Dr. Paul Parks, Trauma Medical Director and Department of Emergency Medicine Chief at the Medicine Hat Regional Hospital, was selected to receive the Public Interest Award for Southern Alberta.The award is presented by Public Interest Alberta to individuals or organizations who effectively advocate for preserving and enhancing an element of public services, public institutions, public spaces, or the public interest.Noel Somerville, the Chairperson of Public Interest Alberta’s Seniors Task Force, nominated Dr. Parks for his many years of speaking out and challenging the government to address the underlying reason for the overcrowding of our emergency rooms. “There can be little doubt that Albertans, and Alberta seniors in particular, owe a huge debt of gratitude to Dr. Parks for speaking out and refusing to succumb to intimidation,” says Somerville."I'm honoured to receive this award in recognition of my advocacy for timely access to publicly-funded health care,” says Dr Parks. “I sincerely believe that the public must be informed about the ongoing deterioration in publicly-funded continuing care capacity within our province. The changes in continuing care capacity not only negatively affect the health of our aging seniors who built this province but also have major overcrowding effects on access to the entire acute care system. It is time that the public is both informed and vocal in demanding better."The award is sponsored by Alberta Views Magazine and comes with a $750 donation to the organization of the recipient’s choice. Dr Parks has chosen to have these funds donated to Friends of Medicare.