Physicians named to Order of Canada
January 6, 2021
OTTAWA – Four prominent physicians have received one of Canada’s highest civilian honours. Drs. Susan George, Michael Jewett and Heather Ross (pictured) – who all work at the University Health Network in Toronto – were among 61 new appointments to the Order of Canada by the Governor General earlier this month. As well, Dr. Vivek Goel, a public health expert and professor at the University of Toronto was named to the list.
Dr. George, a clinical endocrinologist at Toronto General Hospital, Senior Scientist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, and a Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology in the Temerty Faculty of Medicine at University of Toronto (U of T) was recognized “for her pioneering contributions to the fields of molecular pharmacology and neuroendocrinology.”
Dr. Jewett, a longtime surgical oncologist at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and UHN’s Sprott Department of Surgery, and a Professor of Urology in the Department of Surgery in the Temerty Faculty of Medicine at the U of T, was recognized “for his life-saving innovations in surgical oncology and for his advocacy of patient-centred clinical care.”
Dr. Ross, Division Head of Cardiology at UHN’s Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, Scientific Lead at the Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research, and Professor in the Temerty Faculty of Medicine at U of T, was recognized “for her contributions to Canadian cardiac care as a clinician, translational researcher and field leader.”
Each recipient will be invited to accept their insignia at a ceremony at a later date.
The Order of Canada recognizes outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation. Close to 7,000 people from all sectors of society have been invested into the Order since its creation in 1967.
Gov. Gen. Julie Payette announced the new appointments. The order recognizes “people whose service shapes our society, whose innovations ignite our imaginations and whose compassion unites our communities,” according to a statement from the Office of the Secretary of the Governor General.
Also named to the list was Dr. Vivek Goel, whose appointment was particularly apt in a pandemic year. A trained public health physician, Dr. Goel spent most of his career as a public health researcher and was the founding president of Public Health Ontario from 2008 to 2014.
“It obviously feels great, and particularly because part of the recognition is for my work in public health. And in the midst of a global pandemic, to be recognized for this, it’s wonderful to see,” said Dr. Goel.
Dr. Goel, now a professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto, has been involved in a number of research initiatives related to COVID-19 and has been widely quoted in the media.
Recently, he was the co-principal investigator of an interim study into COVID-19 infection rates among incoming international travelers at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport.
Dr. Vivek Goel was named a member of the Order of Canada for his contributions to public health research and university administration.
Goel said the visibility of those who work in public health goes through a “boom-bust cycle” that makes them household names during a health crisis before they fade into the backdrop when the crisis passes.
“Just to be recognized for contributions in public health is really meaningful because, quite often, the people that work in public health are working in the background and are not recognized to the degree that, for example, front line healthcare workers are recognized for their contributions,” said Goel. “I don’t want to discount their contributions, but we tend to hear a lot more about front line healthcare workers than people working in public health.”