Congratulations to the 2023 POGO Recognition Awards Recipients 

On Friday, November 3, Pediatric Oncology Group of Ontario celebrated the recipients of the 2023 POGO Recognition Awards at a Celebratory Dinner. Established in 1999, the awards acknowledge significant contributions of Ontarians to the field of childhood cancer care in Ontario and beyond. Award recipients work in POGO partner hospitals and demonstrate POGO’s core values of partnership, collaboration and excellence. Congratulations to the 2023 recipients! 

POGO Medical Director Dr. David Hodgson (far left) and POGO Board Chair James Scongack (far right) with the 2023 POGO Recognition Awards recipients (l to r): Vicky Wilton, Tejinder Bains, Dr. Paul Nathan, Dr. Jennifer Seelisch, Dr. Elizabeth Cairney

POGO Champion Award 
The POGO Champion Award acknowledges excellence, leadership, innovation and collaboration in the field of childhood cancer care by an individual over the course of a career. Recipients have a strong history of participating in POGO initiatives, programs or services in a POGO partner hospital. They have demonstrated an exceptional commitment to achieving the best childhood cancer care system through their work within Ontario, for the benefit of children and youth with cancer, survivors, and/or their families in Ontario or beyond.  

Elizabeth Cairney, MD, FRCPC 
Medical Director, Pediatric Oncology AfterCare Clinic, Children’s Hospital, London Health Sciences Centre 
In recognition of her career devotion to pediatric oncology, exceptional leadership, and commitment to excellence and quality care that has benefited patients and families, those she mentors and all with whom she collaborates, in Ontario and beyond.

POGO Visionary Award  
The POGO Visionary Award acknowledges an individual or team for an outstanding specific/single contribution to advancing the childhood cancer care system in Ontario for the benefit of children and youth with cancer, survivors, and/or their families. Recipients are agents of change whose work, as part of a POGO initiative, program or service in a POGO partner hospital, exemplifies the visionary efforts that led to POGO’s creation in 1983.  

Paul Nathan, MD, MSc, FRCPC 
Head, Solid Tumour Section & Director, AfterCare Program, The Hospital for Sick Children 
In recognition of his outstanding contributions to clinical research, teaching and program development in the field of childhood cancer survivorship, which have had sustained impact in Ontario and beyond. 

Tejinder (TJ) Bains, BSc (Pharm), ACPR 
Oncology Pharmacist, Oncology Pharmacy Team Lead and Beacon Business Systems Analyst, CHEO 
In recognition of her exemplary contributions, resourcefulness and tireless dedication to the care of childhood cancer patients, in Ontario and beyond.  

POGO Nursing Leadership Award  
The POGO Nursing Leadership Award recognizes an individual in the field of pediatric oncology nursing who demonstrates passion, vision and energy for childhood cancer care, and a commitment to a patient-family-survivor-centred approach. Recipients show leadership in ensuring the nursing perspective informs various aspects of childhood cancer care, which may include service delivery, system planning, quality improvement, knowledge transfer, professional development and/or research. Recipients have participated in POGO initiatives, programs or services, and/or work in a POGO partner hospital. They are well respected by hospital healthcare teams, patients, families, survivors and administrative leaders. 

Vicky Wilton, RN, BPHE 
POGO Interlink Nurse, Northeast Cancer Centre, Health Sciences North 
In recognition of her role as an outstanding leader, mentor, advocate, clinician and partner in the evidenced-based nursing care of those impacted by childhood cancer, throughout all stages of their journey, in Northern Ontario, and beyond. 

POGO Early Career Professional 
Recognizes an early-career professional of any discipline who has demonstrated outstanding dedication, commitment and leadership as part of a multidisciplinary team caring for children and youth with cancer, survivors, and/or their families. Recipients work in a POGO partner hospital and go above and beyond to exemplify POGO’s commitment to achieving an excellent childhood cancer care system by contributing their expertise in a voluntary capacity. 

Jennifer Seelisch, MD, MSc, FRCPC (Pediatric Hematology/Oncology) 
Director, Pediatric Undergraduate Medical Education, Children’s Hospital, London Health Sciences Centre 
In recognition of her outstanding commitment and contributions to childhood cancer care that have positioned her as an emerging thought leader in pediatric oncology, in Ontario and beyond. 

POGO Community Partner Impact  
Recognizes outstanding philanthropic contributions to advance POGO’s mission and vision. Recipients demonstrate a commitment to charitable responsibility and their altruism and leadership may have inspired others to give back to POGO. 

Kate, Jack & Meghan Beswick 
In recognition of their outstanding and steadfast philanthropic leadership that has inspired a new generation of donors, connections and community in support of POGO’s mission and childhood cancer care.  

“The 2023 POGO Recognition Awards is a very important night to the community of pediatric oncology. For the Children’s Hospital, LHSC team tonight is especially significant. Dr. Cairney was my mentor as a medical student. To have her receive the POGO Champion Award, truly a lifetime achievement award, with me as the Division Lead, on the same night I am honored to be presenting an Early Career Professional Award to Dr. Jennifer Seelisch is so very humbling. The London Children’s Hospital team is just so proud.”

Dr. Alexandra Zorzi, Children’s Hospital, London Health Sciences Centre

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