April 14, 2019—Dr. Jeffrey Turnbull, the Medical Director of the Ottawa Inner City Health Project and Professor of Medicine at the University of Ottawa, was awarded the first AFMC-Gold Humanism Award at the 2019 Canadian Conference on Medication Education (CCME) in Niagara Falls.
This new joint award was given by the Association of Faculties Medicine of Canada (AFMC) and The Arnold P. Gold Foundation for Humanistic Healthcare Canada.
Dr. Turnbull has made an exceptional impact in his roles as physician, medical leader, and humanitarian, above all keeping the patients and their needs at the forefront of his practice. His focus has shifted to address the opioid epidemic, which has hit Ottawa hard in recent years. The Ottawa Inner City Health, a nonprofit that Dr. Turnbull helped found 20 years ago to provide healthcare for those homeless or at risk for becoming so, has evolved its services to help at the front lines. OICH now sees about five patients each day who have overdosed.
In 2017, Dr. Turnbull left his positions as chief of staff at The Ottawa Hospital and chief of clinical quality at Health Quality Ontario to work at Ottawa Inner City Health full time.
Learn more about his career in a Q&A with Dr. Turnbull from uOttawa.
The evening before the CCME awards ceremony, on April 13, Dr. Turnbull gave a fireside chat during the White Coat Warm HeArt Reception. His remarks paid tribute to the people he works with every day as the director of Ottawa Inner City Health.
Dr. Turnbull shared that he was an “ordinary person doing ordinary things with extraordinary people,” one of several quotes captured on Twitter by AMS Healthcare. Dr. Turnbull was an AMS EFPO Fellow and a former AMS Board member.
He also spoke about the insights this community brings to those caring for them. When a homeless person tells you “you don’t understand,” Dr. Turnbull advised, you are about to get an important lesson.
The day after the fireside chat, AFMC Board Chairman Dr. Brian Postl introduced Dr. Turnbull at the CCME awards ceremony and presented the inaugural award.
“Dr. Turnbull is widely recognized as an inspirational leader and a compassionate and caring person,” Dr. Postl said at the awards ceremony. “As a teacher and a learner, he invests the time and energy needed to learn from his experiences and in turn teach others what he has learned. Dr. Turnbull believes that the best outcomes are rooted in the application of scientific knowledge, human emotion and the principles of equity and fairness for all.”