In Memoriam

Dr. William Arnold (July 10 1929 – July 20 2017)

Bill was a first class pediatrician, deeply committed to the care of his patients and families.  He graduated from the University of British Columbia medical school in 1955, and completed a rotating internship in London, Ontario before practicing as a family doctor in Prince Rupert from 1957 to 1965. He then completed his pediatric residency training at the Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York City from 1965 to 1968 before returning to join Drs. Robert Maclean and Jack Whitelaw in general pediatric practice in Vancouver.  Inspired by what he had seen in New York, he established the first Canadian multidisciplinary spina bifida clinic in Vancouver and then served as medical director for 30 years.  He was the first Canadian member of the Society for Research in Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus, and in the 1980’s Bill and David Shurtleff from Washington State worked together to establish  international myelomeningocele registry in Canada. This work contributed greatly to the academic contribution of the Society, which made important contributions to the infants and children affected by neural tube defects.  Bill will be remembered for his regular attendance at the Society’s annual meetings and his contributions to both the academic and social aspects of this Society.

Bill was appointed as the first head of the division of General Pediatrics at UBC, a role he filled for 10 years.  He was devoted throughout his career to the care and treatment of children with neural tube defects, and worked tirelessly on their behalf. In this role he was instrumental in fostering and nourishing the professional development of many students, residents, nurses and allied health colleagues from a variety of health disciplines.  He also served as president of the Vancouver Medical Association and the BCCH medical staff. He was tirelessly devoted to teaching, and was a Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at UBC.

Following his retirement from active clinical practice Bill led efforts to establish a spina bifida clinic in Guatemala, making numerous volunteer trips to that Central American country with his devoted wife Myrtle.  He also continued his role on the Boards of research and review committees of the Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Association of BC and Canada and remained an active member over the years.  Sir William Osler said that “The good physician treats the disease; the great physician treats the patient who has the disease”. Bill was a truly great physician, always committed to the patient and their family.

There have been so many of us who have benefitted from Bill’s care but it is the infants, children and adults with spina bifida to whom he was especially committed. He was a clinical pioneer and the father of spinal bifida care in Canada, and the memory of his many contributions will be cherished.  There will be a celebration of Bill’s life in the end of September.


Paul Thiessen

Doug Cochrane, Chair & Provincial Patient Safety & Quality Officer

Beverly Irwin, BSN, RN Nurse Clinician in the Spinal Cord Program

Reprinted with permission.



Dr. C.D. MacLean (née Catriona Dunella Pederson) (October 31, 1936 – December 23, 2015)

Born in Craigendoran, Scotland, December 23, 1928, Dr. Maclean Died in Victoria, BC, April 8, 2016. Dunella spent her childhood in Scotland, including three idyllic years on the Isle of Tiree in the Inner Hebrides, before coming to Canada at age 16 in order to attend McGill University, where she attained the degrees of B.Sc. and M.D.C.M. She came to Vancouver in 1955 to continue her training in Paediatrics. The largest part of her medical career was spent at BC Children’s Hospital as head of the Hearing Disorders Program, from which she retired as Professor Emeritus, UBC. After her retirement she spent several years as a volunteer at Van Dusen Gardens. Since she retired, many parents have thanked her for her work in making sure that their children would find a good place in the world. Mourning her are her husband, Edmund; children Alan, Kenneth (Teresa), and Irene (Sandy Webster); and grandchildren Christine, Jens, Geoffrey, Cameron Webster, and Ryan Webster. Also mourning her is her sister Dr. Mairi Narod, who trained with her at McGill and who shared her dedication to medicine. Dunella spent the last 15 years on Mayne Island, which she called “a little bit of paradise” both for its closeness to nature and the warmth of its community, before she succumbed to dementia. Her family wishes to thank the very dedicated staff at The Heights at Mount View, Victoria, where she spent her last days. A Memorial Service will be announced later.

To leave a condolence, please visit

See more at:





Dr. Roger Tonkin (October 31, 1936 – December 23, 2015)

Roger died peacefully in Nanaimo Regional General Hospital surrounded by love. He showed strength and grace throughout his courageous battle with Parkinson’s Disease, and that will remain a cherished and final gift for his family.

In life Roger was always willing to swim against the current, and until his death he remained authentic to his true nature, with humour and passion.

Roger received his medical degree from McGill University, and did his Pediatric residency at Montreal Children’s Hospital before joining the Department of Pediatrics at UBC in 1968.

Roger enjoyed a rich and varied medical career, with a special interest in adolescent medicine and eating disorders. He was an internationally recognized health visionary in standards of practice, curriculum development and research.

Roger received the Order of BC in 1998, and in 2010 the Canadian Pediatric Society honored him with Alan Ross Award, which recognizes lifelong excellence in the fields of pediatric research, education, healthcare and advocacy. His incomparable contributions to individual lives, to community and to society will always be remembered and paid forward for years to come.

Roger’s family was of paramount importance in his life, and he treasured time spent with each and every one of them. He is survived by his wife Carrol; children Lisa, Laurie (Dean), Lynn, Jon and Leanne; their mother Pat; stepchildren Lisa (Roy), Susan (Zen), Michael (Tracey) and Andrea (Michael); grandchildren Matthew, Olivia, Ian, Pearl, Caily, Isaac, Emily, Laura, Chloe and Charlie; sister Anne (Roger) and niece Meghan.

The family wishes to extend heartfelt gratitude to Dr. Steve Beerman for the exceptional care of Roger over the past several years. A family celebration of his life will be held in the spring. In lieu of flowers a donation to The Nanaimo Regional General Hospital Foundation or BC Children’s Hospital Foundation would honour Roger.

Screen Shot 2016-01-26 at 2.21.53 PM

Dr. Brian Lupton (July 05, 1952 – December 19, 2015)

Dr. Brian Lupton passed away peacefully in North Vancouver on December 19, 2015 at the age of 63.

Brian will be deeply missed by his fiancée Susan Tolley, his daughters Keeva (Cameron) and Nareela, his sister Marjorie Glavin (Ronnie), friend and mother of their children Bonnie, and extended family and lifelong friends.

Brian was born in Northern Ireland and immigrated to Canada in the 1980’s. He dedicated his life to his work as a Neonatologist at BC Children’s Hospital in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit. Along with his passion for work, he was an avid runner, lover of music and books and lifelong traveler. Above all, he was an incredible father and friend.












Sheila Innis PREFERRED

Dr. Sheila Innis (June 19, 1953 – February 10, 2016)

We are deeply saddened by the news of Dr. Sheila Innis’ death on February 10, 2016. Originally from the UK, Dr. Innis was a highly respected Professor in the UBC Department of Pediatrics and Director of the Nutrition & Metabolism Research Program at CFRI.

Dr. Innis was a tireless proponent of the nutritional needs of babies, children, expectant mothers and special populations including low weight infants and children with congenital diseases. She was at the forefront of informing national and international policy on nutrition and her research was internationally renowned.

As head of the Nutrition & Metabolism Research Program, Dr. Innis’ academic work was dedicated to pioneering research to solve real problems in how dietary components alone and in combination with genetic background or disease affect children in reaching their full potential for physical and cognitive development, as well as their susceptibility to chronic disease throughout the lifespan.

Dr. Innis’ many research accomplishments were considered a cornerstone of important new knowledge, spearheading novel avenues for understanding the link between diet and health. She had a long track record of contributions to national and international research networks ultimately improving dietary recommendations and practices, and clinical nutrition products. She established advanced metabolic profiling technologies at BC Children’s and conducted ground-breaking work on the effects of dietary fatty acids during pregnancy and infancy. She trained many researchers who today hold positions around the world.

In 2015, Dr. Innis was awarded the Geoffrey C. Robinson Award from the Canadian Pediatric Society in recognition of her outstanding contributions to child and youth health through research in the field of population health or health services research within the last five years.

Over the span of Dr. Innis’ illustrious career, her insights, knowledge development and research have and will continue to improve understanding the way nutrition and the health of neonates are linked for generations to come.

Our heartfelt thoughts and sympathies are with Dr. Innis’ family, friends and colleagues during this difficult time. She will be dearly missed.

A celebration of life for Dr. Innis will be held in the coming weeks, and we will share the details once available.