October Cedar Award: Dr. Sharon Vipler

This month, the Department recognizes Clinical Associate Professor Dr. Sharon Vipler for the Cedar Award. Thank you to Dr. Nitasha Puri for submitting the nomination! Read below for what Nitasha has to say about her friend and colleague:

Sharon is one of a kind. She humbly applies her skills and talents, all while sharing her heart and herself with patients, learners and colleagues. She is gifted with an immense amount of talent, and despite the lack of need for any recognition, I hope that she knows how much her work and her offerings are appreciated.

Sharon is an outstanding teacher and leader. She has transformed the way that addiction care is provided across the vast Fraser Health region by restructuring the department internally, shifting care models to rapid access and evidence-informed approaches, ensuring that funding is allocated to populations who otherwise were not receiving funding, and most notably, advocating at the provincial level for more evidence-informed and effective addiction medicine practices. She is wise, thoughtful and articulate when it comes to designing and advocating for various services and approaches across the system. I go to her as a leader, as a professional mentor, as a clinical mentor and as a friend.

When it comes to teaching, I don’t know anyone else who is more passionate about ensuring that learners leave rotations with knowledge and empowerment. Beyond teaching the basics of medicine, Sharon shares her clinical pearls and stories in order to shape learners’ thinking, approaches and practice style. In essence, she teaches what can’t be taught in a book. She is inspiring, kind, open-hearted, curious and one of the best teachers I have ever met.

About Sharon

Dr. Sharon Vipler completed her medical degree at the University of British Columbia and her family medicine residency at the University of Alberta.  She is a diplomat in the American Board of Addiction Medicine. She is currently the Program Medical Director and Regional Department Head of Addiction Medicine and Substance Use Services in the Fraser Health Authority in British Columbia. Clinically, she works in a wide spectrum of addiction medicine settings in the Lower Mainland.

Congratulations, Sharon!