Professor Emerita Pat Armstrong wins national acclaim with Research Canada Leadership in Advocacy Award

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Distinguished Research Professor Emerita Pat Armstrong has received the Research Canada Leadership in Advocacy Award for her outstanding commitment to patient advocacy and the advancement of health care research.

Professor Emerita Pat Armstrong
Professor Emerita Pat Armstrong

“This year’s awardee has gone above and beyond what is expected of health research advocates,” said Deborah Gordon-El-Bihbety, president and CEO of Research Canada. “Dr. Armstrong is an exceptional leader whose advocacy has engaged decision makers and stakeholders at all levels to contribute to a more equitable and just healthcare system in Canada. Notably, this past year she amplified the voice of long-term care facility workers, caregivers and patients while studying the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on these facilities.”

Armstrong currently serves on the technical committee developing proposals for long-term care standards for the Health Standards Organization. She is a member of the Congregate Care Group, a sub-group of the Ontario Science Table. She is a board member of the Canadian Health Coalition and of the Members Council of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. In 2010, Armstrong was named a York University Distinguished Research Professor and in 2011 was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

“Professor Armstrong is Canada’s most eminent and internationally renowned feminist sociologist and political economist,” said Associate Dean Ravi de Costa, research and graduate studies, with the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies (LA&PS). “She is also one of our most esteemed colleagues and is beloved by her many collaborators and former students in Sociology and right across York.  We are thrilled that she has received this important recognition.”

In receiving the award, Armstrong credited collaboration as critically important in her work. “Advocacy work is strengthened by research teams that involve multiple disciplines, multiple methods, multiple generations, and researchers from multiple countries as well as from multiple identities,” she said. “We use a wide range of traditional methods that are important for setting the bigger picture, for identifying patterns, for exposing consequences and for gaining legitimacy. However, we also use qualitative methods that capture the complexity while making the research real through specific cases.”

Research Canada is a national alliance dedicated to increasing investments in health research through collaborative advocacy and engaging government, academia, industry, and non-profit sectors to build support for long-term health research funding. For more information, visit