Drs.Sivakumar Gulasingam and Harindra Wijeysundera were recognized with awards from the Department of Medicine at their University of Toronto as part of their 2020 Annual Day this month. The doctors, both of Sri Lankan background, were among over a dozen to receive prestigious recognition.
The celebration was an opportunity to acknowledge about a dozen faculty members and trainees who have generated and translated new knowledge, and demonstrated innovation in scholarship, research, teaching or clinical care.
The awards ceremony was conducted online, due to COVID-19. However, the importance of medicine was evident in recent months as the world battled the pandemic as highlighted by Gillian Hawker, Chair of Medicine in her welcome address.
“To say this has been an unprecedented year so far would be an incredible understatement. Perhaps more than ever, we need to take time to celebrate the contributions of our trainees and faculty over the past year,” she said.
“Many of you have played an integral role at the forefront of the COVID-19 pandemic, providing infection control guidance and patient care in emergency departments, ICUs and in-patient wards. In just a few short months, you have shifted your practices to respond nimbly and courageously to the most acute health threat that many of us will see in our careers.”
Dr. Sivakumar Gulasingam – Award for Humanism in Medicine
Dr. Sivakumar Gulasingam was awarded Michael Gordon Award for Humanism in Medicine which recognizes individuals who exemplify a deep and abiding commitment to humanism in health care.
Humanism is understood to be an acknowledgment of other human beings as individuals with autonomy, unique backgrounds, values, and perspectives, and a commitment to address issues of inclusion, equity, and social justice.
Dr. Gulasingam is a staff physiatrist attached to the Toronto Rehab Brain and Spinal Cord and Cardiovascular Rehabilitation Programs.
He is a Clinician Teacher and an Assistant Professor at the Department of Medicine, University of Toronto. His clinical expertise includes SCI rehabilitation, para-sports and spasticity. He is the Examination Lead for the Division of PM&R and the National PM&R Resident Review Course, International Rehabilitation Chair for Canadian Association of PM&R and CAPM&R national representative to ISPRM.
He is also a National Para-Athletics Classification Trainer, Head of Classification of Wheel-Dance Canada and an international Paralympics official with the World Para-Athletics and World Para-Dance. During his 20-year medical career, his passion to help the underprivileged has led him to work with civil war and Asian Tsunami victims, and disabled war veterans in Sri Lanka. He is continuing this passion through his work with people with physical disabilities in Canada.
Dr. Harindra Wijeysundera – Award in Research
Dr. Harindra Wijeysundera was awarded the William Goldie Award in Research.He is as an interventional cardiologist and clinician scientist at the Schulich Heart Center at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center.
The award is presented to a University of Toronto Department of Medicine member within 10 years of appointment who has contributed notable merit to the advancement of sound knowledge in internal medicine through research.
Dr. Wijeysundera is the director of research for the Division of Cardiology, a senior scientist at Sunnybrook Research Institute and an adjunct senior scientist at ICES. His clinical practice is focused on transcatheter aortic valve implantation and coronary chronic total occlusions. His research program focuses on health technology assessments in cardiovascular disease using decision analytic models, which are populated and validated using real-world administrative data for both clinical outcomes and health care costs.