Registed Nurses' Association of Ontario

Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) honours journalists with annual health-care reporting awards

Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) honours journalists with annual health-care reporting awards


TORONTO, March 28, 2011 – The story of a woman who decided to care for her elderly parents in her own home, the end-of-life experiences of residents in a Woodstock, Ont. hospice, and groundbreaking research that converts skin cells into human blood cells are a few of the topics that captivated the judges of RNAO’s Awards for Excellence in Health-Care Reporting this year.

The winners were chosen from 36 entries representing large and small media outlets. They include: The Globe and Mail; CBC Radio; Global Television; and the Woodstock Sentinel-Review. The awards will be presented during the President’s Banquet at RNAO’s Annual General Meeting in Toronto on Friday, April 8.

The winners of this year’s awards recognizing the best in health-care reporting are:

•Dick Miller of CBC Radio’s The Current wins the best in-depth feature radio award for a documentary about an Ontario woman who decided to move both her parents into her home after her father suffered a stroke and heart attack and needed round-the-clock care

•Avis Favaro and Elizabeth St. Philip of CTV National News win the best television news story category for their coverage of researchers at McMaster who have discovered a way to turn skin cells into human blood cells

•Global Television’s Beatrice Politi won the best in-depth television feature award for a piece investigating the safety of energy drinks. The piece tells the stories of two families who believe the drinks played a role in the deaths of their teenage sons

•Carly Weeks of The Globe and Mail captures best in-depth feature in a daily newspaper for an article that explores the philosophy of designing health facilities around what patients need – not what the health bureaucracy dictates

•Heather Rivers, a reporter at the Woodstock Sentinel-Review, receives the daily newspaper, best series award for examining end-of-life care through the eyes of two residents at a hospice in Woodstock

•Oshawa This Week’s Jillian Follert, Mike Adler and Rob O'Flanagan win best community newspaper series. Their series examined long-term care issues such as waiting lists, quality of care and challenges faced by Personal Support Workers (PSW)

•Best magazine article goes to Paul Dalby, Watershed Magazine, for an article that investigates the impact that hospital cutbacks have had on patients, staff and programs in Northumberland, Hastings and Prince Edward counties and Quinte West

“Nurses understand that journalists play an important role in informing and educating the public about health and health-care issues. The best reporting can lead to enlightened debates, a deeper understanding of complex issues, and even policy change. For these reasons, it is both an honour and a responsibility for RNAO to recognize the best health and health-care reporting in the province with our annual awards,” says RNAO President David McNeil.

“We are very impressed by the range of topics explored by journalists this year – and the robust quality of their work,” adds Doris Grinspun, Executive Director of RNAO. “From groundbreaking medical research to the design of hospitals, from issues in long-term care to concerns about  young people consuming energy drinks, all the winners have demonstrated outstanding investigative reporting, interviewing and storytelling expertise and have provided their readers, viewers and listeners with new insights into important health issues.”

The Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) is the professional association representing registered nurses wherever they practise 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


To arrange an interview with a nurse or for more information, please contact:
Marion Zych, Director of Communications, RNAO
Cell: 647-406-5605 / Phone: 416-408-5605
Toll free: 1-800-268-7199 ext. 209