Registed Nurses' Association of Ontario

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Leadership Award in Nursing Administration

This award honours an RN who shows exemplary management skills in an acute, long-term, community, education, research or other setting. This individual actively implements groundbreaking ideas to enhance patient care, and demonstrates a commitment to improve the quality of health care. This year, we have joint recipients.

If teamwork is the key to a successful health-care organization, it’s no wonder Carol Maxwell and Debbie Toppozini are such respected administrators. The two best friends have job shared in numerous roles for more than two decades, and what began as a convenient arrangement between two young mothers, grew into an extremely effective administrative partnership. “I think we complement each other. I think we have different strengths and we’re fine with setting each other straight and moving on,” Carol says. The pair helped developed the Sioux Lookout Assault Care Treatment Program (ACT) in 1999, and shared the role of co-ordinators until 2013. They’ve worked with community members and provincial networks to raise awareness and advocate for sexual assault survivors. At ACT, they pulled together a roster of dedicated, talented nurses, who they credit for much of their success. Despite working with limited resources in an isolated, northern community, Carol and Debbie created a supportive, patient-centred workplace. “You have a chance to be a bit more creative (in a community like this),” says Debbie.

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