News Release

May 12, 2015

Health Care Foundation and Eastern Health Celebrate National Nursing Week

St. John’s, NL: The Health Care Foundation and Eastern Health will join together this week to celebrate National Nursing Week (May 11 to 17). Celebrations were kicked off last night at the Sixth Annual Nursing Dinner and Gala Awards Ceremony. 

“This week provides us with a great opportunity to celebrate nurses who play an integral part in the delivery of quality health care in our province,” said Paul Snow, President and CEO, Health Care Foundation. “The Health Care Foundation is committed to partnering with Eastern Health to support nursing education, while also working with nurses and other frontline staff to provide funding to the areas of our hospitals that need it most through our Comfort in Care™ program.”  

Every year, the Nursing Dinner and Gala Awards Ceremony is hosted by Eastern Health’s Professional Practice Nursing team in partnership with the Health Care Foundation.  

During the evening, nurses were recognized for their practice excellence and contributions that benefit various areas in health care and leadership, including patients, clients and residents, their colleagues and Eastern Health as a whole. Additionally, approximately 50 nurses received recognition at the gala for funding they received this year from the Health Care Foundation and Eastern Health to complete a certification or recertification from the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA).  For a complete list of award recipients, please see the below backgrounder.  

“At Eastern Health, we have over 5,400 compassionate nurses who are dedicated to delivering quality health care,” said Katherine Chubbs, Chief Nursing Office at Eastern Health. “While National Nursing Week provides us with a great opportunity to recognize that dedication, I want each of our nurses to know that their continued hard work and excellence is appreciated each and every day.” 

The Nursing Education and Research Council’s 10th Annual Nurses Research Symposium will also be held during National Nursing Week on May 14, 2015 at the Health Sciences Centre. This event will provide nurses with an opportunity to learn about innovation in their field and will also feature a keynote speaker, Donna Cardillo. Information about Ms. Cardillo is available at   

The Gala, CNA grants and the key note speaker for the research symposium are proudly funded through the Health Care Foundation by TD Bank Group, who is committed to supporting excellence in nursing education.

“TD is committed to the health of our communities and we're proud to support the Health Care Foundation," said Shane Kennedy, District Vice-President, TD. "Health care professionals are a vital part of the hospital and it's important that they're equipped with the right education and training to provide high quality health care for their patients.”

For more information about the Health Care Foundation or how it supports frontline employees at Eastern Health, please visit

About the Health Care Foundation

The Health Care Foundation is committed to raising and stewarding funds for the advancement and enhancement of patient comfort and care, medical equipment, research and education at five Eastern Health adult hospitals serving the St. John’s region: St. Clare’s Mercy Hospital, Health Sciences Centre, Dr. Leonard A. Miller Centre, Waterford Hospital and the Dr. Walter Templeman Health Centre.  Through its fundraising initiatives, the Health Care Foundation assists these hospitals in providing health care for the St. John’s region and specialized tertiary health services for the entire province.

About Eastern Health

Eastern Health is the largest, integrated health authority in Newfoundland and Labrador employing approximately 13,000 dedicated employees and serving a population of more than 300,000 people. The authority has an annual budget of approximately $1.3 billion and offers the full continuum of health and community services including public health, long-term care, community services, hospital care and unique provincial programs and services. Its geographic boundaries extend from St. John’s west to Port Blandford including all communities on the Avalon, Burin and Bonavista Peninsulas.

- 30 -

Media contact:
Jackie O’Brien
Manager, Communications and Stewardship
Health Care Foundation 
(709) 777-5906

Media contact:
Tracey Boland
Communications Manager
Eastern Health
T: (709) 777. 1412



Award Recipients of the 2015 Nursing Awards Ceremony

Beginning Practitioner of the Year
Kayla Shea, Fifth Floor, Carbonear General Hospital, Children and Women’s Health Program
Nursing Practice of the Year
  1. Debbie Graham, Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), 7 West, St. Clare’s Mercy Hospital
  2. Amy Fowler, Registered Nurse (RN), 4 North A, Health Sciences Centre
  3. Charlotte Sheppard, Hemophilia Nurse Coordinator, Hemophilia Program
  4. Michael Noble, RN, Intensive Care, St. Clare’s Mercy Hospital
  5. Melissa Baker, RN, 4 North A, Health Sciences Centre
  6. Margaret Gillis, LPN, Rehabilitation and Continuing Care/Palliative Care, Dr. L. A. Miller Centre
Advanced Nursing Practice of the Year
Kim Burt, Nurse Practitioner, HIV program
Nurse Preceptor of the Year
Jeanne Keiley, Home and Community Care, CBS
Nurse Educator of the Year                                          
Darlene Toope, Clinical Educator, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Janeway Health and Rehabilitation Centre
Clinical Manager of the Year
Melvin Layden, 5SB Neurology, Health Sciences Centre
Nursing Leadership of the Year
Suzette Spurrell, Communicable Disease Coordinator, Public Health Program
Clinical Director of the Year
Gail Downing, Regional Director, Emergency and Paramedicine
The Healthy People, Healthy Communities Team Award
The Kids Rock Janeway Emergency Pediatric Conference team
Members: Jackie Williams-Connolly, Mary O’Brien, Arlene Scott, Kim Pike, Tracy Bartlett-Faulkner, Rochelle McCarthy, Laila Brown.