Presentation made at gala ceremony in Vancouver
VANCOUVER, Nov. 2 /CNW/ - It's a tie. An independent jury of
international medical experts has decided to award the first Dr. Rogers Prize
for Excellence in Complementary and Alternative Medicine to two recipients.
Dr. Alastair Cunningham of Toronto, Ontario and Dr. Abram Hoffer of
Victoria, BC have been selected to receive the honour and will share the
$250,000 Dr. Rogers Prize. The presentations were made at a gala award
ceremony Thursday evening in Vancouver.
Dr. Cunningham's pioneering work was the important role of the mind and
its effect on the immune system, particularly in cancer patients. In the face
of extreme skepticism, he started teaching psychological and spiritual
approaches to patients and documenting the effects. The first class was in his
living room. 25 years later, his program known as The Healing Journey or
Wellspring, has helped thousands of cancer patients and their families in
Canada and around the world.
Dr. Hoffer's groundbreaking work was in establishing the paradigm of
orthomolecular medicine. He was one of the first to advance and establish the
critical value of proper nutrition, minerals and vitamins in health and
wellness and the elimination of toxic foods in treating disease. His stubborn
pursuit of non-toxic orthomolecular approaches to mental and physical
disorders has helped thousands of patients with conditions ranging from
schizophrenia to cancer.
Drs. Cunningham and Hoffer were selected from 57 nominees accepted after
a nation-wide call earlier this year. During lengthy deliberations, the judges
attempted to arrive at a consensus for a single winner but judged that the
contributions of these two recipients were of equal importance in terms of
their impact on complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in Canada, and
decided that the Prize should be shared.
This is the inaugural year for the Dr. Rogers Prize, which is to be
awarded biennially to individuals who make a significant contribution to the
burgeoning field of CAM in Canada.
The Dr. Rogers Prize for Excellence in Complementary and Alternative
Medicine is named for Dr. Roger Rogers, a UBC Clinical Associate Professor
emeritus who is also a recognized Canadian leader in CAM. Dr. Rogers began
offering alternative treatments in Vancouver in the mid-1970s and later
co-founded the Centre for Integrated Healing, now known as InspireHealth, to
help cancer patients who have had limited or no success with traditional
Dr. Rogers maintains that "people have a right to try before they die"
underlying his belief that mainstream or traditional medicine can be
complemented by other treatments.
The Prize was presented at the ceremony by Dr. Rogers' wife - Dr. Marion
Rogers, who worked with her husband in family practice in Vancouver for
twenty-five years. "There is no doubt CAM is growing across Canada and around
the world. The Fraser Institute's latest study shows Canadians spend more than
$7 billion annually on CAM therapies," she said.
"The Prize was established to help encourage those who are essentially
today's CAM pioneers, so that they can continue their work and take the CAM
field forward in the future. We were so glad to see that the 57 people
nominated came from just about every corner of the country, showing the
widespread acceptance this relatively new medical field is gaining," she
"Like my husband, they are willing to challenge conventional thinking and
dare to explore new territory without the comfort and assurance that accepted
practice provides. It is this type of groundbreaking activity that the Dr.
Rogers Prize wants to reward, encourage and inspire."
The Prize is sponsored by the Lotte and John Hecht Memorial Foundation, a
Vancouver-based philanthropic organization.
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For further information: Media contact: Trevor Pancoust, (604) 646-3567