Centenary Medal – Joan Anderson

Professor Emerita, Dr. Joan Anderson, is a nurse and sociologist. Since early career, she has worked towards advancing the scientific basis of nursing practice from a critical inquiry perspective. Her research, in partnership with colleagues in academic, clinical and community settings, is inclusive of people born in Canada, and those who have come as immigrants or refugees. It deals with how personal histories, as well as socio-economic-political factors, influence the experiencing and management of health, chronic illness, hospitalization, the transition home, and suffering. She thanks the people who shared their personal experiences, and allowed her to learn from them. She has integrated these lessons into her teaching; and, in praxis-oriented knowledge exchange.

Joan acknowledges the mentorship of the late Professor Roy Turner, who introduced her to interpretive sociology, and Professor Helen Elfert who guided her in developing a research program. As a Visiting Scholar at Harvard Medical School, Dept. of Social Medicine and Health Policy in 1986, she was inspired by Professor Arthur Kleinman’s inclusion of social science concepts in the health disciplines.

Joan has been recognized as a distinguished scholar and mentor. Between 1984-1991 she chaired the Ad Hoc Committee to develop a PhD program in the UBC School of Nursing. In 2003 she was a Distinguished Scholar in Residence at the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies; in 2004, one of two recipients of the UBC Killam Award for Excellence in Mentoring; and, in 2016 one of the recipients of The Faculty of Applied Science, Dean’s Medal of Distinction. In late scholarship, Joan remains committed to working with colleagues to foster equitable and socially just policy and health care. She thanks her partner, Robert, for his continued support in all her endeavours.