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Minister of Health Acknowledges Dedication of the Winners of the 2010 National Award of Excellence in Nursing

News Release
May 14, 2010
For immediate release

OTTAWA - Today, the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, acknowledged the hard work and dedication of three exceptional nurses who were presented with the National Award of Excellence in Nursing for their work in First Nations and Inuit communities. This morning's ceremony took place at the Government Conference Centre in Ottawa.

"The Award of Excellence in Nursing is about recognizing the devotion and commitment that nurses have demonstrated in First Nations and Inuit communities across Canada," said Minister Aglukkaq. "I am honoured to recognize Tina Buckle, Christi-Ann Poulette and June Fry for their outstanding work in their respective communities. The level of care and compassion for others and their devotion to the nursing profession makes these three individuals exceptional recipients for this award."

Nurses play a critical function in providing essential health services to Aboriginals in Canada. Of the 258,000 nurses employed in Canada, approximately 1,200 are working in First Nations and Inuit communities. The Award of Excellence in Nursing was developed in 2003 to acknowledge the hard work and determination of these nurses. The selection process for the designation is based on nominations from peers as well as from members of the community.

Refer to the attached biographies of this year's awards recipients:

Tina Buckle Goose Bay, NL
As a clinical manager of nursing care in Nunatsiavut, Tina stands out to her colleagues as innovative, determined and an advocate for her clients. She is well known for her work in the areas of home care and public health. Tina worked with the Government of Nunatsiavut to develop an innovative home-support training program; assisted in managing a tuberculosis outbreak by leading immunization clinics and assisted in the development of pandemic plans for future public health emergencies. Tina continues to broaden her skill set through training--both for herself and for others. She uses her training to teach colleagues, new nurses and students about public and community health and home care. Tina remains committed to her clients and is always looking for ways to improve health care delivery.

Christi-Ann Poulette London, ON
Christi-Ann is a registered nurse and member of the Oneida Nation of the Thames. She plays a key role on her community's crisis management team and in the delivery of quality, client-focussed health care. Colleagues and clients credit Christi-Ann with going above and beyond her regular duties as a nurse to ensure critical emergency care is always available. She works with community members to address emergency situations and to provide appropriate health resources, referrals and support. In addition to her front-line work, Christi-Ann collaborates with stakeholders to provide health programming for her community. She recently authored a mass immunization strategy and represented the Oneida Nation at the National Immunization Conference. Christi-Ann also volunteers with a victim services organization, sits on a number of health boards and organized community H1N1 and flu vaccination clinics.

June Fry Happy Valley - Goose Bay, NL
June has served the people of Labrador for the majority of her 25-year nursing career. As one of the longest serving staff members of the Labrador Innu Comprehensive Healing Strategy, June has a well-established relationship with her clients. She incorporates Innu culture and beliefs into every aspect of her practice, earning a reputation as a dedicated, client-focussed, health professional. June works with local staff to adapt health programming to suit the needs of her clients. This includes translating programs into a local dialect and breaking programs down into smaller, easier to understand modules. She has helped improve working relationships between communities and the provincial health authority. She also advocates for equal access to mental health and addictions services. June's commitment to culturally-relevant health care has earned her one of the greatest rewards: "the trust of the communities she serves".

Anne-Marie Robinson, Assistant Deputy Minister, First Nations and Inuit Health Branch and Carolina Giliberti, Assistant Deputy Minister, Regions and Programs Branch, congratulate winners of the 2010 National Award of Excellence in Nursing for First Nations and Inuit. From left to right: Anne-Marie Robinson, June-Marie Fry, Christi-Ann Poulette, Tina Buckle, Carolina Giliberti.


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JosÚe Bellemare
Office of the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq
Federal Minister of Health
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