Seven medical doctors top the list of inductees into this year’s Order of Ontario, including the wife of a freshly minted cabinet minister.

Dr. Samantha Nutt, a co-founder of the charity War Child Canada, received the honour Monday just one week after her husband, Dr. Eric Hoskins, was

sworn in as Ontario’s minister of citizenship and immigration.

Six other medical doctors besides Nutt were also inducted this year.

They are: Philip Berger, an expert in urban medicine, addiction and homelessness; cancer specialist Helen Chan; Kellie Leitch, a pediatric orthopedic surgeon; James Orbinski, a founder of Doctors Without Borders; diabetes researcher Mladen Vranic; and Anne-Marie Zajdlik, a family physician and AIDS activist.

In a letter thanking Lt.-Gov. David Onley for adding her name to the prestigious list of winners, Leitch wrote of one of her patients, Emma Healy.

“I understand I was nominated for this award by Emma for my work,

along with my colleagues, in developing the Paediatric Surgery Department at the Children’s Hospital of Western Ontario,” Leitch wrote.

“Emma is a brave, 14-year old girl on whom I performed a significant surgery. Emma knows that having the Paediatric Surgery Department in London will help ensure that patients like her will not have to travel great distances from home to access vital medical services.”

Sports and media mogul Paul Godfrey, broadcaster Ken Shaw and Levente Diosady, whose work with food process engineering has helped to remedy iodine deficiency around the world, were also honoured.

“It’s an award I was surprised to receive and I’m delighted,” Godfrey said. “How could you not be?”

Godfrey, recently picked by Premier Dalton McGuinty to chair the Ontario Lotteries and Gaming Corporation, is president of the National Post, a former Toronto Sun executive and president of the Toronto Blue Jays. He was also once chairman of the now-defunct Metropolitan Toronto.

Former Scotiabank president Peter Godsoe and businessman Lawrence Bloomberg made the list for philanthropy, while writer Jacques Flamand, arts patron Shirley Thomson and actor and director Diana Mady Kelly made it for contributions to the arts.

The order was created in 1986 to recognize the highest levels of achievement in any field.

Onley will invest the new members of the order on Thursday.

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