In Memoriam

Dr. Mavis Teasdale (May 6, 1925 – Mar 5 2018)

Division Head, 1970-1987, Hematology, Oncology and BMT

Twice a year, retired pediatricians, and those close to retirement, located both in the lower mainland and from around BC, have been meeting for an organized luncheon for close to twenty years.

The primary purpose for the lunch is companionship and the opportunity to meet former friends and colleagues. It’s also a time for sharing news from both BC Children’s Hospital and UBC.

One of the items discussed at each meeting is an update on those no longer with us. This year’s luncheon will provide us an opportunity to share some memories of Dr. Mavis Teasdale, a long time faculty member who passed away on March 5th 2018.

Mavis was a mainstay and a force in the Department for many years over her lengthy career through to retirement. In the 1960s and early 1970s, she was the sole hematologist/ Oncologist on staff.  I first met her as a rotating intern in 1965 while on my Pediatric rotation. She seemed to be responsible for what seemed like the sickest children, and trainees were expected to perform well on her service. She was demanding but she was fair. In retrospect, with low survival rates for many of her patients, and very little back-up medical support, the stresses on Mavis in those early years must have seemed overwhelming to her at times – Yet, I never heard her complain.

I started to provide weekend relief for Mavis in 1973, and she must have been satisfied with the support, as she took a six month sabbatical in 1974, leaving me with her practice. This of course left me with a much better understanding of her situation. Over the next few years, a number of new and well trained Oncologists arrived, including Dr. David Chan, Dr. Paul Rogers, and Dr. Sheila Pritchard. Dr. Chris Fryer later arrived to provide Pediatric Radiology services.

By the 1980s newer cancer protocols were now having better survival results. The Children’s Cancer Group Research team was becoming more active and an Oncology Division was finally formed. On call became less onerous, and our practice was more satisfying and better.

I maintained a busy oncology practice working with Mavis and the team through to 1982, when the new and present BC Children’s Hospital opened.

Mavis taught me many things over the years. She taught me the importance of including all participants, implied or otherwise, in any personally produced medical paper. She taught me to never use the “Cancer” word, until the diagnosis is clear, and also to avoid outlining a specific treatment until the final pathology report is available. I learned all about cancer and medical quackery through Mavis.

Mavis was always thinking about her staff and patients’ well-being. For example, she hired Leora Kuttner, PhD, a full-time psychologist to research and develop a pain and anxiety program; she also arranged for Dr. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross to provide a workshop for staff to educate them on the processes of death and dying; and, a true testament of her character, Mavis herself, even learned how to perform hypnosis.

There’s too much material to include here. I feel that the main focus for Mavis’s working life should be her early pioneering work in her main area of Oncology and the development of the UBC Division of Pediatric Hematology, Oncology and BMT, a product of her hard work and dedication.

I shall miss her as a friend and a colleague, for whom I retain the greatest respect and admiration.

– David F Smith, MD, FRCP


“I owe Dr. Teasdale a lot. She had a huge impact on my work at BCCH and made it possible for me to develop my early pain management programs.”

– Leora  Kuttner, Ph.D


“She truly left an important legacy as the founder of pediatric hematology oncology in Vancouver.”

– Allison Eddy, MD, FRCP(C)


“Mavis is the “mother” of pediatric oncology in BC and her legacy lives on.”

– Caron Strahlendorf, MD, FRCP


“I have many memories of Mavis. She was the very dedicated  iron lady of pediatric oncology, in a good way. She certainly kept me on my toes when I returned from my fellowship in Cincinnati and became the sole pediatric tumor “expert”. She served the children very well.”

– Jim Dimmick, MD, FRCP


Memorial Service Information:

First Memorial Funeral Services – Vancouver
602 Kingsway Vancouver, BC V5T3K4
(604) 876-5585

A service will be held at St James Anglican Church, 303 E Cordova Street, Vancouver, at 3 p.m. on Friday, April 6. In her memory please consider a donation to the BC Children’s Hospital.

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.


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.




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.

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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.



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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.