Special Awards and Tributes

It is an exciting time to be at Lakeridge Health.  We are thankful for the many people in the community who have helped us achieve success in 2017/18. The unwavering commitment of patients, families, health care teams, the Board, the Foundations, Auxiliaries, volunteers and community partners continues to enable us to deliver safe, high-quality care to the people of Durham Region. 

This year we recognize two extraordinary community members for their commitment and dedication to Lakeridge Health. 

Dr. George Blake Memorial and Mentorship Award

Dr. George Blake

Born in Green Island Jamaica in 1922, Dr. Blake inspired many with his enthusiasm and involvement in various pursuits.

He was a Royal Air Force veteran, a Buddhist monk, a photographer, an author, and a PhD psychologist who did early work in behaviour therapy.

In 1967, he founded the original Pinewood Centre, which today as part of the Lakeridge Health system helps adults, youth and women work through their challenges with addictions or mental health.

What Dr. Blake started more than 50 years ago has grown to include more than 13 community locations from Scarborough and across Durham Region offering a range of programs to support people.

At Pinewood Centre, teams work with people in a caring environment to develop a personal treatment plan, because everyone has their own needs and goals.

Treatment plans may include educational and motivational workshops and group sessions that give the tools needed to achieve and maintain a healthy lifestyle. The services and programs offered at the various Pinewood Centre locations make a tremendous difference to those who access the services, and our community.

Sadly Dr. Blake passed away in January of this year.

To honour his work and his contribution to the community, Lakeridge Health is pleased to announce that a tribute to  Dr. Blake at Pinewood Centre at 300 Centre Street - the original location of the program. While the details have not been finalized, we know the memorial will include a portrait of Dr. Blake, painted by his daughter-in-law, along with an accompanying plaque that memorializes his contributions.             

In addition, in honour of Dr. Blake’s contributions and his strong support of advocacy in support of higher education, and in recognition of the United Nations International Decade of People of African Descent (2015-2024), a mentorship program for youths of African-Canadian descent will be established in Dr. Blake's honour.

This initiative will help to support these individuals in pursuing careers in medicine and health sciences while recognizing the important contribution of the diverse community in the future of Lakeridge Health. 

We will work with community organizations and our colleagues at Durham’s academic institutions over the coming months to design the program, with a goal of having it in place for the 2019 academic year.

"This is an excellent legacy for my father," said Yashin Blake, son of the late Dr. George Blake. "This special memorial and mentorship will not only inspire others, but also will help to empower young community leaders pursuing careers in medicine and health sciences. I am grateful that Dad's memory, and his work, will live on through these capable individuals."


Local Health Care Hero

We are pleased to introduce a new tradition: the Local Health Care Hero Award.  This new award will recognize individuals or groups of individuals who:

  • Are dedicated and committed to supporting, promoting and raising awareness of the unique health care needs of the communities served;
  • Embrace similarities, celebrate differences and consider fellow community members with an open mind and a willingness to assist with caring and compassion; and
  • Contribute to furthering the health care needs of the community in which the AGM is being held.

We are pleased to present our first Local Health Care Hero award to Dr. Romas Stas.

Dr. Stas

Dr. Stas is a distinguished and long-serving physician at Ajax Pickering Hospital and is an active advocate for health care within the Ajax and Pickering communities. He has been caring for patients in the community through his family practice and through his work at Ajax Pickering Hospital for decades.

He recently celebrated his 46th year of practice at the hospital.

Dr. Stas has held many significant roles during his distinguished career. He has served in numerous leadership roles including Associate Chief of Staff at Ajax Pickering Hospital and more recently serving on the North Pickering Health and Wellness Centre Advisory Committee.

He is very well known within this community and has been a long-time champion of keeping health care close to home for people living and working in Ajax and Pickering communities.

“I am honoured and thankful to receive this award,” said Dr. Romas Stas. “We have a golden opportunity to develop an integrated health care system across all of Durham that will be the envy of the province and perhaps the world, where all hospitals in Lakeridge Health will have an integral role to play – where every resident will be able to receive all their health services right here in their own community."