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.
Congratulations to our 2021 ACFP Award Recipients!
Dr. Kerri Treherne
Dr. Kerri Treherne works at a Community Health Center in Calgary called The Alex. She has a panel of patients that she currently shares with a locum due to her COVID commitments. Dr. Treherne is also the Medical Director of The Alex Health Center and the Medical Director of Calgary’s Assisted Self Isolation facility. She has been in practice for 25 years and although she has had other roles, most of her clinical experience has been with The Alex.
Dr. Treherne’s goal is to foster and build social connection. She organized many projects through her community association board and her child’s school council prior to getting into medical leadership. The Alex follows a Community Health Center model and recognizes the importance of the social aspects of patient care; it provides many services that are not available in a typical family medicine practice. Dr. Treherne would like to see more medical homes provide services to manage clients with complex social and medical needs. As part of her role with the ACFP’s Collaborative Mentorship Network, Dr. Treherne is working on a Family Physician shadowing project. She is also a member of The Calgary West Central PCN Board and a strong advocate for Medical Homes.
Her biggest priority, even prior to COVID, is working to ensure that our working environment and staff feel safe and have the resilience needed to handle stressful situations.
The last almost two years have been stressful for all of us but also very rewarding. Dr. Treherne is looking forward to 2022 and hopes that things return closer to normal. She also hopes that the working groups created out of the COVID-19 pandemic continue, but refocus on other issues such as the Opioid Crisis.
The one thing I love about family medicine is: Limitless challenges and opportunities to empower.
My family medicine mentor is: My community health center team and Patch Adams for those really challenging times.
One thing that surprised me about being a family physician is: How flexible my patients can be and how much they care about my health and wellness. As I was doing Covid-19 work I had to share my practice with a new physician. Where possible I tried to check in with my patients and I could tell that they were all genuinely concerned and very accommodating.
If I weren’t a family physician I’d be: A gardener (therapy by gardening).
Dr. Shari Fallis
Dr. Shari Fallis is a family physician at the Allin Clinic who has served as Chair and Board Member of the EOPCN and now as lead on the Allin Green Committee and the EOPCN Green For Health Committee. She has had the privilege of working with some amazing teams within these settings as well as in the community. It has given her the opportunity to work on issues like hospital-to-home transitions, screening protocols, climate change, medical education, and specialist access. Through these experiences, Dr. Fallis has come to appreciate the impact of committed individuals with different skillsets gathering around a table to tackle a common goal.
Many of the challenges within family medicine have systemic sources which are hard to address at a clinic level. Dr. Fallis believes that the evolution of the Primary Care Networks (PCNs) have provided a unique opportunity to work on problems shared by family medicine colleagues. PCN’s give a framework for primary care physicians to voice common concerns, propose solutions, and improve communications in addition to providing important health supports (nursing, dietitians, counsellors, kinesiologists, pharmacists) to patients. Dr. Fallis has appreciated this helpful platform for discussing systemic hurdles and proposing change.
The one thing I love about family medicine is: I love the range of ages and backgrounds seen in family medicine. I love the impetus to keep learning. I also love the flexibility and adaptability which makes it possible to focus on different aspects of family medicine as you move through your career. I appreciate the relationship building and the trust that
arises from helping patients navigate health challenges.
My family medicine mentors is: Although there is no single mentor, I have learned much from the expertise and experiences of many of my colleagues.
One thing that surprised me about being a family physician is: The diversity and complexity of problems that present to a family physician during a week and their need for an evolving toolbox (life experiences, scientific principles, an understanding of human behaviour, literature updates, colleague tips and awareness of resources in the community).
If I weren’t a family physician I’d be: An Artist.
Dr. Aquaeno Ekanem
Dr. Aquaeno Ekanem is a Family Physician/Occupational Physician based in Edmonton, AB with a worldly background in medicine. He obtained his medical degree from the University of Calabar, Nigeria and went to receive his Fellowship from the West African College. Dr. Ekanem continued furthering his education, he would earn a master’s in Public Health from Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans and holds Fellowships from the American College of Independent Medical Examiners, the Canadian Board of Occupational Medicine, and the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Dr. Ekanem is board-certified in Family Medicine with a Certification in the Canadian College of Family Physicians and a diploma in Clinical Dermatology from Cardiff University; Wales, United Kingdom. Dr. Ekanem has extensive experience in Disability Medicine and has a wide range of experience in consulting for insurance companies because of his knowledge. In addition to these skills, Dr. Ekanem is an Independent Medical Examiner and a Certified Injury Management Specialist and sits on the Board of Directors for the Occupational and Environmental Medical Association of Canada (OEMAC) and the Canadian Board of Occupational Medicine (CBOM). Dr. Ekanem also holds a public member position on the Council of the Alberta College of Pharmacy and is a Clinical Lecturer with the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry of the University of Alberta. When he isn’t busy with work, you can find Dr. Ekanem cheering for his favourite soccer and basketball teams; the Arsenal FC and the L.A. Lakers.
The one thing I love about family medicine is: The lifelong relationships and complexities of humanity.
My family medicine mentor is: Dr. Abolarin.
One thing that surprises me about being a family physician is: The volume of work that we get to do daily on behalf of patients.
If I wasn’t a family physician, I’d be: A pilot/aviator.
Dr. Divya Garg
Dr. Divya Garg is a Clinical Assistant Professor with the University of Calgary, Department of Family Medicine. She has completed an Academic Fellowship in Family Medicine and Master of Clinical Science Program through Western University. She is the Site Medical Lead at the South Health Campus Family Medicine Teaching Clinic. Along with teaching residents and medical students, she has a special interest in Continuing Professional Development and chairs the CPD committee for the Department of Family Medicine. Additionally, she holds the role of Faculty Advocate Against Mistreatment for Undergraduate Medical Program. In this role, she serves as a confidential resource for students who have experienced mistreatment.
The one thing I love about family medicine is: Engagement of patients and their families while partnering in their care and the relationships that we build across the continuum of care.
My family medicine mentor is: Dr. Saadia Hameed, my residency and Academic Fellowship preceptor
One thing that surprised me about being a family physician is: The important role of primary care physicians in navigating the health care system with their patients while ensuring safe, reliable and effective healthcare. This includes coordinating timely investigations, specialist referrals and follow-up after hospital discharges as well as connecting patients to community resources.
If I weren’t a family physician I’d be: A teacher or a dance instructor.
Dr. Ernst Greyvenstein
Dr. Ernst Greyvenstein is married to a very supportive and understanding wife and has two wonderful sons attending university. Dr. Greyvenstein works in, owns, and manages a mature medical home “Circle Medical”. He has been very involved in Primary Care Network (PCN) leadership positions, including medical director and board chair. Dr. Greyvenstein believes in family medicine as the foundation of the health care system. In his elected role as PCN Lead, Dr. Greyvenstein strives to bring this perspective to every table. He feels extremely blessed to have participated in leading some provincial initiatives related to COVID-19 alongside many wonderful leaders. This includes the provincial scale and spread of COVID-19 pathway work, bringing COVID-19 vaccination to primary care and community offices, and developing foundational endemic COVID-19 guidance for community offices.
The one thing I love about family medicine is: The wonderful longitudinal relationships with patients, being invited into and walking alongside them throughout their lives.
My family medicine mentors are: Too many to mention, I am inspired by so many individuals who exemplify caring, leadership and self-sacrificial service to their patients.
One thing that surprises me about being a family physician is: How easy it is to care for patients in the exam room, and how difficult the rest of my work outside of the exam room is.
If I wasn’t a family physician, I’d be: Running an animal orphanage with my wife in Africa.
Dr. Michael Spady
Born and raised in Alberta, Dr. Michael Spady lived in both Calgary and Edmonton, before moving at the age of ten to a farm by a small rural community in East Central Alberta. He returned to Edmonton for University but would share his studies and training between Edmonton and Calgary before graduating with an MD and later a family medicine specialization. Dr. Spady is now a family physician who is humbled and pleased to have served in health care for 22 years, both clinically and in administrative roles. He initially practiced medicine through the rural locum program, serving people in communities across Alberta and the Northwest Territories. The variety of cultures, lifestyles, and communities Dr. Spady experienced provided valuable exposure to the art of medicine and how to develop skills in generalism and the management of uncertainty – those factors which are most prominent and unique in Family Medicine and where experience is the most valuable teacher.
More recently, Dr. Spady has focussed his clinical work in Urgent Care and Administrative Medicine and currently holds the roles of Clinical Department Head for Family Medicine and Medical Leader for Community Health in the Calgary Zone. Administrative medicine brings its own challenges and in many ways is a new career, with much to learn and experience. Dr. Spady is married and has two thriving teenagers who continually remind him of what is important in life and in health care; they keep him well-grounded. He is also a proud member of one of the largest amateur music societies and North America and is also a member of an inclusive hockey team; both of which serve to make sure he does not forget the values of art and sport, creativity, and comradery! Dr. Spady feels blessed and thankful for the opportunities that Family Medicine has given him and looks forward to many years of service ahead.
The one thing I love about family medicine is: The diversity, flexibility, and challenge of true generalism.
My family medicine mentors are: Dr. Ted Braun and Dr. Rod Crutcher, among many who continue to inspire me daily.
One thing that surprises me about being a family physician is: The impact primary care can have on the system and patients’ lives – if you have the patience and wisdom to wait for the results.
If I wasn’t a family physician, I’d be: A Musician!
East Calgary Family Care Clinic
East Calgary Family Care Clinic (ECFCC) is an Alberta Health Services clinic that focuses on care to patients with multiple medical and psychosocial issues including mental health, socio-economic, and immigration/refugee concerns. Patients are panelled to family physicians or primary care nurse practitioners who work with nurses, dietitians, psychologists, social workers, an occupational therapist, a physiotherapist, and a clinical pharmacist as an interdisciplinary team. The clinic is in Calgary’s northeast, home to the poorest in the city. The clinic’s providers work closely with Peter Lougheed Centre and Mosaic Primary Care Network. People who become patients at ECFCC have lower Emergency utilization and hospital admissions.
The Best Thing About Working at your Clinic is:
Clinic staff are enthusiastic, dedicated, and collegial. They work well as a team and support each other in providing outstanding care to patients. Instead of hearing “that’s not in my job description, you’re more likely to hear “what do you need me to do?” Despite the multiple complex demands of providing care, the atmosphere is warm and friendly.
The Biggest Challenge or Success We`ve had in Adopting PMH in our Clinic:
In March 2020, the East Calgary Family Care Clinic pivoted from providing chronic complex care to being a communication hub for Health Link and Calgary Public Health in response to the COVID pandemic. The change took place over a weekend. We re-invented ourselves on a daily basis to meet the ever-changing demands of dealing with the pandemic.
What advice would you give to other clinics?
Let everyone work to the best of their abilities, challenge them to go further and recognize and reward them for their work—daily. Recognize the unique contribution everyone makes, from doctors and nurse practitioners to allied health to MOAs to the housekeeper: everyone is essential.
One thing that you will be surprised to learn about our clinic:
We’re open 362 days of the year, 8 AM to 9 PM Monday to Friday and 9 to 5 weekends and most holidays
Dr. Shehzad Kassam
Born and raised in Edmonton, Shehzad (Shez) Kassam graduated from medical school and Family Medicine residency at the University of Alberta. He owes his passion and pursuit of a generalist career to the Rural Integrated Community Clerkship, which is the longitudinal clinical training that he completed in Ponoka and Maskwacis. With an eye towards addressing the social and structural determinants of health, Shez is currently completing his M.Sc. in Public Health (Health Services Management) from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, as well as serving as co-chief resident of the Public Health and Preventive Medicine residency program. He hopes to utilize a mixed clinical and academic career to bridge the intersections of primary care and public health, with a focus on improving access to health services for underserved communities in urban, rural, and remote regions.
Outside of work, Shez enjoys immersing himself in the culinary arts, playing any and every racquet sport, travelling (when safe to do so!), and spending time with his soon-to-be wife, friends, and family!
The one thing I love about family medicine is: Meeting a variety of great people.
My family medicine mentors are: Dr. Ann Lee (LCE); Dr. Robert Halse and Dr. Cayla Gilbert (rural ICC); Dr. Ginetta Salvalaggio (research); Dr. Keith Huber (faculty advisor); and Drs. Robert and Michelle Warren (residency preceptors).
One thing that surprises me about being a family physician is: The endless opportunities that can arise from a brief yet diverse and meaningful training program.
If I wasn’t a family physician, I’d be: Splitting my time as a social worker, NBA analyst, and coffee sommelier.
Dr. Nasser Barakat
Dr. Nasser Barakat is currently completing his PGY2 year in Family Medicine at the University of Calgary. He spent his early childhood in Dubai, UAE before moving to Winnipeg, MB in 2010. Dr. Barakat earned a bachelor’s degree in Genetics from the University of Manitoba, and his medical degree in 2020. Dr. Barakat has enjoyed getting to know Calgary since moving there for residency in June of 2020. His passion is to work with marginalized populations and historically underrepresented groups in health care, providing culturally safe and low-barrier medical care. Dr. Barakat is especially committed to providing gender-affirming primary care to transgender and gender-diverse persons, as well as serving the care needs of the 2SLGBTQ+ population in inclusive, non-judgmental spaces. Some of his most notable past achievements include advocating at the local and provincial levels for increased representation and mental health supports for medical students, as well as raising awareness about health and social disparities amongst underrepresented groups.
In his spare time, Dr. Barakat enjoys practicing yoga, scuba diving, and experimenting with new cooking recipes. He frequently seeks out sanctuary in the peaceful mountains of Banff and Jasper, indulging in hiking and biking whenever he gets the chance!
The one thing I love about family medicine is: The flexibility to practice in a variety of areas
My family medicine mentor is: Dr. Jade Goliath. I am also very grateful to my mentors who have helped guide me in improving my clinical practice proving low-barrier care.
One thing that surprised me about being a family physician is: The amount of paperwork!
If I weren’t a family physician I’d be: A professional cook.
Julie Saby grew up in the summer village of Norglenwold, AB (just outside of Sylvan Lake), and is a proud rural Albertan through and through. Prior to medical school, Julie attended university at the University of Alberta studying microbiology and music. She would go from writing papers about lake algae to playing the sitar in an Indian music ensemble all within the span of an afternoon!
Julie currently is in her final year of medical school at the University of Alberta and had the great fortune of spending my entire third year of medical school out in the lovely community of Edson, AB; learning from some of the best family doctors in the west. Julie thinks that this experience is what sold her on wanting to pursue rural family medicine as a career!
When she is not learning in the clinic or the hospital, Julie can usually be found outside climbing a mountain, paddling in a lake, baking buns or cookies for the nurses on her next shift, or doing some type of sport while being dressed as a giant banana! Life is too short to live it dull.
The one thing I love about family medicine is: I can only pick one? The one thing I love about family medicine is the rapport and relationships that you build with your patients. It’s such a rewarding privilege to walk with them through the mountain peaks and valleys of life – to celebrate the victories and to grieve the trials and tribulations with them. I feel that those relationships are something truly unique to family medicine.
My family medicine mentors are: Oh man, I have too many. I would have to say my top five would be Dr. Jo Ann Robinson, Dr. Sarah Smith, Dr. Dalal Awwad, Dr. Sudha Koppula, and Dr. Chelsea Henry. I’m blessed to have such wonderful strong female leaders in my life.
One thing that surprises me about being a family physician is: I was very surprised at how broad of a skill set a family physician can have. They can do everything: surgeries, delivering babies, optimizing mental health, and walking their patients through all the highs and lows of life.
If I wasn’t a family physician, I’d be: I’m not a family physician (yet), but if I had to choose a different career I would have loved to be a film composer and write scores for movies that become world famous (like the Jurassic Park theme)!
Logan is in his final year of medical school at the University of Calgary (UofC), where he is completing the longitudinal integrated clerkship (UCLIC) program in Pincher Creek. This has allowed him to pursue his passion for rural medicine while learning from mentors who embody the full scope of comprehensive family medicine, including developing longitudinal patient relationships in clinic, delivering babies, managing acute patients in the ED, caring for them as inpatients, and working in the OR doing both surgeries and anesthesia. Logan has served on the executive of the UofC Family Medicine Interest Group and sat as the UofC Medical Student Liaison on the ACFP Board, where he brought the student perspective to current issues in family medicine. Serving on the ACFP board during both the onset of the COVID pandemic and the extensive provincial government restructuring of health care allowed him to further appreciate the importance of strong primary care in supporting the entire health care system. In his spare time, Logan enjoys being in the mountains, hiking and climbing in the summers until the snow signals the transition to snowboarding and cross country ski season.
The one thing I love about family medicine is: I love seeing patients with a wide array of problems and being the first person to hear their stories and start the process of figuring out their issues.
My family medicine mentor are: I have greatly benefitted from the mentorship of all the amazing physicians at the Associate Clinic in Pincher Creek.
One thing that surprised me about being a family physician is: As a medical student, I’ve been surprised by the incredible breadth of knowledge and skills that family physicians possess, especially those practicing comprehensive care in rural settings. They are not ‘just’ family doctors, but experts in generalism.
If I weren’t a family physician I’d be: If I wasn’t pursuing a career in health care, I would love to find a way to make a living while spending my days in the outdoors. Maybe working as a guide, in conservation, or even as a ski patroller?
Dr. Christopher Beavington
Dr. Chris Beavington left his hometown of Red Deer to complete his BMSc, MD, and family medicine residency at the University of Alberta from 2009-2017. In 2018, he concluded his 12-month fellowship in sports medicine at the Glen Sather Sports Medicine Clinic by achieving his CASEM diploma in sport and exercise medicine. Since then, he has completed several rural family medicine locum contracts providing coverage to multiple clinics, hospitals, and emergency departments in nearly 30 communities across rural Alberta and the Yukon Territory. Currently, Dr. Beavington works in primary care sports medicine in addition to serving as an intensive care unit extender physician in Calgary. He also teaches family medicine residents as a clinical lecturer with the University of Calgary. Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, he has had the opportunity to work in 26 hospitals, four intensive care units, and a mass vaccination clinic in addition to a wellness centre providing primary care to firefighters and paramedics. Chris also continues to provide rural family medicine locum coverage through the Alberta Medical Association Locum Services Program.
Throughout his training and professional career, Dr. Beavington has provided sideline sporting event medical coverage at the amateur, CFL, U SPORTS, CJFL, Masters, NHL and Para levels. Chris serves as the current team physician for the Canadian Alpine Ski Team, Ski Cross Team, and Cross Country Ski Team as well as the SAIT Trojans Men’s Hockey Team. In his spare time, Dr. Beavington loves travelling and spending time with his wife Kelsey, son Max, and dog Apollo.
The one thing I love about family medicine is: The diversity of practice. Family physicians look after people at all ages and stages of life. They use their broad skills to best provide care in their communities.
My family medicine mentors are: Dr. Mike Allan and Dr. Sudha Koppula. Two of the best family physician educators that I have ever had the privilege of knowing.
One thing that surprised me about being a family physician is: How dynamic and adaptable family physicians are to the changing needs of a population during a pandemic. Virtual care, redeployment, and mass vaccination clinics are just a few of the ways family physicians have changed their practices to meet the growing needs of the communities they care for.
If I weren’t a family physician I’d be: A police officer or a firefighter.
Dr. Tina Korownyk
Tina is a Family Physician and Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Alberta. She has worked as a family physician for over 15 years in Edmonton. She is the Director of PEER, an organization that seeks to empower primary care through the use of the best evidence. She participates regularly in the development of Tools for Practice, PEER Guidelines, and other knowledge translation activities. She is a frequent speaker at provincial and national conferences and participates in a provincial academic detailing program developed by PEER which utilizes a train the trainer approach to disseminate reliable best evidence to busy clinicians. She is also the co-coordinator of the EBM program for Family Medicine residents at the University of Alberta and is proud to be a part of the core leadership team for Pragmatic Trials, a group of practicing primary care providers searching to improve the care of patients and answer pivotal healthcare questions through high-quality evidence (ie pragmatic randomized controlled trials). Tina is happily married with four active kids, and enjoys being in the outdoors!
The one thing I love about family medicine is:
I think it is impossible to list one thing. I love the privilege of developing lasting relationships with entire families, I love the opportunity to really make a positive impact in a patient’s life (sometimes small, and sometimes big), and I love a good diagnostic challenge!
My family medicine mentor is:
My first family medicine mentor was Dr. Mike Allan. He convinced me to transfer into family medicine during residency. Now I would say all of my clinical colleagues contribute daily to my ongoing learning!
One thing that surprises me about being a family physician is:
When I started family medicine, I was surprised by the breadth of issues I was asked about by my patients. Many I did not learn in med school!
If I wasn’t a family physician I’d be:
If I wasn’t a family physician,….in a world with unlimited possibilities – maybe a professional cross-country mountain biker? In the real world, perhaps an accountant?
Family Physician of the Year
Dr. Kerri Treherne, Calgary
Family Physician of the Year – Edmonton Zone
Dr. Shari Fallis, Edmonton
Recognition of Excellence
Dr. Aquaeno Ekanem, Edmonton
Dr. Divya Garg, Calgary
Dr. Ernst Greyvenstein, Calgary
Dr. Michael Spady, Calgary
Patient’s Medical Home – Outstanding Family Practice
East Calgary Family Care Clinic, Calgary
ACFP Student Leadership – Rising Star Award
University of Alberta – Julie Saby
University of Calgary – Logan Haynes
Family Medicine Resident Leadership Award
University of Alberta – Dr. Shehzad Kassam
University of Calgary – Dr. Nasser Barakat
Outstanding New Professional Award
Dr. Chris Beavington, Calgary
ACFP Champion Award
Collaborative Mentorship Network for Chronic Pain and Addiction (CMN) Mentors
ACFP Long-term Service Award
Dr. Tina Korownyk, Edmonton