Dr. Natalie Lynn Yanchar, is the recipient of the 2012 Dr. Tom Pashby Sports Safety Fund Award presented to a Canadian who has contributed significantly to the prevention of catastrophic injuries in sport and recreation.
The enthusiastic 49-year-old associate professor in Surgery, Emergency Medicine and Community Health and Epidemiology at Dalhousie University and Medical Director of the Izaak Walton Killam Hospital Trauma Care Program for the past 12 years has also found time to raise her three children .
Dr. Yanchar advocates injury prevention for children and young adults. Most recently her activities have focussed on playground, water, and recreational off-road vehicle safety.
“I would see all these kids come into the hospital with preventable injuries,” she said of her motivation for injury prevention.
As a founding member and president of Injury Free Nova Scotia, she made headlines with a six year study following provincial legislation which limited the use of All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) that made safety courses mandatory for children under 14 years of age. Initially, the number of injuries decreased dramatically but she is both a researcher and realist.
“You can legislate all you want but you cannot legislate human behaviour,” she said noting the injuries are climbing again.
Bill Pashby, chair of the Pashby Fund, says her advocacy reflects its mission.
“Dr. Yanchar has done outstanding work in preventing catastrophic injuries in several different areas in sport and recreation,” Pashby says . “She is definitely a worthy recipient.”