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The 2020 Arbor Awards Recognizes Volunteerism Online This Year 

November 25/2020

Alumni Terry Sullivan, Susan Campisi, Malcolm Moffat, Lauren Della Mora and Taylor Martin received an Arbor award as a recognition for their volunteerism at DLSPH and IHPME.

The Arbor Awards recognize alumni who personify the very best attributes of the University’s motto, Velut Arbor Aevo – May it grow as a tree through the ages. It celebrates individuals who have served to anchor its traditions and spread its mission – to meet global challenges and prepare global citizens.

Each year, DLSPH celebrates volunteers with this honour. This year’s recipients shared their thoughts on their recognition.

A photo of Terrence Sullivan

Terrence Sullivan

“I am honoured, humbled and lifted by this recognition. It never occurred to me that volunteering was a demand,” says Terry Sullivan.

Sullivan has been involved with IHPME since Peggy Leatt’s tenure and had the pleasure to support the Institute with directors Louise Lemieux Charles, Steini Brown and now Audrey Laporte. He also supported the dean’s advisory committees over three different leaderships including the present Strategic Advisory Committee. Sullivan is truly involved.

“It is much less about giving back but carrying on and learning new things as an essential motivator, especially when working with clever, energetic colleagues who are trying to make positive changes in our delivery system and coming up with better ways of making it happen. I also feel that if there is an imperative to do something useful in health science and applied health science and if it is denied, something is lost.”

He encourages alumni to work or volunteer in support of health-related public service organizations. “Where possible and desirable, join in on policy-oriented activities which allow for interactions with decision-makers and leading talents in the health sector,” he says.

He suggests alumni spend some time in sensitive branches of government tied to health to learn the ins and outs. “It opens doors to decision-makers which can be very influential from time to time.”

Sullivan plans to keep working at the DLSPH to support the Dean, IHPME’s Director and Senior Fellows. “I will also continue to do a little writing, a little consulting, a little teaching, and spend more time with my grandchildren once this COVID beast has been tamed.”

Susan Campisi sitting on a chair

Susan Campisi

Awardee Susan Campisi says that being part of the volunteer Public Health Alumni Association as an awards officer is a chance to connect back to the university and meeting others who have graduated. She has developed great friendships just by being involved.

“It is an honour to meet some of the most accomplished people across Canada that graduated from the DLSPH,” she adds, “I have been fortunate make friends who I would not have ordinarily connected with.”

Taking part in the PHAA is much more than just volunteering, says Campisi. It allows DLSPH graduates to meet alumni in different streams. “It is nice to meet people who have worked in other areas to see how things blend. Through these connections, I have been able to further see the connections through our work and make meaningful friends.”

For those who are looking to give back, Susan Campisi encourages alumni to join the PHAA. She is still giving back and she plans to continue volunteering on the PHAA Board.

As for the award, “I’d like to thank those who nominated me and acknowledge my work on the PHAA as being worthy of this honour.”

A photo of Malcolm Moffat

Malcolm Moffat

Malcolm Moffat sees himself volunteering for the foreseeable future having mentored students for 35 years, as well as leading seminars and teaching on a voluntary basis. Throughout his extensive career, Moffat provided practicum placements to over 50 IHPME students. Currently, he is the Executive in Residence at IHPME and a Senior Fellow. Prior to going remote, Moffat could be found on campus at least once a week, holding drop-in office hours for students. “I am happy to continue volunteering at IHPME, and to continue to provide mentorship to the next generation!”

In keeping with his ongoing dedication to giving back to the School, Malcolm Moffat recently established The Malcolm Moffat Health Care System Mentorship Award for IHPME students by donating $25,000, which was matched by the School as it falls under its faculty matching program. This award builds on mentor-mentee relationships and cultivates their network relationships to make lasting improvements to the health care system.  Moffat is ensuring that IHPME students are encouraged to become impactful and empathetic leaders within a coordinated health care system, regardless of financial barriers.

The rewards he receives from giving back outweigh the time and effort he contributes. Mentoring has also kept him engaged in the health care system in some capacity. Moffat has always been a huge supporter of education and it gives him joy to give back. He says he gets to meet great leaders and thinkers. “I was lucky in my career to have access to wonderful mentors. They helped me find my way in my early career and kept giving me advice and guidance throughout my career. Their generosity of time and wisdom motivated me to give back.”

“I am honoured to receive this prestigious award, and to be recognized by IHPME”

Lauren Della Mora

Lauren Della Mora

“This award shows me how much the School still relies on and values their alumni and that my volunteering makes a difference. I already love the work I do, but this recognition really means a lot,” says Lauren Della Mora.

As part of her role on the Public Health Alumni Association board of directors, Della Mora has spent the past five years helping coordinate the alumni-student mentorship program. She hand-picked mentor-mentee pairs helped build meaningful connections at networking events and is always looking for creative ways to better support the DLSPH community.

“One of my favourite parts is reading through nomination letters for the end-of-program Outstanding Mentor Award – it’s always so heart-warming to hear how our outstanding alumni volunteers have made a real difference in students’ lives,” says Della Mora.

She wants to nudge all alumni to engage in some way, connect with each other and find the invaluable opportunities the DLSPH network has to offer.

“The DLSPH community is the perfect place to meet brilliant people and build the broad population health perspective that will be critically important for years to come,” she adds.

She started a new leadership role advancing person-centred care with Ontario Health and looks forward to leveraging her expanded network to support DLSPH alumni and students.

Taylor Martin

Taylor Martin

Other alumni like IHPME alumnus Taylor Martin enjoy meeting other graduates in different streams.

“Sometimes though we feel siloed in our own program or stream,” he says. “My work has really been to encourage connections between groups and to amplify to the broader community what is happening every day at the School. Moonshot, the annual IHPME alumni event, is my favourite way of celebrating all that is great about IHPME.”

Having spent nine years at U of T, Martin recommends that IHPME graduates join IHPME’s Alumni Association. Staying connected through associations allows alumni to stay in the thick of the action. “What excites me is how Dalla Lana is increasingly bringing these groups together, as in the recently launched Institute for Pandemics.”

He worked along with a team to advance alumni relations in the areas of continuing education and mentorship. The School offers a lot of opportunities to learn and engage at any stage in your career, adds Martin.

“As a student, I benefited from the strong connections the School maintains with alumni who are leading our health systems locally and nationally. I continue to learn through every event and initiative we put on. It is that linkage with alumni that sets us apart and I’m pleased to steward it through the work of the IHPME Alumni Association.”