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Patients' Choice Award

When it comes to patient care, doctors should listen, hear and care, according to the president of the Patients' Association of Canada.

Two local doctors, who patients say excelled at these skills, were awarded Monday night in the second Patients' Choice Award hosted by the PAC and the Ontario Medical Association.

Dr. Barry Emara, chief of ophthalmology at Hotel DieuGrace Hospital, and Dr. Kouslai Naidoo, a family physician at the Windsor Family Health Organization, were chosen out of approximately 20 local nominations.

"Do you know any doctor that calls you at home and says, 'How are you feeling' when you're ill?" Jan Hall, the patient who nominated Naidoo, said at the event held at the University of Windsor's Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry on Sunset Drive.

"She's my angel in medicine. I can't say enough about her."

Hall, and many of her family members have been visiting the South African native since she started practising in Windsor in 2002.

When it comes to patient care Emara, who specializes in medical and surgical eye problems, said it's important to show the patient they have your full attention and put them at ease. A married couple who both had cataract surgeries last year nominated Emara.

"It's the ulitmate honour really for a patient to nominate you for something like this," said Emara, who was born in St. John's, N.L. and has been practising in Windsor since 2000.

Just a couple months old, the PAC is starting to work with health boards to help them improve medical services by bringing a patient perspective. It's the only patient-led and patient-governed organization in the country.

"In the health care system everybody has a voice," said Sholom Glouberman, president of the PAC.

"Doctors have a voice through the OMA, hospitals have a voice through the Ontario Hospital Association, but patients really haven't had an organized voice. So we're an attempt to give patients a stronger voice in health care."

Glouberman said there's not much recognition for doctor's who work well with their patients and it's important to look at the positive as well.

An advertisment was placed in The Windsor Star earlier this year asking patients to submit a letter nominating a Windsor doctor who provided exceptional patient care and leadership in the community. A panel of patients then selected the two winners who were honoured with plaques and $250 cheques to be donated to their charity of choice.

The first Patients' Choice Awards were held in Peterborough, Ont. and were awarded to Dr. Carolyn Brown and Dr. David Newport, both family doctors at the Peterborough Clinic Family Health Team. Two more ceremonies will be held this year at Niagra, Ont. and North Bay, Ont.