Dr. Leah Lambert, executive director and senior scientist of Nursing and Allied Health Research and Knowledge Translation, is a recipient of this year's UBC School of Nursing Alumni Recognition Award.
This award is given to a UBC Nursing Alumni who has made a sustained and meaningful contribution to nursing at a local, community or provincial level. The awards will be presented at the Nursing Gala on May 10, 2022.
Dr. Lambert shares what this award means to her and how her personal experiences have shaped her work:
What does the UBC Nursing Alumni Award mean to you?
I am tremendously proud to be a part of the UBC Nursing community and it feels extra special to be recognized as a UBC Nursing alum. While this is in an individual award, it really represents a collective effort. This is not a solo venture and I've been the beneficiary of unwavering support from brilliant oncology nursing researchers and faculty at UBC, health system leaders and my exceptional team at BC Cancer.
How did you feel when you were informed that you were a recipient of this award?
Humbled, but also really excited, because this award marks a shift in the oncology nursing research landscape at BC Cancer that was long-overdue and critically needed. The value and contributions nursing research perspectives can make to advancing cancer care cannot be overstated. Enabling nurses to focus their efforts on impact-oriented projects identified as a priority by the organization will help to create more responsive, relevant, timely, and useful research that can be translated back to practice for rapid learning and improvement.
What advice do you have for the next generation of nurses?
I am hopeful the next generation of nurses will be afforded career opportunities we haven't seen in many years or maybe ever. It sounds cliché, but I can't underscore enough the importance of pursuing a career in a field you are passionate about. I became interested in oncology when my younger brother was diagnosed with a liposarcoma that had metastasized. His prognosis was poor, but BC Cancer saved his life and 14 years later he is thriving. BC Cancer also gave me an extra year of quality of life with my Dad and father-in-law who both passed away last year from cancer. I will forever be indebted to our cancer care system. Because of this, I care deeply about enabling our system to provide high-quality, person- and family-centred care across the cancer trajectory and ensuring we can deliver compassionate and equitable care for all British Columbians. My top advice is to do something you love and find strong mentors.
Do you have a memorable experience to share from your career?
This is hard to choose, because as a nurse there are so many memorable experiences caring for people during some of the most joyous and vulnerable times in their lives. One point in my career I'm most proud of is probably my PhD graduation ceremony at UBC. I had all three of my children during my PhD and to cross the finish line signified passing a huge test of persistence and made my family very proud.
Congratulations Dr. Lambert on receiving this award!