The Elisse Zack Award for Excellence in HIV and Rehabilitation
Realize is a national, multi-sector, multi-disciplinary organization, formed in 1998 to address the emerging need for a national comprehensive response to rehabilitation issues in the context of HIV. It is Realize’s vision that the daily lives of people living with HIV/AIDS will be improved in direct and meaningful ways through rehabilitation care, support, and services.
Through rehabilitation, research, education and cross-sector partnerships, Realize seeks to bridge the traditionally separate worlds of HIV, disability and rehabilitation. Realize promotes a comprehensive approach to HIV-related disability and rehabilitation toward improving the quality of life of people living with HIV. Our three primary mandates include:
(1) a coordinating and advisory role on issues of rehabilitation in the context of HIV;
(2) supporting and/or undertaking projects in rehabilitation in the context of HIV; and
(3) encouraging pan-disease collaboration to address issues experienced by people living with HIV and those with other complex episodic or chronic diseases.
Our priority areas are education, practice and research – with a view to implementing effective and relevant rehabilitation policies and programs across Canada.
Realize relies on and values its diverse stakeholders and their demonstration of leadership, coordination and communication in fulfilling Realize’s mandate.
In 2008, CWGHR established the CWGHR Award of Excellence in HIV and Rehabilitation to recognize individuals or organizations for their excellence in the area of HIV and rehabilitation. Realize’s Award of Excellence seeks to highlight outstanding contributions toward improving the lives of people living with HIV/AIDS and to acknowledge those who embody Realize’s values and goals.
In 2014, the award was re-named in honour of Elisse Zack, a leading HIV advocate and pioneer, and our founding Executive Director.
Nominations and Eligibility
Nominations for the Elisse Zack Award for Excellence in HIV and Rehabilitation are accepted for any individual or organization. Anyone may submit a nomination.
The Award Selection Committee, whose membership is determined by the Realize Board of Directors, will select the recipient of the Award. The Awards Selection Committee will consider and evaluate the following guidelines in reviewing the nominations and selecting the award recipient.
[Please note that this list is not exhaustive and nor does Realize expect that each guideline would apply to every nominee. Realize welcomes all nominations for individuals or organizations who have made contributions in the field of HIV and rehabilitation. Realize reserves the right to not present the award in any given year.]
- Demonstrated overall excellence in the field of HIV and rehabilitation;
- Dedication and commitment to enhancing the lives of people living with HIV/AIDS;
- Demonstrated collaborative or interdisciplinary approach to work in the field of HIV and rehabilitation;
- Innovation in the field of HIV and rehabilitation and a demonstrated willingness to push boundaries in the field;
- Achievements in education, practice and research that support the field of HIV and rehabilitation;
- Development of new knowledge or partnerships that impact on the field of HIV and rehabilitation;
- Promotion of awareness of and access to rehabilitation programs and services for persons living with HIV/AIDS.
The recipient of the 2023 Elisse Zack Award for Excellence in HIV and Rehabilitation will be formally announced at the Realize Annual Meeting in October 2023.
Realize is pleased to announce that the recipient of the 2022 Elisse Zack Award for Excellence in HIV and Rehabilitation is Darren Brown. The Award will be presented virtually at the 2022 Annual Meeting.
Quoting from the Nomination:
“Darren is a physiotherapist and international leader in HIV and rehabilitation, making remarkable strides in research and practice for advancing models of HIV and rehabilitation for people living with HIV. Darren personifies the values of the Elisse Zack Award; he has devoted his career to advance rehabilitation for people living with episodic conditions. [He] leads the HIV rehabilitation service at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, which is the largest HIV centre in Europe and the United Kingdom (UK). Darren is an exceptional physiotherapist, and longstanding leader in the field, a superb ally for Canadians living with HIV who is always sharing with Canadians his passion and expertise for HIV and rehabilitation research, education and clinical practice. Darren goes above and beyond, bridging the fields of episodic illness and rehabilitation, and advancing rehabilitation for people living with HIV and other episodic conditions.”
Darren Brown is a cis-gendered (pronouns he/him/his), gay, white man, of English and Irish heritage, living in London, UK. He is a clinical academic Physiotherapist specialising in HIV, disability and rehabilitation. Darren leads the HIV rehabilitation service at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust; Europe’s Largest HIV centre. He is the Vice-Chair of Rehabilitation in HIV Association (RHIVA), HIV/AIDS special interest group coordinator of World Physiotherapy subgroup IPT-HOPE, and steering committee member of Canada International HIV Rehabilitation Research Collaborative (CIHRRC). Darren was awarded an NIHR funded Masters of Clinical Research (MRes) in 2019 and conducts both quantitative and qualitative research about disability and rehabilitation among people living with HIV in the UK and internationally. Darren contributes to national and international programmes focusing on disability inclusion across all responses to HIV. Darren contracted COVID-19 in March 2020, reinfected April 2022, and has experience of living with Long COVID and episodic disability. He is a patient advocate for safe Long COVID rehabilitation practice and research, and calls for the greater involvement and meaningful engagement of people living with Long COVID in all responses to COVID-19. Darren is co-founder and inaugural Chair of Long COVID Physio, an international peer support, education and advocacy patient-led association of physiotherapists living with Long COVID and allies. Darren has contributed to national and international responses to Long COVID and is an invited expert contributing to World Health Organization Guideline Development Groups on COVID-19 and Post COVID-19 Condition (Long COVID) rehabilitation.
Realize is pleased to announce that the recipient of the 2021 Elisse Zack Award for Excellence in HIV and Rehabilitation is Hellen Myezwa. The Award was presented virtually.
Quoting from the Nomination:
“Hellen has had a long, distinguished career in the field of HIV and rehabilitation, as a physiotherapist, teacher and researcher. Like Elisse Zack, Hellen is deeply committed to social justice. She has a staunch commitment to advocate for improving the lives of all PLHIV. This is particularly important in Southern Africa, with the highest HIV prevalence in the world and where PLHIV continue to face huge challenges. Hellen has collaborated with a number of international researchers and is a South African member of the Canada-International HIV & Rehabilitation Research Collaborative (CIHRRC). She is an inspiration to countless students, therapists and researchers across the globe.”
Professor Hellen Myezwa
Hellen Myezwa is a qualified physiotherapist with over 35 years of experience in health care delivery. She has worked in many communities at grassroots level and has been instrumental in setting up rehabilitation services in response to community needs. Currently she is a professor and the Head, School of Therapeutic Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of the Witwatersrand. She has held several leadership positions in both the clinical, practice and academic setting.
Hellen Myezwa is an expert in HIV and disability, and she conducted one of the first studies to define the extent of HIV disability in the African setting. Subsequently, she has been involved in research to understand the scope and impact of disability in people living with HIV and has conducted one of the first population-based studies that has informed and ensured the inclusion of HIV rehabilitation in policy. Additional research projects include understanding the impact of HIV on the risk of ischaemic heart disease and community-based intervention to minimize this risk. The effect of exercise programmes on peripheral neuropathy in HIV and several projects exploring the musculoskeletal function in HIV. In addition to this, Hellen has expertise in the epidemiology of disability. Professor Myezwa has a keen understanding of the interface between the needs of people with HIV and other chronic conditions and service delivery needs, and which is augmented by her expertise in rehabilitation service delivery as before joining the University of the Witwatersrand, she managed and developed rehabilitation services in a public health sector for 15 years. Her second arm of research involves the study of service delivery systems and has research involving service delivery management, models, their structure and monitoring and evaluation systems. In this area she has been instrumental in providing evidence to inform HIV policy and practice and has contributed to the national aids councils in both south Africa and Zimbabwe.
She is a C2 NRF rated researcher and have served on NRF rating panels. Professor Myezwa has published 80 articles ( 60% in HIV related topics) in peer-reviewed journals to date and co-authored a book in special education with input on community approaches and two book chapters namely “Perspectives in Performing Arts Medicine Practice” and “Curriculum change and teaching innovations in health sciences: An essential requirement in the era of pandemics”.
She has supervised 30 postgraduate students and currently supervising six postgraduate students. Professor Myezwa has a Masters degree in community rehabilitation from the University of Pretoria and a PhD focussed on mainstreaming HIV into Physiotherapy education from the University of the Witwatersrand. She also holds a Master’s in leadership, management and executive coaching from Wits Business School, which qualifies her as an executive coach and sharpens her leadership in business skills and coaching of younger academics. Hellen has a keen interest in education, as this is an important part of her portfolio. She is passionate about the development of young people to maximise their own potential and actively coaches many young academics.
Realize is pleased to announce that the 2020 recipient of the Elisse Zack Award for Excellence in HIV and Rehabilitation is Colleen Price.
Colleen Price resides in Ottawa, Canada, is trained in Psychology, Sociology and as a Social Service Worker. A survivor of trauma, addictions, HIV and Hepatitis C, she is a committed, experienced advocate for testing, access to treatment, care and support for people living with HIV and HIV co-infection. She is experienced in Board and Governance, Capacity Building, KTE, Research, Program and Policy development via her work as a Board Member on Voices of Positive Women, at the Canadian Treatment Action Council (CTAC), as Board member and Chair of the CTAC Peer HIV and Hepatitis C Working Group (2006-2013), and with the Interagency Coalition on AIDS and Development Board.
Colleen has been engaged in CWGHR, now Realize, work since entering advocacy and research 15 years ago, working on key issues of importance to the health and well-being of PLHIV, episodic disability and rehabilitation and participating in the areas of mental health and HIV and Aging.
Colleen served a public appointment for 10 years as a member of the Ontario Advisory Committee on HIV/AIDS (OACHA) and 8 years on the Ontario HIV Treatment Network Cohort Study Governance Committee. Colleen was awarded 1/30 Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medals by the Canadian AIDS Society for her work in HIV/AIDS in 2012.
Colleen has been working for the last 2 years on Chronic Pain and HIV, joining the Global Pain and HIV Taskforce in January 2020. The Clinical Trials Network (CTN) has started a Chronic Pain, Pain Management and Wellness of PLHIV Working group, Colleen will co-chair with Dr. Madeleine Durand (colleague, mentor) and collaborate with an extraordinary team of clinicians, researchers, psychologists, and people PLHIV and chronic pain. All of us are dedicated to developing research evidence to best guide the treatment, care, and support of PLHIV and chronic pain, to evaluate promising interventions and rehabilitative therapies and to positively impact our HRQoL and well-being, services, programs, and policy development.
Extraordinary leaders in chronic pain and HIV, Dr. Jessica Robinson-Papp, Dr. Jessica Merlin, Dr. Whitney Scott from the Global HIV and Pain Taskforce are supportive of our CTN efforts and we are thankful for their assistance and are inspired by their research and clinical care practices.
Colleen is glad and incredibly grateful, that this CTN working group has started. She has lived with chronic pain for 30+ years. She is grateful to Dr. Madeleine Durand and all members of this team for their desire and dedication to improve PLHIV and chronic pain health, wellness, access to services and health equity.
By us, for us, together with us, we can make a meaningful difference. Elisse taught her the importance of collaboration, of unity of PLHIV community, multi-disciplinary allies, to fostering research, fostering rehabilitation, fostering change and to never give up. Lessons she has never forgotten. Lisse inspired her and continues to. She is deeply honored to be given this award in Lisse’s legacy, she was a pioneer, a leader, a collaborator, a visionary in linking HIV and Rehabilitation. She made a huge difference and continues to; she would be incredibly happy with the work Realize has done and continues to do on key issues of importance to PLHIV and others with episodic disability.
Colleen believes Elisse would be happy about her work in chronic pain and HIV. There have been many challenges, and many remain (funding) but she will not give up as there is a tremendous potential to meaningfully impact the services we receive, program and policy development.
Lastly, she would like to thank Dr. Curtis Cooper, he helped her with her Hepatitis C (HCV) treatment despite active SU, believing in her and the HCV treatment. Access issues, stigma, motivated her to become a advocate post 48 week treatment. Dr. Cooper has engaged and supported her in research and advocacy work and continues to, Thank-you, Dr. Cooper for your care and mentorship.
Dr. Sean Rourke, Dr. Kelly O’ Brien, Dr. Mona Loutfy, Dr. Ann Burchell, Dr. Sergio Rueda, Dr. Francisco Ibanez-Carrasco, Realize, and the OHTN for long term support, engagement and assistance in research and advocacy for PLHIV and co-infected. She would also like to thank OAN PLDI (was in pilot group, program graduate) and ABPRO for training that helped her to become an advocate.
She also thanks her friends and colleagues and peers living with HIV, she states that she will never give up on trying to improve our HRQoL and well-being and she looks forward to work ahead. She also believes that together, we can make a meaningful difference. For PLHIV and chronic pain, or if you know someone, The Global HIV and Pain Taskforce has done a very brief survey on chronic pain and HIV, https://painregistry.online/research.
In the words of her peers who nominated her, “As a woman living with HIV and longstanding advocate for rehabilitation in HIV, Colleen tirelessly works to advance the field of HIV and rehabilitation for people living with HIV. As a colleague, activist, and friend, Colleen brings optimism, wisdom, and calm to all those who interact with her.”
Realize is pleased to announce that the recipient of the Elisse Zack Award for Excellence in HIV and Rehabilitation is Michael Bailey. The award presentation was held on September 27, in conjunction with the 2019 Forum
Michael received his HIV diagnosis in 1987. He joined the CATIE team 15 years ago, serving in various education roles including as director of program delivery. This year, he is excited to return to the position of regional health education coordinator for Quebec. Prior to joining CATIE, Michael worked at the Toronto People With AIDS Foundation, where he developed programs and fundraisers for people living with HIV. Michael’s connections in Quebec run deep, having lived in Montreal for more than 20 years, where he studied English and French literature, translation and community service. Michael is passionate about HIV and hepatitis C knowledge exchange, and is proud to work alongside the many volunteers and frontline workers who make a difference in the lives of the people they serve.
“Michael is always there for others, whether to lend a hand, a listening ear or a shoulder to cry on. He is always the first to offer help and to shoulder others’ responsibilities. “No” is not a word in his lexicon. Michael is always humble, always compassionate, always thinking of others and always ready to lend a hand.” excerpt from the nomination statement
2018 Award for Excellence Recipients
- Nancy Mayo, Professor, School of Physical and Occupational Therapy, McGill University;
- Kenneth Poon, Health Promotion Worker, Asian Community AIDS Services;
- Poz Youth in Transition Program, AIDS Committee of Durham Region
Professor, School of Physical and Occupational Therapy, McGill University
Dr. Mayo’s contribution to HIV started in 2012 when she teamed up with Drs. Fellows and Brouillette from McGill University, to lead a multisite, trans-disciplinary, Canadian study entitled Positive Brain Health Now (BHN+) . Main goals of the BHN+ cohort study are to identify, understand, and optimize brain health in people living with HIV with a main focus on cognitive impairment, its measurement, contributors and consequences. The main contribution of Dr. Mayo has been to implant the rehabilitation perspective into this trans-disciplinary team, making disability, function, and quality of life the focus of the whole HIV research team. Dr. Mayo has also been responsible for training graduate students in HIV research, contributing to building a critical mass of rehabilitation oriented HIV researchers.
Health Promotion Worker, Asian Community AIDS Services
As a long term survivor who is legally blind, Kenneth has shown his strong resiliency and a tremendous empathy with other people living with HIV (PHAs). He reflected on his residency at Casey house for over two years, the time he lost his sight because of HIV, as the moment that uniquely equipped him to deeply understand the challenges and barriers that PHAs face on a day to day basis. He learned to be resourceful in dealing with his illness and disability. Being active, staying busy, contributing to AIDS movement and a wider society through volunteer work, and equipping himself with knowledge on complimentary therapy and holistic health are one of the many things he has done to overcome health problems. His positive attitude about life also has a profound impact on how he perceives his health and well-being. His unique perspective on life in general, and courage exemplify PHA resiliency.
Poz Youth in Transition Program
AIDS Committee of Durham Region
ACDR has considered the purposeful, planned movement of adolescents with chronic medical conditions from child-centered to adult-oriented health care. By directly involving Poz Youth from the region through their Pozzy Program, and in collaboration with community partners, ACDR has secured province-wide funding to ensure that no youth is lost during transition. This is big work for a small agency! Working with the Ontario HIV Treatment Network, the AIDS Bureau and the Ontario Organizational Development Program, the Pozzy (ACDR’s HIV+ Youth Support and Social group) brought youth from across Ontario to draft the Transition Accord – a document articulating the most effective way to transition a child born with HIV from pediatric AIDS care to Adult Care to ensure they remain undetectable and un-infectious; thereby fixing a gap in the Treatment Cascade.
Realize is pleased to announce that the recipient of the Elisse Zack Award for Excellence in HIV and Rehabilitation is Stephen G. Tattle. The award ceremony was held at a reception on September 15, in conjunction with the 2017 Forum
Stephen G. Tattle
Stephen is a Registered Nurse with a Master of Science in Nursing Science from the University of Toronto. Over a 30 year career he has worked across the healthcare continuum in the hospital and community sectors, the last 8 years of which he was Vice President Programs and Chief Nurse Executive at Bridgepoint Health in Toronto. He has also been an active member of the Canadian Association of Nurses in AIDS Care (CANAC) since its establishment.
He has been involved with Realize since its inception, having attended the organization’s founding meeting in Quebec City in 1998. He served on the Realize Board of Directors for 10 years, the last 3 of which he filled the role of Co-Chair. Stephen joined Realize on a part-time basis in September 2013 as a Program Consultant and acted as Executive Director from December 2013 until February 2015. Stephen continued to work with Realize in the role of Programs and Operations Consultant until his retirement in January 2017.
“Steve has generously provided dedication, time, excellence and innovation to CWGHR (now Realize) over the years since its inception. He is not afraid of pushing new boundaries in the field. I can’t say enough about his intelligence, dedication, leadership, and innovative thinking. He ranks as one of the most passionate people about the field of HIV and rehabilitation. I feel incredibly fortunate to have had the opportunity to collaborate with him. As Steve transitions to his new role of retirement, I hope that he will continue to remain engaged with the organization and the field of HIV and rehabilitation in the future. I cannot think of anyone more deserving or appropriate to receive the 2017 Elisse Zack Award for Excellence in HIV and Rehabilitation.” (nomination letter of support)
In 2016 The Canadian Working Group on HIV and Rehabilitation (CWGHR) was pleased to announce that the recipient of the Elisse Zack Award for Excellence in HIV and Rehabilitation was the Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation. The Award was presented to Rosalind Baltzer Turje, representing the Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation, at a reception held on the evening of September 23, 2016.
The Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation is a non-profit organization that raises funds to support innovative health care at the Dr. Peter Centre in Metro Vancouver. The Dr. Peter Centre is British Columbia’s only HIV day health program and 24-hour nursing care residence.
The only program of its kind in Canada, the Dr. Peter Centre is a leader in HIV care, particularly for individuals with multiple medical conditions and social barriers.
“The Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation has provided outstanding dedication, excellence and innovation towards advancing the field of HIV rehabilitation. Rosalind Baltzer Turje and Patrick McDougall dedicate countless hours to numerous research and educational initiatives in HIV and rehabilitation that goes above and beyond their overwhelmingly busy workload at the Dr. Peter Centre. This organization is a perfect example of an entity tirelessly working … to achieve the vision of collectively helping improve the lives of people living with HIV.” – nomination letter of support
In 2015 The Canadian Working Group on HIV and Rehabilitation (CWGHR) was pleased to announce that the recipient of the Elisse Zack Award for Excellence in HIV and Rehabilitation was Dr. Kelly O’Brien. The Award was presented to Dr.O’Brien on the evening of June 15, 2015 at a special Award reception.
Dr. Kelly O’Brien
Dr. Kelly O’Brien has been a clinician, researcher and advocate focusing on rehabilitation in the context of HIV since 1998 when she was one of the first physiotherapists in Canada developing and delivering rehabilitation services for people living with HIV. Through her brilliant doctoral research, Kelly developed the Episodic Disability Framework to guide practice, research and advocacy for and with people living with HIV. Kelly is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto (U of T) in the Department of Physical Therapy and she has taught extensively at both U of T and McMaster and thus countless future health care professionals have been influenced and have chosen to specialize in the fields of HIV and episodic disabilities. In addition, since 2009 Kelly has contributed extensively to the Universities Without Walls a national, interdisciplinary learning network connecting academics, community members, and policy makers. Her most recent collaboration in eLearning with The Learning Place for HIV/AIDS Community Based Research puts her at the forefront of virtual teaching.
Her contributions with CWGHR began in 1999 as a member of the Grant Review Committee and she continued on CWGHR’s Communication Advisory Committee, National Pilot Site Steering Committee for the Episodic Disability Project, Advisory Committee for Interprofessional Learning in Rehabilitation, Scoping Review Identifying Research Priorities, Labour Force Participation Project, Strategic Planning and Evaluation Committee and she served as a member of the Board of Directors from 2009-2014. Kelly also spearheaded the Canada‐UK HIV and Rehabilitation Research Collaborative, whose ongoing work unites people living with HIV, clinicians and researchers from both countries to build bridges among research, policy and practice.
“Kelly’s achievements, passion and excellence in HIV and rehabilitation have truly advanced the field over a sustained period of years. She is a treasure to our community and we can think of no one more deserving of The Elisse Zack Award for Excellence in HIV and Rehabilitation!” (nomination letter of support)
In 2013 the Canadian Working Group on HIV and Rehabilitation (CWGHR) was pleased to announce that the 2013 recipients of the Award of Excellence in HIV and Rehabilitation were Dr. Patty Solomon and Coalition des organismes communautaires québécois de lutte contre le sida (COCQ-SIDA). The Awards were presented to Dr. Solomon and to representatives of COCQ-SIDA in Toronto on the evening of June 13, 2013 at a special Award reception. In recognition of CWGHR’s 15th Anniversary year, 2 special Awards of Excellence were presented on June 13th 2013.
Dr. Patty Solomon
Patty Solomon is a Professor and Associate Dean of the School of Rehabilitation Science at McMaster University. She became involved with CWGHR after receiving a grant to develop a novel patient centered model of education which benefited both students and those living with HIV. Following CWGHR support for her research Patty went on to be on the Board of Directors of CWGHR and the Hamilton AIDS Network and developed a research program related to HIV and disability. She was one of the earliest rehabilitation scientists to receive CIHR funding for research related to rehabilitation and HIV. Most recently she has completed a study that examined participation issues in adults aging with HIV. As the founder and inaugural Director of the Program for Interprofesssional Practice, Education and Research (PIPER) at McMaster, Patty is an advocate for collaboration. She contributes her research successes to the incredible team of rehabilitation scientists and PHAs that she has been fortunate enough to become connected with through CWGHR.
Coalition des organismes communautaires québécois de lutte contre le sida (COCQ-SIDA)
The Coalition des organismes communautaires québécois de lutte contre le sida (COCQ-SIDA) has the mission of bringing together Québec’s community-based HIV organizations and uses its leadership to incite, support, consolidate and promote autonomous community action in the fight against HIV/AIDS in Québec. Since 1990, COCQ-SIDA has collaborated in community-based research, developed intervention and evaluation tools, offered training and knowledge transfer activities to community workers and led social marketing campaigns. COCQ-SIDA is active in the fight against the stigmatization of HIV in many ways, from high-level interventions to change attitudes and policies to the individual level, supporting and enforcing the rights of the individual who has experienced discrimination based on her/his HIV status.
In 2012 the Canadian Working Group on HIV and Rehabilitation (CWGHR) was pleased to announce that the recipient of the Award of Excellence in HIV and Rehabilitation was the Toronto People with AIDS Foundation (PWA). The Award was presented to representatives of Toronto PWA in Toronto on the morning of June 15, 2012 at a special Award breakfast.
Toronto People with AIDS Foundation (PWA)
The Toronto People With AIDS Foundation (PWA) engages people living with HIV/AIDS in enhancing their health and well-being through practical and therapeutic support services and broader social change, and inspires them to live into their dreams and discoveries. As the largest direct, practical support service provider in Canada, PWA has provided services to over 8,000 individuals living with HIV/AIDS since their inception in 1987.
PWA ‘s 2011-2016 strategic plan highlights the priority, history and evolution of the role of rehabilitation in their work. The long history includes innovative inter-sectoral partnerships such as founding the Community Naturopathic Clinic with the Canadian College for Naturopathic Medicine and student massage clinics with local massage schools. Recent years have seen the development of complementary therapy programs into a therapeutic model of delivery as well as building new programs that involve PHAs directly in the education of health care practitioners. PWA’s dedication and commitment to the broader holistic health of PHAs and the role of rehabilitation is fundamental to their identity and continues to be inspired by the involvement and leadership of those living with and affected by HIV/AIDS.
“Under the outstanding leadership of Murray Jose as Executive Director, the Toronto PWA truly demonstrates a long-standing commitment to education, practice and research in the field of HIV and rehabilitation. The Toronto PWA has generously provided outstanding dedication, excellence and innovation towards advancing the field of HIV rehabilitation. Working with Murray Jose and the staff and volunteers at Toronto PWA is an absolute pleasure” (nomination letter of support)
In 2011, the Canadian Working Group on HIV and Rehabilitation (CWGHR) was pleased to announce that the recipient of the Award of Excellence in HIV and Rehabilitation was Dr. Mary Petty. The Award was presented to Mary in person in Toronto on the evening of June 11, 2011 at a special Award dinner.
Dr. Mary Petty
“As a knowledgeable and impactful Social Worker, Mary is a wonderful guide with a kind and amazing spirit who contributes much to the HIV/AIDS movement.” (nomination letter of support)
Mary Petty is currently the Research, Education and Practice Coordinator in Urban Health – HIV at Providence Health Care, Vancouver. As a social worker, she has held a number of professional and academic positions in the United States and Canada. Her work in the HIV community goes back to the 1980s when she was an early member of the first AIDS advocacy group in Halifax.
She is committed to interprofessional health care practice and has worked with CWGHR on projects related to education in the field. She was instrumental in establishing a peer navigator project in Providence’s HIV program. This successful and ongoing project is the outcome of a strong collaborative relationship between the hospital HIV program and Positive Living BC. She serves as the faculty lead for the HIV Interprofessional Course at the University of British Columbia and holds an adjunct faculty position at the Dalhousie School of Social Work where she teaches an HIV and social work course.
“More impressive than Mary’s resume is her dedication to those she works with, students, staff and patients alike, within the field of HIV/AIDS. Mary is also a great advocate. She advocates to improve the daily lives of individuals living with HIV/AIDS in a direct and meaningful way through rehabilitation, support, and services. She is widely known and respected in the community at large for the work she does on behalf of people living with HIV/AIDS.” (nomination letter of support)
The Canadian Working Group on HIV and Rehabilitation (CWGHR) is pleased to announce the 2010 recipient of the Award of Excellence in HIV and Rehabilitation: Dr. Francisco Ibáñez-Carrasco.
Dr. Francisco Ibáñez-Carrasco
Francisco is an exceptional leader and has contributed significantly to the field of HIV and rehabilitation.
Francisco’s outstanding qualities include his enthusiasm, innovation and collaboration when it comes to rehabilitation and people living with HIV. He continually pushes boundaries, weaving the concept of HIV, disability and rehabilitation into all aspects of his work.
Born in Chile in 1963, Francisco Ibáñez-Carrasco is an AIDS activist, educator, researcher and writer. He migrated to Canada in 1985 and became HIV-positive six months later. Francisco obtained his PhD in Education in 1999 with a focus on health education and sexuality. He has worked as an AIDS outreach worker, university instructor in qualitative research methods, creative writing educator at Goddard College (2004-2009) and an HIV community-based research facilitator in British Columbia (2003-2009). Since 2009, Francisco has been the Program Manager of Universities Without Walls, a national training program for emerging HIV researchers at the Ontario HIV Treatment Network.
Francisco’s fiction has been published in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom.
His non-fiction and academic writing has appeared in a number of edited collections, magazines, and newspapers, including: Public Acts Disruptive Readings on Making Curriculum Public (co-edited with Erica Meiners, 2004); “Organizing CBR Knowledge Between University and Communities: Lessons Learned” in Journal of Community Development with Pilar Riaño-Alcalá (2009) and “Posi+ive Prevention for Gay Men: Dismounting Missionary Positions” in Adult Education in Queer Contexts: Power, Politics, and Pedagogy with Peter Hall (2009).
His community service began as member of the Board of Directors of AIDS Vancouver in 1989. He served on the CWGHR Board of Directors from 2002 until 2007, and was Co-Chair from 2002 to 2006. His research interests include HIV as an episodic disability in the context of rehabilitation and social participation, HIV and aging and gay men’s health and sexuality in the context of HIV.
Francisco is highly regarded by so many in the community and academia who have had the opportunity and privilege to work with him. He is a source of innovation and optimism, seeing ways to enhance the field of HIV and rehabilitation and bridge with other more traditional areas of HIV practice and research.
In 2009 the Canadian Working Group on HIV and Rehabilitation was pleased to announce that the recipient of the Award of Excellence in HIV and Rehabilitation was Dr. Stephanie Nixon.
Dr. Stephanie Nixon
Stephanie is a physiotherapist who has been an HIV activist, researcher and clinician for 15 years. She completed her HonBA in Kinesiology at the University of Western Ontario in 1992 and her BHSc in Physiotherapy at McMaster University in 1996. She completed her MSc in the Graduate Department of Rehabilitation Science in 2000 and her PhD in Public Health and Bioethics in 2006, both at the University of Toronto. Stephanie conducted her post-doc with Prof. Alan Whiteside at the Health Economics and HIV/AIDS Research Division (HEARD) at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa from 2006-2008.
Stephanie is co-founder and Director of the International Centre for Disability and Rehabilitation, and she leads the HIV/AIDS, Globalization and Rehabilitation Research Unit in the Department of Physical Therapy.
It was CWGHR’s pleasure and honour to award Dr. Stephanie Nixon the 2009 Award of Excellence in HIV and Rehabilitation.
In 2008, the Canadian Working Group on HIV and Rehabilitation presented the inaugural Award of Excellence in HIV and Rehabilitation to Dr. Gregory Robinson.
Dr. Gregory Robinson
Greg has been living with HIV/AIDS for over 27 years. During that time, he has devoted himself to tirelessly working to improve the lives of all Canadians living with HIV/AIDS. Although Greg has retired from his medical practice, his compassion for humanity is seen in his work within the HIV/AIDS community.
Greg meets all the criteria for this award. He has been involved with CWGHR since its inception in 1998. He has and continues to work tirelessly on behalf of all Canadians living with HIV/AIDS.
His work at CWGHR has included: CWGHR Co-chair, educator of health providers on HIV and rehabilitation, advisory committees and a co-faculty member of the inter-professional learning program.
Always a driving force, Greg championed and helped to craft the best practice and research priorities for CWGHR. Added to this was his influence and wisdom in spearheading the initiation of an inter-professional mentorship program for rehabilitation professionals: this initiative has since gone on to receive OHTN funding to develop and evaluate a provincial-wide mentorship program.
Greg’s background in clinical epidemiology has assured him a leading position with the HOOD data-base as well as the OHTN Cohort Study. His work with this cohort always sees Greg advocating for disability and rehabilitation issues thus ensuring a documented view of HIV as an episodic disability.
As a result of Greg’s tireless efforts, knowledge and love of humanity he has touched and influenced the lives of many people he has worked with.