(L to R) Jashim Uddin, Emmanuela Guillermo and ​Pedro Ferreira. (Photos: UHN)

Congratulations to dedicated Environmental Services (EVS) team members Pedro Ferreira, Emmanuela Guillermo and Jashim Uddin – recipients of UHN's inaugural Mohamed Ali Memorial Award.

Established in 2022 by UHN Foundation, the Mohamed Ali Memorial Award supports an annual grant for educational and professional development opportunities to EVS or Transportation staff across UHN sites. The award honours the life and legacy of Mohamed Ali, a longtime member of the UHN housekeeping staff, who passed away in January 2021. Read more about Mohamed Ali.

All three winners hope to become a Supervisor within UHN's Environmental Services and will be putting their grants toward the Canadian Healthcare Housekeepers Association (CHHA) EVS Leadership Course.

Pedro Ferreira, EVS Associate, Toronto Rehab, University Centre: Although Pedro Ferreira only started working at UHN in early 2021, it's a job he sees himself "working for many years ahead."

"I feel so included and grateful to be part of a team that is so multicultural and inclusive and makes me feel so welcome and happy every day I am working," says Pedro, who immigrated to Canada from Brazil in 2016. "Since I started working at UHN, I have always tried to be empathetic, talking and cheering up the patients, helping my co-workers whenever I have the opportunity and especially helping those who are not very familiar with the technology with the implementation of the new Epic system."

Pedro, who has a background in computer science, took on a role as Epic "super user" to offer additional support to colleagues on the new system.

Emmanuela Guillermo, EVS Aide, Toronto Western Hospital: Emmanuela thought she had her dream career in aviation as a flight attendant – until the pandemic hit in 2020. When the world went into lockdown, she needed a job to get her through those difficult times, so she applied to work in Support Services at UHN.

"UHN took me in and gave me the opportunity to excel," says Emmanuela.

When she first applied, she started in Transportation, then moved to Environmental Services. After nearly two years at UHN, it's safe to say her dream career has changed.

"I'm not going back to the airline world, because UHN is my home now," says Emmanuela. "UHN is so much more than a healthcare system – it's a home where opportunities are open for people like me."

She quickly became a Lead on her EVS team and is now working towards becoming a Supervisor and "hopefully someday a manager."

Jashim Uddin, Cleaner, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre: Jashim comes from a healthcare family.

One of his daughters is an Intensive Care Unit nurse; another is studying science at the University of Toronto (U of T).

"Working in the healthcare environment has been my goal," says Jashim. "I don't have a doctor's education, but I still can help somebody.

"I am proud to work at Princess Margaret. You can help somebody who is fighting for their life."

Jashim, who started working at PM in June 2020, always knew UHN is where he wanted to establish his career. In fact, he registered for the CHHA's EVS Leadership Course a few months before the Mohamed Ali Memorial Award rolled out – and already completed the course with a 98 per cent grade.

Congratulations to Dr. Leanne K. Casaubon, clinical investigator and neurologist at UHN's Krembil Brain Institute, Medical Director of the Toronto West Stroke Network and the UHN Stroke Program, and Founder of the TIA and Minor Stroke (TAMS) Unit at Toronto Western Hospital (TWH) for being appointed Provincial Clinical Lead, Stroke for Ontario Health, after a competitive selection process.

In this new physician leadership role, Dr. Casaubon will provide visionary and strategic leadership to advance stroke care in Ontario, reporting to the Ontario Health – CorHealth Ontario Vice President, within Ontario Health's Clinical Institutes and Quality Programs (CIQP) Portfolio.

Dr. Casaubon has 15 years of leadership experience within the stroke system in Ontario. Her expertise includes quality improvement, stroke best practices, clinical care innovation, and advancing the stroke system of care.

Dr. Casaubon completed her medical training at Dalhousie University in 1999 followed by a residency in Neurology, a two-year stroke fellowship and an MSc in Clinical Epidemiology at the U of T.

"I am really looking forward to working with a great team at Ontario Health and CorHealth Ontario, and to help shape and enhance the healthcare system for persons with stroke and those at risk of stroke," says Dr. Casaubon.

Congratulations to Dr. Sharon Walmsley, professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases at Toronto General Hospital, for her appointment as the Speck Family Chair in Emerging Infectious Diseases.

Dr. Walmsley will serve as the Inaugural Speck Family Chair in Emerging Infectious Diseases, an endowed joint hospital-university Chair among UHN, the U of T and UHN Foundation, for a five-year term effective October 1, 2022 and extending to September 30, 2027. This award represents the importance of research in emerging infections in the face of the recent COVID pandemic.

Dr. Walmsley is a Senior Scientist at the Toronto General Hospital Research Institute and the co-Chair of the CIHR-Canadian HIV Trials Network. She is also actively involved in the design, conduct and analysis of many clinical trials, including trials in HIV therapy, prophylaxis and treatment of opportunistic infections, and management of the complications of treatment.

In June 2017, she was appointed as a Member of the Order of Canada for contributions in HIV research, especially related to advancing therapy for women, and mentoring young female investigators. In 2021, she was elected to the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences for her research related to HIV. In 2022, she received the YWCA Women of Distinction Award for her work with women living with HIV.

Congratulations to Dr. Sivakumar Gulasingam, physiatrist, Toronto Rehab's Spinal Cord Rehabilitation Program at Toronto Rehab's Lyndhurst Centre and Cardiac Rehabilitation Program at the Rumsey Centre, for receiving the 2022 Top 25 Canadian Immigrant of the Year Award.

This award celebrates successful newcomers for their outstanding contributions to Canada. The rigorous selection process reviews the challenges faced, personal and or professional achievements and contributions to Canada. This is organized by Canadian Immigrant magazine partnering with Western Union and COSTI Immigrant Services.

Other than his clinical work, Dr. Gulasingam contributes to the field of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) through his many roles, including Canadian Association of PM&R's Chair – International Rehabilitation Special Interest Group, PM&R Representative for International Society of PM&R and was the National Lead PM&R Residency Exams.

Dr. Gulasingam is actively involved in parasports and is the National Trainer & Para-Athletics Classifier with Athletics Canada, Head of Classification for Wheel-Dance Canada, International Paralympic Committee Classifier for World Para-Athletics and World Para-Dance Sports and was the Classification Director and Head of Multisport Classification – Toronto Invictus Games 2017 for war veterans.

Dr. Gulasingam is a recipient of many prestigious awards including; Outstanding and Innovation/Contribution to Clinical Education – TRI, UHN (2021); Michael Gordon Award for Humanism in Medicine – Department of Medicine (DOM), U of T (2020); Post Graduate Medical Trainee Leadership Award – DOM, U of T (2016); and The Most Outstanding Young Persons of the Year - Humanitarian and Voluntary Services, Junior Chambers International, Sri Lanka (2004).

Congratulations to Drs. Hasan Sheikh, Emergency and Addiction Medicine physician at UHN, and Kathryn Trottier, psychologist and Clinical Program Lead in UHN's Eating Disorder Program, for being appointed Provincial Clinical Leads for Ontario Health's Mental Health and Addictions Centre of Excellence in the areas of Substance Use Disorders and Eating Disorders.

The Mental Health and Addictions Centre of Excellence was established in 2020 to support Ontario in developing a high-quality, integrated and equitable mental health and addictions system. In these new roles, Drs. Sheikh and Trottier will provide advice and leadership at the provincial level to create and implement a strategic vision in their clinical area. In partnership with people with lived experience and healthcare providers, they will oversee the establishment of key priorities in the delivery of services and supports in areas such as system planning and design, quality of care and performance management.

UHN's Centre for Mental Health is strongly represented among these new appointments with Drs. Sheikh and Trottier garnering two of the five Provincial Clinical Lead positions. We are proud to see their expertise and leadership in the areas of eating and substance use disorders recognized at the provincial level. Their appointments are also a tremendous opportunity for the Centre for Mental Health to be aligned with Ontario Health and future mental health and addictions planning developments at the provincial level.

Dr. Sheikh is an assistant professor at the U of T's Department of Family and Community Medicine. He holds a Master's in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, where he served as a Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Fellow working with the City of Calgary, Office of the Mayor, to develop the city's addictions and mental health strategy. Dr. Sheikh's academic work includes research, education and program development to improve the care of people who use substances, especially those with severe substance use disorders presenting to the Emergency Department.

Dr. Trottier has focused her career on delivering, developing and evaluating evidence-based psychotherapies for eating disorders. Her work has focused on implementing evidence-based treatments, identifying gaps in these treatments and their delivery and developing and evaluating interventions using research methods. She is currently co-Chair of the Ontario Health Quality Standards Advisory Committee for Eating Disorders. Dr. Trottier is known internationally for developing and testing the first integrated treatment protocol for eating disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and has authored a psychoeducation workbook for people with eating disorders and co-occurring PTSD.

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