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Canadian Public Health Association

Honorary Awards Operational Procedures

The following document details the operational procedures to be followed each year to ensure that the conferring of CPHA’s honorary awards is done in an open, transparent and accountable manner.

Awards Committee

The Awards Committee supports the CPHA Board of Directors in recognizing individuals who and organizations that have made significant contributions to public health. Specifically, the Awards Committee reviews potential award nominees and nominees for special awards from the Association and its partners. The committee makes recommendations to the Board in the following key areas of responsibility and in other areas as may be identified by the Board from time to time:

  • Review nominations for the following awards:
    • R.D. Defries Award
    • Honorary Life Membership
    • Certificate of Merit
    • Ron Draper Health Promotion Award 
    • National Public Health Hero Award
    • R. Stirling Ferguson Award
  • Review and revise as appropriate the criteria for selection of awards and special activities under the purview of CPHA.
  • Recommend to the Board the creation of new awards and special activities under the purview of CPHA that recognize individuals or groups who have made a significant contribution to public health.
  • Maintain archival information on awards and special activities.

Award Descriptions

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 who or groups/associations that 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/that 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

Nominee Eligibility

All nominees must be members-in-good-standing of CPHA except where specifically indicated otherwise. Posthumous nominations are eligible. Previously nominated but unsuccessful nominees are also eligible as long as they still meet all other criteria.

Nominee Ineligibility

The following conditions will constitute ineligibility for nomination for an honorary award:

  • Any person currently a member of CPHA’s Board of Directors;
  • Any person currently a member of the Awards Committee;
  • Any person currently in receipt of salary, wages, commission, bonus or any form of remuneration from CPHA;
  • Any person having been found guilty of a criminal offence (in or outside of Canada) that is relevant to the operation of the Association; or
  • Any person having been found guilty of a non-criminal offence (in or outside of Canada) within the past five years relating to financial dishonesty, including offences under charitable fundraising legislation, convictions for misrepresentation under consumer protection legislation or under securities legislation or any other offence that is relevant to the operation of the Association.

Nominator Eligibility

All nominators must be members-in-good-standing of CPHA.

Nominator Ineligibility

The following conditions will constitute ineligibility for being a nominator:

  • Any person currently a member of CPHA’s Board of Directors;
  • Any person currently a member of the Awards Committee;
  • Any person currently in receipt of salary, wages, commission, bonus or any form of remuneration from CPHA.

These same individuals are ineligible for providing letters of support for nominees.

Call for Nominations

The Call for Nominations will be sent to all active members on or before March 15 each year. The Call will be open at least 30 calendar days.

The Call for Nominations will be widely disseminated utilizing all appropriate CPHA communications vehicles and those of CPHA’s partners.

CPHA keeps all nominations confidential to respect privacy and to avoid disappointment if the nominee is not selected. All nominators and others involved are asked to similarly respect this policy.

Filing of Nomination Documents

Nominations for honorary awards shall be in writing (electronic or hard copy) and must be received by the office of the Executive Director on or before the specified deadline. The nomination form must be accompanied by all required supporting documentation.

Review of Nominations

As soon as is reasonably possible following the close of the Call for Nominations, the Awards Committee will meet to review all nominations. Acting within the mandate and priorities determined by the Board, the Awards Committee will review nominations for their eligibility and recommend to the Board the names of those nominees to be recognized with an award.

Where there is more than one eligible and deserving nominee for an award, the Awards Committee will determine by consensus a single person/organization to be recommended for recognition.

Nominees can be considered only for the award for which they/it were/was nominated.

If no suitable nominations are received for any given honour, no award will be conferred.

CPHA retains the right to refuse any or all nominations at its sole discretion.

The Award Committee’s recommendations shall be forwarded to the Board of Directors for ratification.

Notification

All nominators will be notified of the decision of the Board of Directors by the Executive Director, by telephone whenever possible, as soon as is possible after the ratification vote.

Successful nominees will also be contacted by the Executive Director, by telephone whenever possible.

Reporting

A report from the Awards Committee shall be presented at the next Board of Directors’ Meeting following the close of nominations.