Hi. I’m Valena!
A mother, sister, advocate, friend, and nature freak. I am thrilled to be able to add “author” to the list.
I’m a board-certified gynecologic oncologist with more than 25 years’ experience in clinical practice dedicated to improving women’s health.
I believe in making preventable women’s cancer history.
I give you my commitment to have the needed conversations today, so we all can reduce the burden of preventable women’s cancer tomorrow.
My personal compass includes my family, music, art, and nature.
My grandmother, Marion Vickerson-Wright, was one of Prince Edward Island’s first public health nurses. Her remarkable journey in the 1930’s to the University of Toronto—during a time when most women were discouraged or even denied the pursuit of education—had a profound impact on me.
My grandmother would be impressed with today’s advances in health care. However, she would adamantly voice her concerns related to public health disparities and access to care. This is the part of my inspiration for writing this book for you.
Music has been an integral part of my journey as it connects me to the most important people, places, and moments of my life.
Music tuned my ear and taught me how to listen—to myself, to others, and ultimately, to my patients. I am classically trained in piano and cello from childhood and still to love my cello lessons.
I draw inspiration from the beauty, wisdom, and healing power I find in nature. My childhood summers on the Atlantic Ocean, taught me to respect the power of the sea and the harsh lessons that Mother Nature can deliver – and that forces larger than our selves can shape our lives.
Beethoven, Moonlight Sonata, No.14 in C sharp minor, Op.27, No.2
Haydn, Cello Concerto No. 1 in C Major
Mahler, Songs of the Earth
Handel, Hallelujah! Great choruses from the Messiah
Billie Eilish, Ocean Eyes
Ben Howard, Keep Your Head Up
Jenn Grant, Dreamer from the album Orchestra for the Moon
Drake, Hotline Bling
Shawn Mendes, Wonder
The journey begins here. Now is time that we look beyond the traditional “one-size fits all” model of health care. Now is the time we are seeing the emergence of integrated lifestyle approaches and innovative design in functional medicine, healing, and health. Our effective models will bridge education, awareness, and prevention – a bridge that will require everyone’s contribution to build.
These are timely and important conversations designed to empower you to make choices that can change your life and the lives of those you love.