U of T Medicine Remembers Dr. Miriam Rossi

Jul 13, 2018
Author: 
Liam Mitchell

Dr. Miriam Rossi will be remembered as someone who touched the lives of generations of medical students at the University of Toronto. The former associate dean of student affairs at the Faculty of Medicine and professor emerita of paediatrics died peacefully on July 11.

Rossi joined The Hospital for Sick Children and U of T in 1981 after being educated in the United States and Italy. She was known as a dedicated teacher and mentor to many. In a 2001 profile in U of T Magazine, Rossi said mentoring was a natural act. “You just do it. Why wouldn’t I? If I have the information and it could be helpful to somebody, why would I hold onto it?”

In 1994, Rossi co-founded the Summer Mentorship Program, which gives high school students of Indigenous or African ancestry a chance to explore health sciences at U of T over four weeks in July. More than 900 students have completed the program, and many have since entered professional faculties and health care professions.

“Dr. Rossi inspired many generations of medical students at the University of Toronto. She also fought hard to address the underrepresentation of Black and Indigenous students in medicine. And, she could always be counted upon for her caring, thoughtful counselling. She will be deeply missed,” said Professor Trevor Young, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Vice Provost, Relations with Healthcare Institutions.

In 2017, the Miriam Rossi Award for Health Equity in Undergraduate Medical Education was established to recognize faculty members in U of T’s MD program for their commitment to diversity and health equity.

Beyond U of T, Rossi was also instrumental in improving access to care and quality of care for minority communities in Toronto. She was a major champion in establishing the TAIBU Community Health Centre, which provides care to Black communities in the Greater Toronto Area.

A viewing will be held at Newediuk Funeral Home (205 Kipling Avenue, Toronto) on Sunday July 15 from 2-4 pm and 6-9 pm. A funeral will be held at All Saints Kingsway (2850 Bloor W, Toronto) on Tuesday July 17 at 1 pm. The University of Toronto flag over Simcoe Hall will be lowered that day in her honour.

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