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Previous Luminary Award Winners

Clinicians from across Ontario have been recognized with an OMD Luminary Award for their outstanding contributions to advance digital health. Read the 2022 Luminary Award winners stories and get inspired!

2023 Winners

Dr. Payal Agarwal

Dr. Payal Agarwal, Family Physician, Grand River Hospital and St. Mary's General Hospital

Winner - Woman Leader in Health Technology

As a family physician and Integrated Chief Medical Informatics and Innovation Officer for Kitchener-Waterloo's Grand River and St. Mary's Hospitals, Dr. Agarwal is passionate about using digital health solutions to engage physicians and patients. A longtime supporter of women taking a larger role in health technology, she is committed to building bridges between groups (leveraging her engineering degree at the same time!) and reciprocating the mentorship she received from other women in medicine. She led the strategy to optimize digital health tools at Grand River and St. Mary's Hospitals and has played a crucial role in developing and implementing Evidence2Practice Ontario to facilitate digitally enabled health care. She has also incorporated secure messaging and other integrated programs into her own practice for a more collaborative, human-centred approach to patient care and believes the "EMR is a great place to collaborate, especially for patients with complex medical histories, so that everyone involved in their care can work together continuously and seamlessly."  Dr. Agarwal was named by Digital Health Canada as one of the 2023 Women Leaders in Digital Health attesting to her outstanding leadership.

Dr. Jocelyn Charles

Dr. Jocelyn Charles, Family Physician, Private Practice 

Winner - Advocacy

In her role as a family physician at the Sunnybrook Academic Family Health Team, Dr. Charles ensures she provides patients with the same quality of care that inspired her to pursue a medical career. She also provides home-based primary care to vulnerable seniors and housebound patients. A fierce advocate for equal access to health services and improved EMR integration, she is passionate about implementing digital health innovations – including existing tools such as e-Consult and e-Referral as well as new options – to streamline care. She is a strong proponent for improving report delivery from hospitals to EMRs and was a member of the Health Report Manager (HRM®) Task Force that developed recommendations for hospitals and EMRs to improve report formatting and reduce duplicate reports and more. Dr. Charles' commitment to continuous improvement in health care is further reflected in her mentorship for women in health-care leadership roles and the next generation of physicians.

Dr. Xin Chong

Dr. Xin Chong, Family Physician, Private Practice 

Winner - Woman Leader in Health Technology

Dr. Xin Chong is the embodiment of a digitally engaged mature doctor. Since adopting EMR 20 years ago, she has been a driving force for health technology with colleagues and within her own practice. Her passion for digital innovation also led her to implement online booking, e-Consult and e-Referral long before they became commonplace tools for clinicians. Dr. Chong serves as the unofficial digital health advisor for everyone around her, freely sharing her EMR expertise, troubleshooting issues that arise and encouraging those with less technological knowledge to stay the course. She shares this advice for technologically challenged colleagues, "Digital health is inevitable. Whether you think we're enslaved by technology or not, this is where we're headed. It's better to face it head-on."

Dr. John Crosby

Dr. John Crosby, Family Physician, Crosby Medicine Professional Corporation

Winner - Patient Engagement

A lifelong people's advocate and longtime OMD Peer Leader, Dr. Crosby recently retired from family medicine after nearly 50 years of service. Despite turning in his stethoscope, he continues to serve as a digital health subject matter expert, provide mentorship to colleagues in and outside of Ontario, champion patient engagement and share insightful contributions through the Medical Post, peer reviews for the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario and blogs and podcasts. He understands the connection between better patient experiences and improved health outcomes, having worked tirelessly to encourage colleagues and the broader health-care industry to embrace patient engagement toward a more effective and patient-centred health-care system.

Dr. Lee Donohue

Dr. Lee Donohue, Family Physician, Private Practice 

Winner - Woman Leader in Health Technology

As a family physician of over 30 years, Dr. Donohue relishes the use of digital health tools in caring for generations of patients in her Ottawa group practice. She embraces the use of "new things that make parts of life easier" but also cautions that "patient care is sometimes done off the desk, and not necessarily in the EMR." A self-improvement enthusiast, she believes EMR innovation is best served by greater physician input. Dr. Donohue has long implemented tools such as online booking, two-way secure messaging and virtual care visits but has not lost sight of the importance of the patient experience, specifically regarding their literacy and appreciation for these tools. She enjoys mentoring the next generation of female physicians through her work as a Peer Leader, leadership roles with the Ontario Medical Association in representing physicians in her district, and collaborating with like-minded individuals on pragmatic solutions.

Dr. Keith Thompson

Dr. Keith Thompson, Family Physician, Private Practice 

Winner - Technology & Compassion

Dr. Thompson is a family physician with his own practice in London, Ontario. A self-proclaimed late bloomer to technology, he uses digital health tools to enhance, not replace, delivery of care. He has leveraged his EMR data to go beyond diagnoses and deliver more compassionate care for his 1,900 patients. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Thompson rediscovered the importance of his relationship with his patients, citing it as his fuel to get through the day. He says, "When I'm feeling burnt out or frustrated, I think of my patients and the gratitude they show. My relationship with my patients means everything. "It fuels me to do more." Dr. Thompson does more by sharing his newsletter, Compassion in Digital Health, with his colleagues and others. When notified of his Luminary Award win, he mused, "I cannot say how much I appreciate it. At times, my bucket has felt empty…with long hours away from home and then the COVID years…this feels like a warm hug of thanks."

Dr. Brendan Trickey

Dr. Brendan Trickey, Family Physician, Central Ottawa Family Medicine Associates

Winner - Mentorship

Dr. Trickey is a family physician at Central Ottawa Family Medicine Associates (COFMA). As COFMA's unofficial IT manager, he has long advocated for digital health technology to facilitate care for his 1,000 patients. He helped to shepherd COFMA's EMR implementation, training colleagues on its usage and even resolving the odd glitch. When asked about his favourite aspect of EMRs, he replied, ""What I like most about EMRs is the ability to not only view all of someone's medical records at a glance but customize how I view it. It helps me to provide better care at a quicker rate than any other method." Dr. Trickey also led the integration of online booking, secure messaging and the Ontario Laboratories Information System (OLIS) – with Health Report Manager (HRM) and e-Referral next in line! – to improve the coordination of health care and communication with patients. His dedication to digital health innovations, mentorship for colleagues, and communication savvy have optimized primary care for COFMA patients. 

2022 Winners

Judy Applebee and colleague

Judy Applebee, Manager of Primary Care, Sanctuary Refugee Health Centre Kitchener Downtown CHC 

Judy has played a crucial role in implementing digital health tools at the Sanctuary Refugee Health Centre, a not-for-profit organization providing care to more than  5100 refugees in the Waterloo region. After the organization’s merger with Kitchener Downtown Community Health Centre, Judy facilitated the transition to a certified EMR. Judy ensured comprehensive training for everyone, improving efficiency an played a crucial role in implementing digital health tools at the Sanctuary Refugee Health Centre, a not-for-profit organization providing the overall experience for clinicians. Despite her busy schedule, she generously shared her knowledge, resolved challenges, and planned future strategies. Judy deserves recognition for her years of service, vision, and hard work. 

Dr. David Mathies  Dr. Keith Cross   Lorraine Johnston

Dr. David Mathies, Family Physician CCFHT, Dr. Keith Cross, Family Physician AFHT, Lorraine Johnston, Executive Director CCFHT, Cottage Country FHT, Huntsville FHO 

This team was instrumental to the successful rollout of Ocean platform products by seizing on a short-term funding opportunity and leveraging it fully to implement across the Muskoka and Area Ontario Health Team (MAOHT) to scale. Within a 6–8-week period, the products were rolled out across multiple primary care practices across the MAOHT geography. For eReferral, over 80% of practicing primary care physicians/NPs were onboarded, and 71 OAB licences were provided to practices to service our community. The team's dedication, problem-solving skills, and collaboration resulted in successful initiatives. As a result, Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare and the SCOPE program adopted the Referral system. Their leadership and understanding of digital initiative benefits have improved community health care services. 

Lisa Miller

Lisa Miller, EMR Systems Administrator, St Michael's Hospital Academic Family Health Team 

Lisa oversaw PS Suite EMR at St. Michael's Hospital Academic Family Health Team. She took on a leadership role to implement the online appointment booking (OAB) system, streamlining practice operations. Lisa's efforts resulted in successful funding from the Ontario Health (OH) to support OAB implementation. She also created helpful tools for onboarding providers into the OAD system and shared them with UHN Connect Care for wider use. Thanks to Lisa's dedication, patients now have access to OAB, improving technology-enabled primary health care.

Dr. Hanni Darwish

Dr. Hanni Darwish, Lead Physician, North Simcoe FHN 

Dr. Darwish is the lead physician for the North Simcoe FHN and has also taken on the unofficial role of IT lead for FHN. With a vast knowledge of the EMR, he generously shared insights with colleagues and conducted training sessions for new physicians joining the FHN, helping them optimize EMR usage and efficiency. Dr. Darwish implemented secure patient messaging and online booking systems for FHN physicians. Notably, he was pivotal in transitioning to a cloud-based EMR in 2018-2019. This transition had implications for allied health practitioners in the associated FHT, such as social workers and dietitians.

Dr. Daniel Pepe

Dr. Daniel Pepe, Family Physician, London Lambeth FHO 

Dr. Pepe committed to working with his certified EMR and integrated digital health tools to provide high quality primary care experience for all 2,100 of his patients. He actively reduced fax-based communication, recognizing its limitations and risks. Dr. Pepe advocates for Prescribe IT and electronic referrals, reaching out to pharmacies and collaborating with local specialists to build a robust system. Thanks to his efforts over 10,000 referrals were sent through Ocean referral network, providing transparency for patients awaiting referrals in Middlesex-London.

Dr. Howard Cohen

Dr. Howard Cohen, Lead Physician, Carling Broadview FHO 

Dr. Howard Cohen has demonstrated outstanding use of EMR and advocacy in Long Term Care, retirement living centres, and palliative care. He has strongly advocated digital health technology use in the sector and actively works to improve patient care. Dr. Cohen was the only physician in Ontario to comment on the practicality of the CPSO and coroner's office draft on mandating EMRs/EHRs for home palliative care, advocating for the core needs of the community he serves. He also organized outreach meetings and implemented his own certified EMR at Riverstone Retirement Communities. His dedication to advancing EMR/HER adoption has made a significant impact on the community he serves. Read more on his story in our blog post.

2021 Winners