Each year, RPAP presents the Alberta Rural Physician Award of Distinction to an unsung hero of rural healthcare in Alberta.
Nominate your healthcare hero for an RPAP Award
Visit www.rpap.ab.ca/awards for more information on the RPAP Awards and to access a nomination form.
Looking for inspiration?2006 recipient, Dr. Tom Phillips of Spirit River, painted a picture of excellence in rural medical practice.
Dr. Tom Phillips, a long-serving physician in the Spirit River community, and an accomplished artist, was selected as the recipient of the 2006 award, receiving 42 letters of support for his nomination. Dr. Phillips was recognized for his longstanding and well-rounded contributions to rural medicine, patient support and his community.
Stated one colleague in a 2006 tribute video: “I think he provides for this community as any good doctor would – for the adults, he’s the adult that you trust.”
In the same video, Dr. Phillips talked about the privilege of practicing medicine in a rural community:
“We really have an ability to make a difference… We can actually see that, we can see [our patients] out on the street, we can see that kid we delivered, so we know that we’re doing something, so to me it’s really rewarding.”
On 14 October 2006, an enthusiastic Spirit River community honoured Dr. Phillips at an afternoon tea held at the Pleasant View Lodge. About 100 community residents were on hand to congratulate Phillips at the tea while more than 300 people attended a gala evening dinner and program held at the Centennial Hall. The video produced by The RPAP about Phillips and the Spirit River community, was showcased at both events. Many pieces of Phillip’s beautiful watercolour artwork were on display at the two venues for all to enjoy.
Dignitaries representing various levels of government, friends, patients and colleagues provided tributes to Phillips’ many contributions to medical practice, teaching, sports, the Spirit River community and the arts over the past 35 years.
Local physicians Dr. Wilhelm Spruyt and Dr. Eva Kitagawa were also recognized for the quality health services they provided to other communities.
Dr. Phillips still practises in Spirit River today.
Click here to view the entire RPAP Rural Physician Award of Distinction playlist and other great videos on our YouTube channel.