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Announcing the 2023 Sunnybrook Excellence in Education Awards

May 29, 2023

The 2023 Sunnybrook Excellence in Education Awards honours nine champions of education.

The Excellence in Education Awards are designed to recognize the education achievements of Sunnybrook’s staff, physicians or volunteers, and their passion for teaching and learning.

“Our award recipients have gone above and beyond to build and empower future generations of health care in a year that has challenged us like never before,” says Dr. Ari Zaretsky, Vice President of Education. “Despite the challenges, these recipients – and all of our faculty – have embraced their role as teachers and modelled professionalism, patience, kindness and grace in ways that make Sunnybrook the world-renowned academic health sciences centre it is today.”

Congratulations to all of the 2023 Sunnybrook Excellence in Education Award recipients:

The Allan Knight Lifetime Achievement in Teaching Award

Dr. Cam Joyner and Illana Perlman

Dr. Cam Joyner

Dr. Cam Joyner, Cardiologist, Echocardiographer and Educational Pioneer, has mentored countless students, residents, faculty and allied health at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. In the 1980's, when Cardiology residents started rotating through SHSC, he was the Echo Rotation Director, and he has continued this day. Every month, he orients and nurtures learners. The demands have grown yet he moves fluidly with the times. His legacy is clear through one nominator’s comment, "He has provided us the wonderful attribute of "servant leadership" in the coaching and mentoring of others." A champion of education for all, he is a shining example of the profession's very best.

His students write: "Dr.Joyner's unflinching commitment to quality care has truly helped shape the excellence of the Echo program and taught myself and other medical professionals to be relentlessly committed to better our skills and look out for the patients' best interests." Leading by example, "he was always a positive role model who pushed us to achieve our potential and go beyond."

In 2009, Dr. Joyner created the SHSC Cardiology Imaging fellowship program. All graduates are certified by the American Society of Echocardiography. They have secured academic and community positions locally, nationally and internationally.

One nominator states, "What struck me initially about Dr. Joyner was his curiosity about clinical problems and the relentless manner with which he pursued a diagnosis and treatment plan. This curiosity was infectious." His energy has led to the creation of local rounds, 2 CME courses, and an Advanced Imaging Fellowship. Exemplary all-around, he personifies the term, role model.

Illana Perlman

Illana Perlman, Trama Social Worker and Education Coordinator, is a lifelong learner and educator. She keeps up to date on the latest Social Work literature to ensure her practice is evidence-based. She also plays an active role in Social Work and Education research, as evidenced by the long list of publications she has contributed to over the course of her 31-year career at Sunnybrook.

Illana has demonstrated curriculum innovation in her development of the Social Work student seminars series, which teaches students about relevant social work competencies and includes lectures from social workers across the organization. She also spearheaded the development of the "rotational model" for practicum students, promoting a more diverse learning experience. In her role as Education Coordinator, Illana is tasked with coordinating and supporting upwards of 20 student placements at Sunnybrook each year.

When providing field education to students, Illana will stop and take the time to explain her clinical approach, connecting practice to theory, and she encourages learners to do the same. In this way, she sets learners up to be thoughtful in their practice, always mindful of social work competencies, theories and approaches. She paces her teaching to match the needs of the student, and always pushes them just outside of their comfort zone to maximize their potential. She encourages students to make use of all learning opportunities available to them, and ensures there is student representation in various committees across the hospital.

Illana has transformed the culture of Social Work education at Sunnybrook by creating a Social Work Student Education Standard, and ensuring that field education is embedded into the Social Work role description at Sunnybrook. She is thoughtful and creative in her approach. In 2022, she threw a surprise graduation celebration for Sunnybrook's graduating MSW students who missed out on the opportunity to celebrate with their classmates due to the pandemic.

Teaching Award

Dr. Dov Gandell

Dr. Dov Gandell

Dr. Dov Gandell, Geriatric Medicine Physician, has reached hundreds of Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre learners with an attitude of respect and admiration. Yearly, he teaches over 25 internal medicine, neurology, physiatry, and family medicine trainees on the Geriatric Medicine (GM) Consult service and 10 clinical clerks in the Geriatric Medicine Clinic.

Dr. Gandell led the Sunnybrook Division of Geriatrics education program from July 2015 to August 31, 2019. This involved reviewing and enriching educational curriculum, regular trainee meetings (e.g. orientation, exit interviews), responding to feedback, and successfully working with his division to maintain site rotation effectiveness scores above average for the duration of his leadership. He has not only mentored medical students and trainees, but was also central in training and nurturing the career development of 5 nurse clinicians on the geriatric medicine internal consultation service. Dr. Gandell brought his qualities as a dedicated teacher and role model to his role as the Geriatric Medicine Program Director. Thanks to his strong leadership, the program was recognized with the PARO Residency Program Award in 2021.

More recently, in September 2019, he assumed the Directorship of the Geriatrics Medicine (GM) Training program at the University of Toronto. He was tasked with implementing the Royal College Competence by Design curriculum into the GM program in its first year. At the same time, he succeeded in securing accreditation for the program impressively without any area for improvement noted by the Royal College reviewers. This process included extensive feedback from trainees/faculty and ongoing process improvements to enhance the program's educational efforts.

One nominator says of Dr. Gandall, “I aspire to emulate his communication skills and professionalism in my practice. Furthermore, he is always kind and respectful to those he works with, including trainees, allied health professionals (such as the nurse clinicians on our inpatient consult team) and colleagues. He creates a safe and supportive learning environment for all learners and team members, which is a key quality in a teacher.”

Student Experience Award

Dr. Angela Assal

Dr. Angela Assal

Dr. Angela Assal, is a Clinical Teacher in the division of Endocrinology, and is described by nominators as having a friendly and approachable personality which helps to create a very positive learning environment for trainees.

Dr. Assal has a passion for teaching across all levels. She serves as the Education Site Director for endocrinology at Sunnybrook, and sits on the endocrinology university-wide residency training committee as well as the Sunnybrook internal medicine residency training committee. She is involved in teaching residents and medical students. She is a facilitator for the Ethics and Professionalism Seminars at the University of Toronto MD Program. Dr. Assal was the recipient of the 2018 MD Program Teaching Award of Excellence.

One nominator says, “Dr. Assal makes trainees feel welcomed and organizes one of the best orientations I have had during my training. In addition to laying out very clear expectations for trainees at various levels, she reviews common clinical scenarios (e.g. insulin titration, diabetes in pregnancy), and shows us how to access useful resources.” The nominator goes on to say, “she also introduces us to the diabetes nurse educators to help integrate us into the interprofessional team of the department. These certainly help trainees feel prepared and gives them the best chance at having a successful rotation.”

As the Site Director for the Sunnybrook Endocrinology Rotation, Nominees say that Dr. Assal has always been extremely receptive of trainee feedback, quick to respond to any concerns that arise, and works tirelessly to improve the Sunnybrook experience for all residents. It is in part a testament to her efforts that residents frequently report their Sunnybrook rotation as a highlight of the whole endocrinology fellowship.

Dr. Assal is one nominator stated that “Dr. Assal provides high yield, clear, and practical teaching catered to the trainees’ learning objectives.”

Educating Sunnybrook Award

Julie Burnett

Julie Burnett

Julie Burnett is a social worker in the Odette Cancer Program, and her teaching spans across a wide range of learners. She is described by nominators as “committed to development of others through teaching, coaching and mentoring.”

One nominator says, “Julie made a great impact on my learning and professional development as a future social worker through her leadership skills, ongoing support and clinical supervision, and strong willingness to meet the needs and goals of her students.”

Julie is an inaugural member and co-chair of the 2SLGBTQ+ steering committee at Sunnybrook. Julie has provided many contributions and insights in educating the broader Sunnybrook team regarding equity, diversity and inclusion. She has continued this work by chairing the PRIDE subcommittee working group to further education across Sunnybrook.

Her contributions have also extended to supporting patients and families as a previous group facilitator at Wellspring – a supportive service offered to cancer patients, their families and caregivers.

Recently, she has led a research study which focuses on Advance Care Planning practices across Canada and the results will impact the broader social work community on gaps in knowledge for this care issue that is so important to the patients and families they serve.

“Whether Julie is presenting a new initiative or teaching learners, she consistently models professionalism, thoughtful and constructive feedback to learners and takes action to modify learning style to meet the audience’s needs,” says one nominator.

Educating Beyond Sunnybrook Award

Dr. Edward Chow

Dr. Edward Chow

Dr. Edward Chow, as a radiation oncologist at Odette Cancer Centre for over 20 years, Dr. Chow makes many contributions to education beyond Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre.

Having taught students for over 20 years, Dr. Chow has cultivated an extremely successful teaching model that contributes to the success of his students. His reputation of teaching students has been recognized by the University of Waterloo, who awarded him the 2021 Co-operative and Experiential Education Employer Impact Award in Research.

Dr. Chow and his students are involved in multiple international educational groups such as the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer (MASCC) and the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC).

One nominator comments, “Dr. Chow also takes the time to personally mentor his students on various levels to develop their leadership skills. He encourages junior doctors to conduct their own research, trains them to be effective leaders, and actively connects them with others.” They further state, “Dr. Chow encourages these physicians to establish their global presence, by participating in organizations and presenting at international conferences.”

Dr. Chow leads many projects, and consistently involves a global community of researchers who work with him to achieve the goal of improving cancer care.

Innovative Curriculum Award

Dr. Jennifer Teichman

Dr. Jennifer Teichman

Dr. Jennifer Teichman is a Malignant Hematology Fellow at the Odette Cancer Centre, and is a passionate innovator.

In October of 2022, Dr. Teichman established the first fellow-run procedural skills clinic in the division of Hematology at the University of Toronto. The Fellow Procedure Clinic (FPC) provides residents with formal training in lumbar punctures (LPs) and bone  marrow biopsies (BMB) on real patients at the Odette Cancer Centre. Nominators express that the Fellow Procedure Clinic is a novel concept that addresses an unmet need to deliver formal procedural skills training in bone marrow biopsies and lumbar punctures to residents in internal medicine and hematology.

Dr. Teichman developed the FPC to utilize the high volume of procedures at Odette to address the need for procedural skills teaching supervised by a technical expert. She established a weekly half-day clinic that can accommodate up to 4 procedures. To maximize learning, Dr. Teichman allows only one resident per week to join the clinic. Since its inception in October 2022, Dr. Teichman has had approximately 15 residents join the FPC. The hematology training program has recognized the clinic's impact by formally incorporating it into the hematopathology rotation for hematology residents.

One nominator states that they are, "really grateful for this opportunity because it is one of the few in the IM program that allows us to practice our LP skills."

Educational Research Award

Dr. Csilla Kalocsai

Dr. Csilla Kalocsai

Dr. Csilla Kalocsai is a cultural anthropologist and an education scientist, bringing social and critical theories, and ethnographic, narrative and participatory research methodologies into her work.

Many Nominators remarked that Dr. Kalocsai is always willing to help, and guide students in their research, and that they have been able to achieve success due to this support.

Dr. Kalocsai has collaborated to evaluate SPARK, the Sunnybrook Program Accessing Research Knowledge. She also is co-leading an AFP funded study of the dissemination and expansion of SPARK beyond Sunnybrook and Medicine.

Dr. Kalocsai is described by a nominator as “knowledgeable, patient, supportive and responsive. Her feedback when teaching, is specific and actionable. She engages her audience and enriches her courses with invited colleague experts. She understands qualitative research methodology and is able to engage an adult learner who is at the end of her career such as myself, giving me a renewed sense of purpose as an educator.”

One Nominator wrote, “I consider her the ‘Northstar of Sunnybrook HPE research’.”

Patient and Family Education Award

Dr. Shaheeda Ahmed and Kelly Bishop

Dr. Shaheeda Ahmed and Kelly Bishop

Dr. Shaheeda Ahmed and Kelly Bishop, OT, worked together to create the first instructional hand video library in the Hand Program at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. Dr. Ahmed began filming Ms. Bishop’s while she was teaching hand exercises. She would replay the videos at home, comforted knowing the exercises were correctly performed. As a physician, she wondered how those with less health literacy managed. As a teacher, she wanted to help fellow patients learn. This sparked the idea to create a video library of hand PT exercises.

"Hands On: Video Exercises to Optimize Rehabilitation." is a video library of hand exercises by Ms. Kelly Bishop, a hand occupational therapist and Dr. Shaheeda Ahmed, a patient and physician-teacher, following a clinical encounter.

With Dr. Ahmed’s experience, and Kelly’s knowledge of hand therapy, they created short, accessible, and effective videos to dynamically show how to properly perform hand exercises. It’s further explained that proper exercises are vital to optimize function after a hand injury. On nominator says, “As hand injuries require timely rehabilitation, these videos help provide patients additional resources, along with handouts, to perform their exercises accurately.”

Says one nominator, “Given the favorable reception to the video library, the project team is looking to build the on-line video library with additional exercise videos informed by patient needs. Digitization is an effective, easily accessible, contemporary format that lends itself nicely to teaching patients how to safely practice life-altering hand therapy exercises on their road to healing.”

Team-Based Interprofessional Teaching Award

St. John's Rehab Team

St, John's rehab team

L to R: Siobhan Donaghy, Dr. Peter Broadhurst, Susan Schneider, Jennifer Shaffer, Elizabeth Williamson.

The St. John's Rehab Team has exhibited a passion and commitment to interprofessional education (IPE) and team-based learning which has resulted in significant impact across Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre as well as external organizations.

Nominators say, “The group determined 3 key areas of focus. The first was to create an Elective Learning Activity, where learning objectives would focus on: applying the IP core competencies to the inpatient rehabilitation environment, describing the roles of various rehabilitation professionals, and describing the role of the patient and family in the inpatient rehabilitation environment. The second activity supported was Senior IP Projects where students worked collaboratively to present a project idea designed to solve a unique challenge at SJR. 15 students from diverse professions worked in small groups generating ideas to support smooth transitions from outpatient stroke rehabilitation to successful connection with community resources - an area that SJR has identified as challenging. The third activity was to run a Structured IP Education Placement for students. These placements bring together students from diverse professions (all placed at Sunnybrook) over the course of 4-5 weeks.”

Dr. Broadhurst, “as a newer facilitator also took the step of booking a meeting with Dean Lising, Integration Lead, Collaborative Healthcare & Education at the Centre for Advancing Collaborative Healthcare & Education (CACHE) so he could learn more about the curriculum for University of Toronto students and determine where his interests and skills were best matched.”

Nominators say, “Their innovative design and enthusiastic delivery was evident in the products of their collaborative work such as leading Senior Interprofessional Projects, running a Structured IPE placement and developing a new elective learning activity (The Nuts and Bolts of Inpatient Rehab).”

The St. John’s Rehab Team includes the following members: Dr. Peter Broadhurst, Siobhan Donaghy, Susan Schneider, Jennifer Shaffer, Elizabeth Williamson.

Congratulations to all our nominees:

Educating Beyond Sunnybrook Award

  • Krista Dawdy
  • Patricia Dickson

Educating Sunnybrook Award

  • Dr. Michael Bonares
  • Shaunteque Harris
  • Belinda Wagner
  • iLead Faculty
  • Nursing Education
  • Transition Mentors

Innovative Curriculum Award

  • Dr. Alireza Zahirieh

Student Experience Award

  • Dr. Michael Bonares
  • Dr. Matthew Boyle
  • Monica Cassin
  • Elise Greto
  • Dr. Barbara Haas
  • Bailey Hollister
  • Kevin Jing
  • Megan Lawlor
  • Dr. Dana Mayer
  • Karianne Mintz
  • Dr. Carol Schuurmans
  • Vasilica Stratulat
  • Barathi Sreenivasan
  • D5 Team, Ortho Neurosurgery

Teaching Award

  • Dr. Michael Bonares
  • Monica Cassin
  • Dr. Lorne Costello
  • Dr. Julia Keith
  • Dr. Sheldon Singh
  • Vasilica Stratulat
  • Ursula Petroz

Team-Based Interprofessional Teaching Award

  • Outpatient Rehab Burns and Trauma

Award Recipients

2021-2022 MD Teaching Award of Excellence
Temerty Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto

  • Ivy Cheng
  • Andrea David
  • Akash Gupta
  • Robert Jaunkalns
  • Scott McGilvray
  • Jelena Mirkovic
  • Andrea Scalco
  • Kevin Skarratt
  • Tra Truong
  • Jill Zweig

2021-2022 Fieldwork Educator Recognition Award
Department of Occupational Science and
Occupational Therapy, University of Toronto

  • Isabella Cheng
  • Tanya Delanghe
  • Serena Egidio
  • Stephanie Horner
  • Kathryn Koller
  • Brianna Marshall
  • Vickie Ming
  • Jennifer Moebs
  • Alexandra Patel
  • Joyce Ramirez
  • Sarah Rockman
  • Carin Roth
  • Sushma Sebastian
  • Emily Stairs
  • Estella Tse

2022 Recognition Award
Department of Physical Therapy
University of Toronto
Anne Cho

  • Esther Chung
  • Vera Fung
  • Rosemarie Gowland
  • Henriette Grootenboer
  • Aileen Ho
  • Aly Kassam
  • Hina Khatri
  • Gina Lam
  • Sherley Lee
  • Michelle Legasto
  • Maria Lung
  • Andrea Ottensmeyer-Reyes
  • Yashoda Sharma
  • Christina Simion
  • Jean Yee

2022 Clerkship Clinical Teaching Award
Peters=Boyd Academy of Medicine
University of Toronto

  • Sherylan Young

2021-2022 Colin Woolf Award Long Term Contributions to Continuing Professional Development
Temerty Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto

  • Mark Rapoport

2022 College of Family Physicians of Canada Award
of Excellence
Ontario College of Family Physicians

  • Susan Coish

2022 Diabetes Educator of the Year
Diabetes Canada

  • Leigh Caplan

2022 Lynn Childs Clinical Excellence in
Cardiovascular Nursing
Canadian Council of Cardiovascular Nurses

  • Andrew Gentilin

2023 Lynne Fulton Memorial Award
Emergency Department
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

  • Martin Betz

2022 The Golden Pear Preceptor Award
Department of Clinical Nutrition
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

  • Rosine Bishara

2022 Psychiatric Education Award
Association for Academic Psychiatry

  • John Teshima

2022 Schulich Award for Nursing and Clinical Excellence
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

  • Kaitlan Pucknell

2022 Sustained Excellence in Teaching
Department of Family & Community Medicine

  • Claire Murphy

Career Development Award
American Neuropsychiatric Association

  • Matthew Burke

Early Career Development Award
Association for Academic Psychiatry

  • Matthew Boyle

Excellence in Creative Professional Activity
Department of Family & Community Medicine
University of Toronto

  • Allan Grill

Excellence in Teaching Evaluations
Department of Psychiatry
University of Toronto

  • Sunnybrook Psychiatry Department
    Resident Educators/Supervisors

Honourable Mention: National Compassionate
Caregivers of the Year Award
Schwartz Centre of Compassionate Healthcare

  • Kyle Luong
  • Yaseer Shakur

Marie Mara Award for Resident Advocacy
Department of Psychiatry
University of Toronto

  • Matthew Boyle

Outstanding Contribution to Scholarship in
Faculty Development
Department of Family and Community Medicine

  • Rahul Jain

RBC Future Launch Future Leaders Award
Women’s Executive Network (WXN)
Canada’s Most Powerful Women in WXN Community

  • Stephanie Zhou

Quality Improvement Faculty and Staff Impact Award
Department of Family and Community Medicine
University of Toronto

  • Lisa Del Giudice
  • Debbie Elman
  • Ingrid Wirsig
  • Sherylan Young

Best Alternative Funding Plan (AFP) Poster Award
8th Annual Sunnybrook Clinical Impact Through
Innovation Expo

  • Debbie Elman
  • Karen Fleming
  • Rosalie Steinberg
  • Rachel Walsh

2022 Best Poster Award
Hospice Palliative Care Ontario (HPCO) Conference

  • Jennifer Moore
  • Amy Nolen
  • Sarah Torabi

Sunnybrook Alternative Funding Plan (AFP)
Innovation Fund Award

  • Rachel Mitchell
  • Mark Sinyor


Temerty Faculty of Medicine
University of Toronto


  • Sophie Grigoriadis
  • Peggy Richter

Assistant Professor

  • Matthew Boyle
  • Jane Chow
  • Christine Lau
  • Amy Nolen

Associate Professor

  • Lisa Del Guidice

Adjunct Lecturer
Factor-Inwentash, Faculty of Social Work
University of Toronto

  • Woody Baileygen
  • Carolyn Hutcheson
  • Gladys Kumi
  • Brooke MacDonald
  • Sagaanah Sivrapagasm

Adjunct Assistant Professor
School of Pharmacy
University of Waterloo

  • Carla Findlater

School of Nutrition
Toronto Metropolitan University

  • Colleen Miller

Clinician in Quality and Innovation
Faculty of Medicine
University of Toronto

  • Richard Hoang

Clinician Teacher
Faculty of Medicine
University of Toronto

  • Scott McGilvray