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Message from the Board President

I am honored to be serving as your new President. The Foundation benefited me early in my career, and I am privileged to be working with the Board of Directors and operations team, helping to guide its future.

The ongoing COVID 19 pandemic has continued to be challenging. Among the gloom, however, a highlight has been the critical role nurses continue to play in all areas of the health care system. As a result we are seeing more people drawn to our profession and applying to enter BC nursing education programs. More than ever now we need to support those new nursing students and other nurses in BC who are advancing their education.

Since its inception in 1979 the RNFBC has provided bursaries to thousands of nurses and built a solid investment, today at $5million. This was made possible by committed volunteer Board members, staff, and donors. We are deeply thankful that 50% of our current donors have been giving for 10 years or more. Every gift, of time or money, makes a difference and we are grateful for the generosity of each and every one of our donors and volunteers.

I hope you take some time on this site to read about our changes this year and the recent 2021 bursary award recipients. On behalf of them, our volunteer board of directors, and operations team, thank you for supporting the Registered Nurses Foundation of BC.

Diane Clements, RN (retired)
President, Board of Directors
November 2021

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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. Diane was elected to the Board.

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 was elected to the Board.

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.  Anne was appointed to the Board

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 was 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
President
RNFBC

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RNFBC’s 41st Annual General Meeting

Come and join us for

Registered Nurses Foundation of BC

41st Annual General Meeting

June 22, 2021

5 pm – 7 pm

Via Zoom

Please save the date!  While all are invited to attend, it is our current paid members in good standing who can attend with voting capacity.  Thank you to our newest members and to old friends who have renewed their membership for 2021. If your membership has lapsed, that can easily be solved.  Simply go to www.rnfbc.ca/membership for easy online registration.

Please note that the new Societies Act rules no longer allow proxy votes.  So, we sincerely hope that you can attend.  Your full AGM package will be sent 2 weeks before the date so you will have lots of time to review it and will include your Zoom invite information.  Please contact our offices (administrator@rnfbc.ca) to advise your attendance or phone 604-739-1944 ext  261 to speak with our staff or leave a message.

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Compassionate, Curious, Courageous, Inspiration

by loving friends and family of Mary Bellis

Margaret Mary Bellis’s love of children is rumoured to have begun as the second child of six. Mary’s genuineness, curiosity, friendliness, compassion and loyalty to her family, friends and colleagues are legendary and reminiscent of the attributes of one who was raised in a large family. Her curiosity, sense of adventure, outgoingness and adaptability are likely linked to having a father who was a Wing Commander with the RCAF, as this meant she and her family experienced life in multiple cities across Canada. Upon her father’s retirement in 1962, the Bellis family relocated to the Vancouver area from Ottawa, finally settling in Burnaby in 1964.

Mary’s passion as a caregiver was a large part of what drove her to choose nursing as her profession. Mary went to nursing school at St. Michael’s in Lethbridge, Alberta in 1970. Her first nursing job was as a pediatric nurse at Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops in 1973, finally moving back to Burnaby to work at the VGH’s Health Centre for Children in the mid-1970s. Mary’s dedication to lifelong learning was evident early in her career when she pursued a specialty certification in neurological nursing from Foothill’s Hospital in Calgary, AB. Mary returned to BC and moved from VGH to BC Children’s Hospital (BCCH) Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) when it opened in 1982, where she worked until her retirement. She was a pioneer in family centered care before it was labelled as such. Mary recognized the impact an intensive care unit had on children and their families and she made it her mission to create a warm, child friendly environment for the children and their families. Mary role modelled excellence in her clinical skills, decision making and communication while caring for her patients and their families.

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Special Message re Our 2020 AGM

What a year this has been for all of us!   As with almost all non-profit societies it has certainly been challenging for us to carry out our mandate this past year. That said, we are proud to report that we still managed to provide 182 bursaries to BC’s nurses to assist with their basic and advanced education in 2020.  We have also been exploring some new opportunities for RNFBC going forward and are excited to share them with all of our members, donors, and friends.

Since the opportunities to meet in person are very limited right now due to Covid 19, we have chosen the option given by BC Societies to not hold an AGM in 2020 and instead push it forward to a date in early 2021.   We will let you know when and where it will be as soon as the date is set.  Meantime, if you are not an active member, please consider becoming one so you can join us.  If you are a member, please be sure to renew your present membership in order to have voting rights at the AGM.  You can access our membership page at www.rnfbc.ca/membership.  We need and depend on your support and valued input!

With the difficult year that was 2020 now closed and as we move into 2021, we consider the horrendous impact this pandemic has had on our loved ones and colleagues and hope you also think about the amazing skills nurses have demonstrated and the sacrifices they have made and continue to make in caring for so many sickened by it.  As a way to recognize and support their work, please consider making a meaningful one-time or monthly gift to RNFBC to help support our current and future nurses.  The process details can be found on www.rnfbc.ca.

In closing, on behalf of the RNFBC Board of Directors and our terrific staff, I would also like to thank you all for your interest and support.  It means more than you know!  Until we can actually meet in person, please stay in touch – and stay safe.

Best regards:

Heather Mass RN Msc, Interim President
on behalf of the Volunteer Board of Directors
Registered Nurses Foundation of BC

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Rural Nursing Passion

“I immediately fell in love with nursing when I started the program. I am extremely passionate about improving rural health care.”

Caitlyn is in her fourth year of nursing following a degree in biochemistry. She received a 2020 bursary that was matched in partnership with the BC Association of Healthcare Auxiliaries-NE Area and the Registered Nurses Foundation of BC.

Caitlyn adds: “travelling in rural northern placements has also shown me how important it is to continue supporting students and nurses in the north because the need for health care professionals and services is so great. I am so incredibly grateful for this bursary… especially in my final year with many extra expenses being out of my home city for all of my practicums. Receiving a generous bursary makes it much less stressful in these challenging times. It encourages me to work that much harder to achieve my nursing goals and to one day be able to pass on this kindness to communities in need. I appreciate this opportunity so much!”

Caitlyn nears the completion of her nursing studies and hopes to “advocate for those in rural communities… Being in these rural northern placements, I see staff working miracles each day.”

 

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Special Message re Our 2020 AGM

What a year this has been for all of us!   As with almost all non-profit societies it has certainly been challenging for us to carry out our mandate this past year. That said, we are proud to report that we still managed to provide 182 bursaries to BC’s nurses to assist with their basic and advanced education in 2020.  We have also been exploring some new opportunities for RNFBC going forward and are looking excited to share them with all of our members, donors, and friends.

Since the opportunities to meet in person are very limited right now due to Covid 19, we have chosen the option given by BC Societies to not hold an AGM in 2020 and instead push it forward to a date in early 2021.   We will let you know when and where it will be as soon as the date is set.  Meantime, if you are not an active member, please consider becoming one so you can join us.  If you are a member, please be sure to renew your present membership in order to have voting rights at the AGM.  You can access our membership page at www.rnfbc.ca/membership.  We need and depend on your support and valued input!

Also, with the difficult year that was 2020 now closed and as we move into 2021, we consider the horrendous impact this pandemic has had on our loved ones and colleagues and hope you also think about the amazing skills nurses have demonstrated and the sacrifices they have made and continue to make in caring for so many sickened by it.  As a way to recognize and support their work, please consider making a meaningful one-time or monthly gift to RNFBC to help support our current and future nurses.  The process details can be found on www.rnfbc.ca.

In closing, on behalf of the RNFBC Board of Directors and our terrific staff, I would also like to thank you all for your interest and support.  It means more than you know!  Until we can actually meet in person, please stay in touch – and stay safe.

Best regards:

Heather Mass RN Msc, Interim President
on behalf of the Volunteer Board of Directors
Registered Nurses Foundation of BC

Read more