Armaghan (Army) Alam has a passion for health care innovation and mental health. Co-founder of the Canadian Peer Support Network, Army has designed and delivered active listening training to over 500 individuals, bringing peer support resources to communities across Canada. He is an advisor for the Bell Let’s Talk Diversity Fund which provides up to five million dollars of funding to Black, Indigenous, and People of Color mental health initiatives, and is also the youngest sitting member on the Board of Directors for the Mental Health Commission of Canada, where he provides mental health insight on a national scale. As class president at UBC, Army prioritizes the wellbeing of his peers, helping navigate ongoing curricular challenges posed by the pandemic. He is elucidating the ethical implications of genetic testing in children with epilepsy as a member of the Neuroethics Canada research team and the Pan-Canadian Neurotechnology Ethics Consortium. Army hopes to make a lasting positive impact in medicine driven by innovation, collaboration, and compassion.
Inspired by 2019 Laureate G. Brock Chisolm MD
Julia Sawatzky is passionate about physicians' involvement in policy management with a particular interest in policies shaping population health. Through the University of Alberta Medical Students Association and the Canadian Federation of Medical Students, Julia has developed education and curriculum initiatives focused on global health ethics, community service learning, and environmental health. Her interest in infectious disease has been spurred by her knowledge of the health impacts brought forth by climate change. Julia has published peer-reviewed research on biomarkers for pediatric pneumonia in low-resource settings, as well as on the Ebola vaccine rollout in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). In 2019, Julia was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship to pursue a MSc in Global Health and Epidemiology and a Master of Public Policy at the University of Oxford. Julia engaged with real-world global health policy as a contributor to the Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Tracker and as a research assistant for the Independent Resource Group on Global Health Justice. She also worked with international public health experts on multilateral mechanisms for pandemic preparedness and response. Julia is excited to return to her medical studies at the University of Alberta this fall and reconnect with the health care community.
Inspired by 2019 Laureate Jacalyn Duffin MD PhD
Moiz Hafeez is an MD/MSc student in the Leaders in Medicine Program at the Cumming School of Medicine. He completed his MSc thesis in acute stroke imaging and has worked on research projects to study and implement innovative artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques in the interpretation of medical images. Passionate about social and political advocacy, Moiz has served with various organizations including the Calgary Medical Students’ Association, the Alberta Medical Association and the Canadian Medical Association, advocating on behalf of his medical student colleagues. Through numerous community engagement and humanitarian endeavours, he has successfully raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for medical research to support some of the most impoverished populations around the world. This work has been recognized by both the Governor General of Canada and the Royal Commonwealth Society.
Inspired by 2014 Laureate Salim Yusuf MBBS DPhil
Amira Muftah has a passion for promoting health equity through advocacy, education, and collaboration. As the first Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Representative for the Student Medical Society of Saskatchewan, she spearheaded several curricular developments focusing on health equity, anti-oppression, and anti-racism. As a member of the Admissions Renewal Committee, she recommended innovative approaches to foster an equitable approach to the participation of underrepresented groups in medicine. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, she mobilized a student-based taskforce to assist local public health efforts. In order to address the social isolation reported by older adults during this time, she collaborated with a group of peers in connecting these individuals with medical students to connect in weekly phone calls. For many years, Amira has volunteered at student-run clinics providing accessible medical care. Through her extensive community engagement and outreach initiatives, she has learned the value of interdisciplinary care and effective communication. Her research is focused on inter-physician communication and professional civility. Amira hopes to promote collaboration among communities and health care providers in recognizing and responding to the needs of diverse populations.
Inspired by 2017 Laureate Justice Emmett Hall
Jayelle Friesen-Enns is a Métis woman concurrently completing an MD and a Master’s in Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases at the University of Manitoba. Under the supervision of Dr. Michael Mulvey at the National Microbiology Laboratory, her thesis is focused on antimicrobial resistance plasmids and their effects on gene expression in Salmonella. Jayelle has always been passionate about leadership and enjoys being an active member of her community; she has continued this in medical school as Class President, by sitting on multiple committees, and as a member of the Indigenous working group for the equity, diversity, and inclusion portfolio at the Max Rady College of Medicine. She is particularly interested in advocating for Indigenous opportunities and leadership in the medical field. Her personal journey as an Indigenous person in medicine inspired her to recruit students from across Canada to form and develop the Indigenous Medical Students’ Association of Canada (IMSAC). Outside of medicine, she enjoys cycling, driving her motorcycle, and beading.
"I am incredibly honoured to receive this award and want to thank the Max Rady College of Medicine for the nomination and the donors for their contribution. I could not have received this award without the support of all the amazing people in my life and the mentors who encouraged me through my educational journey. I hope that the recognition provided by this award will encourage other Indigenous students through their journeys in medicine and I look forward to seeing our community strengthen and grow in the medical field."
Inspired by 2018 Laureate Emily Stowe MD
Proud francophone, Danica Desjardins (she/her) completed a Bachelor of Health Sciences at the University of Ottawa, followed by a master’s degree in public health at Queen's University, where she focused on public health programming in Arviat, Nunavut. Danica then worked at the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada which, in addition to furthering her interest in sexual and reproductive health care, allowed her to meet countless incredible physicians, nurses, midwives, and researchers who ultimately inspired her to pursue a career in medicine. Danica enjoys studying medicine as it has allowed her to make meaningful connections with people from all walks of life, while providing new perspectives on the intersections of health, society, and public policy. Known for her advocacy for the 2SLGBTQ+ community and for health equity more broadly, Danica is currently spearheading a project that aims to advance 2SLGBTQ+ health education at NOSM. In her spare time, Danica likes to try new recipes, work on her latest embroidery project, and explore Northern Ontario with her girlfriend and her golden retriever, Nimbus.
Inspired by 2016 Laureate May Cohen MD
Khalidha Nasiri holds a Master’s degree in epidemiology from McGill University and has a passion for social innovation, community organizing, and health equity. A daughter of refugees from Afghanistan, Khalidha is determined to improve health systems in low-resource settings. Her research interests lie in global health equity, women’s health, medical education, and youth social development and to this end, she has published several peer-reviewed articles and a book chapter. During her master’s training, she held an internship with the World Health Organization in Switzerland where she led a multi-country research project on respectful maternity care in low-and-middle- income countries. She founded the Afghan Youth Engagement and Development Initiative (AYEDI), a not-for-profit organization that increases civic engagement and social development amongst newcomer, refugee, and first generation Afghan-Canadian youth. Khalidha has served as the CFMS National Officer of Global Health Education, a Local Officer of Global Health Education, and founder of a project that encourages students from underrepresented backgrounds to pursue a career in medicine. She has earned several awards for her research, academics, and community work. Khalidha aspires to be a physician, researcher, and innovator at the forefront of health care improving outcomes for underserved communities.
Inspired by 2001 Laureate Lucille Teasdale-Corti MD
Kay Wu, a creative at heart, dreams of using technology and innovation to take health care to new heights. Her work towards this goal centres around technological advancement, innovative delivery of medical education, and fostering communities of health innovators. As Clinical Advisor to McMaster’s Innovators in Scrubs, Kay and her team have created a prototype of a natural language processing tool to improve patient understanding of medical reports. A finalist in the BioTEC Pitch Competition, this tool garnered the support of Joseph Brant Hospital and will soon be piloted. Recognizing the need for virtual care training during the pandemic, Kay spearheaded MacSim— a novel, immersive, and technology-enhanced case simulator. Hundreds of medical students and physicians gained clinical decision-making and communication skills through this initiative, which she presented at the Canadian Conference on Medical Education. Fascinated by the potential of machine learning, Kay led a research team at the MIT COVID-19 Datathon, focusing on the impact of the pandemic on marginalized communities. She also helped to organize the inaugural MIT Hacking Racism in Healthcare hackathon, an unprecedented space for collaboration among over 500 patients and health professionals to code novel solutions to dismantle racial injustice in healthcare delivery and address the social determinants of health. Outside of medicine, Kay unleashes her creativity painting and writing stories.
"I am thrilled to be selected for this honour and am tremendously grateful for the support of my mentors, friends, and family. I promise to continue to lead with integrity and to use my creativity and expertise to make a positive impact in the health innovation space and beyond."
Inspired by 1998 Laureate Roberta Bondar MD PhD
Peter Jianrui Liu started his MD training at the University of Toronto in 2015 and completed a DPhil in Clinical Medicine at Oxford. His research elucidated oxygen tension and signalling as key drivers for HBV replication and pathogenesis, revealing novel therapeutic directions for diseases including hepatocellular carcinoma. These findings were published in leading academic journals, and he was recognized with an Early-Career Scientist Award for oral presentation at the top international conference in the field. Peter was then named an Oxford-Hoffmann International Scholar in Medical Sciences and Oxford Jesus College Graduate Scholar for academic merit. Having served as President of the Oxford University Scientific Society and the World Heath Organization (WHO) Intern Board, Peter’s research, medical, and leadership endeavours span three continents. A firm believer in Canada’s diversity as a driving force to enable global collaboration, Peter founded BRIGHT International in 2016, a health innovation think-tank to propel scientific innovation translation into clinical application. Armed with a decade of experience in cancer research and innovation translation, he founded Oxford Cancer Analytics (OXcan), which develops minimally invasive blood tests and state-of-the-art machine learning platforms for early cancer detection. OXcan was the overall winner at ‘All-Innovate’, an Oxford wide innovation competition, and has received more than $2.2 million from funders including Cancer Research UK and the Francis Crick Institute.
“This award is dedicated to patients, mentors, colleagues, friends and family who have inspired me to pursue medicine and science as a way to unite people beyond geographic, ideological, and socioeconomic boundaries.”
Inspired by 1998 Laureate Norman Bethune MD
Growing up in the arctic territory of Nunavut, Anchaleena Mandal’s interest in medicine stems from a social responsibility to address health inequities and the acute shortage of physicians in rural, Northern, and Indigenous communities of Canada. She demonstrates her commitment to rural medicine and Indigenous health advocacy through her work with the Northern Ontario and Rural Medicine Committee of the Ontario Medical Student Association, Queen’s Indigenous Health Standing Committee, Queen’s Indigenous Health Education Working Group, as well as the Queen’s Health and Human Rights Conference. She is currently a Co-chair of the Society of Rural Physicians of Canada Student Committee. Out of her passion for mental health, Anchaleena co-founded the Rural and Isolated Support Endeavour, a rural phone-support COVID-19 medical student-run initiative. She is actively undertaking a research study about the mental health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on rural physicians in Ontario among other rural-related scholarly activities. Beyond medicine, she promotes an active lifestyle with Kingston Gets Active and enjoys playing musical instruments. Anchaleena is devoted to making a difference in the future of rural medicine through her leadership and innovation, and to give back to her home community as an aspiring physician of Nunavut.
"I am feeling incredibly humbled and grateful to the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame for this recognition. It is a powerful encouragement for me to continue following my passions and dreams as a young rural health care leader and to give back to my arctic community in Nunavut.”
Inspired by 2017 Laureate Justice Emmett Hall
Born and raised in Ottawa, Ontario, Sonia’s passion for women’s health was ignited during her undergraduate studies in Health Sciences. While at the Placenta Lab, Sonia held key roles in projects using placental histopathological examination, a historically overlooked clinical tool used to investigate underlying causes of adverse pregnancy outcomes. She has participated in multiple outreach events to educate on the importance of the placenta in pregnancy in addition to volunteering at Cornerstone Housing for Women, a not-for-profit providing emergency shelter and supportive, permanent housing in Ottawa. Dedicated to advancing women in medicine, Sonia is an active board member of the Federation of Medical Women of Canada, Ottawa Branch, leading events such as “How’s it Going Dr. Mom?” which highlights physicians navigating medicine and motherhood and “Medical Women in Leadership” encouraging female trainees to engage in leadership throughout their career, respectively. Sonia was a competitive dancer for 15 years and now finds ways to keep active that combine her love for music and movement.
“I am so honoured to be one of the recipients of the CMHF Award for Medical Students. This opportunity empowers me in my future career to continue advocating for women’s health initiatives and advance women in medicine.”
Inspired by 2016 Laureate May Cohen MD
Laura is an enthusiastic learner who values connection and empathy in the medical field. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Development Studies from McGill University and a Master of Arts in Public and International Affairs from the University of Ottawa. As part of her graduate studies, Laura worked at the Canadian Embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She was subsequently appointed as a decision-maker in the field of humanitarian migration and refugee protection for the federal government. In her community, Laura has served as the Director of an empowering camp for adolescents, a group leader at the Forum for Young Canadians, and an ambassador for Action Refugiés Montréal, where she connects with newly arrived asylum claimants. After several years of working in refugee protection, Laura chose to pursue her medical degree. Laura’s research projects explore innovative approaches to current health care challenges such as promoting mental health among adolescents and facilitating trauma training in resource-limited settings. She looks forward to a career in medicine where she can provide compassionate and comprehensive health care. Laura was born and raised in Tiohtià:ke/Montréal, where her grandmother and mother safely resettled from Egypt. She is grateful for the loving support of her friends and family.
Inspired by 2019 Laureate Jacalyn Duffin MD PhD
Vivianne Landry has a special interest in medical innovation and community outreach. She recognized the importance of practicing compassion and fairness very early in her academic career, which sparked a deep commitment to reducing health disparities. Throughout her medical education, Vivianne had the privilege of working with the Canadian Alliance of Medical Students Against Human Trafficking (CAMSAHT), an organization that informs future health professionals about human trafficking issues through education, research, and advocacy. She also served as president of the Student Research Network (RER), where she launched the inaugural Research Month, a conference that hosted more than 45 clinician-researchers from various medical specialties. Vivianne has been involved in a number of research projects on topics including clinical research in psychiatry, translational research in otolaryngology, and public health research. At a personal level, she advocates on behalf of migrant workers in Canada and works in various ways to help bring about a more just society where differences in socio-economic status can no longer justify health inequities.
Inspired by 2018 Laureate Philip Berger MD
Evelyne Richard is pursuing a doctorate in medicine and a master’s in clinical epidemiology. In the course of her studies, she has developed a keen interest in issues related to social inequalities in health. She is particularly drawn to causes that address the inequities faced by women, Indigenous populations, and disadvantaged countries. Her deep sense of commitment is reflected in her volunteer endeavours and a humanitarian internship abroad. Evelyne’s desire to contribute to advances in medicine has also kindled a passion for clinical research. Her extensive interest in women’s health led her to undertake research on endometriosis, a very common disease that compromises the quality of life and fertility of those affected. Her work has earned a number of awards and scholarships, including a CHU de Québec Foundation research and innovation scholarship. Next September, Evelyne will have the honour of presenting one of her projects at the international convention of the French Society of Gynecologic and Pelvic Surgery in Paris and the annual conference of the Canadian Society for the Advancement of Gynecologic Excellence. Evelyne’s hope is to help reduce the impact of inequalities on vulnerable populations and participate in the advancement of knowledge.
Inspired by 2007 Laureate Elizabeth Bagshaw MD
Charles-Antoine Garneau is pursuing his studies in medicine while also working toward a master’s degree in clinical and biomedical science as part of a dual MD-MSc program. A passionate student, Charles-Antoine desires a career that combines clinical practice with research and teaching. The innovative work he has done in the field of vascular physiology has led to the development of a non-invasive method for assessing rigidity in small conduit arteries. In addition to offering a new approach to studying a vital component of the arterial tree, his project creates new avenues for modernizing the diagnosis and treatment of hypertension by proposing individualized therapeutic targets for arterial pressure. His work has earned him numerous graduate scholarships at both provincial and national levels. His many social and community activities—including leading a team of volunteers during the pandemic, overseeing and tutoring youth at risk of dropout, directing medical conferences, and serving as a surgical techniques instructor for his peers—have earned him a leadership and engagement award. Lastly, as a musician and avid performer, he gives freely of his time to organize benefit concerts and performs in front of thousands of people each year.
“I’m very honoured to be recognized by the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame. This distinction is a great source of motivation and determination to continue my training and build my career. I am deeply proud and grateful to accept this award.”
Inspired by 2003 Laureate Charles Hollenberg MD
Read more about Charles-Antoine
Kathleen MacMillan serves as Co-President of the Dalhousie Medicine Class of 2023. A licensed pharmacist who obtained her degree from Dalhousie University, Kathleen received several awards during pharmacy school, including the Canadian Pharmacists Association Centennial Leadership Award. Kathleen currently juggles several responsibilities from leading the Canadian Federation of Medical Students Atlantic Task Force to serving on the Dalhousie Medicine Admissions Committee –as well as positions with the Canadian Association of Radiologists Medical Student Network and various networks within the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada. At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Kathleen co-founded Dalhousie Students for Healthcare Providers to encourage health care professional students to volunteer to assist health care providers with childcare and errands. As a member of Interprofessional Research Global, Kathleen has co-authored several peer-reviewed journal articles and led the collaborative writing of a textbook chapter on interprofessional student leadership. She also co-founded the Dalhousie University interprofessional mini-course, Battling the Burnout Epidemic, which teaches students about wellness strategies. Inspired by CMHF Laureate Dr. Annette O’Connor, Kathleen shares her passion for interprofessional collaboration, research and shared decision-making, and aspires to become a clinician-scientist who promotes these ideals.
“I am humbled to have been selected for this award and feel very proud to be the first Dalhousie Medicine New Brunswick student to receive it. I am incredibly thankful for the guidance and support of my family, friends, mentors, and the Dalhousie University community."
Inspired by 2020 Laureate Annette O'Connor PhD
Andrew (Drew) Robart completed his BSc in Biomedical-Mechanical Engineering at the University of New Brunswick (UNB), graduating as an Academic All Canadian (Cross-Country), two-time National Scholar (Basketball), and Valedictorian with First Class Distinction. His interest in medical innovation sparked at UNB while designing an affordable 3D-printed myoelectrically controlled pediatric prosthetic hand, which went on to win the Canadian Engineering Competition in Innovative Design. Drew hopes to use his background in computer vision and artificial intelligence to continue to increase the efficiency and accessibility of health care in Canada. He is currently working on nine research projects in the field of medical innovation, including clinical trials of jugular venous pressure measurement devices, multiple chart reviews comparing severity of patient presentation before and after the COVID-19 pandemic, and mobile application development for medical education. During the pandemic, Drew became the co-founder of ‘Virtual Patient Navigator AI’, which focuses on developing integrated solutions to help patients navigate the health care system, increase health care accessibility, and limit potential virus exposure using artificial intelligence.
“This award will undoubtedly change my life. Since entering medicine, my goal has been to create positive, sustainable change within the field using technology. Through the mentorship and opportunities provided by the CMHF, I believe I am on track to accomplishing my goals. I am greatly honoured and humbled to be a recipient of the 2021 CMHF Award for Medical Students, and I look forward to continuing my journey as a future health care practitioner in Canada.”
Inspired by 2017 Laureate Michel G. Bergeron MD and 2012 Laureate Terry Fox