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Health informatics gala celebrates IT excellence

The first annual Canadian Health Informatics Awards Gala was held at Toronto’s Royal York Hotel last month, honouring outstanding individuals, teams and companies.

The gala, co-hosted by COACH, Canada’s Health Informatics Association and CHITTA, the Canadian Healthcare Information Technology Trade Association, celebrated excellence and achievement in the Canadian healthcare informatics community. Over 225 healthcare informatics professionals attended the event.

Tom Closson, former CEO of the Toronto-based University Health Network, served as Master of Ceremonies, leading a high-spirited evening of entertainment and edification as the achievements of individuals and companies were recognized.


Leadership in the Field of Health Informatics Award
Lynn Nagle, RN, PhD (pictured at left).
Consultant, Nagle & Associates Inc., Senior Nursing Advisor to Canada Health Infoway, Professor at the Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto, and Immediate Past President of the Canadian Nursing Informatics Association. Lynn was until recently the Senior Vice President for Technology and Information Management at Mount Sinai Hospital, in Toronto.

Emerging Leader in Health Informatics
(Presented by the Courtyard Group)
Nancy Gabor
Evaluations Coordinator, NORTH Network, Graduate student in Health Informatics at the University of Victoria, and Chair, COACH Code of Ethics Task Force.

Innovation in the Adoption of Health Informatics Award
NORTH Network Telemedicine Program
Dr. Ed Brown, Executive Director

President’s Award
Elaine Sawatsky
Corporate Director, E. Sawatsky & Associates, Victoria, BC and Chair, COACH Privacy and Security Expert Working Group.

Steven Huesing Scholarship Award
Elizabeth Borycki, Assistant Professor, School of Health Information Science, University of Victoria.


Company of the Year Award
CLINICARE Corporation, Calgary AB; Dennis Niebergal, President & CEO

Healthcare Transformation Award
Webmed Technology, Chilliwack BC; Dr. Jonathan Burns, President

Project Implementation Team of the Year Award
Active Web Corporation (MedShare), Guelph ON; Barry Billings, President & CEO

Corporate Citizenship Award
(Sponsored by Healthcare Information Management & Communication Canada)
Multinational Corporations
McKesson Information Solutions Canada; Ron Dunn, Vice President

Canadian Owned Small and Mid-sized Enterprises
CLINICARE Corporation, Dennis Niebergal, President & CEO

The award recipients were presented with a Canadian Health Informatics bronze statue. Canadian artist Stephen Booth was commissioned to design and create the statues especially for the occasion.

In addition, recipients were presented with plaques commemorating their specific achievement. The details of their contributions will also be published in the next four issues of the Associations’ official journal, Healthcare Information Management & Communications Canada and the Gala’s website:

The CHITTA Chair, Dave Wattling and COACH President, Don Newsham were lauded for their leadership and foresight in transforming the vision of this celebratory event into reality.

“There is no question that Thursday night exceeded my expectations,” said Wattling. “By all accounts and feedback, it was truly appreciated by all as setting a new bar within our community.”

COACH President, Don Newsham expressed his satisfaction: “The gala struck a chord that was right on target at this point of our evolution and was enjoyed by all.”

Both acknowledged the vast contributions of the Awards Steering Committee, their respective Awards adjudication committees, the event organizers – Taylor and Associates and Elaine Huesing – and the Gala’s Sponsors:

• CLINICARE Corporation

• Courtyard Group

• McKesson Canada

• Nightingale Informatix

• Sierra Systems

• Xwave Healthcare

Plans for next year’s Gala are already under way.