Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing

Photo of winners, left to right. Leslee Thompson, Janet Beed and Melinda Wall

Distinguished Alumni Awards celebrate achievements in nursing and health care

On May 30, 2015, Bloomberg Nursing held its annual Distinguished Alumni Awards Ceremony as part of Spring Reunion celebrations. These peer-nominated awards recognize outstanding achievement in the field of nursing and health care, and it is always a challenge to select just one winner for each nominated category. Join us in congratulating three remarkable alumni whose contributions are working to improve patient care in hospitals across Ontario and further afield.

Leslee Thompson, Distinguished Alumnus Award (left)

As the current President and CEO of Kingston General Hospital with previous roles as the COO of Sunnybrook & Women’s Health Science Centre, VP/COO of Toronto Western Hospital and VP Patient Care/Senior Operating Officer at Royal Alexander Hospital in Edmonton, Thompson’s country-wide contributions have far exceeded these achievements.

Having been name one of the “Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada” in 2013, Thompson is a worthy recipient of this award. While at Kingston General Hospital, Thompson led a major transformation in moving from a hospital under government supervision, to a high performing academic centre that has received international recognition for its patient-centred achievements.  She has spoken at conferences throughout the world on an effective patient-centered leadership model.

Her leadership was established long before taking the helm at KGH.  Thompson pioneered the “Look Good Feel Better” program in 1992 – Canada’s only charitable cancer program dedicated to empowering women to manage the effects that cancer, and its treatment, can have on their appearance.  She was also responsible for leading the largest voluntary restructuring initiative ever undertaken in Ontario’s health care system during her time at Cancer Care Ontario.

Janet Beed, Award of Distinction (centre)

During her career, Beed transformed the Department of Nursing at SickKids and ensured that nurses had access to the tools necessary to provide the best possible care.  As the VP of Organizational Development and VP of Patient Care Programs at Princess Margaret Hospital, she was integral to repositioning PMH as a leading cancer centre.  Her position as VP and COO at Toronto General Hospital was an opportunity to focus on quality and excellence in patient-centred care.

The Award of Distinction recipient embodies a true nurse leader who has made significant contributions to the community, and established themselves as a mentor and advocate for the profession.  This past November, after nine years as the CEO of Markham Stouffville Hospital, Beed announced her retirement.  Having developed the hospital into a community teaching centre, successfully completed a $400M expansion and renovation project, and enhanced the hospital’s reputation as an organization committed to quality and staff, physician and volunteer satisfaction, she has left a lasting legacy and health care framework for the people of Markham, Stouffville and Uxbridge.

Melinda Wall, Rising Star Award in Clinical Nursing (right

Wall is the Clinical Manager, Adolescent Services at Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences.  She provides and models exemplary care to mental health patients and motivational coaching and mentoring to nurses in her role.

As the inaugural “Social Determinants of Heath Nurse” at Peterborough County-City Health Unit, Wall successfully led the development and implementation of a “Home Response Coalition”; a group of community providers who could be quickly mobilized to intervene with at-risk seniors.  Her leadership role at Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences has steadily grown since she joined in 2013.

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