Honours and Awards

2019 Recipients

Manitoba’s Family Physician of the Year

Dr. Kevin Coates

This award is granted to a colleague who exemplifies the principles of family medicine: community based, a resource to their practice population, grounded in the relationship between patient and physician, and a skilled clinician. In his 35 years of practice in the St. Boniface area, Dr. Coates has embodied all of these principles.
Over the course of his career, he has practiced full scope family medicine including acute care hospital medicine at St Boniface Hospital, long term care at St. Amant Centre and Action Marguerite, geriatric medicine at St. Boniface Hospital and now VGH, as well as occupational health at SBGH and Action Marguerite. These roles have been in addition to his very busy clinic practice. He is well respected by his peers in family medicine and other specialties and is considered exemplary in his quality of care.

Dr. Coates has held numerous leadership roles at SBGH and is active in the MyHealth team project of the WRHA. Throughout his career he has been an effective advocate for community based care, the role of the family doctor in the hospital and personal care home setting and the importance of recognition of the value of the family doctor by all stakeholders.

Gary Beazley Patients Medical Home Award

The Manitoba College of Family Physicians is pleased to announce Access Downtown is the recipient of the Gary Beazley Patients Medical Home Award for 2019.
The staff at Access Downtown serve residents of the inner city, many of whom are marginalized and homeless. Many of these clients suffer from severe mental illness, addiction, and have been victims of childhood and/or adult trauma. Special effort is made to create an atmosphere of trust with members of the team and the patient, some of whom have had challenges receiving care in more traditional settings. Preventative care, chronic disease management, reproductive health and care coordination are performed by the primary care nurses of the team while complex disease management including complex mental health care and addiction care is performed by the family physician or nurse practitioner of the team. Primary care obstetrics is also available
Support for the team includes a shared mental health clinician, health outreach and community support workers, dietician, social worker, laboratory personnel and family services worker. The clinic also has a close relationship with public health in delivering a variety of programs and has been a valued resource when dealing with emergent situations such as refugee care, and delivering care to evacuees from forest fires.
The team shares a philosophy of opportunistic health care delivery – that is, care must be available to the patient when they are receptive to receiving it. That requires staff to be flexible and creative in order to meet the needs of the patient population and ensure that patient trust is maintained.
Access Downtown truly exemplifies the pillars of a Patients Medical Home.

Dr. Nichole Riese

Awards of Excellence

The Awards of Excellence are presented to family physicians who have made outstanding contributions to the discipline of Family Medicine.

Dr. Nichole Riese

Dr. Riese receives this award for her outstanding service in the area of Addictions. Over the past 10 years, Dr. Riese has worked in a variety of settings providing care to patients struggling with addiction and mental health issues. Her current clinical practice with the Addictions Foundation of Manitoba includes the Women’s Rehabilitation Program as well as the Methadone clinic.

Throughout her career, Dr. Riese has been involved with teaching medical learners and providing continuing medical education on addictions to other physicians. She is also a board member of Main Street Project and serves as the Manitoba representative to the board of the Canadian Society of Addiction Medicine.


Dr. Ian Whetter

Dr. Ian Whetter

Dr. Whetter receives this award for his outstanding work in the area of social accountability in the Max Rady College of Medicine. Through his passion for health equity as a crucial component of undergraduate medical education, he has created partnerships with community members who assist in sharing their valuable knowledge with medical students. Under Dr. Whetter’s leadership, Service Learning has become a component of the 1st year medicine curriculum wherein all 110 medical students develop a long term relationship with a community organization. This experience allows students to engage collaboratively with community partners and understand firsthand the broader social determinants of health.

Dr. Whetter also serves as co-lead for the Office of Community Engagement for the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences. The objective of the office is to strengthen respectful relationships between the community and the university, and to ensure that community voices inform the Faculty with an ultimate goal of ensuring that students graduate with compassion and understanding of populations they serve.

Claude H. Murphy Award


This award is given to a member of the Manitoba College of Family Physicians who wishes to develop or improve his/her skills as a teacher and preceptor of medical trainees at either the undergraduate or postgraduate level.

Dr. Ian Alexander
The opportunity to attend the 2018 Family Medicine Forum by receiving this year’s Claude H. Murphy Award has been an excellent experience to grow as a teacher.
While at FMF, I had the opportunity to attend many sessions that improved my skills as a teacher. Some of these included, How to Teach Social Accountability, The Difficult Learner, and The Section of Teachers lunch. These sessions made me more aware of my strengths and weaknesses as a teacher, and provided me direction for continued self-improvement. I believe that this will be very helpful as I begin my role as Stream Lead for the new Rural Interlake-Eastern Family Medicine residency program through the University of Manitoba.
I would like to thank the Manitoba College of Family Physicians and Dr. Claude H. Murphy for the provision of this award and the exciting opportunity to grow as a physician and teacher.

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