Registed Nurses' Association of Ontario


Leadership Award in Political Action

This award recognizes an RN who initiates and partakes in political action that benefits the health of individuals, clients, or profiles or positively positions nursing.

Her colleagues call her “…the very definition of a leader in our profession,” but Lorraine Telford sees her decades of political action as a team effort. “It’s a team approach, even if it’s one person speaking,” says the clinical manager at Toronto’s LAMP Community Health Centre, and professor of nursing at Ryerson University. Over the past 30 years, Lorraine has advocated for everything from mandatory motorcycle helmets to a $14 minimum wage, with the latter landing her on CTV News in January 2013. She is passionate about helping vulnerable people, and has recently helped to raise awareness of the need to eradicate poverty and protested cuts to refugee health care. Her nominators say she’s not just an advocate, but a constant source of encouragement for her peers. Lorraine believes that significant social change takes time and can be daunting, “(but) brave health professionals have made a difference.” Through her efforts and her teaching, Lorraine is indeed making a difference, and inspiring the next generation of “brave” nurses.