Doctor lauded for work with pregnant women battling addiction

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A London physician is being lauded by the umbrella group for Ontario’s family doctors for her work with pregnant women facing addictions.

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Dr. Laura Lyons has been named a 2021 Regional Family Physician of the Year by the Ontario College of Family Physicians after being nominated by other doctors in the London region.

“I feel very grateful for being nominated,” Lyons said. “I work with great people. . . . You can’t do this kind of work without people who feel the same way you do.”

In addition to her family medicine practice and associate professor work at Western University’s Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, Lyons reaches approximately 50 pregnant women each year who are dealing with addictions.

“It wasn’t something I set out to do, but it was responding to a need that I felt was there,” she said.

“For women who are struggling with substance abuse disorders, when they get pregnant, it’s a great opportunity to support them because they really have a readiness to make change in their lives. . . . It’s such an important time to have really robust services to support them because it could be life-changing.”

The award is presented to seven family doctors across Ontario who offer exemplary care to their patients and contribute to excellence in their field. Lyons is the award recipient for the Erie St. Clair and South West health regions, an area from Windsor and Sarnia and Elgin County to Tobermory.

“Her dedication to advancing women’s health and addiction medicine has had a tremendous impact in the London community, and I am delighted to recognize her contributions with this award,” Ontario College of Family Physicians president Elizabeth Muggah said in a statement.

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