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Leading with compassion: Recognizing PHSA+ award recipient Stephen Dunne

PHSA+ recipient Stephen Dunne exemplifies what it means to be a leader and is passionate about finding solutions to challenging issues. Learn more about how Stephen leads with compassion, respect and humility at BC Cancer.
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​Stephen Dunne, director of the Medical Affairs Administration team at BC Cancer, received a PHSA+ Award for his outstanding leadership.

​​​​​​​​​​​Stephen Dunne exemplifies what it means to be a leader. As the director of the BC Cancer Medical Affairs Administration team, he manages multiple matters relating to physician contracting and payments and the implementation of physician-related policies and projects at BC Cancer.

Stephen has been with BC Cancer for 12 years. His deep understanding of the complexity of the organization and its processes and stakeholders has enabled him to adapt to change and provide proactive solutions to challenging issues. His impact is seen in the development of policies, overseeing budgets, writing contracts and always asking himself, “How do we make this work better? How can we alleviate pressures on our physicians so they can focus on patient care?"

Stephen does not shy away from tough challenges; he listens to physician and medical leader concerns, and supports them to find solutions. His team describes him as caring, decisive, responsible, respectful and committed.

Outside of his work, Stephen devotes his time to fitness, good food, and the well-being of others. He participated in the Ride to Conquer Cancer, saved a rescue dog named Shabz, and regularly checks in with his team on their overall health, especially lately during the pandemic.

“He takes the time to hear us and ask how we are doing. He uses humour to lighten the mood and to break down tension. He encourages exercise and eating healthily. He is always thinking of others and how he can help; he is the epitome of compassion," says Myrna Cabaluna, manager of Medical Affairs Administration, BC Cancer.

We had a chance to catch up with Stephen Dunne on his work. Learn more about Stephen by reading the Q&A below.

Can you tell us about your role at BC Cancer? What does a typical day look like for you at BC Cancer?

Every day there is something new in dealing with administrative matters related to almost 500 BC Cancer medical/dental staff. I lead the BC Cancer Medical Affairs Administration team that works together with a large, varied group of people across BC Cancer and PHSA to take care of our business, largely involving employment/contract agreements and payments, budgets and reporting, and a lot of planning.

How did you feel when it was announced that you're a PHSA+ Award winner?

Flattered and humbled. It is truly an honour to be recognized.

What do you find most rewarding about your job?

Building a team and fostering its talent. And the pleasure to have formed fond relationships over the years with so many people across BC Cancer and PHSA and outside of our organization as our work paths have crossed.

What has been your proudest moment at work?

I am most proud of the teams I have built and worked with, and their fantastic ability to roll with all of the bumps we experience together and to be adaptive and responsive. I have a pretty brand new team at the moment and we recently had the residency training program coordinators join us. I'm confident we have the potential to be the best edition of our team yet!

Stephen with some members of his incredible team members. L to R: Sandy Teng, Myrna Cabaluna, Stephen Dunne, Amy Qi and Paula To.

Tell us something about you that most people don't know –​ about a hobby or passion, or something else.

I have a 10-year old female border collie/lab mix named Shabz. She has a limp from when she was injured living on the streets, so she hops when she runs. I also like to box jump at the gym, which makes two hoppers in the family! And I make a wicked whiskey sour.

Stephen with his furry friend Shabz.

Thank you Stephen for your leadership and continu​ously going above and beyond in all that you do. Join us in congratulating Stephen Dunne on his PHSA+ Award!

About the PHSA+ Awards program

The PHSA+ Awards are part of an internal recognition program that celebrates teams and individuals who bring our PHSA values to life in the workplace. They go above and beyond to serve patients and families across B.C. Read about the other PHSA+ award recipients for 2021.

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