Retired Local Family Physician Honoured By RVH Scholarship

Dr. Laura Crook, pictured in 2009 with a patient in the prenatal clinic, spent her 37-year medical career providing exceptional patient care with a focus on child and maternal medicine. Her passion for academics and research helped foster an environment of discovery at Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre.
Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH) is honouring retired family physician, Dr. Laura Crook for her contributions to the hospital and the community by establishing a summer student research scholarship in her name – ‘The Laura E. Crook Scholarship for Community Health Research’.

During her impressive 37-year medical career, Dr. Crook delivered more than 3,000 babies, practiced family-centred care long before it became the gold standard in healthcare and gained a well-deserved reputation for not only being an excellent family physician, but a strong advocate of women’s health.

“Dr. Crook has been a pillar of the medical community in Barrie and we are so pleased to add to the legacy she has built,” says RVH president and CEO Janice Skot. “Her passion for exceptional family medicine, maternal care and research inspired RVH to achieve new levels of excellence. An incredibly compassionate physician, Dr. Crook encouraged us to always see patients as partners in their care.”

In the mid-1980s, Dr. Crook established a family practice in Barrie with her late husband Dr. Nabil El-Maraghi, where she quickly earned a reputation for providing excellent care. With a strong passion for maternal health, she was RVH’s Chief of Obstetrics for six years and, after retiring in 2006, served as the Clinical Director of RVH’s Women’s Health Program, where she helped to establish new services in the region, including the hospital’s midwifery program, Obstetrical Triage Unit, and expanded children’s services.

“I am shocked and honoured to be receiving this recognition,” says Dr. Crook. “RVH has evolved over the years and strongly supports a culture that fosters curiosity, academic inquiry and promotes evidence-based care.”

She played an instrumental role in the creation of RVH’s Research Ethics Board and, most recently, served as the Chair from 2008 to 2020.

“Dr. Crook has devoted countless hours to promoting community research, providing academic guidance to colleagues and students, and safeguarding the rights and well-being of patients,” says Dr. Jeffrey Tyberg, RVH Chief of Staff, vice president Academic and Medical Affairs. “We are honoured to celebrate Laura’s extraordinary contributions to healthcare and we hope this scholarship inspires the next generation to follow in her footsteps.”

Dr. Crook hopes the scholarship encourages students to keep asking questions and become actively involved in community-based research. “It might be something little they discover that will have a huge impact on patient care for years to come,” she notes.

That patient-focused philosophy was also instilled in her son, RVH oncologist Dr. Rob El-Maraghi, who says, “The skills that made my mother such a fantastic physician are not those that you can easily study in a book or extract from the pages of a journal, and I try to emulate her caring and compassion when I interact with my patients. She is also a naturally curious person which drove her strong passion for research. The dedication of this scholarship in her name is an amazing tribute to an individual who truly embodies what it means to be a physician and life-long learner.  I’m honoured to be both her colleague and her son.”

The scholarship will be given to the highest-ranked student among the pool of successful applicants for RVH’s annual Summer Student Research Award. Preference will be given to those in the fields of family medicine or child and maternal health.

The scholarship is open for applications now and interested students can apply through


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