Local Physician earns Distinguished Service Award

By Don Norman

On December 10, Dr. Sabina Ijaz was among seven doctors from around Manitoba who were honoured for their outstanding contribuitons in health care.

Dr. Ijaz received a Distinguished Service award during Thursday’s Doctors Manitoba Awards that saw hundreds of physicians gathered virtually to recognize these seven inspirational physicians. She works in the Pine Falls community and is recognized for her unique contributions with and for Indigenous communities, as well as her contributions to a culturally safe and holistic practice of medicine.

“I am incredibly honoured and humbled to receive this acknowledgement by my colleagues and community,” Dr. Ijaz said. “This recognition should be viewed as a testament to successful work in partnership with and under the leadership of the Indigenous community, particularly Indigenous Knowledge Keepers at the Turtle Lodge and Giigewigamig First Nation Health Authority whom I have worked with over the years. They have taught me much about the root causes of disease and the importance of nurturing spiritual identity through Indigenous healing practices including traditional ceremonies, connection to the land, rites of passage for youth, teachings, values and a worldview based on care for nature and all of creation.”

Ron Janzen, Acting CEO of the Interlake Eastern Regional Health authority says that he was pleased to see Dr. Ijaz receive this honour from the Doctors Manitoba. “The Distinguished Service Award is given in recognition of services rendered to patients and the community which have enhanced the image of the physician through devotion to the highest ideals of the medical profession and in the promotion of the art and science of medicine through teaching, writing and administration,” he said. “It is so fitting that Dr. Ijaz receive this recognition for her professional, compassionate and dedicated service to her patients and community.”

The other physicians honoured this year include:

  • Dr. Ken von Kuster as Physician of the Year.
  • Dr. Sabina Ijaz with the Distinguished Service Award.
  • Dr. Ricardo Lobato de Faria with the Health Administration Award.
  • Dr. Heather Lehmann with the Health or Safety Promotion Award.
  • Dr. Yoav Keynan with the Scholastic Award.
  • Dr. Clare Whitehead as Resident of the Year.
  • Dr. Neil Craton with the Dr. Jack Armstrong Humanitarian Award.

“Doctors Manitoba is proud to recognize the outstanding contributions of these seven individuals dedicated to advancing medicine and improving care for their patients,” said Dr. Cory Baillie, President of Doctors Manitoba. “The 2020 award winners were selected before the pandemic, and their commitment and achievements are a source of inspiration for all physicians as we find our way through this crisis.”

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