Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre’s Chief of Surgery & Board Director, Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation, Dr. Mark Thibert, recently returned from Spain, where he was awarded the President’s Coin from CIOMR (the Interallied Confederation of Medical Reserve Officers). Recognizing his work on the Early Management of Ballistic War Injuries, the award celebrated Dr. Thibert’s work, but also put the Health Sciences Centre’s regional trauma centre on the map, so to speak.
Dr. Thibert has been practicing medicine since 1984, with a specialty in plastics. He has been a member of the reserves for many years, completing a tour of duty in Afghanistan from July to October 2008. He currently serves as a Medical Commander, leading a variety of training exercises across Western Canada. He has also been the Medical Commander for the Canadian military contingent at the Nijmegen Marches in the Netherlands that take place every July, where participants walk the equivalent of a marathon daily, wearing full combat gear for four days. Additionally, he is the plastic surgery advisor to the Surgeon General of Canada and a member of the NATO COMEDS (Committee of the Chiefs of Military Medical Services in NATO) for military surgical training.
As he said, “Over the past number of years we’ve seen fatalities from battlefield injuries decrease, but the number of amputations was increasing. Thanks to the modern techniques in management of injuries that we’ve recently started using, amputations have decreased by 50%.”
Because of his expertise in this subject, Dr. Thibert will be leading a workshop on complex wound management at NATO headquarters in February 2017 and will also head up a fellowship program in battlefield surgery that will be accredited by the European Medical Union. He is undeniably proud of the recognition he received, but is even prouder of how this award brings the highest accolades to the Health Sciences Centre. “We truly do have a world class facility here and our physicians are receiving recognition for work that goes beyond our four walls; making a difference internationally to thousands of people. Residents of Northwestern Ontario are in good hands.”