A nurse working in Nunavik, the Inuit region of northern Quebec, was among three recipients who received awards on Monday from Canada’s Department of Indigenous Services in recognition of their contributions to the health-care system.
Lyrithe Villeneuve, originally from the city of Saguenay, Quebec, has worked in the North for 42 years and began her career in 1976 in the Inuit community of Kangiqsujuaq, said a press release from Indigenous Services Canada on Monday.
Other recipients of the Award of Excellence in Nursing include:
- Bodiene Dusson, an Indigenous Community Health Nurse on the Saulteaux First Nation in the province of Saskatchewan
- Cheryl Yost, a First Nations and Inuit Health Branch employed nurse at the Sandy Lake Nursing Station in northern Ontario
The majority of Canada’s northern Indigenous communities are without hospitals or full-time doctors. Nurses are often the front-line healthcare workers, caring for the entire community. But attracting nurses to these remote and often isolated communities can be a challenge. Positions can often remain vacant.
The Award of Excellence in Nursing has been handed out every year since 2004 to recognize the work being done by nurses in First Nations and Inuit communities, says the Government of Canada website. Candidates are nominated by their peers.
“This year’s recipients of the Award of Excellence in Nursing have shown tremendous dedication to the nursing profession and to delivering quality healthcare to First Nations and Inuit communities,” Jane Philpott, Canada’s minister of Indigenous Services, said in a news release on Monday.
“Congratulations and thank you to Lyrithe Villeneuve, Bodiene Dussion, and Cheryl Yost for your exceptional commitment and contributions to improving Indigenous healthcare in Canada.”
The Award of Excellence in Nursing is handed out annually to coincide with National Nursing Week.
National Nursing Week 2018 runs from May 7 to 13.
Write to Eilís Quinn at eilis.quinn(at)cbc.ca
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