Honours a physician who, during his/her career, has shown initiative, leadership and involvement in projects that embody the spirit of genuine partnership and benefit the overall community. Significant contributions to support the mission of health to the community may include research, teaching, practice, and/or outreach programs.

We have cancelled the June 4th Physician Recognition Event this year, in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Previous Winners


Dr. Valerie Primeau, Psychiatrist
Dr. Valerie Primeau has made a real difference in the community by implementing the Integrated Care Pathway on alcohol use disorder and depression with the DA VINCI program at NBRHC. Thanks in large part to Dr. Primeau, North Bay was one of the first community hospitals (and the only rural community hospital) to implement this highly effective program. She also assisted with the implementation of the withdrawal management beds at NBRHC and is the Early Intervention in Psychosis psychiatrist for the District of Nipissing.

More recently, as the physician lead of the North Bay Rapid Access Addiction Medicine (RAAM) clinic she has increased capacity in addiction medicine in this community and is working on increasing capacity at spoke site communities such as Powassan, Mattawa, Temiskaming Shores and Sturgeon Falls. She has been very generous with her time to train physicians, and lends her expertise in addiction medicine to facilitate the planning of North Bay’s and its spoke sites’ RAAM clinics. She has become a mentor to many physicians in the process.

In order to get the RAAM clinics up and running, she has worked with many community partners across the region. In North Bay, these agencies include the Community Counselling Centre and the North Bay Recovery Home – who have proven themselves to be enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and resourceful partners. Dr. Primeau makes herself extremely available to physicians and staff alike at the RAAM clinics in the area. Further demonstration of her commitment to building partnerships in the community as well as her passion for treating concurrent disorders, is the weekly psychiatric consultation time she provides at the North Bay Recovery Home.

Dr. Primeau is heavily involved in the education of medical learners: as a preceptor as well as North Bay Site Director, Academic Coordinator and Psychotherapy Coordinator for the NOSM Psychiatry Residency Program. She is also highly engaged with the North Bay LEG as an executive board member and treasurer. Dr. Primeau tirelessness in spreading her passion for treating concurrent disorders has had a significant impact on North Bay and surrounding communities and a huge impact on me personally.


Dr. John Andrews, Internal Medicine Physician
Fairly soon after arriving in North Bay to start his Internal Medicine Practice, with a focus on cardiology, Dr. Andrews started a community outreach to provide assistance to patients with cardiac problems. Assisted initially by Dr. Sam Stewart, the North Bay and District Cardiac Fitness Club was founded in 1977 and Dr. Andrews has faithfully supervised its leadership, week in and week out for the last 40 years. He continues to facilitate once a week at the Memorial Gardens.

This unique organization pioneered a multi-faceted program for ongoing support for cardiac patients with their broad spectrum of individual needs. In particular there was an emphasis, right from the beginning, on the importance of reducing risk factors, providing medically supervised exercise programs, educating on stress reduction, nutrition, education and enhanced fitness as a desirable goal of reducing future cardiac events and assisting members and their families back to optimal health. The club offers hope and support from a mental health perspective for patients during the critical recovery phase of their initial cardiac event. At its peak it has had 165 members.

The Cardiac Fitness Club, under Dr. Andrews direction, progressively also developed a unique sense of caring and mutual respect amongst its members…becoming like a supportive family. His availability and compassion to all has not gone unnoticed. Dr. Andrews is known as a man of few words but he’s got a big heart.

Dr. H. Grant McKercher, Care of the Elderly Physician
Dr. McKercher is a family physician who has practiced in Northeastern Ontario since 1988, initially in solo family practice (1988 – 1997) and subsequently in a focused practice in Care of the Elderly and seniors’ mental health after completing a re-entry PGY-3 year in 1998. He joined the faculty of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine in 2007, recognizing the need to provide clinical teaching opportunities for medical learner who might not otherwise have exposure to a care of the elderly practice in the Northeast. In 2012, he accepted an appointment as the Coordinator, Care of the Elder, for the PGY-3 Enhanced Skills Program in the Postgraduate Education Unit at NOSM. In 2016, he was awarded a Certificate of Added Competency in Care of the Elderly from the College.

Dr. McKercher has been a stalwart in promoting and building capacity for improved health care of the elderly not only in his home base of North Bay but also across Northeastern Ontario. Whether he is wearing the “hat” of a clinician, scholar, teacher, researcher, mentor, or advocate, he embodies and exhibits the same unwavering commitment, passion and dedication.

As a clinician, Dr. McKercher has provided consultations in the community, long term care, hospital and home visit settings. He is just as comfortable working alongside a medical colleague as he is in collaboration with multidisciplinary team, patients, families and caregivers. He is well respected and regarded by his colleagues across Northern Ontario and cherished by his patients, their families and caregivers.

Whether Dr. McKercher is in his role as Head of Services for Seniors’ Psychiatry and Complex Continuing Care Service with the NBRHC, as a board member or president of the local and regional chapter of the Alzheimer Society or local champion for Behaviour Supports Ontario, he has been attuned to the importance of the advocacy for health care of the elderly. He has been a resolute and steady voice over the years, making a case for an highlighting the importance of seniors care to the highest levels of administration and has been influential in establishing the NBRHC as a leader in Seniors Mental Health in Northeastern Ontario.

Dr. McKercher has earned the respect of those that he cares for, of those he works alongside and of the community at large.


Dr. Joel Carter, Physician
Dr. Joel Carter has been practicing family medicine in North Bay for 20 years. He went to Medical School in Ottawa, and graduated from residency in 1995. He came to North Bay as a medical resident for a rotation and returned to our community to start his practice in family medicine in North Bay in 1997. Dr. Carter was Head of Family Medicine from 2003 – 2013. He has a passion for teaching, and has worked in leadership roles with the Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM family medicine program. He was the NOSM North Bay Site Director for North Bay program from 2007 to 2014 and during this time he was faced with numerous challenges. This includes the decline of family doctors in Northern Ontario, especially in North Bay. As a leader, he was effective in getting residents into the Family Medicine program who ultimately established practices in our community. This had a real positive effect in helping patients who were orphaned by retiring doctors and those that were looking for Family Doctors. He presented to City Counsel to increase efforts to recruit more physicians to North Bay.


Dr. Paul Preston, Medical Director & Chief of Department of General & Family Practice
Dr. Paul Preston, with his wonderful sense of humour, calm, and guidance, has been practicing in North Bay since 1986. He has worked in a wide range of settings and roles over his many years. Over and above his own family practice he was an Emergency Department Physician, physician for the North Bay Jail, Medical Director of Nipissing Manor, Assistant Professor for Northern Ontario School of Medicine, and the Primary Care Physician Lead for the North East Local Health Integration Network. Dr. Preston also volunteered with the Focus Community Coalition in presenting information to secondary school students for the prevention of harm from alcohol and drugs. His initiatives and collaborations in critical health advancements have made him a highly valued and progressive member of North Bay’s community.


Dr. Michael Leckie, Family Physician
Dr. Leckie has been practicing as a General Practitioner in his hometown since 1976. He has been a community icon for over three decades working on various projects and fundraising initiatives including YMCA/YWCA fundraising, our new state-of-the-art hospital, Cancer Care, eye nucleation and the community hospice development. His work both in the community and with his patients has impacted many. Experiencing his own cancer diagnosis in 2011 he shared his personal story via YouTube video illustrating his journey. Sharing his own story, he has touched so many loves and has empowered people to face their cancer diagnosis and live in the moment. His generosity, sense of humour, selflessness and love of life are contagious and inspires everyone around to him.


Dr. Dave Lamont, General Surgeon
Dr. Dave Lamont has received the Community Partners Program Award for his work as a community physician and fundraising for cancer research. He has worked in North Bay as a General Surgeon since 1991 and has treated thousands of patients. His clinical skills and surgical expertise are exemplary. As a clinician his primary concern is always for his patients, and as a colleague he never hesitates to assist or help when needed. Dr. Lamont has held administrative roles throughout his career including Chief of Department and Head of Service. He continues to learn and perfect his surgical skills including abdominal reconstruction and skin grafting that will improve the health and well being of community members. Dr. Lamont and his wife Sue have participated in the Ride to Conquer Cancer over the last few years. Through their efforts they have raised over $31 000 to the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation that support the work of the Campbell Family Cancer Research Institute, one of the top 5 cancer research centres in the world.


Dr. André Rivet, Emergency Medicine Physician & Family Physician
Dr. Andre Rivet has received the Community Award for his outstanding contributions to the people of this community. Dr. Rivet carries a very large family practice and his patients love him. He also carries a full-time position as an Emergency Department Physician at the NBRHC, works at the sexual health clinic once a week and also holds a circumsion clinic once a month. His work ethic motivates his peers and colleagues he works with to work as hard as they can, making everyone around him better at what they do. Dr. Rivet sees over 1000 patient’s a month, he feels a true sense of commitment to his patients and the community.