The BC Cancer Excellence Awards provide an opportunity to shine a light on the inspiring people and teams who help ensure that British Columbians receive world-class, patient-centred cancer screening, treatment and support, and benefit from new discoveries that are helping change the face of cancer.
Lois Smith is a patient and family counsellor at BC Cancer – Prince George. She is the winner of this year's BC Cancer Excellence Award in the category of Unsung Hero.
An Unsung Hero is someone who is always ready to help out, and who demonstrates an ongoing pattern of going above and beyond the scope of their job. This person makes a positive impact on those around them and the organization.
Positivity is one of the recurring themes from those who nominated Lois for this award. Her colleagues admire her for her constant smile and humour, as well as her ability to give valuable encouragement.
Lois joined BC Cancer ten years ago, as an instrumental team member in the opening of BC Cancer – Prince George. When the centre opened in 2012, Lois assumed the role of professional practice lead for patient and family counselling services. She assisted new patient and family counselling staff by providing education and training specific to oncology and encouraged work with patients and families throughout the trajectory of cancer care, from diagnosis and treatment to survivorship and bereavement services. She provided strong, ethical leadership to both her team and centre staff.
Since her retirement from the practice lead role in 2014, Lois has continued to support BC Cancer – Prince George as an on-call, casual counsellor.
Lois has been quoted saying that she can't even believe she gets paid for this job – she would do it for free! This rings true in her actions. In addition to caring for patients, Lois is a volunteer ambassador to the BC Cancer Foundation as chair of the Prince George ambassador committee, and regularly makes it out to the community to lead fundraising campaigns across Northern BC.
One colleague commented, "It is our work in cancer care with folks like Lois who make every day matter. Lois' energy and expertise support not only patients and centre staff, but also our northern community."
Congratulations Lois, on being named this year's Unsung Hero!
Lois Smith, patient and family counsellor at BC Cancer – Prince George, receiving her Excellence Award from Dr. Kim Chi and Heather Findlay at the 2022 BC Cancer Summit.