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Remembering Rita Stern

Jan 12, 2022 |

I’m saddened to announce the passing of our colleague Rita Stern, a long-time clinical faculty member with HCEP and SPPH, and a highly respected member the Board of Directors for the Centre of Excellence in Women’s Health (CEWH). Rita was a trailblazer for women’s health and an outspoken advocate for feminism in relation to population health issues. Her commitment to research and policy to advance the health of women and their health care was inspiring. I would like to share a couple of tributes to Rita from her closest colleagues and that speak to her legacy. Please join me in remembering Rita for her passion, tenacity and the significant contributions she made to HCEP, SPPH, UBC and the broader community. She will be deeply missed. Aslam Anis Director, School of Population and Public Health

“Rita had a longstanding commitment to women’s health research and policy. She kept us linked to our herstory, connected to the original funding of Centres of Excellence for Women’s Health in 1996. Even earlier, I worked with Rita during Dr Ron Draper’s time, when Health Canada funded the It’s Just Your Nerves kit, an early knowledge translation effort about the over-prescription of benzodiazepines to women and its connection to women’s alcohol use and experience of violence. I wrote about that work in the Feminist History Society book edited by Dr Lorraine Greaves entitled Personal and Political: Stories from the Women’s Health movement 1960-2010 (“Travelling Ontario with mommy’s little helper”). Rita was a wonderful, outspoken feminist health advocate who kept us all on our toes with insightful questions about how we were building on the work of our feminist foremothers.” Nancy Poole Director, CEWH


“Rita was a consistent and committed board member of the Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health, from its planning in 1996 until her death. She had an unwavering commitment to women’s health and feminist thinking about redressing the gaps in health care. She facilitated the links between the CEWH and the SPPH, and always offered excellent advice about knowledge translation of the Centre’s research.” Lorraine Greaves PhD, DU (hon), Senior Investigator, CEWH