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Distinguished Service Award Honours Dr. Stephen Couban, FRCPC

Nova Scotia is home to many extraordinary physicians, and our annual Achievement Awards are one way that Doctors Nova Scotia (DNS) celebrates their hard work.

A medical leader in bone marrow transplant, Dr. Stephen Couban is being honoured posthumously with the DNS Distinguished Service Award.

“His greatest strength was his ability to form trusting and respectful relationships with patients, colleagues and learners,” said colleague Dr. B. Lynn Johnson. “Trust is the cornerstone of the patient-physician relationship, and it’s manifested by compassion, honesty, humility, integrity and prudence. I saw these qualities displayed again and again.”

Dr. Couban’s career highlights encompassed his many roles at Dalhousie University, including professor in the Department of Medicine, division head of the Hematology Department, director of the Blood and Marrow Transplant Program, and medical director of the medical teaching unit in the Department of Medicine. He also served as president and vice-president of the Canadian Hematology Society.

Moreover, Dr. Couban advanced patient care innovation and program development through the QEII Health Sciences Centre Blood and Marrow Transplant Program, and in the Hematology Department, including its Ambulatory Chemotherapy Program, infrastructure support, clinical research and triage system.

He was instrumental in the safe provision of stem cell transplants to hundreds of patients in Atlantic Canada.

A former patient remembers Dr. Couban fondly. “He has left a profound footprint in his time on this earth,” he said. “Stephen’s family should take great comfort and be extremely proud of all that he has done for those whose lives he touched.”