The Lead Governor of Liverpool Women's NHS Foundation Trust, Dorothy Zack-Willliams, has won the Merseyside Woman of the Year Award for Caring. Among her many achievements, she has led the way, locally and nationally, in tackling the brutal and illegal practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in this country.
Dorothy received her award from Ken Morris, Chairman of Liverpool Women's NHS Foundation Trust, which is a sponsor of the inspirational Merseyside Woman of the Year event. The hugely popular event honours women in a variety of categories for their outstanding and inspirational contributions in the community, education, innovation, the arts and culture and in business.
Organised annually by Women in Business, this year's ceremony was held at Liverpool's Crowne Plaza Hotel, where Dorothy said she was overwhelmed to receive the Caring Award.
"My acceptance of this award will hopefully encourage others to join me in protecting the rights of those who are vulnerable and at risk of being physically abused. I am passionate about working with the issue of Female Genital Mutilation and look forward to one day eradicating this practice.
"It is fantastic to be recognised and I am profoundly grateful to all of you who voted for me and supported me, especially Liverpool Women's Hospital and my husband. My mother died recently and I am sure she is looking down on me today and saying 'You have done well Dorothy'."
Since arriving in the city in 1970 as a trainee nurse, Dorothy has touched the lives of thousands of families with her dedication and enthusiasm in the roles of midwife, nurse, popular community health visitor and clinical specialist nurse.
She has made her mark as a health professional of a unique kind, going far beyond the call of duty to enhance people's lives and ease their suffering. She has been a true and selfless professional.
As a leading campaigner against the illegal practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) Dorothy has acted as an agent for change both in the affected communities and the wider community.
A founder member of the Liverpool Multicultural Women's Group, she has provided support and advice for families to raise awareness against this cultural practice which can result in a lifetime of pain, infertility and even life-threatening conditions. She has helped to set up a special link clinic at Liverpool Women's to support women who have endured FGM.
In her other area of expertise, sickle cell disease and inherited blood disorders, Dorothy as Clinical Nurse Specialist at Abercrombie Health Centre, single-handedly set up a clinic for those suffering with the conditions, working with patients and their families from all over the North West.
She will continue to support them following her retirement earlier this year from the local heath service. Similarly, she will continue to campaign locally and on the national stage against FGM. Said Dorothy: "My work has been a struggle and I am committed to continue to raising awareness of the cruelty of FGM to women and young girls in this country."