Long-time community volunteer and pioneering surgeon being inducted into City’s Awards of Excellence program

June 14, 2024

A dedicated community volunteer and an internationally renowned surgeon-scientist are being inducted into the City’s Awards of Excellence program for 2024.

Grant Crawford is being recognized in the Community Service category for his lengthy and significant volunteer service to athletics and arts in Spruce Grove. Dr. Robin McLeod is being recognized posthumously in the Innovation category for her work in developing advanced guidelines and best practices for treating surgical patients and designing educational tools to teach and study evidence-based practice.

“It’s a privilege to honour Grant and Robin through our Awards of Excellence program,” said Mayor Jeff Acker. “Through their work, they have both made a meaningful impact to those around them and it’s an honour for us to be able to recognize them in this way.”

Crawford’s volunteerism started with Spruce Grove Minor Soccer and the Spruce Grove Ringette Association and over the years has expanded to include work with Ringette Canada, multiple Canada and Alberta Winter Games, the FIFA Women’s World Cup, the Spruce Grove Library Board and Friends of the Spruce Grove Public Library Society, the TransAlta Tri Leisure Centre Board, and the Rotary Club of Spruce Grove.

His volunteer work has involved everything from serving as Acting President with Ringette Alberta to being Fencing Chair for the Alberta 2012 Winter Games to volunteering at Friends of the Library book fairs and delivering school lunches for Our Community Pantry.

Crawford has primarily resided in Spruce Grove with his wife Lesley since 1975, where they raised their three daughters. A volunteer herself, Lesley’s work with the Rotary Club and Friends of the Library first inspired Grant to get involved in those two organizations.

Dr. McLeod, who passed away earlier this year, was a respected surgeon and researcher who developed landmark studies and new methods to improve treatment for surgical patients from admission through to post-surgical care. She believed in evidence-based medicine and was a leading surgical educator in Canada, training others both at home and around the world.

A recipient of the Order of Canada, Dr. McLeod held many leadership positions in Canadian and international surgical associations, including past president of the Canadian Association of General Surgeons. She was the founding chair of the Evidence Based Reviews in Surgery, an online study group for surgeons across North America that is still being used today.

Born in Spruce Grove to Douglas and Nan McLeod, Dr. McLeod attended school in the community until Grade 9 when her family moved to Edmonton. She studied medicine at the University of Alberta and spent much of her professional career in Toronto with her husband John and their two daughters.

Crawford and Dr. McLeod will be officially recognized during the Canada Day Ceremony at Jubilee Park on July 1 and community members are invited to attend.

The Spruce Grove Awards of Excellence program was established in 2003 as a way for the City to recognize outstanding community members who have made contributions in the areas of athletics, arts, education, the environment, innovation, community service or significant achievement. Past inductees include Justin Lawrence (2023), Barry Medori (2022), Nathan Dempsey (2021), Stephanie Labbé (2017), Darwin Park (2015), Lorna Kemp (2010), Allen Shenfield (2006) Judy Kesanko (2005) and Jennifer Heil (2005). For more information on the program, including all the recipients, visit www.sprucegrove.org/AOE.