President’s Award in Clinical Nursing Practice: Lisa De Panfilis

The President's Award for Leadership in Clinical Nursing Practice is awarded to the RN or NP who consistently demonstrates expertise and evidence-informed practice in one or more areas of clinical practice in a staff nurse position. This member enhances the role of nursing by demonstrating leadership in her/his workplace and influencing change for the betterment of patients, families and/or communities. The winners of this award (we have two this year) each receive a $2,000 scholarship, or the equivalent in funding, towards attending a Canadian Nurses Association or International Council of Nurses conference. Funding for this award is generously sponsored by RNAO's group home and auto insurance provider, HUB International Ontario Limited.

Lisa De Panfilis

Lisa De Panfilis is a master’s prepared registered nurse who works in an outpatient psychiatry clinic at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton. She is the vice president of RNAO’s Hamilton Chapter. In this role, she recruits
and mentors nursing students, organizes events and supports government advocacy work.

In her clinical practice, Lisa utilizes a curious approach to examine care processes and encourages participation from patients and families to enhance services. Her office door is often open to allow for candid and supportive conversations with her colleagues and clients. As a person with lived-experience, she believes the key to excellent care is meeting clients’ needs at every appointment. “I know that sincerity and a few extra minutes can have a positive impact when receiving mental health care,” she says. 

Lisa’s master’s research examined adolescents with mental illness experiences and how they accessed primary care for mental health services. She developed a framework, which demonstrated that a patient’s access to care begins well before they enter the health-care environment. “All Canadians deserve equitable access to health care that considers their personal history and local context.” 

Looking to the future, Lisa intends to continue her work on the concept of access and with populations that face inequities in access to care.  

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Lisa De Panfilis