JCB 20th Anniversary Celebration: Distinguished Service to the JCB and Outstanding Alumni of the JCB Award Winners
During the JCB's 20th Anniversary Celebration, we were very pleased to present two new awards that had been created specifically for the event. These awards aimed to celebrate those in our community who have demonstrated 1) outstanding service to the JCB and 2) dedication to scholarship and/or leadership in bioethics. The winners of the Distinguished Service to the JCB and Outstanding Alumni of the JCB were present on December 2nd to receive their awards. A hearty congratulations goes out to Martin McKneally, Frank Wagner and Jeff Blackmer!
Distinguished Service to the JCB
This award was created on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the University of Toronto Joint Centre for Bioethics (JCB) to honour distinguished service to the JCB. This award is given to a person who has demonstrated:
- Service to the JCB in one or more capacities over an extended number of years;
- Primary driver behind one or more major initiatives that have been crucial to the JCB’s development;
- Recognized widely, both within and outside the JCB, as a key contributor to and member of the JCB;
- Embraces and reflects the values of the JCB.
The JCB is delighted to announce that there were two winners for the Distinguished Service Award: Martin McKneally and Frank Wagner.
Martin is Professor Emeritus of Surgery at the University of Toronto. He completed general and cardiothoracic surgical training at the University of Minnesota and served as Professor of Surgery and Chief of the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the Albany Medical Center in Albany, New York until 1990. From 1990 to 1995, he served as Chairman of the Division of Thoracic Surgery at the University of Toronto and the University Health Network. Martin has been a JCB member since its inception. At the JCB, his bioethics scholarship has focused on learning, teaching and conducting research on ethical issues in surgery, particularly related to informed decision making and innovative treatment. He teaches in the MHSc Program in Bioethics, supervises graduate students in the Collaborative Program in Bioethics, and is the prime mover and inspiration for developing surgical ethics as a growing area of academic scholarship at the University of Toronto. He has mentored numerous graduate students and surgical trainees to find their path in bioethics, and has devoted hours of his time – and his home – to community-building within the JCB. For years, he and his wife Deborah hosted annual community parties at their home, affectionately called the Ravine Research and Education Centre.
Frank Wagner holds degrees in physical anthropology (BA) and medical anthropology (MA) and is a graduate of the MHSc Program in Bioethics at the University of Toronto. He holds an academic appointment as Assistant Professor, Department of Family and Community Medicine.
Frank is widely recognized for his leadership in community care ethics. When Frank joined the JCB, first as a MHSc student in 2004 and subsequently as an ethicist with the Toronto Central Community Care Access Centre, the whole area of community-based ethics was a new frontier. Frank’s arrival on the scene changed that. Frank founded the ethics program at the Toronto Central Community Care Access Centre and co-founded the Community Ethics Network, a network for community-based health and social support agencies in central and southern Ontario. His work on the IDEA decision framework has been adopted widely by health organizations locally, nationally, and internationally. He is a highly sought-after educator in community-based ethics and a gifted mentor to JCB Fellows, MHSc students, and medical trainees. Frank initiated the development of a partnership with the TC CCAC, Department of Family and Community Medicine, the Toronto Central LHIN, and the JCB to facilitate integration of ethics and primary care. Currently, he is a member of the JCB Task Force on Physician Assisted Dying, co-chairing one of its working groups.
Outstanding Alumni of the JCB
This award was created on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the University of Toronto Joint Centre for Bioethics (JCB) to honour outstanding contributions of a graduate member of the JCB to the field of bioethics.
The JCB is delighted to announce that Dr. Jeff Blackmer is the winner of the Outstanding Alumni of the JCB Award.
Jeff Blackmer is a graduate of the first class of MHSc Program in Bioethics students. Since then, he has gone on play significant ethics leadership roles with the Canadian Medical Association and the World Medical Association.
From his nomination letter:
In addition to medical leadership positions he holds at the Canadian Medical Association (Vice President, Medical Professionalism) and the World Medical Association (Chief Ethics Advisor), Dr. Blackmer chooses to continue clinical practice at the Ottawa Hospital Rehabilitation Centre. Dr. Blackmer actively contributes to clinically-focused, peer reviewed publications on a regular basis, in addition to policy development and dissemination on the topics of medical ethics, professionalism and human rights.
In 2014, the CMA, under the stewardship of Dr. Blackmer and Maclean's magazine, began a journey to engage the Canadian physicians and the public in a national dialogue focused on three main issues: palliative care, advanced care planning and medical aid in dying.