2009 – Ontario

The visionary leadership of Dr Dona Rae Bowers from Ottawa, Ontario has been fundamental to her success. Dedicated to an inner-city patient population in her role as Director of Health Services at Somerset West Community Health Centre, Dona is a champion of immigration health issues and HIV/AIDS. She has opened doors to new and enhanced health care for her patients as a result of her ‘creativity, bravery, persistence and inspiration’.

Dona completed her medical degree at McMaster University in 1984. She received her certification with the College in 1986 and her Fellowship in 1997. Throughout her career she has supported the development of inter-professional health care teams as a model to best meet the needs of her patients.

Together with her team, Dona delivers community-based programs: Southeast Asian Outreach Health Services, HIV Supportive Care, Newcomer Health Clinic and Nutrition for a Healthy Pregnancy to name a few. She also spearheaded a groundbreaking project to improve access to primary care for disadvantaged residents.

Dona is an Assistant Professor with the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Ottawa. She founded the OMA Section of Community Health Centre Physicians and has delivered numerous presentations on CHC’s as well as collaborative practice. She still finds time to provide full obstetrical care for her own patients as well as those of her referring colleagues.

Dona is married to Lt. Col. Bob Gagnon, now retired. When away from work, Dona enjoys liturgical music, choral singing, travelling and spending time in her garden.

“How honoured and humbled I feel to be the recipient of the Family Physician of the Year Award. It continues to be a privilege to be invited to share in the life journey of our clients. An equal privilege is to share the passion and commitment of my colleagues who exemplify initiative and creativity to ensure the most competent primary care is provided to our inner city clients. The days are immensely rewarding and never boring.”

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