Honouring Impact: The 2020 Dean’s Alumni Awards
U of T Medicine alumni have always been renowned for their contributions to their communities. Today, with the global COVID-19 pandemic shining a spotlight on health and healthcare providers, we are prouder than ever to announce the recipients of the 2020 Dean’s Alumni Awards.
This year’s honoured awardees include a Parkinson’s disease research pioneer, a paediatric social justice advocate, a champion of the homeless, a leading suicide prevention researcher and a home hemodialysis innovator. While their work may be diverse, each shares an important attribute: a commitment to making a difference.
“The five recipients of the 2020 Dean’s Alumni Awards represent the very best of our extraordinary alumni community,” Dean Trevor Young. “Their leadership, service to others and commitment to innovation will positively impact the lives of countless individuals.”
This year, the Faculty of Medicine is honouring:
Lifetime Achievement Award – Global Impact
Dr. Lang is the former President of the International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society and past Editor of the journal Movement Disorders. He pioneered the use of specific rating scales for a number of neurological movement disorders (including the most commonly used scale for cervical dystonia), advocated for the use of experimental therapeutics in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease and was instrumental in changing the way that Parkinson’s disease is evaluated. Dr. Lang established the Pan American Section within the international Movement Disorder Society — uniting clinicians and scientists from the United States, Latin America and South America, and representing those regions in the Society’s programming and outreach.
Lifetime Achievement Award - National/Community Impact
Dr. Dosani founded Palliative Education and Care for the Homeless (PEACH) — Canada’s first community-based Palliative Care outreach program, aimed at supporting the needs of Toronto’s most vulnerable and marginalized citizens. The street and shelter-based community outreach program aims to meld evidence-based practices from the field of Palliative Care with best practices from inner-city health research, using a supportive and empathic approach. Since its founding in 2014, PEACH has become nationally and internationally recognized with over 350 patients receiving PEACH-style care. As a result of his leadership and advocacy, Dr. Dosani inspired the development of Journey Home Hospice (JHH), a residential hospice that provides high-quality end-of-life care to individuals who have lived along the homeless continuum.
Emerging Leader Award
Dr. Sinyor is an international leader in suicide research and is at the forefront of shaping suicide prevention at the local, national and international levels. He has advised Canadian media about safe reporting related to suicide, as well as the World Health Organization and Mental Health Commission of Canada on creating guidelines for safely disseminating suicide-related content. Dr. Sinyor has also created workshops for the lay public and educators across Ontario on how to understand mental health, build resilience, and to talk safely about suicide. He is also the creator of a 3-month mental health literacy and skills curriculum for middle school students, which is being used across Ontario and will soon be in use in several countries around the world.
MD 25th Anniversary Award
Dr. Chan has made globally-recognized contributions to home hemodialysis. He has championed and defined this important therapy, leading and coordinating a large network dedicated to the clinical and basic science aspects of optimal dialysis delivery. He leads an internationally-recognized home dialysis centre of excellence in Toronto and led the development of the UHN-Baxter Home Dialysis Fellowship. Dr. Chan also co-chaired the International Consensus Statement of Innovative Dialysis Therapies and has over 200 highly cited peer-reviewed manuscripts.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 award recipients will be formally honoured at the next Dean’s Alumni Awards Reception in Spring 2021.