University of Calgary

Faculty of Medicine celebrates Order of Canada recipients

By Laurie Wang
Posted May 1, 2008

Order of Canada recipients.: Photo by Jonathan TamOrder of Canada recipients from left (back row): Bob Church, Eldon Smith, Bill Cochrane, Greg Powell (front row) Mo Watanabe, Tom Noseworthy, Bob Haslam: Photo by Jonathan TamIt's the highest civilian honour in Canada, and throughout the short history of the University of Calgary's Faculty of Medicine, nine of its faculty have received the prestigious membership.

It's the Order of Canada, and the Faculty of Medicine hosted a celebration recently to commemorate the nine individuals from the Faculty who've been recognized for a lifetime of outstanding achievement. The Order of Canada recipients are: Robert B. Church, William A. Cochrane, Gordon H. Dixon, the late T. Douglas Kinsella, D. Gregory Powell, Eldon R. Smith, Mamoru Watanabe and most recently, Robert H.A. Haslam and Thomas W. Noseworthy.

"When I found out the Faculty was going to have this event, I thought it was wonderful. It's very touching, gives a feeling of worth, and brings back wonderful memories of the 11 years I spent working here," says Haslam, whose investiture was in late February.

More than 100 faculty and staff filled the West Atrium at the Health Sciences Centre. Haslam and Noseworthy spoke at the event, hosted by Dean Tom Feasby. Five of the remaining seven Order of Canada recipients attended the reception and were invited to come forward to be acknowledged. Dixon was unable to attend and Kinsella is deceased.

"We want to celebrate the Faculty of Medicine's successes. These individuals and their hard work have made us an even more influential medical school," Feasby says.

"The caliber of talent at the Faculty is extraordinary, and this kind of recognition upholds our reputation," says Rose Goldstein, vice president research, UCalgary.

Haslam and Noseworthy express their gratitude

Both Haslam and Noseworthy describe receiving the Order of Canada as "humbling." They were thankful for such a celebration.

"The Faculty has shown itself to be a very caring group that pays attention to individuals. It makes people want to be successful and work even harder," Noseworthy says. "It's a privilege to be part of it." Noseworthy's investiture was in early April.

"I just got the feeling of ‘gosh, this is a great place to be.' There's a feeling of happiness seeing the growth of this Faculty," Haslam says. "It's just been a really great day."

Faculty of Medicine's own

The Order of Canada's motto is desiderantes meliorem patriam-they desire a better country. It is the centrepiece of Canada's honours system, recognizing citizens who have enriched the lives of others and made a difference in Canada. The Faculty of Medicine recognizes the achievements of these individuals, former faculty members who continue to bring honour to the medical school:

Robert B. Church, CM, AOE, PhD, LLD

Church is professor emeritus and founding head of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at UCalgary's Faculty of Medicine. His research in developmental genetics, genome organization, gene expression and embryo manipulation has resulted in more than 200 publications and hundreds of invited presentations to medical science, biotechnology and animal production meetings. Church was a founding member of the Natural Sciences & Engineering Research Council of Canada, the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research and the Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute (CAPI). He is also founding chair of the Alberta Science and Research Authority and founding co-chairman of the Premier's Council on Science and Technology of Alberta. Church was president of the Calgary Stampede. He was inducted into the Canadian and Alberta Agriculture Halls of Fame and the Alberta BioIndustry Hall of Fame, and was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada in 2000.

William A. Cochrane, OC, AOE, MD, LLD, FRCPC

As founding dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Cochrane was involved with curriculum planning, recruiting faculty and designing and building the Health Sciences Centre. He is responsible for establishing the medical school's three year curriculum. In 1973, he was seconded by the Government of Alberta to serve as Deputy Minister of Health Services for two years. He only served one year of the term, as he was appointed in 1974 as president and vice chancellor of UCalgary.  Cochrane won the Alberta Centennial Medal and the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal for his many contributions to Canada. He was made Honorary Medicine Chief of the Stoney Indians of Alberta for his contribution to health care of the First Nations people. In 1989, he was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada.

Gordon H. Dixon, OC, PhD, FRSC, FRS

While he was a professor and head in the department of medical biochemistry, Dixon was at the forefront of biomedical research.  His early research into the regeneration of insulin activity has contributed to our understanding of protein structure and function. However, he is best known for his ground-breaking research into the process of spermatogenesis in trout, which has revolutionized our understanding of chromosome structure. He contributed to the research training of more than 50 graduate students and post-doctoral fellows who are now at the faculty of universities in Canada and abroad. He was honoured with the Royal Society of Canada's Flavelle Medal. He is now an adjunct professor living in Victoria, British Columbia. In 1993, he was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada.

T. Douglas Kinsella, CM, MD, FRCPC (deceased)

Kinsella had a distinguished career as a physician, medical researcher and medical educator. He was director of Medical Bioethics and held academic appointments as director, Division of Rheumatology, assistant dean, Medical Bioethics, and chairman, Conjoint Health Research Ethics Board. A pioneer in medical bioethics, Kinsella was the driving force in developing a program, unique in its scope and intensity, for residency training in this vital field. As president of the National Council of Bioethics in Human Experimentation, he led the Faculty in developing one of the most effective policies on ethical conduct in medical and scientific research in Canada. He was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada in 1994.

D. Gregory Powell, OC, MD, FRCPC

Powell has spent more than 30 years working as a physician, educator and innovator in the field of emergency medicine. He is currently president and CEO of Shock Trauma Air Rescue Society (STARS) and Shock Trauma Air Rescue Service Foundation, and is a full-time professor of emergency medicine at UCalgary. Powell has worked in the community as the chair of emergency services for the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympic Games and as the medical director responsible for providing medical services for the eight world leaders at the G8 Summit in Kananaskis in 2002. Powell was named one of Alberta's 100 Physicians of the Century in 2005. He was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2006. 

Eldon R. Smith, OC, MD, FRCPC

As professor emeritus and former dean of Medicine at UCalgary, Smith developed new partnerships that allowed the Faculty to grow. As a cardiologist and researcher, he has earned widespread recognition for his research into hypertension and cardiac failure. As a consultant, he has provided valuable guidance in setting up educational and health care programs in Russia, New Zealand and the Philippines. He is currently president and director of the Peter Lougheed Medical Research Foundation. He also chairs the advisory board of the Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta and was appointed by the federal government to chair the development of a national strategy for cardiovascular health and disease. Smith received the 125th Anniversary of Canada Commemorative Medal for Contributions to the Citizens of Canada and the 2005 Medal of Service from the Canadian Medical Association. In 2005, he was named an Officer of the Order of Canada.

Mamoru Watanabe, OC, MDCM, DSc, LLD, FRCPC

Watanabe is professor emeritus and former dean of Medicine at UCalgary. He led the transformation of the medical school into a research intensive faculty. He served on the Prime Minister's National Forum on Health, Industry Canada's Information Highway Advisory Council, Health Canada's Advisory Council on Health Infostructure, Industry Canada's National Broadband Task Force and the Minister's Advisory Council on Rural Health. In addition to championing telehealth and finding solutions to physician workforce issues, he has made major contributions in the area of health research and rural health.  For more than four decades, he has helped shape health care education, research and policy, receiving many distinctions. Watanabe was named as one of Alberta's 100 Physicians of the Century. He was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2001.

Robert H.A. Haslam, CM, MD, LLD

Deeply committed to his young patients and students, Halsam is a recognized leader in pediatric neurology and has made a major impact on the care of children with nervous system disorders. At UCalgary, he was responsible for establishing a Department of Paediatrics and served as Chief of Paediatrics at the Alberta Children's Hospital. He provided outstanding leadership as chairman of Paediatrics at the University of Toronto and Pediatrician-in-Chief at the Hospital for Sick Children. Haslam has been a strong advocate for children with neurological and developmental disabilities. He was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada in May 2007.

Thomas W. Noseworthy, CM, MD, MSc, MPH, FRCPC, FACP, FCCP, FCCM, CHE

Head of the Department of Community Health Sciences at UCalgary, Noseworthy is a leading authority in the field of public health care policy. For more than 20 years, he has been a valued advisor to numerous public and governmental bodies such as the Prime Minister's National Forum on Health and Health Canada's Advisory Council on Health Infostructure. He has also contributed to developing national strategies aimed at improving infrastructures and harnessing information technology in the health sector. As founding director of Canadian Doctors for Medicare, he continues to advocate in support of Canada's universal health-care system. Noseworthy was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada in May 2007. 

About the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Calgary

The U of C's Faculty of Medicine is a national leader in health research with an international reputation for excellence and innovation in health care research, education and delivery. Through its educational programs, the Faculty of Medicine trains the physicians and scientists who will lead the next generation of health practitioners. Through its clinical work, continuing medical education programs, and close relationship with the Calgary Health Region, the Faculty of Medicine moves new treatments and diagnostic techniques from the laboratory bench to the hospital bedside efficiently and effectively, improving patient care.

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