Dr. Elaine Ma recognized for outstanding medical leadership

Dr. Elaine Ma, a recipient of the 2021 Award of Excellence. Image via OCFP.

Local physician Dr. Elaine Ma is a 2021 recipient of the Award of Excellence, presented by the Ontario College of Family Physicians (OCFP).

The 2021 Awards of Excellence are adjudicated by the OCFP (the provincial Chapter of the College of Family Physicians of Canada) and recognize exceptional achievements by family doctors in the past 24 months. Nominators may be peers or members of the public.

“Dr. Ma’s leadership, energy and commitment to putting her community’s health and safety at the forefront during a truly challenging time highlights the spirit of our profession,” said Dr. Elizabeth Muggah, OCFP President. “The citizens of Kingston are privileged to have such a dedicated family physician as their healthcare champion. It is a great pleasure to acknowledge Dr. Ma’s tremendous contributions with this Award.”

Dr. Ma exemplifies the vital role of family physicians in communities across Ontario – as clinicians, advocates, teachers, and researchers, according to a release from the OCFP. This award was presented to Dr. Ma at the OCFP’s virtual Awards Ceremony on Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2021. A list of all awardees is posted on the OCFP’s website.

Described by her peers as “one of the kindest people there is”, Kingston’s Dr. Elaine Ma serves her community in multiple capacities, including as a leader in the region’s COVID-19 response.

From choosing locations and setting up vaccination clinics, to scheduling vaccinators and hands-on testing and vaccinating, she has been at the forefront of Kingston Frontenac Lennox and Addington’s (KFL&A) pandemic strategy, which has been recognized for low case numbers and high testing and vaccination rates, according to the release.

Thanks to Dr. Ma, collaborations with Kingston Health Sciences Centre, Public Health and Frontenac Paramedic Services have led to innovative approaches to boosting vaccination rates, the OCFP said. One initiative, dubbed a “Vaccine Roadshow”, saw an ambulance stopping at parks along Kingston’s waterfront to vaccinate; another made use of Queen’s University’s football stadium for a drive-through vaccination clinic. As well, partnerships she fostered have been instrumental in lessening the impact of the pandemic in the emergency departments within the local hospitals, according to the release.

“From staffing to swabbing, Dr. Ma was there at the frontlines helping patients at an individual level as well as leading wider, systemic changes which had a hugely positive impact on our community,” said Dr. Christine Hanna, Former Medical Director/Chief of the Division of Emergency Medicine, Quinte Health Care.

A strong advocate for healthcare equity, Dr. Ma sits on the Kingston Task Force for physician recruitment devoted to ensuring all her fellow citizens have access to a family doctor. As a result of her continued commitment, Kingston City Council approved a working group to address the Region’s high need for more family physicians and to develop incentives to attract physicians to the community, according to the release.

Continued Dr. Hanna: “Her contributions, whether she knows it or not, have touched every single person in this region for the better.”

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