Congratulations to Dr. Kari Sampsel for winning the 2016 Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians Al Drummond Advocacy Award! This award is presented to a CAEP member who has demonstrated exemplary leadership, commitment and dedication to the cause of advancing the discipline at the regional, national or international level through advocacy efforts. It is given out annually to a physician for their efforts to bring change to an area of medicine or life. Dr. Sampsel received this award for her efforts on behalf of sexual assault/domestic violence victims.
Dr. Sampsel completed medical school and served as a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in Emergency Medicine at Queens University in Kingston, Ontario. She went on to complete fellowship training in Clinical Forensic Medicine at the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine in Melbourne, Australia. She then joined the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Ottawa in Ottawa, Ontario in 2008. She has worked as an attending staff physician in EM and Medical Director of the Sexual Assault and Partner Abuse Care Program at the Ottawa Hospital since 2008. She served as Assistant Program Director for the FRCPC EM program at the University of Ottawa from 2010-2016 and Regional Investigating Coroner for Ottawa from 2008-2011.
Dr. Sampsel has been working in the sex assault/domestic violence field since during my residency. Along with her team, she has created best-practice protocols for the investigation and care of the assaulted patient (including HIV PEP and strangulation assessment) which have been adopted provincially and nationally. Her research on sexual assault and mass gatherings was the first published worldwide and has led to numerous speaking engagements internationally, huge media interest (Reuters, CNN Health, Fox News Health) and lead to the creation of an innovative and successful bystander training and intervention program for the prevention of sexual assault, particularly at music festivals. This program is in connection with her community partners and is called Project SoundCheck. Dr. Sampsel’s next venture is the development of a safety app that can be used in public places to reunite people with their friends or alert security if something dangerous is happening. It is called NightLight and will go live in the next couple of months! Additionally, she is in the process of developing an assault surveillance program that will identify potential demographic features and locations for these assaults so that we can deploy more prevention and education resources into these areas.
Congratulations Dr. Sampsel and thank you for your tremendous work!