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Eleven Nurses Receive Awards of Excellence

Posted May 13th, 2008

Niagara, ON - To mark Nursing Week from May 12 – 18, the Niagara Health System honoured nurses at a Nursing Breakfast this morning and 11 nurses received Nursing Awards of Excellence, as nominated by their peers. The NHS's Nursing Professional Development Council selected the winners from a field of 32 nominations.

"We thank and congratulate all the nominees for their hard work and dedication to our patients," said Pam Sheptenko, Co-Chair of the Nursing Professional Development Council and Bargaining Unit President, NHS Local 26, Ontario Nurses Association. "Making the decisions and choosing the award winners was extremely difficult as all the nominees were most deserving."

The following RNs and RPNs have been recognized by their peers with Nursing Awards of Excellence. A new award has also been developed this year for clinical managers, called the Nursing Leadership Award.

Nursing Award for Excellence in Direct Care – One chosen per hospital site plus one NHS-wide recipient

  • Bev Smith, RPN, Douglas Memorial Hospital Site Inpatient Medical/Surgical Unit
  • Margaret Hamilton, RPN, Greater Niagara General Site Emergency Department
  • Paula Wilson, RPN, Niagara-on-the-Lake Hospital Site Inpatient Medical/ Complex Continuing Care Unit
  • Nancy Garriock, RPN, Ontario Street Site Peri-Operative Day Surgery
  • Sally Larochelle, RN, Port Colborne General Site Emergency Department
  • Jodi Tomczuk, RN, St. Catharines General Site Emergency Department
  • Jetta Witlib, RN, Welland Hospital Site Mental Health Unit
  • Derek Christensen, RN, Regional Mental Health Clinical Educator

Nursing Leadership Award – One clinical manager chosen, NHS-wide

  • Cindee Barrow, RN, Clinical Manager, Welland Hospital Site Mental Health Unit

Congratulations to the winners, who each received a framed certificate and a $50 gift card to Chapters.

Nursing Award for Professional Development – One RN and one RPN selected NHS-wide

  • Wendy Vanstralen, RPN, Niagara-on-the-Lake Site Inpatient Unit
  • Nicole Lavoie, RN, Ontario Street Site Niagara Diabetes Centre

The Professional Development Award brings a framed certificate and $500, courtesy of Baxter Inc., to each of the winners to be used for professional development/continuing education.

"Our nurses contribute an amazing level of care and comfort to patients and their families," said Donna Rothwell, Interim Chief Nursing Executive and Vice President Patient Services. "The winners are just a few examples of the essence of professional nursing care our nurses continuously demonstrate. They showcase the attributes of professional nursing for patient/client centred care and on behalf of our patients and their families, I thank them for the enormous contributions they and all their peers make each and every day."

"These awards are really about valuing our nurses and encouraging their peers to be part of a recognition effort," said Debbie Sevenpifer, President and CEO. "We are working hard to improving the worklife or our 1,800 RNs and RPNs through a number of initiatives and this type of recognition is just one of the ways we can make a difference. I add my sincerest congratulations to our recipients this year."

Nursing Week is a national celebration of the dedication of nurses. The NHS holds a variety of recognition events for its 1,800 RNs and RPNs during the week, including a Nursing Breakfast, Nursing Dinner and Trivia Night, Celebration Teas at each of the seven hospital sites, and Nursing Excellence Awards.

For more background information on our award winners, click HERE.

Niagara Health System