Dr. Stephanie Butterworth and Dr. Tom Butterworth find mutual support and teamwork as siblings-turned-co-workersNational Siblings Day is a special day dedicated to celebrating the unique bond that exists between siblings. On this day, people across the country take the time to honour the relationship they share with their brothers and sisters. Many of the talented HSC Winnipeg staff become like family to each other. For Dr. Tom Butterworth and Dr. Stephanie Butterworth, they are proud to say that they are family—and that their sibling bond has been further strengthened by their shared passion for health care.
The pair has grown closer over the years, particularly after studying medicine. “What 16-year-old girl wants to be friends with her annoying 10-year-old brother?” laughs Dr. Tom Butterworth who worked in HSC’s Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU) during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and will be starting the Royal College Anesthesiology Program at HSC in July. “We’re close now—everything I knew about Stephanie growing up, her interests, skills, and personality, have led to her being an outstanding palliative care doctor. She cares for her patients deeply. We bounce ideas off each other all the time, and it’s great to have a sibling to talk to.”
As Dr. Tom Butterworth explains, in the medical field, having someone to share your experiences with is essential, given the job’s demands. “No matter what capacity you’re in, working in health care is tough, and it helps to have someone to support you.”
The topic of health care is frequently raised at Butterworth gatherings—the Butterworth family has a long-standing tradition of excellence in the field. Dr. Gary Butterworth, the siblings’ father, has been an optometrist for 39 years, while their mother, Tannis Butterworth, recently retired after a 30-year career as a pharmacist. The family’s medical legacy extends even further back, to the siblings’ maternal grandfather, who was one of the earliest physicians in Thompson, Manitoba.
“Whenever you get a group of doctors together, we tend to talk shop a lot,” says Dr. Stephanie Butterworth, who delivers compassionate care at HSC Winnipeg and throughout the province. “Luckily for us, our brother Michael is an amazing architect; he’s incredibly creative and talented and is very good at redirecting the conversation with interesting facts about the creation of local buildings to get us off the medical train.”
Although the siblings now work in different specialties at HSC, they are happy to have had the opportunity to work together in Swan River earlier in their careers.
“One of the things I admire most about Tom is how genuine he is, and that comes across in his work,” says Dr. Stephanie Butterworth. “You can tell how much he cares about his patients and the quality of care that he provides.”
From family medicine to palliative care to anesthesiology, this sibling duo has worked in and with countless specialties all over our province; an experience which has highlighted for them the importance of supporting health care at HSC Winnipeg.
“Our jobs aren’t possible without donor support to close any gaps in funding,” says Dr. Tom Butterworth. “A massive thank you to HSC Foundation donors.”
Dr. Stephanie Butterworth echoes her brother’s sentiments. “Health care is such a team-based approach. And part of that is needing the support to provide the best care to Manitobans. I get to meet a lot of HSC teams and see the great work being done thanks to donor support. Any help Manitobans can give so that HSC’s doctors can continue to provide that quality of care in Manitoba’s main tertiary care hospital is vital.”
Thank you to all of the donors who support the work that talented health care professionals like the Butterworths are providing at HSC Winnipeg. Please donate to the HSC Foundation through our donation page, or call 204-515-5612 or 1-800-679-8493 (toll-free).
By Heather Milne