As a social worker with BC Children’s Hospital’s Cystic Fibrosis clinic
(CF clinic) since 2018, Sara Van Horn has been a keen advocate for mental health support and resources for the children and families that attend the clinic.
Cystic fibrosis (CF) is one of Canada’s most common life-threatening diseases affecting young children and adults. It affects multiple organ systems but has its biggest impact on the lungs and the digestive system. Medical advances have significantly extended the median age of survival for people with CF, but they still need psychosocial support.
Sara has implemented a mental health screening program for parents of children with CF and children with CF over age 12. They are screened for anxiety and depression and connected with a clinical counsellor or other local mental health resources as needed. For her work, Sara was recently recognized with the Cystic Fibrosis Canada
2021 Outstanding Healthcare Provider Award.
“Sara supports families in a multitude of ways, from a new diagnosis to ongoing care. Her advocacy for children and adolescents living with CF to access psychosocial wellness support and interventions has made a huge difference for them and their families,” said Dr. Mark Chilvers, CF Clinic Director.
Dr. Mark Chilvers has been a pediatric respirologist and CF clinic director at BC Children’s Hospital
since 2008. CF Canada recognized his work with the Above and Beyond Award, an honour bestowed to health-care and research professionals who have consistently contributed to the organization's mission.
Under his leadership, the CF research program has grown to establish BC Children’s Hospital as a key founding member of the Canadian CF clinic trials network. The clinic has developed into a first-class CF clinic, providing specialized and multi-disciplinary care to individuals with CF from across B.C. and the Yukon.
Earlier this year, Mark was appointed as provincial medical director of Cystic Fibrosis Care BC
(CFCBC), a new provincial health improvement network within PHSA, which aims to optimize health outcomes and access to high-quality integrated health-care services for all pediatric and adult patients with CF in B.C. and the Yukon. He is also a key author in the development of Canadian CF Clinical Guidelines and Standard of Care.
“Mark is passionate about ensuring all CF patients receive the best care possible. He inspires innovation and is dedicated to generating meaningful research and quality improvements that benefit the entire CF community in B.C. and across Canada," said Micheline Wiebe, executive director, Trauma Services BC and Cystic Fibrosis Care BC.