Pacific Blue Cross CEO honoured with 2024 YWCA Women of Distinction Award

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Sarah Hoffman received the award in the category of Business & the Professions for her commitment and efforts towards removing barriers to health equity.

Every year, YWCA Metro Vancouver hosts the Women of Distinction Awards, a fundraising event to celebrate individuals and organizations whose outstanding activities and achievements contribute to the wellbeing and future of our communities. The 41st edition’s recipients were announced on the evening of May 13, 2024 with over a thousand guests celebrating the 106 nominees across 12 categories.

We’re proud to announce that our President and CEO, Sarah Hoffman is the recipient of a 2024 YWCA Women of Distinction award in the category of Business & the Professions. Sarah was nominated following a transformative first year at Pacific Blue Cross, during which she spearheaded the organization’s efforts to removing barriers to health equity and ensuring all women have access to the highest quality health care when, where and how they need it.  

Under her leadership, we collaborated with BC Women's Health Foundation for a personal health plan covering fertility treatments and adoption, a first in Canada. Sarah also led our partnership with Women's Health Research Institute to research the health experiences of midlife women, and her expertise in disability benefits is helping address challenges in equitable disability management. She also led the implementation of an award-winning DEI strategy, completed an Indigenous Works audit to become an employer of choice for Indigenous Peoples and introduced transition guidelines, supporting staff in their gender identification journeys. In 2023, Sarah helped Pacific Blue Cross introduce two innovative employee benefits: annual leave for domestic or sexual violence survivors and gender-affirming care leave.

Community Champion Award

As a legacy sponsor, Pacific Blue Cross also presented the Community Champion award. We’re proud to celebrate Michelle Di Tomaso, Co-Founder of Dense Breasts Canada, for receiving the YWCA's Community Champion Award at the 2024 YWCA Women of Distinction Awards.

Michelle’s personal journey with breast cancer led to significant changes in breast health awareness. Identifying a critical gap in breast cancer screening protocols related to breast density, her advocacy prompted significant changes with BC Cancer updating its website and implementing brochures to include breast density information. Michelle spearheaded the impactful Tell Me My Breast Density campaign, resulting in BC becoming the first province to notify women of their breast density. Michelle's dedication and leadership transformed breast cancer screening not only in BC but also catalysed significant change across Canada. Her involvement in the BC Cancer Breast Screening Working Group, participation in critical press conferences, and co-authored research in prestigious journals have revolutionized breast health practices, benefiting women nationwide.

Meet the recipients of the 2024 YWCA Women of Distinction Awards.