CMA recognizes Young Physician Leaders

    OTTAWA, Aug. 15 /CNW Telbec/ - The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) is
pleased to recognize Drs. Evan Wood and Roona Sinha as the recipients of its
4th annual Award for Young Leaders. The award celebrates the efforts of young
physician leaders of tomorrow for their efforts today.
    The student recipient of the 2007 Award for Young Leaders' is Dr. Evan
Wood, acknowledged internationally for his addiction research and as an expert
in designing treatment strategies for persons with HIV. Evan Wood completed
his medical degree at the University of Calgary. His PhD (epidemiology)
dissertation contributed to a major change in international HIV therapeutic
guidelines. He has developed a model to predict how HIV treatment in Africa
would influence the epidemic, resulting in pharmaceutical multinationals
announcing free antiretroviral therapy to prevent mother-to-child HIV
    His current research and advocacy in addiction treatment, harm reduction,
and the intersect between addiction and infectious disease, is changing
international opinion about supervised injecting sites for drug addicts. In
addition to being a clinical assistant professor in infectious diseases at the
University of British Columbia, he is a research scientist at the BC Centre
for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, where he is co-principal investigator of the Urban
Health Research Initiative.
    "When I was a kid, I had what were described as "profound learning
disabilities" so I'm proud of the fact that I've been somewhat able to
overcome those challenges," said Dr. Wood.
    The resident recipient of the 2007 Award for Young Leaders' is Dr. Roona
Sinha, a strong advocate for resident's issues and well-being. After
graduating in medicine from the University of Ottawa in 2004, Dr. Sinha
enrolled in the University of Alberta's residency program in pediatrics.
    She immediately became involved in the Professional Association of
Residents of Alberta (PARA), serving first on the board, then as president
(2005-06), and past president in (2006-07). One of her challenges was
rebuilding and restaffing the organization.
    Another challenge was to stand firm through a challenging 20-month
negotiation with the Alberta government that resulted in a collective
agreement for resident work hours, remuneration, and payment for lost income.
Most recently, she has helped Alberta residents settle on another landmark
collective agreement. In addition, at the end of her term as president, the
provincial government announced a new framework supporting interest-free
status and debt deferral for medical residents. This has had a tremendous
positive impact on the health and well-being of residents.
    She is currently the vice-president of the Canadian Association of
Interns and Residents (CAIR), where she leads national initiatives in resident
well-being, debt management, and governance. She also has represented
residents at the Canadian Physician Health Network, the CMA Centre for
Physician Health, and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons.
    Dr. Sinha will be beginning a pediatric hematology/oncology fellowship at
BC Children's Hospital next July.
    "I am extremely touched and honoured both personally and on behalf of the
resident physician organizations I have worked with to receive this award,"
said Dr. Sinha. "This makes me realize that our contributions have not gone
unnoticed and that through perseverance and cooperation we are making a
positive impact on the medical community and the future of medicine in
    The Young Leaders Award recipients - one student and one resident - have
demonstrated exemplary dedication, commitment and leadership in one of the
following domains: political, clinical, education, research and/or community
    The winners have been selected based on three key criteria:

    - having exemplified creativity, initiative and are committed to "making
      a difference;
    - being active and effective at the local, provincial/territorial and/or
      national level; and
    - acting as a positive and effective role model for their peers and

    "I continue to be thrilled and impressed by the quality of our young
leaders," said Dr. Colin McMillan, President of the CMA. "Given their
intelligence, commitment, innovation and determination, I believe that the
profession will be in good hands in the future."
    The CMA will present the 2007 Award for Young Leaders to Dr. Wood and
Dr. Sinha on Aug. 22 at its 140th annual general meeting at the Westin
Bayshore Hotel in Vancouver.

    (Visit for biographical notes on all 2007 Young Leaders award

For further information:

For further information: Lucie Boileau, Manager, Media Relations, 1
(800) 663-7336, (613) 731-8610, ext. 1266, Mobile: (613) 447-0866

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