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Assembly on Critical Care Mid-Career Achievement Award

Meet the 2022 Winner: Karen Burns, MD, MSCR, FRCPC, MSc


Dr. Burns is a pulmonologist, intensivist, and epidemiologist. She practices critical care medicine at Unity Health Toronto (St. Michael’s Hospital). She is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto, a Clinician Scientist at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, and part-time faculty in the Department of Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact (McMaster University). Dr. Burns' research program focuses on evaluating strategies to liberate critically ill patients from mechanical ventilation and characterizing practice variation in weaning. She is President of the Canadian Critical Care Society and Chair of the Women in Critical Care Interest Group of the ATS.


This award is given to an individual with a clear commitment to the Critical Care Assembly and the ATS, with demonstrated significant and meaningful contributions to the CCA in the area(s) of research, clinical care, quality improvement, teaching, mentoring, promoting diversity, advocacy, and/or service. The awardee will be honored at the CC Assembly gathering at the ATS International Conference.


Candidate should be:

  • An active clinician or investigator in critical care medicine between ~10-16 years of completion of training (i.e., fellowship or terminal doctoral degree, whichever was completed/awarded latest)
  • A CCA member (primary or secondary).
  • Contributions to the CC Assembly in the form of committee participation or leadership, promoting CCA diversity, and/or otherwise advancing the CCA’s mission will be viewed favorably.

The nomination package must include a nomination letter touching on all four scoring metrics (see below scoring rubric) from one or more members of ATS describing why the award is merited. Nominators should note in their letter any extenuating circumstances affecting the nominee. The curriculum vitae from the candidate must also be included with the nomination packet. Unawarded nominations from prior years do not carry over and should be resubmitted; previous awardees are not eligible for the same award.

Scoring Rubric:

 Applicants are scored on 4 criteria using a 1-5 rating system (with 1 being the best) across the below categories. In the event that none of the nominees in a given category receive an average score ≤3 , the Planning Committee may choose to defer granting an award in that category that year. If the Planning Committee does not receive any eligible nominations in a given category (e.g., CCA member, active clinician/investigator for roughly the stated time frame), the Committee may choose to nominate an individual, who must be unanimously approved by all members in order to receive the award.

  • Scientific Contributions/Products (which may include: research articles, data, reagents, software, and intellectual property)
  • Teaching/Mentoring/Educational/Advocacy Contributions
  • Participation in Assembly and ATS Activities (administrative, committees, workshops etc.)
  • Overall impact/impression of dossier submitted for award application
Nominate Here


View Previous Award Recipients

2021 - *No Award Given
2020 - Hayley Gershengorn, MD, FCCM, ATSF
2019 - Carolyn S. Calfee, MD
2018 - Hannah Wunsch, MSc, MD
2017 - Robert Fowler, MD