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The International Council of Nurses (ICN) - represent- ing 13 million nurses worldwide - is adding its voice to the widespread and growing demand for an effective, funded international women's agency, able to redress the lack of gender equality worldwide and the exclusion of women from decision-making at almost every level. ICN encour- ages its member national nurses' associations to lobby their government representatives and to press the ongoing United Nations Coherence Panel to establish a women's agency as an urgent priority. The Coherence Panel, key in establish- ing reform of the UN's operational work, is mandated by Secretary-General Kofi Annan to identify how gender equal- ity can be more fully addressed in the work of the UN. As such, the Panel provides a unique opportunity to establish a women-specific agency, with sufficient resources, power and authority to have a real impact on the condition of women and girls worldwide. The Panel will deliver its recommenda- tions to the UN General Assembly in September.

Fourteen hospitals have been named to the US News and World Report's annual honour roll for 2006, with Baltimore's Johns Hopkins in the top spot. See www.webmd.com/content/Article/124/115730.htm for full details.

Nurse Practitioner Report Released
There needs to be a pan- Canadian approach to licensing nurse practitioners (NPs) rather than 12 different sets of regula- tions in individual provinces and territories, says the Canadian Nurse Practitioner Initiative (CNPI) released at the biennial convention of the Canadian Nurses Association in June. Nurse Practitioners: The Time is Now lays out a framework that will facilitate the integration and sustainability of the nurse practitioner role in Canada's health system. The report makes sweeping recommendations regarding legislation and regulation, practice and evaluation, education and health human resources planning. The report also emphasizes the need for increased teamwork between doctors, nurse practi- tioners and other health professionals, and sharply increas- ing the use of health human resources planning. It can be accessed at www.cnpi.ca

The Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) recently released a new analysis to better understand the retention of registered nurses (RNs) in the Canadian health- care system. This analysis-in-brief shows that for each year between 2000 and 2004, an average of 93% of employed RNs renewed their licences in Canada. Among all provinces, over four years Quebec had the highest average renewal rate, at 97.2%.

This analysis-in-brief also includes the following high- lights:

  • Overall, only 3.7% of RNs employed in 2003 did not renew their licences in the same province or territory in 2004.
  • RNs aged 35 to 49 years were more likely to renew their licences than RNs in any other age group.
  • Between 2003 and 2004, 11.5% of RNs aged 60 to 75 failed to renew their registration in the same province or territory.
  • RNs with casual employment had an exit rate twice that of those employed full-time.

This analysis-in-brief is available online at www.cihi.ca.

The Yukon's Nursing Education Bursary will be expanded to support four students per year, and that financial assist- ance will increase from $2,500 annually to $5,000 annually. Changes to the program include an increase in the number of new students accepted annually, from two to four. At any given time, the program could support 16 nursing students. In addition, the financial support increases from $2,500 to $5,000 per year to a maximum of four years of nursing education. Expansion of the bursary program is one initiative under the Health Human Resources Strategy, announced by the minister in late March, to address the shortage of health professionals in the Yukon. An estimated $12.7 million over the next five years will be directed towards the strategy.
Information and application forms are available at www.hss.gov.yk.ca/programs/nursing/nursing_bursary.

British Columbians who have been admitted as inpatients have given high ratings to overall hospital services in the province's first-ever acute care inpa- tient experience survey. Almost 92% of survey respondents rated the qual- ity of their overall care as good, very good or excellent. The survey, commis- sioned by the Ministry of Health and health authorities and conducted by NRC (National Research Corporation) Canada, was conducted between September 30, 2005 and April 15, 2006. Surveys were sent to medical, surgical, maternity or paediatric inpatients and examined their experiences across eight care dimensions. It included additional questions on maternity and paediatric care. A total of 23,185 inpatients responded to the survey, which was mailed to a total of 47,460 people. Among individual ques- tions receiving the highest ratings were:

  • Timeliness of response after pushing a call button 96.3%
  • Lack of injury to patient or a visitor from error 95.6%
  • Courtesy of physicians 95.3%
  • Overall quality of patient care 91.8%

Areas for improvements included greater discussion of when to resume normal activities, as well as giving patients more say about their treatment. Some patients said they wanted more discussion with nurses around their fears and anxieties.
See www.gov.bc.ca.

Albertans Healthier
Albertans today are living longer and are generally healthier, according to a recent report that looks at the health status of Albertans over the past 100 years. The Report on the Health of Albertans traces many key developments in build- ing the province's healthcare system and improving health outcomes. The report contains information on the popula- tion's life expectancy and fertility rates, the incidence of communicable and chronic diseases, and injury rates and determinants of health, such as tobacco use and healthy eating habits.

  • By 2033, the Alberta population will surpass five million people, with 19% over the age of 65 years. Currently, 10.5% of the population is over the age of 65.
  • Life expectancy was about 60 years in 1931 and is now 82.3 years for women and 77.5 years for men.
  • Only 45% of women and 30% of men consume five or more servings of fruit and vegetables each day.
  • One in five Alberta women and one in 10 Alberta men received care in the past year for a mental health problem.
  • About 40% of Albertans are overweight or obese.
  • Diabetes treatment rates have doubled in the past 20 years.

The Report on the Health of Albertans is available at www.health.gov.ab.ca/public/HAlbertans06.htm.

Saskatchewan achieved a significant increase in surgi- cal capacity last year, and a considerable drop in the number of patients waiting for surgery. Updated data on the Saskatchewan Surgical Care Network (SSCN) website, www.sasksurgery.ca, shows that Regina Qu'Appelle and Saskatoon Health regions together completed about 2,000 more surger- ies in 2005/06. It also indicates that the number of patients waiting for surgery in those regions dropped by nearly 1,600 over the previous year. The website's data are based on a province-wide Surgical Patient Registry, a comprehensive database that contains information on all patients waiting for surgery and their level of urgency.

Ontario Hospital Report 2006
Ontario hospitals are getting better at coordinating patient care with other hospitals and community-based healthcare providers, according to Hospital Report 2006: Acute Care. The report is one of a series jointly released by the government and the Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) on acute care, rehabilitation, complex continuing care and emergency care. It details the performance of 95 hospitals (out of 123 eligible) that voluntar- ily participate in the study. It is the only report in the series being released this year. Key findings of the report include:

  • 68% of hospitals have adopted patient safety measures as a written, strategic priority or goal.
  • 80.7% of hospitals developed standardized protocols for care coordination with community care access centres, up from 77.1% the year before.
  • 89% of hospitals reported an organization-wide non-puni- tive reporting policy in place for reporting adverse events.
  • 15.8% of patient satisfaction survey respondents indicated fair or poor communication about their condition, treat- ment and preparation for discharge and care at home.

Hospital Report 2006: Acute Care is available on the following websites: www.health.gov.on.ca, www.cihi.ca, www.oha.com and www.hospitalreport.ca.

New MPH at Waterloo
In Ontario, the University of Waterloo is now offering a master of public health (MPH) degree for the first time through the health studies and gerontology department in UW's faculty of applied health sciences. The first session of the MPH program begins this fall, with an initial offering of four of the program's core courses. More than 100 people have applied for the 30 places available in the first year. The MPH program was conceived in response to a widely recog- nized need for new opportunities for current public health practitioners and aspiring health students to build on their prior academic training and expand their applied skills. Go to www.uwaterloo.ca for more information.

In Prince Edward Island, details on physician recruitment progress were recently announced. A total of 14 physicians have been recently recruited to the province. Six are new and will fill vacancies, while eight are replacements for physicians who have retired or left the province. .See www.gov.pe.ca/hss. The new $28 million Stan Cassidy Centre for Rehabilitation recently opened in Fredericton, New Brunswick. The new centre is located adjacent to the Dr. Everett Chalmers Regional Hospital and includes a laboratory addition for the hospital. It is the only facility in the province with teams of highly specialized healthcare professionals and the equipment and technology required to treat patients with complex disabilities. The new centre has 25% more inpatient beds and almost 30% more clinical and non-clinical staff to provide specialized rehabilitative care and support services to clients. The Stan Cassidy Centre currently handles more than 20,000 outpatient appointments and more than 100 inpatients per year. The average length of stay for inpatients in 2005 was 52 days, but stays of a year or more are not uncommon. See www.gnb.ca.

A new cancer centre opened in Gander, Newfoundland in early July. The centre, located in the James Paton Memorial Hospital, will accommodate seven patients at one time, versus four patients prior to the renovations, and will provide a more aesthetically pleasing environment for cancer patients. Enhancements to the centre include privacy curtains for treatment areas; handicap-accessible washrooms; an expanded treatment space with a waiting area and family room; and additional office space for oncologists. Services provided at the centre include specialty clinics by visiting medical and radiation oncologists from the Dr. H. Bliss Murphy Cancer Centre as well as chemotherapy services and supportive nursing care. In addition to this new facility, capacity for cancer services in central region will also increase in Grand Falls-Windsor when a new cancer centre is completed later this year. See www.gov.nl.ca/health.

2006 EXTRA Competition Results
The Canadian Health Services Research Foundation recently announced that 26 EXTRA fellowships were awarded, including two additional fellowships to nurse leaders in Ontario, thanks to funding from Nursing Secretariat of the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. The Fellows and their projects are as follows:

Luce Beauregard
Adjointe au directeur général, Centre de santé et de services sociaux d'Ahuntsic et Montréal-Nord - Québec
Implementing a Strategic Decision-making Process in an Ethical Context

Philippe Benoit
Directeur, Direction planification et développement de la main-d'oeuvre, Agence de la santé et des services sociaux de la Montérégie - Québec
Using Evidence on Best Practices in Human Resources Management to Transform Service Delivery by the Agency to Make It a Pole for Innovation and Knowledge Transfer to Institutions

Trish Bergal
Regional Director Utilization, Nursing, Winnipeg Regional Health Authority - Manitoba
Creating Change in Hospital Utilization: Combining Knowledge Research with Clinical Decision Support Systems

Raj Bhatla
Associate Chief, Psychiatry, Royal Ottawa Healthcare Group - Ontario
Implementation of Wait-time Management for Tertiary Mental Health Services

Bette Boechler
General Manager, Maternal and Children's Health, Hospital Services, Saskatoon Health Region - Saskatchewan
Changing Practice: Building a Culture of Patient Safety in a New Maternal and Children's Hospital

Faith Boutcher
Director, Professional Practice, North York General Hospital - Ontario
Implementing a Practice Framework for Complementary and Alternative Therapies in a Community Teaching Hospital

Inta Bregzis
Director, Quality & Risk Management, Quality & Risk Management Division, Community Care Access Centre of Waterloo Region - Ontario
Evolving CCACs from Statutory Corporations to Community-based Governance - Planning/Managing Change

Ward Flemons
Vice President, Quality, Safety & Health Information, Calgary Health Region - Alberta
Improving Patient Flow through a Tertiary Care Emergency Department

Patrick Gaskin
Executive Vice President & VP, Regional Cancer Services, Administration, Grand River Hospital - Ontario
Implementing an Access Management System in an Acute Care Hospital

Geoffrey Johnston
Professor, Surgery, Orthopaedic Surgery, Royal University Hospital, University of Saskatchewan - Saskatchewan
Development of a Leadership Model Integrating Evidence-based Medicine (EBM) into Surgical Total Quality Management (TQM)

John Knoch
Executive Director, Clinical Support Services, David Thompson Health Region - Alberta
Leadership Collaboration: Applying the Co-management Model for Evidence-based Change

France Laframboise
Directrice de la qualité des soins et des services, Centre de santé et de services sociaux des Sommets - Quebec
The Challenges of Chronic Conditions: Integrated, Intensified Clinical Monitoring of Target Client Groups

Suzanne Lanctôt
Associate Director, Nursing, McGill University Health Centre - Quebec
The Implementation of the Role of Nurse Practitioner in Cardiac Surgery

Chantal Lapointe
Directrice générale, Centre de santé et de services sociaux Jeanne Mance - Québec
Preparing for Integration of a 300-bed Hospital into CSSS Jeanne Mance So Everyone Feels Like a Winner

Virgil Luca
Chef, Service de médecine et adjoint, Direction des services professionnels, Centre de réadaption Lucie-Bruneau - Québec
Developing a Conceptual Framework for Resource Allocation in a Rehabilitation Centre

Diane Lyonnais
Directrice des services de première ligne, Services généraux et santé publique, Centre de santé et de services sociaux Vaudreuil-Soulanges - Québec
Use of Evidence in Organization of Healthcare Services by Players in a Local Services Network (LSN) to Develop a Clinical Project

Yves Masse
Directeur général adjoint, Direction générale, Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal - Québec
A Model for Operating Service Corridors in an Integrated University Healthcare Network

Sue McCutcheon
Vice-President, Clinical Services - Rural Care, Grey Bruce Health Services - Ontario
Building Sustainable Nursing Resources for Small Hospitals

Louise Patrick
Director, Quality, Utilization & Risk Management, SCO Health Service - Ontario
Establishing a Blueprint for a Clinical and Corporate Decision Support Infrastructure

Elaine Rankin
Primary Care Coordinator, Population Health and Research, Cape Breton District Health Authority - Nova Scotia
Prevention: Building Provider and Community Capacity for Change

Nancy Roberts
Vice President, Planning & Professional Services, South-East Regional Health Authority - New Brunswick
Enhancing Performance Measurement of Health Professions within Organized Healthcare Settings

Frédérick Ross
Directeur programmes personnes âgées et des soins infirmiers, Centre de santé et de services sociaux de la Côte de Gaspé - Québec
Implementing an Integrated Services Network for Elderly People

Mary Russell
Director, Community Health, Capital Health District Authority - Nova Scotia
Identifying and Utilizing a Core Set of Community Health Indicators to Guide Healthcare Decision-making

Nancy Savage
Vice President, Patient Programs, Atlantic Health Sciences Corporation - New Brunswick Development and Implementation of a Succession Plan for Nursing Leadership

Dan Skwarchuk
Administrative Program Director, Manitoba Renal Program, Winnipeg Regional Health Authority - Manitoba
Improving Home Dialysis Utilization in Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario

Jodi Younger
Operational Service Manager, Mental Health & Addictions Program, St. Joseph's Healthcare - Ontario
Development and Implementation of the Treatment and Outcome Report and Plan

Hospital for Sick Children Receives CHSRF/CIHR Achievement Award in Nursing Health Human Resources
Dr. Linda O'Brien-Pallas, through her role as the CHSRF/CIHR National Chair in Nursing Health Human Resources, recently presented the Hospital for Sick Children's Cardiac Program Nursing Leadership Team with the Achievement Award in Nursing Health Human Resources. This is the second time this award has been presented in Ontario. The award celebrates achievements in creating healthy work environments for nurses.

The award was presented at the Annual General Meeting of the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario, in Toronto, on April 28, 2006.

Research has clearly shown that a healthy workplace for nurses is directly linked to positive outcomes for nurses, patients and the healthcare system, and so this award is especially appropriate as another way to profile the need for healthy workplaces for nurses and to link research to practice.

Nominations for the award were received and blind-reviewed by a panel of judges using a standardized criteria rating form.

The recipient of this year's Ontario award is The Hospital for Sick Children's Cardiac Program Nursing Leadership Team, consisting of eight Clinical Leaders and Educators. The individual nurses who compose this team are:

Christine Clark, Clinical Leader
Carrie Heffernan, Clinical Educator
Cecilia Hyslop, Clinical Educator
Jackie Hubbert, Clinical Leader
Jennifer Kilburn, Clinical Leader
Natalie Lundy, Clinical Leader
Sherry Ree Stevens, Clinical Leader
Trisha Sutton, Clinical Leader

The team was nominated by Jane van Alphen, Cardiac Program Child Health Services Director, the Medical Heads of Cardiology and Cardiovascular Surgery, along with a supporting letter from 12 staff nurses within the cardiac program.

Some excerpts from their letters of nomination:

From the Director: "The quality of work life for nurses has improved significantly … as a result of the leadership and collaboration by this team. They have advocated for optimal staffing, and established an integrated recruitment and development plan in order to promote diversification of nursing skill sets within the program. They have created open and supportive work cultures, in order to engage staff optimally. The orientation and continuing education programs are seamless and integrated across program areas and provide a supportive opportunity for progression of knowledge and skill for nurses. They have encouraged and supported nursing colleagues, and have advocated for financial resources, in order to increase the presence of Sick Kids Cardiac nurses at international forums."

In support of the nomination, the staff nurses acknowledge that: "the members of the leadership team continually empower nurses, are proactive mediators of change and managers of conflict and resolution. They support a vision of excellence in patient care and a caring workplace environment for all nursing staff. Through dialogues at staff meetings and personal conversations with nurses, the team repeatedly takes on the challenge of advocating for a quality workplace milieu and the provision of a better healthcare delivery system that has a positive impact on patient care."

The award consisted of individual trophies for each of the eight nurses on the team as well as a framed plaque for posting at The Hospital for Sick Children.

For more information about this award, contact Sue Bookey-Bassett at sue.bookey.bassett@utoronto.ca.

Dr. Ben Chan, Chief Executive Officer of Saskatchewan's Health Quality Council, has been named Outstanding Young Health Executive of the Year by the Canadian Council of Health Services Executives (CCHSE). The annual award is presented to a young Canadian health executive who has demonstrated leadership in improving the effectiveness and sustainability of Canada's health system. Under the direction of Dr. Chan, the Health Quality Council (HQC) is measuring and reporting on quality of care in Saskatchewan and working with its partners to build a better health system. It is the first agency of its kind in Canada. HQC received a 2006 Saskatchewan Healthcare Excellence Award (SHEA) in recognition of its innovative work to improve patient care and safety.

Winnipeg Health Sciences Centre recently honoured Ann Thomas Callahan, a remarkable woman who has dedicated her life to healing and wellness, through a ceremony to name the new critical services redevelopment project building, the Ann Thomas Building. Born on the Peepeekisis First Nation in 1935, Ann Thomas Callahan attended the Birtle Indian Residential School. After completing her studies there, she enrolled in the Winnipeg General Hospital's three-year nursing program. In 1958, Callahan was one of the first Aboriginal nurses to graduate from the program.

Anne began her career on the gynaecology ward in the Women's Pavilion, where she quickly moved into the role of head nurse. She held this post until 1973, when she left the hospital to assume a pioneer position with the newly formed Continuing Care for People in Need. There she worked with other healthcare disciplines and community resources to provide services to clients, primarily Aboriginal, in Winnipeg's inner city. In 1983, Anne became an instructor and academic counsellor with the Southern Nursing Program at Red River Community College. After nearly 40 years in the nursing field, she retired in 1996.

HOBIC Team Wins Amethyst Award
Established in 1993, the Amethyst Award recognizes outstanding achievements for public service in Ontario. The Health Outcomes for Better Information and Care (HOBIC) initiative was a 2006 recipient of this prestigious award.

HOBIC is a initiative of the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and part of the Health Results Team - "Producing Better Data" stream. Part of this stream involves addressing critical gaps within Ontario's current health information system and providing authoritative data to support planning, management, governance and accountability of the healthcare system. Through the introduction of standardized measures, HOBIC will address a critical gap in Ontario's healthcare information system and provide valid, reliable data that is patient-centred, outcomes-focused and comparable across all sectors of the healthcare system.

Starting this fall, through the HOBIC, Ontario nurses in two areas of the province, Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) and North Simcoe Muskoka LHIN, will begin to close this critical information gap by recording patient health outcomes in a standardized way.

This kind of information will be invaluable, at both a unit and organizational level, for healthcare planning and for informing quality improvement initiatives. At a health system level, it will be vital to setting benchmarks for performance, planning, resource allocation, and research.

Dr. Linda O'Brien-Pallas Receives 2006 Jeanne Mance Award
On June 18, 2006, Dr. Linda O'Brien-Pallas, Professor and Unit Co-Principal Investigator, Nursing Health Services Research Unit and National CHSRF/CIHR Chair, Nursing/Health Human Resources, received one of Canada's highest nursing honours, the Jeanne Mance Award. Dr. O'Brien-Pallas was presented with the award at the bicentennial convention of the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) in Saskatoon.

Since 1971, CNA has honoured a nurse at its biennial convention and annual meeting with the Jeanne Mance Award. The award is named after one of Canada's inspirational nurses who was the first lay nurse in North America. The nurses who are nominated for this prestigious award have made significant and innovative contributions to the health of Canadians. They have worked to increase public recognition and awareness of the nursing profession and have positively influenced nursing practice in Canada and abroad.

This award acknowledges Dr. O'Brien-Pallas's magnificent work and contribution to the nursing profession.

The Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) has appointed Lori Messer as president. Messer, a resident of Sooke, British Columbia and a local school district administrator, will provide leadership to the Society's National Board of Directors, which is composed of volunteers from across Canada. One important focus for Messer will be working with the federal government and the cancer community to implement the Canadian Strategy for Cancer Control. The federal government recently committed $52 million a year for five years to implement this important health initiative for Canadians.

In Toronto, York University's new Faculty of Health has its first dean - Dr. Harvey Skinner, a psychologist who specializes in public health issues, behaviour change and the use of information technology to improve public health. Dr. Skinner will be charged with bringing together under one academic roof renowned researchers and teachers from the psychology departments of the Faculty of Arts and the Atkinson School of Liberal and Professional Studies, as well as from the School of Nursing, the School of Kinesiology and Health Science and the School of Health Policy and Management. More at www.yorku.ca.

New Vice Presidents Join the Canadian Institute for Health Information
Louise Ogilvie has assumed the position of Vice President of CIHI's Corporate Services, and Jean-Marie Berthelot has become CIHI's new Vice President of Programs. They are replacing retiring Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Bruce Petrie and Sylvain Rocque, CIHI's former Chief Financial Officer. Ms. Ogilvie has been with CIHI since it first opened its doors and has held a variety of leadership positions in the organization, including Director for Standards, Classification and Case Mix, Director of Health Services Information, and Director of Health Resources Information.

Mr. Berthelot worked at Statistics Canada for 25 years and has extensive experience in the development, management and use of data holdings for health services research and population health monitoring. He received the McMaster University Labelle Lectureship in health services research, and was selected as a Harkness Associate in healthcare policy research. Most recently, Mr. Berthelot was the Director of the Health Analysis and Measurement Group at Statistics Canada.

Gilbert Sharpe, former long-time Director of the Legal Branch of the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, has joined the law firm Fasken Martineau as Partner in its Health Law Group. Mr. Sharpe will be based in Toronto. Through his involvement with the Ministry of Health since 1975, and associated work with numerous ministries and agencies of the Ontario government as well as federal departments, Gilbert Sharpe has been continuously involved in important legal issues and policy matters affecting healthcare, including the development of legislation and policies to improve the healthcare system.