Melissa Forgie

    Dr. Forgie is a graduate of the University of Ottawa’s medical school and has Royal College specializations in Internal Medicine and in Hematology. She has a fellowship in Thromboembolic Disorders and a Masters in Clinical Epidemiology, and is a clinician investigator with the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute. She is a Professor of Medicine. Before her position as Vice-Dean, Dr. Forgie was Assistant Dean, Student Affairs as well as Co-Chair of the Association of Faculties of Medicine National Group for Student Affairs. She was previously Residency Program Director for the University of Ottawa’s Hematology Training Program.

    Her clinical practice specializes in thromboembolic diseases.

    In her capacity as Vice-Dean, Undergraduate Medical Education, she has received international recognition for her advocacy for and assessment of the learning environment. She developed a program for social accountability for the MD program, which encompasses humanities, community service learning, global health, leadership and social determinants of health sub programs.

    She has publications in a wide array of prestigious journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine and Nature and continues to publish in her area of clinical expertise. She is an active investigator in a number of both peer reviewed and industry funded clinical trials.

    She is an invited member of the International Women’s Forum, which features women world leaders who have broken through barriers and achieved recognition for their leadership. She was appointed to the Board of Trustees for the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario in January 2015 and to the Board of Trustees for Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario and Ottawa Children’s Treatment Centre in 2016. She was appointed to the Board of Governors, Ashbury College in 2016.

    Dr. Forgie has received several teaching awards and teaches in both the Anglophone and Francophone streams of the Undergraduate Medical Education Program. She has also received numerous patient care awards and is a 2009 recipient of the Ottawa Hospital Physician Recognition Award. She is currently one of the most highly awarded physicians at The Ottawa Hospital.

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    Amber Costello

    Milo's Story

    Every year when I was little, I’d think “this will be the year that everything will be okay”. And every year, I’d be crushed. By the time I was 18 I couldn’t take my dad’s drinking or my mom’s crying anymore, so I packed a knapsack with the warmest clothes I had and I left. It was freezing cold, and I was alone…but I was free.

    The next few months were rough and at times very scary. I spent nights in parks, doorways and even under bridges all with just an old sleeping bag a friend had given me. One night it was so cold that I walked until the sun came up, afraid that I would freeze to death if I slept.

    It took me awhile to get over the embarrassment to start asking people for money. But, it was swallow my pride or stay cold and hungry. After two weeks of doing this I learned about YSB. I didn’t know it then but, in that moment, my life changed for the better. I got connected to YSB’s Young Men’s Emergency Shelter and my first night in the shelter I slept 11 hours. I felt so safe and secure. I remember that moment clearly and I felt so hopeful I now have my own apartment in one of YSB’s long-term housing buildings, am attending college to become a graphic designer, and am working part-time to support myself.

    “For the first time I can remember, I’m really excited about my future. Growing up I just thought about getting by one day at a time.” I hope my story conveys just how life changing it was for me to be able to access YSB’s shelter during a really difficult time in my life. The team at YSB supported me every step of the way, and I’m grateful they were by my side. I hope you’ll consider taking the opportunity to transform the life of another young person like me today.


    *While Milo’s story is real his name has been changed to protect his privacy