Public Health

Public Health Champion Awards

Since 2008, the Public Health Champion Awards have been recognizing the efforts of individuals and organizations based on their leadership towards reducing health inequalities, fostering collaboration to improve the health of the population, building community capacity through innovative health promotion strategies, and acting as a catalyst for positive change. 

The award recognizes individuals or organizations that have made outstanding contributions to protecting and promoting the health of Toronto's residents.

Awards are presented to one individual and to one organization. To be eligible for nomination, an individual must be a resident of Toronto and organizations must be located in Toronto. Current and former members of the Board of Health as well as current and retired Toronto Public Health staff are not eligible.


Nominations must be received by 4:30 pm on April 30, 2017.


For your convenience, nominations and supporting documents can be submitted online or sent in hard copy to:

  • Public Health Champion Awards
    Toronto Public Health
    277 Victoria Street, Suite 203, Toronto, ON M5B 1W2


    *Alert: Sending personal information by email is not a secure means of transmission. It is recommended you complete and return the form by regular mail.


  • Fax: 416-338-8175


The nomination form must be supported by:

  • a letter of nomination
  • a profile of the nominee
  • two letters of support

Award recipients will be honoured at a ceremony in July 2017.

One individual and one organization will be recognized with the Public Health Champion Health in 2016. Recipients will be selected based on demonstrated achievements in one or more of the following four areas:

  1. Providing leadership in efforts to reduce health inequalities.
  2. For example:
    • advocating for public policies that address determinants of health
    • contributing to the expansion of public health evidence and knowledge base
  3. Fostering collaboration to improve the health of the population.
  4. For example:
    • strengthening partnerships across sectors and among diverse groups
    • developing knowledge exchange strategies to promote awareness and deepen commitments to public health
  5. Building community capacity through innovative health promotion strategies.
  6. For example:
    • advancing new approaches to cross-cultural communications
    • empowering marginalized and vulnerable populations
  7. Achieving impact by acting as a catalyst for positive change.
  8. For example:
    • mobilizing resources to respond to an emerging public health issue
    • affecting improvements to public health indicators or outcomes

Nominations are reviewed and assessed by a sub-committee of the Board of Health.

For more background information on the award, please see the May 2008 Board of Health Report (PDF).

Q: Can I nominate myself or my own organization?
A: No, you cannot nominate yourself or your own organization. You can seek an outside party to submit a nomination on your behalf.

Q: Can I nominate more than one individual or organization?
A: Yes, you can nominate more than one individual or organization.

Q: I am a City of Toronto employee, can I submit a nomination?
A: Yes, provided that the nominee is external to City of Toronto divisions and programs. However, City of Toronto employees cannot provide letters of support for nominees.

Q: I am a City of Toronto Employee, can I or my program be nominated?
A: No, the PHCA is to recognize individuals and organizations external to the City of Toronto who contribute to public health.

Q: If I or my organization have been nominated for the PHCA in previous years, can we be nominated again?
A: Yes, you can be nominated in subsequent years. However, you cannot receive the award more than once.

Q: Can I or my organization receive the PHCA more than once?
A: No, an individual or organization may only receive the award once.

Q: I work with a small community group, can this group be nominated?
A: Yes, small community groups/coalitions can be nominated. Small or Large organizations will be assessed by the nomination committee.

Q: I work with an individual who is making health promoting changes in his/her building, can I nominate him/her?
A: Yes, contributions large or small will be assessed by the nomination committee.

Individual: Sarah Miller

Sarah Miller has shown remarkable leadership and dedication through her research and activism with the Canadian Environmental Law Association and as Co-Chair of the Toronto Cancer Prevention Coalition's Environmental and Occupational Working Group. Her work on the Community Right to Know bylaw led to the creation of Toronto Public Health's reporting program ChemTRAC, which collects yearly data from local businesses and institutions on 25 priority substances that exist in the city's air at levels of concern for health. These efforts have helped raise awareness of the impact that environmental contaminants have on public health, contributed to public discussion and had a lasting influence on healthy public policy.

Organization: Agincourt Community Services Association

Agincourt Community Services Association (ACSA),  a non-profit, multi-service agency for children, youth, seniors, newcomers, homeless and underserved communities, has been an instrumental part of the community for over 50 years. Through addressing public health issues such as income and income distribution, employment, early childhood development, food insecurity, social exclusion and social safety, and harm reduction, ACSA has acted as a catalyst for positive change. Through its work with the Toronto Poverty Reduction Strategy and the Healthy Babies Healthy Children Program, ACSA has helped improve public health indicators and outcomes in an effort to reduce health inequities. 

Individual: Floydeen Charles-Fridal

Floydeen Charles-Fridal has shown exceptional leadership through her work with Rexdale Community Health Centre and as President of the Board of Directors at TAIBU Community Health Centre. She helped develop of many of TAIBU's innovative programs, including its dental and oral health, sickle cell, diabetes education and peer nutrition programs. Her efforts have improved access to health services for many of the city's residents.



Organization: Access Alliance Multicultural Health and Community Services

Access Alliance Multicultural Health and Community Services has been a dedicated champion of community health for over 20 years. Supporting new residents and racialized communities in Toronto, Access Alliance has been instrumental in establishing a medical clinic to provide health care services to these under-served populations. The organization has also been a key partner in collaborations with other service agencies, community organizations and research institutions, with the goal of increasing dialogue and engagement around the issue of accessible health care and services. 

Individual: Margaret Leslie

Margaret Leslie is Director of the Early Interventions Program at the Canadian Mothercraft Society. Leslie has provided leadership to improve the health of mothers and children through innovative harm reduction, mental health and substance abuse programs for nearly 30 years. She was instrumental in creating Mothercraft's Breaking the Cycle, an initiative that is recognized by the United Nations as a best practice program serving pregnant and parenting women with substance abuse problems.


Organization: Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests (LEAF)

Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests (LEAF) is a not-for-profit organization that promotes the health of trees. Every year, the city's urban forest sequesters over 46,000 tonnes of carbon – equivalent to the emissions from 31,000 automobiles or 16,000 homes. Carbon, a common pollutant in Toronto's air, is responsible for premature deaths and hospitalizations. LEAF has helped plant more than 20,000 native trees and shrubs in Toronto and in York Region, thus helping to improve air quality since 1996.


Past Winners

These are just a few of the individuals and organizations that have received the Public Health Champion Award in previous years. For a complete list of recipients, visit the PHCA Recipient page.