Two Terrace doctors, Dr. Geoff Appleton and Dr. Jaco Strydom, were recently honoured with awards for their years of excellent medical service in Terrace, and for leadership in northwest medicine.
Dr. Geoff Appleton has served patients in the Pacific Northwest for 43 years, and was honoured by the Rural Coordination Centre of BC (RCCbc) with a Lifetime Achievement award in mid-May.
“Dr. Appleton’s work does stand out,” said Sharon Mah from the RCCbc.
“It’s very rare to find a physician who actually stays in a rural community for a long period of time… and [Dr. Appleton] has actually been in the community for 44 years, which is really remarkable.”
Mah says that over the course of those years, Dr. Appleton has become a very well respected physician and has developed strong relationships with his patients.
“And not only that… he’s also an advocate,” she said, noting that he’s sat on numerous committees both locally and provincially to improve rural health care.
He was a founding member and first president for the Terrace and District Medical Association in 1979, and has served as Northern Health medical director for the area, as chief of staff for Mills Memorial Hospital, and president of what is now Doctors of BC. He’s also worked 26 years with the Terrace CDC (Child Development Centre).
“It’s rare to find a physician with that kind of capacity and dedication,” said Mah, noting that defending and building up rural health often runs people out.
Only one Lifetime Achievement award is given out every year. Anyone can submit a nomination and the recipient is chosen by a committee from RCCbc and UBC.
With the award, Appleton receives $2,500 for a celebration event, with leftovers given to a cause he choses. Appleton says he will be directing most of it towards some form of health care education.
A second local physician, Dr. Jaco Strydom, was also honoured for excellent service as a rural doctor.
|Dr. Jaco Strydom|
Dr. Strydom has worked in primary care for the past 14 years in Terrace, and was awarded the College Coin from the BC College of Family Physicians this year.
Given to recognize unsung heroes of family practice, the College Coin is modelled after the coins of the Canadian military that honour special achievements.
Dr. Strydom “is highly regarded by patients and colleagues alike, and consistently goes above and beyond in the exemplary care he provides,” said the college in a press release about the award.
A lead physician on the management team of the Park Avenue Medical Clinic, Dr. Strydom has dedicated many hours to the clinic’s Electronic Medical Records project, as well as numerous other policies and projects to strengthen the service.
He is also an active leader in the Pacific Northwest Division of Family Practice, sits on the Terrace CDC board, and volunteers with the Therapeutic Equestrian Horse Riding Association.
Many hours have also been spent by Strydom advocating for children with cerebral palsy as well as those with hip dysplasia.