Shining a light on the 2017 Public Health ChampionIssued: Thursday, October 19, 2017
The Sudbury & District Health Unit is proud to announce the recipient of the 2017 Public Health Champion Award. The Award recognizes an individual or organization that has made outstanding contributions toward promoting and protecting public health in the Sudbury and Manitoulin districts.
“This year, the Health Unit is excited to announce Dr. Janet McElhaney as the 2017 Public Health Champion,” said René Lapierre, Sudbury & District Board of Health Chair. “Dr. McElhaney is a shining example of a Public Health Champion and is being recognized for her exemplary work toward improving the overall health of others.”
“Today we recognized a true champion for her passionate contributions and accomplishments toward eliminating the burden of vaccine preventable diseases and ensuring that opportunities for health are available to all in our community and beyond,” said Dr. Penny Sutcliffe, Sudbury & District Medical Officer of Health. “Dr. McElhaney’s impactful work aligns with the important work of public health to help create the healthiest communities possible.”
Dr. McElhaney is a champion for vaccinations and clinical work and her research fosters positive change and access to health by working with Indigenous Peoples and priority populations such as older adults.
Her work in older adult influenza vaccinations and her collaborative and compassionate approach to Indigenous health equity has garnered international recognition. Her research interest focusses on the role vaccination plays in preventing disability in older adults and marks a critical step in the development of more effective vaccines for the over 65 population. As a leader, Dr. McElhaney’s important and immeasurable work is supported by her appointment to the Canadian Institute for Health Research Advisory Board for the Institute of Aboriginal Peoples’ Health and her recent research grant to work in partnership with Indigenous communities to address multiple chronic conditions in older Indigenous adults.
This year’s Award was inspired by the work in the Health Unit’s Clinical Services Division and Family Health Team. The 2017 Award set forth to recognize outstanding contributions toward taking action or supporting activities related to: promoting the health of families, oral health, healthy sexuality, vaccinations, infectious/communicable diseases and/or Indigenous engagement. The selection was based on demonstrated achievements towards positive public health in the areas of Clinical and Family Health Services in the categories of Leadership, Collaboration, Innovation, and Creating Opportunities for Change.
This is the third year of the Public Health Champion Award. The Award was established by the Sudbury & District Board of Health to recognize the achievements of others to support health locally. Last year, in a tie decision, Monique Mercier and Our Children, Our Future were recognized as the 2016 Public Health Champions for their work sparking change and supporting opportunities for health for everyone. In 2015, Franco Mariotti was recognized as the inaugural Public Health Champion for his dedicated work in the realm of Environmental Health.