Two members of the Faculty of Medicine – a faculty member and a student – received Women of Distinction Awards from the YWCA of Metro Vancouver on May 24.
Dianne Miller, an Associate Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, was recognized in the Science, Research and Innovation category for her work battling ovarian cancer. She was instrumental in creating the B.C. Ovarian Cancer Research initiative, which successfully and cohesively brought together her vision of a dynamic team of specialists spanning multiple specialties working towards improving outcomes for women with ovarian cancer.
“With a focus on prevention and early detection, Dr. Miller’s leadership, innovative thinking and collaborative approach have pioneered new techniques to help reduce the incidence of ovarian cancer,” the YWCA says. “Dianne is a unique role model who is dedicated to education and mentorship, volunteering her time on countless committees and boards, all while providing the utmost care to her patients and support for her students.”
(Read more about one of Dr. Miller’s initiatives in the spring 2011 edition of UBC Medicine magazine.)
Alison Lee, an MD student (Class of 2013), who was named this year’s ”Young Woman of Distinction,” has organized more than 120 international exchange opportunities for Canadian medical students as the Canadian National Exchange Officer. She volunteers extensively as both an oncology research assistant and at Canuck Place Children’s Hospice, and she helped form a new Model United Nations for BC high school students. Passionate about literacy, in 2007 Alison co-founded the Learning Buddies Network, which pairs struggling readers and math students with high-school or university reading “buddies”; it started with 40 student-tutor pairs and with Alison’s enthusiasm and conviction it now provides tutoring to more than 250 students annually.
Alison, who has also received the BC Premier’s Excellence Award and the UBC Wesbrook Scholar Award, was described by the YWCA as a “community-focused and global-minded” student who “gives back to the next generation through volunteerism and leadership.”