Aug 16, 2023

2023 Temerty Awards for Excellence in Professional Values

Students, Faculty & Staff
Recipients of 2023 Temerty Awards for Professional Values
By Emily Kulin

Through their commitment to professional values, faculty and learners in the University of Toronto’s Temerty Faculty of Medicine enhance our clinical, research and learning environments while contributing to our community’s shared wellbeing.

These professional values are exemplified in many ways, including (but not limited to): dealing fairly and ethically with colleagues and others; actively facilitating psychologically-, culturally- and physically-safe learning and work environments; demonstrating kindness, respect, civility, humility, integrity and self-reflection; and committing to anti-oppressive and anti-racist practices, consistent advocacy and inclusion for equity deserving groups and allyship.

While all community members are called upon to adhere to these values, each year many faculty and learners go above and beyond in their commitment to professionalism. First established in 2021, the Temerty Awards for Excellence in Professional Values were launched to recognize these exceptional community members. All faculty and learners, from across Temerty Medicine’s clinical, fundamental science and rehabilitation science sectors are eligible to be nominated by one or more peer, supervisor, colleague, staff member or program leader.

We offer the five recipients of the 2023 Temerty Awards for Excellence in Professional Values our heartfelt congratulations and thanks.

Alaa Alsaafin

Alaa Alsaafin recently completed her doctoral studies with the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology. Her nominators cited her consistent demonstration of fairness, integrity, and ethical standards in her academic and professional work, as well as her leadership service with the Pharmacology Graduate Students Association, the Life Sciences Career Development Syndicate and the Equity, Diversity, Inclusion (EDI) Working Group. Alsaafin was particularly praised for her efforts establishing the department’s Leadership and Exemplary Service Award, her integrity as a course instructor and her encouragement of students and peers to share and celebrate their cultural backgrounds with one another.

Nader Chaya

Nader Chaya graduated from U of T’s MD Program in June 2023. During his studies, he served as the Medical Society’s vice president of student affairs and co-led the Religious Mistreatment Working Group to raise awareness of and address religious mistreatment in clinical and non-clinical settings. He played a vital role in creating a robust platform that informed undergraduate and postgraduate medical learners learners of their rights, streamlined disclosures, and created an internal structure dedicated to addressing mistreatment within clinical environments. Chaya’s nominators particularly praised him for his commitment to mentoring aspiring young professionals from marginalized backgrounds and for his work founding the Med/Law Outreach Program which seeks to motivate and assist underrepresented students in pursuing these professions. 

Shone Joos

Shone Joos is an assistant professor, teaching stream in the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy. Nominators lauded Joos for always thinking of others and for her enthusiastic efforts to make the department, its work culture and the learning environment more fun, inclusive and high in integrity. A much sought-after faculty advisor, she actively participates in multiple departmental committees and serves as a member of the U of T Governing Council's Academic Board and the Association of Canadian Occupational Therapy University Programs' Community of Practice for Research on Education. Joos has pursued training in the area of anti-oppressive practices, including engagement in the Building the Foundations for Anti-Oppressive Healthcare Program at the Centre for Faculty Development, and strives to incorporate the principles she has learned into her teaching. In the classroom, Joos is dedicated to presenting material in a way that fosters engagement and prepares students to navigate ethical decision-making in real-world situations. She places a special emphasis on recognizing the strengths of clients and their families, adopting a neurodiverse-affirming approach and providing care considering an anti-oppressive lens.

Chetana Kulkarni

Chetana Kulkarni is Temerty Medicine’s director, undergraduate learner affairs, an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and a child and adolescent psychiatrist at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children (Sick Kids).  Her nominators praised her for her commitments to fair and ethical dealings in her work navigating complex situations with learners, noting how she expertly facilitates dialogue and balances all perspectives to ensure that ethical standards are upheld. Faculty and staff colleagues also report benefiting tremendously from her efforts to create inclusive and psychologically safe working environments — particularly praising her efforts to recognize the unique contributions each team member makes, ensuring all voices are heard and going out of her way to acknowledge and thank those around her. Kulkarni is also recognized for her work promoting equity, diversity and inclusion in everything she does, and particularly for her leadership in developing EDI-specific programming for child and adolescent psychiatry (CAP) postgraduate trainees.

Saara Mohamed

Saara Mohamed is a graduate learner in the Department of Physical Therapy, who is expected to complete her MScPT studies in August 2023. A deeply engaged student renowned for her empathetic communication with her patients and peers, she has also demonstrated significant leadership as an equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) representative on Student Council. For the past two years, Mohamed has worked with her fellow EDI representative to distribute surveys and create reports regarding equity, diversity, and inclusion within the department, with the aim of creating a more safe, equitable and inclusive space for all students. As her two-year term in this role has come to a close, she has collaborated with PT faculty members in applying an EDI lens to their existing mentorship program. Her nominators particularly cited her strengths navigating complex clinical situations with empathy and professionalism, and noted that Mohamed has also spent time working as a PT Student in the IMAGINE clinic — an interprofessional, student-run community health initiative aimed at promoting and providing health care to the core neighborhoods of downtown Toronto.