School of Medicine duo honoured at Scottish Health Awards

Wednesday 8 November 2023

Two members of staff from the School of Medicine at the University of St Andrews have been honoured at the 2023 Scottish Health Awards.

Senior Lecturer Dr Andrew Blaikie and Honorary Senior Lecturer Dr Joanna Bowden received the accolades at the annual awards, held in Edinburgh on Thursday, 2 November. Run by the Daily Record in partnership with NHS Scotland and the Scottish Government, the awards aim to recognise those who embody the high quality of health and social care services delivered by the NHS to people in Scotland, as well as further afield.

Dr Blaikie, a consultant ophthalmologist with NHS Fife and lead for the Arclight Project based in the School of Medicine, received the Global Citizenship Award.

The Arclight Project enables those working in low- and middle-income countries to equip, train and empower health workers of all grades to confidently diagnose and manage eye and ear disease. Dr Blaikie received the award in recognition of his work, in collaboration with a range of NGOs, delivering primary eye care to community and mid-level healthcare workers in sub-Saharan African.  

Fellow ophthalmology consultant and colleague Dr Peter Wilson accepted the award on behalf of Dr Blaikie. Dr Blaikie sent a pre-recorded video message from Masvingo Province, Zimbabwe, where he is currently working with CBM Global Eye Care.

Dr Blaikie said: “I am delighted to see the work of the Arclight Project team recognised through this award, highlighting the need to address the huge burden of blindness in so many of the poorer regions of the world.”

He also expressed his appreciation for the contributions of his NHS Fife and University colleagues.

Dr Bowden, a consultant in Palliative Medicine at NHS Fife since 2013, received the Doctor Award, which recognises individual doctors providing excellent NHS care in Scotland.

Alongside supporting the clinical care of patients with life-limiting illnesses in all care and residential setting across Fife, Dr Bowden co-leads a programme of palliative care research in Fife, with recent collaborations with University of St Andrews colleagues.

Accepting her award, Dr Bowden thanked Fife Director of Health and Social Care Nicky Connor for her nomination. She emphasised the integrated team effort behind Palliative Care in Fife and thanked her colleagues from across a range of services and sectors.

Dr Bowden said: “Receiving the award has been a huge honour. It reflects the transformational change that our service has led over the last few years, striving to do more for more people in Fife who are nearing the end of their lives.

“Building stronger collaborations over the last year with colleagues at the University of St Andrews has been exciting and will enable us to contribute meaningfully to a better evidence base for palliative care practice.”

Issued by the University of St Andrews Communications Office.

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