Lizbeth M. Kenny was born in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1957 and immigrated to Brisbane Australia at the age of 12. She earned a medical degree in 1980 from Queensland University and undertook her residency at the Royal Brisbane Hospital. She then undertook specialty training in radiation oncology in 1983 and completed this in 1987.
After nine years in private practice, she decided to return to the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital where she was appointed as a senior staff specialist in radiation oncology. In 2005 she became Director of Cancer Services for the Central Area Health Service in Queensland, which encompasses a large part of Queensland with the Royal Brisbane and Women’s as the principal tertiary and quaternary referral hospital providing many state wide services. There, Dr Kenny has been jointly responsible for developing a state wide implementation plan for cancer services, which has required clinical, bureaucratic and political buy-in. She has also established the fellowship program in radiation oncology in Queensland.
A strong advocate for multidisciplinary care, in 2002 she was elected President of the Clinical Oncological Society of Australia, an umbrella organisation with over 20 specialist, craft and tumour specific groups involved in clinical cancer care. She thus contributed to the development of the national service improvement framework for cancer. She was also Chairman of the National Assessment of Clinical Cancer Research Grants Applications from 2001 -2004 and currently serves on a number of committees for Cancer Australia.
From 2005 to 2007, Dr Kenny has been President of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists (RANZCR), with which she has been involved since attaining fellowship. She was also elected to the Radiation Oncology Faculty Board in 1995 and became Dean of the Faculty of Radiation Oncology, serving two terms in this capacity from 1998 to 2002. During her term as Dean she instigated and chaired the development of the National Strategic Plan for Radiation Oncology in Australia. In addition, she chairs the development of the Quality Program in Radiation Treatment Service Delivery.
In her capacity as President of RANZCR, Dr. Kenny has been committed to refocusing the role of radiologists as central in patient care and management. She is convinced that involving radiologists early in clinical diagnosis and management is more likely to get the correct test done properly the first time and reduce the burden on the entire medical system. Although this model of care requires major changes to legislation and practice in Australia and New Zealand, it is likely to lead to improved patient care and a reduction in unnecessary exposure.
Overseas, Dr. Kenny has served on the International Relations Committee of the European Society of Radiology and the International Advisory Board of the Radiological Society of North America. She has also been invited to become a member of the QUESTRO project for ESTRO – the European Society for Therapeutic Radiation Oncology. She has been a guest visitor to ASTRO (American Society of Therapeutic Radiation Oncology) on two occasions and a member of the International Affairs Committee to the American Society of Clinical Oncology.
She has been married to Colin since 1978 and they have two children, William and Sophie. Liz’s family remains the most important focus of her life and she is immensely grateful for their support in everything that she does.
In recognition of her exceptional achievements, especially in emphasizing the clinical role of radiology in cancer care, Dr Liz Kenny is awarded Honorary Membership of the European Society of Radiology.