TORONTO, April 13, 2010
– Close to 700 registered nurses (RNs) from across the province are gathering in Toronto this week to track their progress towards creating healthier communities for all Ontarians at the 85th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO).
“It’s fitting that we are celebrating our 85th anniversary because this is a pivotal year in our history,” says Wendy Fucile, president of RNAO. Earlier this year, the association released a comprehensive set of policy recommendations it wants Ontario’s political parties to adopt as they develop their platforms ahead of the provincial election in October of 2011. The recommendations are contained in a report called Creating Vibrant Communities. “The wisdom of our founding and current members is present in those recommendations, whether we are talking about poverty, the environment, Medicare or the nursing profession.”
Nurses will also have a chance to hear what politicians think of their work and their central role in health and health care. Premier Dalton McGuinty, Health Minister Deb Matthews, PC leader Tim Hudak and NDP leader Andrea Horwath are scheduled to speak at the two-day meeting.
During the AGM, nurses will also welcome David McNeil as the association’s 51st president in a special ceremony. McNeil is Vice-President of Clinical Programs and Chief Nursing Officer at Hopital regional de Sudbury Regional Hospital.
“I’m very proud of the work we’ve achieved with Wendy Fucile as our president and I am excited to continue moving the association from a position of strength to even greater strength in partnership with David McNeil,” says RNAO Executive Director Doris Grinspun. “This past year has been a remarkable one for nurses and for the association. We have improved nursing and patient care through a number of policy initiatives and we have been honoured provincially, nationally and internationally for our work in developing clinical and healthy work environment best practices. Our evidence-based advocacy is ongoing and our drive is unwavering.”
Grinspun says many of the issues RNAO has raised, such as hiring an additional 9,000 nurses, guaranteeing full-time employment for Ontario’s new nursing graduates, opening more NP-led clinics, and enabling RNs and NPs to work to their full potential, are issues the association will continue to fight for because these issues affect the well-being of patients and nurses alike.
RNAO’s AGM begins Thursday evening, April 15, and continues to Friday, April 16 at the Toronto Hilton, 145 Richmond Street West in Toronto, Ontario.
Thursday, April 15, 7:00 – 8:00 p.m.:
• Opening ceremonies featuring speeches by Hon. Deb Matthews, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care; Tim Hudak, Leader of the Official Opposition; and NDP Leader Andrea Horwath.
Friday, April 16, 8:30 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.:
• Premier Dalton McGuinty will address nurses at 9:10 a.m.
• Swearing in ceremony for David McNeil as RNAO’s 51st president at 4:00 p.m.
The Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario is the professional association representing registered nurses in Ontario. Since 1925, RNAO has lobbied 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, including the association’s report, visit our website at www.rnao.ca
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