2023 DFCM Program Award Winners
Congratulations to all our 2023 Department of Family and Community Medicine (DFCM) Program Award winners! At this year's virtual Awards & Celebration Event on Oct. 3, we will recognize and honour your contributions to your patients, communities, and our department.
These awards relate to the period June 2022 – June 2023.
Academic Fellowship and Graduate Studies
Continuing Education Student Award for Scholarship
Dr. Apichai Wattanapisit | International Fellow - Thailand, Family Medicine
Dr. Wattanapisit is a thoughtful and engaged Family Physician from Thailand who spent a year with us in the Academic Fellowship program. He is keenly interested in supporting residents and faculty. As part of his Practicum, he successfully assembled an international panel of family medicine scholars to think about ways to support family medicine residents’ research and writing skills. Dr. Wattanapisit has developed a manuscript from this work which he is submitting for publication.
Continuing Education and Graduate Studies Instructor Award
Dr. Susanna Fung | Scarborough Health Network, Family Medicine
Dr. Fung is an exceptional teacher who lead and is now Co-Instructor of the ‘Leading Improvement in the Quality of Health Care for Community Populations’ course, a core research requirement and selective of the Family and Community Medicine stream Fellowship, Certificate and Graduate degree programs. She is recognized by her students as a highly supportive and committed educator, and expert in, and passion for QI. Through individualized coaching of course QI projects, Dr. Fung is actively engaged in each of her students’ learning, consistently providing timely feedback and customized direction and mentorship based on learning level and needs. Her enthusiasm for improvement science is infectious. Her continued flexibility with course enrolment capacity and delivery exemplifies her dedication and collaborative efforts to support the Academic Fellowship and Graduate studies program. Dr. Fung’s commitment to inclusivity has enabled learners from a range of disciplines, clinical and cultural backgrounds and other departments to experience dynamic, safe and respectful learning spaces, to engage openly and meaningfully.
Field Practicum Preceptor Award
Dr. Paul Oh | Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, University Health Network, Internal Medicine
As a Practicum Supervisor for two MPH(FCM) graduate students this past year, Dr. Oh ambitiously exemplified dedicated, communicative, and innovative scholarship and leadership skills through this Preceptor role. His passion, energy, and drive for ongoing improvement in cardiac rehabilitation and research is inspiring and infectious; he is described by his students as an exceptional role model that ‘goes above and beyond’. Dr. Oh is extremely supportive in connecting students with necessary resources, particularly with respect to research processes. He challenges with ‘outside the box’ thinking and encourages autonomy to create individual pathways for success. His incredible mentorship is appreciated and reflected in the potential for professional growth he sees in each of his students and through the quality of research projects produced by his mentees.
Excellence in Research/Quality Improvement
Dr. Ruchi Mohindra | Michael Garron Hospital, Division of Emergency Medicine
Quality improvement work requires many skills and traits of which Dr. Ruchi Mohindra personifies them all. She was instrumental in the development and implementation of her Department's ambitious QI srategic plan. Dr. Mohindra is an individual whose raw talents and skills, combined with her selflessness, make her a natural driver of change and growth.
Excellence in Teaching and Education
Dr. Caroline Chan | Scarborough Health Network, Division of Emergency Medicine
Described by learners as "a joy to work with", Dr. Caroline Chan is an incredible teacher, role model and mentor. She skillfully tailors her teaching to each learner and is an exemplary communicator, collaborator and clinician.
Excellence in Teaching (Sustained) in Emergency Medicine
Dr. Kaitlin Link | Trillium Health Partners — Credit Valley Hospital, Division of Emergency Medicine
Dr. Link has made outstanding contributions to teaching and education not only at her department and hospital site but in many programs within the DFCM. She has been recognized by both UG and PG learners for being an exceptional teacher with an unparalleled passion for teaching and education. She is a true inspiration and incredible role model for teaching and education for her learners and her colleagues alike.
Excellence in Emergency Medicine
Dr. Angela Marrocco | Michael Garron Hospital, Division of Emergency Medicine
Dr. Angela Marrocco embodies the very characteristics of what it means to be an Emergency Physician – a critical care physician, a master diagnostician, a counsellor, an advocate, a trusted colleague, and a friend. While many in our profession strive to become skilled in just some of these facets of our remarkably complex work, Dr. Marrocco demonstrates mastery in each of these. She is deeply committed to improving our patient care, department, and specialty with her advocacy on a local and provincial level. "She inspires me to be a better physician, a better leader, and a better advocate for our profession."
Community-based Contributor to Faculty Development
Dr. Jane Chow | Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre; Undergraduate FD Lead and FMLE Lead
Dr. Jane Chow, a community physician and faculty member at Sunnybrook and UofT, advocates for awards and recognition for community preceptors, collaborates with physicians to address medical needs in the community, and created a Faculty Development Newsletter to improve the scholarly
activities of community physicians and strengthen their connection with DFCM. Her exceptional leadership and dedication to enhancing the quality of healthcare make her an inspiration to her colleagues.
Continuing Education Impact Award
Dr. Purti Papneja | Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
Dr. Purti Papneja has extensive knowledge in sleep medicine and has been presenting at national, provincial, and local conferences for years. She has been invited to be a panelist on the Practicing Well Community of Practice by the OCFP due to her expertise in the field. Dr. Papneja's feedback reflects her ability to apply her knowledge to real-life patients, making her an excellent resource for managing sleep-related issues in a primary care setting.
Jamie Meuser Faculty Development Impact Award
Dr. Navsheer Gill and the Faculty QI Series Team | Southlake Regional Health Centre
Dr. Navsheer Gill was the inaugural QI Faculty Development Lead from 2019-2022. She led a team that developed QI faculty modules that align with resident curriculum to increase preparedness of preceptors to support their residents in their QI work. These modules have been spread throughout the department, and are an excellent complement when onboarding new faculty.
Leadership in Faculty Development (Faculty Category)
Dr. Giovanna Sirianni | Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
Dr. Giovanna Sirianni is receiving this award as the Faculty Development Lead for the Division of Palliative Care. Over the past five years, she has led many critical initiatvies to not only enhance educational offerings for faculty, but also promote community building and wellness including through challenging times. Dr. Sirianni's collaborative leadership style has been key to the integration of initiatives across the divison's many academic and community sites.
Leadership in Faculty Development (Staff Category)
Ms. Danielle Dudycha | DFCM - Faculty Development Program
Danielle Dudycha embodies the qualities most sought in the DFCM, deserving the recognition of the Leadership in Faculty Development award. Her deep knowledge of and commitment to the DFCM have been instrumental in both the smooth transition and success of numerous inaugural roles in the FD Program. Danielle has a thoughtful approach to each committee and project, with valuable insights and contributions. She is respectful of all and ensures interprofessional inclusion. Danielle’s dedication and professionalism foster excellence among all her colleagues.
Learner: Contributor to Faculty Development
Dr. Emma Kinsella | Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
Dr. Emma Kinsella, DFCM Family Medicine Co-Chief Resident, has demonstrated outstanding commitment to the professional development of her peers and herself by organizing speakers, workshops, and initiatives such as the Equity, Diversity, Inclusivity, and Social Accountability
Network at Sunnybrook. She represents residents on committees, regularly meets with residency leadership, and promotes change through formal program feedback.
Dr. Kyle Lee | Unity Health Toronto — St. Michael's Hospital
Dr. Kyle Lee is an excellent mentor. He is generous with his time, responsive, and encouraging. He mentors through sharing knowledge and leading by example. In his role as Treasurer of the St. Michael's Family Medicine Associates, Kyle has provided guidance and reassurance to many partners at vulnerable points in their careers (parental and personal leaves, early career) and has exemplified the traits of openness, thoughtfulness and collaboration.
Outstanding Contribution to Scholarship in Faculty Development
Dr. Thea Weisdorf | Unity Health Toronto — St. Michael's Hospital
One contributor to the nomination package, shared, “Thea not only believes in the merits and value of faculty development, she embodies it. She is continually learning and growing, supporting others in their development and attainment of personal goals while simultaneously seeking out and excelling at leadership opportunities herself. Thea has done incredible work in EDI as well as faculty development, and bringing the two together is one of her many high-level contributions to this work. On a more personal note, Thea has become a friend and mentor to me over the years, providing support and guidance with my own journey in faculty development and as a woman in medicine and working mother. She truly is an asset to family medicine and faculty development.”
Carmelita Lawlor Lectureship in Palliative Care
Ms. Holly Prince | Lakehead University, Division of Palliative Care
Holly is a highly respected leader in healthcare equity and improving the care of Indigenous peoples as they transition back to the spirit world. She has mobilized her efforts as a national champion of human rights and dignity for people at the end of life.
Larry Librach Award for Excellence in Palliative Care Scholarship
Dr. Lilian Robinson | Temmy Latner Centre for Palliative Care, Mount Sinai Hospital
Dr. Robinson has a passion for scholarly work relating to the intersection of palliative care and health equity. She is also involved in mentoring junior learners who are involved in research, which is impressive for soeone at her level. She does so with the humility that she brings to all of her work.
Dr. Savar Kaul | Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
Dr. Savar Kaul has a keen interest in palliative care and a commitment to shcolarly pursuits and academic excellence in the field.
Physician Assistant Program
BScPA Annual Faculty and Student Awards: Excellence in Teaching
Ms. Emma Wallace | DFCM Physician Assistant Program
Emma Wallace graduated from McMaster’s PA Program in 2017. She worked as a PA in the emergency department at SickKids until last year when she went back to school at Queen's University. Emma has a keen interest in medical education and loves teaching with the UofT PA Program. She is continuously inspired by the camaraderie, dedication, and enthusiasm for learning demonstrated by the students in the PA program and feels that teaching at UofT makes her a better life long learner. We are grateful for Emma's ongoing contributions to the BScPA Program!
BScPA Annual Faculty and Student Awards: PA Role Model
Ms. Katrina Dekirmendjian | Mount Sinai Hospital – Sinai Health System
Katrina Dekirmendjian is a Canadian Certified Physician Assistant, Certified Athletic Trainer and Orthopaedic Technician. She has been working in Orthopaedic Sports Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital since 2018. Katrina is an alumni of the BScPA program at UofT. She currently serves as a facilitator, lecturer and preceptor for the BScPA program at UofT. Katrina is involved in academic research and organization of multidisciplinary rounds dedicated to the treatment, prevention and research of sport related injuries. She is also passionate about PA advocacy and mentorship. We are grateful for Katrina's ongoing contributions to the BScPA Program!
BScPA Annual Faculty and Student Awards: Preceptor Excellence Award
Dr. Samantha Biggs | DFCM Physician Assistant Program
Dr. Samantha Biggs completed her medical education at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine. She is a practicing family docotor in Thunder Bay at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Centre. She is thrilled to have been able to contribute to the training of Physician Assistants through the UofT BScPA Program as their preceptor. We are grateful for Dr. Samantha Bigg's ongoing contributions to the BScPA Program!
BScPA Annual Faculty and Student Awards: Rising Star
Ms. Sonja Sajic | DFCM Physician Assistant Program
Sonja Sajic is a Physician Assistant in Dermatology and Surgery, working out of a community clinic in Guelph. Sonja is also the Course Director for the pharmacology course in the University of Toronto's Physician Assistant Program. She holds an Adjunct Lecturer faculty appointment with the DFCM. Sonja graduated from the UofT BScPA Program in 2019. We are grateful for Sonja's ongoing contributions to the BScPA Program!
PA Program Academic Achievement Award
Ms. Alyssa Agas | DFCM Physician Assistant Program
Congratulations to Alyssa Agas on receiving the BScPA Program Class of 2022 Academic Achievement Award! Wishing you all the best on all future endeavours as you begin your career as a Physician Assistant!
Ms. Hailey Burggraf | DFCM Physician Assistant Program
Congratulations to Hailey Burggraf on receiving the BScPA Program Class of 2022 Academic Achievement Award! Wishing you all the best on all future endeavours as you begin your career as a Physician Assistant!
Ms. Laura Farquharson | DFCM Physician Assistant Program
Congratulations to Laura Farquharson on receiving the BScPA Program Class of 2022 Academic Achievement Award! Wishing you all the best on all future endeavours as you begin your career as a Physician Assistant!
Ms. Hannah Keith | DFCM Physician Assistant Program
Congratulations to Hannah Keith on receiving the BScPA Program Class of 2022 Academic Achievement Award! Wishing you all the best on all future endeavours as you begin your career as a Physician Assistant!
Mr. Taras Kozub | DFCM Physician Assistant Program
Congratulations to Taras Kozub on receiving the BScPA Program Class of 2022 Academic Achievement Award! Wishing you all the best on all future endeavours as you begin your career as a Physician Assistant!
Ms. Christine Zhou | DFCM Physician Assistant Program
Congratulations to Christine Zhou on receiving the BScPA Program Class of 2022 Academic Achievement Award! Wishing you all the best on all future endeavours as you begin your career as a Physician Assistant!
PA Student of the Year Award
Ms. Kylie Shaughnessy | DFCM Physician Assistant Program
Congratulations to Kylie Shaughnessy on receiving the BScPA Program Class of 2022 Student of the Year Award! Wishing you all the best on all future endeavours as you begin your career as a Physician Assistant!
PA Student Clinical Excellence Award
Ms. Ella Besserer | DFCM Physician Assistant Program
Congratulations to Ella Besserer on receiving the BScPA Program Class of 2022 Student Clinical Excellence Award! Wishing you all the best on all future endeavours as you begin your career as a Physician Assistant!
PA Student Leadership Award
Ms. Lina Maria Serrano Arevalo | DFCM Physician Assistant Program
Congratulations to Lina Maria Serrano Arevalo on receiving the BScPA Program Class of 2022 Student Leadership Award! Wishing you all the best on all future endeavours as you begin your career as a Physician Assistant!
PA Student Scholarly Excellence Award
Ms. Jasmine Pham | DFCM Physician Assistant Program
Congratulations to Jasmine Pham on receiving the BScPA Program Class of 2022 Astudent Scholarly Excellence Award! Wishing you all the best on all future endeavours as you begin your career as a Physician Assistant!
PA Ethical Decision Making Award
Ms. Natalya Odoardi | DFCM Physician Assistant Program
Congratulations to Natalya Odoardi on receiving the BScPA Program Class of 2022 Ethical Decision Making Award! Wishing you all the best on all future endeavours as you begin your career as a Physician Assistant!
Advocacy for Patients
Dr. Shivani Patel | Trillium Health Partners – Credit Valley Hospital
One of the best chief residents to date, leading by example and passion. She made several improvements in academic half days, core rotations and advocated for more wellness activities. She puts 110% into patient care and any activity she takes on and has impressed upon her peers.
Dr. Ashkan Jahangirnia | Unity Health Toronto – St. Joseph's Health Centre
I've had the privilege of being Dr. Ashkan Jahangirnia's primary preceptor for the past two years. I am very pleased to be writing this letter in support of the consensus decision of all his Family Medicine Preceptors that he is the deserving recipient of the award for Clinical Excellence.
Dr. Mead Esam Ruhaiyem | Trillium Health Partners – Mississauga Hospital
Mead has been with us for three years as a visa trainee, Mead has been a great asset to the program, her clinical excellence has been apparent since the beginning, but she has progressed a lot and became a very confident strong resident who is trusted with the most demanding cases.
Dr. Trevor James Gabriel Robinson | University Health Network – Toronto Western Hospital
Dr. Trevor Robinson has been broadly recognized for his clinical excellence. His clinical assessments and judgement are stellar, he delivers wholly patient centered care and demonstrates exceptional communication and collaboration skills. He is a highly valued member of our team and it is an absolute pleasure working with him.
Dr. Elliott McMurchy | Integrated Communities Program
Elliott is a well-rounded resident who is always patient-centred and a great team player. He exhibits an excellent attitude towards learning-engaged and interactive during teaching. I admire and respect the balance he demonstrates regarding work-life balance as well as his contributions to our humanities in medicine activities.
Dr. Samuel Leitenberg Memorial Scholarship for the Humanitarian Practice of Family and Community Medicine Award
Dr. Sarah Wong | North York General Hospital
Sarah truly exemplifies the qualities of Dr. Leitenberg. Sarah is energized by the relationships that she has formed with her patients. She attends to the whole person and empowers patients in co-creating care plans, always going the extra mile to make patients feel cared for.
Excellence in Teaching
Dr. Tiffany Florindo | North York General Hospital
Tiffany is a committed and enthusiastic teacher. If you pass by her office, at any given time, she has multiple learners with her. She teaches clerks, elective students, and residents. She is an excellent role model and mentor, and leaves a lasting impression on her students for years to come.
Dr. Gordon Arbess | Unity Health Toronto – St. Michael's Hospital
Dr. Arbess is an excellent family medicine preceptor: easily available to learners for support while providing appropriate independence and feedback in a very constructive manner, and always makes trainees feel comfortable and welcome as equal participants in the care team. He is down to earth and exceedingly kind.
Dr. Deanna Telner | Toronto East Health Network – Michael Garron Hospital
Deanna's positive and thoughtful approach to teaching has been a tremendous benefit to our program and made her a valued mentor to learners long after they graduate. She has considerable enthusiasm for teaching that is contagious. She makes exceptional contributions to resident education at our site, and she is well deserving of this recognition.
Family Medicine Resident Scholarship
Dr. David Christopher To | Oak Valley Health – Markham Stouffville Hospital
Hollister King Resident Award
Dr. Kathleen Trought | Toronto East Health Network – Michael Garron Hospital, Teaching Practices
Dr. Kathleen Trought is a resident who embraces the experience of the Teaching Practice Program. Kathleen has clinical acumen well beyond her training. She is thoughtful and thorough with a gift for empathetic listening. Often, we put our heads together to sort out a challenging patient case and took time to reflect after bad outcomes. She had an excellent attitude and was a great team player. She set goals, met them, and then exceeded them.
Hollister King Preceptor Award
Dr. Wade Mitchell | Collingwood General and Marine Hospital, Teaching Practices
Dr. Mitchell emphasized the doctor-patient relationship as central to our practice. He consistently demonstrated empathy, compassion, and respect for his patients, taking the time to truly listen to their concerns. He embodies the qualities of a skilled clinician, displaying a depth of knowledge across a wide range of specialties, which allowed him to provide comprehensive care for patients across multiple settings. He will continue to inspire and shape the careers of future physicians.
Innovation in Education
Dr. Suzanne Singh | Sinai Health System – Mount Sinai Hospital
We nominate Suzanne Singh as the recipient of the Innovation in Excellent Award, inspired by her consistently finding creative ways to review newest guidelines, update our team, and spark discussion on relevant topics. Using her knowledge and expertise, she provides invaluable perspectives when assisting residents with presentations and projects.
Dr. Jessica He | Unity Health Toronto – St. Joseph's Health Centre
Dr. He is an excellent clinical educator. She provides effective feedback, shares evidence-based guidelines, and empowers students with clinical pearls. She has also been dedicated in making improvements to academic half day. It’s very encouraging to see a relatively new staff stepping up to the plate and showing exemplifying leadership.
Dr. Zhiheng Zeng | Oak Valley Health – Markham Stouffville Hospital
Dr. Ziheng Zeng is the most organized and proactive Chief Resident we have had in my 9 years as program director. His attention to detail and pride he takes in his work is remarkable. His leadership made for a very successful year.
Dr. Maya Amar | Sinai Health System – Mount Sinai Hospital
Dr. Amar has been an exceptional Co-Chief Resident at the MSH-AFHT. She has created an open and welcoming culture for her colleagues. Dr. Amar is an excellent liaison between her residents and clinic leadership advocating for both the educational goals of her colleagues as well as excellent patient care.
Dr. Shayne Friedman | North York General Hospital
Shayne is a natural born leader. As Chief Resident this past year, he has been an invaluable asset to our residency program. He is organized, professional and caring. His peers look to him for advice and reassurance. He will do great things after graduation!
Dr. Taylor Stanojev | Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre
Dr. Stanojev has been a leader and role model. She stepped into the role of resident representative in first year with ease. She continued her role into second year and has been the chosen voice for residents. She is also a role model for colleagues with her excellent clinical skills.
Dr. Shyan Van Heer | Southlake Regional Health Centre
Shyan's outstanding leadership skills make him a deserving candidate for an award. His initiative to create a weekly curriculum to support his peers in preparing for their CFPC exams showcases his dedication to fostering growth and development amongst his team. Additionally, his efforts to promote camaraderie and positivity through social events and a positive attitude demonstrate his exceptional qualities as a leader.
Dr. Adrina Zhong | Unity Health Toronto – St. Michael's Hospital
Dr. Zhong has demonstrated excellence in leadership as PGY1 Representative and PGY2 Co-Lead resident. She has taken the initiative to develop her skills by enrolling in a Leadership elective and seeking mentorship from clinical leaders. In all these capacities she is professional, enthusiastic, and is deserving of leadership role.
Dr. Madeleine Paige Rudolph | Unity Health Toronto – St. Michael's Hospital
Dr. Rudolph demonstrates excellence in leadership as the current FM residency co-leads. She is kind, approachable, and knowledgeable in clinical skills and residency policies. Her advocacy was impressive, contributing to changes in surgical experiences and to home calls that align better with learning objectives, newly implemented this year
Dr. Maxwell Tran | Women's College Hospital
As a WCH Family Practice Resident Co-Lead, Max has truly exemplified what it means to be a leader. Together with his Co-lead he has created a sense of community, thoughtfully helped the residents navigate uncertain times during administrative transitions and has been instrumental in reshaping our call scheduling.
Dr. Joel Patrick Voth | Enhanced Skills Program
Dr. Voth’s leadership positions include Indigenous Health Lead for the Family Medicine Residents Association, and as a Working Group Member for the National Consortium for Indigenous Medical Education. This year, he developed a module on culturally safe practice with Indigenous clients for our program. He is thoughtful, open, and exhibits humility, while leading with quiet confidence.
Dr. Kaitlin Siou | Enhanced Skills Program
As a FAM-ES pioneer, Kaitlin changed the timing of writing the CCFP exam, initiated a faculty meeting to give feedback, recruited future residents and submitted a reflective article on her experience to CFP. Through her quiet and thoughtful advocacy and leadership, she has made an important contribution to shaping this new program.
Dr. Lynda Ngozi Nnenna Ekeh | Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre
Dr. Ekeh is one of our newest faculty, however she is not unfamiliar to our program as she recently graduated from the Barrie FMTU. Lynda is also transitioning to being our QI lead. Her clinical acumen and thoughtful nature make her an excellent role model for residents and colleagues alike.
Dr. Julian Manzone | Southlake Regional Health Centre
Dr. Manzone's exceptional teaching skills and dedication to his residents make him a deserving candidate for the new teacher award. His approachable demeanor and willingness to take the time to explain concepts using practical examples showcase his exceptional ability to connect with his learners. Additionally, his commitment to listening to and addressing resident feedback in his role as site director demonstrates his outstanding qualities as a teacher and leader.
Dr. Phillip Tsang | Unity Health Toronto – St. Michael's Hospital
Dr. Tsang is a phenomenal teacher. He is knowledgeable and very patient with learners of any level of training. Other than his teaching, he sets a great example for all of us to learn from. He is kind, compassionate, and deeply empathetic of all his patients. He deserves the New Teacher award.
Dr. Stephanie Zhou | Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
Dr. Zhou encourages a respectful and inclusive learning environment that supports active learning, curiosity and continuous enhancement of clinical practice. She engages with students and colleagues in a respectful manner and aligns learning outcomes with teaching activities. Dr. Zhou demonstrates exemplary teaching skills and an exceptional ability to inspire students.
Dr. Ali Nazim Damji | Trillium Health Partners – Credit Valley Hospital
Dr. Ali Damji has made an incredible contribution to advancing family medicine education. He is an exemplary leader across multiple dimensions -system-level, academic, policy, and in social accountability. He models excellence in care and residents find him approachable and enthusiastic. He developed a novel addiction medicine curriculum and is a leader of multiple curricular, educational and quality improvement endeavours.
Dr. Ahmad Wameed Rajaa Al-Abduljabar | Trillium Health Partners – Mississauga Hospital
Ahmad is a former graduate from our program, stellar as a resident who continued to be a great teacher and colleague to his junior residents. He showed a great deal altruism and selflessness trying to step up to every opportunity of teaching and leadership opportunities.
Dr. Paula Pop | Scarborough Health Network
Dr. Pop is an amazing educator who ensures residents are well taken care of and the patients assigned to them are helpful to meeting educational goals. She spends a lot of her time teaching one-on-one and making sure that useful topics and objectives are met during the geriatrics rotation.
Dr. Gabilan Sivapatham | University Health Network – Toronto Western Hospital
Dr. Sivapatham has had an immediate impact on all residents since becoming a staff physician. He creates a safe and supportive clinical environment while pushing his residents to be independent and effective clinicians. He asks residents for specific goals and offers the opportunity to teach on a specific topic of interest.
Dr. Jeffrey Golisky | Integrated Communities Program
Dr. Golisky is an exceptional mentor, educator and leader in both his community and his director position with the Integrated Communities Program. His endless commitment to ensuring resident wellness, opportunity and exposure to the full breadth of rural comprehensive generalism is unparalleled. He embodies quiet, subtle and effective leadership.
Dr. Benjamin Kaasa | Enhanced Skills Program
Dr. Kaasa is an excellent program director and leader. He created unique learning opportunities including a communication course, POCUS series, and procedure clinic. Moreover, he is supportive of all our needs. He cultivates a comprehensive Family Medicine approach to Hospital Medicine that has garnered an esteem from both Family physicians and Internists.
Dr. Sarah Kawaguchi | Enhanced Skills Program
In her role as Program Director, Dr. Kawaguchi has demonstrated an exceptional ability to receive feedback on program gaps, strong leadership skills during program accreditation, and expertise in facilitating decision-making on how to modify the palliative training program. Importantly, residents share that Dr. Kawaguchi is caring and approachable.
Ms. Beverley Nutt | Oak Valley Health – Markham Stouffville Hospital
Bev is the best part of our program. She is organized, proactive, and always goes the extra mile to ensure that every resident has the chance to have the best residency experience and meet their personal and professional objectives. She is kind, respectful, and an exceptional program coordinator.
Dr. Deborah Levitan | Women's College Hospital
Dr. Debbie Levitan is an incredibly dedicated teacher, role model, and clinician. At every opportunity, she voices the perspective of the residents with the goal of developing excellent clinicians. Dr. Levitan invests in her trainees and is highly effective at advocating for their learning needs while supporting their growth as people.
Dr. Anneliese Mills | Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
Anneliese has been interested in teaching from the moment we met her. She has volunteered for every teaching opportunity she could, from taking FMLE students, to mentoring junior learners, to helping with formal lectures. She has made it part of her residency to inspire in others the joy of family medicine
Dr. Vignesh Shankar Sethuraman | Scarborough Health Network
Dr. Shankar Sethuraman is an excellent teacher and role model for clerks in my community office. He has participated in FMLE, small group seminars on Fatigue/Depression, Family Violence and Motivational Interviewing and acted as a resource for clerks regarding electives, CARMS and career paths.
Dr. Alan Huynh | Toronto East Health Network – Michael Garron Hospital
Alan is an exceptional resident. He has excelled clinically but what truly stands out is that he is already demonstrating the skills of an adept teacher. It has been incredible to see how he uses every opportunity to share this knowledge with others. We know that future learners will greatly benefit from his teaching.
Quality and Innovation
PGY1 Impact Award
Evaluating the use of case-based modules to challenge resident biases and provide residents with knowledge and skills to approach vulnerable populations in Family Medicine
This team was focused on improving equity and care of vulnerable populations by developing case based modules. Their commitment to these vulnerable populations was evident and their process of developing nd evaluating the modules was rigorous. A really well done job.
Dr. Rebecca Rajakaruna | Mount Sinai Hospital
Dr. Brianne Robinson | Mount Sinai Hospital
Improving the frequency of metabolic monitoring in adult patients on atypical antipsychotic therapy
This group of residents worked with one of our staff and pharmacists in an attempt to improve metabolic monitoring for patients taking atypical antipsychotics. Initial data showed that no patients on these medication were being appropriately screened. System analysis was robust and tests of change targeted providers with both a one-pager as well as EMR tools. The project showed improvement in several, but not all of the metabolic monitoring parameter and is well suited for a team to continue the work next year.
Dr. Lavan Sivarajah | Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
Dr. Ben Shachar | Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
Dr. Abir Islam | Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
Increasing colorectal cancer screening rates
This PGY-1 team conducted a successful project of increasing their colorectal cancer screening rates in their family medicine clinics by achieving a 13.5% increase in FIT testing by the end of their project. They concluded that direct completion of FIT requisitions may be the most effective way of increasing screening and allows patients to opt out at the time of testing, which may be an effective strategy to spread to other screening protocols in the future.
Dr. Kent Tang | Scarborough Health Network
Dr. Vignesh Shankar Sethuraman | Scarborough Health Network
Dr. Hrishov Sarker | Scarborough Health Network
Increasing Pneumovax Vaccination Rates in Patients Over 65 Years Old
We would like to nominate Drs. Leedan Cohen Mammon and Ilana Geist for the PGY1 Quality Improvement Impact Award for their project entitled “Increasing Pneumovax Vaccination Rates in Patients Over 65 Years Old”.
They were able to demonstrate a strong understanding of quality improvement principles in their usage of multiple varied PDSA cycles to achieve their aim. They utilized EMR searches, EMR reminders, emails and phone calls at various points throughout their project and ultimately were able to increase the treatment rate in this population. Their project was well described in their presentation that aptly described their processes and was selected by the NYGH faculty as the group that best demonstrated the use of QI methodology.
Dr. Leedan Cohen | North York General Hospital
Dr. Ilana Geist | North York General Hospital
Improving Advance Care Planning Conversations in the Family Practice Setting
Increasing Advanced Care Planning discussions in family practice improve patient outcomes and better equip patients and physicians with care management when patients are acutely ill. It allows longitudinal discussion with a trusted provider who understands their medical and social history. This team took a thoughtful approach to understanding the current state and making a plan for increasing the frequency of ACP discussions Women’s College Hospital Family Practice.
Dr. Mergim Binakaj | Women's College Hospital
Dr. Wenna Deng | Women's College Hospital
Dr. Meghan Feeney | Women's College Hospital
Who is your Substitute Decision Maker? A Catalyst for Advanced Care Planning
Less than 2% of patients 70+ do not have a Substitution Decision maker identified in their medical record. Aim: To improve number of patients 70+ SDM documentation in the chart, specifically engage with at least 25 patients over 3 months. Change ideal Development of a provider reminder tool and patient-centered flowsheet to support SDM/Advanced Care Planning conversations with patients. Outcomes: Increased SDM documentation by 41 patients over a 3-month period. Learnings from this work will be spread to other sites to assist with further SDM/Advanced Care Planning discussions in the Primary Care settings.
Dr. Helen Tam-Tham | St. Michael's Hospital
Dr. Abseret Hailu | St. Michael's Hospital
Dr. Margarita Lam-Antoniades | St. Michael's Hospital
Dr. Amy Freedman | St. Michael's Hospital
Ms. Lisa Miller | St. Michael's Hospital
Planning and implementing expansion of patient access to registered nurse-initiated screening for sexually transmitted infections
Previous Quality Improvement work completed at St Michael’s Hospital Academic Family Health Team, demonstrated STI screening can be optimized through easy access to screening assessors and knowledgeable providers. Aim: By end of June/2022 to improved patient access to STI screening by enabling Nurse providers at the FHT to support these patient interactions. Change Idea: Development of a decision support tool that enable and guide Nurse team members in STI screening conversations. Outcomes: Nurse-led screening questionnaire was developed that allowed for population of screening requisitions that could be provided to patients and support interprofessional collaboration on follow-up of test results. Learnings from this work will be further spread to our FHT sites to engage further work in interprofessional collaboration in STI screening.
Dr. Madeline Rudolph | St. Michael's Hospital
Dr. Alexander Smith | St. Michael's Hospital
Dr. Margarita Lam-Antoniades | St. Michael's Hospital
Dr. Charlie Guiang | St. Michael's Hospital
Dr. James Owen | St. Michael's Hospital
Ms. Lauren Drygas | St. Michael's Hospital
Mr. Aestus Rogers | St. Michael's Hospital
Mr. Lee Tracy | St. Michaels Hospital
Ms. Lisa Miller | St. Michael's Hospital
Improving the Use of a Mental Health Tracking Tool at Health For All
I am pleased to nominate Drs. Amin, Kamalodeen and Sarir for the PGY1 Impact Award to recognize their exemplary quality improvement work to improve the use of a mental health tracking tool at the Health for All Family Health Team. During their PGY1 year, they examined the existing tool and surveyed providers for feedback. They then optimized, tested, and implemented an updated version of the tool which helped standardized and monitored depression symptoms and response to treatment over time. It had an 81.3% satisfaction rate from users. The tool continues to be in use regularly at Health for All today.
Dr. Asmarah Amin | Markham Stouffville Hospital
Dr. Saleem Kamalodeen | Markham Stouffville Hospital
Dr. Hadi Sarir | Markham Stouffville Hospital
Advance Care Planning
The idea for our quality improvement (QI) project stemmed from the numerous studies which showed Canadians being interested in discussing advanced care planning (ACP) with their family doctors when healthy, however despite this interest, less than 10% had done so. Our QI project aimed to select a method of documenting ACP conversations that is both effective and patient-centered using 3 FMTU resident practices. We used 3 different methods in our PDSA cycles to document ACP discussions - advanced directives, emailed questionnaires and a dedicated patient-physician phone calls. Our QI project findings overall were supportive of a dedicated patient-physician conversation for ACP discussions.
Dr. Shivani Patel | Credit Valley Hospital
Dr. Simran Benipal | Credit Valley Hospital
Dr. Ali Hirji | Credit Valley Hospital
Reducing St. Joseph’s Urban Family Health Team’s Environmental Impact by Deprescribing Metered Dose Inhalers in favour of Dry Powdered Inhalers
Through a multipronged approach, Drs Radana and Petersons successfully led a project to reduce our medical carbon footprint. By targeting both patients and providers with education about the negative environmental impact of Metered dose inhalers over Dry powdered inhalers, they have successfully cut the proportion of MDIs prescribed in half from 72% (2021) to 36% (Jan-July 2022). Most significantly, many of their changes are sustainable as they are embedded within PSS including reminders, handouts and prescription favourites.
Dr. Bojana Radan | St. Joseph's Health Centre
Dr. Olivia Petersons | St. Joseph's Health Centre
Dr. Natascha Crispino | St. Joseph's Health Centre
Mr. Jonathan Fowler | St. Joseph's Health Centre
M. Vinay Phokeo | St. Joseph's Health Centre
Sexually transmitted infection screening rates
This team identified that sexually transmitted infection screening rates in low risk patients had decreased, during the COVID-19 pandemic. The QI project focused on increasing patient and provider awareness. The most effective change idea was increasing provider awareness of recommend guidelines. This impactful initiative encompassed improvement across the elements of the Quadruple Aim.
Dr. Paige Steciuk | Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre
Dr. Fatemeh Bakhtiari | Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre
Dr. Ovina Chow | Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre
Dr. Taylor Stanojev | Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre
PGY2 Impact Award
Improving efficiency of virtual care
This group addressed an important need in determining appropriate use of virtual care in the primary care setting. Their process was thorough and involved patient stakeholders from the outset. Using staff and patient working groups as well as reviewing existing literature, they developed a guideline for appropriate use of virtual care to be piloted.
Dr. Vito Zhaoxin | Mount Sinai Hospital
Dr. Manraj Athwal | Mount Sinai Hospital
Dr. Aashna Duggal | Mount Sinai Hospital
Dr. Michael Phang | Mount Sinai Hospital
Increasing the implementation of advanced EMR tools
We would like to nominate Dr. Sayeh Doulatyari Azar for the PGY2 Quality Improvement Impact Award for her project aimed at increasing the implementation of advanced EMR tools. Her project stemmed from a desire to improve patient care and increase practice efficiency by
harnessing the capabilities of the PSS EMR. She collaborated with an interprofessional team in her office to understand the needs of physicians and non-physicians. She also worked directly with the EMR developer to develop a training session to improve participants’ abilities to use
advanced EMR tools. Pre and post training surveys will allow her to understand the impact of her training sessions and can allow for guidance of future interventions aimed to increase patient care and practice efficiency through more effective EMR utilization.
Dr. Sayeh Doulatyari Azar | North York General Hospital
Promoting a Safer Clinical Space for 2SLGBTQIA+ Patients at St Joseph’s Family Medicine Centre/ Urban Family Health Team
This two year project led by Drs Julian Hughes and Darek Cole worked to evaluate and improve the clinical safety for 2SLGBTQIA+ patients at SJHC UFHT. Through their work rainbow, lanyard pins, and signage are now prevalent. Pronoun buttons have been provided along with clinic-wide teaching on the importance of inquiring about and honouring patients’ preferred pronouns. Having raised awareness among staff, current work is being done to evaluate the impact of these changes from a patient perspective.
Dr. Julian Hughes | St. Joseph's Health Centre
Dr. Darek Cole | St. Joseph's Health Centre
Dr. Yael Feinberg | St. Joseph's Health Centre
Dr. Akshaan Kaul | St. Joseph's Health Centre
Ms. Kim Bradbury | St. Joseph's Health Centre
Ms. Tanya Perisic | St. Joseph's Health Centre
Faculty and Staff Impact Awards
Dr. Lise Huynh | Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
As our Divisional QI lead, Lise has led our team in identifying important and relevant health quality metrics, setting up systems to capture data, and supporting faulty in monitoring and analyzing the data. This has led to several QI projects aimed at improving areas of care we have chosen as our focus. This QI approach to ensuring quality care is a new initiative on our team, and Lise has done an outstanding job leading it.
Dr. James Carson and Ms. Carolyn Smith | Scarborough Health Network
In the spirit of continuous quality improvement, this community family medicine clinic led by Dr. James Carson has developed a subsection of his previous preventative care QI project to focus on enhancing cardiovascular education with his patients. He and his team have developed a video around cardiovascular risk and managing cholesterol, which has saved physician time during patient encounters and encouraged proactive patient engagement in their own health care.
Implementing an e-referral system throughout the North York General Hospital Department of Community and Family Medicine
We would like to nominate Dr. Jeremy Chad for the Faculty & Staff Impact award for his work on implementing an e-referral system throughout the North York General Hospital Department of Community and Family Medicine. Dr. Chad has applied a quality improvement framework in the rollout of the OCEAN e-referral network as a lead physician on the project. He has collaborated directly with family physicians working throughout the North York community, specialists in hospital, and the North York Toronto Health Partners OHT. He has implemented several change ideas to increase the uptake of the e-referral system throughout the department in a methodical and stepwise fashion. He has also served as a connection for community family physicians to provide feedback and has used this valuable information to promote improvements in the overall e-referral
system. His efforts have reflected a quality improvement approach and will have a lasting impact on the local North York health system.
Dr. Jeremy Chad | North York General Hospital
Partnering for Safety: Family Practice and Laboratory Services
In 2021, Women's College Family Practice and Laboratory Services noted an increase in specimen rejections and delayed or missing results, related in part to a ramping up of in-person services. The teams struck a partnership to examine and minimize these errors over a period of 18 months. Their work has resulted in a well-controlled number of monthly errors, and an enduring collaboration that focuses on continuous quality improvement.
Ms. Nicole Bourgeois | Women's College Hospital
Dr. Carol Kitai | Women's College Hospital
Dr. Dara Maker | Women's College Hospital
Mr. Ameet Mathrani | Women's College Hospital
Ms. Edralyn Bernardo | Women's College Hospital
Ms. Shelena Phan | Women's College Hospital
Ms. Ann Gjeci | Women's College Hospital
Mr. Mason Snook | Women's College Hospital
Ms. Fredalymn Marasigan | Women's College Hospital
Ms. Rhaisa Salomao | Women's College Hospital
Improving equitable access to Cervical Cancer Screening through NP/RN-Led Pap Clinics
The COVID19 pandemic presented significant challenges with Cervical Cancer screening delivery by Primary Care. Patients were fearful of attending clinics, clinical prioritizing acute care versus screening, resulting in an expanding gap in care for patients particularly in lower income quintiles who prior to the pandemic experienced lower screening rates. The St Michael’s Hospital Academic Family Health Team, Cervical Cancer Screening Working Group brought together an interprofessional team who developed a successful, iterative approach to providing Cervical Cancer Care through dedicated NP led clinics and improving learning opportunities for Nurse team members to develop skill and capacity in Pap tests. Through PDSA cycles of weekly vaccination clinics, development of routine operational workflow that provided phone outreach to patients who were high risk for being under-screened, the team had successfully developed a robust process that continues to facilitate access to Cervical Cancer Screening for typically underserved patients at the Family Health Team.
Ms. Kari Fulton | St. Michael's Hospital
Ms. Soruba Vajayartnam | St. Michael's Hospital
Ms. Sue Hranilovic | St. Michael's Hospital
Ms. Lorna McDougall | St. Michael's Hospital
Ms. Sarah Nestico | St. Michael's Hospital
Ms. Ann Rodrigues | St. Michael's Hospital
Ms. Jackie Chen | St. Michael's Hospital
Mr. Mo Alhaj | St. Michael's Hospital
Ms. Ann Marie Doherty | St. Michael's Hospital
Ms. Chantal Sorhaindo | St. Michael's Hospital
Ms. Seema Bhandarkar | St. Michael's Hospital
Ms. Laura Drygas | St. Michael's Hospital
Ms. Paula Periera | St. Michael's Hospital
Ms. Pegi (Margaret) Kohut | St. Michael's Hospital
Dr. Noor Ramji | St. Michael's Hospital
Dr. Karuna Gupta | Markham Stouffville Hospital
Dr. Karuna Gupta demonstrates exemplary leadership in quality improvement work to drive positive changes at the Health For All Family Health Team. She has been actively guiding and collaborating with team members to make improvements in various clinical areas over the years, from cervical cancer screening to deprescribing proton pump inhibitors to diabetes management. Her passion in QI helps build a strong QI culture amongst staff and residents at our site.
MINT Memory Clinic: Dr. James Pencharz, Ms. Natalia Makeeva, Ms. Rita Hanna, Mr. Ian Lin, Ms. Radhika Mohan, Ms. Firoozeh (Rose) Hashemi, Ms. Yoko Tsuyuki, Ms. Lisa Styczen | Credit Valley Family Health Team
I am thrilled to nominate our interdisciplinary MINT Memory Clinic for this prestigious award, in recognition of its groundbreaking work and team based approach in addressing complex needs and providing compassionate memory care for those living with concerns related to dementia and cognitive impairment. Our clinic is a testament to the innovative and collaborative approach of our team which include a diverse range of health care professionals from family doctors, residents/students, nurse practitioners to pharmacists, social workers, dietitians and nurses. By bringing together this wealth of expertise, we have created a patient-centered model of care that is both comprehensive and coordinated, ensuring that our patients receive the highest quality care and support and receive faster access to memory and dementia care. Our team's dedication to improving the lives of those with memory difficulties and their families, sets us apart as a worthy and deserving candidate for this award.
Improving Evening Clinic and Urgent Care Access at St Joseph’s Family Medicine Centre/Urban Family Health Team
The challenge was to increase the number of in person evening clinics and urgent care appointments while more effectively using limited clerical resources and more equitably sharing evening resident supervision among staff MDs. Recognizing that significant change would be required by all staff and MDs, QI methodology was applied to engage stakeholders. The aims, measures, and approach to evaluation were clearly defined, documented and communicated. The changes have been a resounding success on all counts. Further fine tuning is being accomplished through ongoing rapid tests of change.
Ms. Simona Sarmasan | St. Joseph's Health Centre
Ms. Roxanne Gopie | St. Joseph's Health Centre
Mr. Jonathan Fowler | St. Joseph's Health Centre
Ms. Alejandra Priego | St. Joseph's Health Centre
Ms. Linda Jackson | St. Joseph's Health Centre
Mr. Jevon Manchester | St. Joseph's Health Centre
Ms. Erin Tigchelaar | St. Joseph's Health Centre
Dr. Alice Ordean | St. Joseph's Health Centre
Dr. Jessica He | St. Joseph's Health Centre
Dr. Linda Weber | St. Joseph's Health Centre
Dr. Judy Thompson | St. Joseph's Health Centre
Dr. Difat Jakubovic | St. Joseph's Health Centre
Dr. Priya Sood | St. Joseph's Health Centre
Dr. Daphne Williams | St. Joseph's Health Centre
Award for Research Mentorship
Dr. Giulia-Anna Perri | Baycrest Health Sciences, Research
Outstanding Peer-Reviewed Publication
First place: Sud A, Molska G, Salamanca-Buentello F. (2022). | Humber River Hospital, Research
Evaluations of Continuing Health Provider Education Focused on Opioid Prescribing: A Scoping Review. Academic Medicine 97(2):p 286-299, February 2022. | DOI: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000004186
Second place: Smylie J, McConkey S, Rachlis B, Avery L, Mecredy G, Brar R, Bourgeois C, Dokis B, Vandevenne S, Rotondi MA (2022). | Unity Health Toronto – St. Michael's Hospital
Uncovering SARS-COV-2 vaccine uptake and COVID-19 impacts among First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples living in Toronto and London, Ontario. CMAJ. 2022 Aug 2;194(29):E1018-E1026. Erratum in: CMAJ. 2022 Oct 17;194(40):E1383.
Third place: Spithoff S, Mogic L, Hum S, Moineddin R, Meaney C, Kiran T (2022). | Women's College Hospital
Examining Access to Primary Care for People With Opioid Use Disorder in Ontario, Canada: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Netw Open. 2022 Sep 1;5(9):e2233659. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.33659. PMID: 36178686; PMCID: PMC9526081.
Excellence in Advocacy
Dr. Cristina De Lasa | Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) Hospital
Excellence in Mentorship
Dr. Tia (Thuy-Nga) Pham | Toronto East General Hospital – East Toronto Family Health Team
Innovation in Family Medicine Education
Dr. Risa Bordman | North York General Hospital
Role Modelling Clinical Excellence
Dr. Yvonne Kwok | University Health Network – Toronto Western Hospital
Dr. Kathryn Dorman | Unity Health Toronto – St. Michael's Hospital
Dr. Diana Hsiang | Women's College Hospital
Dr. Neal Belluzzo | Sinai Health System – Bridgepoint
Dr. Sheila Yuen | North York General Hospital
Role Modelling Clinical Excellence – FMLE
Dr. Kate Marshall | Office-Based Physician
Dr. Sandra Bing-Wo | Office-Based Physician
Teaching Excellence – Clerkship
Dr. Jean Robison | Unity Health Toronto – St. Michael's Hospital
Dr. Matthew Orava | ROMP – Barrie, Royal Victoria Hospital
Dr. David Wheler | Scarborough Health Network
Dr. Braden O’Neill | Unity Health Toronto – St. Michael's Hospital
Dr. Sarah Mahmoud | University Health Network – Toronto Western Hospital
Teaching Excellence – Electives
Dr. Sandeep Aggarwal | Trillium Health Partners
Dr. Melissa Singer | North York General Hospital
Teaching Excellence – FMLE
Dr. Elizabeth McKeown | Office-Based Physician
Dr. Hany Ibrahim | Office-Based Physician
Teaching Excellence - New Teacher
Dr. Lauren Welsh | Unity Health Toronto – St. Michael's Hospital
Dr. Nitai Gelber | University Health Network – Toronto Western Hospital
Dr. Jesse Myers | Women's College Hospital
Dr. Haleh Doulatyariazar | North York General Hospital
Dr. Duate Adegbite | University Health Network – Toronto Western Hospital
Teaching Excellence - Transition to Residency
Dr. Lauren Manolakos | ROMP – Barrie, Royal Victoria Hospital
Dr. Joseph Larson | Humber River Health