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Outstanding B2 nurses treated patient as a family member, won Team Nursing Award

Ora Cook (left) and Betty Clark (right)

Nurses on B2 at the Civic Campus, led by Clinical Manager Betty Clark (right), won the Team Nursing Award at the Nursing Recognition Celebration in November. They were nominated by Ora Cook (left) and her family.

When Allan Cook became discouraged, they urged him on, high-fiving him as he managed to walk down the hallway of Unit B2 at the Civic Campus where he was a patient for seven months. Their compassion and caring shone through – not just for Allan but for all his family and friends as well. And after he passed away, they attended his wake and celebration of life, continuing to care for his family.

All that and more is why the nurses on the B2 General Surgery unit won the Team Nursing Award at the Nursing Recognition Celebration ceremony in November.

Ora Cook (left and Dr. Jack Kitts (right)

Dr. Jack Kitts (right) was pleased that Ora Cook and her family nominated the nurses on B2 at the Civic Campus for the Team Nursing Award. The Cook family said the nurses treated patient Allan Cook “like a father, grandfather, friend and any other member of their families.”

“Mr. Cook, known as ‘Cookie,’ was very special to the staff on B2,” said Clinical Manager Betty Clark. “Winning the Team Nursing Award was particularly meaningful because of the personal connection the entire B2 team developed with Cookie and his family.”

“They embraced us as much as we did them,” said RN Laura Bloom. Other staff comments included:

  • “They truly became part of our team.” Andrea Barrass, Physiotherapist
  • “He was a very special man.” Sandra Boston, RN
  • “They were like family.” Joe Bothamley, RN
  • “This family will remain in our hearts and thoughts forever.” Sue Allen, RN

“They treated him like a father, grandfather, friend and any other member of their families,” wrote Allan’s wife, Ora Cook, in nominating the B2 team for the award. “Even when they weren’t on shift, they would stop by to say ‘Hi’ and see how he was doing. That’s just who they are. My husband’s home for the last seven months of his life became the ‘Happy Room’ for us and the staff.”

Daughter Robyn Godin and her husband, Keith Godin, said the nurses encouraged their father to get “out and about, high-fiving him as he strolled by with his shades on, the cheering as he walked the hallways and said Hello to the ladies at the desk, to the best wishes for his fourth surgery, to the respect you showed visiting him in ICU. For all that, we are forever grateful.”

Ora was so touched by the nursing care that she has become a volunteer on B2. “Their support, commitment and compassion continue on to help me through this loss of my dear husband of 47 years.”

Patients and families nominated 20 nursing units for the Team Nursing Award. Other major award winners were nominated by their nursing peers.

Robin Morash

Robin Morash (centre) is the 2018 Boehringer Ingelheim Oncology Nurse of the Year. At the presentation ceremony, she was accompanied by Linda Irwin from Boehringer Ingelheim (left) and Colleen Campbell, CANO Recognition of Excellence Committee Member and 2017 Oncology Nurse of the Year.

Jennifer Newton, Nurse Educator in the Outpatient Oncology Program, won the Wendy Nicklin Professional Image of Nursing Award. She redesigned and updated the orientation program for five areas from start to finish – chemotherapy/biotherapy, outpatient hematology, cancer clinics, cancer assessment program and brachytherapy. “Her education sessions are fun, interactive and extremely informative,” wrote her nominators.

Julie Graham, Registered Practical Nurse with 6 West Radiation Oncology and Sub-Acute Medicine, won the Sue Robblee Clinical Practice Award for her compassionate approach to patients. “No matter who the patient, she connected with them and intuitively knew how to best care for them as an individual,” wrote her nominators. “Julie sets the bar in terms of her overall nursing and clinical reasoning skills. Her years of working in geriatrics have honed a superior holistic approach to nursing that is truly unique. From her interactions with patients (and their families), her bedside demeanor and nursing skills, and her ability to create, review and bring suggestions to individual care plans, she shines and personifies what a phenomenal nurse is.”

Module B oncology nurses in the Cancer Centre, led by Clinical Manager Kate Duke, won the Dr. Ginette Lemire-Rodger Nursing Quality Improvement Award for a project that set up a new nursing triage workflow process. The process, supported by the Quality team, successfully frees nurses to work more to the scope of their practice, while volunteers help patients check in, complete their symptom assessments, and find their rooms. “Physicians report anecdotally that there is no negative impact to care, and nurses report more positive experiences in clinic, increased scope and autonomy of practice.”

Oncology RN Andrea Keller-Robinson won the Annual Nursing Education Award in recognition of her outstanding leadership and tireless efforts to improve the chemotherapy treatment unit. She is keen to learn and share new information, furthered her own education, created an orientation and mentoring program for newly hired nurses, and led a helpful workshop to introduce and familiarize the nurses on our unit to these programs. “Andrea’s commitment to lifelong learning and compassionate care make her an admirable nurse.”

The ceremony also honoured nursing research awards and various professional accomplishments, including advanced education and publications.

Jennifer Newton
Jennifer Smylie


Jennifer Newton (above, centre) won the Pfizer Award of Excellence in Nursing Education from the Canadian Association of Nurses in Oncology, while Jennifer Smylie (below, centre) won the Pfizer Award of Excellence in Nursing Leadership.

Three of our nurses – who all inspired their fellow nurses – were honoured by the Canadian Association of Nurses in Oncology (CANO).

  • Robin Morash was named the 2018 Oncology Nurse of the Year for her work in direct patient care and transformation of regional cancer centre programs, including developing a prostate cancer assessment centre. Until her retirement earlier this year, she worked as an Advanced Practice Nurse in the regional cancer program, providing education and support to patients with bladder cancer. She led several programs in recent years, particularly the Wellness Beyond Cancer program and the Smoking Cessation program. Her work, and her volunteer work, has improved outcomes for cancer patients. “Her passion for assisting others is evident in everything that she does, which inspires those around her to be better,” wrote her nominators.
  • Jennifer Newton, Nurse Educator in the Cancer Program, won the Pfizer Award of Excellence in Nursing Education. She redesigned five areas of oncology nursing orientation to make education more comprehensive, focused, safe and effective. She uses interactive strategies that are engaging and informative and she embraces many learning styles. Her nominators said her contagious zest for knowledge inspires her colleagues, who feel like they have won the lottery!
  • Jennifer Smylie, who recently retired from The Ottawa Hospital, won the Pfizer Award of Excellence in Nursing Leadership. “She is one of those unique leaders who is able to inspire nurses to improve their practice, work to their full scope, and constantly endeavor to improve the experience of their patients and families,” wrote her nominators. She has implemented central intake clinics and nurse triage, and has reduced diagnostic wait times. Among her leadership accomplishments is achieving consensus with 41 oncology surgeons and several general practitioners.

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