Dr. Wouter Morkel at the Northern Men’s Open championship. (Thom Barker photo)

Local doctors win awards

Pacific Northwest Spirit awards recognize Smithers physicians

A handful of Smithers’ doctors have won Pacific Northwest Spirit awards.

The Pacific Northwest Division of Family Practice represents family physicians in Dease Lake, Haida Gwaii (Charlotte City and Masset), Houston, Kitimat, Gitlaxt’aamiks, Prince Rupert, Smithers, Stewart, and Terrace.

The annual awards celebrate an individual or group who are outstanding examples of people who bring the spirit of the Pacific Northwest to their work to promote health and wellness in the community.

In total, nine physicians were given the Super Hero Award and three of them work in Smithers, Dr. Karin Blouw, Dr. Mallory Quinn and Dr. Wouter Morkel were recognized for being someone who goes above and beyond to promote a healthy community.

Blouw also won the award for Physician Leadership. This is presented annually to a physician who has made an outstanding contribution and commitment to enhancing the role of physicians in the management of health care delivery organizations, provides leadership in a hospital or health region management role, and/or has provided a significant contribution to leadership development in a related organization, hospital or program of local, provincial or national in scope.

“Dr. Blouw was recognized for her decades of inspiring family physician leadership in Smithers and also across British Columbia‘s

Pacific Northwest,” said Executive Director of Pacific Northwest Division of Family Practice Colleen Enns. “Dr. Blouw is an incredible advocate for patients, rural communities, and for providers. Her exemplary leadership led to the development of the Pacific Northwest Division of Family Practice, that stretches from Haida Gwaii to Houston, and from the Yukon to Kitimat. She continues to inspire physician leaders across the province to lead health system transformation.”

Dr. Wouter Morkel was also won of the physicians to pick up the Innovations in Primary Care award.

“Dr. Morkel was recognized as with a Pacific Northwest Award – as a Superhero and also for Innovation for his leadership work with developing a cutting edge model of supporting patients – recognized provincially and nationally leadership – with CHANGE BC. This model helps to reverse Metabolic Syndrome and Type II diabetes,” said Enns.

According to CHANGE BC’s website, they are a team-based approach of integrating nutrition and exercise interventions into primary care networks.

By adding dietitians and kinesiologists into primary care settings to work collaboratively alongside family doctors, they can support patients through an effective yet personalized program.

Wrinch Medical Clinic was also recognized in the innovations category.

Meanwhile, the Smithers Maternity Group was one of the winners of Community Advocacy Group Award.

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