Dr. Manon Denis-LeBlanc receives Bernard Grandmaître award for Health Practitioner of the Year

The exterior of Roger Guindon Hall

Ottawa recognized its Francophone leaders at the annual Bernard Grandmaître Awards on Feb. 21.

Dr. Manon Denis LeBlanc, interim vice-dean of Francophone Affairs at the Faculty of Medicine since 2017, was named Bernard-Grandmaître Health Practitioner of the Year on February 21. Presented for the first time this year, the award highlights the leadership, commitment and positive impact of a Franco-Ontarian individual on Ottawa's Francophone community over the past year.

The Bernard-Grandmaître awards, hosted by the Association des communautés francophones d'Ottawa, recognize the Honourable Bernard Grandmaître, father of Bill 8 or the French Language Services Act, unanimously adopted in 1986 and coming into force in 1989. The Act allows Franco-Ontarians of twenty-five designated regions to receive provincial services in their language, and also applies to several government agencies such as the Ontario Arts Council, the Ontario Trillium Foundation and the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation.

Dr. Denis-LeBlanc : A leader in the French-speaking world from a very young age

Dr. Denis-LeBlanc’s passion for medicine and the Francophonie is reflected in all she does. As she was learning to read at the young age of 5, Dr. Denis-LeBlanc, native of St-Isidore, sensed there were inequalities between French and English in Ontario. She entered medicine at the University of Ottawa at a time when the French language component was still in its infancy, becoming involved as a representative and investing herself in its development by helping to guide learning activities. She also fought hard to have the Hôpital Montfort, then threatened with closure, recognized as an important locale for Francophone clinical teaching.

As a young graduate, Dr. Denis-LeBlanc established her practice in St-Isidore, becoming a member of the Department of Family Medicine at Hôpital Montfort and subsequently joining the medical team of the Office of Francophone Affairs. Director of the clerkship’s mandatory internships for years, she is also currently responsible for the Introduction to Medicine Minicourses, which welcome a great number of Francophone students and residents into its practice, giving each one personalized supervision and instruction. In terms of continuing professional development, she offers educational workshops to preceptors and was chair of the scientific committee of the Journées Montfort. She has also participated in several family medicine conferences as a speaker. 

As interim vice-dean of Francophone Affairs, Dr. Denis-Leblanc displays her determination and support for excellence in medical training to ensure quality health care for the Franco-Ontarian population. Considered a great leader, she has rallied French-speaking medical teachers and has established fruitful relations with the region's hospitals. In addition, she relies on partnerships at both the provincial and national levels to ensure that each Francophone medical student is aware of the reality of Francophone minorities across the country, thus awakening in many people the desire to give back to their community.

Dr. Denis-LeBlanc's passion for medicine and Francophonie is reflected in the various facets of her life. Her commitment often becomes a fight in the rather English-speaking environment in which she operates, but she is not the type to give up. She does everything to unite the fields of activity of la Francophonie, be it in health, education, clinical or hospital settings, at university or in the community, thus creating a spirit of collaboration that unites even those who thought it impossible.

In addition to the new health category of Health Practitioner of the Year, the Bernard Grandmaître Awards presents eight other awards each year. The Laurier awards are awarded respectively for the Organization of the Year, Education Speaker of the Year, Francophile of the Year, Newcomer of the Year, Laurier Youth of the Year, Young Leader of the Year and Citizen of the Year; and finally, the Bernard Grandmaître Award recognizes the overall career achievements of an influential person in the community.


Photo of Dr. Manon Denis-LeBlanc

Dr. Manon Denis-LeBlanc, receiving the Bernard Grandmaître award for Health Practitioner of the Year. Photo credit: Daniel Hubert


Group photo at the Bernard Grandmaître Awards.

Left to right: Dr Bernard Jasmin, dean of the University of Ottawa Faculty of Medicine; David LeBlanc, husband of Dr. Denis-LeBlanc; Dre Manon Denis-LeBlanc; Mr. and Mrs. Denis, parents of Dr. Denis-LeBlanc; and the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie of Canada. Photo credit: Daniel Hubert.


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