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UBC Publications

Touchpoints Apr 1, 2009

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est. 1919
Where Will We Be at 100?
Sally Thorne, Director
The year 2009 marks the 90th anniversary of the
advent of nursing education at The University
of British Columbia. The UBC School of Nursing
takes great pride in its history of being the first
university nursing degree program in Canada (and
in what was at that time the entire British Empire)
In 1919, nursing education was almost universally
a function of the hospital sector, and characterized
by significant service learning and apprenticeship
However, the impressive contributions of Canadian
nurses during World War I (1914-1918) had
brought the value of excellent nursing to the
forefront of public attention. The global Spanish
influenza epidemic of 1918-1919 created the
context in which the potential contribution of a
knowledgeable nursing workforce to the resolution
of complex public health problems became
ncreasingly apparent. A visionary nursing leader
of her time, Ethel Johns, was able to convince the
government of the day to take the revolutionary
step of bringing nursing into the university as an
academic discipline - a move that was not followed
in most parts of the world until many decades later.
Miss Johns' courageous advocacy, and the wise
decision-making of both the provincial government
and university administration to take what must
have seemed a rather bold course of action,
launched a program that has evolved into one of
the world's flagship academic nursing centres and
an internationally recognized leader in nursing
education and knowledge development.
In its first 90 years, the UBC School of Nursing (or
the Department of Nursing & Health, as it was
known until 1950) has generated a community
of over 8100 graduates as well as many hundreds
of former faculty, staff, partners and friends.
All who have passed through the halls of the
School in its various buildings and settings over
those 90 years own a place in its remarkable
history, and are justified in feeling a sense of
pride in its accomplishments. Among the School's
alumni are the "Who's Who" of internationally
acclaimed nurses in all fields of practice, education,
administration, policy leadership and research
Some graduates never practiced the profession,
but maintained a sense of pride in their nursing
knowledge and skills, applying them informally to
a lifetime of problem-solving in matters pertaining
to health as well as to so many other dimensions
of society. Others served the public in a wide range
of practice contexts with an incredible diversity of
patient populations, in B.C., across Canada, or in so
many regions across the globe.
As one component of our 90th anniversary
celebration, we hope to hear many more stories
from our amazing alumni. In this volume of
TouchPoints, we showcase a few graduates from
various eras of the School's history, bringing their
ndividual stories to light as an evolving legacy
collection. In so doing, we hope to inspire a barrage
of other great stories about our graduates across
the spectrum. The marvels of a digital age permit
the building of a web-based showcase for the lives
and/or careers that evolved from a UBC nursing
education. As a double graduate myself (Post-
RN BSN '79 and MSN '83) I have been eternally
thankful for the solid grounding obtained during
my UBC student experiences. I am convinced that
it positioned me in a manner second to none for
a meaningful professional career. As Director of
the School over the past seven years, I have been
privileged to hear the stories of hundreds of other
alumni who feel equally passionate about what
the UBC School of Nursing has meant in their
lives. By inviting each and every one of you to
submit your own story and stories of other alums
that you know, we intend to bring the marvellous
tale of alumni achievement to a wider audience,
and ensure that this treasure becomes part of the
historical legacy of the School
The UBC School of Nursing's first 90 years have
been exceptional in everyway. This anniversary
year prompts us to ensure that we not continue
to rest on past laurels but to look to the future,
envisioning where we ought to be when the time
comes to celebrate our centennial in 2019. We
hope that every member of the School of Nursing
community joins with us in this future thinking and
creative forecasting, as we reflect on the world of
today and imagine where we will be at 100
Director's Message	
Amazing Alumni	
Raisingthe Bar	
Undergraduate Profile	
Graduate Profile	
Clinical Practice Innovation
New Faces in Research	
10 Amazing Alumni
As part of the UBC School of Nursing's 90th anniversary, we wish to focus on and celebrate our alumni. With over
8,100 graduates, the School has produced some of the major leaders and innovators in health care, not only in B.C.
or Canada, but around the world. While this issue of TouchPoints focuses on only a few of our fabulous alumni, we
plan to highlight many more throughout the year. We encourage you to share your stories and experiences and have
established a section of our online alumni pages dedicated to this purpose.
Foundation for the Future
When Val Cartmel (BSN '75) enrolled in her
first year of sciences at UBC, she had no idea
that she was going to be a nurse. Now, she holds
a graduate degree in nursing, is the Regional
Leader in Clinical Informatics for Vancouver
Coastal Health (VCH), and has become the
President of the College of Registered Nurses of
British Columbia (CRNBC), the regulatory body
for more than 39,000 registered nurses, nurse
practitioners and licensed graduate nurses in the
The thought of actually being a nurse didn't occur
to Val until the summer between her first and
second years. After developing appendicitis and
having surgery, "it was like a light bulb went off,"
she said. "I realized 'that's what I want to be.
want to be a nurse!'" Having no nurses among
her family or close community, she had toyed with
the idea of going into medicine, but decided on
nursing when she saw what nurses actually do in
the hospital
Val recalls two particularly influential faculty
mentors. "Rose Murakami was
one of the people
that helped
shape my profession. I can still visualize the things
she taught us - role-playing the part of the patient
or nurse to help us actually see what we were
supposed to do before we had to go out and do
it. In those days there was limited technology, so
this kind of teaching was really invaluable." She
also has vivid memories of Beth McCann. "Beth
was UBC," she says. "She was so passionate and
enthusiastic about nursing and the program that it
was hard not to feel real pride in the School."
Recovery room experience gained through a
student clinical placement at Vancouver General
Hospital enabled Val to obtain her first nursing
position in that context at Lions Gate Hospital,
a posting that was almost unheard of for a new
graduate at that time. She stayed on for three
years before accepting a teaching position with
the British Columbia Institute of Technology
(BCIT), which she held for 12 years. However, she
missed the hospital setting and in 1989 became
a nursing manager on a surgical unit at Lions
Gate. Computer integration with nursing practice
was just beginning, and Val became involved
in a computer implementation
project. This ultimately led
to her current position
of leadership in the
area of clinical
nformatics, which
she describes as
"making sure that
technology supports
practice and not the
other way around
Technology needs to
work for the nurses."
As President of CRNBC, Val has
the opportunity to be the eyes and ears of
nurses in the province, "to make sure that we have
a voice and that people understand what nursing is
and what nurses do. This role allows me to go into
the nursing community to support nurses in their
practice and ensure they meet provincial standards
so that the safety of the public is protected."
Val appreciates the School not only for the way
in which it prepared her for an exciting career,
but also for its expansive contributions to nursing
globally. "When you look at the contributions that
the UBC School of Nursing has made over the
years, it has been phenomenal. When I return each
year for the Marion Woodward Lecture, I think
'Wow! What an amazing group of people! I am so
proud to be part of such a significant community'"
To submit your own
amazing alumni story, visit
and click on the above link on
the right side of your screeen Program Pioneers
Esther Naden Gardom was an alumna of the
first graduating class of the new baccalaureate
degree program at UBC. She had always wanted
to be a nurse and, despite serious objections from
her parents, she registered for the nursing program
in her second year of study at UBC. Although
scheduled to graduate in 1923, her completion was
postponed as her mother had taken gravely ill. Thus,
she graduated the following year with the class of
As a newly minted public health nurse, Esther went
on to run the Moss Clinic in Saanich. The Model A
Ford she drove on visits to her patients during those
years leads to several amusing recollections. Due
to the car's inability to function in reverse gear, she
Beatrice Johnson (later Wood)
Beatrice was another member of that class of 1923.
While a student at UBC, she was active in the
drama club and later married Prof. Frederick Wood,
founder of the UBC Players Club. Many alumni
will have fond memories of the Freddy Wood
Theatre, which continues to provide high calibre
performances and entertainment to this day.
was often forced to drive in circles to manoeuvre in
and out of situations. On one occasion, it became
necessary to deliver a baby in that same car; she
tucked the infant close to her chest to keep it
warm until she was able to reach the intended
Esther was described by her daughter, Marguerite
Lawson of Victoria, as a "tough bird" who loved
the work of public health. However, under the
conditions of the day, she was unable to continue
the work after marriage because she had an
employed husband. However,
she assumed a role in the
community as the person who
was always called on for any
type of health-related assistance
Esther became the matriarch
of a large and vibrant clan
One of her nephews, Garde
Gardom, rose to prominence as
the 26th Lieutenant Governor
of British Columbia. Before her
death, Esther contributed an
oral history, which has become
part of the collection of the BC
History of Nursing Society.
A Leader Among a Class of Leaders
This past September, 24 of the 28 surviving
members of the BSN Class of 1958 returned
to the School of Nursing to celebrate their 50th
anniversary year. This remarkable class, many of
whom have made prominent contributions to
nursing and health care, or who have been influential
in their various communities, have remained in active
contact with the School through both formal and
nformal reunion activities over the years
Dr. Alice Baumgart, internationally recognized
as a leader in nursing, health care and academic
administration, is among the members of the Class
of '58. Upon graduation, Alice taught at the School
from 1959 to 1962 when she departed to pursue
her master's degree at McGill University. She then
returned as a member of the faculty froml964
to 1973 before leaving to obtain a doctorate in
behavioural science from the University of Toronto
"One of the dominant influences as a student
and in my years on the UBC Nursing faculty was
Director Evelyn Mallory" says Alice. "She was a great
nfluence on many of us - a very wise woman with
a good sense of humour, through whom I was able
to acquire excellent skills in writing, in addition to a
genuine desire to participate and contribute to the
advancement of the profession."
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Alice has held numerous prestigious positions as
a nursing leader. At Queen's University, she served
as Dean of the School of Nursing and was later
named its Vice Principal, Human Services - the
first woman to achieve such a senior position at
Queens University. She also served as President of
the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) as well as
the Canadian Association of University Schools of
Nursing (CAUSN) and was an elected member-at-
large for the International Council of Nurses. She
co-authored a major nursing text, Canadian Nursing
Faces the Future (1988), and has been keynote
speaker at numerous international conferences. In
1990, she was recognized with the UBC Alumn
As part of its anniversary celebrations,
the Class of '58 is working with the
School to establish a Graduating Class
of Nursing 1958 Emergency Fund as a
lasting endowment to assist nursing
students in financial need.
Association's 75th Anniversary Award of Merit, and
in 2000 received additional acknowledgment from
UBC with an honorary Doctor of Laws degree
Dr. Alice Baumgart has been a leader in excellence
for nursing. Her career has resulted in a significant
impact on the education and utilization of nurses,
and she continues in "retirement" to support and
inspire nurses throughout Canada and the United
States. And Alice would be the first to attribute
her remarkable success in nursing leadership to her
good fortune in being a member of the remarkable
UBC Class of'58. Raising the Bar
Continuing the Legacy of Nursing Educational Scholarship
Beth McCann's time in the School was marked by inspirational educational leadership. Although she stepped in to
serve as Acting Director when called upon to do so, Beth's first priority and love was always teaching. Her students
and colleagues held her in the highest esteem, and she developed a reputation as a provincial and national leader
in teaching scholarship.
Eizabeth Kenny McCann is a well-known figure
in the history of the School of Nursing, having
been a student, a faculty member, and an acting
director before assuming emeritus status shortly
before her death in 1986. Beth McCann (as she
was always known to her friends and colleagues)
began her own nursing education at the age of
16, enrolling in UBC's seven-year double degree
program and graduating in 1940 with both BA and
BSN degrees. In 1947, she joined the faculty, where
she increasingly assumed leadership positions until
the time of her retirement in 1982
Beth's time in the School was marked by
nspirational educational leadership. In the post-war
boom of the late 1940s she was the first instructor
to work with students both on and off campus (at
VGH). Her promotion to the rank of Professor in
1967 marked the first time that a nursing faculty
member other than a director had achieved that
status. Although she stepped in to serve as Acting
Director when called upon to do so, Beth's first
priority and love was always teaching. Her students
and colleagues held her in the highest esteem,
and she developed a reputation as a provincial and
national leader in teaching scholarship
At the time of her untimely death, her colleagues
established an endowment fund in her honour.
Eventually that fund grew to a size capable of
supporting a Professorship, which was held by
Dr. Joan Anderson for several years. In order to
capitalize on Beth McCann's educational leadership
vision and to support next steps in the School's
development, the proceeds from the endowment
fund will be used over the next two years to
support Senior Instructor Marion Clauson, who
has been appointed holder of the Elizabeth Kenny
McCann Scholar Award. In that capacity, Marion
will take leadership in various initiatives to enhance
teaching and educational scholarship during a time
of curricular and pedagogical transition within the
Clauson (BSN'71
and MSN '92), completed
her undergraduate studies during Beth's term
as Acting Director. Although she admits to not
having a clear understanding of what academic
leaders did back then, she was aware of Beth's
nfluence on her own educational development.
Marion especially remembers Beth's teaching
in the history of nursing course. "When she
taught, there was an element of the dramatic,
and everyone remembered the material. She had
flair, and brought nursing history to life." Marion
also remembers her being very much student-
oriented. "Beth was a very visible faculty member,
who always came to social events and interacted
with students. She had a presence that allowed
students to feel connected to her, even when she
was in the acting director role."
The Elizabeth Kenny McCann Scholar Award will
allow Marion to build on the existing strengths
and capacity within the School of Nursing faculty
to achieve even greater excellence in teaching
Providing time and funding for specific initiatives,
the Scholar Award will support an engaged and
nteractive process toward fully capitalizing on
the diversity and prior qualifications of our unique
body. It will ensure
sustains the
highest quality learning environment
within the context of a research intensive university
"I feel very honoured to accept this role" says
Marion, "I love teaching and look forward to using
the time the award enables me to provide a level of
support to the teaching of my colleagues and the
School that I could not otherwise achieve."
Gerri MacLean, one of Marion's students, attests to
her exceptional skill as a teacher. "Marion does an
excellent job of tying concepts together. Inevitably
you end up with a weaving of information and
you see a picture and you think, okay, I get that. It
really does make sense!"
Building on her clear passion for nursing education,
Marion sees herself not as the leader of teaching
innovation but as having the privilege of being
able to facilitate processes through which the
collaborative energies of the talented faculty in
the School will create advances in educational
innovation beyond what would be possible without
the additional support. She sees the Scholar Award
as an excellent resource to align the opportunity of
continued on page 5 Amazing Alumni...continued from page 3
A Modern Military Career
Supporting Our History
Congratulations to the newly renamed and
reconstituted BC History of Nursing Society.
Formerly the BC Nursing History Group, a
professional practice group of the RNABC, this
society is among the leading nursing history
organizations in the country. Their website,
www.bcnursinghistory.ca is a treasure trove
of information and a wonderful resource for
documenting the legacy of nurses across the
province. The UBC School of Nursing is a proud
supporter of the BC History of Nursing Society,
providing office and archival space to support
its ongoing activities. And we are equally proud
to have represented a constituent part of the
remarkable BC nursing history it celebrates.
ilitary nursing and its unique challenges
I are what drew me into health care," says
Kirsta Maclsaac (BSN '95). Although not a common
career path among UBC nursing graduates in
recent years, Kirsta's career with the Canadian
Forces is reminiscent of the interconnection
between nursing and the military over much of the
profession's history.
The Canadian Forces sponsored Kirsta's studies
at UBC and provided the context through which
she entered the School of Nursing. Aspects of
the program that were most directly applicable
in preparing her for a career in the military
ncluded a surgical rotation in sports medicine, an
ndependent study project in HIV/AIDS education,
and a community learning experience with the
mental health team in Vancouver's Downtown
Eastside. However, in retrospect, she considers the
greatest influence upon her career development
to have come from what she learned in the more
theoretically-oriented courses.
"One of the great benefits of serving almost 20
years with the Canadian Forces, is the opportunity
to work alongside nursing professionals from
programs all across Canada. I've learned that there
is incredible diversity in philosophy and program
design, but that a common thread exists among
all - the pursuit of professional excellence. The
UBC program reflects of its geopolitical region, and
unique provincial health care needs. It highlights a
holistic view of health, an emphasis on population
health, and the importance of tertiary care
excellence as well as primary care development."
"It is important for undergraduates to understand
that those first years in school are the building
blocks for a wealth of professional opportunity,"
says Kirsta. "Nursing professionals now have
many valued circles of influence in the community,
ncluding the clinical setting, academia,
government, law and business. The first step on
that journey is learning to nurture a personal
vision through professional collaboration and a
commitment to life-long learning."
The academic foundation Kirsta obtained at the
School assisted her in her early roles as a clinical
nurse with the Canadian Forces and contributes
to her current day-to-day practice as a health care
executive. She currently manages a health services
centre in Wainwright, Alberta where soldiers are
trained by a multidisciplinary team prior to their
deployment to Afghanistan. Kirsta is an example
of a nurse who has found a distinctive and
meaningful career, applying nursing principles with
ndividuals, groups and systems. It is reassuring to
know that Canadian service men and women have
guardians like Kirsta to support their health and
safety in these challenging times.   ^&
Beth McCann, con't.
a new curriculum, scheduled for implementation
in the fall of 2009, with a range of pedagogica
"The Beth McCann Scholar Award will allow me
to find those areas in which we can improve"
says Marion. "As a whole faculty, we can work to
make changes that will benefit the entire program
While we already do a lot that is great, there is
always room for growth in our thinking about how
students learn and how best to help them wrestle
with the ideas that will serve their nursing practice.
This is the magic of excellent teaching."
We think Beth McCann would have been
delighted to know that the commitment to nursing
educational excellence continues, and that a leader
ike Marion Clauson will be spearheading new
nnovations in her name. The inspirational vision
of Beth's legacy remains as bright today as it was
during her remarkable time in the School Undergraduate Profile
A Passion for Humanity
"Bella Coola and its people strengthened my love of nursing,"
says Aaron. "I learned to be more human and, I think, a better nurse.
Practice in Bella Coola was an ideal complement to the education I received
at UBC. It also highlighted for me the reality that Canada is not immune to
the struggles I experienced while working in Guatemala."
Aaron Bates, (BSN '08), looks to his future
with hope and determination. The path
that led him to the graduation ceremony this
past November is a diverse mixture of languages
(English, Spanish and French), study (nursing,
sociology, international relations) and life
Aaron applied to the UBC BSN program from
Guatemala, the small country which he says, "has
broken my heart and opened my eyes." As the
country representative for Pueblo Partisans - a
small Vancouver Island-based non-governmental
of an individual's particular pains, yet it was the
nurses who were able to make these patients
feel better by providing some physical relief," he
recalls. "I wished to integrate my experiences in
Guatemala and translate them into meaningfu
social action. I could think of no better way of
doing so than by dedicating myself to a career in
During his program, Aaron had the opportunity
for direct clinical learning in a variety of diverse
settings. Perhaps the most influential was the
Bella Coola General Hospital in the Bella Coola
organization - he designed a community
development strategy for a displaced indigenous
population and provided cultural interpretation,
leadership and Spanish-English interpretation for
visiting nurses doing clinical training there. His
decision to become a nurse developed from those
"I provided translations of traumas and the
rudimentary framework to understand the context
Valley on the central coast of British Columbia
during his final clinical course. "It was a slice of
our country that I had not previously experienced
While appreciative of the opportunities I had
in Guatemala, I had begun to find it almost
embarrassing that I was much more familiar
with challenges faced by indigenous populations
in Central America than those of aboriginal
populations in my own country. In Bella Coola,
saw the human side of conditions we had been
guided to explore at UBC. I was able to offer
my nursing knowledge to a population that,
nearly without exception, was welcoming and
appreciative of my efforts."
As a new graduate, Aaron is continuing to seek
opportunities that will challenge him to explore his
capacity to make a difference as a registered nurse.
He has taken a position at Dartmouth General
Hospital in Nova Scotia.  "I've enjoyed this, perhaps
more than any nursing I have yet done. We see all
of humanity. We never really know what is going
to happen. We don't see people at their best, yet
we have the privilege of entering into the most
ntimate parts of peoples' lives and assisting in
their care. In the hectic world of the emergency
department, I have the privilege of working with
nurses with 25 years of experience, nurses with
five or fewer years of experience and others, like
myself, who are just entering the profession
Colleagues seem genuinely pleased to offer
mentorship and to share their knowledge. Nurses,
physicians and other staff respect each other's
unique knowledge and unique roles. And, there is
so much to learn."
At the Faculty of Applied Science congregation
ceremony in November, Aaron was chosen as the
student speaker for the 2008 graduating class.
In his address, he spoke to his own passion for
nursing and recognized comparable commitment
that all graduates within the Faculty of Applied
Science - which includes nursing, architecture and
landscape architecture, and engineering - have
for their interconnected capacity to contribute
meaningfully to the betterment of society. "We
are as diverse as those whom we strive to serve.
We are motivated by so much, in our choice of this
caring, and trying, profession. We recognize that
our universal humanity is perhaps best expressed
when we are at our most vulnerable, and require
the intimate care of strangers."
"So much of what we do as nurses depends
on you, the engineers, architects and
landscape architects. We may understand the
physiological changes that occur with diabetes
and heart disease, and even understand how
neighbourhoods and highways affect the
distribution of these diseases. Yet, we neither
build highways nor do we design neighbourhoods.
So we will need to work together, to combine
your passions with ours. We must work across
disciplines if we wish to contribute to solving some
of the most pressing issues on the planet, and in
our neighbourhoods." Graduate Profile
Linking Research
With Clinical Practice
"I didn't realize that I would still be a part
of this academic community once I finished
my program — that I would be able to make
my transition and develop my independence
as a nurse scholar while still being mentored
at the sometime."
In her dual role as Clinical Assistant Professor
with the School of Nursing and Education Leader
with the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC)
in Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) and HIV
Prevention and Control, Vicky Bungay (PhD '08)
combines her PhD research experience with clinical
practice. In this unique new position she has the
ability to establish and build innovations in nursing
education and research
Eight years ago, Vicky decided to pursue her
PhD and began research to explore options for
a program that would let her define her own
priorities while at the same time providing learning
opportunities beyond her initial expectations.
Topics of concern to Vicky included poverty,
women's health, violence and discrimination;
she wanted to learn more about why women
get sick and what can be done in a public health
context for prevention. After comparing programs,
Vicky felt that UBC would afford her the best
opportunity to really focus on these issues and
acquire mentorship from experts in a manner that
would give her a sound skill-set as a nurse scientist
"You come in with one set of expectations" says
Bungay, "and as you start to study you actually
begin to reconfigure your thinking. I had all kinds
of assumptions that doctoral learning would be
a much more linear process, and it's not." As a
result of excellent mentoring and support from
UBC Nursing faculty, Vicky was able to secure
highly competitive research funding from Canadian
nstitutes of Health Research (CIHR), which gave
her amazing opportunities to work toward
her scholarly ideals. Because of these funding
opportunities, she was able to take the lead on
projects while at the
same time feeling secure in
the network of support provided
in the School
"The PhD program at the School of Nursing
met my expectations, reconfigured them and
completely exceeded them! I was able to get
so much more out of it than I had anticipated."
Vicky graduated from the program prepared to
successfully carry out an independent program
of research in today's competitive world. UBC
Nursing helps graduate students become
"incredible critical thinkers who can tear a
concept apart and look at it from a variety of
different angles," says Vicky. She affirms that the
School of Nursing faculty have incredibly strong
programs of research. She also notes that, "While
the ability to be either an exceptional researcher
or an exceptional teacher is rare, most people wil
be skilled at one; here at UBC there are quite a
number of faculty who are exceptional at both."
Vicky's current position as Education Leader in
the area of STI and HIV Prevention at the BC
Centre for Disease Control is unique. While many
doctorally-prepared nurses take up positions in
an academic environment, few return full-time
to clinical work. Vicky's position takes advantage
of her research expertise to expand the scope of
clinical practice in this area to create a program
that not only addresses the current needs of
nurses, but can project into the future. The work
she is involved in will ensure that BC nurses have
the skills to support vulnerable populations in the
In her current role, Vicky works on
multidisciplinary projects in which she is the only
nurse. She intends to build a program of nursing
research in collaboration with the UBC School of
Nursing, using the School's expertise to facilitate
research growth at BCCDC. "There are great
programs of research there, but they do not
necessarily address the questions I am interested
in exploring. The new program will and create an
opportunity for nursing students to have clinical
or research experiences in those particular areas.
My current appointment allows me to support
that. Although there has been room for similar
activity at BCCDC, they have had no one to lead
and move it forward. Being employed by BCCDC
and affiliated with UBC allows me to create those
Vicky's new appointment as a Clinical Assistant
Professor establishes a link between the School
of Nursing and the BCCDC, building relationships
and collaborating so that the expertise of each
nstitution can be shared to mutual benefit. Vicky
is a stellar example of a nurse who has taken full
advantage of her graduate education at UBC to
move forward with an important public health
agenda. She represents the kind of future thinking
of which the School is justifiably proud Clinical Practice Innovation
Devoted to Informed Healing
"I love talking to and meeting with students and am so glad I didn't choose a
different profession! I'm always interested in hearing student perceptions of
their impending careers. I try to be a positive role model for them and help
guide them to know what roles are available and how to choose the right one
for their goals and interests."
In her role as a Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) in
Wound Care at Providence Health Care, Leah
Shapera (MSN '90) exemplifies all the characteristics
of an outstanding nurse.
Leah refers to gerontology as her "big love" and
says that when she first came to Vancouver in 1981,
finding an academic program that would best allow
her to pursue that love was at the forefront of
choosing the baccalaureate program in nursing at
UBC. Looking at the various health care programs
available, she saw that nursing provided the greatest
breadth of options for working with the elderly. And
thus, she entered the baccalaureate program with
a vision of going on to do a master's degree with a
clinical specialty in geriatrics.
Leah enrolled in graduate studies directly following
graduation. Although not completely certain that
she was up for the challenge, she remembers being
encouraged by faculty mentor Janet Gormick in
moving towards her goal. "I was under-confident,
and she was instrumental in helping me see my
strengths and that I was capable of much more
than I thought," said Leah. "She really mentored
me and helped me feel more confident about
the knowledge and skills I possessed. I always
appreciated that." Leah spent the next four years
working full-time as a nurse while pursuing master's
studies on a part-time basis. She said "attending
grad school was the best decision I could have
made; I have never regretted it."
As a CNS, Leah initially specialized in gerontology,
and has since moved from a more general
gerontological focus to a specialty practice related
to skin and wound care. Leah's expertise with older
adults provides a wealth of knowledge applicable
to the special circumstances of skin and wound
care challenges. Her personal approach, which she
promotes through her research and teaching, is
that it is imperative to envision the patient as a
whole person rather than just a set of presenting
Leah's role with Providence Health Care
nvolves direct clinical consultations as well as
clinical education and research. In her educationa
role, Leah is constantly searching for ways to
mprove the practice of teaching students and
practicing nurses. In the past year she conducted
research to determine which of four different
teaching strategies resulted in the highest degree
of knowledge transfer for nurses. She hopes to
take this particular study a step further to
determine what degree of knowledge
transfer is actually translated into
clinical practice at the bedside
"As a CNS" says Leah, "you
are counted on to be a
nursing leader, not just
in your specialty but in
nursing in general." Leah's
open and compassionate
leadership style allows
staff to feel comfortable
approaching her with practice
issues and concerns at times when
the idea of approaching a superior may
seem daunting
Along with her clinical leadership, Leah serves as
an affiliate member of the School of Nursing
faculty as an Adjunct Professor. In this capacity,
Leah offers her wound care expertise and provides
meaningful learning opportunities to students.
Since first appointed in 1990, she has facilitated
many exceptional student placements, practica and
clinical preceptorships. She is currently working
with faculty member Dr. Paul Galdas to include a
three-hour lecture on wound care as a core
component of his senior-year course on Nursing
Practice with Acute and Chronically III Populations.
In addition to her work with Providence Health
Care and UBC, Leah actively participates in the
nursing community as much as possible. She
served on the Board of Directors of the Canadian
Association of Wound Care from 2000 to 2007
and has been an invited speaker at numerous
provincial, national and international conferences.
Leah is an
clinical innovator and
leader. Like many of the
incredible cadre of clinical nurse specialists in BC,
she looks to UBC Nursing not only as her alma
mater but also as an ongoing academic partner.
Always eager to explore expansion of her adjunct
role, "I would embrace opportunities to look at
further collaborative linkages with UBC that would
ultimately improve patient care," she says. Leah
is committed to sharing her passion for the care
of older adults and for wound care with as many
students as possible. Her passion shines brightly
as a priceless resource for the School and for the
future of nursing
8 New Faces in Research
Location is Everything
"From my very first interactions with the School,
everyone was supportive and genuinely interested in
helping me feel comfortable with the transition," says
Craig Phillips. "After coming to Vancouver, meeting with
the School faculty, and seeing the University and the
surrounding environment, I was sold!"
(CANS) conference
entof Nursing Science
Dr. Phillips is the newest Assistant Professor to
join the School of Nursing faculty. His primary
research area is the social context and environment
within which vulnerable persons make decisions
around self-care management, with a particular
focus on adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART)
in vulnerable populations of persons with HIV
nfection. He admits that it would have been easy
to stay in Miami, having established professional
networks and community access to facilitate his
research; however, he realised that relocation to a
new health care system and cultural context would
allow him to expand his research and consider a
new range of key variables of interest to nursing
approaches within HIV-infected populations.
On the basis of his former role as a nurse
practitioner with expertise in mental health, Craig
recognized early on that the care of people with
HIV required an understanding of complex legal
issues that presented themselves in acute care
settings. Thus, he added to his collection of nursing
degrees an LLM degree in human rights law, and
has used its social and legal framework to guide his
continuing research practice.
Here in Vancouver, Craig's research will focus heavily
on the populations of the Downtown Eastside,
where he finds many similarities to those of inner-
city Miami. He is eager to discover similarities and
differences between the two populations, and
to learn whether a publicly funded health care
system such as Canada's provides more benefit to
vulnerable patients than does the primarily private
system in the United States.
Craig sees nurses' location within the health care
system as ideal to work closely with people who
are HIV positive to help facilitate optimal ART
adherence and better health outcomes. "Because
nurses typically spend more time with the patient
than would the doctor" says Craig, "they are well
positioned to be able to talk to patients about the
importance of adherence to these medications
and to assess and analyse whether or not the
medications are suitable for that individual at
that particular point in time. Nurses can help to
mitigate some of the interfering circumstances and
introduce patients to resources available to them in
the community."
Craig is looking forward to bringing his research
into the classroom at UBC, and to mentoring
students in the clinical care of patients.
"Sometimes the only way to work with students in
inner city clinics and homeless shelters is to mentor
and role model." The instructor must, for example,
be able to show students how to interact with
aggressive persons, helping students to recognize
that, although acting out and violent, they still
have a "right to have their health care needs met
and still are human beings deserving dignity and
respect. Those are things you can't really convey
in a lecture. You have to be able to be there in the
moment and be able to talk through those issues."
Craig also sees possibilities for taking advantage
of the School's unique configuration within
the Faculty of Applied Science. Thinking about
disadvantaged inner-city neighbourhoods, he
sees the manner in which they influence people's
capacity for health choices. He envisions working
with creative engineers and architects to consider
such issues as lighting, wheelchair access and
green space that could increase both civic and
community pride in run-down areas, reducing the
stigma and negative perceptions of the inhabitants.
Clearly, Craig is excited about continuing to
develop his research and professional scholarship
here in Vancouver. He takes inspiration from the
ncredible beauty of our geographic location and
from the challenging social problems within which
nursing can play a leading role. According to Craig,
"there are no words that can fully describe the
mportance of the opportunities available here at
the UBC School of Nursing."    ^9
Dr. JoAnn Perry retired from the School
in June after a 31-year career in the
Prof. Elaine Carty, a faculty member for 26
years, retired in August.
Although we'll miss the exceptional
contributions of these key faculty members, as
with those of a number of other longstanding
faculty who have retired in recent years, we
certainly wish them well in this new stage of
life and hope to continue to gain from their
wisdom and knowledge. Development
Lyle Creelman (right) in the UNRRA uniform
before leaving for duties in Europe (London, 1944)
Lyle Creelman:
The Official Biography
Susan Armstrong-Reid, an independent
scholar based in Guelph, Ontario, is currently
working on Lyle Creelman's biography.
Under the working title, Lyle Creelman:
Nursing Beyond the Nation State, Armstrong-
Reid uses Creelman's life story to explore
the transnational linkages that shaped the
transformation of modern nursing both in
Canada and internationally.
The biography is expected to be published in
Legacy of a Global Citizen
Lyle Creelman was a distinguished nursing leader whose career
had profound implications for nursing and health care on
provincial, national and international levels.
An alumna of the class of 1936, Creelman's
legacy stems from not only her amazing
accomplishments in practice, but also her
compassion and determination in all she did
Lyle is one of the most well-known Canadian
nurses in the world, and it is a true privilege to
celebrate her as one of our own. And indeed, she
in return believed that the UBC School of Nursing
was an important contributor to her career and
was proud to consider herself an alumna
After graduating from UBC, Creelman's first
position was as a public health nurse in Cranbrook,
British Columbia and then Director of Nursing
at the Metropolitan Health Committee (later
the Vancouver Health Department) and became
President of the Registered Nurses Association of
British Columbia (now CRNBC) in 1944.
In 1948, Lyle began collaboration with J.H. Bailie
on a major study of Canadian public health
services. This study led to the publication of
the Baillie-Creelman Report in 1950 which was
considered for many years to be the main reference
for the preparation of public health professionals
in Canada
Her international nursing role began in 1944
when she joined the United Nations Relief and
Rehabilitation Administration and evolved as she
became a nursing consultant for the World Health
Organization (WHO) in 1949, and later Chief
Nursing Officer in 1954. She spent 14 years in
this position, developing and innovating nursing
standards and practice that would ensure many
countries' ability to achieve and maintain self-
sufficiency in health care. According to the news
journal of the International Council of Nurses
in Geneva, "In these years she [had] probably
achieved more for nursing throughout the world
than any other nurse of her time."
Although she retired from WHO in 1968, she
continued to pursue nursing excellence and was
commissioned to study maternal and child health
services in Southeast Asia as well as continuing to
be a mentor and role model to colleagues
Lyle has been greatly celebrated for her
outstanding accomplishments in nursing. Among
the recognitions she has received are the Medal
of Service of the Order of Canada in 1971, the
Canadian Centennial Medal in 1967, the Jeanne
Mance Award (which is the highest honour of
the Canadian Nurses Association), an honorary
Doctorate of Laws from the University of New
Brunswick in 1963, and in 1992, UBC awarded
her an honorary Doctorate of Science, the first
graduate of the School of Nursing to receive such
an honour.
Lyle passed away in early 2007 in West Vancouver
at the age of 98. The Lyle Creelman Research
Endowment Fund has been established through
a major gift from her estate which will be used to
fund research by the School of Nursing in the area
of public health and the prevention of disease.
She also gifted the School with a number of
historic artifacts gathered during her international
activities and some of her most prized awards.
These artifacts will serve as meaningful reminders
of the global commitment toward which UBC
Nursing aspires, and we look forward to being able
to create a permanent display within the University.
10 Are You Going Bananas?
The School of Nursing will use the Lyle Creelman Research Endowment Fund to support innovations and
new directions in public health research. This is welcome news for the School's creative faculty, who have
no shortage of good ideas deserving of support. An example of a such a creative public health project,
developed by faculty member Paula Tognazzini and conducted by a number of our undergraduate students
over the past few years is: Are you Going Bananas? This is a mental health promotion initiative aimed at
university students - a population at significant risk for stress-related conditions due to the many changes
they are going through at this stage in their lives
2006 ~^wo '""^ nurs'n9 students were inspired
to set up education booths with the
slogan Areyou Going Bananas? engaging
students in conversations about all
aspects of mental health including
societal stigma and myths
2007 Arey°u G°'ngBananas? Dealing
with Stress. UBC nursing students
engaged grades 8 to 10 students in the
promotion of mental health and healthy
stress management strategies
wrnohelp.bc.ual - *
2008 ^s Part °^ ^e'r commur|ity health
course, the entire NURS 413 class was
nvited to participate in Areyou Going
Bananas? UBC Nursing students brought
the mental health promotion message
to young adults they engaged with in
UBC residences, secondary schools in
Vancouver, flu clinics and parenting
groups within the public health system.
2009 ^rey°u G0'ngBananas? will continue to
expand and seek out more audiences.
For more information on this project, or to support this or other projects at the School of Nursing, email
dare. kiernan@nursing. ubc.ca
In Memoriam
Jean Dorgan (BSN '34) died peacefully
in hospital, among family and friends on
December 2, 2008. Jean studied nursing
at UBC during the Depression, and after
graduating, became a public health nurse
in East Vancouver. In World War II she
volunteered as a nursing sister, and enlisted
in 1942. Upon return from service, she
obtained a master's degree at the University
of Toronto and for many years was Head
of the Department of Mental Hygiene in
The School of Nursing extends condolences
to the family and wishes to express
appreciation for a life so wonderfully
lived. Jean was a longstanding friend and
supporter of the School, and a senior mentor
to several generations of younger nurses.
Her remarkable feisty spirit epitomized the
best of public health nursing. We were
cheered to hear that she was able to remain
so productive and independent to her final
days—an accomplishment all public health
nurses would aspire to!
nd Now: Celebrating 90 Years
Join us on Saturday May 23, 2009 and connect with your alma mater,
uvities will include guest speakers, the annual luncheon at Cecil Green Park, and more...
more information, please contact Cathy Ebbehoj, at Cathy.Ebbehoj@nursing.ubc.ca or phone 604.822.7468.
11 Final Touches
The ClaSS Of 1968 gathered this past
September for their 40th reunion. We would like
to acknowledge and thank the class for generously
donating to endowment funds in the names of
Helen Shore and Beth McCann—two of their former
From The Field
It was with a mixture of sadness and excitement
that Julie Lees departed from the School this past
September after three years as its Communications
Coordinator. Over that period, she had the
opportunity to engage with many alumni, faculty,
students and "friends of the School" in showcasing
the contributions of UBC nurses. Currently, Julie is
at the Vancouver School of Theology deepening
her knowledge of scripture and spirituality. It is
among her hopes that this course of study will help
her foster meaningful dialogue between religious
and secular professional communities. The School
of Nursing appreciates Julie's contributions - both
professional and social - and we wish her great
success in her chosen path
In October, we welcomed a new Communications
Coordinator—Clare Kiernan. Clare is eager to
connect with all members of the School of Nursing's
broad community and looks forward to interacting
with many of you. To contact Clare, please
email: clare.kiernan@nursing.ubc.ca, or call
Funding the
Future for
Greetings to all UBC Nursing Alumni and donors!
As we continue to build a strong base of financial support
for Nursing, your generosity continues to be so very important in
furthering UBC's tradition of excellence, particularly in these uncertain
financial times.
My colleagues and I have been particularly honoured to work under the leadership of the
Class of '58 as they organize a class gift with the goal of endowing a new emergency fund
for nursing students. To work with alumni who are thinking about the needs of current
UBC students more than 50 years after graduation is truly inspiring for us all.
As well, in this issue of TouchPoints, you will read about the new Lyle Creelman
Endowment Fund in Public Health. As was her vision, this generous gift from Dr. Creelman
and those who donated in her memory will facilitate much-needed nursing work in
perpetuity. UBC Nursing is privileged to be the steward of such a gift and I will welcome
calls with questions regarding either endowments or bequests. As well, you may be
interested to know that any UBC alumni or donor can access UBC staff with expertise in a
wide range of estate planning options and
I would encourage you to please feel free to call upon us.
Should you wish to ask a question, make a donation, pass along some fundraising advice,
or simply reconnect with UBC, please do not hesitate to contact me—I'd be glad to hear
from you!
CELESTE TAYLOR, Major Gifts Officer
TouchPoints is published by the
School of Nursing, Faculty of Applied Science,
The University of British Columbia.
Editor: Dr. Sally Thorne
Associate Editor/Writer: Clare Kiernan
Editorial Advice: Dr. Marilyn Willman
Production: The Media Group
Printing: Rhino Print Solutions
The UBC School of Nursing
T201-2211 Wesbrook Mall
Vancouver, B.C. V6T2B5
Tel: 604.822.7417
Fax: 604.822.7466


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