Following a twenty-year career with the Vancouver Island Health Authority, including seven as its Director of Communications, Lianne Peterson joined UBC’s Island Medical Program (IMP) in 2005.
Twelve years later, Lianne has become an integral part of the IMP, where, as Regional Administrative Director, she’s worked with both Regional Associate Deans – Dr. Oscar Casiro and, now, Dr. Bruce Wright – to expand and strengthen UBC’s medical education programs across Vancouver Island.
As Lianne prepares for a well-earned retirement, scheduled for the end of June, she reflects on some of her favorite memories with the IMP. Below is her top-eleven list.
- The day I got hired. My interview took place over videoconference, and my face was projected back to me on the VC screen. I’d never had that experience before; I became fascinated (distracted is the better word) with my image. But thankfully I landed the role – and it’s been the best job ever!
- The opening of the Clinical Academic Campuses, in 2006, at Royal Jubilee and Victoria General Hospitals. But there was one unfortunate error: I was chosen to pick the paint colors, and the RJH staff had to live with pumpkin orange until the walls were sufficiently scuffed to justify repainting. I was not consulted on the new color.
- Prime Minister (at the time) Paul Martin’s people contacted me three days before their intended visit to use our facility as a speaking venue for the PM’s pre-election tour. Three days! There was a mad scramble, as you can imagine, but Mr. Martin’s staff took total control; we simply did as they asked. I enjoyed the security detail with their dogs. And it’s not just in the movies that security personnel talk into their wrists and take up positions on the roof!
- The development of the Division of Medical Sciences, which has a current complement of five research scientists, the first hired in 2007. Each one is putting UVic on the map for their work in the field of neuroscience.
- IMP’s first graduating class in 2008 (who began their studies in 2004) – I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house.
- Oscar Casiro’s turns of phrase – they never failed to delight. Many are still in use, and most have reached legendary status. The one that comes up a lot: “just within these four doors,” a variation of “just between you, me, and these four walls.”
- The Halloween parties, the December celebrations, chocolate parties, wedding and baby showers, and so on – always so much fun!
- The completion of the Centre for Interprofessional Clinical Simulation Learning (CICSL) in 2015. CICSL is a three-way institutional partnership between the UBC Faculty of Medicine (Island Medical Program), UVic Faculty of Human and Social Development (School of Nursing), and Island Health. Five years of planning on the capital build and a governance model that will support the partners and operations for a very long time.
- IMP’s annual Service Awards event. It’s amazing how many staff and faculty are still with us, some from the very beginning, in 2004. Their leadership and commitment to excellence takes my breath away. And I like to give a shout out to my distributed site colleagues with whom I have worked closely -- they are remarkable.
- IMP’s 10th graduating class in 2017 (who began their studies in 2013).
- The many, many pieces of mail I received over the years addressed to Dr. Lianne Peterson. I think after a lifetime of work in medical environments, I feel this “honorary” title is deserved (rather than earned).