Dr. Simons (middle) received his award during the spring meeting on March 20, 2014 in Philadelphia.

Dr. Richard Simons receives Meritorious Achievement Award

Congratulations to Dr. Richard Simons who has received the Meritorious Achievement Award of the American College of Surgeons – Committee on Trauma (ACS-COT) for his many significant contributions to trauma in general, to trauma systems development in Canada, and for his services as an ACS-COT region chief. Dr. Simons’ award was given during the spring meeting on March 20, 2014 in Philadelphia.

Dr. Simons is being recognised primarily for his work in trauma systems development in BC and Canada. No regional trauma systems existed in BC prior to his arrival in Vancouver in 1996 but, with the assistance of a committed team at VGH and later from representatives from around the province he was able to establish Ministry support for a province-wide, regionalised trauma system ensuring rapid access to care for injured patients throughout BC. BC’s regionalised trauma system is now one of the most highly developed in North America.

Later, his work with the Trauma Association of Canada (TAC) and later with Accreditation Canada, he was instrumental in developing national guidelines for trauma systems and performance guidelines for trauma centres through revisions to the accreditation process developed by TAC in the early 1990s. He has served on the TAC accreditation committee for 10 years. His focus has now shifted to supporting trauma systems development in the developing world, primarily Ethiopia and other parts of Africa. He is the past president of the Trauma Association of Canada and the recent RCPSC McLaughlin-Gallie visiting professor promoting trauma systems of care in Canada.

“Back in the 1990s, Richard was a lone voice in the BC trauma wilderness. His vision, drive and perseverance (and huge amounts of patience) is why we have what we have today. I remember his Intro To Trauma Director and Trauma Management course he put on in 2001, working with almost nothing and was able to get Trauma Directors and Managers into the regions before they were regions. Richard did all of the heavy lifting and gave us the credibility to be taken seriously. I am extremely pleased he has received this honour.” –  Stephen Wheeler


“We are so proud to work with such an amazing leader and grateful for Richard’s contribution to trauma care locally, regionally, provincially, nationally and internationally.” – Nasira Lakha, VGH Trauma Services Manager


  1. Lois Budd says:

    Congratulations Richard for receiving this well-deserved award. You have served as a great leader and inspiration to all of us who have worked with you. Lois

  2. Dammy Damstrom-Albach says:

    A few years ago following a minor medical procedure gone awry at another hospital I was admitted to VGH Emergency requiring immediate surgery for a perforated bowel. I was not only exhausted and in a lot of pain but absolutely terrfied. After a number of tests and a significant wait Dr. Simons, who was to be the surgeon, came to speak with me. It was hard to trust it would be safe to undergo another, more major, medical procedure given that it was a surgical error that had produced my difficulties in the first place, and rightly or wrongly I was afraid that I might die. While Dr. Simons medical expertise was what was required to restore my physical health what I will always remember him for was the kind,confident, clear and absolutely non-patronizing way he carefully explained the process, dealt with my fear, and assured me that I would be OK. I remain grateful for his gentle humanity as much as for his surgical skill.

Comments are closed.