TORONTO – Three advocates of health research and health innovation were presented with the inaugural Research Canada Leadership Award. Dr. Michael Julius (pictured), Vice President of Research at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Russell Williams, President and CEO of Canada’s Research Based Pharmaceutical Companies (Rx&D) and The Centre for Addictions Research of British Columbia received the Research Canada Leadership Award at a ceremony held in conjunction with the Prix Galien Canada 2014 Innovative Drug Product award at the Health Research Foundation Gala.
The Research Canada Leadership Award was created to recognize outstanding champions of health research and health innovation at the local, regional or national level – advocates who educate policymakers, the media and the public about the health, social, and economic benefits of research and innovation in Canada.
Dr. Ryan Wiley, Vice President of SHI Consulting and Research Canada’s new Chair, noted that the selection of the winners was a challenge given the quality of deserving nominations. “Our industry is blessed with many fine individuals and organizations working tirelessly to ensure that health research, and in particular, discovery research, is supported by Canadians and their leaders,” he said. “It is the life-changing nature of our work that makes this activity so special, and our champions so cherished,” he added.
“There is a great deal of competition for public attention and support, and it is the work of these advocates that keeps health research and health innovation high priorities for all governments and for the public,” says Deborah Gordon-El-Bihbety, President and CEO of Research Canada.
Research Canada intends to recognize the achievements of more advocates in the coming years with this annual award and thanks all of those who submitted nominations for this year. “While not everyone could be recognized this year, the impact of their contribution is underlined by Canadians’ continued strong support for health research,” noted Ms Gordon El-Bihbety.
About Research Canada
Research Canada is a national, broad-based alliance dedicated to increasing investments in health research through collaborative advocacy. We believe health research is a shared benefit, shared responsibility and an investment in Canada’s future. We engage government, academia, industry and non-profit sectors to build support for balanced and long-term health research funding – investments that strengthen Canada’s innovation system and lead to better health, sustainable health care, new commercialization opportunities, and skilled jobs for Canadians. Only through sustained and balanced investments in health research will Canada succeed in keeping its citizens the healthiest and most prosperous in the world.
About the winners
Dr. Michael Julius, the former Director and Chair of Research Canada, was instrumental in making Research Canada so essential to the health research advocacy landscape. He conceived of the model on which Research Canada has based its advocacy position – the Functional Innovation System (FIS). This model has provided a framework to evaluate health research policy and present solutions with greater clarity and consistency than ever before.
Russell Williams has made significant contributions to improving public policy in support of Canadians’ health, and he has been an exemplary advocate to see the highest ethical standards for his industry. Mr. Williams has played a leading role in bringing some very different but allied organizations, together in the promotion of health research.
The Centre for Addictions Research of BC (CARBC) is a leader in applied health research in the sphere of addictions, substance use and harm reduction. The CARBC has led successful public campaigns together with consistent publishing in peer reviewed journals. Their public advocacy and media efforts have made connections not only to policymakers and their membership but directly to the community. Their interventions have been credited with public policy changes founded on evidence-based research.