Bill Bosworth Memorial Award
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Bill Bosworth Memorial Award

Mothercraft announces the Recipient of the 2015 Bill Bosworth Award – Dr. Elizabeth Lee Ford-Jones

Photograph of Dr. Elizabeth Lee Ford-Jones Innovator. Advocate. Mentor. These are just a few of the words used to describe Dr. Elizabeth Lee Ford-Jones and her impressive body of work as a pediatrician, clinician and researcher. The recipient of the 2015 Bill Bosworth Memorial Award is a truly remarkable woman who has made tremendous contributions to our city and to the lives of countless children and families across our country.

For more than 35 years, Lee has put the health and well-being of children at the forefront of her professional life. As a pediatric infectious disease specialist, Lee has the ability to understand the complexities of the human body and the ways in which microscopic entities may impact a child's physical health and development. As a clinical researcher, her work has helped deepen our collective understanding about how to prevent the spread of infection in child care settings, as well as how to deal with hospital acquired infections, vaccine preventable diseases and infections in pregnancy and infancy. Most recently, the focus of Lee’s work has been in the area of social pediatrics, an approach to medical interventions that considers the health of a child in the context of their family, environment and community, and integrates the physical, mental and social dimensions of a child's health and development into any diagnosis and/or treatment plan. In other words, a physician who practices social pediatrics is as likely to inquire about a parent’s stress levels related employment, income or food security as they are about their child's height, weight and developmental milestones.

For the past seven years, Lee has used her role in the Social Pediatrics Department at the Hospital for Sick Children to educate medical students and to spread awareness amongst physicians and other health professionals who work with children about the critical impact issues like poverty, hunger, and parental stress can have on a child's health outcomes. Thanks to Lee, more and more pediatricians understand these connections and are incorporating them in to their practice. She has also used her role to reach out to community organizations who provide critical developmental support to families with young children - like child care, family support, education and special needs services – to create linkages and partnerships with the health care sector that lead to more holistic, multi-faceted approaches to intervention.

Lee is the co-editor the Canadian Pediatric Society’s Journal "Pediatrics and Child Health" and has contributed to several books on the well-being of children. Her research has been published in academic journals across Canada but what makes Lee really special – what makes Lee a trail-blazer – is the way she uses mainstream media to share her expertise and knowledge to engage the public in a dialogue about the links between social issues and health outcomes.

Lee's nominator had this to say about her: "Lee is a tireless advocate who is passionate in her pursuit of health equity. She shares her knowledge without reserve and is a champion of cross-sectoral partnerships that have ignited the creation of numerous innovative health services to strengthen families and communities."

Mothercraft and the Bosworth Family are delighted to recognize this extraordinary individual who personifies all of the qualities we admired in Bill.

To learn more about Dr. Ford-Jones' work at the Hospital for Sick Children, click here.