Department of Family Medicine

50th Anniversary Award Recipients


Postgraduate Teacher of the Year Award

This award is given to an individual who has demonstrated excellence in teaching, commitment to advancing knowledge to others, stimulating and engaging with learners, displays enthusiasm and good rapport with students.  Contribution in curriculum development and effective use of organizing learning and teaching resources.

Recipient:  Dr. Joanna Lynch


Dr. Joanna Lynch has been a strong leader in shaping the Northern and Remote Curriculum for years.  She has effectively supported the program in her various roles as Program Lead, Site Medical Lead, R1 and R2 Education Director within the Northern and Remote Program.  She has helped establish pathways to accessing OAT (Opioid Against Therapies) care in Opaskwayak Cree Nation, Red Sucker Lake, and at Northern Connection Medical Centre (NCMC).  She has been an effective role model and has worked successfully to address the needs of the community while effectively teaching to the residents. Dr. Lynch has been the go-to person for any issues as she is well versed in the complexities of the Family Residency Program. She is held in high regard by her colleagues, being a well-respected and supportive individual.


Early Career Development Award

This award is given to junior faculty who showcase ideas, engage in transformation and change.  Involved in curriculum approaches, developing new curriculum and promoting a stimulating learning environment.  This award will provide a junior faculty member with protected time to research, prepare, and disseminate on a change-related topic.   Venues include attending DFM events as well as provincial, national, and international events.

Recipients: Dr. Aaron Jattan 


Dr. Jattan is a valued member who has been active in teaching, academic, research and the publishing community.  He has spearheaded the Family Medicine Grand Rounds and is passionate about the Family Medicine Ultrasound Curriculum where is Faculty Lead.    He has demonstrated leadership in the academic curriculum of Indigenous Health and Virtual Care.   He has identified gaps in rural medical education and was integral in improving the teaching experience that residents get during their training.  Dr. Jattan is well regarded by his peers and students, making a significant contribution to Family Medicine and paving his way as a future leader and changemaker in health care.

PA Rebecca Mueller


PA Rebecca Mueller is the Interim Program Director and Academic Coordinator for the Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS).  Rebecca has been instrumental in partnering with other academic leads in the Physician Assistant Community both in Canada and the United States.  The partnerships have resulted in better coordination of curriculum delivery and admissions process and have championed the goals of curriculum renewal and expansion of the number of students to the program. Rebecca fosters a supportive environment and exhibits strong leadership skills and work ethic embracing change and improving the program.  She was successful in securing funding for the physician assistant students and secured a $40,000 bursary over the next five years and a $500 annual Hero Award. 


Excellence in Social Accountability Award

This award recognizes outstanding contributions by Department of Family Medicine faculty in activities that advance aspects of the Department’s mission and values, such as social accountability.  Activities include exhibiting leadership, advocating and being aware of community health’s needs, promoting clinical outreach and community-related health care education programs and projects.

Recipient: Dr. Alan Katz


Dr. Alan Katz has been affiliated with the Manitoba Centre for Health Policy (MCHP for almost twenty years.  He serves as an Executive Committee member on the Health Data Research Network Canada (HDRN) Canada.  He has established a lead executive role for IDEA (inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility).  Alan shows exemplary leadership, mentorship and has lifelong contributions to advancing the College’s missions and values, including research, education and community engagement.  He is committed to primary care ensuring that it is equitable and accessible service, establishing strong relationships with Indigenous Peoples and communities.  He has worked with the North American Primary Care Research and Group and Canadian Primary Care Sentinel Surveillance Network.


Leadership Excellence Award

This award is given to an individual who has exhibited outstanding leadership in the Department of Family Medicine in the role of administration, education or research.

Recipients: Dr. Ganesan Abbu


Dr. Ganesan Abbu has been at the Boundary Trails Health Centre since 1998.  He has been the lead of the Boundary Trails Health Centre Critical Care Committee where he has addressed and managed the critically ill patients.  He has taken the initiative to advocate for the region’s funding and has also organized a local group of physicians to provide 24/7 coverage for the patients.  He has worked on numerous care maps for the facility and region and has been a mentor and preceptor for medical students and resident physicians inspiring them to practice in a rural community. He was instrumental in on advocating for the vaccination during the COVID-19 Pandemic in the southern region of Manitoba.     He has served as the Chair of the MCFP Education Committee and most recently serves as the President-Elect of the MCFP. 


Research and Quality Improvement Award 

This award is given to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to education scholarship and knowledge building in family medicine within the last three years.  The contributions are expected to exemplify innovation and impact in any of the following categories:  Quality Improvement, Research and Education Scholarship.

Recipients: Dr. Alex Singer


Dr. Alex Singer is the Director of the Office and Research and Quality Improvement.  He has been the Director of the Manitoba Primary Care Research Network (MaPCReN) since 2014. He is recognized nationally as a leader in QI and innovative research and has extensive research accomplishments.  He has formed effective partnerships with esteemed researchers outside the department and has invested time in the Strategy for Patient Oriented (SPOR) Network in primary and Integrated Health Care innovation (PIHCI).  Within the past 11 years, Dr. Singer has published over 90 peer reviewed publications, many being first author.  Alex has been a role model in supporting positive change in primary care through research and has been an advocate for capturing and using electronic health data to inform evidence and promote health care reform. Dr. Singer has outstanding commitment and leadership to support data-related, patient-oriented research in primary care.


Teaching Site of the Year Award

This award is given to any undergraduate, Masters of Physician Assistant Studies or Family Medicine Residency teaching site affiliated with the Department of Medicine.  The site must demonstrate excellence in education, scholarship and clinical services.

Recipients: Portage Clinic


The Portage la Prairie site has been involved in the education of the University of Manitoba learners, including medical students, Family Medicine residents, Physician Assistants, etc.  This site has had a more formalized structure in place for almost a decade and continues to be an exemplary teaching site held in high regard by learners who are exposed to many facets of rural medicine practice, including in hospital care of patients.  This site constantly receives excellent feedback about their preceptors, the work environment and the comprehensive of care as well as the variety of experiences the students and learners are exposed to. 


Resident of the Year Award

This award recognizes outstanding leadership by family medicine residents at the local, department or college level in education, scholarship and or clinical services sharing the vision, collaborating, mentoring and engaging effectively with faculty and learners.

Recipients: Dr. Kari Johnson


Dr. Kari Johnson is a Lead Resident at the Parkland Unit (Dauphin).  She has demonstrated strong leadership skills and is a natural born leader and teacher as she easily engages with community members and has a strong working relationship with residents and preceptors.  Kari was accepted into enhanced skills (Emergency) and has applied her skills and vision in arranging for rotations in early R2 to ensure the desired training as well as exposure was received. Kari is passionate about inclusivity and equality and has presented LGBTQ+ topics to residents demonstrating her in-depth knowledge gained from previous school placement. Dr. Johnson is a visionary, demonstrating commitment to the community and is held in high regard by fellow residents, faculty and staff.

Recipients: Dr. Katrina Leong


Dr. Katrina Leong is a PGY-1 Family Medicine resident located at Access River East.  Katrina is involved in quality improvement projects and involved in FMF Resident Planning Committee, CFPC (is the Manitoba Representative for Residents and the Selection of Medical Students and was a panelist for a CaRMS Q&A session at FMF in 2022.   Katrina is a valued primary care provider, aspiring to be a medical educator.  She has demonstrated a strong commitment to the broader mission of Family Medicine, engaging with the community, projects, student group events, COVID-19 public health initiatives. 


Undergraduate Teacher of the Year Award

This award recognizes outstanding undergraduate medical teaching in the Department of Family Medicine.  The award acknowledges the commitment, development of teaching methods, quantity of teaching advancing knowledge to others. The individual is able to connect and engage with learners.

Recipients: Dr. Francine Paquin


Dr. Francine Paquin practices in the rural community of Ste-Anne, where she is a clinical preceptor for medical students and also for Manitobans studying in French-language partner institutions such as Universitè d’Ottawa and Universitè de Sherbrooke.  She has also coordinated and taken the lead on a novel language-skills development course for medical and physician assistant students called Professional medial French.  Dr Paquin has provided a supportive and engaging learning environment and is always willing to go the extra mile providing a positive experience for the learners.  Former learners and medical students view her as a positive influencer on them pursuing a career in family medicine.


Staff Excellence Award

This award is given to an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the Department of Family Medicine.  The award recognizes an individual’s expertise in their role, to recognize the importance of DFM staff roles, and to acknowledge overall achievement.

Recipients: Michelle Jubenvill


Michelle Jubenvill has been instrumental in the operation of the Parkland Unit (Dauphin) Rural Stream for almost 30 years.  Michelle’s positive attitude, skill set, and experience have allowed her to successfully plan Academic Days, assist with the CaRMS file review and interview process assisting the team during these important events.   She has developed excellent working relationships with the community stakeholders and always continues to aspire learners, medical students and residents. She always engages and is supportive to others, creating a healthy positive work environment.  She is also dedicated to life-long learning and continues to identify areas of improvement. 



Master of Physician Assistant Studies Awards


Leadership Award

The Leadership Graduation Prize is for the graduating student with outstanding academic performance who is voted by their fellow students as having demonstrated a high level of compassion, humanism and the best patient-centered approach to care.

Recipients: CCPA Megan Skakum


CCPA Megan Skakum was born and raised in Manitoba. Prior to her enrolling in the Master of Physician Assistant Studies, she conducted research with the Department of Anesthesia and the Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba. She graduated from the Master’s of Physician Assistant Studies at the University of Manitoba in 2022. During her studies in the MPAS program she served as Class President, where she helped navigate the newfound challenges that came with virtual education in the time of COVID. After graduation she has joined the department of Pediatric Surgery in a joint position between Orthopedic and General Surgery.



The CAPSTONE Award for the graduating student with outstanding academic performance who demonstrated the best overall performance in Clinical Year Capstone Project

Recipients: CCPA Madeline Murray


CCPA Madeline Murray graduated from the MPAS program in fall 2022. After a rigorous program, she produced primary research titled Views, Self-rated competency, and perceived barriers in practicing trauma-informed care: A survey of Physician Assistants in Canada. She was invited to speak at the Health Professions Education Scholarship even August 2022. For her excellent work, she has been awarded the MPAS Capstone Award and is currently working with the Department of Family Medicine Quality Improvement program working towards publication. Madeline currently works as a PA in family medicine full time and also holds a part time position providing care at loe-income/older adult housing.