Celebrating the Human Spirit Award

The Award

This award recognizes and honours the meaningful contributions of individuals or teams, who provide health services, for acts of caring and compassion that go above and beyond the call of duty, which inspire others and have a profound and lasting impact. This can be interpreted broadly to include any act that improves an individual patient’s health and/or spirit, the lives of the patient’s family and/or the community. This award is a vehicle to share their stories with colleagues from across Canada and to help inspire others.

The winner will receive an etched glass trophy, paid travel and accommodations to attend the College’s Honouring Health Leadership event and a complimentary registration to the National Health Leadership Conference.


This award is open to all Canadian healthcare professionals, leaders, teams and volunteers who have had a marked impact on patients, their family or the community. This award is open to College members and non-members alike. Programs, stand-alone acts and special initiatives from across the continuum of care are eligible for consideration. Nominations will also be evaluated on the opportunities for knowledge transfer, scalability and applicability to other organizations.


Nominations must be made by a member of the College.

We are asking nominators to submit their nomination in two sections. Section A , which is to be submitted by November 30, 2019, is a 250 word summary. The summary should touch on the eligibility criteria and illustrate why you feel that the nominee should win this award. The summaries will be reviewed by the selection committee and a short list of top contenders will be formed. Those on the shortlist will be asked to complete Section B of the nomination. This section is due on February 1, 2020.

Selection Committee

Sponsored by:


2019 Recipient: Elder Little Brown Bear (Ernest W. Matton)

Elder Little Brown Bear is a respected Métis Elder and spiritual ambassador who blends traditional teachings with mainstream information to provide holistic healing approaches for Indigenous and non-Ingenious community members and professional disciplines. Over the past eight years, he has evolved an addictions treatment program to a holistic healing program that includes smudging, healing circles, seasonal feasts and teachings on recognizing trauma, anger and relationships.

Elder Little Brown Bear goes above and beyond in his tireless pursuit of helping others achieve mental, physical, spiritual and emotional wellbeing. He is a sought-after speaker and advisor who has been recognized with one of the CAMH (Centre for Addictions and Mental Health) Canada’s 150 Difference Maker Awards, Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers from the Governor General of Canada and the Order of Ontario. Click here for the full article


Past Recipients

Please see our most recent recipients listed below. Full biography's are available in our Celebrating Leading Practices booklets.

2018, Dr. Jeff Beselt

2017, Bruyère Continuing Care

2016, Ontario Shores

2015, Saint Elizabeth Health

2014, Carol Kushner and Donna Davis, Patients for Patient Safety Canada 

2013, Guysborough Antigonish Strait Health Authority, Park Bench Players 

2012, Vancouver Inner City Youth Mental Health Program, Providence Health Care

2011, Dan McGann, Credit Valley Hospital