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Congratulations to the winners of our 2024 Nursing & Clinical Excellence Awards!

March 11, 2024

The Sunnybrook Award for Nursing and Clinical Excellence is an annual award that recognizes and honours the clinical work of individuals who demonstrate the values of Sunnybrook in their daily work with patients, families and colleagues. These awards honour employees who work in the areas of diagnostic, therapeutic and direct clinical patient care. Congratulations to this year's winners!

Meet the winners and learn more about their incredible work with these words from their nominators. (Edited for length and clarity)

Paula Abelha
Respiratory Therapist, ALS Clinic

Paula has significantly improved respiratory care for ALS patients over eight years. Notable instances include securing timely devices for a newly diagnosed ALS patient facing language and financial barriers and providing unwavering support to a complex ALS patient with mental illness. In demonstrating Sunnybrook's values, Paula's excellence is evident in her niche expertise in respiratory care for neuromuscular patients. She serves as a valuable resource for respiratory therapists (RTs) across the province, contributing her knowledge and filling in various roles during staff shortages.

Paula's commitment to teaching is showcased through her mentorship, providing guidance to new staff, and offering support to respiratory therapists dealing with ALS patients in different hospital units. Paula's commitment to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion is driven by addressing healthcare inequities. Her relentless advocacy inspires colleagues, creating a culture of fairness and accessibility in patient care.

Greg Ashton
Certified Pedorthist, SCIL

Greg’s approach to Pedorthics embodies all of the Sunnybrook values on a daily basis. His personal warmth with his patients augments the meticulous nature of his work. He regularly goes over his list of ongoing tasks to ensure they are being done in a timely manner that is as efficient as possible. Cutting corners is never an option with Greg. He regularly phones his patients to check in on them and see how a new device is working, or just how they are feeling. His in-depth knowledge of patient history shows a deep awareness of their medical experiences with him. He rarely has to check charts to explain a patient’s history, and he takes care to normalize a caring relationship with them.

Greg uses his natural respect and curiosity to gently explore areas that may not be part of his personal experience in order to be a better clinician. He is open to all questions and comments and his ego never enters the room. As a result, he is an exceptional instructor and mentor.

Jackie Campbell
Pharmacist, Drug Allergy Clinic

Jackie Campbell has consistently demonstrated exceptional dedication at Sunnybrook. In the Drug Allergy Clinic, she plays a crucial role in supporting the physician in charge, addressing challenges, and improving processes. Her responsibilities there expand significantly, showcasing innovation, cost-saving initiatives, and collaboration with healthcare professionals. Testimonials highlight her excellence, reliability, and willingness to go above and beyond for patient care. Jackie’s respectful and patient-centered approach is commendable, providing comprehensive information and materials for patient understanding.

In terms of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, Jackie actively seeks resources for staff and patients, advocates for accessible medication information, and fosters an inclusive work culture. Overall, Jackie’s contributions exemplify excellence, collaboration, accountability, respect, engagement, and a strong commitment to teaching and inclusion at Sunnybrook.

Hans Chin
Registered Nurse, Code Stroke RN, B4 Team Leader

Hans is an exceptional nurse whose care standards, work ethics, compassion, and collegiality precedes him. While playing multiple clinical roles at Sunnybrook, he is also an avid patient and nurse advocate. He supports patients and families with a calm, informative approach during a difficult period in their illness trajectory. Hans’ nursing care has been positively impactful, receiving gratitude from previous patients for transforming a traumatic experience to an empowering one. He is a detail-oriented and perceptive nurse.

Hans monitors nursing practice on the unit to identify opportunities for improvement, does his own research on current evidence and what has worked well in other areas, develops a plan and then shares his ideas with the PCM/APN. As a regional stroke centre, Hans is one of the first faces patients see when they come to the ED. He is accountable to remain with the patient beyond the end of his shift to ensure the patient receives the right care, at the right time, from the right clinician.

Mackenzie Conn
Registered Nurse and Team Leader, Holland Centre (7East)

Mackenzie Conn is known for her unwavering commitment to high-quality care and compassion for patients, their families, and colleagues. Recognized as an outstanding role model and team player, she actively engages in continuous learning, participating in educational opportunities and committees with palpable enthusiasm. Mackenzie prioritizes creating a positive environment by recognizing all team members and treating patients and families with respect, dignity, and compassion, extending greetings from the moment they arrive on the unit. She strives to understand each patient as an individual, valuing their input to develop patient-focused care plans in collaboration with an interprofessional team.

Guided by teamwork, inclusivity, and accountability, Mackenzie also ensures all team members are informed and educated on strategies to manage high-risk patient behaviours with compassion, contributing to enhanced safety for both patients and staff.

Ketrina Dilo
Social Worker, Frederick W. Thompson Anxiety Disorders Centre

As a social worker for people managing obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), Ketrina Dilo consistently goes above and beyond for her clients, demonstrating patience, empathy and flexibility. When clients struggle with a planned program, Ketrina adapts, pursuing further education or alternate care models to address their unique challenges. Many clients have shared that it is because of her work with them that they are better able to manage their symptoms, return to work, connect with their friends and family, and engage in a number of activities they could never have done before.

Ketrina’s dedication extends to her colleagues and students, being the first to help out when needed, and offering support and guidance that instills confidence. She conveys respect and curiosity for each team members’ contributions and perspectives without judgment. Many of her students return to Sunnybrook to work, and along with colleagues, label Ketrina as one of the most dedicated, passionate, and hardworking clinicians, supervisors and mentors they know.

Patricia Gordon
Nurse Clinician, Geriatric Consultation Team, Specialized Geriatric Services, Integrated Community Program

Patricia is an exemplary nurse. She is an astute clinician who keeps up with the latest developments in medical treatments and exhibits a keen interest in geriatrician-led teaching sessions and clinical guideline updates, applying these recommendations to benefit her patients. Patricia’s team hosts learners rotating every four weeks. She brings them up to speed and fosters a dynamic team energy. She actively listens as learners review their patients, consistently offering suggestions that both enhance patient care and educate learners on additional ways to promote senior friendly care.

Patricia is always willing to try something new to improve service. When her team established the new geriatrics burns collaboration, Patricia was the first to embed herself in the team rounds, quickly becoming an active contributor to the burn unit case discussions. She is always respectful and reliable, with a strong sense of duty to the patients, family and the team.