A local woman has won an award of excellence for her work in palliative care.
Suzanne Lehbauer, executive director of the Castlegar Hospice Society, received the BC Hospice Palliative Care Association Award of Excellence at the BCHPCA Provincial Conference in Vancouver on May 27.
The award is “given to an individual in recognition of outstanding achievement, contributions to, and impact in the field of hospice palliative care in British Columbia.” Nominees need to have been involved in hospice palliative care for at least five years, and must have enhanced the quality of life for patients and families facing life threatening illness and bereavement. They must also have advanced the profile of hospice palliative care in their community or the province, and must have exemplified excellence in hospice palliative care in two of the following areas, locally or provincially: clinical practice, education, administration, research and advocacy.
Lehbauer was recognized for her work in advocacy, education and innovative programming. Receiving the award at the conference wasn’t much of a surprise though, since she was informed ahead of time, but she was surprised when she first found out.
“It was a surprise when they let me know and I was very honoured to get it,” she said. “It’s great for all of the hospices in this region because it brings recognition to the challenges that we all face getting equity in hospice palliative care and services.”
Lehbauer was nominated for the award by Mayor Lawrence Chernoff, Dr. Joanne Lih and the honourable Roger Simmons. The award is now on display in Lehbauer’s office where it can inspire her to continue to strive for excellence.
“It’s kind of set the bar a little bit high, so I’m just going to try to do the best that I can here and certainly strive for excellence in service, which is what we always do,” she said.