Honours and Awards

2023 Recipients

Saskatchewan Family Physician of the Year Award

Dr. Sean Groves, CCFP FCFP

Dr. Sean Groves graduated from the University of Saskatchewan in 2003 and completed his residency through the Department of Family Medicine’s newly established Prince Albert program in 2005.  He grew up in Saskatoon, but on the completion of residency, dragged his family of then 5 (now 6) to La Ronge where he still lives and practices.  Since joining the group in La Ronge, Sean has been actively involved in training medical students and residents and helped establish the La Ronge Rural and Remote Family Medicine Residency training program in 2010, for which he continues to act as Site Director.

Sean is actively involved in a number of boards and committees, including 17 years as a member of the Saskatchewan Medical Association’s Committee on Rural and Regional Practice, which he has chaired since 2022 after taking on the role from an amazing mentor and physician, Larry Sandomirsky.  He has been actively involved with the provincial Primary Care Compensation Working Group since 2021, he is a founding member and current member-at-large for the newly established SMA Section of Addiction Medicine and also acts as the Northern Medical Services Physician Lead for the La Ronge Medical Clinic site.  In 2019, Sean joined the Saskatchewan Chronic Disease Management Quality Improvement Planning Committee and continues to advise with this group.  Since 2019, he has acted as President of the SMA Far Northeast Medical Staff Association and with this role, acts as a standing member of the SHA Provincial Liaison Committee.  He has served as co-chair with another amazing mentor, Dr. Kishore Visvanathan, on the Provincial Improving Access to Specialists and Diagnostics Committee since 2013.

Sean’s main areas of clinical interest include rural generalist practice, addictions medicine, obstetrics, sport medicine, and primary care HIV and Hepatitis C management.  He is also extremely passionate about electronic medical record design and how EMRs can support local quality improvement initiatives in family medicine clinics.

Outside of medicine, Sean is actively involved in sports and community activities.  During the winter, he participates in hockey, acts as team physician for the SJHL’s Junior A Ice Wolves, and in the summer serves on the La Ronge Minor Baseball League Board, coaching the U15 and U18 baseball teams.  He and his wife Beckie raised their four children in La Ronge and Beckie currently teaches mathematics at Churchill High School. Their oldest daughter Julia, recently completed a 4 year Bachelor of Nursing degree, their son Solomon, is entering his second year of engineering at the University of Saskatchewan, their daughter Isabel is in her second year at the College of Education and their youngest daughter Pikaea (Pike – Ay – ah) graduated from high school in June and is entering her first year at the University of Saskatchewan in the College of Arts and Science.  As a family, they try to spend as much time as possible at their cabin on one of the islands of Lac La Ronge.  Sean and Beckie have traveled extensively and when they’re at home in La Ronge, spend their time working on projects around their home and cabin.

SCFP Dr. Michael Krochak Award


Saskatchewan International Physician Practice Assessment Program – SIPPA

L to R: Ka-Sheena Minott, Dr. Jon Witt, Grace Sui, Uju Asiodu, Dr. Eleanor Francis, Dr. Taofiq Segun Oyedokun, Sharman Mack, Carla Fehr

The Saskatchewan International Physician Practice Assessment (SIPPA) program was established in 2011 as a made-in-Saskatchewan Practice Ready Assessment (PRA) program for International Medical Graduate (IMG) family physicians to meet the needs of rural and underserved areas of the province.  SIPPA is a College of Medicine program housed within the Division of Continuing Medical Education.

SIPPA is also a founding member of the Medical Council of Canada’s National Assessment Collaboration on Practice Ready Assessment.

While the family physicians participating in SIPPA received their medical education and training overseas, overwhelmingly, the majority of physicians entering SIPPA are already living in Canada as permanent residents or Canadian citizens.

Approximately 75% of family physicians entering rural practice each year are via the SIPPA program and 44% of SIPPA graduates are still practicing in Saskatchewan five years after completing the SIPPA program.

SIPPA is composed of an Orientation and twelve-week Clinical Field Assessment (CFA).  Since 2011, SIPPA has assessed 520 physicians in the CFA with 507 physicians successfully moving into practice in underserved communities across Saskatchewan.  SIPPA currently assesses 45 physicians per year in three cohorts with 15 physicians in each cohort.  Physicians are assessed in the full scope of family practice, with assessments occurring in the clinic, ER, hospital and long-term care settings.  While other PRA programs shut down or were constrained during the Covid-19 pandemic, SIPPA continued assessment and increased program capacity in 2021.

As of January 2023, SIPPA assumed responsibility for the supervision of IMG family physicians who successfully complete the CFA.  Physicians under supervision are actively engaged in a continuing education program with regular feedback, coaching and a facilitated pathway to full licensure.  The three primary goals of SIPPA supervision are to improve quality of care, improve physician well-being and improve retention in rural Saskatchewan.  Supervision will be fully operational in 2025-2026 at which point it is anticipated that SIPPA will have up to 150 physicians within the program, at various stages in the continuum.

The success of the SIPPA program is made possible by an exceptional team of 72 physician assessors, four part-time physician faculty members, a Program Manager, Coordinators, and Administrative Assistants, alongside dedicated support from College of Medicine and Continuing Medical Education, the Saskatchewan Ministry of Health, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan, the Saskatchewan Health Authority, the Saskatchewan Medical Association and many more community partners.


Dr. Veronica McKinney, MD CCFP

For her contributions to patients, community, hospital and health care institutions, and Indigenous Health education.

Dr. Veronica McKinney is the Director of Northern Medical Services, a department of the College of Medicine, Univ. of Saskatchewan.  Veronica is of Cree/Métis descent and provides leadership in health development, working with rural and remote northern Saskatchewan Indigenous communities, the Saskatchewan Health Authority, and various health organizations, tribal councils and bands to support and promote the continued evolution and advancement of healthy communities, families and people.

She is an Assistant Professor and Chair of the Indigenous Health Committee, College of Medicine, Univ. of Sask., she teaches and promotes Indigenous Health at the Univ. of Saskatchewan, as well as serving on many boards and committees at local, provincial and federal levels.  She practices clinical medicine at the Westside Community Clinic in Saskatoon and has provided services as a Family Practitioner, Emergency Room Physician, Nurse and Lab Technologist over a span of 30 years.  She believes strongly in her traditional cultural teachings and applies them to her practice of medicine.  She is a strong advocate for Indigenous people’s health, having witnessed and experienced the inequities firsthand.

Dr. Emily Sullivan, CCFP

For contributions to public and physician education, as well as leadership in her community.

Dr. Sullivan is a family physician from and currently working in Saskatoon, SK.  She trained at the University of Saskatchewan where she obtained her medical degree in 2012 and Masters of Public Health in 2016.  She completed her Family Medicine residency at Academic Family Medicine in 2018 and now works at West Winds Primary Health Centre where she practices full spectrum family medicine and is privileged to teach residents and medical students.  She also works part time at Cornerstone Medical Clinic doing breastfeeding medicine, at JPCH doing newborn care, and for the Saskatchewan Health Authority as a physician leader for the Saskatoon West Network.  She has a passion for health promotion, illness and injury prevention, and knowledge translation which led her to create a public health-oriented Instagram page at the beginning of the pandemic to deliver up to date COVID-19 information.  To expand her educational leadership knowledge and capabilities, she is currently enrolled in the Clinical Educator Diploma program at the University of Saskatchewan.  When not at work, she enjoys spending time with her husband and four children.


This Award recognizes the leadership abilities of two outstanding Resident’s in their final year of Residency in Saskatchewan

Dr. Jake Allison, MD, MBA

Dr. Jake Allison, born and raised in Burlington, Ontario, is currently in his second year as a family medicine resident and serves as the Chief Resident for his cohort in the Prince Albert program.  In addition to this, he holds the position of Vice President for the Resident Doctors of Saskatchewan (RDoS) and has been a member of their board of directors since August 2021.  As of August 2022, Dr. Allison has been serving as a non-voting member of the Saskatchewan Medical Association’s board of directors.  Additionally, he was elected as the Liaison Representative for Family Medicine by the Resident Doctors of Canada for the College of Family Physicians of Canada’s Section of Residents for the 2022/2023 academic year.

Dr. Allison earned his Doctor of Medicine degree from the American University of Antigua, as well as a Bachelor’s degree in Human Health Sciences.  He also holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration, with a specialization in Healthcare Management, and a Graduate Certificate in Business Administration from Walden University.  His academic journey began at Western University, where he obtained an Honours Specialization Bachelor of Science degree in Genetics.  Most recently, he completed a fellowship in The REACH Institute’s Patient-Centered Mental Health in Pediatric Primary Care program.

Dr. Cadence MacPherson, BSc MD

Dr. Cadence MacPherson is currently completing her final year of Family Medicine Residency in Saskatoon.  Although she’s originally from Regina, it is the people, the land, and the living skies that have secured her intent to practice in Saskatchewan.

As a child, Cadence viewed Saskatchewan through rose-coloured glasses as a safe place for all.  However, upon returning to Saskatchewan after completing her undergraduate degree in Montreal, she became acutely aware of the colonization and inequity that persisted.  This realization motivated her to learn about these injustices and work towards improved healthcare access and reconciliation.

During medical school, Cadence participated in a Global Health Certificate program, gaining valuable knowledge through placements in Buffalo River Dene Nation and rural Queensland, Australia.

These experiences ignited her passion for patient advocacy and care for underserved populations, leading her to pursue additional training during her residency in HIV/Hep C, pediatric mental health, and women’s health.

Outside of clinical practice, Cadence holds leadership roles in groups focused on recruiting future family physicians and promoting Saskatchewan Family Medicine residency programs.  She also contributes to committees dedicated to physician wellness.

In her personal life, Cadence enjoys adventuring with her partner, being walked by her two dogs, and expertly overwatering her thriving collection of plants.  She is endlessly thankful to have had so many opportunities to learn and grow through her medical education.  She is committed to incorporating pillars of patient advocacy, care for underserved populations, and family physician recruitment and wellness into her future practice in Saskatchewan, aiming to make a lasting impact on the health and wellbeing of her community.


This Award recognizes the leadership abilities of one outstanding medical student in their final year of study at the University of Saskatchewan

Dr. Shannon Haughian, BSc MD

Shannon is a newly graduated medical student who grew up in Saskatoon and completed medical school at the University of Saskatchewan.  She was drawn to family medicine early on in medical school as a result of many amazing mentors and experiences she had as a co-president of the Family Medicine Club. Through her role with the Family Medicine Club, she helped organize numerous events for her classmates to learn about key aspects of family medicine, including advocacy, practical skills, rural and remote care, and working with marginalized populations.  She was also part of the Indigenous, Rural and Remote Health Group and the Advocates Bringing Light and Education to Disabilities group during medical school where she helped bring awareness to issues of people with developmental disabilities and people in rural and remote locations accessing primary care. Shannon also participated in peer mentorship activities, helping mentor students in lower years. She demonstrated her interest in global and community health through her involvement with the Global Health Conference Planning Committee for a conference on “Racism in Healthcare”.

Shannon also enjoys a number of activities outside of medicine, including playing on several soccer teams, camping, playing board games with friends and family, cross country skiing, and spending time in nature.

Shannon is excited to begin her residency in family medicine in Saskatoon this summer and to continue to learn about advocacy and leadership in primary care.  She looks forward to continuing to advocate for the implementation of the Patient’s Medical Home Model in Saskatchewan, as well as take on new advocacy opportunities.