Breast cancer surgeon heads Mater People Awards winners

One of Australia’s leading breast cancer specialists has been awarded for his lifetime’s service to patients with Mater’s highest honour – the Catherine McAuley Medallion.

Dr Chris Pyke completed his surgical training at Mater in 1988 and since then has treated thousands of Queensland women with breast cancer.

He was one of 20 Mater People Award winners announced at a ceremony at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Dr Pyke completed surgical fellowships at the UK’s Nottingham Breast Institute and the US Mayo Clinic. He has a PhD in breast cancer risk quantification and runs one of Queensland’s major breast cancer private practices.

Mater Group Chief Executive Dr Peter Steer said it was fitting that Dr Pyke, who is Director of Medical Services at Mater Private Hospital Brisbane, was honoured during this October’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month campaign.

“No Queenslander has done more to support women with breast cancer than Chris,” Dr Steer said.

“His expertise has made a profound difference to breast cancer patients and their families.

“His multidisciplinary, team-focused approach has been inspirational for those he has worked alongside, and as the principal investigator on multiple Mater Research breast cancer studies he has helped further enhance the care patients receive today.

“Chris reflects the highest ideals of Mater and is a deserving recipient of this award.”

The Catherine McAuley Medallion honours the founder of the Sisters of Mercy, the order which opened the first Mater hospital in Brisbane in 1906.

This year’s Mater People Awards were presented to winners from across all of Mater’s four ministries – Mater Health, Mater Research, Mater Education and Mater Foundation – and winners came from Mater hospitals in South Brisbane, Springfield, Townsville, Rockhampton, Mackay and Bundaberg.

Those recognised for clinical excellence included the Mater Private Hospital Townsville Intensive Care Unit team, the Mater Private Hospital Springfield leadership team and Nurse Unit Manager Elly Engstrom, of Mater Private Hospital Mackay.

Professor Josephine Forbes was honoured for her world-leading research on diabetic kidney disease, while Dr Sarah Janssens was recognised for her role in developing Queensland’s largest public gynaecological service at Mater Mothers’ Hospital.

Mater Foundation Executive Manager of Philanthropy Lesley Ray received a Leadership Excellence award for her role in raising $17.6m in donations to support the construction of Catherine’s House for Mothers, Babies and Families – Queensland’s first integrated perinatal mental health centre.

“These awards show the extraordinary impact that Mater people make on the health and wellbeing of Queenslanders,” Dr Steer said.

“Mater is incredibly grateful to all of our winners and we congratulate them on their success.”

To see the full list of winners, click here.

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