Transforming Ontario’s Health Care System

2016 Minister’s Medal Winners and Honourees to be announced at Health Quality Transformation

Thank you to all those who applied for the 2016 Minister’s Medal Honouring Excellence in Health Quality and Safety. Applications are currently being reviewed and winners will be announced at Health Quality Transformation, on October 20th, 2016.

The 2016 Minister’s Medal is a competitive, annual program designed to recognize the excellent work that health care providers do every day. The Minister’s Medal provides an opportunity to recognize system champions who place the patient at the centre of the circle of care and have demonstrated exceptional work in collaboration and achieved sustainable results, while promoting system value and quality in the health care system.

The Patients First: Action Plan for Health Carewhich was launched in February 2015, articulates the government’s commitment to putting the needs of patients at the centre of the health care system by focusing on four key objectives:

  • ACCESS: Improve access - providing faster access to the right care
  • CONNECT: Connect services - delivering better coordinated and integrated care in the community, closer to home
  • INFORM: Support people and patients - providing the education, information and transparency they need to make the right decisions about their health
  • PROTECT: Protect our universal health care system - making decisions based on value and quality, to sustain the system for generations to come.

In June, 2016, the ministry reiterated this commitment by introducing new legislation that, if passed, would further improve patient-centred care by focusing on the following key areas:

  • Effective integration of services
  • Timely access to, and better integration of, primary care
  • More consistent and accessible home & community care
  • Stronger links to population & public health
  • Providing services that address the needs of Indigenous people across Ontario

The Minister’s Medal aims to showcase and honour health system partners who have worked to achieve successes in putting the needs of patients first, in alignment with the Action Plan and the Patients First proposals.

In particular, selection criteria this year will emphasize efforts that align with proposals outlined in the Patients First Act and the Action Plan commitment to expand patient engagement in Ontario’s health care system. As such, the ministry is seeking applications from health system partners who have demonstrated a commitment to providing quality care with patients rather than for patients.

Why apply for the Minister’s Medal?

The Minister’s Medal is a prestigious and competitive recognition program that aims to highlight the successes of Ontario’s health system partners in providing excellent, high-quality, and patient-centred care. It provides a platform to honour and showcase achievements of health system partners, and allows for sharing of these successes across the system.

Benefits of being recognized through the Minister’s Medal include:

  • Participation in the award presentation at Health Quality Transformation, Canada’s largest conference on health care quality.
  • A short video showcasing the successes of the winners and the impact their work has had on the lives of patients.
  • Increased profile across the province and beyond, increasing potential for additional partnerships and collaboration.
  • Recognition and increased engagement of front-line staff dedicated to delivering high-quality care to patients.

“Winning the Minister’s Medal was an honour and a privilege. It was a seal of approval, demonstrating that our program achieved a high mark of distinction in quality and safety” - Dr. Linda Lee, 2014 Minister’s Medal winner (individual champion)

“We have been able to use winning the Minister’s Medal as a stepping stone to scale our program at a provincial and national level” - Dr. Nathalie Fleming, 2013 Minister’s Medal winner (individual champion)

"The key to a successful health care system is having truly inspired, engaged and well supported front line staff and I believe the medal win helped with continued engagement of our front line teams." - Dipti Purbhoo, Senior Director, Client Services, Toronto Central CCAC - 2014 Minister’s Medal winner (team-based initiative)

When will the winners be announced?

Following a robust selection process, the winners will be announced at Health Quality Ontario’s (HQO) annual event, Health Quality Transformation, on October 20th, 2016. For more information about this event, please visit HQO’s website. Information about the 2016 winners will be made available on our website following the announcement at Health Quality Transformation.

For more information on the Minister’s Medal, please review our FAQ document:

Minister’s Medal Frequently Asked Questions

2015 Minister's Medal Winners

The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care is proud to showcase the winners of the 2015 Minister's Medal in both the Team and Individual Champion categories:

Team Recipient: North East LHIN Virtual Critical Care Unit

The North East LHIN Virtual Critical Care Unit (VCCU) is an initiative based at Health Sciences North (HSN) in Greater Sudbury that uses state-of-the-art videoconferencing technology and electronic medical records sharing to connect HSN with smaller Critical Care units and Emergency Departments at hospitals across northeastern Ontario. The VCCU allows a team of Intensive Care physicians, specially trained nurses and ICU respiratory therapists from HSN to be available for round-the-clock consultations and follow-up visits for critically ill patients at participating hospitals. The VCCU reduced avoidable transfers to a higher level of care by 36%; patients are able to remain in their home hospital instead of being medically transferred. Further, in its inaugural year of operation, the VCCU saved the health care system $901,000 in transport costs alone.

North East LHIN Virtual Critical Care Unit


Individual Champion Recipient: Dr. Jeremy Theal - eCare

Dr. Jeremy Theal is a Gastroenterologist and Chief Medical Information Officer (CMIO) at North York General Hospital (NYGH). He led the successful implementation of e-Care, an electronic medical record (EMR) transformation project at NYGH that aims to replace error-prone manual paper systems with advanced EMR technologies and tools. Through strong clinical leadership, relentless focus on the objective of better patient outcomes, and a willingness to challenge old practices, 100% of clinicians at NYGH adopted e-Care. Dr. Theal also Conceived of and led the development of the Canadian CPOE Toolkit—a web-based toll that shares evidence-based implementation tools at no cost to hospitals across Canada.

Dr. Jeremy Theal, eCare


2015 Honour Roll Applicants

The following applications demonstrated outstanding performance across the Medal criteria. These applications made it to the final stages of the review process and are recognized as honour roll applicants:

2014 Winners and Honour Roll Applicants

2013 Winners and Honour Roll Applicants

For More Information

For questions related to the Minister's Medal, please contact us at