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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 valued active members 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.

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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.”

 

Read more

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

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Black (in)Visibility: Black Nurses in Canada Who Paved the Way

The Consortium for Nursing History Inquiry in the UBC School of Nursing is holding a panel discussion for Black History Month called: Black (in)Visibility: Black Nurses in Canada Who Paved the Way on Feb 25 from 3 – 4:30 PM EST. The panel is free and open to the public.

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Helen Shore’s Memory Honoured

The Registered Nurses Foundation of BC pays special tribute to Helen Louise Shore and is grateful for the support we have received in honour of her memory.  

Helen made many meaningful connections and contributions during her distinguished life in nursing.  She worked in Community Health Nursing and then dedicated her career to Nursing Education.  

Helen L. Shore also completed a book at age 95 entitled “Shore to Shore: A record of the Shore family of Sheffield, England, to London, Ontario” describing some of her family stories dating back to the 15th Century – including one very famous family member, Florence Nightingale.  

Helen earned many honours for her numerous contributions and achievements.  She was also an active community volunteer supporting nursing and community service organizations.  Helen touched many nurses and countless others through her lifetime.   She is missed by many who share deep admiration for Helen’s contributions.  

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On behalf of the Board and Staff of the Registered Nurses Foundation of BC I would like to wish you a safe and happy holiday season. We are all very aware that the pandemic has posed formidable challenges for everyone this year and that this holiday season will be much quieter and less festive than many of us would like. We hope that despite this you can all find ways to connect with loved ones in safe ways so this year’s celebrations are still meaningful and comforting.

We also know that within a few months we will be past the worst of the pandemic so we will can begin to regain our “normal” lives. Like all of you we can hardly wait! With this in mind, we want to wish you a safe and healthy 2021 filled with good times with love – even if we will have to wait for spring for it to happen.

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

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As St. Joseph’s School of Nursing Celebrates 100 years, please meet Linda Bitterman, Alumnae Executive – Her Nursing Journey and Legacy..

Last winter our St. Joseph’s Alumnae executive were excited, busily planning our 100th year anniversary in 2020 when COVID-19 hit. This got me thinking back to my early nursing days and realized how much a bursary can help a student nurse and how very important the established bursaries like St. Joseph’s are. In talking with RNFBC on how to promote our bursary, we thought what better way than celebrating St. Joseph’s SON 100th anniversary with a story about my personal nursing journey and legacy.

Many students know that nursing is going to be their chosen career, but that wasn’t me! As a teen, I was obsessed with my sports, ie. basketball and skating in the winter, and softball all summer! So, my dream was to be a P. E. Teacher. That all changed in a moment’s time at age 16 when I was a passenger in a head-on 3 car collision. There were 15 young people involved, with one dead and all but one injured, and most with fractures. This was in the days before seat belts so I was sent flying through the front windshield. The boy I was with, who was our driver, pulled me out of the car then laid down and died. He had severed his aorta. I had multiple injuries, internal bleeding, head injury, and over 130 sutures to my face and neck (apparently the nurses counted them. I wouldn’t know as I was still unconscious!). I’m telling you all this because, as a result of my time in the hospital, and all I saw and heard changed the course of my life! I got to really like most of my nurses, but there was one that was very impatient with me. I remember her forcing red Jello on me, and telling me if I didn’t eat it I’d have to have the IV back in! It took a lot of years before I could eat red Jello on my own! I also remember the staff talking about me but I couldn’t open my eyes or say anything! This was something I was very aware of when I was nursing and always remember the sensitivity of the patient’s feelings. Because of my injuries I was out of high school for 2 years before I was accepted at St. Joseph’s here in Victoria. I would always get the same thing told to me – “your marks are good, but we can’t take a chance on you, health-wise.” Thank God for the wonderful nuns who were willing to give me a chance! So I graduated in 1964, but did have to make up about 5 months because of having pneumonia in my last year, but I did make it!

My 1964 Graduating Class

>55 years later….that’s me in the centre in a striped sweater!

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