Registed Nurses' Association of Ontario


2007 Recognition Award Winners

RNAO HONOURARY MEMBERSHIP Dr. Sheela Basrur RNAO HONOURARY MEMBERSHIP Stephen Lewis and Michele Landsberg RNAO AWARD OF MERIT Yvette Laforêt-Fliesser RNAO AWARD OF MERIT Nancy Lefebre RNAO LEADERSHIP AWARD IN NURSING ADMINISTRATION Norma Nicholson CHAPTER OF THE YEAR Peel Chapter RNAO INTEREST GROUP OF THE YEAR Childbirth Nursing Interest Group PRESIDENT'S AWARD FOR LEADERSHIP IN CLINICAL NURSING PRACTICE Suman Iqbal and Suzy Young RNAO HONOURARY MEMBERSHIP Dr. Sheela Basrur RNAO’s Honourary Membership is granted to an individual or individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the nursing profession in the areas of nursing practice, education, administration or research. The winner(s) demonstrate outstanding national and/or international leadership in nursing. Recipients do not have to be members of the association. In 2003, Sheela Basrur, then Medical Officer of Health for the City of Toronto, was front-and-centre during the SARS outbreaks that killed 44 people and put the province’s health-care system -- and those who work in it -- under tremendous stress. Her leadership earned her the respect of public health authorities around the world. Basrur has spoken out on the role nurses play in improving lives, and has advocated for supports for women, children and new immigrants so they have access to health care. Late last year, personal health concerns forced Basrur to step down from her position as Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, where her leadership in health promotion and public health will leave a lasting impression on the province for years to come. Basrur has also served as Assistant Deputy Minister for both the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and the Ministry of Health Promotion. Back to top RNAO HONOURARY MEMBERSHIP Stephen Lewis and Michele Landsberg RNAO’s Honourary Membership is granted to an individual or individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the nursing profession in the areas of nursing practice, education, administration or research. The winner(s) demonstrate outstanding national and/or international leadership in nursing. Recipients do not have to be members of the association. For decades, Michele Landsberg has spoken out on issues of women’s rights, human rights and social justice. For 25 years, she wrote a passionate column in the Toronto Star. She is also the author of several books, and has written and spoken on countless occasions about how nurses play an important role in advancing healthy public policy. A breast cancer survivor, Landsberg continues to investigate environmental links to the disease. Landsberg has served on the boards of many organizations. She is currently Chair of the Board at Women’s College Hospital, where she has been instrumental in having the organization’s independence reinstated. She is the recipient of many journalism and social justice awards, including two National Newspaper Awards, a Media Watch Award, the YWCA Women of Distinction Award, and the Governor General’s Award in Commemoration of the 1929 Persons Case, which allowed women to be appointed to the Senate. Between 2001 and 2006, Stephen Lewis was United Nations Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa. In his role, he gave a voice to millions of individuals struggling with HIV/AIDS. Through his public profile and bestselling book, Race Against Time, he has drawn attention to the plight of African women, children and grandmothers who have been left to raise grandchildren orphaned by AIDS. Lewis has also tirelessly advocated for nurses, calling them the ‘linchpin’ in the fight against the pandemic. Although his position as envoy has officially ended, Lewis continues his work on HIV/AIDS as board chair for the Stephen Lewis Foundation. He continues to push for a UN agency for women. In the 1970s, Lewis led Ontario’s NDP before going on to work at the United Nations as Canadian Ambassador to the UN. He was also Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF, an investigator on the panel that examined the Rwandan genocide, and Chair of the first International Conference on Climate Change. Today, Lewis is the inaugural Scholar-in-Residence at McMaster University’s Institute on Globalization and the Human Condition. He became a Companion of the Order of Canada in 2003, was awarded the International Council of Nurses’ Health and Human Rights Award in 2005, and received the Pearson Peace Medal from the UN Association of Canada in 2004. Two years ago, TIME magazine named him one of the most influential people in the world. Back to top RNAO AWARD OF MERIT Yvette Laforêt-Fliesser RNAO’s Award of Merit recognizes a registered nurse who has made outstanding contributions to RNAO and to nursing in Ontario. Winners have demonstrated responsibility for professional development and are exemplary role models and peers. Yvette Laforêt-Fliesser and Nancy Lefebre have been chosen as the distinguished recipients of the 2007 Award of Merit. Throughout her 30-year career, Yvette Laforêt-Fliesser has made invaluable contributions to community health nursing not only through her work at the Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU), but also through volunteer activities, her teaching career, and mentorship to countless colleagues. As the Manager of Family Health Services at MLHU, Laforêt-Fliesser consistently receives praise from her colleagues for her supportive approach, mentorship and leadership. She also devotes her volunteer time to improving nursing and health care. Laforêt-Fliesser helped prepare the first CNA certification exam for community health nurses, and has contributed to public health through her work as a board member of the Community Health Nurses Association of Canada. She is also Past President of the Community Health Nurses Initiatives Group and a former Vice President of RNAO’s Middlesex chapter. She has been a member of the Enhancing Healthy Adolescent Development BPG panel, and is a Best Practice Champion. She is also a member of the team implementing and evaluating the smoking cessation guideline at MLHU. Laforêt-Fliesser has dedicated countless hours to advocating for the restoration of public health nurses in a school setting. To advance this cause, she lobbies politicians and government officials. She is also a founding member of the Ontario Healthy Schools Coalition. As a nursing professor at the University of Western Ontario, Laforêt-Fliesser implemented new curricula, provided leadership to create a new collaborative program in nursing, and has won several teaching awards. Back to top RNAO AWARD OF MERIT Nancy Lefebre Nancy Lefebre is Chief Clinical Executive and Senior Vice-President of Knowledge and Practice at Saint Elizabeth Health Care. She integrates evidence into both her clinical practice and management work. She was a panel member for RNAO’s Client Centred Care best practice guideline (BPG). Under her leadership, Saint Elizabeth has implemented and evaluated several clinical BPGs, including those focusing on pain management and on therapeutic relationships. Saint Elizabeth has also implemented the Developing and Sustaining Nursing Leadership Healthy Work Environment BPG. Lefebre supports and mentors colleagues, including those completing RNAO Advanced Clinical/Practice Fellowships or participating in nursing graduate programs. She encourages colleagues to become RNAO members, and is herself a member of the Nursing Leadership Network of Ontario, the Community Health Nurses’ Initiatives Group, and the Ontario Nursing Informatics Interest Group. Lefebre is committed to her education. She has earned a master of science in nursing, and completed the Executive Training for Research Application (EXTRA) fellowship program. She has also received her Certified Health Executive (CHE) designation from the Canadian College of Health Services Executives. Back to top LEADERSHIP AWARD IN NURSING ADMINISTRATION Norma Nicholson RNAO’s Leadership Award in Nursing Administration recognizes an RN who provides exemplary nursing management in an acute, long-term care, community, education, research or other setting. The winner is a role model in nursing administration, implementing innovative ideas to enhance patient care and demonstrating a commitment to improving the quality of health care. Norma Nicholson is a Service Manager at West Park Healthcare Centre in Toronto. She is also Co-Chair of RNAO’s Peel Chapter, and President of the Alzheimer Society of Peel. Nicholson works to improve nursing and health care every day. At West Park, she helps ensure RNAO’s clinical and healthy work environment BPGs are used in all aspects of care. She also encourages staff to go back to school or enrol in RNAO conferences and other professional development activities. Recognizing the importance of full-time jobs, Nicholson ensures 70 per cent of nurses at West Park have full-time work. Her efforts have been making a difference to patients: 98 per cent of ambulatory patients surveyed said they were satisfied with their overall care, an increase of nearly 30 per cent over previous years. She also spreads her passion for nursing throughout her volunteer work. In addition to her duties as chapter co-chair, she is a nurse ambassador who visits classrooms to encourage students to become nurses. Last fall, Nicholson completed RNAO’s political training program and has participated in many media interviews and meetings with politicians to share the unique perspective nurses bring to health-care discussions. Back to top CHAPTER OF THE YEAR Peel Chapter RNAO’s Chapter of the Year Award is presented to the chapter, or region without chapters, that demonstrates the best commitment to participation in RNAO. The chapter effectively communicates through a variety of methods, influences decision makers, and demonstrates strong leadership and teamwork within the nursing and health-care communities. With more than 2,300 members, Peel chapter strives to promote nursing, health care and social determinants of health in its community. Chapter executive take part in local vigils that commemorate the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. Members also regularly speak out on issues such as public health and the evolution of Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs) by writing letters to the editor and participating in print and broadcast interviews. The chapter also takes its lobbying directly to decision makers by regularly participating in RNAO’s Day at Queen’s Park and writing letters to MPPs. Last fall, three chapter members participated in RNAO’s political training sessions. Peel chapter also actively recruits new RNAO members. It’s executive and members promote membership among all Peel’s nurses, sponsor memberships for new graduates, and encourage new members to become voting delegates at RNAO’s annual general meeting. Back to top INTEREST GROUP OF THE YEAR Childbirth Nursing Interest Group RNAO’s Interest Group of the Year Award is given to the group that best demonstrates commitment to RNAO through active participation in association initiatives. The interest group effectively communicates through a variety of media and methods, influences decision makers, mobilizes RNs for action, and exhibits exemplary teamwork and strong leadership within the nursing and health-care communities. The Childbirth Nurses Interest Group (CNIG) has more than 2,000 members who are committed to ensuring that babies and families have the best start in life. The group has worked with RNAO and other interest groups to create post-partum depression workshops. CNIG members have also participated on several best practice guideline panels, and actively promote the guidelines at their workplaces and conferences around the province. CNIG’s executive officers have lobbied provincial politicians to implement the WHO/UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative (BFI), which promotes and supports breastfeeding in Ontario health-care organizations. They have also been instrumental in publicizing the link between breastfeeding and childhood obesity. In 2006, RNAO received the Annual Breastfeeding Award of Excellence as result of CNIG’s nomination. CNIG is committed to fostering growth and development of its leadership executive by recruiting new executive members and helping them develop the leadership skills necessary to build on the group’s success. Back to top PRESIDENT'S AWARD FOR LEADERSHIP IN CLINICAL NURSING PRACTICE Suman Iqbal and Suzy YoungThe RNAO President's Award for Leadership in Clinical Nursing Practice is awarded to the registered nurse who consistently demonstrates expertise and evidence-based practice in one or more areas of clinical practice in a staff nurse position. This member enhances the image of nursing by demonstrating nursing leadership in her workplace and influencing change for the betterment of patients, families and/or communities.   This year we have two successful candidates for the President's Award.Suman Iqbal is a staff nurse at Sunnybrook Hospital, where she works in surgical oncology.  Suman chaired the Nursing practice council and acts as a role model, a leader, and a dedicated teammate.  Her nomination from colleague Mary Glavassevich illustrated how Suman "has done much work to advance the nursing profession" and "has shown exceptional leadership as a staff nurse."  Suman has reviewed Best Practice Guidelines, mentored students, and exemplifies the spirit of speaking out for health and speaking out for nursing.Suzy Young is an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner at St. Mary's General Hospital in Kitchener, where she is a leader in innovative interdisciplinary care.  Suzy's nomination highlighted her immense contribution to the Chest Program, especially in promoting smoking cessation and improving the quality of life for COPD patients.Another key to Sandra Hett's successful nomination of Suzy is Suzy's long term commitment to the Waterloo Chapter of the RNAO.   Back to top
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