Sadly, “Dr. Jane”, after a courageous battle with a rare and aggressive cancer, passed away February 16, 2011. Jane left her enduring mark on our world in several ways..
She was the Medical Director of the Acquired Brain Injury Program at Hamilton Health Sciences (Hamilton, Ontario, Canada) an Associate Professor at McMaster University, and Chair of the Knowledge Mobilization Committee for the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation. Most importantly, Jane developed the Paediatric Acquired Brain Injury Community Outreach Program (PABICOP) in London, Ontario in 1999 which remains an international model for serving children with acquired brain injuries and their families.
Dr. Gillett was a unique and wonderful blend of a passionate and caring physician and a fun loving and generous friend. She cared deeply for children and youth with ABI and was deeply committed to creating professional alliances and programs with national and international implications. Dr. Gillett was a natural teacher who never stopped learning from others. Over the years, she gathered around her many professionals who had varying expertise in the world of pediatric ABI. Many of us were privileged to know Jane as a friend as well as a colleague and she had a unique ability to make her colleagues her friends. Jane had a smile that could light up the room and her love of people shone through her interactions with patients, colleagues and friends. She possessed an amazing talent of bringing people who ought to know each other together. Jane was truly collaborative, both as a doctor and a leader in the brain injury community, and it is very telling that many of her colleagues became her close friends. Jane nurtured each of her relationships carefully, and then introduced us all to each other.
Thus, it was Jane, at a meeting of the International Brain Injury Association in Lisbon, who brought together several international friends to create the International Paediatric Brain Injury Society (IPBIS), with a vision to link professionals across countries to share knowledge and emerging best practices. With Dr. Gillett’s drive and motivation, a meeting was held the following year in Toronto and IPBIS became a reality…Dr. Jane Gillett’s dream. Thank you, Jane!