top feature image


OPHA recognizes the outstanding contributions to the practice of public health in Ontario by conferring a prestigious roster of awards to deserving individuals and groups.

Nominations for the awards are made by OPHA Members in good standing. The nominees do not need to be OPHA Members. Nominations are reviewed by the Membership committee and a recommendation will be made to the Executive Committee and Board of Directors. 

The five award categories are:  

Award of Excellence

This 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 and Capacity building. Do you know a Public Health Champion who has led such initiatives, whose dedication has changed lives and improved a community?

Community Partner Award

This 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. 

Legacy Award

This award recognizes public health leaders who have made outstanding contributions to the health of Ontarians throughout their career.  Do you know anyone dedicated to community and public health?

OPHA Public Health Ally Award

This award selected recognizes 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

This 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.  

Past Winners

2021 OPHA Award Winners