Back to the future and back in action at the 2022 OCA Awards Gala

On Saturday, January 28, 2023, the Ontario Chiropractic Association (OCA) welcomed guests in person to celebrate being “back to the future and back in action” at the 2022 OCA Awards Gala. More than 130 guests gathered in the Ballroom of the InterContinental Toronto Centre for the black-tie event featuring an awards ceremony, entertainment, three-course dinner, and dancing.

“It was great seeing so many friends and colleagues in person after so many years. Nobody aged a day!,” says Dr. Jeff Lustig, a 40 Years of Service recipient practising in Peterborough.

The evening began with opening remarks from OCA’s Board Chair Dr. Tony Tartaglia, who highlighted the current state of the profession and new OCA initiatives. These initiatives include adopting a statement that encompasses leading practice commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), and commercializing OCA Aspire to ensure continued support for education, research, and advocacy.

Dr. Tony Tartaglia, OCA Board Chair
Dr. Tony Tartaglia, OCA Board Chair

Caroline Brereton, our CEO also shared opening remarks, looking back at how the OCA supported its members in 2022, the value of our partnerships, and how OCA has set a foundation to propel the role of chiropractic care forward in 2023 and beyond.

Caroline Brereton, CEO, OCA
Caroline Brereton, CEO, OCA

The gala’s emcee, James Cunningham, brought humour and unwavering energy, which had guests laughing, and scratching their heads during the lighthearted chiropractic trivia portion of the evening.

James Cunningham, 2022 OCA Awards Gala emcee
James Cunningham, 2022 OCA Awards Gala emcee

During dinner, members, partners, and guests helped recognize 25-, 40-, and 50- years of service recipients, and enjoyed watching highlights from each respective year, including historical events, top movies, and Billboard Hot 100 hits.

The more formal part of the Gala was marked with the 2022 OCA Awards ceremony, recognizing winners in the following award categories:

  1. Chiropractic Champion Award: Dr. Gary Goodyear
  2. Patient Care Award: Dr. Michelle Campbell
  3. Early Career Chiropractor Award: Dr. Kirstie Griffiths
  4. Chiropractic Health Assistant (CHA) of the Year Award: Lanna Abbott
  5. Research and Academic Award: Dr. Peter Emary
  6. Community Service Award: Dr. Michèle Corriveau
  7. Michael Brickman Heart & Hands Award: Dr. Demetry Assimakopoulos
  8. Chiropractor of the Year Award: Dr. Ken Brough

We were pleased to have our key partners represented at the gala, including the CCA, CCPA, CCO, CMCC, CCRF, and University of Guelph. They shared best wishes and future-focused remarks and helped us recognize all award winners and years of service recipients.

2022 OCA Awards Gala plaques

“Receiving the 2022 Research and Academic Award from the OCA means a lot, especially to someone who graduated 20 years ago to start clinical practice and had no interest in getting into research,” says Dr. Peter Emary, chiropractor practising in Cambridge. “But after publishing my first case report in the JCCA in 2009, this sparked an interest in research that has led me on my current academic journey, culminating with the recent completion of my PhD in Health Research Methodology. I look forward to what research and academic opportunities lie ahead.”

“Receiving the Michael Brickman Heart and Hands Award is one of the highlights of my career,” says Dr. Demetry Assimakopoulos, winner of the Dr. Michael Brickman Heart & Hands Award. “Being nominated and voted for by my peers is a genuine honour that I will never forget. Thank you to those who nominated me, and to the OCA for their continued support.”

The evening concluded with the 2022 Chiropractor of the Year video, celebrating award winner Dr. Ken Brough and his journey, accomplishments, and contributions to the profession over the last 30 years.

Dr. Ken Brough, left, Chiropractor of the Year 2022 award winner
Dr. Ken Brough, left, Chiropractor of the Year 2022 award winner
Dr. Ken Brough, Chiropractor of the Year 2022 award winner
Dr. Ken Brough, Chiropractor of the Year 2022 award winner

The 2022 OCA Patient Care Award winner Dr. Michelle Campbell, who practises in London, summed up the sentiment of the evening and profession, when she said: “Winning the OCA Patient Care Award is a tremendous honour for which I will forever be grateful. As chiropractors, we don’t do this vital work for the accolades, but it is much appreciated when our colleagues recognize a well-done job. Diversity, inclusion, and putting our patients first are what matters. I am truly humbled to be the 2022 OCA Patient Care Award Winner.”

The 2022 OCA Awards Gala would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of OCA staff, Awards Committee members, and partners who helped to make it happen. We also extend a special thanks to members who submitted nominations and voted for the member’s choice award nominees.

2022 OCA Awards Gala winners
In the above photo, pictured from left to right: Dr. Peter Emary, Dr. Tony Tartaglia, Caroline Brereton, Dr. Michelle Campbell, Dr. Kirstie Griffiths, Dr. Michèle Corriveau, Dr. Gary Goodyear, Dr. Ken Brough, and James Cunningham (centre)

Watch for additional comments from some of our award winners and years of service recipients on our Instagram feed and check our Awards Gala page to learn more about our event, awards, and winners.

Congratulations to all 2022 OCA Award winners! See you next year.