Lifetime Achievement Award

This annual award honours a CAPO/ACOP member who, in the opinion of the Awards Committee and the Board of Directors of the association, has made exceptional and enduring career contributions to Psychosocial Oncology.

  • This award shall be presented to recognize a Canadian individual who, in the opinion of the Awards Committee and the Board of Directors of the association, has made exceptional and enduring career contributions to Psychosocial Oncology.

  • Eligibility is limited to members in good standing of CAPO (for at least 2 years prior to the nomination).

  • Award recipients must register and attend the annual CAPO conference (in person or virtually) in order to be eligible.
  • Nominators do not need to be CAPO members. It is the responsibility of the nominators to obtain permission from the nominee to put their name forward for the award.
  • The Lifetime Achievement Award replaces the original CAPO Award of Excellence. The winners of the original CAPO Award of Excellence are ineligible to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award.

  • Click here to view the Lifetime Achievement Award Terms of Reference.

Application Process


  • Application for the award will consist of a curriculum vitae or resume of the nominee, together with a letter of nomination and one letter of reference from individuals familiar with the nominee’s contributions. The letter of nomination will specifically state why the nominee is deserving of the award by providing evidence for how the individual has, over the course of their career, given exceptional and enduring career contributions to Psychosocial Oncology in the areas of research, education, clinical practice, and/or policy.

  • Complete nomination packages must be submitted ONLINE to the Chair(s) of the Awards Committee (c/o the CAPO office) by no later than April 28, 2023

  • Nominations and supporting documentation can be submitted in either French or English.

  • If no suitable recipients are nominated, no award will be given.

  • There is no monetary value to this award.

2022 CAPO Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient:

Dr. Maru Barerra

Dr. Barrera is a pediatric health psychologist and clinician scientist at the Hospital for Sick Children, working in pediatric oncology for 30 years. As a clinician, she has provided psychological therapy and support to thousand of children/adolescent, their caregivers and siblings in two languages English and Spanish, when needed. As a scientist, her research program has included longitudinal and cross-sectional projects, using quantitative and qualitative methodology to describe the psychosocial impact of childhood cancer diagnosis and treatment during and after treatment, and at the end of life and bereavement. She and her colleagues have developed and assessed psychosocial interventions for youth and their families managing pediatric cancer, using RCT designs. For the last 10 years Dr. Barrera and her colleagues have been examining the importance of systematic, routine, psychosocial screening and the challenges for its integration in clinical care. This research culminated in the development of a simple, measurement-based psychosocial screening-intervention, a form of precision psychosocial intervention. She has published over 150 articles in the field, and her research has been funded by national (e.g., CCSRI, CIHR, Cundill Foundation for Child and Youth Depression, Centre for Brain and Mental Health at SickKids) and international (e.g., NIH, ACS, Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer) organizations. She has been a mentor to hundreds of pre-doctoral, residency, post-doctoral and graduate students. Being a Mexican-Canadian, she has been actively involved in promoting health in the Latinx community in the metropolitan Toronto area, and in disseminating pediatric oncology psychosocial knowledge in Latino-American countries. Finally, this year, in addition to the Life Achievement Award Dr. Barrera is receiving today, she was the recipient of the Distinguished Dennis Drotar Research Award, which was awarded by the Society of Pediatric Psychology.  This is the society yearly most prestigious research award. It recognizes, honours and pay tributes to a pediatric psychologist who excel in his/her research career accomplishments, who has a meaningful and lasting impact on many pediatric psychologists around the world.

Recent winners of the Life Time Achievement award:

  • 2020 – Dr. Doris Howell (ON)

  • 2019 – Dr. Thomas Hack (MB)

  • 2018 – Dr. Gerald M. Devins (ON)

  • 2017 – Dr. Joan Bottorff (BC)

  • 2016 – Gina MacKenzie (BC)

  • 2015 – Diane Manii (ON)

  • 2013 – Dr. Scott M. Sellick (ON)

  • 2012 – Dr. Gary Rodin (ON)

  • 2011 – Dr. Mary Jane Esplen (ON)

  • 2010 – Dr. Harvey Max Chochinov (MB)

    Prior to 2010, this award was called the CAPO Award of Excellence. The prior winners of the CAPO Award of Excellence before the change in the award structure were:

  • 2009 – Esther Green (ON)

  • 2008 – Jill Taylor Brown (MB)

  • 2007 – Dr. Lesley Degner (MB)

  • 2006 – Dr. Zeev Rosberger (QC)

  • 2005 – Dr. Barry Bultz (AB)

  • 2004 – Dr. Margaret Fitch (ON)

2020 CAPO Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient:

Dr. Doris Howell

Doris Howell is a health services and supportive care researcher and was inducted into the Fellowship of the American Academy of Nursing in 2019. She completed a PhD at the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation (IHPME) in the Outcomes and Evaluation Stream, University of Toronto. She is an Emeritus Senior Scientist in the Division of Supportive Care, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre Research Institute and Adjunct Professor (status), Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing with a cross-appointment in IHPME & Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto. She is also an Affiliate Scientist with the ELLICSR Health, Wellness & Cancer Survivorship Centre, University Health Network, ON.

She held appointments as the RBC Chair, Oncology Nursing Research for 15 years until 2019, as Associate Scientist at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, University of Toronto and as Co-Director of the Ontario Patient Reported Outcomes (PROs) Symptom and  Toxicity (ON-PROST) Applied Research Unit. She was also a member of the executive team for implementation of the Cancer Care Ontario symptom and distress screening program and as an executive member of the Person-Centered Perspective of the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer. As Co-Director of ON-PROST, she and Dr. Liu developed a unique bench to bedside model for selection and testing of multiple PROs across cancer populations including CTCAE and PROMIS measures; and led an implementation study of PROs in ‘real-world’ multi-site oncology practices in Ontario and Quebec. Dr. Howell continues to lead PROs research and is examining the psychosocial impact of cancer and treatment and the role of coping self-efficacy across the illness trajectory in young women with breast cancer (YWBC) as a member of the pan-Canadian RUBY longitudinal cohort study, a longitudinal study in >1200 women over 3 years. Read more...

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Psychosocial Oncology (CAPO)

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