The YWCA Women of Distinction Awards honours women and workplaces that improve the lives of thousands of people each year across Metro Vancouver. This year, 65 women across BC
were nominated for their outstanding achievements in 13 award categories. Meet the winners and nominees from programs across PHSA and BC Children's Hospital Foundation.
Dr. Christine Loock
A researcher with BC Children's Hospital Research Institute and a developmental pediatrician at BC Children's Hospital and BC Women's Hospital + Health Centre, Dr. Loock received the YWCA Women of Distinction award in the Health & Wellness category.
"It's humbling to be recognized by the YWCA amongst the many other outstanding women from across the province. This award personally represents the culmination of three decades of cross disciplinary team work, and many community partners to address and prevent social adversity and health disparities for women and children. Recognition like this further inspires us to continue working together with communities, as clinicians, educators, researchers and policy makers to continue to make a difference in the lives of others."
Dr. Loock is an internationally recognized clinician and researcher in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). She led and implemented Sheway in Vancouver's downtown eastside to improve access to prenatal care and prevent the effects of prenatal alcohol and drug exposure impacting child development. She also led the development of the award-winning RICHER (Responsive Intersectoral Child/Community Health Education and Research) social pediatrics initiative to help families living in poverty overcome barriers to health care.
Dr. Gina Ogilvie
Dr. Ogilvie received the YWCA Women of Distinction award in the Research & Sciences category for her work in changing Canadian practices on HPV vaccination and her ground-breaking research towards the eradication of cervical cancer with a single-dose vaccine. Her research is one of the biggest breakthroughs in preventing cervical cancer since the Pap smear.
"It is such an honour to receive this award on behalf of our research team. The YWCA is an incredible organization in creating a positive impact for people in our province and community, and we are so pleased to be recognized by them," said Dr. Ogilvie. "By working together, we believe that we can work towards the end of cervical cancer, and improve women's lives in Canada and around the world."
As senior advisor of Research at BC Women's, assistant director at Women's Health Research Institute, an investigator at BC Children's Hospital Research Institute, and senior Public Health scientist with the BC Centre for Disease Control, Dr. Ogilvie has been influential in setting and directing health policy on reproductive health and sexually transmitted infections, both in Canada and globally. She developed and leads ASPIRE (Advances in Screening and Prevention in Reproductive Cancers), a global health research program.
Teri Nicholas, BC Children's Hospital Foundation President & CEO, is recipient of the Women of Distinction Award in the Non-Profit category. Nicholas was recognized for leading the re-vitalization and successful completion of the $200M campaign for the Teck Acute Care Centre at BC Children's Hospital.
"I have the great privilege of helping kids throughout this province through my role at BC Children's Hospital Foundation, and with the new hospital now open, we are truly built to heal," said Nicholas. "To be recognized by the YWCA, an organization with amazing programs and services that improve the lives of thousands of people is truly an honour."
Nicholas's achievements include leading the development of Child Health BC, providing access to consistent and quality pediatric health care across the province and she co-founded an organization to connect 13 Canadian Children's Hospitals together to raise awareness and advocate for child health. She was also credited for her work in establishing support for homeless and at-risk youth in her previous position as CEO of Family Services of Greater Vancouver.
Dr. Connie Eaves, a distinguished scientist at the Terry Fox Laboratory of BC Cancer, was honoured in the Research & Sciences category for her extensive work and discoveries on cell growth regulation and its impact on patients affected by leukemia and breast cancer. Her research has resulted in many robust, quantitative and specific "assay" methods used to study the regulation of stem cells by researchers globally. Her findings have been published in more than 500 peer-reviewed papers in leading scientific journals.
Dr. Roanne Preston, physician at BC Women's Hospital + Health Centre, was nominated in the category of Health & Wellness for her commitment to improving obstetric anesthetic care for women in BC and Canada. As the first female head of the Department of Anesthesiology, Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Faculty of Medicine, UBC and physician at BC Women's, Dr. Preston has devoted her career to creating and implementing interdisciplinary processes, polices and guidelines to advance safe maternity care.
Linda Lupini, executive vice president of BC Emergency Health Services (BCEHS), was recognized in the category of Public Service for her contributions in supporting the well-being of our BCEHS colleagues. Under her leadership, BCEHS has implemented new training and critical incident supports to build the resiliency of front line staff dealing with challenges during the opioid crisis. She introduced a transformative initiative with support from front line managers in changing and improving how patients in BC are responded to when they call 9-1-1. Lupini also successfully advocated for improvements to equipment to reduce career-ending injuries and for mental wellness training.
Congratulations to our winners and nominees on this remarkable achievement.