From left, Razia Rashed and Mohammad Shabani, patient, caregiver and community advisors with East Toronto Health Partners (ETHP).
The University of Toronto’s Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation (IHPME) has announced Razia Rashed and Mohammad Shabani, two patient, caregiver and community advisors with East Toronto Health Partners (ETHP), the Ontario Health Team (OHT) serving East Toronto, are recipients of the non-monetary 2022 Cathy Fooks Award for Research and Leadership Excellence in Patient and Caregiver Engagement.
The award recognizes an engaged community member who demonstrates the ideals and principles that Cathy Fooks, Ontario’s late patient ombudsman, characterized throughout her career: empathy and caring, mentorship, capacity-building, empowerment, innovation and an authentic focus on the range of patient and caregiver engagement opportunities.
The Cathy Fooks Award for Research and Leadership Excellence in Patient and Caregiver Engagement is typically given to one community member every year.
However, the IHPME Awards Selection Committee felt Razia and Mohammad were both deserving of the award, and as an exception to this year, they are both recipients.
Razia’s and Mohammad’s work in the community
Razia is a long-time resident of Taylor-Massey and is well known for her volunteer and engagement work in the community.
She is a community health ambassador with TNO – The Neighbourhood Organization; community representative of ETHP’s East Effort: Community COVID-19 Response Project; and co-chair of the Taylor-Massey and Oakridge Community Response Team, a grassroots group of community members and social services agencies launched during the COVID-19 pandemic that aims to share local health and community service information.
Razia is also a member of the Taylor-Massey Residents Wellness Council (TMRWC) and Co-Chair of the Taylor-Massey Steering Committee, two groups that help guide the work of Health Access Taylor-Massey, a healthcare, community and social services centre that ETHP recently launched in the neighbourhood.
“Whether I’m participating in parent councils, making connections with local councillors or working with the Taylor-Massey Residents Wellness Council, I’m always doing my best to ensure community members’ voices are heard – and that any healthcare, community or social services that are introduced in the neighbourhood make sense for what people who live here need most,” Razia says.
“Being so involved in this work is really meaningful to me and I’m honoured be a recipient of this award.”
Mohammad is also a well-known member and volunteer of the Taylor-Massey neighbourhood.
He is part of the TMRWC and also helps guide the work of ETHP’s Primary and Community Care (PCC) Response Teams.
In addition, Mohammad recently collaborated with the IHPME and Centre for Quality Improvement and Patient Safety at the University of Toronto to co-design a quality improvement fundamentals workshop that brings together community members, quality improvement experts and staff from across ETHP that will serve as a springboard for future quality improvement projects across OHTs.
“As someone who’s been both a patient and caregiver, I’m familiar with some of the challenges that people face in the healthcare and social services systems and want to be able to help improve the experience of finding care for everyone,” Mohammad says.
“I love the neighbourhood I live in and am committed to working together with my peers and partners to create a healthier community. Thank you to the IHPME for this honour – I am humbled to be recognized as someone who is helping to carry on Cathy’s legacy.”
Recognized as leaders in ETHP and beyond
A group of ETHP leaders who work closely with Razia and Mohammad nominated them for the 2022 Cathy Fooks Award for Research and Leadership Excellence in Patient and Caregiver Engagement.
In their nomination letters, the group describes Razia and Mohammad as trusted leaders and “willing to work together with others to advocate” for what their community needs.
“Razia and Mohammad understand that equity isn’t about having equal services for all – equity requires services tailored to meet the needs of different groups,” says Anne Babcock, President and CEO of WoodGreen Community Services, Co-Chair of the Taylor-Massey Steering Committee and a member of the group who nominated Razia and Mohammad for the award.
“We are incredibly grateful for Razia’s and Mohammad’s dedication to and passion for improving access to health, community and social services. Their contributions and experiences enrich the care our Ontario Health Team is able to provide to the people we serve.”
“Patient, caregiver and community members are important partners at ETHP because they understand best what is needed to improve the way people find and get care in East Toronto,” says Melissa Morey-Hollis, Vice President, Clinical Programs at Unity Health Toronto and Executive Sponsor of ETHP’s Community Advisory Council.
“We’re thrilled that Razia and Mohammad have been recognized by the IHPME for their extraordinary efforts in the community and look forward to continuing our work with them and other community members.”
Congratulations again to Razia and Mohammad on this immense honour!
An in-person award ceremony is planned for Spring 2023 where the IHPME will recognize Razia and Mohammad alongside other recipients of this year’s IHPME Awards.