RNFBC Board Member Changes

The RNFBC Board expressed appreciation to Elsie Tan who is stepping down from the board.  Elsie has has been a Board member for the last 2 years.  Her connections with the nursing education community provided the Board with a vital link.  Elsie has also served on the Bursary committee, bringing her considerable expertise to the team.

Continuing with changes, we are pleased to announce that Diane Ready has accepted our invitation to join the board.

Diane is a retired Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CMA). Her education also includes a Master of Public Administration (MPA), and C. Dir. designation from The Directors College. Highlights of her professional career include Vice President Finance and Administration at Northwest Community College in BC and at Red River College in Manitoba; Secretary Treasurer of the Sunshine Coast School District; and CAO for the Village of Hazelton. Diane has served on several boards, most recently as a member and finance chair of the Greater Vancouver Community Services Society.

Diane will join the Audit and Finance committee where her skills will be a tremendous asset.

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Introducing 2021 RNFBC Board

Following the Annual General Meeting yesterday, the following are the 2021 RNFBC board members:

Diane Clements: (President)
Diane is a RN (non-practicing) with an extensive career in clinical practice, education, administration, and government, including serving as the Director: Practice and Policy with CNA. She lives on Vancouver Island and is connected to a wide network of nurses across BC and Canada. After being appointed to the RNFBC Board in 2020 she assumed the position of VP and has been tirelessly involved in the transition committee thought this year. Her work has been essential to this process. She is standing now to become an elected Director.

Heather Mass: (Past President)
Heather is an RN (Non-practicing) and has been on the Board for RNFBC for 8 years, during which she has served as President twice: first in 2016 and again (as interim) in 2020. Prior to retiring from practice she held a variety of senior positions in nursing and health care administration, including as the Chief Nursing Officer for BC’s Children’s and Women’s Health Centre, and the Provincial Health Services Authority. She also has extensive experience as a consultant and in managing innovative projects. After retiring she established a Consulting Company with three colleagues and was engaged in many reviews and projects across BC and other provinces.

Pat Semeniuk: (Secretary)
Pat is an RN (non-practicing) and an Independent Health Care Consultant. She has wide experience in all levels and fields of practice, including senior administration, leadership and education. Before her retirement she was the executive Director of Clinical, Education and Management Development at Vancouver Costal Health. She is also very connected to a wide network of nurses and leaders. As a member of RNFBC Pat was first involved as a member of the Bursary Committee, then as an appointment Director to fill a vacancy on the Board. She too has been very involved on the Transition Committee and her skills and experience were pivotal in process of transition. Pat is standing now to become an elected Director.

Barb Lawrie: (Treasurer, Chair Audit & Finance Committee)
Barb Lawrie is an experienced and dedicated nursing leader, currently retired and was most recently employed as the Vice President, Professional Practice and Chief Clinical Information Officer at Vancouver Coastal Health.  Throughout her career she has been a future-focused, passionate, results driven leader who excels in navigating complex working environments and effectively and collaboratively engaging with stakeholders to achieve organizational outcomes, as evidenced by her current involvement in promoting and advancing the Strategic Vision of Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH).

Debbie Blaney:
Debbie is an experienced HR practitioner who has worked most recently as Executive Director, Talent Acquisition/Total Compensation with Vancouver Coastal Health. Her extensive experience in creating services and programs for organizations by providing strong leadership and connections, collaborating with others and using system/process/procedures innovation and transformation will bring a new and innovative perspective to the Board. She also a visionary and trusted advisor, seasoned communicator, strategic thinker with great connector/collaborator skills, all of which will be most useful as the Directors consider how RNFBC can and should evolve to continue to provide excellent services and outcomes.

Kelvin Britten:
Kelvin Britten is an accomplished nurse leader, educator, and clinician.  He is retired but was most recently employed as the Regional Professional Practice Leader in the Professional Practice Office for Interior Health.  This role included being the Regional Consultant for scope of practice optimization across all sectors and services within Interior Health and as the Regional Consultant for Chair Nursing Scope of Practice Council Interior Health.  He is also the current Co-Chair Health Professions Act Regional Leads (Nursing) Committee.

Anne Cameron:
Anne’s former nursing career and subsequent legal experience in the defense of personal injury, insurance and malpractice claims (including on behalf of hospitals, nurses and midwives) has given her the ability to communicate well and work effectively with many health profession disciplines and the general public. Her understanding of health issues and interpersonal skills has been a valuable resource within the firm when challenging medico-legal cases arise. Anne worked at Harper Grey Easton in Vancouver, for 6 years as a nurse/legal assistant then from 1993 to 1998 as a practicing lawyer before moving back to Victoria her hometown. Anne has been an executive member and Chair of the Vancouver Island Civil Litigation Subsection and an executive member of the Medical-Legal Society of BC. She served as a reviewer/member of the University of Victoria Human Research Ethics Board from 2009 to 2012 and has recently become a member of the RNFBC.

Lorelei Gibson:
Lorelei is a practicing RN with significant background in many areas of practice and leadership, particularly in the field of mental health and substance use. She is currently the Practice Leader: Mental Health and Substance Use Network with Interior Health.  She is also actively involved in other Boards, including with CNA. Her interest, skills and links to a large network of practice, educational communities and organizations will be of great help to RNFBC going forward as well. Lorelei is standing now to become an elected Director.

Katie McLellan:
Katie has both an RN from Thompson River University (2011) and an MN from UBC – Okanagan (2018). She also holds a Perinatal Care (Rural Nursing Certificate) from UNBC 2012. She is currently employed as a Registered Nurse, Infection Control Practitioner – Infection Prevention and Control at Ponderosa Lodge, Kamloops, BC. Her role is to support Infection Control practices in Long Term Care and designated rural acute sites and conduct surveillance in collaboration with the Communicable Disease Unit and Occupational Health regarding outbreak management and communicable disease reporting. Prior to this she has worked in a variety of positions focused on long term care, home health and community health. She has been and continues to be involved in several leadership initiatives and programs, including a Nursing Scope of Practice Council deliberating on issues regarding the optimization of nursing scope of practice. With this background Katie will bring a much needed perspective from young nurses and those working in the community and geriatric care – as well as her ideas and leadership skills – to the Board.

Elsie Tan:
Elsie graduated from BCIT, University of Victoria, and University of British Columbia. She has a Pediatric nursing background and has held a variety of teaching and leadership positions with her primary contributions to the University of British Columbia – Vancouver School of Nursing. She believes in mindful engagement in learning and teaching, and that we co-create environments we share. Elsie was a recipient of the Excellence in Nursing Education Award, College of Registered Nurses of BC. She appreciates RNFBC vision and mission being a recipient of awards and bursaries during her student days and she is looking forward to contributing to the Foundation as a Board Member.

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RNFBC Announces Change in Management

After an extensive review of our internal processes, costs and a comparison to other similar Foundations across the country, the RNFBC Board of Directors has agreed that engaging a management company to administer operations offers the best way forward.

As with any change, there is the sadness of saying goodbye to the dedicated resources who saw us through the last several years. Our thanks to Jennifer Davis for her outstanding work as our administrator, Bruce Bouchard as our fundraiser and Peter Baetsen at McLaren Trefanenko, the accounting firm.

We would like to introduce you to First Stage Enterprises Ltd. (FSEL) who will be managing our day to day administration, finances, bursary process and, once settled, our donations. Our main contacts will be Heather Jones, Manager, Barbara Gorman, Bookkeeper, Ellen Kaine, Administrator, Karen Thompson, Designated Accountant, Lisa Bateman, Administrator and Alison Toscano, President, FSEL.

The phone number for RNFBC will remain 604-739-1944. However, as the cooperative we used as a Vancouver office is closing, our address has changed to:

9 Foxwood Drive,
Port Moody, BC
V3H 4X3

There will be a slight disruption as we make this transition and hope you will bear with us during this time. We look forward to keeping our members, supporters, and the BC nursing community informed about the Foundation’s work through our website and news updates. Should you have any questions or concerns, please contact us.

Heather Mass

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New “Ruth Echo (Littlejohn) McIlrath Bursary” Announced!

We are so proud and pleased to announce our newest bursary: The Ruth Echo (Littlejohn) Mcllrath Bursary.  This bursary has been set up through the generous legacy gift through the estate of her niece, Fern Irwin.

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Salamata Bah – From Guinea Republic to Prince George

Salamata attends UNBC and was a 2016 bursary recipient and forwarded this lovely letter of appreciation.

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“June’s Story” by Kate Shields – 2016 Bursary Winner

An event that has forever changed my family and significantly influenced who I am today is one of my sister’s battle for life.  This terrible ordeal has created how I envision myself caring for patients and their families in the future as I graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree and become a Registered Nurse.

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April Bakonyi – On Becoming a Nurse Practitioner

“I strongly feel nurses play a large role in making the world a better place. The nurse-patient relationship is such a powerful connection. We are often the one with the patient 24/7 seeing them at their worst and working with them to achieve their best. We empower, encourage and support patients through some of the toughest times of their lives”.

After graduating in nursing in 2007, April Bakonyi worked for four years in Toronto on a medical-surgical floor. In looking to fulfil more of a leadership role April decided to pursue a career as a Nurse Practitioner.

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Letter of Thanks from Naureen Hussainaly

I am writing to thank you for your generous RNABC Nursing Education Bursary. I was very happy and appreciative to learn that I was selected as the recipient of your bursary. When I learnt of this bursary through my school, BCIT, I knew that this was something I should apply to.

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Kate Saunders: On the Value of Being an RNFBC Bursary Winner

If you ever wondered how important your support to RNFBC is for aspiring nurses, we would like to introduce you to Kate Saunders. Mother to five-year-old Jack, Kate spends most of her spare time working two jobs, as a Research Assistant for the CAMEO Program with the BC Cancer Agency and as an employed student nurse at the UBC Hospital.

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Jodi Meacher Embraces a New Career as an ER Nurse

Jodi Meacher is the first recipient of the Mabel and Henry Doree Family Memorial Bursary with RNFBC. Jodi recently graduated from UBC with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing and is now working in the Emergency Department at Lions Gate Hospital. “I love the thrill of the unknown arriving at any time and the quick thinking required for the position.” Jodi completed her final preceptorship this past spring at the Lions Gate Emergency Department before accepting her new full time position. Jodi decided in 2008 to become a nurse and was then accepted to the UBC School of Nursing.
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