One-on-One with Cecilia Jevitt

Dr. Cecilia Jevitt

As the new Director of the Faculty of Medicine’s Midwifery Program, Dr. Cecilia Jevitt brings over 20 years of experience in midwifery education and 30 years of midwifery practice to UBC. She is passionate about the role of midwives in building community knowledge of birth and infant care, and the role of midwifery in helping to transform health for future generations. 

As the new Director of the Midwifery Program, what are some of your goals or aspirations? 

Where I see my role is in helping to grow Canadian leadership in midwifery. British Columbia already has an excellent practice model and midwifery education system in place at the undergraduate level. My goal is to continue to nurture Canada’s leadership in the profession by developing a master’s program in midwifery that leads to a doctorate.  

For you, what makes UBC different?

At this stage in my career, my focus is on clearing the path for younger midwives to grow into leadership roles. I could see that UBC was the right place to do that. Not only is the work of the midwives here at UBC internationally-recognized, but B.C. has such a wonderful practice model and the legislation is in place to enable its continued growth. 

Who inspires you and why?

I have always been inspired by mothers and newborns, particularly those in need. 

How do you like to recharge?

I get recharged by being active, especially outdoors. My husband and I love walking together in Pacific Spirit Park, kayaking and fishing. I also love spending time with family here in B.C. and in Florida.

Favourite spot in B.C.

Spanish Banks, on the beach watching the sunset as the city lights are coming up. It’s just beautiful.

First job

My father put me to work in his sheet metal manufacturing office when I was in high school. That helped me to get a job as the secretary of Research and Design at Playskool Toys, where I got to help with safety testing by doing things like putting stuffed dolls through wash and dry cycles at the laundromat and hurling balls at brick walls over and over!

Secret talent

I was the Midwest women’s lightweight judo champion during the early ‘70s. That training taught me to take a beating and get back on my feet.

Best piece of advice

Some learners have this idea that if they read the right book or complete a certain program, they will instantly be all-knowing. It just doesn’t happen like that.  

As Greg Brown (an American folk musician) says, “enlightenment doesn’t come all at once, it comes in grubby little pieces every day.” 

Published: November 2018