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The Canadian Institute of Public Health Inspectors and the Environmental Health Foundation of Canada announce the availability of an award in the amount of $500 to be presented annually to a member of the Canadian Institute of Public Health Inspectors.


Lil Zahara graduated with Honours from Ryerson Polytechnical Institute in 1967 and went on to receive her Certificate in Public Health Inspection (Canada). She started her career in Ontario, but her love for the west brought her back to Alberta in 1970. Lil worked for several years as a public health inspector and then specialized in Health Education. In 1976 Lil accepted the additional position of Executive Secretary-Treasurer for the Canadian Institute of Public Health Inspectors. Lil held this challenging and very time consuming position until 1982. After several years Lil left the Calgary Board of Health to become a consultant in Environmental Health and was subsequently appointed to sit as a member of the Board of Health by the then Mayor of Calgary, Ralph Klein.


Lil was a member of the Canadian Public Health Association, an Honourary Member of the Canadian Restaurant Association and received an award from Academy of Chefs. In 1977, Lil was awarded the prestigious Canadian Silver Jubilee Medal by the Governor General of Canada. The awarding of the Medal was in appreciation of worthy and devoted service rendered by the recipients in their various walks of life and the esteem in which their colleagues held them. Lil died in 2004 after a two-year battle with cancer.

Who is eligible to receive the Lilli Ann Zahara Award?
Those working in the field of public health who have been "a member in good standing" for a minimum of five (5) consecutive years in the Canadian Institute of Public Health Inspectors.  The recipient shall display the highest level of dedication, commitment, inspiration and leadership in the field of environmental health, particularly with a focus on food safety and/or health education. An individual can only be awarded the Lilli Ann Zahara award once. No current member of the National Executive Board of the Canadian Institute of Public Health Inspectors or Environmental Health Foundation of Canada Board of Trustees is eligible for this award.


To nominate an individual, describe in a letter of no more than 500 words, how your nominee fulfills the above mentioned criteria.  Email the letter along with the application form to trustees@ehfc.ca.  The award will be presented at the next Educational Conference of the Annual General Meeting of the Canadian Institute of Public Health Inspectors or at a mutually agreeable event should the candidate not be able to attend the conference.

Patrick Murray (L) receiving the award from
EHFC Treasurer Tim Roak (R)

The Environmental Health Foundation of Canada is pleased to announce that Patrick Murray of Newfoundland is the 2011 recipient of the Lilli Ann Zahara Award. 

His nominator, Roger LeDrew, spoke of Patrick’s dedication, commitment, inspiration and leadership in the field of environmental health over the past 25 years.  As Environmental Health Program Manager, he has taken the development and the evaluation of environmental health education and promotion programs in the Central region as a key component of his position.  For example, during the summer of 2002, there were large numbers of outdoor pool closures due to unsatisfactory bacteriological water results in the Central region.  These closures were largely due to operators’ lack of knowledge with pool chemistry.  Thus, as a result of this, Patrick developed a pool water chemistry seminar for pool operators.  This seminar which has now been adapted with minor changes by the province is offered by Public Health Inspectors to any interested pool operators. 

In the evaluation of foodborne illness outbreaks investigations in the region, Patrick found that not-for-profit organizations were responsible for a majority of these outbreaks.  Since there was no food safety course available in the province that focused on this group, he proceeded on the development of an organization guide for food safety education program for this region which was completed in 2006.  It was later adapted with minor changes by the province and is offered by the Public Health Inspectors to any interested not-for-profit organization engaged in food preparation and service.