Nursing :: Minister Clement Announces 2007 Award of Excellence in Nursing

The Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Health, congratulated three recipients of the Award of Excellence in Nursing for nurses working in First Nations and Inuit communities. The ceremony, held during National Nursing Week, took place at the Government Conference Centre in Ottawa.

?The health of Canada’s rural and remote communities is reliant in large part on the outstanding contributions of public health nurses such as these recipients. They are providing high-quality healthcare to their communities,? said Minister Clement. ?It gives me great pleasure, on the occasion of the 5th Annual Award of Excellence ceremony, to congratulate each recipient on their outstanding and unique contributions to the health of Canada’s Aboriginal peoples.?

The Award of Excellence in Nursing celebrates the dedication, initiative and excellence of nurses employed by First Nations communities, Health Canada and Inuit communities. The award is presented each year during National Nursing Week. Nurses are nominated for this award by their peers and each winner receives a $2,500 non-cash award to be used for their professional development.

This year’s awards recipients are:

Gail Turner ? Happy Valley, Goose Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador

Born and raised in Labrador, Gail grew up in Happy Valley and has worked in her community for more than 30 years. She is a well respected and active member of her community who sits on many committees advocating for seniors, adults and children. While currently Director of Health Services for the Nunatsiavut Government, Gail is very much a ?hands on’ manager who stays close to the nursing front lines. Gail serves as mentor and model for less experienced staff. Along with Gail’s passion for nursing and Labrador, she has a commitment to representing her community on an international level. Recently, Gail represented the Canadian Inuit community at an International Symposium on Indigenous Health Accreditation held in Australia.

Margaret Levy – Red Bank, New Brunswick

Margaret Levy has worked in the area of First Nations’ health for more than 20 years. A member of the Metepenagiag First Nations, Margaret lives and works in her community. She also works in neighbouring Eel Ground, N.B. Margaret’s main area of focus is mother and infant nutrition and breastfeeding – she offers prenatal classes for mothers. Her focus does not stop there, however. She is a tireless worker for her community, advocating for the implementation of home care services and implementing a smoking cessation program in the community. Margaret is constantly on the go, whether stocking up on fruit for the food basket program she offers new mothers and their babies or giving health advice to teenagers who stop her on the street to ask questions ? a clear example of the high regard in which she is held by her community.

Paula J. Stefankiw, Balgonie, Saskatchewan

In her capacity as a Home Care Nurse for the Kawacatoose Health Centre, Paula has developed a strong connection with the Band community. Her main focus is in the care and treatment of people with diabetes – a health issue that has had an enormous effect on her community. Paula is very involved in the Kawacatoose community. She started workshops, wellness clinics, information sessions and other activities to complement her home care work, and is a member of the Home Care Working Group which strives to provide the best possible home care to First Nations’ communities. Paula has developed a strong relationship of trust and mutual respect with her clients and the community at large through her openness, honesty and integrity.

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