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Meet the 2007 CANNT bursary, award and research grant winners.

Janet Love, recipient of the CANNT 2007 Award of Excellence in Clinical Practice

By Janet Love, Clinical Nurse Leader/Link Nurse in the Kidney Function Clinic, St. Paul's Hospital,Vancouver, British Columbia

This year, I celebrate 30 years in nursing, a fact I find quite remarkable. I remember, vividly, thinking nursing training was taking way too long to complete! I have worked as a staff nurse in nephrology for 26 of those years, many as a hemodialysis nurse, including a term as assistant head nurse and head nurse in a community setting. My nephrology background also includes peritoneal dialysis and post-kidney-transplant experience, all of which prepared me for my current role of staff nurse in the Kidney Function Clinic (CKD clinic) at St. Paul's Hospital, in Vancouver. I recently accepted a position as Clinical Nurse Leader/Link Nurse in this same clinic that began in the New Year, a role that will include facilitating the transition of patients between renal programs.


The success of any program is the ability of its team to mentor, support and encourage its members to do their very best. Our clinic team exemplifies this and has contributed greatly to my sense of accomplishment in the field of nephrology.

As I look back, I see that I have become part of the renal family, a family I hold dear to my heart. The special times renal nurses spend with their patients and families are not unlike the times we share at home with our own families. We laugh, we cry, we hug and we care.

It is especially heartwarming to receive the CANNT Award for Excellence in Clinical Practice from my peers to celebrate the work I do with my renal family. Thank you, CANNT for this award and thank you for supporting and celebrating renal nurses.

Chantal Saumure, recipient of the CANNT 2007 Award of Excellence in Administration/Leadership

By Chantal Saumure, Nurse Manager, Nephrology, Dr. G.L. Dumont Hospital, Moncton, New Brunswick

It is with pride and honour that I accepted the Award of Excellence in Administration and Leadership. I take this opportunity to acknowledge the members of our team in Moncton, New Brunswick, who continue to meet daily challenges and where I have the privilege to share our stimulating workplace. Without their participation and their devotion to our program, we would not be able to achieve great results. Hats off to you!


My academic training started with a Bachelor's Degree in Science Nursing (1991) and, with the years, I completed a Certificate in Management (1997), a Master's in Business Administration--MBA (2001), and a Post Graduate Degree in Public Health Administration (2007).

On the professional level, my experience is varied from internal medicine (staff nurse and nurse manager) and ambulatory care (nurse manager). In 1998, I was looking for a challenge and accepted the position of nurse manager in nephrology. This year will be my tenth year in this field, no regrets since!

My term on the board of directors of our association allowed me to share my expertise and to build long-lasting relationships with many of you.

Nephrology continues to be an exciting adventure where opportunities are endless. My work philosophy is simple: have fun in your work environment. Think about it! Pleasure (fun) represents a way of being, to do and to see life from a different angle. It reconciles performance and satisfaction. Take the challenge and introduce this concept in your workplace. The results will be positive, just try it!

Colleen Wile, recipient of the CANNT 2007 Frances Boutilier Bursary (Baccalaureate)

By Colleen Wile, Clinical Educator, Community Dialysis, QEII Health Sciences Centre, Halifax, Nova Scotia

I have worked at the QEII, Halifax, in the renal program for the past 20 years. Over the years, I have held various roles within the renal program in hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis, transplantation, and research. I am currently the Clinical Nurse Educator for our home dialysis and satellite dialysis programs.


I am currently the CANNT VP for the Atlantic region and previously held this position from 1999 to 2001, and again from 2003 to 2005. In addition to being on the board of CANNT, I am also a member of the editorial board of the CANNT Journal. I was co-chair of the CANNT National Conference held in Halifax in 2005 and, as well, have had an active role in many Atlantic regional CANNT conferences over the years. I have also been involved in presenting several poster presentations at national CANNT conferences. I currently sit on the National Exam Committee for the Nephrology Certification with the Canadian Nurses Association.

I am currently working full-time while completing my Bachelor of Science in Nursing from St. Francis Xavier University through distance courses. I am extremely grateful to receive the Frances Boutilier Bursary to continue with my studies. It is a great honour to receive a bursary in the name of Frances Boutilier, someone who has offered so much to nephrology and CANNT over the years. Her dedication to both is inspiring. Receiving this bursary certainly will help with the financial burden associated with returning to school to complete my degree. I thank CANNT for this assistance.

Sherri Kensall, recipient of the CANNT 2007 Franca Tantalo Bursary (Master's)

By Sherri Kensall, Renal Care Coordinator, The Fraser Health Authority, British Columbia

I began my nursing career in 1988 on a busy surgical unit at Surrey Memorial Hospital in British Columbia. I worked there for almost 10 years, at the same time raising my four daughters. During this time, I enjoyed challenges of nursing and worked actively in patient education programs, as well as mentoring students and new staff. In 1998, I became involved in the renal dialysis program--a new program to the hospital. This was an exciting time for my peers and me as we worked together to develop a workplace culture that encouraged respect and understanding of the challenges our patients face in coping with a chronic disease. After almost 10 years, this commitment to our workplace culture is still prevalent in all those I work with. In many ways, this experience was a springboard for seeking new knowledge and experiences.


In late 2003, I became involved in a new kidney care initiative. The Fraser Health Authority (FHA), faced with a growing renal population, began to look at new ways to approach the management of renal patients to improve outcomes in a responsible way. They partnered with the Provincial Health Services Authority and Baxter Corporation for this initiative focusing on chronic disease management. Within this initiative, a major part of my role as one of six Renal Care Coordinators (RCC) is to help patients learn self-management strategies to manage their health. The role encompasses visiting patients in their homes to help proactively manage their co-morbid conditions and working with the entire renal program to influence the health of all through data collection and quality improvement initiatives.

I was accepted into the Masters of Science in Nursing Program at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in 2006, and plan to focus on chronic disease management within nephrology. So far, I have had the opportunity of exploring aspects of end-of-life care and quality of life for our renal patients, along with issues of "compliance" our patients face--areas of challenge for all of us. My coworkers have been invaluable in their eagerness to explore issues and ideas as we strive to improve care for our renal patients. I look forward to learning more and gaining new insights into the nursing profession within renal care and sharing this with my colleagues.

I thank you for this bursary and will use this support as I "embrace the challenge and commitment of further education." While the funds have helped with the cost of tuition, it is the honour of receiving this award that I cherish the most. I hope I am able to achieve even a small amount of the success and enthusiasm that Franca Tantalo demonstrated throughout her career. Thank you to CANNT and to Fresenius Medical Care Canada for their support in honouring Franca's memory through this bursary and demonstrating a commitment to education for all of us.

Lucia Costantini and Heather Beanlands, recipients of the CANNT 2007 Research Grant

By Lucia Costantini and Heather Beanlands, Ryerson University, Toronto, Ontario

Lucia (Lucy) Costantini and Dr. Heather Beanlands both currently work at Ryerson University in Toronto. Lucy has been a registered nurse since 1998. She started her career on the surgical unit and moved to the ICU. Lucy has been a hemodialysis nurse for five years and finds the experience very rewarding. Her education includes a Bachelors of Science in Nursing and a Masters of Nursing from Ryerson University. Lucy found the Masters program particularly exciting, as she was able to exclusively focus on issues relevant to the chronic kidney disease population. Currently, Lucy is a nursing research coordinator enabling her to continue to pursue research interests.


Heather Beanlands has worked in the area of nephrology nursing for more than 20 years in various clinical, administrative and academic roles. Currently, she is an Associate Professor in the School of Nursing at Ryerson University and her research focuses on psychosocial issues, health behaviours and quality of life for people with chronic kidney disease. She is also interested in developing novel interventions to support self-management and promote psychosocial wellbeing for people living with a variety of chronic conditions.

It is an honour to receive the CANNT 2007 Research Grant, along with our co-investigators Dr. Martha (Beth) Horsburgh from the University of Saskatchewan and Sylvie Leung from the University of Alberta. This project builds on previous work on self-care and caregiving for adults on dialysis led by Beth Horsburgh. The CANNT research grant will support us in revising and further developing an assessment tool to measure self-care for adults on dialysis. Developing a tool specific to self-care abilities and behaviours in dialysis will assist nurses in assessing the self-care needs of people receiving dialysis and may ultimately support the development of interventions to meet these needs. We would like to thank CANNT for its support of this project.

Editor's Note: Their research project is entitled: "Measuring the self-care abilities and behaviours of people on dialysis."

Diane Watson, recipient of the CANNT 2007 Manuscript Award

By Diane Watson, Advanced Practice Nurse, University Health Network,Toronto, Ontario

I think I am what we call a "Lifer" in nephrology. At the age of 16, in 1972 (don't do the math!), I started as a nurse's aide in the hemodialysis unit at the old Ottawa General Hospital as a summer job--and nephrology was an instant passion. I remember loving the fact that we all got to know the patients so well, and that, even as a nurse's aide, I could make a difference in their lives, even if just to share a laugh with them.


That passion directed my career, as I went into nursing with the goal of becoming a hemodialysis nurse. Like all of us, my path took a few turns, including living in the beautiful outport of Burgeo, Newfoundland, working in a "cottage" hospital, but, ultimately, brought me to many years of hemodialysis nursing in Toronto. This opened many doors, such as working as a nurse educator, manager, and nurse practitioner, and also offered the opportunity to be involved with the Kidney Foundation of Canada and CANNT.

It is with extreme gratitude that I accept the 2007 CANNT manuscript award, as the topic of the paper is near and dear to many of us, that of modality decision-making for those individuals who have started dialysis acutely. This award has affirmed the value of nurses' clinical practice in the lives of our patients, and in the health care system. I once bought a book for my little niece "written" by Kermit the Frog entitled, "One Frog Can Make a Difference", thus I encourage every nephrology nurse to remember that we are each that frog who can have a significant impact on our patients' lives.

Jennifer Donnan and Seadna Ledger, recipients of the CANNT 2007 Journal Award

By Jennifer Donnan, Clinical Pharmacist, Eastern Health, St. John's, Newfoundland, and Seadna Ledger, Advanced Practice Renal Pharmacist at London Health Sciences Centre, London, Ontario

More than two million Canadians have diabetes and it is the leading cause of end stage renal disease (ESRD). Diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) is a very common complication of both type 1 and 2 diabetes, with greater than 40% of patients being affected. Due to its high prevalence among the ESRD patients, I am often asked by patients and staff what can be used to treat and prevent DPN. That is how I came to select this as a topic to write about for the CANNT Journal.



I am the Advanced Practice Renal Pharmacist at London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) where I work in the ambulatory care setting seeing patients on hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis and home hemodialysis. I often precept hospital pharmacy residents and Jennifer Donnan was a pharmacy resident at LHSC during the writing of this article. I asked her if she would be interested in writing an article on DPN with me and, luckily, she agreed.

I am very honoured to receive this award with Jennifer who worked very hard on this article and did an excellent job. I would like to thank CANNT for this award, but I would like to especially thank Gillian Brunier. She has been an excellent guide and mentor for this article and the other CANNT articles I have written.

Editor's Note: Jennifer and Seadna's article "An update on the treatment and management of diabetic peripheral neuropathy" was published in the October--December 2006 issue of the CANNT Journal.

Karen Forsberg, Donna Garrod, Pam White, Heather Zadorozniak, Gloria Freeburn, Alex MacFarlane, Ian Roe and Jason Mason, recipients of the CANNT 2007 Poster Award (First place)

By Karen Forsberg, Clinical Practice Educator Peritoneal Dialysis Program, Kelowna, British Columbia

Our poster depicted the process we went through in developing a Peritoneal Dialysis Procedure Demonstration DVD. We are honoured to have been awarded first place in the 2007 CANNT poster presentation.



In British Columbia, we have a very close-knit group of peritoneal dialysis (PD) nurses who network frequently through meetings, teleconferencing and e-mails. During a teleconference, one of our nine PD programs shared the idea of developing a PD training video for patients. We all thought this was a fantastic idea, as teaching patients and families how to perform and self-manage PD can be a challenge for even the most experienced PD training nurse! A working group was then formed and, collaborating with all our PD programs, we created the video that contains information about the essential aspects of performing and managing PD. We were fortunate and grateful to have the financial support of our BC Provincial Renal Agency.

Although the DVD project had significant time commitments and challenges, we were excited to showcase this Peritoneal Dialysis Procedure Demonstration DVD via our poster. As far as we know, this is the first time an instructional PD DVD has been created and used as a training tool to support patients and families who have chosen to play an active role in their care. It also has proven a valuable reference tool for nurses doing bedside patient care in understanding what PD patients do in their own homes everyday to manage a complex chronic illness.

This project has been an incredible experience for me. I took new ideas and new knowledge back to my program about improving the quality and efficiency of PD care and am proud to have been a part of the production of a quality DVD on PD that will assist in patient and staff training. The positive response we received during our poster presentation from other PD programs throughout Canada was also very encouraging and rewarding. Our thanks go out to the 2007 CANNT committee members.

Editor's Note: The title of their poster at CANNT 2007 was: "Peritoneal dialysis procedure demonstration DVD."

Janet McComb, Debra Grant, Sharon Mulkerns, Sharon Csernak, Julie Foster and Wilma Cohrs, recipients of the CANNT 2007 Poster Award (Second place)

By Debra Grant, Clinical Consultant, Baxter Canada, Toronto, Ontario

Winning second place for our poster, "Keeping Patients at Home" (Kingston, Ontario) has been both exciting and rewarding for us, as a team and individually. Every member of our multidisciplinary team played a role in the development of the poster: the unit manager, clinical educator, PD nurses, clinical consultant (Baxter) and our receptionist.


It all started with a CQI project where we identified gaps that we felt were responsible for losses of PD patients to hemodialysis. Peritonitis appeared to be the main culprit, however, we wanted to be comprehensive and to consider all potential causes. Prevention was the key.

Even we were surprised at the positive outcomes primarily for our patients, and especially for ourselves. We changed the patient teaching process (content, length of teaching, tools and approaches), incorporated a new and improved home visit form, improved our peritonitis rates, and are working on ways to measure the effectiveness of our new approaches. We have not had one loss due to peritonitis for a number of months now. All our hard work to teach a new PD patient is paying off--we are keeping them at home.

Recognition at a national professional conference level has had many implications for us. Sharing our successes with the renal nursing community was the most exciting and it has given us a sense of empowerment, of strength and commitment to each other, and acknowledgement of a job well done. The win has re-affirmed our ideas of what we think is important to quality patient care, which we know is important to you, our colleagues. It is the first win for any of us and it was truly exciting and rewarding to receive notification from the CANNT board. The only difficult issue now is ... how we will use the prize money to treat ourselves?

Editor's Note: The title of their poster at CANNT 2007 was: "Keeping our peritoneal dialysis patients at home."

Colette Raymond,Andrew Armstrong, Lori Wazny, and Lavern Vercaigne, recipients of the CANNT 2007 Poster Award (Third place)

By Colette Raymond, Clinical Pharmacist, Manitoba Renal Program, Manitoba

The Manitoba Renal Program (MRP) currently provides care to approximately 830 hemodialysis (HD) patients, 195 peritoneal dialysis (PD) patients, and 3,600 renal health clinic patients. A team of dedicated pharmacists provides pharmaceutical care for all MRP patients in the province. The MRP provides funding for clinical pharmacy services at a ratio of one full-time equivalent (FTE) pharmacist to 100 HD patients, and one FTE to 300 PD patients, while funding for renal clinic patients has a target of one FTE to 300 clinic patients. There are currently 10.175 FTE renal pharmacists who provide care to all HD, PD and certain renal clinic patients in the province.


The MRP team of pharmacists is led by Dr. Lori Wazny with support from Dr. Colette Raymond and Dr. Lavern Vercaigne. The MRP pharmacists' activities include participation on rounds, comprehensive medication reviews, discharge orders for dialysis inpatients, provision of drug information, and providing education for patients and other health professionals. We are also active in developing and conducting research projects about drug utilization within the MRP. Topics of interest include erythropoietic therapies, calcium and phosphate balance, vascular access, and new drugs such as cinacalcet.

The research question presented in this poster came out of a drug information question: should we apply topical antimicrobials to catheter exit sites for prevention of hemodialysis catheter-related complications? Pharmacists are often called upon to provide evidence for drug therapy decision-making. Sometimes, as with all clinical practice issues, the literature adequately answers our questions and other times we are required to get down to work and collect our own data!

The MRP pharmacists are very proud of our achievements at the CANNT conference, held here in our home province of Manitoba. We presented a total of six poster presentations and two podium presentations. We are very honoured to receive this award!

Editor's Note: The title of their poster at CANNT 2007 was: "Topical antimicrobials applied to catheter exit site for prevention of hemodialysis catheter-related complications: A literature review."

Gillian Brunier, Commitment to Excellence to the CANNT/ACITN Journal for 10 years of service 1997-2007

By Lori Harwood, CANNT 2007-2008 Past President

I want to congratulate you, Gillian, on your 10 years as the CANNT Journal editor!


With your leadership, the CANNT Journal has flourished.

We were first introduced to you and Colleen Turpin as the new co-editors in the summer issue of 1997, Volume 7(3). You and Colleen joined the very dedicated group of previous editors of the CANNT Journal such as Jocelyn Lariviere, Rita Brownrigg and Leanne Dekker. In your first issue as co-editor, you began educating us with your article on the peer review process. You also outlined the upcoming challenge for the CANNT Journal to be classified as a formal peer-reviewed journal. This goal was accomplished in 1999, as the CANNT Journal was formally listed in the International Nursing Index and MEDLINE. You continue to educate us with your education sidebars in the various issues of the journal and words of wisdom in the Letter from the Editor section. In 2001, you introduced the format of an editorial board for the journal, which exists today to oversee journal activities. Last year (2006), another accomplishment was achieved as the first supplement to the CANNT Journal was published on the Clinical Educators Network, nursing recommendations for the management of vascular access in hemodialysis patients. I often refer to this issue as a key reference in my practice.

I am overwhelmed at the amount of personal time you have dedicated to the CANNT Journal as editor these past 10 years. The added tasks have been many: meeting deadlines, attending CANNT board of directors meetings twice a year, encouraging publication in the journal, conducting readership surveys, the creativity, and often providing writing workshops at CANNT conferences. You have always been willing to assist a nurse or technologist who has expressed a goal to publish an article.

I know I speak for many others in thanking you for your commitment, leadership and vision to nephrology nursing and technological practice. I'm looking forward to another 10 years!
COPYRIGHT 2008 Canadian Association of Nephrology Nurses & Technologists
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Title Annotation:Profiling ...
Publication:CANNT Journal
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:Jan 1, 2008
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