Registed Nurses' Association of Ontario


RNAO thrilled to present nine Media Awards to journalists


TORONTO, March 10, 2014 – The Ottawa Citizen and the CBC are the top winners in the 2013 Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario's (RNAO) Media Awards competition. The province's professional nursing association is congratulating all journalists set to receive an award. The organization's annual competition honours reporters working at newspapers, radio and television stations and online publications examining nursing, health and health-care issues.

Elizabeth Payne and Joanne Laucius, both journalists with the Ottawa Citizen, picked up daily newspaper awards for best news story and best in-depth feature, respectively. Payne's piece tackles the stigma surrounding lung cancer and its effect on patients, fundraisers and researchers, while Laucius explores the difficulty teens with chronic conditions experience when moving from the pediatric health system into the adult system.

Reporters with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) will receive awards for their work on a controversial MS procedure, issues with opioids on the streets of Ottawa, and the compelling story of a group of people coming together to give a female orphan refugee a home.

This year, 10 judges pored over almost 40 thought-provoking entries that were submitted from media outlets across Ontario. Nine top-scoring entries nabbed judges' praise. The winners will receive their awards during the President's Banquet at RNAO's annual general meeting in Toronto on Friday, May 2.

Winners who will receive an RNAO Media Award:

  • Elizabeth Payne, Ottawa Citizen, wins in the daily newspaper, best news story category for her piece on the stigma that surrounds lung cancer.
  • Steve Buist, Hamilton Spectator, picks up the daily newspaper, best series award, for Cancer: A Code Red Project, which investigates the link between cancer rates and income in Hamilton.
  • Joanne Laucius, Ottawa Citizen, wins in the daily newspaper, best in-depth feature category for examining the difficulty teens with chronic conditions experience when moving from the pediatric health system into the adult system.
  • Laura Mueller, Emma Jackson, Jessica Cunha, Blair Edwards and Michelle Nash, Manotick News, Metroland East, win in the community newspaper, best in-depth feature category, for their three-part series that focused on the need for hospice palliative care in the Ottawa area.
  • Patrick Cain and Carmen Chai, reporting for Global News, win in the online, best story, category for their work on the connections between birth patterns, economy, sex education and advances in sexual reproduction.
  • Pauline Dakin, CBC Radio’s World at Six, wins in the radio, best news story category for her report on a controversial Multiple Sclerosis procedure.
  • Alisa Siegel, The Sunday Edition, CBC Radio One, wins in the radio, best in-depth feature category for her compelling story on Konnisola, an orphan refugee girl, and those who endeavored to help her find a home.
  • Steve Fischer, Lynn Douris, Paula Waddell, Mathieu Theriault and Reno Patry, all reporting for CBC Ottawa, win in the television, best news story category for their look at issues surrounding opioid use on the streets of the nation’s capital.
  • The team at The Agenda with Steve Paikin, TVO, wins in the television, best in-depth feature category, for its extensive look into the urgent problems around mental health in Ontario and globally.

RNAO President Rhonda Seidman-Carlson is extending congratulations to all winners on behalf of the organization. "Reporters, editors and producers ought to be commended for taking the time to outline a nursing or health-care issue to members of the public," she says. "These winning stories resonated with the judges because they did just that – and more. They helped to shed light on important topics, expose issues and even clarify misconceptions. This, in turn, helps to fuel dialogue and even possibly policy changes down the road."

"RNAO is tremendously thrilled to recognize these journalists' outstanding work," adds the association's Chief Executive Officer, Doris Grinspun. “A compelling story can have a powerful impact on the public. Nurses know this, and that’s why RNAO has, for over a decade, honoured reporters.”

The Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) is the professional association representing registered nurses in Ontario. Since 1925, RNAO has advocated for healthy public policy, promoted excellence in nursing practice, increased nurses' contribution to shaping the health-care system, and influenced decisions that affect nurses and the public they serve.

For more information about RNAO, visit our website at You can also check out our Facebook page at and follow us on Twitter at


For more information, please contact:

Melissa Di Costanzo
Communications Officer/Writer, RNAO
Tel: 416-599-1925 / 1-800-268-7199, ext. 250