2017 Recipient of the Ontario's Anesthesiologists' Distinguished Service Award:
Dr. Christopher Ricci from Hamilton Health Sciences
The Ontario’s Anesthesiologists Distinguished Service Award is awarded to an anesthesiologist in recognition of outstanding contributions in patient care and the promotion of our specialty over the course of their career. It is the highest honour our organization can bestow. We are very proud to award the 2017 Distinguished Service Award to Dr. Christopher Ricci from Hamilton.
As an active staff member in the Department of Anesthesia at Hamilton Health Sciences for over 30 years, Chris has provided excellent clinical service while being actively involved in numerous academic and administrative roles that are necessary to maintain the high level of care seen at an academic institution. As Clinical Teaching Unit Director, Chris helped to transform a minimally organized teaching unit into a destination prized among all residents. Chris helped to raise their cardiac, neuro and trauma anesthesia rotations to international standards.
At the hospital level, Chris’ most significant contribution has been as an active member of the Medical Staff Association, leading the advocacy for physicians in all departments of their hospital. As Vice President, and ultimately President of the Medical Staff Association (MSA), Chris advocated at the MAC and hospital Board level for the rights of physicians in Hamilton. He continually spent a significant portion of his non-clinical time at meetings in support of physicians of all departments who required assistance navigating the challenges of hospital administration. He has been known to attend physicians in need at all hours and has returned from vacation numerous times to support coworkers or attend critical meetings to represent all of his colleagues.
For the past two years, Chris has been the MSA President and maintained a very high profile at the MAC and Board level to advocate for physicians and to improve their relationship with the hospital administration. Through his diligent work with the Board and CEO, Chris has revived a collegial relationship and raised the statue of physicians to become more closely involved in the challenging management of Hamilton Health Sciences. He has left a legacy of improved communication with all levels of hospital management and regained respect for the value of physician input in hospital decision-making.
At the provincial level, Chris has been actively involved in the OMA Anesthesia section for many years, working with the executive to raise awareness of the role of anesthesiologists with the public. Chris has worked tirelessly to transform the Ontario Section meeting of the Canadian Anesthesiologists Society into an event which is highly regarded nationally.
Chris has worked behind the scenes to raise the quality of care for anesthesia providers at the University, Hospital and Provincial levels through his advocacy of physicians of all specialties, but specifically for anesthesiologists. For thirty years, he has quietly put all his energy into the cause of physician training, ongoing learning, and advocacy which has resulted in an improved respect for anesthesia providers in Ontario. Chris is most deserving of recognition by our section. We congratulate Chris for all his wonderful achievements and we’re thrilled to honour his work with our 2017 Distinguished Service Award.
Written by Dr. Stephen Puchalski, Hamilton ON