Honorary Awards Program

Each year, CPHA honours individuals or organizations who provide outstanding service to their community and profession. CPHA members nominate candidates for the following prestigious awards.

R.D. Defries Award

The R.D. Defries Award is CPHA’s highest award. Instituted in 1965, the Award is presented annually in the form of a medal and citation to a CPHA member for outstanding contributions in the broad field of public health, preference being given to Canadian contributions and individuals who have substantially supported the objectives of CPHA. Robert Davies Defries, CBE, MD, DPH, LLD (Sask), DrPH (Montreal), for whom the award is named, devoted a lifetime to the interest of public health in Canada and particularly to CPHA of which he was an Honorary Life Member. The first presentation of the Award took place at the Association’s 1966 Annual Meeting. The Defries Award carries with it an Honorary Life Membership. Honoree will receive:

  • Medal, Citation and Honorary Life Membership

Honorary Life Membership

Honorary Life Membership is awarded to a CPHA member for exceptional excellence as an educator, researcher or practitioner in the field of public health, as demonstrated by achievements, valuable and outstanding research or distinguished service in the advancement of public health knowledge and practice. Honoree will receive:

  • Citation and Honorary Life Membership

Certificate of Merit

The Certificate of Merit provides CPHA with an opportunity to give official recognition to individuals/groups/associations who have given especially noteworthy services to public health and whose contribution furthers CPHA in achieving its objectives. Nominees are not required to be a CPHA member. Honoree will receive:

  • Citation and a one-year complimentary membership to CPHA

Ron Draper Health Promotion Award

The Ron Draper Health Promotion Award is presented to an individual, group or organization engaged in community work who has made a significant contribution to health promotion by working in the community to: build healthy public policy, create environments that support health, enable community action, enhance personal skills, and/or re-orient health services. Nominees are not required to be a CPHA member. Honoree will receive:

  • Citation and a one-year complimentary membership to CPHA

National Public Health Hero Award

The CPHA National Public Health Hero Award was created to broaden awareness and understanding of public health by recognizing members of the Canadian public for their significant contributions and exceptional commitment to promoting and protecting the health of Canadians.  This award recognizes an individual in a community of any size and composition from across the country, whose efforts have resulted in a positive difference for the public’s health at the national level. A nominee must be an individual who has demonstrated leadership, originality, perseverance and commitment to the health of the public and has contributed to the health and well-being of the community from outside of his or her scope of work or practice (i.e., public health is not his or her vocation). Nominees are not required to be a CPHA member. Honoree will receive:

  • Citation and a one-year complimentary membership to CPHA

The R. Stirling Ferguson Award

The R. Stirling Ferguson Award is presented to an individual who, or a group or organization that has made a significant contribution to improving and protecting the health of Canadians through the development of and/or advocacy for evidence-based built environment standards and codes in Canada. R. Stirling Ferguson was the secretary of the National Research Council’s Associate Committee on the National Building Code, the precursor of the modern Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes. Nominees are not required to be a CPHA member. Honoree will receive:

  • Citation and a one-year complimentary membership to CPHA

Dr. John Hastings Student Award

The Dr. John Hastings CPHA Student Award, formerly the CPHA Student Award, is renamed in honour and memory of Dr. John Hastings and his commitment to and belief in students as the future of public health in our country. This award is given at the time of the CPHA Annual Conference for the best abstract/poster as determined by the CPHA Honorary Awards and Recognition Committee based on the recommendation of the Scientific Review Committee.

Population and Public Health Student Awards

The purpose of this award program is to recognize excellence in the next generation of population and public health researchers, policy-makers and practitioners. Up to four awards (two at the Masters level and two at the PhD level) will be presented to successful student applicants.