Dr. Kieran Quinn, a physician in General Internal Medicine and Palliative Care at Sinai Health’s Mount Sinai Hospital and Bridgepoint Active Healthcare, is one of the University of Toronto School of Graduate Studies recipients of this year’s Governor General’s Gold Medal for academic excellence. It is one of the highest awards for graduate students in Canada, with past winners including Kim Campbell, Pierre Trudeau, and Tommy Douglas.

“I am honoured to be receiving this prestigious award, which should be shared by the incredible group of mentors who support me. This recognition further affirms my goal to provide evidence-based approaches to influence policy that improves equity and access to palliative consultation and care. I am interested to look at ways by which we can better integrate palliative care within healthcare systems as a vital, holistic support team for patients and their families,” says Dr. Quinn who was also recognized for resident excellence in 2018 at Mount Sinai Hospital, with the Bernard Ghert Award of Resident Excellence in Patient Focused Care named in honour of Mr. Bernard Ghert, the Hospital’s Board Chair who served from 1997 to 2002.

Dr. Quinn is a clinician-scientist conducting health services research on palliative care. His focus is on patients with severe and debilitating non-cancer illnesses that significantly impact quality of life for these individuals and their families.

“As a clinician-scientist, my hope is to build robust research programs to enhance palliative care practice so that for these patients and their families, every day can be meaningfully spent together with the best quality for the remainder of their life,” adds Dr. Quinn, a former PhD student with the Dalla Lana’s Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation.

The Office of the Governor General annually awards Gold Academic Medals to students who achieve the highest academic standing at the graduate level.