On Feb. 28, 2019, the Mississauga Halton Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) honoured two local physicians with the inaugural Polaris Physician Award, a peer-nominated award recognizing primary care physicians for their contributions to improving local health care delivery and their positive impact on the community. Polaris Physician Award recipients are selected based on criteria in three categories: leadership, innovation and collaboration, important characteristics for physicians that result in better health care system design and quality.
This year, physicians were awarded in two categories: leadership and collaboration.
Dr. Mary Manno, an Oakville family physician of 34 years, is the recipient of the 2019 Polaris Physician Award: Leadership. Dr. Manno has held various leadership roles within local and regional communities. Her peers describe her as going above and beyond her expected roles and responsibilities, elevating others through sharing her knowledge and experience, championing innovative practices and acting as an advocate for health system improvements.
“I was delighted to receive a letter from the Mississauga Halton LHIN notifying me that I am a recipient of a Polaris Physician Award in the leadership category,” said Dr. Manno. “I am very honoured to have been nominated by one of my peers and recognized for my modest contributions over the years.”
Dr. Carolyn Malec, a family physician practicing in Milton for the past 20 years, is this year’s recipient of the Polaris Physician Award: Collaboration. Dr. Malec has worked collaboratively in the Prime Care Family Health Team for the past 10 years. Dr. Malec is described by her peers as a champion of interdisciplinary care and going above and beyond for her patients and peers. Through her membership on various committees, she is a strong advocate for initiatives that foster collaboration, including peer-mentoring and cross-sector networking events.
“I am astonished to be nominated for this award and delighted to accept this honour,” says Dr. Malec. “My peers elevate my care to such a high standard that I could never achieve alone. I take great joy and pride in teaching and learning every day from my peers and this honour is a testament to the value of collaboration. Thank you.”
Physician engagement is a cornerstone of the Mississauga Halton LHIN, focusing on bringing physicians to the planning tables to provide their expertise into local program planning so they best reflect the needs of patients and health care providers. By showcasing best practices in improving the quality and design of the health care system, this award helps to identify local health leaders who can offer valuable perspectives in system planning.
“Primary care plays a crucial role in our community as the first point of contact between a patient and the health care system,” explains Mississauga Halton LHIN Interim Chief Executive Officer, Sharon Lee Smith. “The Mississauga Halton LHIN Polaris Physician Award brings to light local family physicians’ outstanding contributions and the impact they have on their peers and patients within the community, often going above and beyond their daily patient care, and volunteering personal time for the benefit of all.”