Dr. Peter B. R. Allen Lifetime Achievement in Health Award

Nominate an Albertan who has made a lifetime of positive contributions to the health-care system and improved patient outcomes.

Important dates

The nomination period for the inaugural Dr. Peter B. R. Allen Lifetime Achievement in Health Award is expected to open fall 2023.


The Dr. Peter B. R. Allen Lifetime Achievement in Health Award recognizes the contributions Albertans have made to improve the health-care system and patient outcomes.

Eligible nominations are from across all care sectors, clinical backgrounds and designations, such as:

  • nurses who have provided, advocated and led improvements in care in emergency rooms or patient homes
  • doctors who have improved the way patients access care in their communities
  • health-care workers who have dedicated their lives to putting patients at the centre of their work with personalized, individual care, using cutting-edged techniques and advocating those techniques be made available to Albertans


This award recognizes the extraordinary efforts and achievements of an Albertan who has dedicated their life to improving the health and well-being of people in this province. Eligible nominees may come from diverse backgrounds across all health sectors, clinical professions and designations.

The nomination must demonstrate:

  • a strong connection to the medical community in Alberta and a demonstrable impact on the health of Albertans
  • a lasting impact of contributions throughout their career
  • demonstration of leadership that focused on empowering and uplifting those who work on their teams
  • mentorship of emerging members of Alberta’s health-care and/or life sciences sectors.


To be considered for the award, a nominee must be:

  • someone whose career in health spans more than 20 years
  • a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident, residing in Alberta with substantial roots in the province and deep appreciation for its nature and people

You cannot nominate:

  • yourself
  • someone who is deceased
  • an elected federal, provincial or municipal representative while they are in office

How to nominate

To nominate someone, read the guidelines and complete the form.

Step 1. Read the eligibility guidelines (above)

Step 2. Complete the nomination package

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Download and complete the Dr. Peter B. R. Allen Lifetime Achievement in Health Award nomination form.

Include the following documents in your nomination package:

  1. two letters of support from at least two people who know and support your nominee’s achievements
  2. the nominee’s resume

Step 3. Submit the nomination package

Email your nomination package to [email protected].

In the email subject line, put ‘Dr. Peter B. R. Allen Lifetime Achievement in Health Award Nomination.’

Include the nominee's last name in the file name of the attachments.

You can also mail your nomination package to:

Alberta Health, Research and Innovation Branch
19th Floor, ATB Place North
10025 Jasper Avenue NW
Edmonton, AB, T5J 1S6

Nominee selection

After all nominations have been received, a selection panel, consisting of health-care leaders and experts, will review them. The panel will recommend a short list of candidates to the Minister of Health for final selection.

Award recipients

Dr. Keith Aronyk, October 2022

Dr. Keith Aronyk, the first specialty-trained pediatric neurosurgeon in Northern Alberta is the recipient of the first Dr. Peter B.R. Allen Lifetime Achievement in Health in health.

Dr. Aronyk’s dedication and vision advanced neurological care for Albertans of all ages, especially at the University of Alberta Hospital. Dr. Aronyk has enriched Alberta with his compassionate care, outstanding skills and his drive to attract the best neurosurgeons and neurologists to his home province. Albertans now have access to top-notch neurological treatments and surgeries, thanks in part to his life-long passion and dedication to improving the lives of patients and families.

During his tenure as the clinical department head of neurosciences at the U of A Hospital, Dr. Aronyk was instrumental in bringing some of the best doctors and technology in the world to create a centre of excellence for brain care. This improved treatments for conditions including brain injuries and tumours, stroke, epilepsy, Parkinson disease and multiple sclerosis.

Together with the University Hospital Foundation, Dr. Aronyk helped fundraise $70 million to introduce state-of-the art care at the brain centre, such as the first stroke ambulance in Canada. The brain centre also includes the Gamma Knife radiosurgery unit where the medical team uses highly targeted radiation to treat patients with brain tumours and other conditions. This technology in many cases eliminates the need for traditional surgery and allows patients to resume normal activities almost immediately.

Born in Wetaskiwin, Dr. Aronyk graduated from the University of Alberta Faculty of Medicine in 1977. Dr. Aronyk is currently a clinical professor at the university’s department of surgery and continues to perform procedures at the Gamma Knife Centre.

  • Neurosurgeon awarded lifetime achievement in health (October 5, 2022)

About Dr. Peter B. R. Allen

Portrait of Dr. Peter Allen

This award is inspired by the achievements of Dr. Peter B. R. Allen, an Alberta neurosurgeon with almost 40 years of service.

Dr. Peter Baker Roderick Allen grew up in the small mining town of Coleman, in Alberta’s Rocky Mountains, where his lifelong passion for Alberta’s natural beauty and its hardworking people flourished. Inspired by his town’s doctor and surgeon, Dr. Allen attended the University of Alberta (U of A) and graduated with a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) in 1956.

He began his surgical training at the U of A, winning the Royal College of Surgeon’s coveted Medal of Surgery in 1958 for work on liver disease. In 1960, Dr. Allen pursued a fellowship in neurosurgery at the famed Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. In 1963, he returned to Edmonton to start his neurosurgical practice and fulfil his goal of giving back to the people of Alberta. He pursued a rewarding career at the U of A until his retirement in 2001.

Family and colleagues remember Dr. Allen as a mountain of a man for his vision and determined leadership that built and nurtured relationships across different health professions. He became the Divisional Director of Neurosurgery in 1969 and started up the first formal training program in neurosurgery in Alberta under the auspices of the Royal College. He served as president of the Alberta and then Canadian Neurosurgical Societies, and was an examiner and then chairman of the Examination Committee in Neurosurgery for the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

Dr. Allen was also vice-president, medical, at the U of A hospital. During his tenure from 1985 to 1990, he was instrumental in leading the work to build and open a modern and fully equipped neurosurgical intensive care unit that could provide Albertans with leading edge treatments. The unit was named after him in 2012.

Dr. Allen died in 2013.

It is noted that Dr. Allen’s greatest legacy was the great care he took in his surgical and clinical service in neurosurgery. A ‘surgeon’s surgeon’, he was a master in the operating room and a superb instructor. His judgement was legendary, and his rapport with patients, their families and coworkers of every type, unequalled. These skills live on in many professionals trained by Dr. Allen, who remember fondly not only his expertise, but also his kindness and generosity.

Dr. Allen had a natural affinity with people – no one was ‘ordinary’ to Peter. He listened closely, asked many questions, and showed interest in their passions, concerns and fears, seeing them as whole people rather than just patients with a neurosurgical condition he was called upon to treat.

This account of Dr. Allen’s accomplishments is provided courtesy of Dr. J. Max Findlay and Dr. Allen’s family.


Connect with the Ministry of Health about the award:

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-427-0826
Email [email protected]