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Each year, OPHA has been recognizing the outstanding contributions to the practice of public health in Ontario by conferring a prestigious roster of awards to deserving individuals and groups. These include the following:  

Award of Excellence: recognizes those that have contributed to Ontarians’ health and wellbeing, have been instrumental in leading social change and making community health advancements (e.g. attracted public and political support, advocated/educated policymakers, the media and the public about the social and economic benefits of public health and prevention). 

Nominees can be nominated for this award based on one of the following four criteria:  

  • Leadership  
  • Innovation 
  • Commitment to health equity 
  • Capacity building 

Do you know a Public Health Champion who has led such initiatives, whose dedication has changed lives and improved a community? If so, please take a few minutes to nominate these leaders for this award.   
Legacy Award: recognizes public health leaders who have made outstanding contributions to the health of Ontarians throughout their career.  

OPHA would like to recognize the work of these leaders in public health and asks for your help in finding the right candidates. Please take 5 minutes of your time to nominate a leader for OPHA’s Legacy Award.  

Community Partner Award: recognizes organizations in a sector other than public health that through their partnership, support, and advocacy activities demonstrably contributed to advancing public health priorities for their community and/or advancing issues of public health importance at a systems level (e.g. made a positive contribution towards reducing health inequities). 

Nominees for this award must meet the following criteria:  

  • Community organization in Ontario that meaningfully engages local residents; 
  • Achieves their goals and objectives in partnership with Public Health; 
  • Demonstrates an understanding of the social determinants of health, and how they impact personal and community health; and 
  • Works on issues aligned with OPHA’s mission, values, and advocacy priorities, having made a positive contribution towards the promotion of health communities.

Have you and your community partners made a positive contribution towards reducing health inequities? If so, we would like to hear from you and recognize these partners as the recipient of OPHA’s Community Partner Award.  

(NEW) OPHA Public Health Ally Award:  selected by OPHA and its Board of Directors to recognize an OPHA partner who has gone above and beyond to expand the work of OPHA and exemplifies its values of equity, social justice, inclusivity and diversity, fostering active and mutually-rewarding partnerships, volunteerism and valuing volunteer contributions, and/or the recognition of public health as an integral part of a publicly-funded Canadian and Ontario health system. 

Sheela Basrur Award: recognizes a current full- or part-time student(s) enrolled in an area related to public health at the undergrad or graduate level who demonstrate(s) the leadership qualities exemplified by the late Dr. Sheela Basrur and are already making a difference in their chosen field. 

Criteria for nomination include recognition for their commitment to the values of OPHA; leadership through projects, volunteer work; or work on any of the OPHA workgroups. Group nominations are available for the Sheela Basrur Award if the students are nominated under a shared initiative.

Do you know a current student, or group of students, enrolled in an area related to public health at the undergrad and graduate level (e.g. MPH, Nursing, Medicine, Health Policy, etc.) whose excellence in leadership deserves recognition? If so, please consider putting forward their name for the Sheela Basrur Award.  

Nominations must be made by a current OPHA Member. Nominees do not need to be OPHA Members. Application will be reviewed by the Membership committee and a recommendation will be made to the Executive Committee and Board of Directors. 

Past Winners

2021 OPHA Award Winners