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Ontario Awards Prestigious Health Quality and Safety Medals

Province Celebrating Excellence in Ontario's Health Leaders


October 14, 2015


Today, Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, handed out two Minister's Medals to Honour Excellence in Health Quality and Safety.


The medals are part of an annual recognition program that celebrates the efforts of Ontario's health care providers in improving care for Ontarians. This year, medals were awarded to one team and one individual.


The Virtual Critical Care Unit, winner of the Team Medal, is based at Health Sciences North in Greater Sudbury. The team received a medal for its trailblazing technology to connect 23 hospitals across northeastern Ontario. Its successes include:


  • Being the first unit of its kind in Canada, with a team of intensive care physicians, specially trained nurses and intensive care unit respiratory therapists, available for around-the-clock consultations and follow-up visits with critically ill patients
  • Using videoconferencing technology and electronic medical records to connect Health Sciences North with smaller critical care units and emergency departments
  • Reducing avoidable transfers to a higher level of care by 36 per cent, allowing patients to remain in their home hospital versus being medically transferred away from their families and support systems
  • Saving the health care system $901,000 in transport costs alone, in its first year of operation.
  • Helping build the critical care experience and skills of clinicians in smaller rural hospitals.


Dr. Jeremy Theal, a gastroenterologist and the Chief Medical Information Officer at North York General Hospital in Toronto, received a Minister's Medal for his leadership on eCare, a medical record transformation project that:


  • Replaces manual paper systems with advanced digital tools to improve the quality and safety of patient care
  • Directly benefits patients through the use of evidence-based treatment for specific diagnoses
  • Has helped reduce of preventable deaths from conditions such as pneumonia and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease exacerbation
  • Has been adopted by 100 per cent of the hospital's clinicians.

In addition to the medal winners, Ontario is recognizing the following 10 Honour Roll recipients:

  • Barrie Coordinated Cross-Sectorial Medication Reconciliation Initiative for LTC Residents
  • Building Access to Specialists through eConsultation: The Champlain BASE eConsult Service
  • City of Toronto Mobile Crisis Intervention Team Initiative
  • DIVERT Home Care Initiative – Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant  Community Care Access Centre (HNHB CCAC)
  • eShift
  • The Ottawa Hospital COPD Outreach Model
  • Patient Oriented Discharge Summaries (PODS)
  • Regional Cardiovascular Rehabilitation and Secondary Prevention Service
  • The Sunnybrook My Chart Program
  • Linda Rankin, Northern Ontario Postpartum Mood Disorder Strategy Project


Recognizing excellence in health care to improve the system for all Ontarians is part of the government's Patients First: Action Plan for Health Care, which provides patients with faster access to the right care; better home and community care; the information they need to live healthy; and a health care system that is sustainable for generations to come.


"The Virtual Critical Care Unit and Dr. Jeremy Theal used the latest technology to vastly improve the quality and safety of patient care. Both winners are tremendous examples of how Ontario's health care professionals strive to deliver for their patients on a daily basis."

— Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care


  • The Minister's Medal is a competitive, annual recognition program that celebrates the collaborative efforts of Ontario's health care providers in improving care for Ontarians.
  • This year marked the third year of the Minister's Medal program.
  • The medal is awarded to one individual champion who has demonstrated leadership in focusing on quality; and one team-based initiative that demonstrates commitment to collaboration, improvements in the health system and value for quality care. 


For public inquiries call ServiceOntario, INFOline at 1-866-532-3161 (Toll-free in Ontario only)

For public inquiries call ServiceOntario, INFOline at 1-866-532-3161 (Toll-free in Ontario only)

Media Contacts:

Shae Greenfield, Minister's Office, 416-325-5230

David Jensen, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care 


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