Dr. Sheela Basrur receives Order Of Ontario
TORONTO - Dr. Sheela Basrur, the former Chief Medical Officer of Health for Ontario and a key leader in managing the 2003 outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in Toronto has been invested into the Order of Ontario.
Dr. Basrur received the province's highest honour from Lieutenant Governor David Onley in a special ceremony at the Grand River Hospital in Kitchener, where she is undergoing treatment for cancer.
- Dr. Basrur served as Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health from 2004 to 2006. She developed and implemented Operation Health Protection, a three-year action plan to protect and promote the health of Ontarians after SARS. She helped create the province’s new Ministry of Health Promotion and spearheaded its key initiatives, including the Smoke-Free Ontario Strategy and the provincial Action Plan for Healthy Eating and Active Living to address rising obesity among Ontarians.
- In six years as Medical Officer of Health for the newly amalgamated City of Toronto, Dr. Basrur oversaw the merging of six public health units into one with 1,800 staff and an annual operating budget of $160 million – the largest in Canada. Among her innovations is the DineSafe program to inform Torontonians of the food safety rating of restaurants and other eating establishments. She also paved the way for a ban on non-essential use of pesticides and for measuring the impact of air pollution on the health of Torontonians.
- Dr. Basrur holds honorary doctorates from Ryerson Polytechnic University (2004) and York University (2007), and is an honorary member of the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario.
“Dr. Basrur has provided inspiring leadership in the face of heavy responsibilities and daunting expectations. She has compiled a truly remarkable record as a talented health professional, and as a committed public servant and Ontarian.”
Honourable David C. Onley
“It’s an incredible honour to receive the Order of Ontario. Like many others in the field of public health, I get tremendous fulfillment working to safeguard the health of the people in this province. I’m humbled at being recognized for doing work that I enjoy.”
Dr. Sheela Basrur
“Dr. Basrur is a most worthy recipient for this highest honour in Ontario. Her expertise, humanity and courage make her a formidable professional and an exceptional citizen of our province.”