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Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

Learn more about Indigenous Education and Cultural Services

Ms. Shirlee Sharkey

Ms. Shirlee SharkeyDoctor of Laws, honoris causa

Faculty of Education
Faculty of Health Sciences

For her distinguished career as a trusted health-services administrator, social innovator, registered nurse and her breakthrough leadership in community-based health‑care excellence, the university is proud to confer upon Ms. Shirlee Sharkey the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws.

For more than 25 years, Ms. Sharkey has served as President and CEO of Saint Elizabeth Health Care, a national not-for-profit, charitable organization delivering more than six million health-care visits annually by its team of 9,000 dedicated leaders and professionals. Under her leadership, Saint Elizabeth has enjoyed exponential growth and expansion across Canada, the United States and beyond. Through its significant community benefit investments, Saint Elizabeth has tackled tough issues and facilitated transformative solutions in areas such as Indigenous health, end‑of‑life care, and caregiver wellness and support.

Lifelong learning is a value Ms. Sharkey champions personally, professionally and through her guidance of Saint Elizabeth Health Career College, which supports providers with the ongoing experiential learning and interprofessional collaboration they need to care for an aging population.

The Windsor, Ontario native shares her knowledge and passion for social responsibility as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Toronto’s Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing and the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation.

Ms. Sharkey’s commitment to public service is evident in her membership on several health and education boards, including: Chair of the Ontario Health Technology Advisory Committee (a standing committee for Health Quality Ontario), member of the MaRS EXCITE Management Board, past Chair of George Brown College, and former President of the Canadian Home Care Association. She also serves on the Advisory Council of the International Centre for Health Innovation at Western University’s Ivey School of Business.

In 2007, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care appointed Ms. Sharkey as an expert advisor on staffing and care standards for long‐term care homes in the province.

Ms. Sharkey earned her Bachelor of Arts and Science in Nursing at the University of Windsor and received her Master of Health Science degree in Health Administration from the University of Toronto. She is a certified health‑care executive with the Canadian College of Health Leaders, and has achieved the ICD.D designation through the Institute of Corporate Directors.

Her many accolades and awards include receiving the Innovation Award for Health Care Leadership from the Canadian College of Health Leaders; the Graduate Leadership Award in Health Policy, Management and Evaluation from the University of Toronto; the Award of Excellence in Nursing Leadership from the Ontario Hospital Association; and the Order of Excellence Platinum Award from Excellence Canada for organizational innovation, quality and wellness. Ms. Sharkey has also received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for service to Canada, and was named one of Canada’s 100 Most Powerful Women by the Women’s Executive Network.