Dr. Joyce Madigane, a prominent figure in rural health care in western P.E.I. for nearly 40 years, has died.

Dr. Joyce Madigane

Dr. Joyce Madigane went on medical leave in January, and was being treated for cancer. (CBC)

Madigane, who was based in Tyne Valley, went on medical leave last month and had been receiving treatments for cancer. Madigane moved to P.E.I. from Zimbabwe nearly 40 years ago. She was a strong defender of rural health care services in the province.

Madigane received the Order of Prince Edward Island, the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal, the Tyne Valley Citizen of the Year Award and was named the Elder of the Year in 2010 by the Lennox Island First Nation.

She was also named one of the Top 25 Immigrants by Canadian Immigrant Magazine in 2010.

Community leaders and politicians are expressing sadness about the news.

Premier Robert Ghiz said Madigane was known for her dedication to health care and noted that over many years, she developed a special relationship with the Lennox Island First Nation community.

Opposition leader Steven Myers said her contributions to the Tyne Valley area will not be forgotten.