2020 Women of Distinction Nominees | Health & Wellness

Recognized nationally, the YWCA Women of Distinction Awards honours individuals and organizations whose outstanding activities and achievements contribute to the well-being and future of our community.

Congratulations to the 2020 nominees in the category of Health & Wellness.


Joelle is a hospitalist promoting better advance care and end-of-life planning at Royal Columbian Hospital. To address gaps that exist in this field, she founded and led the Advance Care Planning Shared Care Committee, which connected patients and health care providers through symposiums, collaborative research and a community engagement program. Joelle is also the lead and co-founding physician of MDs4Wellness, a group of more than 400 local doctors who focus on physician wellness and support each other through collaboration and connection. Since 2019, Joelle co-created, hosts and co-produces the popular podcast Behind the Stethoscope to provide local physicians with an opportunity to share stories of personal struggle and success. Joelle is a trainer in the Serious Illness Conversation Guide (SIGC) and will co-host her first SIGC training for physicians in 2020.


Dr. Thalia Field, a stroke neurologist, is Fellowship Program Director of the Vancouver Stroke Program at VGH where she has a lead role mentoring and training the next generation of stroke specialists. Through her work as a clinician and medical researcher, she has made significant contributions to the provincial and national stroke infrastructure through the development of new protocols to optimize best practices for acute stroke treatment and secondary prevention. She is also working to improve the impact of stroke clinical trial processes through investigating strategies for efficient use of resources and enriching trial populations. Committed to ensuring all patients have access to quality care, she founded the Downtown Eastside Neurology Outreach Clinic which supports Downtown Eastside residents with neurological issues who would have difficulty attending appointments in an office environment.


Sharon Selby is a Registered Clinical Counsellor and Founder of Toddler to Teen® Anxiety Solutions. Through Sharon’s curriculum, children engage in activities that help them understand and manage their anxiety. Sharon’s groundbreaking children’s book, Surfing the Worry Imp’s Wave, is a resource for parents and educators to explain anxiety to children and practice strategies for managing it. Based on cognitive behavioural therapy, the book is the first of its kind for younger children and includes a digital discussion guide to further aid parents and educators in explaining the core concepts. To help overcome barriers to counselling and to innovate beyond the 1:1 model, Sharon created and facilitates long-running groups for anxiety that are affordable, flexible and available throughout the year, as well as runs a biweekly online parent support group.

Meet the 2020 Women of Distinction Award nominees in other categories.

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