2020 Award Winners

2020 Arthur M. Sutherland Award and Memorial Lecture Winner

Dr. Paul Jacobsen (USA) 

The Arthur M. Sutherland Award honors an IPOS or psycho-oncology community member with a lifetime achievement in the field of psycho-oncology. This is a late career award and recognizes sustained and distinguished output in psycho-oncology over their whole career. This is the Society’s most important award and reflects the international standing of the recipient.

Dr. Paul Jacobsen received his Ph.D. in Psychology (Clinical) from Michigan State University and subsequently completed a post-doctoral fellowship in Psychosocial Oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. He is currently an Associate Director in the U.S. National Cancer Institute’s Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences where he directs the Healthcare Delivery Research Program. In this position, he leads a team whose mission is to advance innovative research to improve the delivery of cancer-related care to patients, families, and communities. Before entering government service, Dr. Jacobsen served as Chair of the Department of Health Outcomes and Behavior, and later as Associate Center Director for Population Science at the Moffitt Cancer Center. Over the past 30 years, his research has focused on using knowledge from the behavioral and social sciences to understand and address quality of life and quality of care issues in oncology. Dr. Jacobsen is a past recipient of the Trish Green Award for Excellence in Quality of Life Research from the American Cancer Society, the Jimmie Holland Distinguished Leadership Award from the American Psychosocial Oncology Society (APOS), and the Bernard Fox Memorial Award from the International Psycho-Oncology Society (IPOS). He is also a past president of APOS and served in several capacities on the board of IPOS.

2020 Jimmie Holland Memorial Award Winner

Dr.  Chioma Asuzu (Nigeria)

The Jimmie Holland Memorial Award honors an IPOS or psycho-oncology community member recognized for making a unique contribution considered to be a highly creative or pioneering innovation or activity that advances the field of Psycho-oncology. The award is unique in its recognition as Jimmie Holland as a pioneer and chief innovator of our time, as well as recognizes her enormous contribution as mentor.

Chioma Asuzu is a clinical psychologist and professor in the Department of Counselling, and Human Development Studies, University of Ibadan. She is jointly appointed in the Unit of Psycho-oncology, Department of Radiation Oncology of the College of Medicine, University of Ibadan. She is also a specialist adviser in psycho-oncology at the University College Hospital, Ibadan.  Prof. Asuzu is the founding president of both the Psycho-Oncology Society of Nigeria (POSON) as well as of the Association for Psycho-Oncology in Africa (APOA). She has contributed to society by pioneering in the area of psycho-oncology in both Nigeria and Africa as a whole; and expanding this new area of psychology through her teaching, research and community services which are within and outside of Nigeria. She has also developed and is running the MSc in psycho-oncology in the university. She is currently the Vice President (West Africa) of the African Organization for Research and Training in Cancer (AORTIC) and the first African to be voted into the board of the International Psycho-Oncology Society (IPOS). She is married to Professor Michael Asuzu, a community physician and epidemiologist. They have 5 children She is a Catholic Christian and belongs to some church societies such as Christian mothers association of which she is the current national President, Family life education and sacred heart of Jesus and Immaculate of Mary.

2020 Bernard Fox Memorial Award Winner

Dr. Mary Jane Esplen (Canada) 

The Bernard Fox Memorial Award honors an IPOS or psycho-oncology community member who has made an outstanding contribution in education or research to the field of psycho-oncology. The primary focus is on the academic and educational output of the nominee.

Dr. Esplen, is a Full Professor and Vice-Chair, Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto and Scientist and Clinician at the University Health Network. She developed and is the inaugural Executive Director of the de Souza Institute, University Health Network in Toronto- a Knowledge Translation Centre focusing on education for health professionals in oncology and/ or palliative care. To date more than 16,000 health professionals have taken programs from de Souza.  She has held prior Career Scientist awards from CIHR and NCIC for her research program in the field of psychosocial oncology and genetic testing, conducting research on the psychosocial impact of having cancer and / or of genetic testing. Her research program focuses on the design and testing of group psychotherapeutic interventions or psychological scales to address coping challenges or body image among various cancer populations, psychological screening needs or to strategies to address grief and loss. As an example, she has developed a psychological screening tool for genetic testing and a series of self- concept scales to capture specific impacts related to being a gene mutation carrier. Dr. Esplen gives numerous keynotes and workshops in range of topics psychosocial care to prevention and palliative care. Dr. Esplen is a past President of the Canadian Association of Psychosocial Oncology (CAPO) and received CAPO’s lifetime achievement award for her contribution to the field of Psycho-oncology.

2020 Noemi Fisman Award for Lifetime Clinical Excellence Winner

Dr. Jong-Heun Kim (South Korea) 

The Noemi Fisman Award for Lifetime Clinical Excellence honors an IPOS or psycho-oncology community member in recognition of outstanding clinical contributions to the field of psycho-oncology. He/she must have served for a major proportion of his/her career as a clinician and be able to demonstrate novel, beneficial and substantial initiatives impacting directly on the care of patients and his/her families either through their own practice or practice developments.

Jong-Heun Kim, M.D. is the Director of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science in National Cancer Center Korea. He is the president of the Korean Psycho-Oncology Society (2019~2020) and the former president of the Korean Psychosomatic Society (2017~2018). He was a visiting scientist at University of California San Diego (2006~2007) and the National Cancer Center Japan (2018). He played a pivotal role in developing the Korean guidelines of distress management with a grand from the Korean government (2008). Dr. Kim translated the book ‘The Human Side of Cancer’ written by Jimmie Holland into Korean (2014), and edited the first Korean textbook of psycho-oncology, ‘Introduction to Psycho-Oncology (2019)’, written by 15 members of the KPOS. He introduced a communication skills training (CST) for oncologists and nurse at the NCC Korea in 2008. Dr. Kim and his colleagues directed the course more than 40 sessions of CST courses until now. He has also been the chief professor of the Advanced Program for Psycho-Oncology (APPO) at the NCC Korea since 2015. Internationally, Dr. Kim was a member of the Section on Psycho-Oncology and Palliative Care in the World Psychiatric Association (2006 ~ 2008). He represents the Republic of Korea also in IPOS federation and Asian Pacific Psycho-Oncology Network (APPON).

2020 Hiroomi Kawano New Investigator Award Winner

Dr. Joanna Fardell (Australia)

The Hiroomi Kawano New Investigator Award honors a new investigator for outstanding research contributions in the field of psycho-oncology and is an early career award. Candidates must be within seven years of active work in psycho-oncology after completing his/her postgraduate, fellowship or equivalent specialist training (defined as a PhD or MD or equivalent). This award is sponsored by the Hiroomi Kawano Foundation in Japan.

Joanna is a registered Psychologist, and completed a Psychology Honours Degree, Masters in Clinical Neuropsychology and PhD in Psychology/Neuroscience. She is Deputy Head of the Behavioural Sciences Unit (BSU), Sydney Children’s Hospital, a Research Fellow for the Kids Cancer Project and Lecturer for the School of Women’s and Children’s Health, Faculty of Medicine, UNSW, Sydney Australia. Joanna has diverse research and clinical experiences across psycho-oncology. She completed a “bench” PhD in Psychology/Neuroscience in chemotherapy induced cognitive deficits, where her research established the potential for exercise to ameliorate chemotherapy induced cognitive deficits. She has since moved into more clinically “bedside” focused research on fear of cancer recurrence, contributing to the ConquerFear model of treatment for fear of cancer recurrence, its theoretical underpinnings and issues on measurement of fear of cancer recurrence. More recently, Joanna’s research has focused on the social and educational impact of paediatric and adolescent cancer. For the past 3 years she has led two large studies investigating the educational impact of child and adolescent cancer on education and social-cognitive outcomes, and has attracted over >$4M towards these projects. In her current role, her mission is to translate scientific findings into change at both the practice and policy levels. She has worked closely with Australian government departments of Health and Education to establish Australian school re-entry service guidelines for children with cancer, and contributed to the new Australian model of care for adolescents with cancer. Recognising her emerging expertise, Joanna sits on local and national committees for advancing knowledge translation in paediatric and adolescent health. She supervises PhD, Masters and Honours students across Psychology and Medicine, and is committed to researcher development in Psycho-Oncology.


2020 Award Submissions

Details on the five (5) prestigious awards are provided below.

Awards will be presented at the 22nd Annual World Congress in Kyoto, Japan.

The 2020 IPOS Award Call for nominations is now closed. We received nominations in all award categories. Judging is now underway. We are aiming to announce the winners in the first week of March.

See LIST OF PAST Award Recipients →

Awards Criteria

  • All award nominations must include a completed and signed nomination form, a letter of nomination from the nominator, two letters of support for the nomination from other individuals to whom the nominee is known, the curriculum vitae or resume of the nominee, and any additional paperwork required by the specific award for which the individual is being nominated.
  • Award recipients must be available to attend the IPOS World Congress at which the award is to be presented.
  • For all awards, consideration may be given for travel reimbursement and/or registration fee waiver, if required.
  • Each award shall have a peer review panel consisting of at least: (a) one previous recipient of the award, (b) one member of the Federation, and (c) one member of the Awards Committee.
  • An award recipient may receive only one Society award in any calendar year.
  • No recipient of an IPOS Award shall be eligible for nomination to a second or subsequent award within a period of 10 years from the date of their previous award.
  • The Society Treasurer shall review, ratify where required and advise on all financial recommendations and requests made by the Awards Committee.
  • Specific criteria for each award are identified below.

List of Awards

Jimmie Holland Memorial Award

The Jimmie Holland Memorial Award honors an IPOS or psycho-oncology community member, recognized for making a unique contribution that is considered to be a highly creative or pioneering innovation or activity that advances the field of Psycho-oncology. The award is unique in its recognition of Jimmie Holland as a pioneer and chief innovator of our time, as well as for her enormous contribution as a mentor. 

This award is considered for nominees within early to senior levels of careers with documentation and support to provide clear evidence of what is “visionary or outside the box” about the activity and how it represents an outstanding idea or activity or line of work, within the chosen area of the field of psycho-oncology.

It is important that the nominator provide evidence in his/her letter of recommendation that the nominee meets the criteria. In addition, the nominator needs to provide two further letters of recommendation from other individuals to whom the nominee is known which, provides evidence that the nominee meets these criteria. 

The award recipient will be extended:

  1. 2020 Jimmie Holland Memorial Award Plaque.
  2. Invited to do a 5 minute presentation related to recipients specific enterprise or vision. Presentation will be during the President's Plenary at the 2020 IPOS World Congress.
  3. Complimentary Conference Registration.
Submission Requirements:
  • IPOS nomination form, signed by nominee
  • Letter of nomination from the nominator, specifying why the nominee meets the award description above
  • Two letters of support from other individuals to whom the nominee is known, also specifying why the nominee meets the award description above.


Arthur M. Sutherland Award and Memorial Lecture

The Arthur M. Sutherland Award honors an IPOS or psycho-oncology community member with a lifetime achievement in the field of psycho-oncology. This is a late career award and recognizes sustained and distinguished output in psycho-oncology over their whole career. This is the Society’s most important award and reflects the international standing of the recipient.

The recipient will have achieved international recognition for his/her work and be considered to have contributed important innovations to the field of psycho-oncology. Quantity of output is less important than evidence of international standing and innovation across an individual’s whole career. It is important that the nominator provides evidence in their letter of recommendation that the nominee meets these criteria. In addition, the nominator needs to provide two further letters of recommendation from other individuals to whom the nominee is known, which provide evidence that the nominee meets these criteria.

This award will be presented at the next IPOS World Congress of Psycho-Oncology. The award recipient will be invited to present an overview on a topic related to their research as part of a plenary session of the IPOS World Congress. 

The award recipient will be extended:

  1. 2020 Arthur M. Sutherland Award and Memorial Lecture Glass Award,
  2. Opportunity to do a 15-minute presentation that overviews a topic related to their research as part of a plenary session at the 2020 IPOS World Congress,
  3. Complimentary Conference Registration,
  4. Travel reimbursement plus two nights hotel.
  5. Additionally, the Sutherland Award recipient may be invited to publish an article in the NEW official journal of IPOS, Journal of Psychosocial Oncology Research and Practice, at the discretion of the journal’s Editorial Board. 
Submission Requirements:
  • IPOS Award Nomination Form, signed by the nominee
  • Nominee’s curriculum vitae or resume
  • Letter of nomination from the nominator, specifying why the nominee meets the award description above
  • Two letters of support from other individuals to whom the nominee is known, also specifying why the nominee meets the award description above


Bernard Fox Memorial Award

The Bernard Fox Memorial Award honors an IPOS or psycho-oncology community member who has made an outstanding contribution in education or research to the field of psycho-oncology. The primary focus is on the academic and educational output of the nominee.

This is a mid to late career award, and the nominee may work as an educator, as a researcher and/or provide clear evidence of being a leader in his/her chosen area of psycho-oncology. It is important that the nominator provides evidence in his/her letter of recommendation that the nominee meets these criteria. In addition, the nominator needs to provide two further letters of recommendation from other individuals to whom the nominee is known, which provide evidence that the nominee meets these criteria.

This award will be presented at the next IPOS World Congress of Psycho-Oncology.

The award recipient will be extended:

  1. 2020 Bernard Fox Memorial Glass Award.
  2. Invited to do a 15 minute presentation that overviews a topic related to their research as part of a plenary session at the 2020 IPOS World Congress.
  3. Complimentary Conference Registration.
  4. Travel reimbursement plus two nights hotel.
Submission Requirements:
  • IPOS Award Nomination Form, signed by the nominee
  • Nominee’s curriculum vitae or resume
  • Letter of nomination from the nominator, specifying why the nominee meets the award description above
  • Two letters of support from other individuals to whom the nominee is known, also specifying why the nominee meets the award description above

Noemi Fisman Award for Lifetime Clinical Excellence

The Noemi Fisman Award for Lifetime Clinical Excellence honors an IPOS or psycho-oncology community member in recognition of outstanding clinical contributions to the field of psycho-oncology. He/she must have served for a major proportion of his/her career as a clinician and be able to demonstrate novel, beneficial and substantial initiatives impacting directly on the care of patients and his/her families either through their own practice or practice developments.

Candidates must be licensed and have been actively practicing in the field of clinical psycho-oncology for a minimum of 20 years. The award focuses on the distinctive contribution made in developing services to patients and families. Innovation and sustained successful clinical service of outstanding character should be what distinguishes the recipient of this award. It is important that the nominator provide evidence in his/her letter of recommendation that the nominee meets these criteria. In addition, the nominator needs to provide two further letters of recommendation from other individuals to whom the nominee is known, which provide evidence that the nominee meets these criteria.

This award will be presented at the IPOS World Congress of Psycho-Oncology. 

The award recipient will be extended:

  1. 2020 Noemi Fisman Award for Lifetime Clinical Excellence Glass Award.
  2. Invited to do a 5 minute presentation on your work during a plenary session at the 2020 IPOS World Congress.
  3. Complimentary Conference Registration.

Submission Requirements:

  • IPOS Award Nomination Form, signed by the nominee
  • Nominee’s curriculum vitae or resume
  • Letter of nomination from the nominator, specifying why the nominee meets the award description above
  • Two letters of support from other individuals to whom the nominee is known, also specifying why the nominee meets the award description above

Hiroomi Kawano New Investigator Award

The Hiroomi Kawano New Investigator Award honors a new investigator for outstanding research contributions in the field of psycho-oncology and is an early career award. Candidates must be within seven years of active work in psycho-oncology after completing his/her postgraduate, fellowship or equivalent specialist training (defined as a PhD or MD or equivalent). This award is sponsored by the Hiroomi Kawano Foundation in Japan.

The award is linked to professional attainment rather than to age. Recipients are distinguished by the level and quality of research output at this early career stage. It is important that the nominator provides evidence in his/her letter of recommendation that the nominee meets these criteria. In addition, the nominator needs to provide two further letters of recommendation from other individuals to whom the nominee is known, which provide evidence that the nominee meets these criteria.

This award will be presented at the IPOS World Congress of Psycho-Oncology. The award recipient may be asked to provide a brief overview of his/her work (5 minutes) at the IPOS World Congress.

The award recipient will be extended:

  1. 2020 Hiroomi Kawano New Investigator Glass Award.
  2. Invited to do a 5 minute presentation on your work during a plenary session at the 2020 IPOS World Congress.
  3. Complimentary Conference Registration.

Submission Requirements:

  • IPOS Award Nomination Form, signed by the nominee
  • Nominee’s curriculum vitae or resume, with details of specific termination dates of degrees and post-graduate training
  • Letter of nomination from the nominator, who must be an Active Member of IPOS or a full member of any national psycho-oncology society, specifying why the nominee meets the award description above
  • Two letters of support from other individuals to whom the nominee is known, also specifying why the nominee meets the award description above
  • A statement from the nominee, not to exceed 500 words, that highlights significant research accomplishments in the area of psycho-oncology
  • Copies of up to four publications that represent the candidate’s research work


Society Distinguished Life Fellowship Award

The Society Distinguished Life Fellowship Award recognizes extraordinary and notable contributions to the organization and success of IPOS. This award is only for one who has made a singular contribution to the Society and its work. The Distinguished Life Fellowship Award is limited to past or present IPOS members.

The award shall carry with it Honorary Life Membership in IPOS, with a special plaque for the fellow. The award shall also include waived IPOS membership dues and the possibility of waived World Congress registration fees at the Congress at which the award is presented. Nominees should be, or have been, members of IPOS for at least 10 years and are not eligible if not a member within the past five years.

Nominations for this award can only be made by the IPOS Board of Directors.


The IPOS Awards Committee shall select recipients of IPOS awards. If no suitable nominations are received, no awards will be given.


President’s Community Award for Distinguished Contributions to IPOS

The President’s Community Award for Distinguished Contributions to IPOS is a discretionary award that is made to an individual, group or organization in the community that, in the opinion of the Board has made an outstanding contribution of great significant to the Society.

  • Nominations are made by a member of the IPOS Board and all nominations must be seconded by two members of the Board and approved by a two-thirds of the Board.
  • Given the special nature of this award, it is envisaged that it will be awarded only occasionally.
  • The awardee shall receive a plaque and citation from the Board and s/he (or a representative, if an organization is the recipient) shall be invited to receive these at the World Congress. Congress fees maybe be waived on this occasion.

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