group of staff and physicians as well as the close support of our local PCN and their nursing staff that make it possible to have Bonnyville Medical Clinic as the centre of healthcare services for our community. We also enjoy the close support and help of the Covenant Bonnyville Health Centre, that ensures that community and all the service providers are speaking the same language and maintains the communication and safety net for all.
The biggest challenge or success we’ve had in adopting PMH in our clinic: Getting cross generational communication to work amongst the physician group was a huge challenge but ultimately served as the catalyst in ensuring we brought well intentioned change to fruitful and lasting impact. We would not be able to address any of the pillars of the PMH if we did not have a group of physicians who were engaged and willing to adapt and evolve to improve services.
What advice would you give to other clinics? Start with your physician group and ensure you have a team of people who can buy into the vision of a clinic centred around building out its services for the community first as ultimately it takes self sacrifice and teamwork to have any meaningful progress. Strong leadership and sense of humour are also worthy assests!
One thing that you will be surprised to learn about our clinic is:
Average staff tenure in years = 10.5
Average age of physicians = 35
Number of physicians over 40 = 6, under 40 = 15
Number of appointments in 2018 = 75, 711
Westgrove Clinic is a long established Family Practice based in Spruce Grove that provides comprehensive cradle to grave care. They are early adopters aspiring to the medical home model of care with a multi-disciplinary team consisting of NP, RN, LPN’s, Pharmacist’s, Social Worker, and Behavioral Health consultant.
The best thing about working at our clinic is: The collegiality! Being able to walk down the hall and find a former preceptor to answer your questions or get a second opinion. Having the support of nurses, pharmacists, lactation consultation and a social worker makes our jobs so much easier.
The biggest challenge or success we’ve had in adopting PMH in our clinic: Finding space! We’ve expanded our clinic to accommodate and we still run out of room. It’s a great challenge to have.
What advice would you give to other clinics? Look at other clinic models that work well and modify them to suit your needs. Use your PCN funding to the fullest to benefit your patient population.
One thing that you will be surprised to learn about our clinic is: Laughter fills our halls and we cook a turkey in our office every Christmas. The biggest point of contention is what radio station to play!
My name is Kerry Howell, and I am a third-year medical student from the University of Alberta. I have a background in psychology and I love playing the piano, running in the river valley, and drinking large lattes. In medical school, I am involved with the Family Medicine Interest Group, the Mental Health Advocates committee, and have completed a Global Health Elective in Nepal. I am drawn to Family Medicine because of my inability to choose between continuity of care, doing procedures, delivering babies, providing psychosocial support, and having time for family and friends – so why not do it all!
The one thing I love about family medicine is: You make a difference to people in their everyday lives.
My family medicine mentor is: Dr. Sonja Kostov, Family Doctor at the Allin Clinic
One thing that surprises me about being a family physician is: As a medical student, I was surprised to hear about how diverse Family Medicine is – you can practice anywhere and so almost anything as a family doctor.
If I wasn’t a family physician, I’d be: I’m not currently a family physician, but I hope to be soon! And if I wasn’t in medical school, I would probably be pursuing clinical psychology.
As a third-year medical student at the Cumming School of Medicine, Tina has been a passionate advocate for marginalized populations who has sought to empower and support those who have experienced domestic abuse, mental illness, and homelessness. During medical school, she has served as the Founder and Co-Executive Director of the Students Against Domestic Abuse Association, the Vice-President Finance of the Student Run Clinic, Co-Chair of Outrun the Stigma Calgary, and a medical student delegate for Provincial Advocacy Day. Her interest in narrative medicine has also led her to write multiple pieces for The Longview, a medical humanities journal.
The one thing I love about family medicine is: The breadth and diversity of presentations to which physicians are exposed, and the longitudinal care that physicians can provide for patients.
My family medicine mentor is: Dr. Terri Waller
One thing that surprised me about a family physician is: The capacity to change and adapt one’s practice over time according to one’s interests.
If I wasn’t a family physician I’d be: A psychiatrist. Both disciplines prioritize the social determinants of health, and provide ample opportunities to counsel patients.
Dr. Charissa Ho
I was born in Calgary, raised in Hong Kong for 10 years then back to Calgary. I completed undergrad at the University of Victoria. Edmonton has been home for medical school and residency. I am a generalist in my career with interests in women’s health, palliative care, hospital medicine, and seeing patients of all ages. I am also a generalist in life, dabbling in hobbies like hiking, back-country camping, cross-country skiing, bouldering, cooking, and exploring folk music. I love finding opportunities to give back to my community and have found meaningful mentorship and friendships through leadership opportunities.
The one thing I love about family medicine is: I love family medicine for so many reasons! I love that I get to care for the family as a whole, with all the medicine, relationships, and personal contexts.
My family medicine mentor is: I am lucky to have had many amazing mentors along the way. Working as a translator for Dr. James Snodgrass in
Victoria made me realize what an amazing career family medicine is. Dr. John Chmelicek has been my charismatic mentor since first year medical school. Dr. Ron Shute, my residency faculty advisor, believed in and supported me throughout the last two years.
One thing that surprised me about being a family physician is: I am surprised by how much patients share with me – about their health, their personal struggles, their successes, their families. It continues to humble me everyday.
If I wasn’t a family physician I’d be: I would be a counsellor. I believe in the power of reflective listening. I enjoy helping people navigate their problems, and bringing out the strength in each person.
Dr. Chloe MacLean
I am a born and raised Albertan girl, and grew up in Cochrane. I moved to Halifax for my Microbiology and Immunology Honours Degree at Dalhousie, where I also played 2 years of varsity women’s basketball. I moved back to Calgary for my Biological Science Master degree at U of C. In 2010 I met my (now) husband and he convinced me to apply to med school in Australia while I was waiting to hear about my Canadian applications. I accepted the Aussie offer and we lived in Adelaide for 4 years while I did my MD. After, I worked for just over a year in Australia before matching with CaRMS back to U of C Family Medicine.
The one thing I love about family medicine is: The people you meet, the stories they tell you, and the lives you become a part of.
My family medicine mentor is: Dr Dennis Kreptul
One thing that surprised me about a family physician is: How much I enjoy the career path I’ve taken!
If I wasn’t a family physician I’d be: a beach bum.
Dr. Carly Crewe
Carly is a wife, mother to twin three year old girls, a rural family doctor and an online anxiety coach for moms. She is passionate about maternal mental health and enjoys travelling, running and spending time with her family.
One thing I love about Family Medicine: The diversity of the practice and the depth of human connection that we can have with patients and their families.
My family medicine mentor is: Drs. Michelle and Robert Warren.
One thing that surprised me about being a Family Physician: The amount of mental illness there is! We need so much more work in this area.
If I wasn’t a Family Physician I’d be: A travelling food critic!
Dr. Sharon Reece
Dr. Sharon Reece completed medical school (2015) and residency in Rural Family Medicine (2017) at the University of Toronto. Dr. Reece developed an interest in remote north and in Indigenous Health during a residency elective in Nunavut. She has since locumed in Nunavut, Ontario, and Alberta. In 2018, Dr. Reece began working in Wabasca, Alberta and accepted the role of Community Medical Director shortly thereafter. She was recognized with the AHS SPIRIT Award in Leadership for her introduction of simulation training for doctors, nurses, and paramedics through the AHS eSIM Program. On May 29, 2019 Dr. Reece was on call when a State of Emergency was declared followed by a mandatory evacuation due to an approaching wildfire. The local physicians and many other essential services personnel decided to remain in the community at their own risk in order to provide support for the fire fighters. This experience, among many others, have reinforced her commitment to working with under-served communities going forward.
The one thing I love about Family Medicine is: Being able to see the bigger picture.
My family medicine mentor is: Dr. Terry Unger, Dr. Stephanie Milone, Dr. Stephen Milone, and many others.
One thing that surprised me about being a family physician is: How important family doctors are to the fabric of small rural towns.
If I wasn’t a family physician I’d be: A choreographer for musicals.
Dr. Diana Hong
I’m a family physician born and raised in Edmonton. I completed my medical school training and Family Medicine residency at the University of Calgary in 2010. Currently, I practice with a great group of family docs at Palisades Medical Clinic and am part of the North Edmonton PCN. When I’m not working, I enjoy spending time with my husband and 2 kiddos, and running in Edmonton’s beautiful River Valley.
The one thing I love about family medicine is: The privilege of getting to know patients and their families and being part of their lives through the ups and downs of all life stages.
My family medicine mentor is: Dr. MJ Walsh and Dr. Donald Chan.
One thing that surprised me about being a family physician is: How much value and weight knowing our patients well helps to advocate for their care in the health care system.
If I wasn’t a family physician I’d be: A clown. Kidding, but there was one time I was briefly inspired after spending time at Patch Adams’ Geshundheit! Institute. Realistically, I’d be a physiotherapist.
Dr. Dorcas Kennedy
As a nurse in northern Canada, I was exposed to many of the challenges of rural practice. This led to my decision to enter medical school as a mature student. After graduating from the University of Calgary, I entered into the University of Alberta residency in family practice. Then I practiced family medicine in Edson, AB; Claresholm, AB; and Lethbridge, AB where I spent my final 19 years. I’ve always been interested in continuing medical education and volunteered for several positions with the ACFP including: CMA Committee, Chairman, Accreditation of Programs, and organizing the annual conference. I was also the representative for the AMA Physician Learning Project. I enjoyed teaching medical students, residents and facilitating PBSGL in Claresholm and Lethbridge.
The one thing I love about family medicine is: Early in my career, I enjoyed my role in emergency medicine and obstetrics. Later on, the continuity of care in families became my focus.
My family medicine mentor is: Several of my colleagues in all the locations I worked in.
One thing that surprised me about being a family physician is: The recent importance of technology.
If I wasn’t a family physician I’d be: I was a nurse and would still be one!
2019 Awards and Recognition Presentations