Nursing News contains synopses of healthcare related and nursing-specific news that has been published in the industry and popular press. It highlights innovations, advances in the state of the art or practice, interesting facts, and transistions in the industry that will help you keep up with what is happening.

The International Council of Nurses is pleased to announce that Dr. Margretta Madden Styles, a nurse scholar renowned globally as an international leader in nursing education, regulation and credentialing, has been awarded the 2005 Christiane Reimann Prize for her remarkable achievements and contributions to the nursing profession internationally. The Christiane Reimann Prize is known worldwide as nursing's top international award recognizing outstanding nursing achievement.

As a past president of the International Council of Nurses (ICN), the American Nurses Association (ANA) and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), "Gretta" Styles has demonstrated a lifelong commitment to leadership in nursing. She was the architect of the first comprehensive study of nursing credentialing in the 1970s, and an innovator and pioneer in defining this critical work that recognizes and differentiates quality in all aspects of nursing practice. In the 1980s, she spearheaded ICN's definitive work on nursing regulation, including the publication of a guidebook on nursing regulation. Always an original thinker, Dr. Styles is the author of many other articles and books, including, On Nursing: A Literary Celebration, which has inspired nurses around the world.

The University of Victoria has a new medical school. The $12-million, 4,040-square-metre Medical Sciences Building - the first UVic facility built to a gold-level standard for leadership in environmental and energy design - will eventually accommodate 96 students in the Island medical program. They will be linked through sophisticated audiovisual and e-learning technology for simultaneous, interactive learning with other medical students at the University of B.C. in Vancouver and the University of Northern B.C. in Prince George. The first 24 students began their studies in the Medical Sciences Building in January, after completing their initial semester at UBC's Vancouver campus. All graduates will receive medical degrees from UBC. Funding for the $134-million investment in medical school facilities, announced in March 2002, came from the Ministry of Advanced Education's budget for capital projects. For information on AchieveBC, visit https://www.achievebc.ca online.

The government of British Columbia is investing $35 million in the latest medical technology. Highlights of the new equipment include:

  • PET/CT scanner at the BC Cancer Agency, Vancouver Cancer Centre
  • Three new 64-slice CT scanners at Royal Columbian Hospital, Royal Jubilee Hospital and Vancouver General Hospital
  • A mobile MRI scanner for the Kootenays and south Okanagan, and a new 32-slice CT scanner at Kelowna General Hospital
  • MRI scanner upgrade at UBC Hospital
  • Advanced radiology and pharmaceutical systems for the Northern Health Authority
  • Laboratory Centre of Excellence for Genomics in Vancouver
  • Radiopharmaceutical lab and cyclotron at Vancouver Cancer Centre

Since 2001/02, the number of CT scanners in B.C. has increased by over 20% with a total of 37 CT scanners available across the province as of June 2004. Over the same time period, the number of MRI scanners in the province increased by over 75% with a total of 16 MRI scanners as of June 2004. These investments have been assisted by federal funding for medical and diagnostic equipment.

In Saskatchewan, Regina will soon be home to a new provincial public health laboratory that will meet future needs by improving testing capability and speeding up intervention in the event of a public health crisis such as SARS or an influenza pandemic. The new Provincial Lab was announced in the government's 2004-05 Mid-Year Report. Location options are currently being reviewed. The project will be completed within three years and cost approximately $27 million.

Teams of health providers and managers from seven Saskatchewan hospitals are working together over the next year to improve quality of care and patient safety within their adult intensive care units (ICU). Participating ICUs will address two care processes: control of sedation and agitation, and prevention of venous thromboembolism in critically ill patients. Hospitals involved in the improvement project are Victoria Hospital (Prince Albert); Union Hospital (Moose Jaw); Regina General (two units) and Pasqua Hospital in Regina; and City Hospital, St. Paul's Hospital and Royal University Hospital in Saskatoon. Saskatachewan's Health Quality Council is providing funding and Web-based IT infrastructure for the project, and will also evaluate the results.

2004 Recipients of the Achievement Award in Nursing/Health Human Resources

Dr. Linda O'Brien-Pallas, Canadian Health Service Research Foundation (CHSRF)/Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR) Chair in Nursing Health Human Resources is excited to announce the 2004 recipients of the CHSRF/CIHR Achievement Award in Nursing/Health Human Resources.

The award was launched in 2004 in response to the imperative to create healthy workplaces for nurses and to recognize and celebrate individuals or employers who have played a key role in identifying, advocating for and/or implementing innovative initiatives to promote healthy workplaces for nurses and other healthcare professionals. Research demonstrates that applied strategies are effective in promoting satisfying work environments for nurses. Furthermore, the relationship between a healthy workplace for nurses and improved client health outcomes is supported by considerable research evidence.

In the inaugural year, the award was offered in Alberta, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Saskatchewan and British Columbia to the following recipients:


  • Dr. Sheila M. Gallagher, RN, PhD, Child and Adolescent Health Leader in the Child and Adolescent Health (CAH) Department of the Northeast Community Health Centre
  • Dr. Phyllis Giovannetti, RN, PhD, Professor Emeritus, University of Alberta


  • Valerie Stove, RN, BN, MHA, Senior Project Coordinator at Halton HealthCare Services in Oakville

Prince Edward Island

  • Nancy Pearson, RN, a home care nurse with East Prince Health Home Care in Summerside


  • Donna Brunskill, Executive Director of The Saskatchewan Registered Nurses Association (SRNA)
  • Parkridge Centre Eastbridge One Quality Workplace Group

British Columbia

  • Miriam Stewart, RN, BSN, MA, CNCC(c), Director, Health Services, Fraser Health Authority, Burnaby
  • Charlotte Thompson, RN, MSN, MA(c), Regional Nursing Consultant, Health Canada, First Nations & Inuit Health Branch

Recipients received a commemorative trophy, and each nominee received a certificate of nomination. Dr. O'Brien- Pallas is proud of the difference each recipient has made to the nurses and other healthcare workers in their setting. They are profiled on the HHR website at www.hhr.utoronto.ca.

The award will be made available to the remaining provinces/territories in 2005 and returns to Ontario, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Prince Edward Island and British Columbia in 2006. Information about the award, including award criteria, nomination guidelines, and nomination forms, is available on the HHR website at www.hhr.utoronto.ca.

The Health Quality Council of Alberta recently released its second Health Report to Albertans. Some of the key findings highlighted in the report include:

  • While Albertans are more active than rest of Canada, only 30.6% of Albertans are physically active. This is up from 27.7% in 2000-2001.
  • The percentage of Albertans who die in hospital as a result of having a heart attack is lower than the Canadian average.
  • Alberta's injury and suicide rates are among the highest in Canada.
  • More Alberta women are getting pap smears and mammograms to detect cancer early.
  • Chronic diseases, like heart disease and diabetes are on the rise in Alberta. But in many cases they can be delayed or prevented.
  • Patient safety is a growing concern in both Alberta and across Canada.
  • Waiting times are still too long for some services in Alberta.

The Health Quality Council of Alberta (HQCA) is an arm'slength organization empowered and funded by the government of Alberta through the Minister of Health and Wellness to report directly to Albertans on the quality, safety and performance of health services. The Council identifies best practices, and reviews and monitors the following dimensions of healthcare quality: access, acceptability, appropriateness, effectiveness, efficiency and patient safety. Copies of the report are available on the HQCA's website at www.hqca.ca,

Women in Manitoba will have better access to Aboriginal midwives through a new, $1.6-million training program. The Aboriginal Midwifery Education Program (AMEP) will provide midwifery students with a blend of traditional Aboriginal and Western methods of practice, and will include both classroom and clinical components. When their education is complete, the midwives will provide culturally appropriate birthing services primarily to remote and northern Aboriginal communities in Manitoba and in Nunavut and the Northwest Territories.

Construction is underway in rural and northern Manitoba on five new primary healthcare centres that will develop community-based health programs and support timely access to healthcare services. The new primary healthcare centres will be located in The Pas, Flin Flon, Waterhen, Camperville and Riverton and will provide community residents with access to a wide range of healthcare services including primary healthcare, mental health services and health promotion, prevention and education programs.

In Ontario, the first of 45 new Family Health Teams (FHTs) have been approved. Family Health Teams are comprised of doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses and other healthcare providers working together to meet the individual needs of patients around the clock, seven-days-a-week. FHTs are a major part of the solution to the family doctors shortage that has plagued much of Ontario for years. More than one million Ontarians cannot find a family doctor close to home, and 142 communities are under-serviced for basic healthcare. The government will create 150 Family Health Teams over the next four years.

Ontario also announced the establishment of the Family Health Team Action Group, headed by Dr. Ruth Wilson, former head of family medicine at Queen's University, which will provide expert advice from different health disciplines on the design and implementation of Family Health Teams. For more information about Family Health Teams go to the ministry's website: www.health.gov.on.ca/transformation.

The government of Newfoundland and Labrador is recruiting its first provincial chief nurse. The province's Budget 2004 confirmed government's Blueprint commitment to establish this position. Leaders in the nursing community are pleased government has honoured its commitment.

Ontario is moving forward with its plan to tackle wait times with the launch of a new website that gives Ontarians information on key healthcare services. The Ontario Wait Time Strategy website - which can be accessed by going to: https://www.health.gov.on.ca - features:

  • Explanations and examples of wait times (with links to various healthcare organizations)
  • Updates on what's happening to improve access to healthcare services
  • Answers to frequently asked questions
  • Myths and facts about wait times

By April 2005, data will begin being posted and regularly updated on the website. By the end of 2006, the website will have complete information on wait times for five key health service areas - hip and knee replacements, cataract surgery, cancer surgery, MRI/CT exams and selected cardiac procedures. The information will detail how many patients are waiting for surgery, where they are waiting and for how long. Ultimately the website will have information on every type of surgery being performed in the province. For more information on achievements in healthcare, visit www.resultsontario.gov.on.ca.

The Child Health Network for the Greater Toronto Area (CHN) has released the findings from a first-annual study detailing birthing activity over a 12-month period in the Toronto/Greater Toronto Area. The report will help direct future planning and quality improvement for maternal and newborn care across the region. The report - Niday Perinatal Database for the Greater Toronto Area: First Annual Statistical Report - profiles information arising from a common database now being used by all CHN hospitals. The report includes data related to approximately 66,000 births that occurred in the region between April 1, 2003 and March 31, 2004. A copy of the Niday Perinatal Database for the Greater Toronto Area: First Annual Statistical Report is available on the CHN website at: www.childhealthnetwork.com/chn/publications.htm.

Nova Scotians will continue to see shorter wait times, more health professionals and better support for healthy choices as a result of $62 million in federal funding commitments. Funding allocations include four capital projects totalling about $19 million, $19.5 million allocated throughout the province to address key pressure areas affecting wait times, $2 million for addiction prevention and treatment, and $6.3 million for one-time operating costs such as long-term care deferred maintenance and start up funds for the recently announced early intensive behavioural intervention treatment for children with autism.

New Brunswick will invest $95.73 million in healthcare facilities and equipment in 2005-06. More than $54 million is allocated to five major construction projects:

  • $29 million to complete planning and begin construction of the new hospital for the Upper River Valley area
  • $10.7 million to complete construction of the Stan Cassidy Centre for Rehabilitation and laboratory addition at the Dr. Everett Chalmers Hospital in Fredericton
  • $10 million to begin construction of a new emergency, ambulatory care and laboratory services' facility at the Moncton Hospital
  • $3 million to begin construction of a new surgical suite at the Bathurst Regional Hospital
  • $1.5 million to complete the construction of a new regional addiction services facility in Campbellton.

As well, a total of $1.665 million will be invested to complete renovations for the Community Health Centres at Saint Joseph's in Saint John, Lameque, Minto and Doaktown, while $4.4 million has been budgeted for capital improvement projects valued over $100,000. On the capital equipment side, $10.7 million has been budgeted to equip the new Stan Cassidy Centre for Rehabilitation and to purchase new or replacement medical equipment. The money will be disbursed in collaboration with the Regional Health Authorities on a priority basis.

In Ontario, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and the province's hospitals have completed the first phase of a process started in October 2004 to balance hospital budgets by the end of March 2006. As part of the process, the Ministry has introduced a $200 million one-time transitional fund to assist hospitals to become more efficient and improve their operations. The $200 million one-time transition fund includes:

  • $91 million that all hospitals can apply for to cover severance costs
  • $65 million to reward hospitals who have financial difficulties but are working to become more efficient
  • $5 million to reward balanced hospitals, including the most efficient "pacesetter" hospitals
  • $20 million bridge funding to assist hospitals that need significant assistance to bring their budgets under control
  • $19 million for small rural hospitals that have small operating bases and difficulty integrating services with other providers because of their isolation


In February, Health Canada announced $5.53 million to help strengthen Canada's nursing community. For instance, $3.98 million has been allocated to the Canadian Nurses Association to develop a bilingual online portal that will provide timely information on everything from public health alerts to continuing education opportunities. The portal will serve nurses across the country, but will be especially valuable to nurses working in rural and isolated locations, including the North and Aboriginal communities. The portal will be launched at the Canadian Nurses Association Biennial Conference in June 2006 in Saskatchewan.
Other funded projects include:

  • $650,000 over two years to the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) to improve health human resources planning and recruitment and retention;
  • an additional $200,000 to the CNA to work with the international community on health human resources for the HIV/AIDS global pandemic;
  • $300,000 over three years to the Victorian Order of Nurses to strengthen current workplace practices that lead to a healthy work environment in home and community settings, which will increase the organization's ability to recruit and retain qualified health providers;
  • $200,000 over two years to the Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing to study how to improve nursing clinical placement opportunities;
  • $100,000 to the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions to identify innovative workplace practices and successful collective agreements that encourage the retention of older nurses and the integration of new graduates;
  • $100,000 to the Nursing Health Services Research Institute of the University of Toronto to support Canadian involvement in an international study of nursing turnover.




Bryan Held, Chair of the Board of William Osler Health Centre has announced that Robert J. Bell, President and CEO, has submitted his resignation to the Board of Directors effective March 25, 2005. Mr. Bell is relocating to London, England to become the Chief Executive Officer of the Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals NHS Trust.

Amy McCutcheon has been appointed Executive Lead and Chief Nursing Officer for the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority.

Karen McGrath has accepted the position of Chief Executive Officer for the Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario, effective March 1, 2005. For the past four years, she has been a Chief Executive Officer for Health and Community Services, Newfoundland & Labrador - two years as CEO for the St John's Region and two years as CEO of the Central Region.

Dr. Peter Cooney has been appointed as the Chief Dental Officer for Health Canada. Dr. Cooney's primary responsibilities will be to increase awareness about preventing oral diseases and to improve the oral health status of Canadians. Dr. Cooney joined Health Canada in 1991 and worked with the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch in Manitoba Region. In 1997, he was appointed the National Dental Officer of the Medical Services Branch (now the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch or FNIHB). He was later appointed the Director General of the Non-Insured Health Benefits Division of FNIHB, from 1999 to 2003. Dr. Cooney is a former President of the Canadian Association of Public Health Dentistry and is currently the Chief Examiner for the specialty of Dental Public Health with the Royal College of Dentists of Canada.

Professor Diane Doran has been appointed as Interim Dean, at the University of Toronto's Faculty of Nursing. Professor Doran, RN, Ph.D., joined the Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto in 1995 and is currently Professor, and Associate Dean of Research and International Relations. She holds a PhD (Health Administration) from the University of Toronto, an MHSc (Health Care Practice) from McMaster University, a Diploma (Nursing) from George Brown College and a BA (Psychology) from Trent University.

The General Assembly of CARE International has elected Peter Crossgrove to the positions of Vice Chairman and Treasurer. Mr. Crossgrove has been a member of the Board of CI since 1995, and has served as Treasurer since 1996. From 1995 until 2002, he was the Chair of CARE Canada, where he remains a board member. Peter Crossgrove was one of the founders and is the current Chair of Masonite Inc., and has served on the boards of several public companies. He is the Chair of Cancer Care Ontario, as well as of the Canadian Association of Provincial Cancer agencies.

At St. Peter's Hospital in Hamilton, Ontario, CEO Grant Walsh has announced that he is leaving the organization to become CEO of Murphy Walsh Management Group of Washington, DC.

At Canada Health Infoway, Trevor Hodge was appointed Senior Vice- President, Investment Strategy and Alliances, effective January 1, 2005. Mr. Hodge, formerly Infoway's Vice- President, Investment Strategy and Planning, will be responsible for Infoway's alliances with both public - federal/provincial/territorial jurisdictions - and private sectors as well as for Infoway's investment strategies, including the business plan, the three-year planning process and resolution of strategic and tactical issues arising from the implementation of investment strategies.

Ron Sapsford will be Ontario's new Deputy Minister of Health and Long- Term Care effective Tuesday, March 1, 2005. Mr. Sapsford was most recently the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Hamilton Health Sciences, and comes to the ministry with an accomplished background in healthcare. He has served in a wide range of positions, including Assistant Deputy Minister, Institutional and Community Services, Ontario Ministry of Health; Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Ontario Hospital Association; a number of other progressively responsible positions in the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care affecting hospitals and nursing homes; and several senior management positions in hospitals across Ontario.

Frank Markel has accepted the position of President of Trillium Gift of Life Network. Previously, he was the Executive Director of the Ontario Joint Policy and Planning Committee (JPPC) where he was integral in advancing the role of the JPPC as a true partnership between the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) and the hospitals of Ontario, including involving the JPPC in the development and simulation of accountability agreements between hospitals and the Ministry.

John Risk has been appointed as Interim Executive Director of the JPPC. Mr. Risk joined the JPPC in December 2003 to lead the work on hospital accountability agreements, and he also played a leadership role in drafting several defining documents on joint accountability, including the JPPC's Hospital Accountability Agreement Framework, the 2005/06 Accountability Agreement Template, and the Policy Statement on Accountability. Before joining the JPPC, he worked with the Ontario Expert Panel on SARS and Infectious Disease Control, and the Long-Term Care Redevelopment Project. Mr. Risk will be holding this interim position until a formal search can be completed for a permanent replacement for Mr. Markel.

Dr. Catherine Tompkins became Associate Dean of Health Sciences (Nursing) at McMaster on July 1, 2004. Dr. Tompkins graduated with a BScN from the University of Western Ontario in 1971, followed by a MEd from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education with a focus on adult education and counselling in 1981, and a PhD in Nursing from the University of California, San Francisco in 1995. During her education, Catherine was the recipient of the Helen Preston Glass Award from the Canadian Nurses Foundation in 1988 and a PhD Fellowship Award from Health and Welfare Canada from 1988 to 1991.

Dr. Tompkins worked in community health and northern nursing prior to beginning at McMaster in the School of Nursing in 1977. She taught in all levels of the nursing program before assuming the role of Chair of the BScN program in 1998, followed by her appointment as Assistant Dean of undergraduate nursing education in 2000. In January 2004, Dr. Tompkins accepted the role of acting associate dean of health sciences (nursing). She has held a number of administrative roles in the School of Nursing, the Faculty of Health Sciences and McMaster University, including chair of the Northern Clinical Nursing Program, co-ordinator of the Aga Khan Project in Pakistan, chair of the Post-RN stream of the BScN program and chair of the Undergraduate Council Awards Committee. Dr. Tompkins has been actively involved in the development of the collaborative BScN program with Mohawk College and Conestoga College and is chair of the steering committee.