Faculty, alumna honoured by YWCA

Two UBC faculty members and a former Alma Mater Society (AMS) executive member are among the 10 women recognized for their achievements in the Vancouver YWCA's Women of Distinction awards.

Dr. Gillian Lockitch, a professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, won in the Science and Technology category.

Lockitch is an expert in the complex biochemistry of babies, children and pregnant women and wrote the definitive reference on the biochemistry of pregnancy. The handbook shows how the normal values of body chemicals change during different stages of pregnancy. This information is used by laboratories and physicians to decide if laboratory tests indicate possible health problems.

A faculty member since 1978, Lockitch also promoted the use in B.C. of a simple blood test that helps women evaluate whether the risk of amniocentesis is warranted, decreasing by two-thirds the number of these tests in women aged 35 years or older.

Leora Kuttner, a clinical associate professor in the Pediatrics Dept., was chosen in the Health and Wellness category for her work in managing pain in children.

A clinical psychologist, Kuttner has encouraged the medical profession to consider the psychological needs of sick children when planning their medical treatment. She has developed pain management programs at B.C.'s Children's Hospital and Canuck Place, a hospice for children with life-threatening illnesses.

Her documentary film, "No Fears, No Tears: Children with Cancer Coping with Pain," has been translated into four languages and is used extensively by universities in training medical and nursing students.

The Young Women of Distinction award went to alumna Leah Costello (BA'95), who was president of the UBC Entrepreneurs Club from 1993 to 1994 and is now owner of Silver Spoon Catering Inc., a company she founded at age 22.

Costello, who was also co-ordinator of External Affairs at the AMS, recently co-founded the Young Entrepreneurs Association of B.C. She has promoted youth in business through speaking engagements at high school career fairs and media appearances. She serves as a mentor with two regional support groups for young women in business and is an active member of the Vancouver Board of Trade.