Nov. 1, 2019

SMA presents inaugural Leader of the Year awards to physician, resident, student

In recognition of integral role physicians play in the health system, the Saskatchewan Medical Association (SMA) has established three leadership awards – one each for Physician, Resident and Student Leader of the Year.

The inaugural awards were presented on Nov. 1, 2019, at the SMA’s 2019 Fall Representative Assembly in Saskatoon. The awards, which recognize outstanding achievement in leading Saskatchewan physicians, align with the SMA’s strategic priority to “grow effective physician leaders.” The awards will be presented annually at the fall RA.

“The SMA is proud of the three recipients of the inaugural leadership awards and we will encourage and support them to continue to be leaders within the health system,” said Dr. Allan Woo, president of the SMA. “Not only is Dr. Julie Kryzanowski a leader within the Saskatchewan Health Authority today, but the resident and student award recipients, Drs. Jessica Harris and Jacqueline Carverhill, will be leaders of tomorrow as they embark on their careers. The three women represent a standard all physicians should strive for and reflect the diversity we see today within the medical profession.”

The recipients are:

SMA Physician Leader of the Year – Dr. Julie Kryzanowski

Dr. Julie Kryzanowski, the first Senior Medical Health Officer of the new Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA), is the recipient of the SMA Physician Leader of the Year Award for 2019.

Her position with the SHA reflects a career marked by steady advancement in the public health field. Originally from Humboldt, Dr. Kryzanowski graduated from Queen’s University medical school in 2006. She completed family medicine and public health and preventive medicine specialty training at the University of Calgary, and came to Saskatoon in 2011 as deputy medical health officer for the former Saskatoon Health Region.

“From the very start, she showed great leadership potential, and rotated through various portfolios of responsibility with the population and public health department in the Saskatoon Health Region,” one of her nominators wrote. “In the first few years, she was responsible for several portfolios that were going through challenging transitions that required her to use change management skills, and she successfully navigated each of these challenges presented to her.”

As Senior Medical Health Officer for the SHA, Dr. Kryzanowski has had to set up a new public health structure while providing input from a population health perspective to the planning at all levels of the SHA, including the formation of health networks. This work has involved leading medical health officers to ensure health networks across Saskatchewan are prepared to advance disease prevention and health promotion to all citizens.

Meanwhile, Dr. Kryzanowski remains as Area Lead Medical Health Officer for Saskatoon. In this capacity, she worked to improve the lives of the most vulnerable in Saskatoon when she was asked to lead the Saskatoon Poverty Reduction Partnership. She reorganized and strengthened the provincial TB program, and has developed health promotion strategies that are recognized across Canada for their innovation. She co-developed a widely supported model for public health physician governance when the transition to the new SHA was made in 2017-18.

“Dr. Kryzanowski is well-respected by her peers and her staff, as well as the many partners she works with in the rest of SHA and in the community,” her nominator wrote. “She is an exemplary physician leader not only among public health physicians but among her peers at the PAC level and in SHA senior leadership.”

SMA Resident Leader of the Year – Jessica Harris

Dr. Jessica Harris has been selected as the SMA Resident Leader of the Year for 2019 for providing effective leadership in the many roles and causes she has taken on as she embarks on her medical career.

“Now training as a family medicine resident in Saskatoon, Dr. Harris has continued to show significant leadership through care, quality, and service,” wrote one of her nominators. “She has undertaken clinical work in most areas of Saskatchewan including urban, rural, and remote northern communities which has allowed her to identify health-care disparities that exist in our province and to subsequently advocate for change.”

Advocacy has been a hallmark of Dr. Harris’s medical education. Her interest in politics led to the position of chair of the Government Affairs and Advocacy Committee with the Student Medical Society of Saskatchewan. She was later elected vice-president of government affairs for the Canadian Federation of Medical Students (CFMS) at the beginning of her third year of medical school. Pharmacare became an issue of national importance, and Dr. Harris’s leadership in collaborating with stakeholders led her to a position on the House of Commons Standing Committee on Health on behalf of the CFMS to advocate for a national pharmacare program.

As a resident, Dr. Harris has served on the Resident Doctors of Saskatchewan (RDoS) board of directors, College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) Section of Residents Council, University of Saskatchewan College of Medicine PGME Committee, and the Saskatchewan College of Family Physicians (SCFP) board of directors. She chaired the 2018 Saskatchewan Family Medicine Resident Retreat Planning Committee and was the resident representative on the Saskatchewan Health Quality Council Advisory Panel that developed panel reports for physicians.

“Through her various roles, Dr. Harris has shown tremendous personal leadership while continuing to encourage the development of physician leadership skills amongst her resident colleagues,” a nominator wrote. “Dr. Harris has at all times exhibited the leadership skills and the drive to help deliver positive change for her colleagues and patients alike.”

Resident Doctors of Saskatchewan also supported Dr. Harris’s nomination for the award.

“Her efforts have always been focused on enhancing the residents’ training experience in Saskatchewan, and she ensures that her advocacy reflects the needs of all residents, including those training in rural settings, those who are pursuing surgical specialties, and those who have International Medical Graduate training backgrounds.”

SMA Student Leader of the Year – Jacqueline Carverhill

Dr. Jacqueline Carverhill, a 2019 graduate of the University of Saskatchewan College of Medicine student, has been selected as the SMA Student Leader of the Year for 2019.

Dr. Carverhill combines her passion for medicine with a commitment to social justice and serving those to live on the margins of society.

One of her nominators has a keen interest in promoting leadership among young physicians. Most are focused on developing their practices at this point in their careers.

“Prior to meeting Jacqueline, I had never encountered a medical student so intensely focused on building her leadership capacity with the goal of serving those who are disadvantaged, ignored or oppressed in our society. She is passionately committed to goals of equity, justice and optimal population health,” the nominator wrote.

Dr. Carverhill has organized forums to engage students with MPs and MLAs. She was elected by the Student Medical Society of Saskatchewan as Government Affairs and Advocacy Representative. She expanded the role to include a town hall with SMA officials and a Provincial Lobby Day, where students travel to the legislature to advocate on a particular issue. She co-chaired the student-run Health Innovation & Public Policy Conference, which brought in nationally known speakers.

She is a founding member of two groups – Upstream (Campus Group), which aims to raise awareness of the social determinants of health, and Saskatchewan Students for Medicare. She is also co-founder of Grits for Grieving Guys, a five-week cooking course to assist grieving widows. The program won the SMA’s FLIP (Fostering Leadership through Innovative Projects) award.

Dr. Carverhill was the only Saskatchewan student to participate in the Canadian Medical Association’s Ambassador program, which selects 30 students or young physicians who demonstrate leadership potential and political advocacy. She was also one of 40 selected in the CBC’s Top 40 Under 40 feature of Saskatchewan’s future leaders.

During her third-year clinical clerkship she organized urban family rotations so that she could learn about transgender care and treating Indigenous patients in northern Saskatchewan. She led innovations to provide mobile palliative care clinics, and drop-in clinics for socially isolated women and non-insured refugees.

“Jacqueline has demonstrated her passion to support the needs of her community through education and making a difference,” wrote another nominator. “Her achievements clearly highlight her dedication and commitment, integrating her medical career with her strengths as a medical researcher and leader.  Her strengths in advocating for patients both in a clinical setting and a broader policy context exemplify the core tenants of socially accountable leadership.”

Dr. Kryzanowski is well-respected by her peers and her staff, as well as the many partners she works with in the rest of SHA and in the community. She is an exemplary physician leader not only among public health physicians but among her peers at the PAC level and in SHA senior leadership.


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