PROVINCIAL — On Oct. 16 eight outstanding individuals received the highest honour of the province as Lieutenant Governor of Newfoundland and Labrador and Chancellor of the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador, John Crosbie, invested them into the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador.
The inductees to the Order are Janet Cox, Tom Dawe, Freida Faour, John (Jack) Ford, Mary Dyer Gordon, Constance Howley, Captain Sidney Hynes, and Susan (Fran) Williams.
“The Order of Newfoundland and Labrador recognizes individuals who have demonstrated excellence and achievement in any field of endeavor benefitting the province and its residents,” said Mr. Crosbie. “The individuals recognized today embody the true spirit of the Order through their selflessness, devotion and dedication to improving the lives of their fellow Newfoundlanders and Labradorians.”
Premier Kathy Dunderdale also expressed her congratulations and thanks to this year’s recipients.
“The efforts of the individuals honoured today have made a profound and enduring difference in the lives of countless Newfoundlanders and Labradorians,” said Premier Dunderdale. “This year’s recipients are pioneers and visionaries in numerous fields including the arts, healthcare, Inuit culture, the marine industry, municipal governance, family development, and advocacy for peace. I was truly inspired by their accomplishments and I know that I speak on behalf of all residents of the province when I thank them for their dedication to improving the lives of those around them.”
As Chancellor of the Order, the Lieutenant Governor presented an insignia of the Order, a stylized pitcher plant, to each inductee, as well as a miniature of the insignia, a lapel pin and a certificate signed by the Chancellor and embossed with the Seal of the Order.
The first investiture took place in 2004. Nominations for the next induction into the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador may be made until January 31, 2013. Any person or group may nominate an individual for recognition by the Order. The Order of Newfoundland and Labrador Advisory Council selects members to be invested into the Order after considering all nominations received.
Following are profiles of each inductee to the Order:
Janet Cox, O.N.L., R.N., S.C.M.
A registered nurse and certified midwife, Janet Elizabeth Cox first came from England in 1970 to work at the Charles S. Curtis Memorial Hospital in St. Anthony. She began her nursing career in this province as a staff nurse and midwife on the obstetrical unit and later went on to attain diplomas in Outpost Nursing and Public Health Nursing from Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia. She later served in various capacities throughout the Labrador-Grenfell catchment area, as well as along the Lower North Shore of Quebec.
During these years, Ms. Cox lived in small, very isolated coastal communities where she provided the only frontline health care presence. Over the course of her service in these communities she came to realize the very great impact that specific types of cancer were having on certain families. Her relationship with the families, her detective work and her careful research and documentation of their medical histories led Ms. Cox to conclude that there was a genetic cause to the high incidence and premature mortality from colon cancer – Hereditary Non-Polyposis Colon Cancer (HNPCC). Members of families with this genetic cause are at risk of developing not only colon cancer at a young age but also many other types of cancers. In consultation with Dr. William Fitzgerald, she set about introducing screening programs for those at highest risk. This resulted in the discovery and surgical removal of many cancers at an early, even pre-cancerous, stage.
What started as a registry of cases documented on index cards filed in shoe boxes has evolved into a computer-based program. Ms. Cox’s leadership in moving such studies from the realm of clinical research to practical clinical care has had a profound impact on the lives of countless patients and their families.
Ms. Cox was not only instrumental in establishing this life saving screening program but she takes an active role in the day-to-day administration of the program. She arranges client appointments, accommodations, diagnostic studies and even social entertainment for those travelling to St. Anthony. She goes above and beyond to get to know every patient and today, more than 700 individuals are involved in the screening program.
Her patients and the communities she serves continue to receive high-quality clinical and genetic services. The model that she developed of providing comprehensive and fully integrated family-based services was the basis for the 2010 introduction of a similar program province-wide.
Janet Cox is a caring, compassionate professional and a team player with a winning personality. She takes pride in her calling and is a strong advocate for the interests and well-being of each of her patients.