An individual activist and a community organization that have made outstanding contributions toward protecting and promoting the health of Toronto’s residents were honoured on Monday as recipients of the Public Health Champion Awards for 2016.
The recipients of the 2016 awards are Sarah Miller and the Agincourt Community Services Association.
“The Public Health Champion Awards acknowledge the lasting contributions of individuals and organizations towards improving the health of Toronto residents,” said Councillor Joe Mihevc (Ward 21 St. Paul’s), Chair of the Board of Health. “I applaud the impressive accomplishments of the 2016 recipients and their overall positive impact on the city and its residents.” Making Toronto a healthier city is achieved through the collective effort and contributions of many people and organizations, it was pointed out.
Sarah Miller has shown remarkable leadership and dedication through her research and activism with the Canadian Environmental Law Association and as co-chair of the Toronto Cancer Prevention Coalition’s Environmental and Occupational Working Group. Her work on the Community Right to Know bylaw led to the creation of Toronto Public Health’s reporting program ChemTRAC, which collects yearly data from local businesses and institutions on 25 priority substances that exist in the city’s air at levels of concern for health. These efforts have helped raise awareness of the impact that environmental contaminants have on public health, contributed to public discussion and had a lasting influence on healthy public policy.
Agincourt Community Services Association (ACSA), a non-profit, multi-service agency for children, youth, seniors, newcomers, homeless and underserved communities, has been an instrumental part of the community for more than 50 years. Addressing public health issues such as income and income distribution, employment, early childhood development, food insecurity, social exclusion and social safety, and harm reduction, ACSA has acted as a catalyst for positive change. Through its work with the Toronto Poverty Reduction Strategy and the Healthy Babies Healthy Children Program, ACSA has helped improve public health indicators and outcomes in an effort to reduce health inequities.
Since 2008, the Public Health Champion Awards have been recognizing individuals and organizations for their leadership in reducing health inequalities, fostering collaboration to improve the health of the population, building community capacity through innovative health promotion strategies and acting as a catalyst for positive change. – CINEWS