Congratulations to the winners of the 2013 Medicine Alumni Global Awards

January 2014

The recipients of the 2013 Medicine Alumni Global (MAG) Awards were announced at a packed and lively reception on October 18, at the Faculty of Medicine’s annual Dean’s Reception as part of Homecoming celebrations.

The prestigious awards, launched by the Dean’s Leadership Council in 2009, are bestowed upon extraordinary MDCM alumni from McGill’s Faculty of Medicine who have made astounding contributions to their health care professions as well as to McGill University and their local and global communities.

The 5th Annual Medicine Global Award winners, presented here in alphabetical order, are a formidable group of pioneers in their fields. As Dr. David Eidelman said, “McGill stands for excellence, as do you, and because excellence does not stand still, we continue pursuing it rigorously and successfully.”


From left to right and top to bottom: Dr. Hélène Ezer, Kendirth Bentley, Dr. Dan Deckelbaum, Dr. David Eidelman, Dr. Doris Howell and Dr. Ellen Beck

Ellen Beck, MDCM’76, Community Service Award

As the Education Director for the UC San Diego (UCSD) Center for Integrative Medicine and Director of Community Education for the UCSD Division of Family Medicine, Dr. Beck’s primary interest is teaching, and practicing, a “mind-body” approach to medicine.

Dr. Beck and her programs have won countless national and state awards including the 2011 WebMD Magazine Health Hero award, the 2010 James Irvine Foundation California Leadership Award and the 2008 LEAD San Diego Visionary Award for Diversity, among many others.  The UCSD Student-Run Free Clinic Project she co-founded was featured in a PBS documentary about integrative medicine called The New Medicine as a model of integrative care with the underserved.

Kendirth “Kendy” Bentley, BSc(N)’71, Ingram School of Nursing Alumni Award of Merit

The founder and president of the KBA Group, a management and consulting firm in the field of corporate health promotion, fitness, wellness, kinesiology and sports, firmly believes that by promoting and enhancing healthy lifestyles for Canadian workers, both the well-being of the individual and the fiscal health of the organizations they work for are improved.

The KBA Group has been at the forefront of corporate health and fitness since 1985. Its clients include the University of Calgary, the National Energy Board, City of Calgary Parks & Recreation, Standard Life and WestJet.

Dan Deckelbaum, BA’96, MDCM’01, Young Alumni Award

Co-director of the Centre for Global Surgery and Assistant Professor in the Divisions of Trauma and General Surgery at the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC), Dr. Deckelbaum obtained his subspecialty training in trauma surgery and critical care at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami. He also completed a Master’s of Public Health at the University of Miami.

Dr. Deckelbaum has done extensive on-site clinical work in hospitals in East Africa as well as during disaster response missions in Somalia, Kenya and Haiti. This experience enabled Dr. Deckelbaum to focus his attention on capacity building programs in places such as Haiti, Rwanda, the Ukraine and the Middle East.

Dr. Deckelbaum’s father, Richard Deckelbaum, BSc’63, MDCM’67, was the recipient of the MAG Award for Community Service in 2011 and it is the first time in the awards’ history that two members of the same family have been honoured.

Debbie Friedman, BSc(PT)’83, M MGMT’10, School of Physical and Occupational Therapy: Alumni Award of Merit

Friedman graduated from the Faculty of Medicine’s School of Physical & Occupational Therapy in 1983 and received a Masters of Management in International Health Leadership from McGill’s Desautels Faculty of Management in 2010.

Friedman was instrumental in the 1989 creation and direction of the first pediatric neurotrauma program of its kind in Quebec, one based on an inter-professional approach to complex patient care. In 2010, Friedman assumed the position of Director of the Montreal Children’s Hospital’s Canadian Hospital Injury Reporting and Prevention Program.

For nearly 30 years Friedman has played an important role in pediatric and adolescent trauma care at a local, regional, provincial and Canada-wide level through her teaching, publications, clinical expertise, community involvement, commitment to injury prevention and regular communication with the media. She has influenced policy changes within the McGill hospital system, the Quebec trauma network and at the level of the Ministry of Health and Social Services.

Jill Harrison, BA’72, MSc(A)’74, School of Communication Sciences & Disorders (SCSD): Alumni Award of Merit

A Speech-Language Pathologist at the Montreal General Hospital (MGH), Director of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology at the MUHC and Instructor and Clinical Educator at the SCSD, Harrison has been affiliated with the program in Speech-Language Pathology offered by the SCSD for more than 25 years. In addition to teaching several courses there, she also served as a clinical supervisor for graduate students. Such supervision is done on a completely voluntary basis, with most individuals agreeing to do so as a service to the profession that ensures its future.

Harrison was also instrumental in establishing a Voice Lab at the MGH. This facility not only benefits patients but also helps students and faculty make use of state-of-the-art equipment for both clinical and research purposes.

Doris Howell, MDCM’49, Lifetime Achievement Award

A retired Pediatrician, Dr. Howell received an MD from McGill University in 1949. She interned at the Children’s Memorial Hospital in Montreal and went on to Duke University in 1951 as a senior assistant resident in pediatrics. Dr. Howell was the first woman to be given the Distinguished Duke Medical Alumni Award in 1970.

Dr. Howell was a pioneer of the hospice movement and served on the Hospice Board of Directors since its inception. Since her retirement, Dr. Howell established the Doris A. Howell Foundation for Research in Women’s Health, which gives research grants to scholars in the areas of women’s healthcare and research.

December 2 was recently named Doris Howell Day in San Diego.


Ursula Leonowicz

Photos: Nicolas Morin



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