Globe and Mail public health reporter André Picard, who has already won numerous awards and accolades throughout his illustrious career as a journalist, can now add one more honour to his name: recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Medal.
Picard learned he was a recipient of the medal after coming back from a conference and discovering it on his desk. It was "a complete surprise. And a pleasant one," he said by e-mail.
"It's very flattering to get this kind of recognition, especially for doing something I love – writing about health."
Picard, who has been a journalist with the Globe since 1987, is one of the top health writers in Canada and has carved a reputation as a noted public policy expert. Throughout his career, he has written on everything from the sustainability of the health-care system to the need for a national mental health strategy to developments in medical science.
In 2011, Picard won the Hyman Solomon Award for Excellence in Public Policy Journalism and in 2010, a National Newspaper Award as Canada's top columnist. In 1993, he received the Michener Award for outstanding public service in journalism for his coverage of the tainted blood crisis. He has received many other accolades from other groups and organizations.
The Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal is awarded to Canadians who have made significant contributions and achievements, and to recognize service to the community and country. It was created in commemoration of the Queen's ascension to the throne on Feb. 6, 1952. A total of 60,000 medals have been given to deserving Canadians over the past year.