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Congratulations to the winners of the 2018 President’s Award
5 minute read

Congratulations to the winners of the 2018 President’s Award


This year, there were 34 nominations for the President's Award with nominations coming from areas across SickKids, including clinical, administration, research and learning. Two individuals and three teams received this year's awards.

Group of staff stand together, some hold framed certificates.

The President's Award was introduced in 2011 to recognize staff, teams, students and/or volunteers who demonstrate superior leadership and collaboration resulting in major contributions to the organization. The award was redesigned in 2015 and integrated the Humanitarian Awards, a program that had been run by SickKids Foundation for over 20 years.

This year, there were 34 nominations for the President's Award with nominations coming from areas across SickKids, including clinical, administration, research and learning. Two individuals and three teams received this year's awards.

The President’s Award is just one of the recognition tools available for staff to recognize colleagues for their hard work and dedication to SickKids.

The recipients were presented with their awards by Dr. David Naylor, Interim President and CEO, at the staff Celebration of Excellence party on Dec. 6.

Award recipients

Britney Colussi

Britney Colussi, Administrative Assistant, Heart Centre, Cardiology, has been awarded under the categories Empowering People, Commitment to Compassion and Stewarding our Finances. Colussi is being recognized for going above and beyond in her daily contributions in her role, and her ongoing efforts to support patients and families at SickKids.

In four years, Colussi has raised more than $90,000 for SickKids. She devotes a substantial amount of time outside of her regular hours as the founder of LivingStrongMD, a charitable organization that aims to help alleviate suffering and promote happiness and hope for families and children living with a serious illness. Proceeds go towards SickKids and Ronald McDonald House Charities Toronto. Most recently, LivingStrongMD hosted its inaugural gala that raised more than $54,000.

Colussi’s generosity helps fosters a positive team environment. She leads by example, inspiring her colleagues to get involved in volunteer opportunities that support patients and their families at SickKids.

The Complex Care team

The Complex Care Team from the Department of Paediatric Medicine is being recognized under the category Championing the Evolution of Health Systems. The team’s initiatives have transformed care delivery and coordination for children with complex health needs at SickKids, with the team breaking down barriers and acting as a bridge between all the providers.

The team developed an innovative service delivery model, which has brought care closer to home for our patients with the highest health-care needs. This includes coordinating care between multiple health-care providers and specialists within SickKids and the community to develop collaborative plans of care, and to help provide integrated, holistic care across the continuum of care.

The team has leveraged their community connections, resulting in the collaboration and coordination of care to include seven satellite clinics across Ontario – with new ones the horizon.

Ani J. Donma

Ani J., Inter-Faith Chaplain, Mindfulness & Meditation, Spiritual and Religious Care Department, is being honoured under the category Empowering People. As the lead of the Mindfulness Program at SickKids, Ani J. is being recognized specifically for bringing mindfulness programming to patients, families, staff at SickKids and the broader community.

She has the innate ability to bring together individuals from diverse backgrounds who are doing mindfulness work, in an effort to foster collaboration and break down silos. This is all in addition to her daily contributions in her role with the Spiritual and Religious Care Department, as she meets with patients and families using mindfulness approaches to help manage pain.

Ani J. leads by example, with her own constant practice of therapeutic presence in her interactions with patients, families and staff.

Members of the Grant Development Office

Dr. Natalia Kaniuk, Business Supervisor, Research Operations, and Dr. Arianna Rath, Senior Research Grant Writer, are being recognized under the categories: Enhancing our Infrastructure; Innovating to Drive Impact; and Stewarding our Finances. As part of the Grant Development Office, the team’s day-to-day efforts play a key role in the Research Institute’s successful track record in major grant competitions and finding funding opportunities.

The team has spent countless hours meeting with researchers to discuss their aims and methodologies; attending internal peer reviews; and conducting literature searches.  In addition to this, the team took the initiative to publish a customized funding opportunity digest on a quarterly basis, which outlines all relevant funding opportunities for our scientists.

Members of the 5C Weekday Patient Service Aide team on the Neurosciences and Trauma unit

Nominated by their nursing colleagues, Lurdes Marques, Patient Service Aide, and Jonathan Lledo, Patient Service Aide, on the Neurosciences and Trauma unit, are being recognized under the category of Improving Quality and Safety.

This duo has contributed to quality improvement projects and safety initiatives, as demonstrated by their attention to detail as they thoroughly clean the unit and champion Caring Safely behaviours.

Their commitment to child and family-centred care is seen in the way they interact with patients. They ensure rooms are cleaned with minimal interruptions to patients and families and they make spaces feel like home by setting up personal items such as stuffed animals or personal blankets.

Collaborating effectively as a team, and working closely with nursing staff and unit clerks, Marques and Lledo seamlessly anticipate the needs of their colleagues and go above and beyond their roles on the daily. The team ensures their colleagues have supplies and tools they need to do their jobs. The unit has not had an outbreak in over five years and has had ongoing success achieving hand hygiene compliance rates, thanks in great part to the well-maintained hand sanitizer stations.

Congratulations to all of the President's Award winners for your accomplishments and for the exceptional contributions you make to SickKids!

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