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Atlantic Mentorship Network - Pain & Addiction first annual Dr. John Fraser Award for Excellence in Mentorship

The Atlantic Mentorship Network - Pain & Addiction (AMN) has recently created the programs first annual Dr. John Fraser Award for Excellence in Mentorship, with the first recipient to be none other than Dr. John Fraser. The award was created and intended to honour someone who embodies positive characteristics and qualities of a mentor.

It is the vision of the AMN for Atlantic Canadians who live with, or are at risk for developing chronic pain, addictions and other mental illnesses, have their needs met. The AMN will support health care providers to enact this vision by providing care with courage, skill, compassion, and wisdom, and they attribute Dr. Fraser for helping them get there.

“John has been such a supportive person to many health care providers over the years. We have not named this award after him solely to honour who he is and what he has accomplished, but also to articulate the qualities that we hope we can emulate as mentors, as clinicians, as friends, and colleagues and as human beings,” said Dr. Sam Hickcox, Medical Director, AMN.

Dr. Fraser has worked as a family physician, addiction medicine provider, chronic pain specialist, teacher, builder, creator, innovator, a loving husband, caring father, and friend to many. His career has encompassed decades of caring for people who are far too often devalued and dehumanized by society – the most vulnerable, impoverished, and isolated, who struggle with addiction, pain, and mental illness.

Dr. Fraser puts the humanity and dignity of his patients before all else. He was instrumental in starting up a number of clinical services, which were the first of their kind in Nova Scotia, such as Direction180, Mobile Outreach Street Health (MOSH), and the Pain and Addictions Albro Lake (PAAL) clinic.

“I have never known John to be one to seek the spotlight or put ambition and personal accomplishment before others. For him, what mattered most of all was quite simple – his patients, but he always made those who had the privilege to work with him feel like they mattered,” said Dr. Hickcox.

Every year the AMN will make a donation to an organization on behalf of the recipient. The recipient themselves get to decide which organization will receive a donation that year. This year, Dr. Fraser has chosen Out of the Cold Community Association.

Out of the Cold, founded in 2008, is a community-based organization which runs two low-barrier supported housing communities in the Halifax Regional Municipality, along with an outreach program to support unhoused people, a gardening program, and free showers. They adhere to a harm reduction approach and value compassionate companionship as a fundamental intervention to support people.

For more information about the AMN-P&A, visit
For more information on Out in the Cold, visit

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