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Health Officers Council and SPPH hold joint Awards Reception to honour public health professionals

Oct 25, 2022 |

On October 19, 2022, the School of Population and Public Health (SPPH) co-hosted an awards evening with the Health Officers Council of British Columbia. The reception celebrated the extraordinary work by public health professionals in BC and showcased some pertinent research conducted by newer SPPH faculty members.  

Over 50 Health Officers Council members and SPPH faculty and staff attended the event, which was a long-overdue celebration of the extraordinary work done through the pandemic by public health professionals and researchers.  

Assistant Professor Veena Sriram, who is jointly appointed with the UBC School of Public Policy and Global Affairs (SPPGA), presented on her research on health care worker protests during the COVID-19 pandemic and upstream determinants of the pandemic response in India and Canada.  

Assistant Professor Daniel Vigo, jointly appointed with the UBC Department of Psychiatry, presented his research on the burden of mental health and substance use disorders before and during the pandemic.  

After the faculty presentations, SPPH leadership presented eight awards to public health professionals to celebrate their extraordinary work before and during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Professor Aslam Anis, SPPH’s Director pro tem, presented the first set of six awards to the 2019, 2020, and 2021 winners of the George Elliot Lifetime Achievement Award and the James M. Robinson Mid-Career Award.  

The George Elliot Lifetime Achievement Awards for Contribution in Public Health in British Columbia is a late-career award given to a public health practitioner who has made an outstanding contribution to public health in BC.  

The winners are: Simon Fraser University Professor Emeritus Tim Takaro (2019) for his extraordinary contributions to studying the link between human exposure and disease; UBC Professor Mel Krajden, Medical Director of the BCCDC Public Health Laboratory (2020) for his lifetime contributions to infection control; and SPPH Professor Emeritus Jane Buxton from UBC SPPH (2021) for her life-saving contributions to epidemiology and harm reduction. 

The James M. Robinson Mid-Career Award for Contribution to Public Health in British Columbia is a mid-career award given to a public health practitioner who has made an outstanding contribution to public health in BC.  

The winners are: Clinical Professor Meena Dawar (2019) for her work on vaccines and disease control; Clinical Associate Professor Jat Sandhu (2020) for his contributions to public health surveillance; and Clinical Assistant Professor Sue Pollock (2021) for her extraordinary public health leadership.  

Dr. Trevor Corneil, SPPH Associate Director Clinical Faculty Affairs and Program Director for the Public Health and Preventative Medicine (PHPM) program, presented the Jane Buxton Resident Teaching Award for 2020 and 2021.  

The Jane Buxton Resident Teaching Award is given by residents in recognition and acknowledgement of outstanding contributions to teaching and post-graduate education in the UBC Public Health and Preventative Medicine Residency Program. 

The winners are: Dr. Larry Frisch (2020) for his commitment to teaching during the most difficult days of the pandemic; and Dr. Andrew Larder (2021) for his steadying force and positive influence.  

SPPH Associate Director, Research, Professor Mieke Koehoorn also recognized one of SPPH’s most distinguished faculty, Professor Ruth Elwood Martin, for her career in prison health care delivery. Professor Martin  is the winner of the 2022 Faculty of Medicine Clinical Faculty Award for Excellence in Leadership/Service. She is also the winner of the Faculty Community Service Award, one of the UBC Alumni Achievement Awards. 

Congratulations to the award winners for your incredible commitment to public health!