Every month, staff, researchers, physicians, learners and teams across Unity Health Toronto celebrate important honours, achievements and awards. Congratulations to those who have been recognized this month!

Dr. Alun Ackery

Congratulations to Dr. Alun Ackery, Deputy Chief of Emergency Medicine at St. Michael’s Hospital, who has accepted the role of Provincial Medical Director of CritiCall Ontario.

Since becoming Deputy Chief of Emergency Medicine at St. Michael’s Hospital in 2019, Dr. Ackery has shown immense leadership and has made invaluable contributions to Unity Health. Dr. Ackery will step down as Deputy Chief of Emergency Medicine in January 2023, but will continue as an active physician in the emergency department. Please join us in thanking Dr. Ackery for his contributions and congratulating him on his new role. 

Dr. Anna Banerji

Dr. Banerji has been selected by the American Academy of Pediatrics on behalf of the American Academy of Pediatrics to receive a Special Achievement Award. 

The Special Achievement Award was created to recognize the outstanding work of individuals or chapter achievements. This honour recognizes Dr. Banerji’s longstanding advocacy and work with Indigenous and immigrant/refugee populations certainly is deserving of this prestigious award. Congratulations Dr. Banerji!

Drs. Duminda Wijeysundera, Janet Smylie, Sharmistha Mishra, Laurent Brochard and Yvonne Bombard.

Five Unity Health scientists have been elected to the Royal Society of Canada Class of 2022.

Dr. Laurent Brochard, a scientist at the Keenan Research Centre for Biomedical Science, and Dr. Janet Smylie, Strategic Lead of Indigenous Wellness, Reconciliation and Partnerships at Unity Health and Director of the Well Living House, who holds a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Advancing Generative Health Services for Indigenous Populations in Canada, have been elected as Fellows. Fellows have been elected by their peers for their outstanding scholarly, scientific and artistic achievement. Recognition by the RSC for career achievement is the highest honour an individual can achieve in the Arts, Social Sciences and Sciences.

Dr. Yvonne Bombard, a scientist at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute; Dr. Sharmistha Mishra, a scientist at MAP Centre for Urban Health Solutions, and Dr. Duminda Wijeysundera, a scientist at the Li Ka Shing, who have been elected as Members of the College of New Scholars. The College consists of mid-career leaders who provide the RSC with a multigenerational capacity to help Canada and the world address major challenges and seize new opportunities including those identified in emerging fields.

Learn more on the RSC website and congratulations to the new Fellows and Members!

Marie Eason-Klatt

Congratulations to Marie Eason-Klatt, manager of Collaborative Practice and Education at St. Joseph’s, who has been awarded the 2022 Lifetime Achievement Award by the Canadian Society for Hand Therapy. Eason Klatt is an occupational therapist and a certified hand therapist.

Dr. Michael Fralick

Congratulations to Dr. Michael Fralick, a researcher at St. Michael’s, who has been awarded the 2022 Compassion and AI Fellowship from AMS Healthcare.

Dr. Fralick is one of 13 2022 Research Fellows in Compassion and Artificial Intelligence. These individuals, from across multiple disciplines, have been selected by an external expert review panel as leaders and innovators to address the challenges facing healthcare. The “AMS Compassion and AI” program focuses on promoting the integration of digital technology and compassionate care in the delivery of health care services, education of health professionals as well as facilitating the leadership needed to realize the promise of technology.

Dr. Fralick’s fellowship project will explore the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to identify life-threatening diagnoses before they occur. Read more on the AMS Healthcare website.

Dr. Ralph George

Dr. Ralph George, medical director of the CIBC Breast Centre at St. Michael’s, has been awarded the 2022 James H. Graham Award of Merit from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

This honorary award of merit was named for Dr. James H. Graham, secretary-general of the Royal College from 1953 to 1979. In 1987, the Council of The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada recommended that an award of merit be given to a person whose outstanding career achievements reflect the aims and objectives of the Royal College. Learn more about Dr. George and his accomplishments on the Royal College website. Congratulations Dr. George!

Dr. Muhammad Mamdani

Dr. Muhammad Mamdani, Vice President, Data Science and Advanced Analytics, has joined the Board of Directors of Genome Canada, an independent, federally funded not-for-profit organization and a national leader for Canada’s genomics ecosystem.

Drawn from the academic, private and public sectors, Board Directors bring diverse experience to Genome Canada’s governance. Their leadership and vision are vital to our impact as we mobilize the talent and resources of Canada’s genomics ecosystem to tackle major global challenges and improve Canadians’ everyday lives. Learn more on the Genome Canada website.

Dr. Patricia O’Campo

Dr. Patricia O’Campo, Executive Director of the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, and her team have received research funding from the Public Health Agency of Canada through the Intersectoral Action Fund (ISAF).

Through this fund, the Government of Canada is supporting projects to address systemic health challenges and barriers. Five Ontario-based initiatives received funding to build capacity to advance collective action on a range of health inequalities. Dr. O’Campo’s project will create new approaches for women and gender diverse peoples to increase their economic security and independence. The project is focused on those who experienced intimate partner violence in Hamilton. Learn more on the PHAC website.

Dr. Katerina Pavenski

Congratulations to Dr. Katerina Pavenski, Head of the Division of Transfusion Medicine at St. Michael’s, and a scientist at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, who was elected to the Board of Directors of International Society of Transfusion Medicine (ISBT) as the Regional Director North Americas. Learn more on the ISBT website.

Dr. Rola Saleeb

Dr. Rola Saleeb, the medical director of Immunohistochemistry at St. Michael’s and a researcher at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, has been awarded the Junior Scientist Award from the Canadian Association of Pathologists-Association canadienne des pathologistes (CAP-ACP).

This annual award recognizes meritorious experimental or non-experimental research carried out by an early career investigator in the field of Pathology. Congratulations Dr. Saleeb!

Dr. Gustavo Saposnik (Photograph courtesy of Heart & Stroke www.heartandstroke.ca)

A project exploring the relationship between the brain and the heart, co-led by Unity Health Toronto, has received funding from Brain Canada and Heart & Stroke.

With the Heart-Brain Connection IMPACT Award, Dr. Gustavo Saposnik, a neurologist at St. Michael’s, and Dr. Doug Lee, a cardiologist at the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre at UHN, will launch a project to research what causes injury to the brain and heart, and how the two organs impact one another. Learn more about this project on the Unity Health website.

Dr. Amol Verma

Congratulations to Dr. Amol Verma, a General Internal Medicine physician at St. Michael’s and scientist at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, who has received the the Early-Career Leadership Award, Health Policy / Health Systems Category from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

These awards recognize leadership, innovation and contributions to the specialty medical field, the Royal College’s mission, as well as the health of citizens in our country and abroad. Learn more on the Royal College’s website.

Dr. Dan Werb

Congratulations to Dr. Dan Werb, a scientist at the MAP Centre for Urban Health Solutions, whose book, The Invisible Siege: The Rise of Coronaviruses and the Search For a Cure, is a finalist for the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction.

This award is given annually for excellence in the category of literary nonfiction, which includes essays, history, biography, memoir, commentary, and criticism. The winning book demonstrates a distinctive voice, as well as a persuasive and compelling command of tone, narrative, style, and technique. Dr. Werb’s book unpacks the history of coronaviruses, what we can learn from the COVID-19 pandemic, and how to prevent future pandemics. Learn more in the Unity Health news story about The Invisible Siege.