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A Salute to

Nursing H hirteen years ago when we started this contest we had no idea how our readers would respond. We just knew we wanted to honor the amazing work nurses do and give people (patients/families/colleagues) an opportunity to say thank-you. That first year we received around 40 nominations, and it has steadily grown since then. This year we are thrilled to have received a record 189 nominations. Heroism is alive and well in our health system – in spite of the many challenges that have come to light over the last year. Mainstream media in-


undates us with stories of health system failures and yes, there is definitely room for improvement and we have a long way to go in achieving health system efficiency. It is much less often we hear of a nurse who has made a difference in the lives of many, or even one. These stories don’t grab headlines. And that is why we started this contest – to share these stories of every-day heroes who have devoted their lives to helping others. I have had the pleasure of informing these winners/finalists over the last 13 years and almost every one of them has the same reaction – “I was just doing my job,” “ I am not a hero, I am just part of a really great team,” – I guess that’s part of what being a hero is – not even

re do ar he ou w hi w sio th cr he sit a T ca ne

commitment | dedication |



MAY 7-13, 2018




g Heroes m m ng efof he es hy se eng 13 as ng rt t’s en

realizing your impact on others and just doing what you do because it’s who you are. Every single nominee is a nursing hero. We have selected a few standout nominations to share – this year’s winner, Dan Chisholm has dedicated his entire career to helping patients with HIV/AIDS, providing compassionate care to a patient population that was often segregated and discriminated against. Mairlou Gagnon helped start and run a safe injection site in Ottawa in an effort to combat a startling increase in overdose deaths. These nurses are heroes working to care and advocate for extremely vulnerable patients.

Our third place winner, Angela Tsang is providing exceptional care to spinal cord injury patients while advancing research that could help these patients even more in the future. With 189 nominations, it is extremely difficult to select just a few for publication. I will be publishing more nominations online than we have space for in these pages, so please keep an eye out at If you are on the list of nominees, we would be thrilled to share your nomination with you. Please email me at As we celebrate Nursing Week across Canada, Hospital News would like to an extend a huge thank-you to H all nurses. We salute you! ■

Kristie Jones Editor, Hospital News



Dan Chisholm Casey House


Cash Prize

nd prize

Marilou Gagnon

Associate Professor, School of Nursing, University of Ottawa; Overdose Prevention Ottawa


Cash Prize


n | excellence | compassion


Angela Tsang

Vancouver Coastal Health


Cash Prize



List of Nominees

2018 Nursing Hero Awards

Alicia Bastalla, Mackenzie Health

Sylvie Bruyere, The Ottawa Hospital

Jody Battle, Bluewater Health

Susan Buchanan, University Health Network

Nilda Abila, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

Alexandra Andric, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

Daisy Aguilar, Vancouver Coastal Health

Ukamaka Aneke, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

Grace Akhigbe, Bridgepoint Active Healthcare

Bonita Aphan, Trillium Health Partners

Liz Bjorog, Sunnybrook Veterans Centre

Ann Margaret Ali, Trillium Health Partners

Liza Augustine, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

Angela Blasutti-Boisvert, The Ottawa Hospital

Verone Allen, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

Jackie Avelino, University Health Network

Kwasi Boateng, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

Teressa Allwood, 100 Mile Hospital

Selma Bajramoski, Sinai Health System

Wendy Alman, Kemptville District Hospital

Sarah Balet, Sunnybrook Veterans Centre

John Bottman, Waypoint Centre for Mental Health

Nan An Dinh, Humber River Hospital

Laura Bandstra, Markham Stouffville Hospital

Diana Beckford, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre Jean-Paul Biancoli, Humber River Hospital

Tabatha Bowers, Scarborough and Rouge Hospital Simon Bridgland, Trillium Health Partners Kim Brophy, Scarborough and Rouge Hospital Kathleen (Kate) Brown, Peterborough Regional Health Centre Lori Brown, Trillium Health Partners Viveen Brown, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

Nirmala Budhram, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health Rose Buensuceso, Bridgepoint Health Lorna Cachola, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre Dian Cairns, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health Jennifer Cao, Humber River Hospital Andra Cardow, Casey House Anastasia Carron, Bluewater Health Soni Chacko, Runnymede Healthcare Centre Simone Charles, University Health Network Dan Chisholm, Casey House Tenzin Choekey, Runnymede Healthcare Centre Marcail Christian, The Hospital for Sick Children Audrey Cianfarani, William Osler Health System

Katherine Gagnon, North Bay Regional Health Centre

Charmaine Cupid, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

Marilou Gagnon, Overdose Prevention Ottawa

Cindy Demakos, The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health Meredith Depaulsen, Scarborough and Rouge Hospital Erin Devereaux, Kemptville District Hospital Tsering Dolma, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health Gloria Dool, Alberta Health Services Rachel Downie, London Health Sciences Centre/ St. Joseph’s Health Care London Sharol Duncan, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health Jacquie Dunne, Markham Stouffville Hospital Susan Elliot, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

Dolores Gauthier, Humber River Hospital Dannis Gaynair, Sinai Health System Lynn Gilkes, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre Karen Gimenez, Trillium Health Partners Connie Gomes, Providence Care (Ontario) Norena Gonzales, Providence Health Care (BC) Brandi Grozell, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre Sherry Guchardi, Southlake Regional Health Centre Lance Hermanstyn, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health Bev Hill, Peterborough Regional Health Centre Gina Huang, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

Carla Erum, Runnymede Healthcare Centre

Janice Hurlbut, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

Aimee Esmejarda, Runnymede Healthcare Centre

Patricia Hynes, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

Shirley Eyles, Southlake Regional Health Centre

Angela Ianni, St. Joseph’s Health Care London

Elaine Con, Trillium Health Partners

Christine Finn Gillespie, Peterborough Regional Health Centre

Muna Ibrahim, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

Cheryl Cook, Brockville General Hospital

Mandy Fracassi, William Osler Health System

Nermin Ibrahim, Trillium Health Partners

Corinne Cipra, Brockville General Hospital Samantha Cizikas, Trillium Health Partners Linda Clark, Peterborough Regional Health Centre


Mariella Cortes, North York General Hospital

NATIONAL NURSING WEEK 2018 Marylou Jarvis, Vancouver Coastal Health Mary Jemmett, North Bay Regional Health Centre Amanda Jober, Stollery Children’s Hospital Courtney Johnson, Alberta Health Services Guen Kernaleguen, Alberta Health Services

Amanda ‘Mandi’ McCue, Alberta Health Services

Lisa-Lynn Ould Gallagher, Trillium Health Partners

Suzanne Shaughnessy, Peterborough Regional Health Centre

Laurie McCutcheon, Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance

Sheila Paul, Trillium Health Partners

Vlada Shcherba, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

Diana McQueen, Humber River Hospital

Anne Payne, Waypoint Centre for Mental Health

Lorraine Schubert, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

Helen Milroy, Southlake Regional Health Centre

Catharine Petta, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital

Millicent Shewraj, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

Laurie Morton, Humber River Hospital

Mary Ellen Plumite, Alberta Health Services

Alexis Siren, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

Irene Khan, The Hospital for Sick Children

Jacob Mossop, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

Magdalena (Megan) Koziel, Peterborough Regional Health Centre

Sherry Mossor, Peterborough Regional Health Centre

Liora Krinsky, Scarborough and Rouge Hospital Grace Lamarche, Cornwall Community Hospital Jennifer Lawrence, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health Rebecca Lewis, University Health Network Nan Li, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health Mu Ying Lin, Runnymede Healthcare Centre Wendy Macario, Hamilton Health Sciences Centre Claudine Maristella, Humber River Hospital Edgardo Marquez, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre Carly Martin, Providence Care (Ontario)

Annette Mukakigeri, Trillium Health Partners Anne Marie Murphy-Dagres, Providence Care (Ontario)

Ann Elizabeth Pottinger, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health Angela Poulton, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health Margie Powers, Providence Care Farzana Premji, Scarborough and Rouge Hospital

Estela Navarro, Misericordia Health Centre

Jonette Rama, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

LieutenantCommander (LCdr) Laura Neal, Canadian Armed Forces

Sirju-Boodo Rautee, Trillium Health Partners

Heather Nesbeth, Trillium Health Partners Michael Nguyen, Runnymede Healthcare Centre Kim Nichiporick, Misericordia Health Centre Valerie Noel, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health Lina Oliver, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health Ibtisam (Ibi) Osman, Humber River Hospital

Anju Regmi, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health Ana Reyes, The Ottawa Hospital

Ryan Snowdon, St. Joseph’s Health Care, Hamilton Donna Spevakow, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health Rani Srivastava, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health Jennifer Steeves, Alberta Health Services Cynthia Stephenson, Peterborough Regional Health Centre Sangeeta Sukumaran, Humber River Hospital Janice Swaby, Humber River Hospital Jennifer Symon, Alberta Health Services

The Nurse

By Roopdai Mohotoo and Nita Marcus Florence Nightingale, the lady with the lamp, Mother Theresa in the refugee camp, Caring, compassionate, gentle and kind, A more noble profession, one could not find. The nurse is the doctor's eyes and ears, Records any changes, allays patient fears, Monitors rhythms, takes vital signs Administers drugs, sets up IV lines. The nurse is highly trained in her skills, To assist in the healing of wounds and ills, In the OR, wards or critical care, Her presence unnoticed because she is always there. With devotion and pride, she nobly serves, Though pressures, demands, may fray her nerves The nurse lowly paid, in gold is her worth, For she's truly god's angel sent down to earth

Angela Tsang, Vancouver Coastal Health, Vancouver General Hospital (F) Tamding Tsomo, Runnymede Healthcare Centre Ann Ukamaka Aneke, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health Abby VanCamp, Kemptville District Hospital Janelle Van Halteren, Humber River Hospital

Paula Reynolds, Humber River Hospital

Rahel Tewelde, Runnymede Healthcare Centre

Debbie Roopnarain, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

Stephanie Thompson, Southlake Regional Health Centre

Sue Rouse, Humber River Hospital

Leah Thorp, Saskatchewan Health Authority

Carrie Webb, Southlake Regional Health Centre

Kelsang Topden, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

Stephen James Webster, Alberta Health Services

Mike Rumble, ORNGE Air Ambulance Mary Jane Scott, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

Marian Van Riel, The Ottawa Hospital Rosie Wang, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

Monika Widjaja, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health Brenda Wilks, Southlake Regional Health Centre Alisha Williams, Humber River Hospital Kyra Wilson, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health Lyndsey Wintle, St. Joseph’s Health Care, London Tracy A. Woods, Southlake Regional Health Centre Barried Xavier, Runnymede Healthcare Centre Chime Yangzom, Runnymede Healthcare Centre Juyoung Yoon, Peterborough Regional Health Centre Roebuck Yumul, Scarborough and Rouge Hospital



Dan Chisholm Casey House

n 1988, as awareness of the AIDS epidemic grew in North America, people affected were dying quickly, in large numbers and alone. While in hospital, they were isolated from everyone, even caregivers. Meal trays were left outside the room where patients could not access them. Nurses, physicians and others were so afraid of “catching” the dreaded “gay” disease that they protected themselves and left patients alone, often leaving them to die without a single soul around. It was in this context that Dan Chisholm, a young RN working at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, heard


DAN ALSO MODIFIED HIS KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND ABILITIES TO BECOME A NURSE WHO TRULY DEMONSTRATES THE DEFINITION OF THE WORDS ‘HOLISTIC CARE’ AS HE INTEGRATED BIO – PSYCHO-SOCIAL CONCEPTS INTO HIS PRACTICE of Casey House, the first freestanding hospice in Canada, for people with HIV/AIDS, and decided to join their team shortly after Casey House opened its doors in March 1988. Dan needed to go where clients would be treated like human beings and be cared for in

Stronger together When it was first proclaimed in 1985, the week designated to acknowledge nurses’ contribution to health care was called National Nurses Week. In 1993, the name changed to National Nursing Week to emphasize the profession’s accomplishments as a discipline. Canada’s nursing profession includes four regulated nursing designations. While differences exist in their scopes of practice, research suggests that strengthening collaboration between nurses and understanding the unique contributions of each nursing designation will positively impact the profession by increasing nurses’ satisfaction and improving patient outcomes. Our health system is facing significant challenges, so more than ever Canadians and health-care leaders are calling on nurses to work collaboratively and lead interprofessional health-care teams in different settings. Nurses are stronger together. The Canadian Nurses Association believes National Nursing Week offers a tremendous opportunity to recognize nurses from all domains, practice settings and designations to come together and celebrate the great work and value they bring to patients, clients and communities. Celebrate the nursing profession this week by using #YESThisIsNursing in your social media activities. Happy National Nursing Week from CNA!

Interested in getting more involved in the work of CNA or becoming a member? Visit


their final hours and days. He became one of the nurses who greeted clients with HIV/AIDS with a hug instead of a hazmat suit, which at the time was the preferred form of health care protection. Dan was an active member of the inter-professional staff team who strove to create an atmosphere where people with HIV/AIDS found acceptance, support and hands-on care; where clients and their chosen family could relax and feel welcome no matter the circumstances; where dying was a peaceful experience rather than a lonely one. Death was the only outcome in the early days of HIV/AIDs care. Clients were admitted to Casey House for one or two days, or for just a few hours prior to their death. Often clients were alone, shunned by families and society; a blur of stigma and fear. This intensive caring would also take its toll on the clinical staff; it was not uncommon in these early years for Casey House staff to support hundreds of young vibrant men who were dying.

However, Dan felt he was making a difference, not only to the clients, but also to their partners and other members of the community. If you talk to Dan, he will tell you how well he remembers the first client who recovered enough to walk out of Casey House. The introduction of ARV’s (anti retro viral medications for treating the HIV virus) were making a difference. This was a new phenomenon for staff. Now they not only had to assist clients who were palliative to die with dignity but also had to help people live with the disease. This required a different type of nursing. There were now additional issues for both the client and his clinical team. Dan, already an excellent palliative nurse now had to learn how to support individuals living with HIV as a chronic illness, to manage the systemic and often debilitating components of having a severely depressed immune system. Dan had to pursue knowledge in what the disease process was doing to the body. He learned about the new medications and how they were affecting clients, how difficult it really was to live with HIV, the impacts of aging with HIV and what the long-term exposure to treatments meant to assist recovery whilst causing significant side effects. As more and more clients were living with HIV new populations of those infected with the virus were emerging. Mental health and substance use were



Nominated by: Kathryn van der Horden BScN RN, Clinical Manager, Casey House and Karen de Prinse, MN, RN, Chief Nursing Executive, Casey House

prominent issues for the majority of clients Dan was now seeing at Casey House. Once again, Dan had to enhance and build his skill set. Dan, an excellent palliative and then medical surgical nurse mastered the skills and became an excellent mental health and substance use nurse. As the team around these HIV clients changed, Dan also modified his knowledge, skills and abilities to become a nurse who truly demonstrates the definition of the words ‘holistic care’ as he integrated bio – psycho-social concepts into his practice. Continued on page 54


THIS IS YOUR WEEK! CNA joins you in celebrating the nursing profession.


Visit for celebratory messages and videos and to see how we helped make National Nursing Week a reality!



Photo credit: James Park

Marilou Gagnon

University of Ottawa; Overdose Prevention Ottawa

have known Marilou Gagnon for 12 years. She is an award-winning nursing educator and an outstanding researcher whose program of research focuses on social justice and the advancements of the rights of marginalized communities. In addition to this, she is known for her ability to engage in public debates and bring nurses together to advocate on issues related to HIV, harm reduction, drug policy, and health equity. In recognition of her advocacy work, she has received the 2015 Outstanding Advocate Award from the Canadian Association of Nurses in HIV/AIDS Care (CANAC) and the 2018 Leadership in Political Action Award from the Reg-



SHE IS AN AWARD-WINNING NURSING EDUCATOR AND AN OUTSTANDING RESEARCHER WHOSE PROGRAM OF RESEARCH FOCUSES ON SOCIAL JUSTICE AND THE ADVANCEMENTS OF THE RIGHTS OF MARGINALIZED COMMUNITIES istered Nurses Association of Ontario (RNAO). At the end of August 2017 she joined Overdose Prevention Ottawa (OPO), a group of passionate advocates who implemented a volunteer-run overdose prevention site in downtown Ottawa. This site was

opened as a direct response to the overdose crisis and the rising number of deaths in Ottawa. Between January and October 2017, there was a 76per cent increase in overdose deaths in Ottawa (the months of July and August showed the highest numbers of overdose deaths in that year). In

response to the lack of action at the municipal and provincial levels, OPO opened the first safer consumption site in the city on August 25 with the goal of preventing overdose and overdose deaths. At the site, volunteers were trained to prevent overdoses by actively monitoring and stimulating people who were heavily sedated. They were also trained to provide first aid to people who overdose. Guests who used the site could also access naloxone, harm reduction supplies, and fentanyl testing strips. The site remained open for 78 days. Every day, volunteers would set up the site, provide the service for three hours (between 18:00-21:00) and would take down the site (see picture). Rain


or shine, volunteers repeated this process through the months of September, October and November. The site was forced to shut down on November 9 due to the weather and lack of support from local and provincial authorities. A total of 3667 visits were recorded. Naloxone and rescue breathing was used five times to resuscitate people who had overdosed and stopped breathing. In addition to this, OPO estimated that between 78-234 overdoses were prevented by actively monitoring and stimulating guests who were heavily sedated. Being the only nurse on the core organizing team, Marilou was responsible for developing protocols, securing medical supplies, training all the volunteers (more than 120), sup-


porting the volunteers (including the nurse volunteers) during their shift, and acting as the clinical lead person for questions, issues, and media interviews. She was also a key member of the team, doing on average three to four shifts a week on top of her full time position at the University of Ottawa. As a nurse volunteer with Overdose Prevention Ottawa, I can attest to the fact that her contribution was simply outstanding. She had a direct impact on hundreds of volunteers by mentoring, training, and supporting them – in addition to designing a service that worked efficiently and safely. I was most impressed by her ability to mentor other nurses who were new to harm reduction. She would sign onto shifts to


train them one-on-one and encourage them to take initiatives, ask questions, and reflect on their role as nurses. She would follow-up with them after their shifts, send regular email updates, and debrief after difficult situations. She went above and beyond to support nurses who responded to overdoses and was available 24/7 to help them cope with that experience. She also

had a direct impact on hundreds of clients who use the service by being available to answer their question, help them connect with health care providers, assessing them when they were unwell and even saving their life, which she did one more than one occasion. Continued on page 54

Nominated by: Jean Daniel Jacob, RN, PhD, Associate Professor, School of Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ottawa



Angela Tsang Vancouver Coastal Health aving worked in research for many years, I’ve always believed that research is not only an extension but a huge part of our healthcare system. In my opinion, research and healthcare professionals should not only possess competencies expected of their roles but more importantly, they should be inherently caring. First and foremost, caring about patients/clients we serve and whose existence should be central in how we shape our values and goals. We should also care about the quality of the work we produce in all aspects of the job. While it is important to be able to carry out specific duties in the most effective and efficient way possible, it is imperative that


we conduct these duties demonstrating outstanding service, integrity, and compassion. The challenge at times in an increasingly demanding environment is finding this balance and being able to ensure that caring for patients is not overlooked. Our nursing hero nominee, Angela Tsang, has certainly demonstrated this balance and has exceeded all expectations. It’s my pleasure to be given this opportunity to highlight her outstanding qualities. Angela joined the Vancouver Spine Research Program a few years ago as she started her clinical research nurse position. She came with glowing remarks from our spine surgeons who have worked with her in the OR department at Vancouver General Hos-

#YESThisIsNursing We are excited to celebrate Nursing Week with our Nurse Practitioners, RPNs, and RNs! Working in a collaborative environment, our nurses demonstrate their ongoing leadership in the specialty of mental health practice by advancing their skills through specialized training such as CBT for Psychosis to ensure our patients receive the right care for their diagnoses. They demonstrate their commitment to advancing a Recovery environment through their participation in the hospital-wide implementation of the SafeWards model, providing staff and patients with concrete interventions to support Recovery utilizing a co-designed approach and the use of the Recovery Assessment Scale to

measure our patient’s perception of their Recovery. Ontario Shores’ nurses also helped us achieve key milestones over the past year which were aimed at improving access and reducing wait times for critical mental health care services, including the opening of the new Geriatric Transitional Unit which provides specialized services for individuals with dementia that present with challenging behaviours or severe psychiatric symptomology, the growth of our ECT program, and the expansion of CBT Services. We recognize the vital role that mental health nurses play in supporting individuals, families, and communities living with mental health challenges to improve their quality of life. #YesThisIsNursing! 38 HOSPITAL NEWS MAY 2018

pital. Angela expressed her strong interest in research and in particular, the work that our spine surgeons do as clinician-scientists. The research nurse role requires not only strong competencies as a nurse, but also the ability to swiftly learn different skills and requirements of specific research studies. After just a few months of working with Angela, it was very clear that she is exceptional. She communicates effectively at a high level, in a thoughtful and organized manner. Her ability to acquire new skills and to process information is evident as she learned the many facets of research, skills that involve patients both directly and indirectly. She considers new projects and the operational challenges as learning opportunities, which she faces head-on. While it’s not surprising to many that Angela is capable of taking on many responsibilities that are especially new to her, it’s still quite fascinating to see her achievements. As her manager, it has been very rewarding for me to witness her professional and personal growth – a demonstration of “taking a role and running with it.” Her willingness to learn and openness to the dynamic nature of research has made it possible for this growth to flourish. While the more tangible skills are commendable in and of themselves, qualities such as caring and awareness are also important in healthcare. These are some characteristics and values that I personally remind everyone in our research team to put at the forefront, as we deal with our day-today activities. In Angela’s case, her inherently caring nature is evident when she interacts with patients and their families. In many cases, this initial interaction involves individuals with a very recent traumatic spinal cord inju-


ry, where a clear understanding of her role as research nurse and her innate ability to be compassionate are both required. In this acute environment involving very vulnerable patients, her ability to communicate effectively and actively listen to both the patient and the patient’s family shines. As you can imagine, it would be impossible not to be affected and touched by the individual stories and the impact of traumatic spinal cord injury. In some of our conversations, Angela recognizes how deeply sad some of these situations are and realizes how impactful it has been on her, much more than she expected. She shows empathy towards others while conducting her duties as a research nurse in a very thoughtful and organized manner. It is by achieving this balance that makes her an excellent research nurse, particularly in an environment with patients requiring complex and specialized medical care. Self-evaluating and learning about herself is a reflection of her awareness and of her personal and professional growth. In her current role, she’s able to see some patients as they go through the continuum of care – from admission to VGH to their rehabilitation and community reintegration. Like many in our Spine Program who are very passionate in providing excellent clinical care, she finds fulfillment seeing patients and their families that she has come to know, witnessing their recovery and improvement. She always conducts herself in a calm, friendly, and professional manner. She is very patient and generous with the time spent with our research participants, addressing questions and providing assistance as necessary. Dr. Marcel Dvorak, Orthopaedic Spine Surgeon, UBC Professor,


ICORD Investigator and Associate Senior Medical Director, Vancouver Acute, VCH couldn’t agree more: “Angela Tsang is a truly exception-

al nurse in both the operating room where she functions as a subspecialty spine OR nurse and on the ward and in the clinic where she is a research

nurse responsible for examining and consenting patients to clinical trials that are often initiated within hours of devastating spinal cord injuries. You can imagine that it would take a particularly compassionate, informed, and delicate communicator to discuss the participation in a clinical trial that involves withdrawing spinal fluid from patients following acute spinal cord injury. Angela has the unique ability to speak to these patients from a place of competence, knowledge blended with equal measures of compassion. This is a particularly remarkable and unique skill that enables her to go beyond the call of duty every time she takes “research call” for our spine research studies. Dr. Brian Kwon, Orthopaedic Spine Surgeon, UBC Professor, ICORD Investigator and Canada Research Chair in Spinal Cord Injury had this to say: “Angela is the consummate professional in all aspects of her nursing role.

In the operating room, she is second to none in her knowledge of the surgical procedures and technology. When working on spine, she became more familiar with how to operate the surgical navigation system better than some of the spine surgeons! In her research role, she is instrumental in the conducting of clinical trials in acute spinal cord injury. She has mastered the role of talking to families in this time of crisis and providing them invaluable information about their spinal cord injury and related research. She has even taken a leading role in talking to patients with spinal cord injuries who are dying about donating their spinal cords for research after they pass. These are extremely sensitive discussions and Angela has been an outstanding resource for patients and their families. In so many ways (both clinically and in research) she has gone far and above her call of duty and is an inspiration H to many.” ■

Nominated by Allan Aludino, Research Program Manager, Vancouver Spine Research Program, UBC/VCH

Thank you to our nurses at Ontario Shores for supporting and empowering our patients through their recovery journey. #YESThisIsNursing!


Trillium Health Partners



#YesThisIsNursing May 7 - 11, 2018

National Nursing Week is a time to acknowledge the commitment, dedication and professionalism that our nurses bring to their practice each and every day as they provide exceptional patient care. Our more than 3,900 nurses at Trillium Health Partners wish to thank the allied health professionals, physicians, support staff, volunteers and learners who work together with them as partners in creating a new kind of health care, grounded in the values of compassion, excellence and courage. We are proud to work together as part of a team!

Better Together


Guen Kernaleguen Alberta Health Services uen is an enterostomal therapy nurse, often called a wound care nurse, at the Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton, Alberta. When Guen explains to patients and families what she does, she says she deals with “bummies on the tummy” (intestines out of the stomach), g-tubes, sore bums, and wounds. What makes Guen unique is that she is the only enterostomal therapy nurse at the Stollery, providing care throughout the site, from intensive care to ambulatory clinics. While most nurses are specific to a unit, program, or area of a hospital, Guen provides care for all inpatients and outpatients who require wound care. While working in adult care, Guen became interested in wound care. She took an 18 month course and became registered with the Canadian Association for Enterostomal Therapy. After completing her training, she transitioned to paediatric care at the Stollery in 2014. Since then, she has also completed her clinical masters in wound healing. Every day for Guen is as different as the patients and families she cares for. Each time she meets with a family there is a lot of education to help patients and families learn methods and tricks that can make their lives easier. As a wound care nurse, she maximizes patient/family self-care through one-on-one education and consultation. She also does a lot of healthcare provider teaching with bedside nurses and physicians, and collaborates with inter-disciplinary team members on a daily basis. With complex wounds, there are many things that need to be considered for children. Pain tolerance


TOP is lower for patients, so understanding how to accommodate each child is different, and can take a lot of time and understanding. Physicians time some of their interventions so that Guen can be included – she believes timing things around what works best for the family will lead to better outcomes for the entire care team, including the family. While Guen can be found throughout the hospital, she spends a significant amount of time in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) and Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (PCICU), working with some of the most complex pediatric cases at the Stollery.


When asking her colleagues if she is worthy of a nursing hero award, Dr. Vijay Anand, pediatric cardiac intensivist, was quick to vote for her. “Guen works around the clock, is the only person on call for what she does, and she takes care of the entire hospital. She is always available, willing to meet to discuss patients, and if she doesn’t already know the answer to your wound-care questions, she will find the answer. She is possibly the most dedicated healthcare provider I have ever seen. I don’t know how she does it. Before Guen started at the Stollery, we used to have pressure ulcers all the time in the PCICU. After she started, she worked with OT and PT, and she decreased the number of grade three or above pressure ulcers to zero (2015 and 2016). For a high-volume cardiac ICU, that is virtually unheard of.” – Dr. Vijay Anand

Guen is involved in a number of research projects at the Stollery, and initiates and participates in research that expands nursing knowledge. She is presently working with a team comprised of two intensivists and critical care Nurse Practitioner in intensive care to develop a wound assessment tool for Neonatal Intensive Care Unit patients. She is also involved in research with burn unit patients, aimed at improving the patient experience with dressing changes. At the Stollery, family-centered care is a priority. Guen embodies that in all she does, and by providing continuity of care to patients and families. Last year, Guen was featured on the Stollery Facebook’s page for their Faces of the Stollery album. The photo received over 500 likes and 30 shares. Comments from patients, families and staff included: “Guen is the most amazing gal I met in the NICU. She was so sweet and caring and patient. She gave me the confidence to change my son’s ostomy bag and made us so comfortable every time she was around”. – Kelby “She is absolutely amazing, and I could never sing her praises enough. We worked closely together with my son and his 4 stomas throughout his entire stay, and I am just so grateful for all of her knowledge and advocacy. So many medical professionals were dumb founded by his ostomy site, and she barely batted an eye before helping me to become hands on with my child’s wound care. By the end, the cardex had “address Guen or Mom on dressings”. – Cherish Guen’s smile, warmth, and calmness in a situation is infectious. She loves working with patients and families and really enjoys empowering parents to learn how to care for their kids and become comfortable with looking after certain aspects of their care. And it’s obvious that patients and families love H working with her too. ■

Nominated by: Kristy Cunningham, Executive Director of Critical Care and Respiratory Therapy, Stollery Children’s Hospital, Alberta Health Services



Leah Thorp Saskatchewan Health Authority Nursing Week Is Something To Celebrate! On behalf of all of us at the Health Care Providers Group Insurance Plan, we’d like to take a moment celebrate all of the hard-working nurses across Canada! The impact you have on our healthcare system is immense and invaluable, and we’re IRUHYHUJUDWHIXOIRUWKHSRVLWLYHGLÎ?HUHQFHV that you make each and everyday. Thank you for your continuous compassion, care and dedication!


hen I think of who I would consider a nursing hero, Leah comes to mind without pause. I had the unfortunate pleasure of meeting Leah when I became a loss mom. She was working as the Perinatal Outreach Coordinator at the Regina General Hospital where I had delivered my son sleeping six months prior. A friend and I arranged to meet with her and another staff member so that we could run past our ideas for a grief project – this would be a way to give back to the other families who would inevitably be facing loss in the future, just like we had. Leah and her coworker helped to coordinate the donation of handmade mementos for stillborn and miscarried babies without hesitation, encourag-


ing and guiding us along the way. She presented our project after having asked permission, when she travelled to a perinatal loss conference way across the country on the east coast. She helped to show us that what we are doing is worthwhile and appreciated. Because of her, we found purpose and a way to connect and support other loss moms. I will never forget our first delivery of mementos and first feedback from a family who had been impacted by our donation. Leah has helped us to build a supportive community. In Leah’s role, she facilitates a Perinatal Advisory Council, and I am lucky to have become one of the Patient Family advisors. She organizes meetings that have become a safe place for all of us to share our perinatal experiences, good and bad, which helps


I WANT TO THANK LEAH FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART FOR ALL OF THE MEANINGFUL WORK SHE HAS DONE WITHIN THE PERINATAL LOSS COMMUNITY. SHE HAS TOUCHED MY LIFE IN MORE WAYS THAN ONE – WITH ENCOURAGEMENT, SUPPORT, GUIDANCE, RESOURCES, COMMUNITY, AND HANDS ON NURSING MYSELF, HUSBAND AND BABY to bring meaningful change to our healthcare teams. She has arranged for management and other professionals to sit and listen to our patient experiences – this in itself has been such a gift. She has helped patients find their voices and connected them with those who need to hear it most – their healthcare providers. At a recent perinatal loss conference where she was also involved, she had six loss parents share their stories with an entire auditorium full of people who wanted to learn from us.

And finally, when I experienced the loss of another baby, I was lucky to have Leah care for me through my labour. She was the best distraction on one of the worst days, and caught my precious baby for me, born sleeping. She treated him as she would have any other baby – our delicate little son, calling him by name and bathing him for us when we did not have the strength. We will forever cherish the memory box that we came home with from the hospital, the hand and footprints she so delicately pressed with ink for us.

I want to thank Leah from the bottom of my heart for all of the meaningful work she has done within the perinatal loss community. She has touched my life in more ways than one- with encouragement, support, guidance, resources, community, and hands on nursing myself, husband and baby. Thank you for giving a voice to those who have experienced most painful losses, and for helping everyone remember our babies. You are my nursing hero.

Resuscitation program. When a trial Perinatal Loss Team program was developed Leah eagerly joined to participate in providing appropriate care to families experiencing a loss at a variety of gestations. She strives to take every opportunity to learn more about Perinatal Loss and co-presented this response team approach at the Canadian Association of Perinatal and Women’s Health Nurses conference. Leah excels in her knowledge of the aboriginal population and participates in many committees working to improve the healthcare of this population. She currently co-chairs the Perinatal Loss Committee in Regina. Leah has achieved and maintains her Canadian Certification in H Perinatal nursing. ■



Through her position as the Perinatal Outreach co-ordinator Leah strives to teach evidence based nursing practice to healthcare providers around Southern Saskatchewan. She facilitates learning in many areas of high risk obstetrics including the Neonatal


Nominated by: Jennifer McKnight

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Catharine Petta Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital atharine Petta graduated with a Registered General Nurse Certificate from King’s College from the University of London in 1981. Since that time, she has dedicated her time in various nursing care positions before coming to Holland Bloorview in 2005. Here, she worked on the specialized orthopedic and developmental rehabilitation inpatient unit. She is also a member of the Nursing Practice Council. In 2009, Catharine embraced a new position at the hospital in ambulatory care to focus her care on children with autism. In this role, Catharine has demonstrated enduring commitment to help children and youth with autism and their families live their most meaningful and healthy lives. Her role in the clinic is directly related to supporting clients and families at home. On any given day it is not uncommon for Catharine to receive numerous phone calls from parents who ask for her advice and expertise about situations they experience within their community. It was one of these situations that prompted Catharine and a research colleague at Holland Bloorview to collaborate and respond to a parent’s request. This request was to educate bus drivers about autism and provide them with the skills and strategies they need to ensure the drive and transition to and from school is a success for their children. A key component of the education is to develop communication strategies and approaches, all which affect a child’s ability to have a successful bus ride and day at school. With the goal of autism


awareness, these sessions provide bus drivers with effective strategies on how to best approach children with autism with understanding and empathy. The workshop has been delivered to over 200 bus drivers from two large school bus transportation companies in the greater Toronto area. These sessions were so successful that they have been conducted across Ontario and the team has been invited to numerous speaking engagements throughout North America. The education workshop uses a “train the trainer” model where leaders can now train drivers to reach an even broader audience. Catharine is also very involved in educating parents about healthy sleep for children with autism. The Autism Treatment Network completed research on sleep for this population with very positive results. With this valuable research Catharine participated in the development of an Autism Sleep Education Program, which she facilitates for clients and parents. When Catharine is not working in clinic, participating in research, working on her BScN at Ryerson University or educating families she is reaching out to other professionals in the healthcare community to build awareness for kids with autism. She has completed sessions with the Toronto Catholic District School Board, Ontario Camps Association, parent groups, Pediatric Nurses Interest Group of the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario

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and Pediatricians, much on volunteer time. Catharine is a strong, passionate and caring nurse who works collabora-

tively within an interprofessional team to ensure each client and their families are receiving the safest and most H meaningful care possible. ■

Thanking Ontario’s Registered Practical Nurses and all other health professionals during Nursing Week As we celebrate Nursing Week, the staff and board of directors at the Registered Practical Nurses Association of Ontario (RPNAO) would like to recognize and thank all of our colleagues and partners, not only in the nursing profession, but throughout the health care sector, for their commitment to patients and families. We would also like to take this opportunity to recognize the truly meaningful contributions that Registered Practical Nurses (RPN) make to Ontario’s health care system every day, and to celebrate the challenging and dynamic, yet deeply rewarding profession we have chosen. As our health care system continues to evolve, RPNs continue to showcase their knowledge and expertise, making positive differences in peoples’ live and leading innovation at the point of care. You are the experts at the bedside, empathetic communicators, ˎljɨƺljɥƃɽȈljȶɽƃǁʤɁƺƃɽljɰӗƃȶǁɰȟȈȢȢljǁɰʰɰɽljȴȶƃʤȈǼƃɽɁɨɰӝŚljȟȶɁʥ that patients and families are in good hands with Registered Practical Nurses.



Jacquie Dunne Markham Stouffville Hospital have worked with Jacquie Dunne for nine years. She predominately works as a co-facilitating nurse in the NICU at Markham Stouffville Hospital (MSH). Consistently she will volunteer to provide extra care to the most frail of our littlest patients who may have significant developmental vulnerabilities above their medically complex needs. Everyone that she works with recognizes how exceptional she is including Dr. Navneet Sharma, MSH Neonatologist, “Jacquie is a very passionate worker in our NICU, her skills are outstanding in what she does – she goes far beyond her nursing duties for the patient as well as the family. She has the ability to foresee and anticipate situations and implement an effective


care plan accordingly. In addition to her excellent clinical skills, she is also a great co-worker. Jacquie brings her maternal skills, empathy and compassion to work every day, which makes her stand out in her profession.” It’s the developmental care that these babies need – the cuddling, soothing, singing, nurturing and talking to them that she continually provides. And this is why Jacquie is a hero to me, her colleagues, the babies in the NICU, and to all the families she supports. This care helps babies develop a secure attachment with her which they need during the critical window of time in the first few weeks of their lives. These babies get to know Jacquie so well that they would eat for her and gain weight when she was on shift. She is so compassionate, professional,








empathic and non-judgemental and they would respond to her consistent caregiving. I can’t remember a time when Jacquie isn’t giving extra tender, loving, care over and above her daily nursing duties and the stories below stand out with babies who were medically fragile and admitted to the NICU for extended lengths of stay of weeks and sometimes months. 1) Jacquie was often scheduled to provide care for a baby girl diagnosed with Down Syndrome who had three young siblings at home that mom also had to care for, so this little girl was often alone in the NICU. Jacquie would go above and beyond for this little one. She would give lots of extra cuddles, talks and sing to baby when her mom wasn’t able to be at the hospital. Jacquie was also a wonderful

recruit for other staff to take cuddle turns when she was working with other babies. It was common for Jacquie to get staff on their lunch break or one of our volunteer cuddlers to support this little one. The mom is so grateful for the care Jacquie gave her baby. “She’s an amazing nurse, she thought beyond the medical needs of my baby. Without her, we would still be in the NICU trying to figure things out,” says Amy Ho. “She really got to know my baby and gave me tips to help with her development. She became like a member of our family.” 2) There was another baby who also had many exceptional diagnoses and week after week I would see Jacquie taking the care of this little girl.

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Mom was not able to be present all the time as she had other children as well. Jacquie was at the bedside comforting, soothing, and cuddling this girl when mom couldn’t be there. Jacquie went beyond the nursing duties to meet her attachment needs and provided developmental stimulation that was so critical during this time. According to mom, Tara Smith, “Jacquie took such good care of my infant daughter during her five-week stay in the NICU. Not only was Jacquie a skilled and attentive nurse to my daughter, but she was a source of support and light for me as well during those long and difficult weeks during my daughter’s recovery. I am so grateful for all Jacquie did to assist our family with her compassionate care. I will never forget her kindness!” 3) Jacquie also cared for a baby boy who was in Children’s Aid Society care and the foster family was not able to be in the hospital very often. She made sure that he was cared for,

cuddled, stimulated developmentally and nurtured. She organized the volunteers in the ‘cuddler program’ so that he would have hugs, songs, and cuddles on a regular basis. When she was done providing care for the other babies on the unit, she would be found at bedside with him making sure he had a calm soothing voice to hear. The common denominator is that Jacquie volunteers for the most medically and developmentally vulnerable babies in our NICU. She is so consistently positive, happy, smiling and sincerely engaged to meet the medical, physical, emotional and developmental needs of these little people and their parents. She is also a professional team player who engages the skills of the allied health team to its fullest potential to support each baby. Jacquie is delightful to work with and all parents that have had her caring for their baby would give H her a standing ovation. ■

Nominated by: Joey Crump, Social Worker



Stephen James Webster Alberta Health Services I

want to share this story as I found it very moving. I also feel that it is a good representation of the passion and dedication nurses have for the welfare of their patients both professionally and personally. I want to show the magnitude of the respect and thoughtfulness that was shown by an RN, Stephen, when a particular patient passed. I will use the name Mr. Smith for this patient for privacy purposes. Stephen had known Mr. Smith for several years when hospitalized for very long stretches on his unit. Mr. Smith was impoverished as a result of various social and physical issues over the years. He had very few friends and was estranged from family. Mr. Smith could be a challenge at times but the


staff became somewhat endeared to him because of his eclectic character, stories, dry humour and what he went through. He was a character and the unit staff became in a sense his family. At one point during his hospitalization Stephen had made a point of establishing a rapport with Mr. Smith when he realized that Mr. Smith was giving up. With the outstanding support and care provided by the nurses and physiotherapists on the unit Mr. Smith made strides towards improving his health. During his hospitalization, Mr. Smith re-connected with his faith as a source of strength. After a prolonged hospital stay, fraught with several complications and trials, Mr. Smith’s perseverance paid off. Eventually he made enough progress and was discharged.


Sometime later Mr. Smith returned to Stephen’s unit. After another long hospitalization it became evident that Mr. Smith was not going to be able to go home and was suffering. Mr. Smith’s health deteriorated; he experienced increasingly longer stretches of being unresponsive. It became evident that Mr. Smith’s condition was not going to improve and that his passing was likely being prolonged. The hospital came to the very difficult decision to remove aspects of care such that Mr. Smith would likely pass. One of Mr. Smith’s last conscious moments with Stephen was to smile in acknowledgement of wanting to listen to country music playing from a CD player that Stephen had brought for his room. On a shift where Mr. Smith was Stephen’s patient, it was determined that the level of health care was definitely going to be reduced significantly the following day. Stephen was not scheduled to work on that particular day. He had a good inkling that Mr. Smith would pass and would likely be alone. On his day off, Stephen went in to see Mr. Smith as a visitor at 7am to keep Mr. Smith company. Stephen found that Mr. Smith was unresponsive and confirmed the care would be reduced. Despite Mr. Smith’s state, Stephen spoke to Mr. Smith as if something would get through, telling him what was going to happen and that he wouldn’t be alone. Stephen held his hand and recounted some of the stories they had shared with each other. Knowing that Mr. Smith was religious, Stephen printed Psalm 23 and put it beside Mr. Smith’s pillow. Stephen read it to him throughout the morning.

Staff members came in to say their good byes during the course of the morning. Stephen continued to reassure Mr. Smith that he wouldn’t be alone and told him how his tenacity was admired for enduring the trials and suffering. The level of medical intervention was reduced. A few minutes later, Mr. Smith passed peacefully while Stephen held his hand. Mr. Smith was not alone. Shortly after Mr. Smith passed, Stephen found out that according to Mr. Smith’s religion it was a strict custom for the body to be guarded until buried. Stephen knew how much it would mean to Mr. Smith to follow the custom so he decided to stay until the funeral home arrived. More staff members came in to pay their respects and were quite moved by his death having known and cared for him for a long time. The transport to funeral home arrived just before 3pm. Mr. Smith had a leather back pack that was so aged and worn that it looked like a museum piece. It contained a few books and had been his one main possession in the hospital. Some of the staff had come up with an idea that it would be nice if it was buried with him. Several days later Stephen attended Mr. Smith’s modest funeral. Also present from the unit were physiotherapists and a nurse practitioner. The burial was done according to his religious customs and he was buried with his backpack. Many of Stephen’s fellow nurses told him they were glad Stephen was able to be with Mr. Smith at the time of his passing and also

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resent his “family” at the funeral. Mr Smith’s grave site was marked only with a simple plastic tag and ironically he is buried next to a doctor. When I mentioned that I wanted to submit this story, Stephen was initially reluctant as he considers himself to be part of a wonderful team of very caring professionals. However, he decided to let me proceed because if, by chance, this submission does receive any prize, he’d like to use it to get Mr. Smith an actual gravestone, albeit simple. Stephen’s story touched me deeply and I felt that it needed to be shared to show the extent of exceptional and compassionate patient care that many of our nurses exhibit above and beyond H on a daily basis. ■

Angela Cooper Brathwaite

Happy Nursing Week to Ontario’s RNs, NPs and nursing students Nursing Week celebrates the expertise and excellence nurses and nursing students bring to patients, families and communities across Ontario, and beyond. Your focus on evidence-based practice and attending to patients’ unique needs represents the very best of our health system’s strength. Your commitment to Ontarians and the profession extends far beyond the workplace. Your advocacy and voice in the political arena have led to important policy changes that have expanded the role of registered nurses and nurse practitioners, and improved access to care for the public.

RN, MN, PhD, President, RNAO

Doris Grinspun RN, MSN, PhD, LLD (hon), Dr (hc), O.ONT., CEO, RNAO

Thank you for the knowledge, compassion and courage to speak out for nursing and speak out for health.



Alexandra Andric

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

lexandra Andric is a Registered Nurse who has worked at CAMH since 2006. Previous to the Nicotine Dependence Clinic (NDC), she worked in a variety of Psychiatric settings including the General Psychiatry Program and the Addiction Medicine Clinic. In her current role with the Nicotine Dependence Clinic, Alex provides counselling, support and education to clients. She also monitors clients’ responses to cessation medications, prescribes nicotine replacement therapy and co-facilitates several therapeutic groups. To our staff and clients, she is known as ‘Nurse Alex’. Nurse Alex is our nursing hero at the Nicotine Dependence Clinic. She is the sole nurse among our interdisciplinary team of social workers, physicians and therapists and a champion of evidence-based and high quality client-centred care and treatment for cli-


ents who are interested in quitting or reducing their smoking. She has embraced her role and treats over 1100 clients annually along with serving as a frequent and sought-after educator within CAMH and externally to the organization. Our nursing hero story is one of excellence in client care, inspiring change for clients and providing high quality health behavior change education for health professionals. Alex is extremely personable, approachable and ready to pitch in when her help is needed. Her attitude is consistently to go above and beyond what is required of her with the spirit of wanting the best for her clients and colleagues. I have worked alongside Alex for years in different capacities at the Nicotine Dependence Clinic and have had the opportunity to observe her as an educator and clinician. In our clinic, we often have a very crowded waiting room and there can



be some wait-time before clients get to see the physician or nurse. Many of our clients have been long-time smokers and attend our clinic with concurrent mental health or other health conditions. Alex welcomes each client with a bright smile and engages them right from the start so they feel comfortable, more relaxed and ready to approach their journey to address their tobacco use – something that is inherently difficult and can be uncomfortable. She is enthusiastic in her role and empowers clients to embrace this difficult change. As the sole nurse among our clinical team, Alex is in a unique position and is regularly faced with challenges that she must resolve. For instance, she approaches challenging scenarios with a lens of medical and clinical insight and assists her team in problem solving. When there are clients who present to the clinic in crisis (active suicidal ideation, intoxication, psychosis) Alex is adept at recognizing symptoms and leads the team in making a clinical decision of how to best treat the person. She makes them feel safe and grounded and often will be the one to accompany them to the ER when needed. Also, she routinely makes decisions around client medication interactions with smoking cessation prescriptions and Nicotine Replacement Therapy cessation aids to determine the best treatment options for each client. She uses sound clinical judgment during clinical case rounds and demonstrates, critical decision making skills when offering solutions and approaches to complex client situations discussed by the team. She establishes a healthy rapport with her many clients and is friendly and approachable. Her communication style is guided by her training in Motivational Interviewing. She guides clients along motivated self-change ensuring she is actively listening, is empathetic, rolls with resistance to change, elicits information from the client and then

provides feedback and recognizing the discrepancy between their treatment goals and current behaviours. Her excellence in therapeutic communication shines while she leads client groups and workshops. Alex speaks very clearly, uses language that is tailored for her audience (for example, does not use jargon while speaking with clients) and makes herself available for questions. She establishes a healthy rapport with her many clients and is friendly and approachable. Her communication style is guided by her training in Motivational Interviewing. She guides clients along motivated self-change ensuring she is actively listening, is empathetic, rolls with resistance to change, elicits information from the client and then provides feedback and recognizing the discrepancy between their treatment goals and current behaviours. She is very skillful in her use of MI and routinely seeks out further opportunities to enhance her training through workshops or meeting with her colleagues. When facilitating client groups, Alex makes everyone feel welcome and safe. She creates a safe space for clients to speak freely about their experiences and creates a non-judgmental climate. Some clients prefer not to share their experiences and Alex respects and acknowledges this as well. She affirms what her clients share and thanks them for their honesty and acknowledges that some things are difficult to share in a group. Nurse Alex has a very engaging presentation style and tries to lighten the mood of each session she facilitates which in turn helps with client retention and keeps clients engaged in treatment. She is the lead presenter of our “Getting Started” intake psychoeducation workshop and delivers this content on a weekly basis. She has been successfully able to turn otherwise dry material into accessible and inviting content intended to assist in behavior change and introduce clients to our services. She is an excellent

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NATIONAL NURSING WEEK 2018 communicator and speaks very clearly and illustrates concepts with examples which bring the material to life. She can synthesize complex scientific concepts and make them comprehensible to a wide audience. In an environment where there are often difficult and very challenging scenarios she has an infectious positive approach to her work that is admired by both of us as nominators and by her colleauges. Despite a full schedule with her clients, Alex demonstrates a passion for continuous self-improvement and goes above and beyond what is required for her role. An outstanding example of this is her commitment to enhancing her knowledge in Motivational interviewing (MI). In 2014, Alex applied to attend the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT) Training for New Trainers (TNT) workshop in Atlanta, Georgia. The MINT trainings are not certifications but are rigorous in nature and involve a competitive application process. The TNT workshop is the first step towards eligibility for membership with the MINT

network and only selects applicants who have demonstrated a breadth of proficient skills and application of MI. To prepare for this application, Alex engaged the expertise of an MI coach and completed many fidelity measures along with MI coding exercises and theory review. In addition to attending the TNT workshop, she participated in the MINT Forum offering a variety of workshops in advanced MI skill-building. Alex is an outstanding educator and routinely serves as faculty for various TEACH (Training Enhancement in Applied Cessation Counselling and Health) courses: in-class and online version of the Core Course, Tobacco Interventions for First Nations, Inuit and Metis Populations, Tobacco Interventions for Patients with Mental Illness and/or Substance Use Disorders and Motivating Change: How to talk so clients will listen and how to listen so clients will talk. She is often sought out by other organizations to deliver in-service trainings and workshops through TEACH and has trav-

elled across Canada to the Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Alberta, Manitoba and throughout Ontario. TEACH has trained over 6000 practitioners to date and Alex has been instrumental in the project’s ability to mobilize Faculty to travel across the country and deliver the trainings. She has also been a key faculty member in a series of online training modules used by a province-wide smoking cessation treatment program to train hundreds of practitioners from more than 200 organizations to deliver evidence-based content expertise in the fundaments of tobacco dependence pharmacotherapy. Because of this, more organizations and practitioners in the healthcare delivery system are able to integrate and deliver smoking cessation treatment to their clients and patients leading to improved health outcomes. Alex has had an equally strong focus on enriching the practices of her colleagues within CAMH. She has been involved in developing training videos intended to impart evidence-based practice guide-

lines for smoking cessation to CAMH practitioners. In addition, she has used in-service presentations to help colleagues from other departments at CAMH to increase their knowledge of tobacco dependence and guide them on integrating aspects of tobacco dependence intervention into their own practice. She has now become a sought-after faculty/trainer on tobacco cessation across the province, and increasingly within CAMH. In addition to training healthcare professionals and clients she also eagerly takes on nursing students in the capacity of a preceptor each year. In summary, Nurse Alex is a hero and champion of tobacco dependence treatment and education across CAMH and is one of the friendliest, most energetic and genuine colleagues I have known. It is a distinct privilege to work with her and to observe the impact she has on a daily basis among our team and with our clients. She is an inspiring and driven person who is well deserving of this Nursing Hero H award. ■

Nominated by: Julia Lecce

CARE Centre Salutes IENs during Nursing Week 2018 CARE Centre for Internationally Educated Nurses (IENs) began in 2001 as one of the first government-sponsored bridge training programs in Ontario. CARE Centre receives funding through the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration, and also receives funding from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada for a Pre-Arrival Supports and Services (PASS) program. CARE Centre provides IENs with one-on-one case management, language and communication skills, exam preparation, professional development, observational job shadowing, mentoring and networking to help them become registered to practice. Since its inception, in collaboration with community and settlement services, healthcare employers and academic institutions, CARE Centre has provided assistance to over 4,000 IENs from more than 100 countries. CARE Centre member IENs work in all nursing fields in Ontario including acute and long-term care, community and public health nursing, and in management and educator roles, among others. CARE Centre recognizes the value of nurses with diverse education and experience and is committed to advancing their full contribution to Canadian healthcare. Contact us to find out more about recruiting opportunities. CARE is a registered charity (Charitable Number 84420 5948 RR0001). To learn more about CARE Centre and its work, please visit

CARE Centre Celebrates Internationally Educated Nurses during National Nursing Week 2018 IENs and CARE Centre: Partners in Healthcare Diversity Contact CARE Centre to find out more about IENs in Your Workplace

128A Sterling Road, Suite 202 Toronto, ON M6R 2B7 416-226-2800



Amanda Jober

Stollery Children’s Hospital, Cystic Fibrosis (CF) Clinic would like to nominate Amanda Jober of the Stollery Children’s Hospital, Cystic Fibrosis (CF) Clinic for the 13th Annual Hospital News Nursing Hero Awards. Since joining the Ambulatory Cystic Fibrosis Clinic in 2014, we have come to know Amanda as a dedicated, loving, compassionate, knowledgeable nurse and friend. Amanda came to the clinic when my daughter was an energetic and imaginative 5-yearold. My daughter has grown up with Amanda and with any luck she will be my daughter’s nurse until my daughter takes the first terrifying steps into the adult world. No doubt Amanda will help to love and support us as we prepare for that transition.


Amanda is not just our nurse. She is like family. We see her regularly, we phone her even more! When things are going well we visit every three months, the past few years far more frequently. Amanda has helped us through some of the hardest times and celebrated with us when things are going well. We don’t just come to clinic, we are welcomed to clinic. Amanda is kind, patient and fun-loving with my very precocious daughter. Since my daughter has grown up in the clinic Amanda knows all of my daughter’s imaginary worlds and even the names and events of imaginary siblings. There have been Pokémon hunts, wheelie-stool horse rides and even a dance party in the clinic room as my daughter was pre-


paring for her first ever admission to hospital. These are just some of the ways she supports my daughter to be a kid in often very difficult situations.

outdoor family and through Amanda and the amazing CF Clinic team we are able to spend weekends in the back country, go cross country skiing and

AMANDA IS CERTAINLY OUR SUPERHERO, SHE DOES SO MUCH MORE THAN KEEP MY DAUGHTER ALIVE. SHE ALLOWS US TO LIVE Amanda and the entire CF Clinic team work very well together. They seem to have a very respectful relationship within the team, and this carries through to how they support their patients. The clinic team supports, trusts, respects and consults each other. This gives our family so much confidence in every member of our team. I have no hesitation putting my daughter’s future in their hands. With the support of this team we work together to develop health goals but also life goals. We are an active

travel. We work together to manage risk vs reward in ways that make life meaningful and enjoyable. Through the hardest times we have had Amanda’s support. In the difficult decision to get our daughter a G-tube, Amanda supported us the entire way. Listening to our concerns and as always helping us to weigh the risk vs reward. Once the decision was made, on our clinic follow up Amanda presented my daughter a doll with a G-tube which Amanda had hand sewn into the doll’s stomach and then carefully repack-


aged. This exceptional gift was one more way Amanda went above and beyond to help my daughter to normalize the G-tube through play. Amanda consistently shows how much she cares and how much she understands that thriving with this disease is more than just doing treatments, it is learning to accept new things, adapting to constant change and finding ways to embrace the new normal. Not only does Amanda and the CF Team show extraordinary support and dedication at clinic they can often be found supporting the entire CF Community at fundraisers and events that are hosted by Cystic Fibrosis Canada. The passion they show for the patients and families they care for extends well beyond the clinic walls and well be-

yond the clinic hours. For Amanda the personal commitment to caring and supporting her patients runs so deep that she has a tattoo with roses that in part symbolize cystic fibrosis. Amanda is an amazing nurs;, she is well trained and knowledgeable in cystic fibrosis. She is an exceptional caregiver who combines her training and knowledge with compassion, care and respect. As our clinic nurse Amanda and the entire CF Team provide us with the tools, resources, education and confidence to live a truly amazing life. We feel like we are heard, appreciated and a part of the team that will see my daughter thrive well into the future. Amanda is certainly our superhero, she does so much more than keep my daughter alive. She allows us to H live. ■

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Nominated by: Michelle

a leader in health continuing professional education

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Marilou Gagnon 2nd Place Winner Continued from page 37

WHILE POLITICIANS WERE HIDING BEHIND BUREAUCRATIC PROCEDURES LETTING OUR PATIENTS, NEIGHBORS, FRIENDS AND FAMILY MEMBERS DIE BY THE DAY, MARILOU STEPPED-IN WITH HER OPO TEAM TO PROVIDE A SAFE SPACE WHERE PEOPLE WHO USE DRUGS COULD FEEL RESPECTED, DIGNIFIED AND EMPOWERED On September 19, she was training a nurse on shift when they had to respond to an overdose after a guest immediately stopped breathing and lost consciousness. After two doses of naloxone and rescue breathing, the guest regained consciousness and had stable vital signs. By the time the paramedics arrived, she was back on her feet. On multiple occasions, I have seen Marilou assess guests who were unwell and needed help: a young guest who was anxious and paranoid after smoking cannabis, a guest who was short of breath and coughing at the bus stop, a guest who was presenting symptoms of a stimulant overdose, one of our regular guests who was feverish and weak and another one with complex wounds, just to name a few examples. Every time, she would find a solution and work with other volunteers to connect guests with health care services while respecting their wishes and preferences. There is no doubt in my mind that what she accomplished with Overdose Prevention Ottawa makes her a nursing hero. I cannot think of another nurse who is more deserving of this Nurse Hero award. “Marilou Gagnon always goes above and beyond for the community, as well as for the team at Overdose Prevention Ottawa. She is an ideal example of a leader. She continually worked hard in order to improve the care and services that were offered at the OPO site. She is distinguished by her professionalism, remarkable leadership and communication skills. Also, her leadership entails her as a very approachable person. Marilou is a talented and caring nurse, it was a pleasure to work with her and see how she always puts the clients and our team’s best inter54 HOSPITAL NEWS MAY 2018

est above all.” Gabrielle Charron, RN (OPO nurse volunteer) “Being aware of the overdose crisis, not only across Canada but also in Ottawa, Marilou could have chosen to

remain in her university professor role. Instead she was instrumental in initiating Ottawa’s first safe consumption site run entirely by volunteers. From a grassy block of land no bigger than an urban lot, tents were erected and equipped, volunteers gathered, food and supplies arrived and Overdose Prevention Ottawa (OPO) was born. Despite public, emergency service, and political objections the project started, continued and grew under Marilou’s guidance and leadership. People who use drugs were drawn to the site, and lives were saved, rather than lost.” Cynthia Kitson, NP (OPO nurse volunteer) “While politicians were hiding behind bureaucratic procedures letting our

patients, neighbors, friends and family members die by the day, Marilou steppedin with her OPO team to provide a safe space where people who use drugs could feel respected, dignified and empowered. Marilou inspired me as a nurse to embrace my role as an advocate and to speak up against inhumane laws that contributed and perpetuated the deaths of thousands of Canadians. It is Marilou’s exemplification of patient-centered care and her contagious passion for advocacy that makes her a nurse hero! I will be forever grateful to Marilou for having contributed to making me a better nurse, a better advocate and a better person. Thank you!” Jean-Laurent Domingue, RN (OPO H nurse volunteer) ■

Dan Chisholm Continued from page 35 Today Casey House is no longer a hospice, but a stand-alone HIV/ AIDS hospital. We recently moved into a new state-of-the-art building, with a new day health program, a new electronic health record and an ever-changing inpatient environment in which Dan is nursing. On any given day, Dan can be found delivering a wide variety of care: providing palliative care in one room, dealing with chest tubes on a client transferred from an acute care hospital’s ICU in another, or supporting someone who is homeless, alone and trying to find other ways of coping with their trauma than by their current substance use. Dan has to adapt daily from client to client. Dan is a nurse who embraces change; learning and growing as clients needs have shifted. Dan mentors new staff, students and his peers so they too can move with the changes we all face in health care. In his role as permanent charge nurse, which he has occupied for over a decade, Dan is the constant, the knower, the facilitator, the mentor, the supporter and most importantly the example of nursing at its finest.

1st Place Winner IN HIS ROLE AS PERMANENT CHARGE NURSE, WHICH HE HAS OCCUPIED FOR OVER A DECADE, DAN IS THE CONSTANT, THE KNOWER, THE FACILITATOR, THE MENTOR, THE SUPPORTER AND MOST IMPORTANTLY THE EXAMPLE OF NURSING AT ITS FINEST Dan is celebrating his thirtieth year at Casey House and his commitment to the clients we serve is truly remarkable. Dan is retiring in June 2018. Looking back on his time at Casey House, his nursing career and his spirit in continuing to provide high quality, effective care it is easy to celebrate Dan and his contributions. Although Dan started out his career as one of many working in a large major hospital in Toronto, he has dedicated his career to a small organization, serving some of our most vulnerable citizens. He has made a difference in many lives at Casey House. In a climate of fear, Dan and his colleagues were not only brave, but also driven by compassion for those who were otherwise marginal-

ized. Dan has remained committed to this population despite phenomenal change over the past three decades. Change can be difficult for many people, but Dan has adapted by expanding his knowledge, abilities and skills to make a difference. Dan is a NURSE who leads by example; caring in the face of the unknown, committed to those he serves. He has assisted countless individuals to live with their HIV/AIDS diagnosis, through the peaks and valleys of their health care journey, and ultimately honouring their lives by caring for them as they died. Any nurse can only hope to have accomplished so much and affected so many throughout their career. Dan is a true H nursing hero. ■


The Consistency of Compassion hen Humber River Hospital opened its doors as North America’s first digital hospital, it was a massive transformation. As with any major undertaking, the move was a mix of excitement at how Humber River was advancing patient care and a nostalgic urge to preserve the past. Not only did patients and staff from three separate facilities come together, but longtime dedicated nurses were walking into a new facility that embraced state-of-theart tools and equipment, automated delivery robots,


bedside computer terminals and Canada’s first hospital-wide Command Centre. Looking back, it’s remarkable to see how much nursing has changed. Or has it? The proliferation of computers, mobile devices, and the growing ability to access the internet anywhere and anytime has irrevocably altered how the healthcare industry operates. Nurses serving on the frontlines today, are adapting how they deliver patient care. More so than ever, nurses are becoming knowledge workers. Embracing technologies to strategically

deliver patient care at the right time, in the right place, and for the right reasons. Not only are nurses becoming more techsavvy, but as more and more patients have access to online medical information, they are empowered to play a more active role in managing their health. As a result, nurses today spend more time educating and guiding their patients. They are also able to help them develop individualized healthcare plans, achieve specific patient goals and most importantly improve health outcomes.

Ida Aspro, a patient who remembers the Church street site fondly, remarked “The new space is bigger and brighter, it has a sense of peace, but the consistency of care and the dedication is still the same. You feel confident you are in the best hands.” Ida reminds us that amidst all the advancements, nurses at Humber River Hospital continue to provide a level of compassion, quality and care beyond compare at every interaction.

Nursing has come far and so have you

Thank You


Patient Care Reinvented MAY 2018 HOSPITAL NEWS 55

Hospital News 2018 Nursing Hero Supplement  
Hospital News 2018 Nursing Hero Supplement