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2021 President’s Award winners: the people and teams making a difference
22 minute read

2021 President’s Award winners: the people and teams making a difference


This award annually recognizes staff, teams, students or volunteers who exemplify SickKids’ values and positively impact the organization. Get to know this year’s award recipients and their inspiring stories!

The President's Award annually recognizes individual staff, teams, students or volunteers who exemplify SickKids' values and positively impact the organization. They have inspired their colleagues and continue to improve experiences for patients and families.

This year, the President’s Award is going to three individuals and four teams. These award recipients are being honoured for their tremendous contributions across one of seven areas aligned with SickKids’ strategic directions and values.

Dr. Ronald Cohn, SickKids President and CEO, announced the seven winners at an all-staff virtual town hall on Dec. 16.

Congratulations to all of the President's Award honourees for your accomplishments and for your outstanding contributions to SickKids!

Get to know the 2021 recipients

Lindsay Clarke

Program Manager, Design and Improvement, Process Improvement and Innovation

Ensure quality and accountability in everything we do 

Since the onset of this pandemic, Lindsay has been ever-present, being called upon to help implement and manage several new processes brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, and to communicate these processes, under the tightest of deadlines. From the early days of screening to our vaccine rollout, Lindsay’s dedication, leadership, advocacy and empathy has inspired everyone around her.

“Through her leadership, Lindsay brings out the best in all team members that she works with. She sees the value of multidisciplinary teamwork and consistently leverages her outstanding leadership ability to bring individuals together and enable them to perform at the top of their abilities.” – Nomination excerpt 

Two people seated at a table, demonstrating how to insert a nasogastric tube into a simulation doll.

Connected Care team

Individualize child and youth health care

Over the past five years, the Connected Care team has developed and executed a uniquely innovative program that has improved community transitions for children with medical complexity and their families, while simultaneously advancing and elevating care within the home and community care sector. The program has become a critical component of our virtual care strategy, especially throughout the pandemic, where the team quickly pivoted to expand virtual solutions for family caregivers and home care providers, and to support nurses working in home care, shelters and congregate care sites.

People stand on a lawn with trees and a building in the background. They are all wearing masks and distanced from each other.
Members of the Connected Care team.

Connected Care team members

Kate Langrish

Executive Clinical Director

Jessica Esufali

Clinical Manager

Krista Keilty

Associate Chief, Inter-Professional Practice - Connected Care and System Integration

Stephanie Chu

Inter-Professional Education Specialist

Paul Davis

Clinical Strategic Projects

Adal Bahlibi

Program Coordinator

Faiza Syed

Registered Respiratory Therapist

Danielle Loveland

Registered Nurse

Reenu Chhokar

Registered Nurse

Chantal Campbell

Registered Nurse

Chantel Cordon

Registered Nurse

Melissa Carr

Registered Nurse

Marketa Maj

Registered Nurse

Laura Milne

Registered Nurse

Alicia Hayes

Registered Nurse

Emily Sarafyn

Registered Nurse

Janice Tang

Registered Nurse

Signy Frederickson

Coordinator, Transitional Care

Harjinder Prasher

Coordinator, Transitional Care

Perihan Boyer

Coordinator, Transitional Care

“During the pandemic, the team quickly pivoted to expand virtual solutions for family caregivers and home care providers, successfully addressing critical service gaps in home care exacerbated by the pandemic. They worked with community partners to adapt training programs and service delivery models, to ensure uninterrupted and seamless transitions for families.” - Nomination excerpt

Person wearing a mask and smiling. They are standing in a clinical area with fish painted on the walls.

Infection Prevention and Control team

Ensure quality and accountability in everything we do

Throughout the pandemic, the Infection Prevention and Control team has provided essential expert advice, ranging from individual patient care questions to organizational, high-impact evolving issues. They’ve partnered with internal leaders and external partners to make well-informed, aligned decisions to optimize implementation of rapidly changing practices and workflows.

Staff stand together on a lawn, wearing protective face masks.
Members of the IPAC team.

Infection Prevention and Control team members

Laurie Streitenberger

Senior Manager Infection Prevention and Control

Michelle Science

Staff Physician

Megan Clarke

Infection Control Practitioner

Krista Cardamone

Infection Control Practitioner

Renee Freeman

Infection Control Practitioner

Nabilah Juma

Infection Control Practitioner

Alissa Dicion

Infection Control Practitioner

Michael Gracon

Program Coordinator

Saeedah Khan

Administrative Assistant

“Their expertise and work support decision-making through the lens of preventing infections, exposures, and outbreaks to prevent harm while sustaining uninterrupted care and service delivery. Throughout the COVID pandemic, they have provided essential expert advice ranging from individual patient care questions to organizational, high-impact evolving issues.” — Nomination excerpt

Man wearing scrubs, a surgical mask and a stethoscope around his neck stands in a clinical area.

Matthew Hill

Registered Nurse, Emergency Medicine

Commitment to compassion

One of the joys of working at SickKids is the inspiring people we work with. Registered Nurse Matthew Hill consistently goes above and beyond the expectations of his role in the Emergency Department (ED). His positive energy lifts the morale of staff and enhances family satisfaction in the ED, and his calmness helps to de-escalate challenging situations. Matthew’s ability to exude empathy for patients and caregivers is admirable and he is consistently kind, understanding and respectful to his colleagues, and inspires others to do the same.

“Matthew treats all members of the ED team with respect and professionalism and inspires others to do the same. It is in this safe, positive environment that the clinical team works best to provide exemplary care for its patients and families.” — Nomination excerpt

Two people wearing surgical masks in an office space.

Peer Support and Trauma Response team

Unleash the talent of our people

This team devotes their time to support the mental health and well-being of SickKids staff. The sheer number of interactions between staff and our Peer Support and Trauma Response team speaks to the broad reach of the program and the tremendous effort of team members to support our staff in whatever capacity they can. This support allows staff to seek comfort and understanding, often in difficult situations, and staff feel cared for and know there is a strong support system behind them.

Group of staff stand together in a playground area with a hedge behind them. They are wearing masks and are physically distanced.
Members of the Peer Support and Trauma Response team.

Peer Support and Trauma Response team members

Natasha Thexton

Workplace Strategy Design Lead

Gino Somers

Division Head Pathology

Teresa Pannozzo

Team Lead, Protection Services

Najeeb Siddiqui

Research Program Manager

Catherine Diskin

Staff Physician

Katherine Andrews

Registered Nurse

Alicia Hayes

Registered Nurse

Jennifer Kang

Nurse Practitioner

Gail Annich

Staff Physician

Roxanne Kirsch

Staff Physician

Charis Kelly

Nurse Practitioner

Christine Clark

Clinical Director

Frances Barry

Registered Nurse

Karen Wong

Clinical Pharmacist

Shaindy Alexander

PACT Community Support Worker

Damien Noone


Mary Campbell

Registered Nurse

Debbie McFarlane

ACTS Clinician - Registered Nurse

Jennifer Bizzarri

ACTS Clinician - Registered Nurse

Maitreya Coffey

Staff Physician

“They leverage their own experience, knowledge and understanding of the importance of confidentiality to create an atmosphere which improves the psychological safety of colleagues, allowing staff do their jobs effectively while knowing that there is a strong system of support behind them and bringing their role as a peer to all of the work that they do within the hospital.” — Nomination excerpt

Staff member wearing headphones and a surgical mask sits at a desk with technical equipment in the background.

Rachael Cale

Child Life Specialist, Centre for Innovation and Excellence in Child and Family-Centred Care

Create a seamless child and family experience

Rachael Cale has transformed our closed-circuit TV channel, into a thriving, child-focused channel, The SKOOP, tripling the number of live shows she produces weekly, adding a youth-focused show and successfully launching this innovative programming to YouTube, so patients can maintain a sense of community even when they are home. These interactive live broadcasts are the only way to safely maintain group programming for our patients and families during COVID-19. Not only does the programming entertain our patients, it also offers content to help prepare for hospitalization and procedures.

“Trained as a Child Life specialist with a special talent for technology, Rachael has transformed the humble Child Life TV channel into a thriving, intentional, child-focused program that is both known and loved in-hospital and online.” — Nomination excerpt

Two people, wearing masks, stand in front of graphs projected on a screen.

Human Resources, Occupational Health & Safety Services, and Commercial Services Vaccination team

Ensure quality and accountability in everything we do

The Human Resources, Occupational Health & Safety Services, and Commercial Services Vaccination team was asked to lead extraordinarily challenging work to implement a policy that would help protect our vulnerable patient population, as well as the entire SickKids community. They worked through very complex issues and developed processes to ensure the safest possible environment for all who come to SickKids.

Group of staff stand distanced and masked on a lawn.
Members of the Human Resources, Occupational Health & Safety Services and Commercial Services Vaccination team.

Human Resources, Occupational Health & Safety Services, and Commercial Services Vaccination team members

Tracy Maccarone

Director, Nutrition and Commercial Services

Laura Alexander

Director, Occupational Health and Safety

Lyne Chamelot

Director, HR Operations & Organizational Development

Robert Cesario

Director, HR Transformation

Paula Ground

Supervisor HR Support Services

Kimberley MacLean

Labour Relations Consultant/HR Business Partner

Karen McGregor

Senior Manager, HRMS

Marisa Leggieri

Payroll Manager

Joanne Pipe

Manager, HR Support Services and Business Controls

Patricia Bowler

Senior Manager, Occupational Health

Suzan Hanna

HR Business Analyst

Cristina Amaral

Senior Manager, HR Operations and Labour Relations

Allison Lord

Program Manager

Ashley Gelleny

Supervisor, Volunteer Resources

Katrina Barrett

Manager, Talent Acquisition

Sandra Paiva

Labour Relations Consultant/HR Business Partner

Yana Rogojin

Program Manager

This group worked through the considerations that had to be analyzed to develop the policy and its operational processes, and balanced pragmatism with perfection as we had to stand up systems and processes under very short timelines.” — Nomination excerpt

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