2020 Service Awards 

The COA’s Annual Service Awards recognize members who have distinguished themselves through their exemplary contributions, influence and commitment to improving the Canadian orthopaedic community.  Awarded each year at the COA Annual Meeting, the Service Awards are high honours bestowed on a member by the Canadian Orthopaedic Association.

Emerging Leader Excellence in Service
The Emerging Leader Excellence in Service Award recognizes exceptional service and contributions to the orthopaedic community and to the COA within early years of practice. Winners are recognized for their commitment and service that has made a significant difference within the orthopaedic specialty at the national and regional level.

Ivan Wong: Sports medicine, Upper extremity, Trauma, research; Halifax, NS.

Dr. Ivan Wong is an Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, School of Health and Human Performance, and the School of Physiotherapy at Dalhousie University. He co-directs the Joint Preservation, Sports Medicine and Arthroscopy Fellowship program in Halifax, Canada. He received his Master’s in Academic Medicine from the University of Southern California, and he completed his fellowship with Dr. Stephen Snyder at the Southern California Orthopaedic Institute. He is also a certified fellow of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgeons (ABOS) and the Canadian Academy of Sport and Exercise Medicine (CASEM). He is the current President of the Arthroscopy Association of Canada (AAC) and the Chair of Research at the Arthroscopy Association of North America.

Dr. Wong’s expertise lies in minimally invasive arthroscopic surgeries of the shoulder, hip, and knee. He has developed many innovative surgical techniques, including arthroscopic alternatives to some of the shoulder and hip’s most difficult problems. His current research focuses upon the use of human dermal allograft for rotator cuff construction, the use of distal tibial allograft for anatomic glenoid reconstruction in patients with recurrent shoulder instability, and the use of orthobiologics for the treatment of cartilage defects.

Dr. Wong’s commitment to furthering his field is seen not only through the development of new techniques, but also in training other physicians. He has helped to train medical students, residents, fellows in sports medicine, and orthopaedic surgeons in sports medicine and arthroscopic procedures all around the world. There are over 40 international surgeons visiting to learn these arthroscopic techniques over the past few years.

Dr. Wong has published over 100 peer-reviewed papers and has presented his research outcomes and surgical techniques at approximately 110 conferences around the world during the past decade. Dr. Wong is continuously trying to improve patient outcomes by researching new and improved means of reconstructing, repairing, and preventing degeneration.

Brendan Sheehan: Sports Medicine, Knee/Shoulder Arthroscopic Reconstruction and Arthroplasty, Saint John, NB.

Brendan completed his medical degree at Memorial University in St. John’s, Newfoundland. He then completed his Orthopaedic residency training at the University of Calgary, followed by subspecialty training in Orthopaedic Sports Medicine at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. He completed his Diploma in Sports Medicine through the Canadian Academy of Sports and Exercise Medicine in 2017.

Brendan accepted a position in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery in hometown, Saint John NB, in September 2015. He is an Assistant Professor with the Faculty of Medicine at both Dalhousie and Memorial Universities.

Brendan is active in research involving the treatment of early arthritis, surgical outcomes in knee/shoulder reconstruction, and development of treatment guidelines.  He is integrally involved in the Canadian Orthopaedic Association and holds the position of Secretary on the Executive Committee.  He is also on the executive of the Arthroscopy Association of Canada.

Dr. Sheehan’s practice is specialized in orthopaedic sports medicine and knee/shoulder reconstructive surgery, with a focus on minimally invasive arthroscopic techniques. In his free time he is active in skiing, surfing, kiteboarding, mountain biking and enjoying time with his wife Duyen and his boys Xander and Declan. Some would say he also has a keen flare for fashion, but most just question his choice in floral print shirts, jackets and bowties.

Lifetime of Service

The Lifetime of Service Award recognizes many years of exceptional service and consistent contributions to the orthopaedic community and to the COA. It is awarded for national and international impact on the growth of the orthopaedic profession and high standard of patient care. It recognizes a strong and positive role model in the community and an exemplary mentor and educator.

Baxter Willis: Paediatrics, Research; Ottawa, ON.

Dr. Willis grew up in London , Ontario, the youngest of 3 brothers. He completed his Bachelor’s ( 1967 ) and Medical degrees ( 1971 )  at the University of Western Ontario ( now Western University ). Following a rotating internship at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver, Baxter returned to London where he completed his orthopaedic residency training in 1976.

His career was influenced greatly by the mentorship of Robert Salter and many teachers at the Hospital for Sick Children where Baxter did a pediatric orthopaedic fellowship in 1977.

He returned to London in 1978 as the first full time pediatric orthopaedic surgeon and where he remained in academic practice until 1994. His colleagues in London remain close to his heart as some of the finest people with whom he has worked.

During his 16 years in London, Baxter became active in many committees of the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America, eventually becoming President of POSNA in 2007-08, a professional highlight.

In 1994, Baxter was recruited to New Orleans as the G. Dean MacEwen Chair in Pediatric Orthopaedics at Louisiana State University Health Centre, Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at LSU and Chief of Orthopaedic Surgery at the Children’s Hospital in New Orleans. While there, he helped develop the academic and educational program, training many fellows in the process.

In 2004, Baxter returned to Canada as the Chief of Surgery at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario ( CHEO ) a position he held until 2015. He continued in an administrative capacity as Interim Chief of Pediatric Orthopaedics at the University of Ottawa and CHEO from 2015 until 2017.

Baxter has authored over 80 peer-reviewed articles and numerous book chapters. He serves on the Editorial Boards of the Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics and the Journal of Children’s Orthopaedics.

He continues to practice part-time at CHEO and still loves his interaction with patients and their families. He enjoys teaching and education in all of its aspects, especially to residents and fellows. He is still actively involved in international outreach education in pediatric orthopaedics in Southeast Asia and South America.

Dr. Willis is married to his lovely wife, Sue, and has 3 children; Chris, Caroline and Andrew and 2 grandchildren; Magdalena and Frances.

Personal note: I have been blessed in my career. I was blessed to choose pediatric orthopaedics which became a professional passion and I have had the honour to work with incredible people in London, New Orleans and Ottawa.

Improving Clinical Care

The Service to Improving Clinical Care Award recognizes outstanding service and contributions to the improvement of clinical care for orthopaedic patients at the national and regional level.

William Oxer: Spine, Halifax, NS.

William M. Oxner is a full time Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at Dalhousie University. He completed his medical training at Dalhousie University School of Medicine in 1994 and completed specialty training in Orthopaedic Surgery in 1999 at Dalhousie. He then went on to complete a fellowship in Adult Spinal Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh and followed that with a one-year research fellowship in the Department of Orthopaedics at the University of Pittsburgh. He was appointed Assistant Professor of Surgery in Orthopaedic Surgery and full time staff at the Queen Elizabeth II Hospital since 2001. His area of interest is Adult Spinal surgery with an interest in cervical and surgery. Dr. Oxner was the Residency Program Director for ten years before becoming Chief. He is a member of the Canadian Orthopaedic Association participating on the Continuing Professional Development committee, as well as being a member of the executive of the Canadian Spine Society.

Service to Orthopaedic Education

The Service to Orthopaedic Education Award recognizes outstanding service and contributions to orthopaedic education and training at the national and regional level.

Richard Buckley: Foot and Ankle, Trauma; Calgary, AB.

Dr. Richard Buckley has been on the active medical staff in Calgary since 1990. He is a Professor in the Department of Surgery, in the Division of Orthopaedic Trauma. His active clinical practice is that of orthopaedic trauma and he is extremely active in teaching undergraduate, and post graduate medicine. He has been involved in the Orthopaedic Trauma Fellowship in Calgary, with nearly 50 International Fellows under his tutelage. He is also active in the research front.

He was the former Head Orthopedic Trauma Division, Department of Surgery, University of Calgary Cumming School of Medicine and former Program Director Orthopedic Residency Training Program (1998-2004) as well as Head of all Surgical Post-graduate programs from 1999-2012.

Dr. Buckley is an extremely active member of the Association for Study of Internal Fixation (ASIF) (AO). There he has held numerous course Chairman and Board responsibilities, including the International Education Board, International Research Board and has been a member of the Board of Trustees for International AO. He has been a member of the Orthopaedic Trauma Association since 1990 and has held positions on the Membership Committee and Nominating Committee for this International leading Association.

Dr. Buckley has also been extremely active in the Canadian Orthopaedic Association (COA) and has been a member of the Membership Committee and Chair of the Membership Committee, COA Advisor to the Canadian Society of Orthopaedic Technologists and Chairman and Founder of the Canadian Orthopaedic Resident Forum (a resident review course). Dr. Buckley’s present research focus is almost exclusively related to trauma and he is an active member within the Canadian Orthopaedic Trauma Society. He has published over 80 papers and is an Editor of 4 major International, Internationally translated orthopaedic textbooks.

Service to Orthopaedic Research

The Service to Orthopaedic Research Award recognizes outstanding service and contributions to the advancement and growth of orthopaedic research at the national and regional level.

Hubert Labelle: Paediatrics, Spine; Montreal, QC.

Dr. Hubert Labelle is currently a full Professor, Department of Surgery, University of Montreal; Head, Division of Orthopedics, University of Montreal; Chairholder, Motion Sciences Chair of the CHU Sainte-Justine and University of Montreal. He completed his MD and residency in orthopaedic surgery at the University of Montreal, as well as three paediatric fellowships at the CHU Sainte-Justine, the Alfred DuPont Institute (USA) and the Rancho Los Amigos Hospital (USA).

Dr. Labelle’s clinical work focuses on the evaluation and treatment of spinal deformities in children and adolescents. His research interests are concentrated on the 3-D evaluation and treatment of spinal deformities, with a particular emphasis on computer assisted surgery, 3-D design and evaluation of braces for the treatment of idiopathic scoliosis, and 3-D evaluation and simulation of surgery for scoliotic deformities.  He is currently an active staff member in Paediatric Orthop. Surgery, Ste-Justine University Hospital (Montreal), active member and researcher at Ste-Justine University Hospital Research Center, and the director of 3-D Scoliosis Computer Laboratory at Ste-Justine Hospital.

Service to Specialty Enrichment

The Service to Specialty Enrichment Award recognizes outstanding service and contributions to improving the orthopaedic community and specialty through advocacy, leadership and humanitarianism. It is awarded to a member who contributes to improving the quality of life, culture, opportunities and diverse representation within the orthopaedic community.

Tim Daniels: Foot and Ankle, Trauma, Research; Toronto, ON.

Dr. Tim R. Daniels is an alumnus of University of Saskatchewan. He went on to complete a F&A fellowship with Drs. J. Smith and L. Fleming at Emory University and an additional 3 months at the Milwaukee County Medical Complex with Drs. J. Gould and G. Harris in their gait mechanics lab. In 1993 he began his F&A practice at Wellesley Hospital in Toronto and, in 1994, established a multi-disciplinary Foot Clinic. Presently, he is Professor at University of Toronto, Head of its F&A Program, and Division Head of Orthopaedic Surgery at Unity Health Toronto – St. Michael’s Hospital. He serves as Associate Editor at Foot and Ankle International and Reviewer for JBJS (Am) and Journal of American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. He is the Co-founder/Coordinator of the Biennial COFAS Symposia and Chair, PI and Member, COFAS 5-Yr Ankle Arthritis Study Group. He is also currently the Division Head Orthopaedics, Unity Health Toronto – St. Michael’s Hospital.

As Canada’s top Orthopaedic F&A surgeon, Dr. Daniels manages a quaternary referral practice with an emphasis on hindfoot deformity and arthritis. His academic research has contributed to the development of the fourth generation total ankle replacement (Cadence) and provided international guidance on the surgical management of end-stage ankle arthritis (ESAA). His surgical skills and research publications have garnered special recognition by Orthopaedics This Week by placing him in the top 16 of World’s best foot and ankle surgeons.

Service to the COA

The Service to the COA Award recognizes outstanding service and contributions to the Canadian Orthopaedic Association and its members. It is awarded for exceptional engagement and active participation in COA events, programs and projects, leadership, and in advancing the COA’s Mission.

Jeffrey Gollish: Arthroplasty, Research; Toronto, ON.

Dr. Jeff Gollish is a Toronto native (please, don’t hold that against him!) He attended the University of Toronto, first graduating from Engineering Science in 1972, with a double minor in Biomedical Engineering and Computer Science. After a year sabbatical (read – ski bum) he returned to UofT to begin his Masters in Aerospace Engineering, but discontinued this course after being accepted into the MD Program, from which he graduated in 1978. Following his Orthopaedic residency, completed in 1984, he did a Fellowship in arthroplasty with Dr. James Waddell. Outside of his training, during his undergraduate years, he played both squash and golf for the University of Toronto.

He began his practice at York Central Hospital in Richmond Hill, Ontario as a community orthopaedic surgeon. In 1992 he was invited to join the staff of the Orthopaedic and Arthritic Hospital, now known at the Holland Orthopaedic and Arthritic Centre, the downtown campus of Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, where he has continued to practice to the present. Dr. Gollish’s surgical practice has been focussed on hip and knee replacement, both primary and revision. In 1996 he was appointed to Head of Arthroplasty at the O&A Hospital and in 2006 was appointed as Medical Director of the Holland Centre. He held both positions until 2017. Sunnybrook recognized his contributions to the institution with the Leo Steven Excellence in Leadership Award in 2017 and the Allan Knight Lifetime Achievement in Teaching Award in 2020.

Dr Gollish has been an active member of the COA since his residency. Over the years, aside from paper and poster presentations, he helped to organize and moderate numerous symposia and ICLs.  He has been a member of the National Standards Committee for more than a decade and served as Chair from 2016 to 2020. During this time he helped to guide and co-author various position papers and consensus guidelines, in collaboration with the COA Board and its Committees. He has been an active member of the Canadian Arthroplasty Society since its inception and was one of the founding members, functioning as secretary for the fledgling organization in its first few years. He is a member of the CJRR Advisory Board.

Dr Gollish is an advocate for continuously improving the patient journey throughout their surgical experience and for improving  timely access to care. In 2006, the Ministry of Health of Ontario provided an innovation grant to the Holland Centre to develop a new model of care to help to manage rapidly growing orthopaedic surgery wait lists. Dr Gollish chaired the task force in its development of the Central Intake and Assessment Centre  model for Hip and Knee Arthritis, which include development of the role profile for the Advanced Practice Physiotherapist. This model and the APP role have been broadly adopted in various jurisdictions across Canada and elsewhere. From 2017 to 2019 Dr Gollish was the Ontario  Provincial Clinical Lead  for introduction of the Central Intake and Assessment Centre model for hip and knee arthritis. He continues to champion the role of the Advanced Practice Physiotherapist and team-based models of care among his colleagues and decision-makers across Canada.

President’s Award for Excellence

The President’s Award for Excellence recognizes overall excellence in the advancement of orthopaedic research, education, health-care organization, advocacy, and standards of care. It is awarded for commitment and contributions to the overall profession.

Alastair Younger: Foot and Ankle, Trauma, Research; Vancouver, BC.

Dr. Younger grew up near St. Andrews in Scotland and completed his medical degree in Aberdeen in 1985 and trained for a short time in the National Health Service before moving to Canada to continue his education and training. He completed his residency at the University of British Columbia and a Masters in Surgery at the same time between 1990 and 1995. He returned to UBC and St. Paul’s in 1998 to take over the role of teaching residents foot and ankle surgery.

He has been active on many committees of the Canadian Orthopaedic Association, the American Foot and Ankle Society, and the Arthroscopy Association of North America.  He is the British Columbia Orthopaedic Association President.

Dr. Younger has been recognized by the Canadian Orthopaedic Association (COA), by being awarded the North American Traveling Fellowship in 1997 and the American/British/Canadian Traveling Fellowship in 2007.  He is currently the editor in chief of the COA Bulletin, chair of the communication committee, on the board and the practice management committee.

He is currently the Head of the division of distal extremities at the University of British Columbia Department of Orthopaedics, and has been the British Columbia Orthopaedic Association President for the last 3 years.  For the COA he is chair of the Communications committee, on the practice management committee, and editor in chief for the bulletin and on the Board.