2016 SOG Award Winners

Leadership Award – Andrea Cohen Barrack

Andrea Cohen BarrackAndrea Cohen Barrack is the CEO of the Ontario Trillium Foundation – one of Canada’s largest granting foundations. A transformative leader, she has a demonstrated history of both developing strategies which promise positive change and leading others to deliver on those promises. Andrea came to OTF following a lengthy and successful career in community healthcare. She is recognized for her expertise in making organizations more effective by ensuring that systems are integrated and impact is both measured and assessed. Andrea has an MHSc in Health Administration from the University of Toronto and has pursued her interest in strategy, performance measurement and governance through Executive Education Programs at the Harvard Business School. She continues to pursue her interest in health systems by participating as a member of the Health Policy Council for the C.D. Howe Institute. As a community leader, Andrea serves as the Chair of International Planned Parenthood Federation, Western Hemisphere Region. She is the Chair of the Dean’s Council for the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University, the Vice-Chair of the Scarborough and Rouge Hospital Board, and a mentor with CivicAction DiverseCity Fellows. In 2016, she was recognized as a WXN Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award Winner in the Trailblazers and Trendsetters Category. She is a regular speaker and author on philanthropy, integration, impact measurement, strategy and leadership.

Innovation Award – Jerome Leis

Jerome LeisDr. Jerome Leis is a General Internist and Infectious Diseases physician at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, where he is the physician lead in Antimicrobial Stewardship.  His academic interests focus on developing new systems of care to minimize healthcare-associated infection and antimicrobial resistance while using less healthcare resources.

Dr. Leis’ work has included modifying the way microbiology laboratories process and report urine specimens to promote better antibiotic prescribing practices using principles from behavioral economics.  His original proof-of-principle study was completed as part of his Masters in Quality Improvement and Patient Safety at the Institute of Health Policy, Management, and Evaluation in 2013.  He has applied similar principles to new practice settings including pre-operative clinics where screening urine cultures, which are of no benefit for patients and promote unnecessary antibiotic therapy, have been virtually eliminated.

Dr. Leis has also worked to prevent healthcare-associated urinary tract infections by standardizing the removal of urinary catheters through a medical directive that empowers nurses.  A national toolkit created by Choosing Wisely Canada has been created to help other organizations implement this model of care.

Dr. Leis enjoys tutoring Master students and resident physicians in Quality Improvement related research.  He in the Faculty lead for Quality Improvement in the division of Infectious Diseases and recently supervised a resident project describing the impact of reported allergies to beta-lactam antibiotics, on individual patient outcomes across multiple hospitals.  This study was ranked in the top 10 manuscripts published in the field of Infectious Diseases in 2016 by NEJM Journal Watch.  Dr. Leis is currently working to build capacity for the use of beta-lactam allergy skin testing for patients with infectious diseases to improve their antibiotic treatment and clinical outcomes.

Literary Award in Health Services, Policy and Management – Charissa Levy

Charissa LevyCharissa Levy is Executive Director of the Rehabilitative Care Alliance, a provincial organization established by the 14 LHINs in 2013. She is also the Executive Director of two membership-based regional networks: the GTA Rehab Network and Toronto ABI Network.

As Executive Director across these 3 organizations, Charissa provides strategic and operational leadership, engaging with diverse stakeholders to identify issues and implement collaborative, evidence-based approaches that drive improved health services at regional and provincial levels.

Charissa has been invited to participate on a variety of provincial & regional expert panels and committees to inform policy directions & clinical services planning, providing perspectives from the rehabilitation and acquired brain injury sectors. She also served as a key informant to the Auditor General of Ontario’s review of rehabilitation hospitals in 2013. In this report the Auditor General cited the GTA Rehab Network as an example of a network that “has focused on promoting best practices and knowledge exchange and on developing measures for service planning and performance improvement” and the Rehab Care Alliance as taking “a system-wide view of rehabilitation in Ontario”.

Charissa has a Master of Health Science degree in Health Administration and a Bachelor of Science degree in Occupational Therapy and is an Adjunct Lecturer in the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto.

Literary Award in Health Services Evaluation- Ruth Hall

Ruth HallDr. Ruth Hall is the Evaluation Specialist for the Ontario Stroke Network, an ICES scientist and an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Institute for Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto.

Her area of expertise includes administrative databases, case-mix/risk-adjustment and, evaluating provider and health system performance.