Since 1984, the YWCA Women of Distinction Awards have honoured over 250 award recipients and more than 1,450 nominees. The award honours individuals and organizations whose outstanding activities and achievements contribute to the well-being and future of our community. There are twelve possible categories for nomination:
- Arts, culture & design
- Business & the professions
- Community champion
- Education, training & development
- Entrepreneurship & innovation
- Health & wellness
- Public service
- Research & the sciences
- Young woman of distinction
- Outstanding workplace
Arthritis Consumer Expert’s very own Cheryl Koehn has been nominated under the health and wellness category. Anyone who has been nominated is described as:
A woman who has an unwavering commitment to delivering, promoting and advocating for healthy lives and communities. She has made a significant and sustained difference in Metro Vancouver while empowering her community to change or better their lives through improved health and wellness practices. She may be a physician, practitioner, nurse or other woman committed to health and wellness.
As Founder and President of Arthritis Consumer Experts (ACE), Cheryl Koehn has spent decades working for patients’ rights. Cheryl established Canada’s first grassroots arthritis organization and founded the country’s first national arthritis awareness program. Cheryl was also instrumental in establishing the Canadian Arthritis Network, where she served as founding Chair on their Consumer Advisory Board and spearheaded the Aboriginal Research Initiative, the first of its kind in Canada. As a rheumatoid arthritis survivor and the Canadian arthritis community’s longest serving leader, Cheryl’s work has been crucial in raising the profile of patients as partners in healthcare, research and policy decisions. Through ACE, Cheryl leads her team in providing science-based education and support to hundreds of thousands of people with arthritis, helping them take control of the disease and improving the quality of their lives.
Cheryl’s most recent activity include attending the International Experience Exchange for Patient Organization in Copenhagen – a meeting that brought together patient organizations from around the world to share knowledge and experience to improve the lives of patients around the world and expand the global patient support network. Upon her return back to Vancouver, she brought back a wooden manikin figure and hand, which now stands proudly decorating the ACE office, reminding us daily of the joint affiliated challenges arthritis patients endure daily.
The award ceremony will be hosted on June 8th, 2016 at the Vancouver Convention Centre. Individual tickets will be on sale today in celebration of International Women’s Day.