Miriam Rossi Award for Health Equity in Undergraduate Medical Education


The Miriam Rossi Award for Health Equity in Undergraduate Medical Education aims to recognize University of Toronto MD Program faculty (individual or group) and administrative staff (individual or group) members for their commitment to diversity and health equity in undergraduate medical education. The award is named after Dr. Miriam Rossi, a pediatrician, teaching faculty, and former associate dean of student affairs in the Temerty Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, and a strong advocate and mentor for minoritized groups and communities. It was established in 2017 in recognition of Dr. Rossi’s outstanding contributions to health equity in medical education. Dr. Rossi led several initiatives to improve diversity in the U of T medical school, in particular the creation of the Summer Mentorship Program (SMP), established to encourage young Black and Aboriginal students, who are under-represented in medicine, to pursue careers in the health sciences. Like many of her contributions, the SMP was developed to help improve equity in the field of medicine, healthcare and society as a whole.


The award recipient will receive a certificate of recognition and $250 and may be asked to participate in a workshop or other MD Program event. 


Any University of Toronto, Temerty Faculty of Medicine faculty member who has taught and/or held a leadership position, or administrative staff member in the MD Program is eligible for nomination.

Selection Criteria

Nominees should demonstrate outstanding effort in improving the equity environment in the MD Program at the University of Toronto through significant contributions to some of the following:

  • Outreach, partnership, mentorship, recruitment and/or admission activities that contribute to the diversification of the undergraduate medical education student body, particularly with respect to improving the representation of groups that are under-represented in medical school (e.g., Aboriginal, Black, lower income, 2SLGBTQIA+, etc.)
  • Teaching and/or curriculum initiatives that contribute to undergraduate medical education student learning regarding the application of health equity principles in the management of the health of individuals and populations
  • Teaching, curriculum and/or extra-curricular initiatives that contribute to undergraduate medical education student learning regarding health advocacy, particularly with respect to factors that improve health equity (e.g., principles of diversity, anti-oppression, inclusiveness, cultural competence, cultural safety, social justice in health, etc.)
  • Research initiatives that contribute to health equity knowledge mobilization related to undergraduate medical education
  • Faculty or staff development initiatives that foster and enable health equity teaching by MD Program faculty

While the award may recognize work related to any of the criteria listed above, preference will be given to nominees whose achievements span or integrate multiple criteria. Priority will also be given to achievements that have had a demonstrable impact within the University MD Program in particular and undergraduate medical education in general. Please note that teaching performance in Arts and Science, graduate, and post-graduate medical programs will not be considered for this award.

Nomination Process

The nominator can be any University of Toronto, Temerty Faculty of Medicine faculty, student, alumnus, or member of administrative staff.

The nomination package must include the following:

  1. Completed nomination form
  2. Detailed letter of nomination from the primary nominator(s) outlining the reasons for nomination, with explicit reference to the award criteria
  3. A minimum of two (2) letters of support from University of Toronto MD Program faculty, students, alumni or administrative staff, including at least one letter of support from a student or recent alumnus (unless the primary nomination was from a student or recent alumni)
  4. Curriculum vitae of a faculty nominee (or resume for an administrative staff member)

Selection Process

Review and selection will be undertaken by the MD Program Teaching Awards Committee.

Download the nomination form here

Nomination form Miriam Rossi Award 2024.pdf


EXTENDED to Friday, February 2, 2024

If you have any questions, contact Barbra MacDonald, Administrative Coordinator, Office of the Associate Dean, MD Program at md.reception@utoronto.ca.

Award Winners

Stephanie Zhou, Department of Family and Community Medicine

Mireille Norris, Department of Medicine

Anita Balakrishna, Office of Inclusion and Diversity
Joyce Nyhof-Young, MD Program and Department of Family and Community Medicine

Fok-Han Leung, Department of Family and Community Medicine

Team of MD Program Equity Theme Leads:
Onye Nnorom (Dalla Lana School of Public Health), James Owen (Department of Family and Community Medicine), Jason Pennington (Department of Surgery) and Lisa Richardson (Department of Medicine)


Mitesh Patel, Department of Psychiatry

Mark Hanson, Department of Psychiatry