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Lanette Siragusa
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Christopher Picard 
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April 1-30, 2021
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OPENS May 1, 2021

Nominate a STAR!

Click the button below to nominate someone you think deserves to receive an NTF Excellence Award. You will be redirected to a form that you can fill out to complete your nomination.

PLEASE READ DESCRIPTIONS above for Award Criteria
Please ensure you have the following before proceeding:
  • Name, ground address, email, phone for nominator and nominee
  • Nominee verbal permission
  • 1500 character (with spaces) overview of nominee attributes
  • ONE additional letter from a supporter in PDF format
  • Unlimited Text
  • Letterhead Required
  • Please note the affiliation of the supporter
  • Email address in signature
  • MUST be signed (electronic is accepted)

New Graduate Excellence Award FINALISTS

Kirstie Grimard

It is through Kirstie’s courage to challenge the status quo and her ability to empower others that she has demonstrated outstanding leadership within our organization, making her truly deserving of the New Graduate Excellence Award from Nursing the Future. Since Kirstie is not only new to our team, but also to the profession of Nursing, her marked leadership skill has set her apart from her peers as a promising leader in our profession and within the long-term care industry. Since starting at our organization, Kirstie’s courage has led to improved patient care and positive process change. She has also taken the initiative to empower herself and others, contributing to a more engaged caregiver community.

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Andrew Nguyen

Graduating with his Bachelor of Nursing from Mount Royal University (MRU) and obtaining his Registered Nurse (RN) license late April 2020, Andrew quickly became involved in the COVID-19 pandemic response with Alberta Health Services (AHS). Without hesitation, he immediately worked on designated COVID-19 units, the ICU, and public health COVID-19 testing. Recently, Andrew started a Senior Project Manager and Implementation Lead role with AHS’s provincial clinical informatics project, Connect Care. In this role, he will engage with change management to help and support managers and nurses to integrate a new clinical information system amidst change fatigue. During the last year, he also co-authored an article in the Journal of Nurse Practitioners. His undergraduate involvement as a member on the MRU Board of Governors and President of the Student’s Association has led him to currently sit on the Calgary Zone Primary Care Network Council, one of AHS’ Health Advisory Councils, and two other non-profit Boards. In the Fall of 2020, Andrew started his Masters of Nursing in Health Systems Leadership and Administration from the University of Toronto with a Collaborative Specialization in Bioethics from the Dalla Lana School of Public Health; he is currently working towards obtaining his Certified Health Executive (CHE) designation. This past year, Andrew has demonstrated that he is engaging in nursing leadership across many aspects and is on track to continue this good work.
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Elizabeth Sauriol

As a newly graduated RN, Elizabeth started work during the pandemic period. Despite the constant shortages of personnel for the night shifts, Elizabeth has shown herself to be a team player. She quickly took on the role of team leader and is always ready to support her team, make decisions that align with the objectives of the organization, and putting patient safety first.

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Vanessa Valencia

Vanessa Valencia graduated in 2020 and started to work as a RN on our unit in July. She has always taken the full nursing responsibilities for her patients and provided holistic patient care to address individual needs. When there is anything she is uncertain about, she demonstrates accountabilities by looking into the most updated policies on SHOP and trustworthiness by double checking with CNE, NSWOC, PCCs, and the rest of the disciplinary team depending on the matters of the issues. When the intervention or care requires a new skill that Vanessa has not encountered before or has not had much experience with, Vanessa always takes the initiatives to learn new skills with supervisions and to practice when there is an opportunity. Vanessa actively participates morning rounds and plastics rounds to obtain more info for her patients and incorporate them into her plan of care. She demonstrates her courage by voicing her concerns and advocating for her patients no matter it is in the rounds with the presence of multiple physicians and the rest of the interdisciplinary team or via the phone calls with the physicians in the middle of the night. In addition to taking care of her own patients, Vanessa answers the other patients’ call bells on unit, assists her colleagues with medication administration, transportation, CCOT, and code blue events. Vanessa also demonstrates her leadership by teaching and guiding the nursing students from different school clinical groups.

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Teaching Excellence WINNER

Christopher Picard

NOMINATOR: Cristina Burnett

Christopher Picard has shown his commitment to education, research and professional advancement through numerous venues such as journal submissions, research and teaching within the department. He is engaged, committed and inspired to push nursing and our profession forward. He displays his commitment to his own learning and education by instructing Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS), Mental Health First Aid, and Canadian Triage Acuity Scale (CTAS). This gives Chris the freedom and advantage to teach others. Chris has brought to our department numerous new challenges and learning opportunities such as nurse initiated peripheral ultrasound guided intravenous insertion, CPR feedback devices, and high-fidelity simulation. Each new protocol or learning opportunity presented by Chris is always backed with the best evidence-based information, or from research he is a part of. Outside the department, Chris sits on numerous boards and research teams and introduced ground-breaking research surrounding at home smart devices assisting with emergencies. His engaging personality and innovative spirit bring passion and enthusiasm to our department. Chris has presented both his own and collaborative research at numerous venues and has articles have been published in multiple academic journals. There is no better candidate for this award than Chris. He has accomplished so much in a small amount of time and he is someone to watch for as he will help drive us forward.

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Strength in the Storm WINNER

Lanette Siragusa

NOMINATOR: Kathy Doerksen

Lanette Siragusa is the Provincial Lead, Health System Integration & Quality and Chief Nursing Officer of Shared Health in Manitoba.

In January 2020, with the emergence of COVID-19, Lanette also became the Co-Incident Commander of Manitoba’s COVID-19 response. This leader ensured inclusivity, integration and innovation by pulling leaders together, welcoming new ideas and fostering a “solution focused” approach to the daily challenges. 

She pitched in wherever help was needed, always expressing gratitude for the efforts of others, including those staff who were reassigned and those who came from elsewhere to help. Lanette’s role included near daily press conferences where she provided updates on health system capacity while always recognizing the efforts of the health care workers. Lanette began most updates with a “shout out”, highlighting a health care hero or a community that acted out of kindness or compassion.

Her calm and reassuring presence has been met with cards and emails of thanks and many personal exchanges with health care workers, families and members of the public. In the words of her own son, Lanette is “one of the strongest women out there. She’s always been a role model to me with her work ethic and drive. She doesn’t stop working until her head hits the pillow”.

When approached for permission to submit her name, Lanette responded in typical fashion by saying “the strength of every Manitoba nurse in this COVID storm has been so extraordinary, I am humbled that you thought of me and very honored."
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Nursing The Future™ acknowledges that nurses across this country live, work and play on the lands of our Indigenous Ancestors and we join our members in expressing respectful gratitude for this privilege.
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