Celebrating the Human Spirit Award

Please note that the awards nomination campaign will launch on October 1, at which time the online nomination form and the nomination template (Section A and B) will become available.

The Award

This award recognizes and honours the meaningful contributions of individuals or teams, who provide health services, for acts of caring and compassion that go above and beyond the call of duty, which inspire others and have a profound and lasting impact. This can be interpreted broadly to include any act that improves an individual patient’s health and/or spirit, the lives of the patient’s family and/or the community. This award is a vehicle to share their stories with colleagues from across Canada and to help inspire others.
The winner will receive an etched glass trophy. Should the future permit us to return to an in-person event, the recipient will also receive paid travel and accommodations to attend the College’s Honouring Health Leadership event, and receive a complimentary registration to the National Health Leadership Conference.


This award is open to all Canadian healthcare professionals, leaders, teams and volunteers who have had a marked impact on patients, their family or the community. This award is open to College members and non-members alike. Programs, stand-alone acts and special initiatives from across the continuum of care are eligible for consideration. Nominations will also be evaluated on the opportunities for knowledge transfer, scalability and applicability to other organizations.


Nominations must be made by a member of the College.

We are asking nominators to submit their nomination in two sections. Section A, which is to be submitted by November 30, is a 250 word summary. The summary should touch on the eligibility criteria and illustrate why you feel that the nominee should win this award. The summaries will be reviewed by the selection committee and a short list of top contenders will be formed. Those on the shortlist will be asked to complete Section B of the nomination. This section is due on February 1.

Selection Committee

Sponsored by:

2020 Recipient: Maryann Murray and Sandi Kossey, CHE

Maryann Murray and Sandi Kossey, CHE

Maryann Murray, a volunteer with Patients for Patient Safety Canada, and Sandi Kossey, Senior Director with the Canadian Patient Safety Institute, are championing and improving medication safety in Canada and globally. Their collective efforts continue to have significant impact on patients, providers, leaders and communities.

Maryann has generously dedicated thousands of hours to improving medication safety after the death of her daughter Martha in 2002. Maryann is playing a key role in shaping the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Medication Without Harm global challenge and implementing the campaign in Canada. Her relentless focus on clear communication helps ensure patient safety is having an impact.

Sandi, also the Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre on Patient Safety and Patient Engagement, is a determined promoter of patient engagement. She has facilitated the inclusion of patient partners in many decision-making forums in Canada and globally. Her personal leadership and influence on patient engagement in healthcare transformation are making a difference.

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Past Recipients

Please see our most recent recipients listed below. Full biography's are available in our Celebrating Leading Practices booklets.

2020 - Maryann Murray and Sandi Kossey, CHE

2019 - Elder Little Brown Bear (Ernest W. Matton)

2018 - Dr. Jeff Beselt

2017 - Bruyère Continuing Care

2016 - Ontario Shores

2015 - Saint Elizabeth Health

2014 - Carol Kushner and Donna Davis, Patients for Patient Safety Canada 

2013 - Guysborough Antigonish Strait Health Authority, Park Bench Players 

2012 - Vancouver Inner City Youth Mental Health Program, Providence Health Care

2011 - Dan McGann, Credit Valley Hospital