ACEM Medal awarded to Dr Barry Gunn and Dr John Bonning

The ACEM Medal is the highest award that can be bestowed to an ACEM Fellow in recognition of distinguished service to the College.The award is made by the ACEM Board, following receipt of a nomination from the Council of Advocacy, Practice and Partnerships (CAPP), the Council of Education (COE) or ACEM Board members. A maximum of three medals per year can be awarded.

Both recipients of the medal in 2022 have long histories of service to emergency medicine and to ACEM.

Dr Bonning has been a specialist emergency physician for nearly 20 years, and a doctor for 30 years. He currently works at Waikato Hospital, where he was Director of Emergency Medicine from 2010 until 2017. He was Chair of the New Zealand Council of Medical Colleges from 2018 until May 2022. He began his involvement in ACEM’s governance in 2007, when he was elected to Council, and has been a member of the board since it was established in 2014. Dr Bonning was the Chair of the Aotearoa New Zealand Faculty of ACEM until 2018, when he was elected as the first President-Elect of ACEM from Aotearoa New Zealand. He will attend his 50th and final board meeting in October this year when he completes his term as Immediate Past President.

ACEM President Dr Clare Skinner said, “Dr John Bonning is truly deserving of an ACEM Medal.”

Dr Bonning’s ACEM Presidency, from 2019–2021, was conducted primarily during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic response.

Dr Skinner said, “John certainly didn’t get the presidency he expected. But he provided the College with steady, calm and human leadership during what were probably the most stressful time in most of our careers. We thank you, John, for your courageous leadership during very challenging times and for your tireless patient-centred advocacy for emergency medicine and public health systems.”

Dr Barry Gunn has been a FACEM since 1999 and is the Chair of the Council of Education and the Censor-in-Chief, a role he has held since July 2015. Prior to this he was the Regional Deputy Censor of Victoria from March to December 2010 and the Regional Censor of Victoria from December 2010 to July 2015.

Dr Skinner said, “Barry deeply embodies the spirit of the ACEM Medal with his considerable service to the College. He and the Council of Education showed amazing leadership during the peak of the pandemic response, adapting the FACEM training program and College examinations to allow trainees to progress, despite the limitations caused by COVID-19.”

After obtaining his ACEM fellowship, Barry spent 18 months at St Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, Canada. For the last twenty years Dr Gunn has worked at Western Health at Sunshine and Footscray Hospitals, including seven years as the Director of Emergency Medicine Training (DEMT).

Dr Skinner said, “Most people only know Dr Barry Gunn as the person who signs their certificates and sends out emails on exams and assessments. But I know Barry in real life, and he is one of the warmest, kindest and most caring individuals I know. We thank you very much, Barry, for your years of service to the College and offer our warmest congratulations on receiving the medal.”

The ACEM Medal is cast in a precious metal, with the College crest on its obverse side. On the reverse side are the words, “For distinguished service to the College”, the recipient’s name and the date of award. Presentation of the medal is made by the President to each recipient at the annual ACEM College Ceremony.

Previous recipients include College founders Associate Professor Joseph Epstein and Dr Tom Hamilton, and Past President Associate Professor Tony Lawler.

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