Together with the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada (AFMC), the Gold Foundation for Humanistic Healthcare, Canada is pleased to announce the recipient of the 2023 AFMC-Gold Humanism Award and Lecture: Dr. Julie Bruneau, acclaimed researcher and physician-educator whose clinical work in the prevention of HIV, HCV and other drug-related harms has helped revolutionize the care and research of opioid addictions. Dr. Bruneau was presented her award at the International Congress on Academic Medicine in Quebec City, on April 16.
Dr. Bruneau holds the Canada Research Chair in Addiction Medicine and is Professor in the Department of Family and Emergency Medicine at Université de Montréal. She is also a clinical scientist at the Centre Hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal research center and the scientific director of the Quebec node of the Canadian Research Initiative on Drug Misuse.
“Dr. Bruneau is a leader of rare distinction. She is fearless in charting new frontiers for medicine through innovative, solutions-based research that expands the medical care and understanding of marginalized populations,” said Dr. Richard I. Levin, President and CEO of The Arnold P. Gold Foundation. “We are delighted to join with AFMC to honor her contributions.”
Dr. Bruneau also presented the AFMC-Gold Humanism Lecture at the International Congress on Academic Medicine, focusing on the meeting of science and humanism in treating marginalized people with addictions.
The AFMC Gold Humanism Award and Lecture was jointly created to emphasize, reinforce and enhance the importance of humanistic qualities among medical school students and faculty. The nominations are open to physicians, nurses, and other members of the healthcare team who practice in Canada or practitioners and researchers in health professions education.
Dr. Bruneau was named a Knight of the Order of Montreal in 2021 for her significant contributions to marginalized populations. Her efforts led to a decrease in transmissible infections and informed strategies to eliminate Hepatitis C. Her leadership extends to the world-renowned research team that she established. The team has contributed to acquiring and promoting a vast body of knowledge, emblematic of the humanistic values that Dr. Bruneau embodies. She has worked alongside residents and colleagues from across the globe training them and instilling in them humanistic values.
In the award nomination materials for Dr. Bruneau, Jean-François Mary, Executive Director of CACTUS Montreal, a community-based sexually transmitted and blood-borne infection prevention organization active in downtown Montreal, detailed Dr. Bruneau’s impact as a ground-breaking researcher and a humanist.
“Julie Bruneau is not only a medical expert and a recognized researcher on the issues faced by people who use drugs. She has been very inclusive of the communities she serves, willing to include marginalized people in processes from which they are usually excluded. I was fortunate enough to begin working with Julie Bruneau when I was the director of the Association québécoise de promotion de la santé des personnes utilisatrices de drogues, and when I was very involved with CAPUD, the Canadian Association of People who Use Substances, two of the most vocal organizations in the country. While we faced passive empathy at best, and avoidance at worst, we could always count Julie Bruneau among our allies. No one can remain insensitive to the coherence between her reading of these social problems as they are reflected in her research, and the way she evolves in this environment in an inclusive, benevolent manner and in the interest of the people concerned. Such people are invaluable as last year we saw nearly 4,500 people die in this country in what is the worst public health crisis since the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Julie Bruneau will have contributed to the benefit of the most marginalized.”