Jamaican mother, son score big

Duo make history in copping African Canadian Achievement Award

Saturday, March 26, 2016

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This year, for the first time in its 31-year history, the African Canadian Achievement Awards of Excellence (ACAA) presented individual awards to a mother and her son in the same year.


Jamaican-born University of the West Indies graduate, Dr Rosemary G Moodie, who spent 25 years as a neonatologist and clinical teacher at the Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, received the ACAA Excellence in Science award. And her son, Dr Jonathan P Wong, who is currently specialising in the highly sought-after Paediatric Medicine Residency Programme at the same hospital, was bestowed with the ACAA Youth Achievement Award, last month.


Although in the past the ACAA has presented individual awards to parents and their children, it has never happened in the same year.


The ACAA, established in June 1985, and which has evolved into one of the Black community’s most prestigious and distinguished honours, has celebrated and paid tribute to over 350 high-achieving African Canadians.


An assistant professor in the Department of Paediatrics at the University of Toronto, Dr Moodie is a former corporate chief of paediatrics and medical director of the Rouge Valley Health System’s regional maternal child programme.


"We must take care of our families wherever we find them," she emphasised in a quote from Elizabeth Gilbert, which resonates, not only for her family, but for all families in her community.


Dr Moodie’s medical recognitions include: the College of Physicians and Surgeons Ontario Council Award for demonstrating excellence and coming closest to meeting society’s vision of an "ideal physician"; Medical Association Presidential Award for exceptional humanitarian service to Ontario communities; and Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada Specialist Award for providing outstanding care to her patients and community.


Dr Moodie’s contribution to volunteerism, philanthropy, and advocacy is extensive. She is past president of YWCA, Toronto and a member of the Advisory Board of Food for the Poor Canada and Board Director of PACE (Canada).


Dr Wong, who grew up in Kingston, Jamaica, and Toronto, and is of mixed Caribbean descent, is passionate about ensuring good health for children of African Canadian and Caribbean descent.


Jon’s undergraduate major was in molecular biology, at the University of Connecticut (2010) and he completed postgraduate medical school at the University of Limerick in Ireland (2015).


He is also an impressive international competitive swimmer — Ontario Provincial Gold Medalist, Jamaica Senior National Team and National Record Holder — and represented Jamaica internationally at the Central American Games, Cartagena, Colombia (2006), Pan American Games, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (2007), FINA World Championships Manchester, UK (2008) and Rome, Italy (2009).

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