Skip to Main Content
Follow us

Recipients of the Royal College Teasdale-Corti Humanitarian Award

The Teasdale-Corti Humanitarian Award recognizes doctors who make truly exceptional sacrifices, often while exposing themselves to personal risk. These remarkable physicians forgo the benefits, comforts and supports of working in Canada to bring hope and health to less-developed pockets of the world.


James Orbinski, OC, OOnt, MSc, BSc, MD, MCFP, MA

Waterloo, Ont.

Meet our inspiring winner

Dr. James Orbinski is an internationally recognized humanitarian practitioner and advocate, and a leading scholar in global health.

After extensive field experience with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) — including as mission head during the 1994 Rwandan Genocide — he was elected MSF’s international president from 1998 to 2001. In 1999, he launched the organization’s Access to Essential Medicines Campaign and that same year accepted the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of MSF. From 2001-2004, he co-chaired MSF’s Neglected Diseases Working Group that created and launched the successful Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative. In 2004, he co-founded Dignitas International.

Dr. Orbinski was a founding board member of the Global Alliance for TB Drug Development, the Stephen Lewis Foundation and Canadian Doctors for Medicare. He was a founding member of the editorial boards of Open Medicine and Conflict and Health. He is the author of the award-winning book, An Imperfect Offering: Humanitarianism in the 21st Century, and the subject of the acclaimed documentary, Triage: Dr. James Orbinski’s Humanitarian Dilemma.

Dr. Orbinski is currently a professor in the School of International Policy and Governance at Wilfrid Laurier University, and the CIGI Chair in Global Health Governance at the university’s Balsillie School of International Affairs. He is also a professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto.

He earned his medical degree from McMaster University in 1990 and held a Medical Research Council of Canada fellowship to study pediatric HIV in Sub-Saharan Africa. That experience fueled his efforts to help establish the Canadian chapter of MSF. In 1998, he earned a Master’s degree in International Relations from the University of Toronto.


Dr. Dan Poenaru, Ethiopia


Dr. Joanne Liu, Montréal


Dr. Robert H. Taylor, Vancouver


Dr. Ken Foster, Kabul, Afghanistan


Dr. Stephen James Foster, Huila, Angola


Dr. Jean Chamberlain, Hamilton


Dr. Paul Thistle, Zimbabwe

About Drs. Lucille Teasdale and Piero Corti

Drs. Lucille Teasdale and Piero Corti - Teasdale-Corti Foundation

Teasdale-Corti Foundation

This award is named in honour of Dr. Lucille Teasdale, and Dr. Piero Corti, a physician couple who devoted their professional careers to healing, teaching and improving the condition of the population residing in the poverty-stricken Gulu region of Uganda. For 35 years the couple served in this region, characterized by frequent outbreaks of infectious diseases, and provided medical care throughout nearly 25 years of Ugandan civil war and unrest. Their medical and surgical skills saved thousands of lives. Their teachings instilled hope for a better future in many. Their perseverance transformed a small missionary dispensary into the St. Mary’s-Lacor Hospital, which is now a modern teaching hospital and medical centre almost entirely staffed by Ugandan health care professionals.

Teasdale Corti winners

8. Dr. James Orbinski, OC, OOnt, MCFP (2016)
7. Dr. Dan Poenaru, FRCSC (2014)
6. Dr. Joanne Liu, FRCPC (2013)
5. Dr. Robert Taylor, FRCSC (2012)
4. Dr. Ken Foster, FRCSC (2011)
3. Dr. Stephen Foster, FRCSC (2010)
2. Dr. Jean Chamberlain Froese, FRCSC (2009)
1. Dr. Paul Thistle, FRCSC (2008)

Media Enquiries

Melissa Nisbett
Senior Communications Specialist
Tel: 613-730-8177 ext 426