Remembering Dr. Vanja Holm
ormer Boyer Medical Director Who Changed Countless Lives
We celebrate the life and impact of Dr. Vanja Holm, who served as Boyer’s Medical Director for nearly 20 years, from 1976 – 1996. She was a world expert in various genetic disorders, with Prader-Willi and Rett Syndrome among her specialties. She recently passed away at the age of 92.
As a developmental pediatrician, Dr. Holm’s expertise was vast, but she was particularly talented in providing services for medically-complex children. At Boyer, she delivered care with warmth and compassion. “She respected families, and was so kind and gentle,” shares Gay Burton, Chief Program Officer, who worked with Dr. Holm for over a decade. “But she also wanted to make sure that they knew the truth of what their journey was. For some families, their child’s diagnosis could be devastating, and Dr. Holm felt they should not only be supported, but also equipped with the tools, knowledge and mindset to give them the best opportunity to thrive.”
As compassionate as she was with families, Dr. Holm was equally as supportive of Boyer’s team. “One of the many things she was great at was checking in on the staff,” shares Burton. “She advocated for continued learning, helped staff manage the emotional impact of their work, and was a trusted resource and mentor. She cared deeply for the entire Boyer community.”
Dr. Holm was also instrumental in helping Boyer solidify its interdisciplinary model, which ensures specialized and integrated services are available to families in one place. She also worked with staff to provide the comprehensive wrap around services we offer today. It is a model that Boyer is now known for, and can be attributed to her encouragement. She was a tremendous champion for not only the well-being of the child, but for the entire family.
During a time when gratitude is most important, we remember the incredible impact Dr. Holm had on Boyer’s staff, families, and the entire special needs community. Her legacy of compassionate and trusted care will live on in our hearts.