Anderson R. Abbott
Toronto-born Dr. Anderson R. Abbot was the first Black Canadian to be a licensed physician. (Photo: National Archives of Canada)

The aim of Black History Month, which is observed in February in Canada and the United States, is to reflect upon the history and progress of the African diaspora and to celebrate the major achievements and contributions made by Africans to all aspects of our culture.

This year, UHN's Black History Month Committee (BHMC) has organized a number of events aimed at celebrating pioneers of the medical field. 

This year's events begin with an opening ceremony tomorrow at noon in the DeGasparis Conservatory at Toronto General Hospital featuring Member of Parliament Celina Caesar-Chavannes, Parliamentary Secretary to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Kevin Reel of the Joint Centre for Bioethics at the University of Toronto, UHN President and CEO, Dr. Peter Pisters, and Emma Pavlov, UHN's EVP of Human Resources/Organizational Development.

All UHN staff is invited to join the celebration over the next month by attending a lecture by special guest speakers, and visiting the exhibits profiling the International African Medical Innovators Exhibit of the Canadian Multicultural Inventors Museum.

“A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.” - Marcus Garvey

The contributions of a number of UHN staff will also be profiled throughout Black History Month.

For further information about this year's events, or to get involved, pleas​e email BMHC co-chairs: Dianne Barham ( or Tracey Williams (, or

BHMC banner

A list of Black History Month Events at UHN

I: Opening Ceremony:

January 25th, 2017, 12:00-1:30 – DeGasparis Conservatory 4th Floor, TGH

Remarks: CEO, Dr. Peter Pisters and EVP, Emma Pavlov

Speakers: Celina Caesar-Chavannes- MP, Liberal Government

Kevin Reel, theJoint Centre for Bioethics Fellowship in Clinical and Organizational Ethics

II: International African Medical Innovators Exhibit of the Canadian Multicultural Inventors Museum

February 8th: 12:00-13:30 – Lobby Atrium, Toronto Western Hospital

February 14th: 12:00-13:30 – Lobby, E.W. Bickle Centre

February 23rd: 12:00-13:30 – Lobby, Lyndhurst Centre

February 27th: 12:00-13:30 – Lobby, Toronto Rehab Institute, University C​entre

III: Closing Ceremony:

February 28th, 12:00-13:30 – Atrium 7th Floor, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre

Keynote: Dr. Kwame McKenzie-Director, Canadian Association of Mental Health (CAMH)​

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