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Women’s College Hospital board member honoured with prestigious award for her work in women’s health

from the March 21, 2011 issue of Connect

Women’s College Hospital board member honoured with prestigious award for her work in women’s health

Dr. Joan LesmondWomen’s College Hospital board member Dr. Joan Lesmond once dreamed of becoming prime minister of her native St. Lucia. Though her political aspirations never came to fruition, her dedication to improving the lives of women and girls in Canada has helped shape access to health care for all Canadians.

For over 30 years, Lesmond has worked tirelessly to advance the nursing profession, strengthen the public health-care system and open doors for women of all ethnicities and income levels to empower themselves to live healthier lives. For her hard work, Lesmond has been awarded the YWCA 2011 Woman of Distinction in Health Leadership.

“A focus on women and women’s health has long been the hallmark of Joan’s career,” says Kathryn Giffen, chair of the Women’s College Hospital board. “We are, of course, extremely honoured to have a director on the board win such a prestigious award.”

A Women’s College Hospital board member since 2007, Lesmond continues to add to a long list of achievements. Currently, she is executive director of the St. Elizabeth Health Care Foundation, chair of the Ontario Caregiver Coalition, president of the Association of Ontario Health Centres and an educator at Ryerson University. Lesmond sits on a number of boards and committees and spends time mentoring the health clinic team at Women’s Health in Women’s Hands. She has also become active in policy development outside of Canada, after volunteering in South Africa where she was moved by her experience working with women and girls living with HIV/AIDS.

“You can count on Joan to ask interesting and challenging questions,” says Susanne Williams, vice-chair of the Women’s College Hospital board. “She brings an immense amount of experience in women’s health and diversity to the board, and we’re extremely pleased to have her at the table.”

The YWCA Women of Distinction awards recognize the contributions of bold women whose vision and determination have improved the lives of girls and women at home and abroad by inspiring dreams and leading change.


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