2018 Pursuit Award Ceremony celebrates cutting-edge research in childhood disability from across the world
2018 Pursuit Award Ceremony celebrates cutting-edge research in childhood disability from across the world

On Tuesday, May 15, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital’s research institute hosted over 100 researchers, students, distinguished guests, and all other staff at one of its signature events: The Pursuit Award. The annual award recognizes and celebrates the work of PhD students and alumni from across the globe for their outstanding contributions to and advancements in childhood disability research.

This year, finalists from Calgary, Geneva (Switzerland) and Holland Bloorview’s very own research institute presented their innovative and life-changing work and impactful research advancements in childhood disability. Dr. Franco Carnevale, a nurse, psychologist, and clinical ethicist from Montreal concluded the event with a captivating keynote presentation in front of a full audience. Read more below for a snapshot of the 2018 Pursuit Award Ceremony!

2018 Pursuit Award Finalists

Every year, the Pursuit Award receives applications worldwide that are forward-thinking, innovative, and challenge the borders of childhood disability research. Finalists are selected based on a rigorous criteria that is evaluated by several judges, including guest keynote, research students, and Holland Bloorview’s family leaders. Each finalist delivers their presentation and competes for the first place prize. Here are this year’s Pursuit Award winners:

  • 1st Place ($3,000): Michelle Phoenix, McMaster University, School of Rehabilitation Science, and postdoctoral fellow at Holland Bloorview (working with senior scientist Dr. Gillian King), who delivered a presentation titled ‘Parents' Attendance, Participation and Engagement in Children's Rehabilitation Services: The Journey to Child Health and Happiness’.
  • 2nd Place ($2,000): Martina Franchini, University of Geneva, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Science, who delivered a presentation titled ‘Toward a better understanding of the heterogeneity of early development in children with autism spectrum disorders’.
  • 3rd Place ($1,000): Caroline Buzanko, University of Calgary, School and Applied Child Psychology, who delivered a presentation titled ‘Parents’ lived experiences of the assessment process that resulted in their child’s diagnosis of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder’.

(From L to R: Sandra Hawken, president and CEO, Holland Bloorview Foundation; David Ward; Caroline Buzanko; Martina Franchini; Michelle Phoenix; Tom Chau, vice-president, research, Holland Bloorview)

Keynote and Knowledge Connections

The 2018 Pursuit Award Ceremony welcomed Dr. Franco Carnevale from McGill University, who is a renowned nurse, psychologist, and clinical ethicist. He is the founder and principal investigator for VOICE (Views On Interdisciplinary Childhood Ethics) – a McGill University-based international initiative to advance knowledge and practices relating to ethical concerns in childhood. Dr. Carnevale holds several academic achievements, including three master's degrees in nursing, education, and bioethics, as well as a doctorate in counseling psychology at McGill University.

Dr. Carnevale delivered a presentation titled ‘Listening authentically to the voices of children and youth: New directions in childhood ethics’, focusing on novel ways of understanding and providing services for children and youth, while keeping their best interests at heart.

(Dr. Franco Carnevale delivers keynote and knowledge connections talk)

Thank you to everyone who attended the 2018 Pursuit Award Ceremony, made possible by the generous contributions of Holland Bloorview Foundation donors, the Ward Family, and the Bloorview Research Institute.

(From L to R: Pursuit Award judges (Julia Gray, postdoctoral fellow; Dr. Franco Carnevale; Fahema Sadia, family leader; Suzanne Jorisch, family leader; Patrick Jachyra, PhD student; Marilyn Ballantyne, clinician investigator); Pursuit Award finalists; Tom Chau)

We look forward to seeing you next year!