The CMA Awards recognize the dedication, successes and talents of individuals who are making significant contributions to our health and health care.
The next call for nominations will be issued on Sept. 30, 2020 and the nomination period will close on Nov. 30, 2020. Profiles of recent award recipients and details about each award can be found below.
2020 Award Recipients
Dr. Najma Ahmed
After operating on three of the victims of the Danforth mass shooting in July 2018, Dr. Najma Ahmed knew something had to change. She brought together a grassroots group of physicians that became Canadian Doctors for Protection from Guns (CDPG). The group engages with policy-makers to advocate for limiting access to guns.
Dr. France Légaré
Dr. France Légaré has been a passionate advocate for patient engagement and empowerment over the course of her career — a tough fight at times. “There were times when it was difficult to sustain the motivation while we waited for society and the medical profession to catch up.”
For many Canadians, the name “André Picard” signifies a trusted perspective on health care. Through his articles, columns and books, he has raised awareness of pressing health issues, shared important medical research findings and educated the public on how health care is funded and delivered.
Dr. Vladimir Hachinski
Early in his career, Dr. Vladimir Hachinski teamed up with a colleague, Dr. John W. Norris, and they devoted themselves to caring for and studying stroke patients, establishing what would become the world’s first successful acute stroke unit. “It’s all connected. There is no health without brain health.”
Dr. Claudel Pétrin-Desrosiers
As a first-year medical student at the Université de Montréal, Dr. Claudel Pétrin-Desrosiers read a study showing climate change is the greatest threat to health in the 21st century. "From that moment on, I knew I couldn't be a doctor without taking an interest in the issue.”
Dr. Gurdeep Parhar
“What would Dr. Parhar do?” That’s the question thousands of health professionals around the world probably ask themselves when confronted with a difficult ethical dilemma. It speaks to the impact Dr. Gurdeep Parhar has had as a mentor and teacher of medical professionalism over the past 15 years.
Dr. Vanessa Maclean
Dr. Vanessa Maclean has always been committed to “paying forward” the mentorship and support she received in the early days of her career, encouraging young physicians — especially women — to take on leadership positions. “So often, one of the biggest parts of mentoring is just helping people realize they’re already leaders.”
Colonel (Retired) Ian Anderson, MD
During his career, Dr. Ian Anderson was appointed to a number of NATO study groups to help improve body armour and protect soldiers from landmines. He brought to the table many of his own experiences and those of other surgeons, from Bosnia, Somalia and Afghanistan. “Nothing is more important than reducing these types of injuries.”
Elisa Levi sees a close connection between her background in nutrition and medical school: both are mechanisms for upstream investment to improve the health of people. Up until now, she has focused on supporting the health of Indigenous populations. “There is significant opportunity to improve health equity that is grounded in Indigenous world views.”
Dr. Naheed Dosani
“I realized that when it comes to palliative care access for the homeless and vulnerably housed, there’s a huge equity gap.” To address that gap, Dr. Naheed Dosani helped launch PEACH, a program that delivers community-based, trauma-informed palliative care 24/7 — at shelters and on the streets — using a first-of-its-kind mobile unit.
Dr. Kimberly Williams
It’s probably not surprising that Dr. Kimberly Golding Williams is a community builder. From an early age, she watched her mother, a social worker, advocate for children and other vulnerable members of the community. “If we want to build strong communities, we need to take care of each other and make sure those who are struggling get the help they need.”
When Vivian Tsang was growing up in Vancouver, adults and peers alike warned her to stay away from the Downtown Eastside. Instead, she developed an interest for that neighbourhood and others like it. “It’s a privilege to work with and be an advocate for people whose voices are seldom heard.”
Dr. Vanessa Poliquin
As one of only a few specialists in reproductive infectious diseases, Dr. Vanessa Poliquin is often the first one colleagues turn to for answers or advice. This was highlighted during COVID-19, when she was busy educating prenatal care providers on obstetric and gynecologic management during the pandemic. “I am grateful to support my colleagues and patients through this crisis.”
Dr. Anthea Lafreniere
Advocating for patient empowerment is a particular area of focus for Dr. Anthea Lafreniere, and one that led to her involvement in the development of MyPathologyReport.ca — an online resource to empower patients to understand their own diagnoses and pathologies. “It was an opportunity to make a bigger difference for patients than I could by spending a day at a microscope.”
“I realized there are so many factors that affect population health and that Northern communities face different factors than other communities do,” says Niharika Shahi. “It inspired me to go into medicine — with a focus on targeting those determinants to improve health in the North.”
On Jan. 8, 2020, Ukraine International Airlines flight 752 was shot down outside of Tehran after being mistaken for a cruise missile. Mohammad Asadi-Lari and his sister Zeynab were two of the 176 people on board. Colleagues remember the second-year University of Toronto MD/PhD student as an exceptional young leader with a passion for population health, science education and innovation in health care.
About CMA Awards
Owen Adams Award of Honour
The Owen Adams Award of Honour is the highest CMA award available to a non-physician.
Dr. Léo-Paul Landry Medal of Service
Dr. Léo-Paul Landry Medal of Serviceis awarded to a CMA member who has made exceptional contributions to the advancement of health care in Canada.
May Cohen Award for Women Mentors
The May Cohen Award for Women Mentors is presented to a female physician and CMA member who has demonstrated outstanding mentoring.
Sir Charles Tupper Award for Political Advocacy
The Sir Charles Tupper Award for Political Advocacy is named in honour of the CMA's first president (1867‑70), who was also a Father of Confederation, premier of Nova Scotia and Prime Minister of Canada.
Dr. William Marsden Award in Medical Ethics and Professionalism
The Dr. William Marsden Award in Medical Ethics and Professionalism honours the CMA's first chair of its Committee on Ethics, who presided over the original draft of the CMA Code of Ethics.
John McCrae Memorial Medal
The John McCrae Memorial Medal recognizes current or former clinical health services personnel of the Canadian Armed Forces for exemplary service.
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