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Excellence Awards

Celebrating the passion and remarkable contributions of BC Cancer staff, and highlighting how our people are making a difference for British Columbians facing cancer.

The BC Cancer Excellence Awards give us an opportunity to shine a light on some of the inspiring people and teams at BC Cancer. Let’s celebrate those who work every day to ensure that the people of B.C. receive world-class, patient-centred cancer screening, treatment and support.

This is a chance to celebrate the passion and remarkable contributions of BC Cancer staff, and highlight some outstanding examples of how our people are making a difference for British Columbians facing cancer.

Patients, caregivers and members of the public can nominate in the Patient Care Champion category. A Patient Care Champion is someone – whether it's a doctor, a nurse, a clerk, a volunteer or another position, who does one or all of the following:

  • Helps improve the care experience of patients and families
  • Helps improve your knowledge of the cancer system
  • Shows compassion, creativity and teamwork

Award winners

Unsung Hero Award

Lois Smith
Patient and Family Counsellor
BC Cancer – Prince George

“Lois has a quick smile and easy approach, she brings a sense of gratitude and happiness to work. Lois finds both joy and strength in the present moment. Lois leads by example in her role as practice lead, developing and securing a strong base for counselling services to move forward from. Her warmth and connection brings a positive sense of energy and care when she is on shift and working in the centre."

Workplace Inspiration Award

Dr. Arefeh Rouhi
Doctor/Scientist, Terry Fox Laboratory
BC Cancer – Research

“Arefeh is a kind, motivational and energetic group leader who shows concern for both her students and staff's overall well-being. She always has a pleasant disposition making it easy for one to approach her with issues and her willingness to go above and beyond to find solutions is truly remarkable. She is a joy to work with and has the ability to shine a light in every dark tunnel with her insightful advice and direction. She is a great example of a female boss and an inspiration to women in the scientific community."

Patient Care Champion Award (Patient Nominated)

Julie Nager, Joanna Bethune, Jacqualine Wong, Rupinder Sidhu
Radiation Therapists
BC Cancer – Surrey

"These four radiation techs were very efficient and effective at their job. They noticed I am a huge Disney fan. So while I was receiving treatment, they played music from a variety of Disney movies. Radiation isn't physically painful; however, it's a very emotional experience. The playing of these Disney tunes helped to relax me and put me in a mental space beyond where my mind could have stressfully roamed during my sessions. I truly believe these four wonderful humans helped me. They deserve the utmost respect and appreciation for all they did for me. I am grateful to have had them on my team."

Patient Care Champion Award (Staff Nominated)

Dr. Renelle Myers
Principal Investigator, Integrative Oncology
BC Cancer – Vancouver

“Dr. Myers works tirelessly to tend to the well-being of her patients and ensure that they are well cared for with ease and poise. I have personally witnessed Dr. Myers comfort uneasy patients prior to their procedure, taking a few extra moments to explain a procedure to them, never taking for granted their fears or rushing them along. She is one of the most kind, ambitious, giving and nurturing individuals I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. The immensity of her kind-heartedness is reflected in the way she treats her patients."

Teamwork & Collaboration in Action Award

BC Cancer – Abbotsford Pharmacy
Team members recognized for this award include Carol Kudhail, Tammy Waterhouse, Tania Faessler, Ravi Dosanjh, Urmila Shinde-Surabathula, Blaire Harnett, Arusia Bulman, Hana Kang, Shrey Patel, Pavan Derodra, Manrose Mann, Gurvinder Gill, Cassandra Lee, Amy Choi, Connie Reed, Gabriel Lee, Yoo Jin Baek, Amber Mann, Rajinder Sidhu, Colleen Daley, Leigh-Ann Hardy, Chandell Head, Sharwan Maharaj, Kelly Son, Kelly Roy, Kristina Kiland, Leanne Suchanek, Nimarpreet Brar, Parvin Huq, Cara Dantonio, Jaymee Foster, Munni Brar, and Bhumiben Shah.

“Just 10 days after the BC Cancer – Abbotsford Pharmacy team moved into their temporary spaces, an atmospheric river brought a deluge of rain storms and extensive flooding to the area. The main highways in and out of the Lower Mainland were closed and staff and patients were trapped on either side of the closures. The team worked together to identify affected patients and facilitate air deliveries by helicopter. Pharmacy staff also volunteered to work extra shifts to accommodate patients who would otherwise have missed their treatments. BC Cancer – Abbotsford Pharmacy stepped up to face the challenges head on, and they found a way to be creative and innovative because they care so much about the patients they treat."


Innovation & Discovery in Action Award

Cervix Screening HPV Pilot Implementation Team
Team members nominated for this award include Laura Gentile, Amy Booth, Gina Ogilvie, Laurie Smith, Jennifer Siemens, Jennifer Bailey-Nelson, Brenda Smith, Ester Chan, Rachel Berns, Dirk Van Niekirk, Lily Proctor, Alison Kong, Mary Nagy, Dmitriy Bykov, Edwin Khoo, Kathleen Creamer, Joanne Calinisan, Sarah Dhamrait, Javis Lui, Yue (Sandy) Zhang, and Alisha Pillay.

“The team is applying the latest innovations in cervix screening to introduce a new, ground-breaking method of screening that will increase access to cervical cancer screening. The pilot is one of the first of its kind to offer self-screening as the primary screening method, and the outcomes of the pilot will be of interest both nationally and internationally. The work of the team represents a significant step towards answering the World Health Organization's call to eliminate cervical cancer within this lifetime."

Unsung Hero Award

Dr. Caroline Lohrisch
Medical Oncologist and Department Head of Medical Oncology
BC Cancer - Vancouver

“Dr. Lohrisch is very approachable to those in her department. Her door is open to everyone including the residents, fellows, and staff. She listens, cares about the person and the issue, and genuinely wants to improve things. She truly strives to achieve what is best for individuals as well as the department." Read more about Dr. Lohrisch.

Workplace Inspiration Award

Nicole Peterson
Medical Secretary, Radiation Oncology
BC Cancer – Vancouver

“In the many years that I worked with Nicole, she demonstrates intelligence, tactfulness, diplomacy, leadership through every interaction or approach to people. Of greater importance would be her dedication, care, humour, honesty, integrity and hard work to her job. She inspires and motivates others to focus on providing patient-centred care.” Read more about Nicole.

Patient Care Champion Award (Staff Nominated)

Kelly Gill
Radiation Therapist, Radiation Therapy Area 2
BC Cancer – Surrey

“Kelly treats all patients as if they were a friend or family member. She comes to work not only with a smile on her face but with a willingness to make the lives of her cancer patients more tolerable. She shows a level of compassion and kindness that goes above and beyond the normal duties of ‘doing your job.’ Patients always look forward to seeing her.” Read more about Kelly.

Patient Care Champion Award (Patient Nominated)

Dr. Florian Kuchenbauer
Clinician-Scientist at the Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Program of BC
Senior Scientist at the Terry Fox Laboratory
Associate Professor of medicine at the University of British Columbia

“Dr. Kuchenbauer is doctor who meets me as a human being, treating me as an active partner in this fight. Defeating cancer isn’t like a road race: the finish line isn’t always visible, and it keeps moving all the time. It’s a marathon, not a sprint—and Dr. Kuchenbauer is brilliant in supporting, empowering, and guiding me as I move towards my goal of recovery so I can spend more precious time with family and doing the things I love. And our strategy is working. The whole world should know how amazing he is!” Read more about Dr. Kuchenbauer.

Teamwork & Collaboration in Action Award

Animal Resource Centre, BC Cancer Research Institute
Team members recognized for this award: Ashley Bitz, Ashley Tait, Bill Bishop, Brandie Smith, Brian Tung, Bronwen Moeller, Chinda Nav, Dayna Evans, Diane Korvin, Donald Stewart, Gayle Paquette, Ioana Oala, Jennifer Yeung, Jerzhel Rodriguez, Jianping (Jane) Jin Xu, Jonathan Sheps, Jordan Gavin, Joshua Rangel Gil, Larissa Patlan Ramirez, Mariam Oyinlola, Mari Miyamoto, Nicole Hofs, Selina Merrick, Steve Sharma, Tanya Ren and Tara MacDonald.

“The team provides outstanding assistance for our animal research by their diligence and ‘can do’ attitude. The ‘can do’ attitude extends from ensuring there are sufficient clean cages, careful monitoring of animal health, assisting with reducing animal numbers to minimize surpluses, to the outstanding skills of our technicians in surgery. All members are willing to work with the researchers to get the experiments done in a safe and humane manner. The service they provide is without question, vital to the success of cancer researchers at BC Cancer.”

Innovation & Discovery in Action Award

Patient and Family Counselling Team, BC Cancer – Victoria
Team members recognized for this award: Marita Poll, Laura Daly, Kathy Green, Paula Myers, Beth Burton-Krahn and Josie Hessels.
“When the pandemic began, the Victoria Centre Patient and Family Counselling Team rose to the challenge. They asked questions like how can we provide care to patients and family on Vancouver Island during this time, and do they need anything different or additional? From handouts specifically on coping with cancer during the pandemic, to looking at practical considerations through a new lens when people lose their income due to the pandemic, this team looked at coping with cancer through a trauma-informed lens. Psycho-social oncology care not only continued, but it was adapted and improved.” Read more about the BC Cancer - Victoria Patient and Family Counselling Team.

Unsung Hero Award

Annie Liu
Clinical Services Program Secretary
BC Cancer - Victoria

"Annie is the glue that keeps our ambulatory care clinics and teams running smoothly. On a daily basis, her hidden talents shine in rolling up her sleeves to problem solve just about anything that comes across her desk. Payroll, ordering, computer issues, 'this doesn't work tasks' and 'can you just have a look at this', virtual health, schedules and so many other responsibilities that sit with Annie are effortlessly completed." Read more about Annie

Workplace Inspiration Award

Dr. Frances Wong
Senior Executive Director, Medical Affairs, Quality and Clinical Information Systems 

"Dr. Frances Wong is the embodiment of a workplace inspiration, in the way she models service, dedication and professionalism. She is also an inspiration for how to be in the workplace - a trusted colleague when you need one, a friend you can confide in, and a leader who knows how to stay calm and focused even in the most challenging of times." Read more about Dr. Wong.

Patient Care Champion Award (nominated by staff)

Giovanna Cameron
Section Head, Clinical Cell Therapy Laboratory, Leukemia/BMT Program of BC

"For patients suffering from chronic GVHD of the eyes, autologous serum drops are invaluable and access to this treatment has been continuously and directly facilitated by Giovanna. She is an invaluable resource." Read more about Giovanna

Patient Care Champion Award (nominated by patients)

Julie Nager
Radiation Therapist
BC Cancer - Surrey 

"Julie has been an exceptional patient care professional. She answers my questions, provides me with the appropriate literature and has even gone to get a doctor to assist me with my health concerns. Julie goes above and beyond the call of duty and always provides value-added suggestions." Read more about Julie.

Teamwork and Collaboration in Action Award

BC Cancer CASCADE Team: Dmitriy Bykov, Alexander Kozhikhov, Alison Kong, Ester Chan, Hugo Britto, Joanne Calinisan, Kathleen Creamer, Mary Nagy, Rachel Berns, Sarah Dhamrait

"The BC Cancer CASCADE team works across the cervix, breast and colon screening programs to design and implement a new system that improves the quality and consistency of cancer screening support for all eligible populations in the province. This group of talented individuals brought all their skills, knowledge, experience, dedication and respect for one another to the team. The mix of innovative thinking, logical reasoning, systematic approach to problem solving, attention to details under a collaborative and learning environment, was applied throughout the project." Read more about the BC Cancer CASCADE Team.
 

Unsung Hero Award

Craig Giles
Patient Care Aide
BC Cancer – Surrey

"Craig is proactive, positive and always willing to go the extra mile. Craig cannot walk down the hallways without a number of patients and families giving him a hearty greeting, hug or high five." Watch this video on Craig

Workplace Inspiration Award

Dr. Stacy Miller
Radiation Oncologist and Executive Medical Director
BC Cancer – Prince George 

"Dr. Miller always has a bright and courteous manner and is the epitome of compassion and care towards both her patients and colleagues alike." Watch this video on Dr. Miller

Patient Care Champion (nominated by staff) 

Dr. Karen Goddard
Radiation Oncologist
BC Cancer – Vancouver

"Dr. Goddard singularly stands out in my mind as the very best. I have witnessed her work with incredible passion and determination to improve the lives of her patients." Watch this video on Dr. Goddard

Patient Care Champion (nominated by patients) 

Dr. Phillip B. Malpass
Nelson - Community Oncology Network


"I believe Dr. Malpass has integrated the patient and family voice seamlessly, not because it is the right thing to do or because his health care organizatin requires it, but simply because he wants to achieve the best medical care for his patients." Watch this video on Dr. Malpass

Teamwork & Collaboration in Action 

Early Palliative Integration into Cancer Care (EPICC) Team: Dr. Michael McKenzie, Sara Camano, Antony Porcino, Beth Skuggedal, Prince George Implementation Team, EPICC model of care, education and evaluation working groups

"I have been impressed by the dedication and hard work of the EPICC Team. They are a well-organized group of people within BC Cancer who are making things happen in a good way." Watch this video on EPICC


Innovation & Discovery in Action

Kelowna Brachytherapy Team: Drs. Juanita Crook, François Bachand, Deidre Batchelar, and Michelle Hilts, BC Cancer – Kelowna

"This team is leading the charge for us in the province in terms of excellence and innovation in brachytherapy." Watch this video on the Kelowna Brachytherapy Team
 

Unsung Hero 

Lou Ross
Systemic Therapy Clerk
BC Cancer - Victoria

“Lou’s compassion and ability to communicate with and comfort patients and families is unequalled. Not only is she exemplary at her job, she raises the quality of medical care around her and does so in a manner that improves the quality of life for patients and their families and for all of those who work around her.” Read more about Lou

Workplace Inspiration

Sophie Clyne-Salley
Senior Manager, Provincial Systemic Therapy Program

Patient Care Champion 

Corrina Werbecky
Registered Nurse
BC Cancer - Prince George

“Corrina is an excellent nurse and a faithful patient care advocate. She is one of the most compassionate, caring people I know. She goes above and beyond, so patients and their families have all the support they need. They are lucky to have her on their side, and we are fortunate to work with her.” Read more about Corrina

Teamwork & Collaboration in Action

Flood and Fire Emergency Response Team
BC Cancer - Kelowna


"Our team demonstrated unwavering commitment toward person-centred care. Everyone on the team – management, clinicians – went over and above to do what was needed for patients and families." Read more about the Flood and Fire Emergency Response Team

Innovation & Discovery in Action

SpaceOAR Hydrogel Team
BC Cancer - Victoria

"Our team was comprised of radiation therapists, oncology nurses, medical physics, radiation oncologists and radiotherapy booking clerks. Having all these different disciplines on board is really what made this program work. Each team member brings different skills to the table, vital for the project. Every team member is dedicated to improving patient care, and this is reflected by their work and attitudes." Read more about the SpaceOAR Hydrogel Team.
 

BC Cancer staff members can find information on additional award categories and how to nominate on POD.
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Read the following stories on last year's recipients for inspiration:


Unsung Hero 

Innovation & Discovery in Action

SOURCE: Excellence Awards ( )
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