Below is a collection of tributes that have been sent to us for sharing with the UBC Nursing community. Please contact us if you have information you would like to see added to this page.
Please also visit our Amazing Alumni pages where the stories of many more past alumni are gathered among updates on current alumni careers and achievements.
For more memorials of BC nurses, please visit the ARNBC Memorial Book.
Janice Lyn McCormick (Aug 2, 1951 – Dec 29, 2018)
The School of Nursing was saddened to hear of the recent death of Janice McCormick, a member of the very first cohort of students to graduate from the PhD Program at the UBC School of Nursing. Janice was a pediatric nurse from Manitoba, who found her way to Vancouver after holding nursing positions in New Orleans (Tulane Medical Centre in the Dialysis Department) and Montreal (Royal Victoria Hospital). She obtained her MSN from UBC School of Nursing in 1977 and worked as a clinical nurse specialist at BC Children’s Hospital. Returning to UBC School of Nursing to enter the PhD program in the second year of its inception in 1992, she was one of the first four program graduates to cross the stage in the spring of 1997.
On completion of her PhD, Janice was appointed as Assistant Professor to the University of Victoria School of Nursing, which at that time had a Langara Campus cohort. She loved the engagement with students and the continuing scholarly work. In addition to critical reflections on optimizing pediatric care, Janice had a fierce commitment to issues of equity and power imbalance. Her dissertation research reflected a feminist post-structural examination of power discourses within the clinical nursing practice context. She continued to write and do research in applications in women’s health and inquiry methodology.
In 2004 Janice had a bicycling accident that ended her academic nursing career. Over the ensuing years, as her abilities gradually declined as a result of that catastrophic brain injury, she and her husband Gary enjoyed life to the best of their ability. She died on December 29, 2018.
Janice will be remembered by her colleagues as a wonderful friend and collaborator. She had a fine intelligence, fueled by a fierce passion for feminism and human rights, and loved using carefully honed ideas as a means to challenge what she saw as the problematic status quo in society and health care. She will be long remembered.
Her obituary can be found at:
Gail Bishop, former nurse educator at the Vancouver General Hospital School of Nursing, died on February 15, 2008. Gail grew up in Toronto and earned her RN diploma from Toronto Western Hospital in 1961. She subsequently moved to British Columbia, earning her BSN and MSN from the UBC School of Nursing in 1967 and 1981 respectively. During the era of the collaborative VGH/UBC program, Gail served as the Director at the VGH site. After a successful five year period of collaboration, the Vancouver General Hospital decided in 1984 to withdraw its funding for nursing education. When the final cohort of students from that collaboration graduated in 1989, Gail stepped down from that position and her formal relationship with the School. However, she remained in close contact with us as a "Friend of the School of Nursing," and attended a number of events over the years. Throughout her career in BC, Gail was known as a dedicated caregiver and educator.The UBC School of Nursing benefitted greatly from its relationship with Gail and is proud to have had her on our team.
On August 31 2008, Lois Blais died peacefully at Vancouver's Marion Hospice. She will be greatly missed by her partner Dave Smith; her brother Ron and nieces Sandy and Becky, all from North Bay, Ontario where Lois was born and raised. Lois will also be missed and remembered by her many friends.Lois began her career as a nurse at St Michael's Hospital in Toronto before moving west. She held many positions at St. Paul's Hospital throughout her career from Staff Nurse to Patient Care Manager, and worked at the Vancouver General and the BC Cancer Agency. In 1996 she received her master's degree in Nursing from the University of British Columbia and later became an adjunct professor for the School, offering her wise and skilled mentorship to students.
Among her many volunteer experiences Lois was a member of St. Paul Hospital's Ethics Committee, was active with and dedicated to the BC History of Nursing group, was a member of the UBC Nursing Xi Eta Chapter, and sat on the BCIT Med/Surg Advisory Committee. Lois was also heavily involved with the Langara College Holistic Health Program sitting on their advisory committee as member and also as chair.
Once holding the position of President of the Vancouver Chapter of the Registered Nurses Association of British Columbia, Lois remained dedicated to that association after "work retirement" as well. She held executive positions on the board and on a number of committees including the Philosophy of Nursing Group and the Nursing Research Professional Practice Group. Lois also received an Award of Honour from the CRNBC in 1994.
Anyone who knew Lois knew she was ready with a smile and kind word. She held optimism and hope close to her heart and emanated a natural desire for those around her to feel content. An active member of many communities in her life, Lois also nourished her many talents. She was known as a poet, a dancer, teacher, historian and newspaper columnist just to name a few.
In memory of Lois, please consider a donation to the B.C. History of Nursing, P.O. Box 72082, RPO Sasamat, Vancouver, V6R 4P2. An obituary was published in the Vancouver Sun.
Please read her Amazing Alumni Story.
After obtaining her BSN at the University of Alberta, Barbara Boyle graduated from UBC with her MSN in 1976. After a full career, she "retired" in 2001, but became a Clinical Systems Coordinator at the School of Nursing in 2002 and then worked with us again from June 2005 until she retired for good in 2010. Throughout her career she was involved in nursing education, practice (both acute care and community) and administration. In addition, she participated in a variety of professional activities related to practice standards and quality assurance. A member of the Xi Eta chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International, she served on the Board of Directors and was actively involved in the “Ethel Johns Research Forum,” an annual event sponsored by the chapter early in the year as part of its mission to promote nursing knowledge. In her unique role at UBC she, with the Nurse Practitioner and IT team, designed and implemented structures and processes that support the faculty and students of the program. A major part of that role was the development and implementation of a competency-based e-portfolio.
In 2007/2008 she was the recipient of the Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund to the tune of $35,000.00 for An Interactive Web based Matrix to Support the Knowledge Translation of Professional Standards, Scope of Practice Guidelines and Clinical Competencies for Nursing. As a co-Investigator with Cathryn Jackson and Principal, Bernie Garrett, Barbara worked on the Mobile Clinical Portfolios for Professional Health Care Students project.
Barbara died peacefully at home with her family on July 17, 2017.
Please read her Amazing Alumni Story here.
Ada Ponsford Butler, Professor Emerita and faculty from 1972 - 1988, passed away May 20, 2010. Ada was committed to nursing as a profession and envisioned a strong role for nurses, particularly in the areas of prevention and health promotion. She graduated from UBC in 1950 with a Bachelor of Applied Science in Nursing, and again in 1971 with her Master of Science in Nursing. She will be missed.
Carmel Chambers, a devoted nurse, mother, grandmother, partner and friend will be truly missed. A passionate and determined woman in all that she did, Carmel is now at peace. Born in Australia, and a true Aussie always, she also put down roots in Canada and was loyally Canadian from her arrival in 1960. She grew up in the wide-open spaces of Larras Lee Station in New South Wales, trained as a nurse in Sydney, before embarking in worldly explorations. En route back to Australia she got sidetracked in Toronto by Bruce Chambers (who became her partner of 22 years), and since then lived in Ontario, Quebec, and B.C.
Besides working as a nurse in various places including Papua New Guinea and teaching at UBC and Kwantlen College, Carmel did an MA in adult education at UBC and was a reader, thinker, fixer of practically everything, builder of houses, a computer nerd, a dog and cat whisperer, and a passionate opera and classical music fan.
She will be missed by her children Karl (Sandy) and Mimi (Eddie) and her grandchildren Blake, Paige, Charlotte, Brooke; Bruce Chambers; Jean Wilson; and Hottie (the Calico cat).
Please read her Amazing Alumni Story.
Dr. Jacqueline Sue Chapman succumbed to illness on July 9, 2009 at Lakeview Manor, Beaverton, Ontario. One of Canada's most noted nurse researchers, Jacquie's doctoral studies led to care improvements in neonatal nurseries. Jacquie obtained her BSN from UBC in 1958 and quickly advanced to head nurse roles and then to instructor positions at UBC and at several American universities. Jacquie earned her MSN from Case Western University in Cleveland and PhD in Nursing from New York University. She became a Full Professor at the University of Toronto.
She was the first nurse in Canada to be awarded the prestigious National Health Research Scholar Award. Jacquie garnered many honours including being named an American Nurses Foundation Scholar and being invited to be a Founding Fellow of the Nightingale Society.
In retirement she became an active member of her church and community, sharing generously in the lives of those around her. She maintained a special passion for infants, children and education. She was an ardent traveller and enthusiast of the Arts. She will be remembered and missed by many.
In Jacquie's honour, please join UBC Nursing colleagues and friends in contributing donations to the BSN Class of 1958 Bursary Fund, a lasting endowment to assist nursing students in financial need. Donations can be made by contacting Debbie Woo at +1 (604) 822-6856 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please read her Amazing Alumni Story.
Lyle Morrison Creelman was a provincial, national, and international nursing leader of great distinction. On her retirement as Chief Nursing Officer of the World Health Organization in 1968, an editorial in ICN Calling, the news journal of the International Council of Nurses in Geneva, honored her many contribution, stating: "In [her] fourteen years [with WHO], she has probably achieved more for nursing throughout the world than any other nurse of her time."
Dr. Creelman was born August 14, 1908, in Upper Stewiacke, a farming area in Nova Scotia. She moved with her parents to Richmond, B.C., as a child, and eventually attended Vancouver Normal School to receive her teacher's certificate. Her first career was an elementary school teacher for three years. She then entered the degree nursing program at the University of British Columbia and graduated with a Bachelor of Applied Science in Nursing in 1936. Her first nursing job was as a public health nurse in Cranbrook, B.C., for a year; she then moved to the Metropolitan Health Committee (later the Vancouver Health Department). A Rockefeller scholarship in 1938 enabled her to attend Teachers College, Columbia University, in New York, and she graduated with a master's degree in nursing in 1939.
Her international nursing role began in 1944, near the end of World War II, when she was invited by the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA) to join its work. After nearly a year in England, she was appointed chief nurse in the British Zone of Occupied Germany. Her job was to organize nursing services to help care for the millions of people of many nationalities who have been displaced from their homes during the War.
In 1950, she was invited to become a nursing consultant, in maternal and child health, in the Nursing Department of the newly formed World Health Organization (WHO). In 1954, she succeeded a British colleague to become WHO's Chief Nursing Officer. During her work with WHO, she visited many countries, collaborated with many nations, and recruited many well-prepared nurses to initiate projects that later could be carried on alone by the individual country.
Dr. Creelman received many tributes some of which include an honorary doctorate (LLD) from the University of New Brunswick (1963), Canada's Centennial Medal (1967), she was named to the Order of Canada (1971), received a lifetime honorary membership from the Canadian Public Health Association (1972) and received an honorary Doctorate of Science from the University of British Columbia (1992) as well as the Commemorative Medal for the 125th Anniversary of the Confederation of Canada.
Of nursing, she wrote in 1943, and reiterated in the 1990s: "What of the future? It is to a very large extent in our own hands. We will make many errors, but as long as we know our goal and keep it ever in mind our future is bright and secure."
(Prepared by Glennis Zilm based largely on material she prepared for an entry for American Nursing: A Biographical Dictionary, edited by Vern Bullogh, Lilli Semtz, et al and published in 1999.)
Please read her Amazing Alumni Story.
Jean Dorgan died peacefully in hospital, with family and friends on December 2, 2008. Jean was born in New Westminster in 1910 and lived much of her life there. She enrolled in UBC's nursing program during the Depression and specialized in public health. She graduated in 1934 and 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, Jean entered into the School of Social Work at the University of Toronto, graduating with a master's degree in 1949.
In 1956, Jean began work with the Federal Government, working in various departments as a vocational rehabilitation consultant and later, as head of the appeals section of the Canada Pension Plan. She retired in 1975 and after travelling for a year, returned to B.C. She remained an active member of her community.
Jean was a longstanding friend and supporter of the School of Nursing, 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!
Please read her Amazing Alumni Story.
UBC School of Nursing Honorary Professor Dr. Beverly Witter DuGas passed away November 22, 2012, surrounded by her family. She was in her 89th year of a remarkable life. Her major contributions to Canadian nursing and nursing education have been recognized with numerous honours. The School of Nursing community is saddened by the loss of a dedicated champion, who was a faithful attendee at many School events in recent years, and was always willing to engage in lively dialogue and debate about nursing education.
The family has asked that donations be given to St. Faith's Church or the UBC School of Nursing Scholarship Fund. To learn more about donating to the UBC School of Nursing please visit https://startanevolution.ubc.ca/category/projects-by-faculty/school-of-n....
Please read her Amazing Alumni Story.
Lucille (Lucy) Giovando, born on September 5, 1918 of a pioneer Ladysmith family, died on December 13, 2015 in her 98th year in Ladysmith after a long and productive life. Predeceased by her father John Dominic Giovando, her mother Victoria Giovando, her siblings Dr. Larry Giovando, Marie Doumont, Minnie Honeyman and Tony Giovando, Lucy is survived by her loving niece and nephews and numerous great-nieces and great- nephews.
After obtaining a degree in nursing from UBC Lucy worked as a public health nurse in a number of locations in B.C. including Kelowna, Kamloops and Cumberland. She then went to the United States where she obtained her Masters Degree in Public Health. She then moved back to B.C. where she worked for many years as a public health nurse, eventually becoming administrator of the nursing staff initially at the public health unit in North and West Vancouver, and subsequently at the public health unit in the Burrard District of Vancouver.
Lucy had a wonderful sense of humour and an infectious laugh, both of which were most often directed towards herself. She was adventurous and strong willed, and loved life and people. She was particularly fond of travelling and visited, among other places, Mongolia, Asia, South East Asia, Latin America and Morocco. In the 1950's she worked for a year as a nurse for the World Health Organization in El Salvador, an adventure that provided her with many interesting memories. Lucy recently returned to live in the family home in Ladysmith, where she spent many happy months in the company of friends and relatives. Throughout her life Lucy was comforted by her strong and abiding religious faith. All those who crossed paths with Lucy will miss her.
Janet Gormick, RN, BSc, MSN, Assistant Professor Emerita, who died on April 27, 2006, was a dedicated member of the School of Nursing faculty for 26 years. She played an active role in the development of the UBC Model for Nursing, worked on curriculum building and theory development, and supported clinical practice in psychiatry as well as community and family health.
"Janet was one of my teachers in the post-RN program," says Kathy O'Flynn-Magee, BSN '98, MSN '02, currently a Lecturer in the School. Kathy thinks the feedback Janet gave her on her final conceptual paper was foundational to her belief in herself, and her subsequent professional career. "She implied through her comments that I had the potential to move forward to graduate work." Kathy remembers that message each year at convocation when she wears the academic gown Janet passed down to her.
"Janet was involved in the history of nursing in order to appreciate the context in which nursing developed and grew toward uncovering and increasing its theoretical base," says Emerita faculty member, Dr. Mary Regester. "She understood that nursing is essentially the backbone of the health care system and was desirous of inculcating this knowledge and value in the students she taught." Mary remembers how Janet's sense of humour enlivened her interactions with her students and colleagues.
Emerita faculty member, Helen Shore, remembers that students looked up to Janet's wisdom and fund of knowledge, and that Janet thoroughly enjoyed her work with students. "When it came time to talk about her will, Janet thought about her own days as a student," says Helen. "She received a number of awards and scholarships and reflected on how much they meant to her, saying, "If it hadn't been for awards, I never could have gone to school." I think she wanted to leave a similar legacy to students." According to Helen, the ideal recipients will not only love learning, but will want to contribute in some way to developing nursing knowledge and practice.
The inaugural recipients of The Janet Gormick Memorial Scholarships, one each year for an undergraduate and a graduate student, are Sonia Orenchuk and Lyle Grant, respectively.
Sonia says the award will motivate her academically and will inspire her to cultivate her nursing skills and philosophy (along with relieving the anxiety associated with increasing costs of education). "I felt extremely honoured and privileged to be the recipient of this award. I was told a little about Janet Gormick and realize she was an exceptional person. Not only was her friendship dear to faculty members, but she was also very dedicated to and involved in the School."
"Receiving this kind of scholarship helps to boost a sense of recommitment to my academic work," says Lyle Grant, BSN '04, MSN '07, a doctoral student whose particular passion is finding ways in which nursing can contribute to improving the health trajectories of persons with severe mental illness. "I look forward to my research making valuable contributions to health promotion and health services provision to a variety of disenfranchised or vulnerable populations."
Florence Graham attended the School of Nursing's 85th Anniversary celebration in 2004 and captivated many with stories from her long career in public health nursing. Not only did she influence the field of nursing through her professional career, she also made an effort to stay in contact with students, and inspire them on their own nursing journey.
Nora Whyte, BSN '73, was first inspired by Florence when Nora was a grade eight student asking herself her first tentative questions about what she might like to be when she grew up. Florence was the Public Health Nurse who came to Nora's school to administer immunizations and encouraged Nora to explore Nursing by providing her with a patient ear and plenty of information. Later, as a UBC Nursing student, Florence influenced Nora's path once again by becoming Nora's practicum supervisor. Of working with students, Florence has said "it's just part and parcel of the job. You want to serve as a good role model and ensure that they get the best training and education they can get."
Right after graduation, Florence entered the work force as a Public Health nurse for the Vancouver Metropolitan Health Board, the New Westminster School Board and the Ministry of Health in Cowichan. After moving to Vancouver Island, Florence worked as the Night Supervisor at the Kings Daughters Hospital before returning to public health nursing with the Ministry of Health at the Central Vancouver Island Health Unit, Margaret Moss Health Center.
Florence was a member of many health and nursing related boards, she loved her family and friends, and was a constant source of inspiration to students and nurses throughout the lower mainland, and especially at UBC.
Please read her Amazing Alumni Story.
Barney Hickey earned a diploma in nursing from the General Hospital School of Nursing in St. John's, Nfld in 1982. He immediately moved west, taking up staff nurse positions on a psychogeriatric unit at Rosehaven Hospital in Camrose Alberta, an acute medicine unit at Mission Memorial Hospital in Mission, BC, the float pool and later the short stay psychiatric unit at St. Paul's Hospital in Vancouver. In 1988, he took on a head nurse position at the Regional Psychiatric Centre of the Correctional Service of Canada in Abbotsford. After doing a one year position as registration officer at the Registered Nurses Association of BC in 1990-91, he went on to become patient care manager in psychiatry at St. Paul's Hospital. In 1996, he completed his post-RN BSN degree at the University of Victoria, and in 1998 began to work with the Dr. Peter AIDS Center as one of the first RNs in BC to implement the needle exchange program working within a Health Canada exemption as a safe injection site. In 2002, he completed his MSN at UBC School of Nursing, writing a major essay on "HIV/AIDS psychosocial issues: implications for nursing practice and leadership in Canada." From 2005 to the present, he specialized in nursing education in a faculty position at Langara College. Along the way, he also gained National Certification from the Canadian Nurses Association in Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing.
Barney received many acknowledgements (professional and otherwise) in his life. Among those he was most proud of were the Award of Excellence from the Canadian Association of Nurses in AIDS Care (2001) for "exceptional contributions to the development of HIV/AIDS nursing care in Canada," and the Award of Excellence for Nursing Practice (2002) from the Registered Nurses Association of BC. He was also quite delighted to have been named by the gay men's community "Mr. Vancouver Leather" in 2003.
During the last several months of his life, Barney was on medical leave, dealing with various health issues that eventually progressed to include the lung cancer from which he was unable to recover. On June 30, 2012, he married his partner of 19 years, Jan Meyers. On July 9, 2012, he died peacefully at home at the age of 52. As per his request, his ashes were scattered over English Bay.
Sally Hurst, beloved mother, grandmother, sister and friend passed away in April of 2009. A member of the BSN Class of '59, Sally was a cherished alumni and always remained an active member of her alma mater.
Sally graduated from York House in 1954 and was a member of the Junior League. She worked extensively with families, and thus, enjoyed her years as a Community Health nurse in Vancouver. In mid-life she returned to UBC and obtained her Master of Social Work and thereafter practiced as a family therapist in her own clinic, Sally Hurst Counselling Services. She was a faculty member of Pacific Coast Family Institute for many years, and taught and worked extensively using a Multigenerational (Family of Origin) approach.
She is survived by her daughters Elizabeth (Paul Gray), Victoria (Patrick Martin), and their father John Hurst; her granddaughters Sarah and Lisa Gray, Catherine and Jessica Martin; her sister Diana Graeber.
Sally lived her life and her death with strength and grace. She touched the lives and enriched the hearts of everyone she met. She will be forever missed by her family, friends, and clients, and will always be in our hearts.
Please read her Amazing Alumni Story.
Former colleagues and students were saddened to hear of the recent death of Kirsten (Weber) Hyde. Kirsten joined the School faculty in 1969, retiring as an Associate Professor Emerita in 1988, having served in a range of teaching and academic service capacities. During her time in the School, Kirsten was known as strong public health nursing advocate, exerting her unique brand of diplomacy and tenacity to ensure that appropriate systems and processes were in place for nursing students to have optimal access to excellent public health clinical training opportunities. She left her mark upon the School, and will be missed.
Passed away at home after an eight month illness of multiple myeloma. Helen was born in Kimberley, BC, the fourth child of Joe and Eva Giegerich. In 1959 Helen moved to Vancouver and studied nursing at UBC and the Vancouver General Hospital and obtained her RN in 1964. In 1966 she embarked on a trip around the world on an ocean liner and met Don Mark. They were married in 1968 and had four children, twin daughters and two sons. Helen was an avid skier and outdoor enthusiast all her life, from climbing the ski hill in Kimberley on foot in her childhood, through skiing with the UBC ski team, to family ski weeks at Big White, and many snowy weekends spent at Whistler among friends. Helen's other favourite outdoor pursuit was cycling, which she enjoyed with a great group of Crescent Beach area friends. She cycled with her husband and friends in France, Belgium, Ottawa/Gatineau, the Gulf Islands, the San Juan Islands, the Kootenays, the Okanagan, the Sunshine Coast and Vancouver Island. After adopting her youngest son from Vietnam in 1975, she began to gather and distribute information to assist people in the adoption of children from overseas. Her organization grew from her kitchen table into the Adoptive Families Association of BC incorporated in 1981. Her belief that every child deserved a loving home fueled her thirty year commitment to the AFA, first as a volunteer, and later as an employee. In 2004 the AFA created the "Helen Mark Excellence in Adoption" award, which is given annually to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to adoption. Helen is survived by her husband Don, her children Barb (Jim), Jan (Jeremy), Dan, Steve (Sunjit), her grandchildren Adam, Ruby, Claire, Anthony, Eloise, Noah, Kaylin and Asher, and her siblings Joe, Bob and Daryl and their families. Helen will be greatly missed by her family and friends. The family is grateful to all the friends and neighbours who supported her in many ways during her illness. Particular thanks go to Charles King, Helen's doctor and friend of forty years.
The School of Nursing is saddened to learn of the death of Dr. Helen K. Mussallem on November 9, 2012 in Ottawa.
Born in Prince Rupert, British Columbia, into a family of Lebanese heritage, Dr. Mussallem began her nursing career at Vancouver General Hospital (VGH), receiving her diploma in 1937, where she remained working in the operating room. During World War II she enlisted in the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps, serving between 1943 and 1946 as a surgical nurse and lieutenant. Upon her return, she obtained a bachelor's degree in nursing from McGill University in 1947. She then joined the teaching staff at VGH School of Nursing, obtained the degree of Master of Arts in Education from Columbia University in New York, and served as director of nursing education at VGH. She was the first Canadian nurse to obtain a PhD degree from Columbia Teachers College in 1962. She then served as executive director of the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) from 1963 to 1981.
Upon the request of the Canadian Nurses Association, she completed an influential survey on nursing education in the 1950s (Spotlight on Nursing Education) and wrote a report for the Royal Commission on Health Services in the early 1960s (Nursing education in Canada). The point was not only to find "more," but to create "more and better qualified" nurses, according to Mussallem, and hence her strong advocacy for more baccalaureate and, eventually, more graduate nursing education. Frequently called upon for advice by the federal government, national and international organizations, including the ICN and the WHO, she completed numerous consultations around the world, especially within developing countries, influencing worldwide policy on nursing and nursing education. She received wide recognition for her contributions and holds many honours, such as Companion of the Order of Canada, Honorary Doctorates at UBC and four other universities and being the first non-governmental representative on a Canadian Government delegation at the World Health Assembly (1977). Symbolic of her determination to create the best possible education for nurses, she was a strong supporter of the UBC School of Nursing. The School was fortunate to be able to establish a fund in her name, supporting nursing students to attend international conferences and participate in exchanges. Her legacy has helped ensure that the next generation of nurses follows her example of national and international networking and nursing scholarship.
During her later years, Dr. Mussallem maintained residences in both Ottawa and Vancouver. Her last official visit to the UBC School of Nursing was on February 8, 2005, shortly following her 90th birthday. During that visit students and faculty engaged in inspiring conversations. Dr. Mussallem was particularly delighted to spend time with a group of undergraduate students, noting that their enthusiasm, critical thinking, and passion for global citizenship was a credit to the School's commitment to excellence.
Dr. Newburn-Cook received her MSN in 1979 from the University of British Columbia and her PhD in 1996 from the University of British Columbia in Interdisciplinary Studies: Epidemiology, Research Design and Measurement, Biostatistics. In 1999, she completed her Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Alberta in the Perinatal Research Centre under the supervision of Dr. David Olson. She joined the Faculty of Nursing as an Assistant Professor in 1996 and progressed through the ranks to Professor. In 2006, she assumed the role of Associate Dean (Research), a position that she held until her death.
Dr. Newburn-Cook joined the Queen's Commission (Navy) in 1974, and was a member of the naval reserves at the time of her death. Dr. Newburn-Cook served for 10 years as Consultant and Senior Advisor (Naval Reserve) and for 17 years as a Member of the Naval Reserve Council. She also served as Commanding Officer of the HMCS Discovery from 1993-1996 and as Officer-in-Charge of the HMCS STAR, Engineering & Boatswain Division from 1980-1987. In 1994 she was promoted to Captain (Navy) – Senior Officer Appointment and in 2006, she received her second clasp to Canadian Forces Service Decoration (CFSD).
"We share a very deep sadness, personally and professionally over this loss," said Anita Molzahn, dean of the Faculty of Nursing. "Chris' contributions to the Faculty have been immeasurable and we will miss her wisdom and sense of humour. The Faculty's reputation as a research intensive organization has been strengthened as a result of her dedication to advancing the work of all our students, scholars and researchers."
Dr. Helen Niskala (1929-2018)
Helen Niskala was born July 26, 1929 in North Bay, Ontario, and attended Jarvis Collegiate in Toronto. She graduated with a Diploma in Nursing from Toronto Western Hospital in 1951, where she worked from 1952 to 1957. She spent the 1957-58 year at the National Hospital for Nervous Diseases in London, England, as a post-graduate student.
From 1958-1963 she was an Auxiliary Medical Nurse for the Royal Canadian Air Force while also working at the Ottawa Civic Hospital in a variety of roles including clinical instructor and head nurse. She graduated from McGill University with a BN in 1964. This was followed by a move to the University of British Columbia where she was a clinical instructor from 1964 to 1968. Helen received her MS from The University of California in San Francisco in 1969, and until 1972 worked at the UBC Faculty of Education as a research assistant to Dr. Coolie Verner. She subsequently relocated to the University of Alberta in Edmonton as an Assistant and then Associate Professor from 1972-1975 and, returning to BC, completed her Doctorate in Adult Education from the University of British Columbia in 1976. The title of her UBC thesis was “Learning Needs of Persons on Home Hemodialysis.” From 1976 to 1982, she was Director of Education Services for the Registered Psychiatric Nurses Association of BC (which was the combined regulatory body and professional association), helping that organization develop a more effective administration and management group than had previously been the case. Morrie Steele recalls that she was a marvelous mentor to those who were striving to advance the profession of psychiatric nursing at that time.
Helen recommenced employment at UBC in 1982 and was appointed as Associate Professor. Her special research interests included treatment of adults and the elderly with long term health problems, particularly in community settings. Her teaching responsibilities included Advanced Nursing Care, Guided Study in Nursing, Clinical Specialization I and II, Teaching in Clinical Nursing, and Nursing and the Delivery of Health Care. She supervised a number of master’s students who went on to stellar leadership careers. By virtue of her special expertise, Helen was also invited to engage in various consultancies over these years, in BC, in other Canadian provinces, and internationally, including UK and Finland. She was active in research and publication, securing research grants from the Social Science & Humanities Research Council, the BC Ministry of Labour, and the Multiple Sclerosis Society, to name a few.
Helen spent time in Finland in the fall of 1988 on a World Health Organization Fellowship. The following year, she was presenting a paper entitled “Use of small group activities to learn about coping with long term health problems” at a WHO-sponsored International Nursing Conference of China in Beijing at the time of the historic events at Tiananmen Square in June of 1989. Helens niece, Marlene Niskala, recalls that Helen later reported that she had been safely settled in the consulate building and was given no information on the student protest taking place. Naturally, her brother was frantic until she was safely home.
In addition to her academic involvement, Helen maintained a lifelong commitment to organizations whose aspirations were to build a better world for all. For example, she was a longtime member of Amnesty International, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, and the Social Planning and Review Council of BC. After retirement from the School of Nursing in 1995 as Associate Professor Emerita, Helen remained active and engaged in many School gatherings and events. Glennis Zilm notes that Helen was a founding member of the BC History of Nursing Society, and did a lot to promote the history of nursing.
Helen died in Vancouver on November 30, 2018. She will be fondly remembered for her professionalism, her excitement about the great potential of nursing scholarship and research, her kind and supportive mentorship of junior colleagues, her great enthusiasm for the expanding internationalization of nursing, and – of course – for her great love of her Finnish heritage.
The Globe and Mail (obituary)
Sources Include: Description of Helen’s career in the BC Nursing of History Society’s Archival Fonds: https://www.bcnursinghistory.ca/archives/nurses/dr-helen-niskala/
1951- Toronto Western Hospital graduation
1958 – at National Hospital for Nervous Diseases in London, England
1976 – Ed.D. graduation (UBC)
On the occasion of her RNABC Award of Excellence in Nursing Education
Helen in later years
Bernadet passed away peacefully in the Palliative Care Department of St. Paul's Hospital on October 2nd, 2009. She will be dearly missed by her husband Edward, her family, friends and the UBC School of Nursing community.
Bernadet was a passionate and devoted nurse whose ambition was to have a lasting impact on nursing practice and care. Throughout her career, she pursued positions that would allow her to support nurses more effectively and make improvements in health care for patients.
Bernadet was always very active in professional nursing activities. In addition to serving on several RNABC (now CRNBC) committees, she was the president from 1983 to 1985. She was active in the Canadian Nurses Association, the Nurse Administrators Association of BC, the Canadian College of Health Services Executives, and she was on several hospital, university and community committees. She was on the board of BCIT, MDS Metro (now Life Line) and on many regional health board committees.
In 2002 she received the RNABC recognition Award for her valuable contributions to the nursing profession in BC and in 2003 received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Health Care Leaders Association of BC.
In her career, Bernadet was most proud of her mentorship of others. Ultimately, all of her work was directed toward supporting nurses in practice.
The Registered Nurses Foundation of B.C. and the UBC School of Nursing are supporting donations towards a Bursary for Students in M. Bernadet Ratsoy's name, C/0 The Registered Nurses Foundation of B.C., P.O. Box 33957 St. D, 2405 Pine Street, Vancouver, B.C. V6J 4L7.
Please read her Amazing Alumni Story.
Dr. Mary Regester, Senior Instructor Emerita of the School, died on June 16th, 2010. Mary was a genuine character in nursing education and contributed a distinctive and forward thinking perspective to the School during her 21 years on faculty and in retirement.
Mary was a champion of epidemiological approaches to understanding trends in the health of populations and informing public health strategies. Those who knew her will have wonderful memories of her intelligence, her strongly held opinions, her talent for a wide range of arts, crafts and experiences, her tenacity, and her irrepressible laugh. Mary truly lived life with joy and abandon.
Among a wide network of friends and family, Mary remained very close to her School of Nursing colleagues. She was a remarkable nurse, scholar, and friend, and will be very much missed.
Sue Rothwell passed away in Victoria September 9, 2013, after a battle with lung cancer.
Sue earned her undergraduate degree in nursing at Cornell University, and later received a master's degree at the University of California. She was a Director of Nursing at the Cancer Control Agency of British Columbia (now the BC Cancer Agency) and held positions of leadership in various professional associations. Sue was President of the Registered Nurses Association of BC and first vice-president of the Canadian Nurses Association. She also served on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Nurses Association.
Sue Rothwell was a faculty member in the UBC School of Nursing in the 1970s and was recruited from the University of California by Dr. Muriel Uprichard, a former Director of the School of Nursing. At UBC Sue taught advanced physical assessment skills with a goal of preparing nurses for an advanced practice role in the health care system.
Sue was the coordinator for the UBC School of Nursing continuing education program before being recruited to the Cancer Control Agency of British Columbia. She held that prominent leadership role for several years, and then went on to consulting for health authorities and ministries for much of the rest of her career. Sue was hired by the Ministry of Health to assist with the Primary Care Demonstration Project which aimed to show the value of the Nurse Practitioner in primary care. Sue was active in work that supported the implementation of Nurse Practitioners in BC and although she was not an NP herself, she was always interested in the role and supportive to those who were teaching and practicing in this capacity.
She was an outspoken, blunt, charismatic and opinionated nurse who left her mark on the profession.
Jan (Bell) Scott, long a supporter of the UBC School of Nursing, died June 27, 2016, after a lengthy and determined effort to recover from a serious spinal injury. Born in Vancouver, she always knew she would follow in the footsteps of her mother Elspeth (Kilpatrick) Bell (Nursing class of 1930)and aunt Heather Kilpatrick (Nursing class of 1931). After graduation, she married Stu Scott, her husband of 49 years, and they raised a family of two sons and six grandchildren. Throughout her life Jan continued to work in nursing, serving as a community health nurse in Vancouver, then stints as a clinical instructor at UBC in the 1970s, and for many years worked in outpatient areas at the Vancouver General Hospital. After retirement from VGH, Jan had a close relationship with the UBC School of Nursing, working as research assistant to several faculty members on projects requiring interviews by a graduate nurse and she remained in close contact as a “Friend of the School.” Jan had a passion for helping others and was known as a dedicated caregiver and for her friendliness and enthusiasm.
Judith Stein, UBC School of Nursing adjunct professor since 2006, was a mentor and preceptor to clinical nurse specialist students and a wonderful nursing colleague.
Judith completed a Masters from the University of Washington with a double major in psychosocial and occupational health nursing. Judith worked in the Ombudsman's office and dealt with issues involving workplace mistreatment. Her primary areas of research were lateral workplace violence and adolescent health. Judith was a sessional instructor at the University of Victoria in the School of Nursing, and was able to facilitate students learning experiences as a teacher, mentor, or supervisor. She actively participated in nursing research projects, such as the partnership project - "Creating Adolescent Girls' Circles". This participatory action partnership project built on her extensive experience in designing research related to the implementation of First Nations' adolescent girls' groups.
Judith joined the Pacific Regional Nursing team, FNIHB, Health Canada in 2004. In my role as the Clinical Nurse Specialist in Maternal/Child Health, FNIHB, Health Canada, I have had the opportunity to work with Judith, in her role as Clinical Nurse Specialist in Adolescent Mental Health. Judith possessed a wealth of knowledge and experience in her chosen field, in particular on the prevention of aboriginal youth suicide. For example, she was critical to the development of the National Aboriginal Youth Suicide Prevention Strategy (NAYSPS) in providing clinical expertise to the BC, NAYSPS task force.
Judith embodied the advanced practice nurse, collaborating with and participating on regional and national working groups, and standing professional committees such as the National Aboriginal Youth Suicide Prevention Strategy (NAYSPS). She was interested in the issue of moral distress and its relationship to her role as an advanced practice nurse. She was a caring and dedicated advocate for individuals, families and community members, primarily with women and female youth focusing on issues such as critical incident stress management, family violence, sexual abuse and addictions.
The UBC School of Nursing was saddened to learn of the death of Cindy Stutzer, Clinical Nurse Specialist in Pediatric Oncology at BC Children’s Hospital and Adjunct Professor at the UBC School of Nursing, from ovarian cancer on May 31st. Cindy had been a clinical leadership powerhouse in our community, and an inspirational supporter of many of our undergraduate and graduate students since she joined our team in an adjunct capacity in 1992. Cindy’s degrees were a BSN from the University of Delaware and an MS from the University of Oklahoma. Here in Vancouver, she was the “go to” person in nursing for pediatric oncology, participating over the years in developing practice guidelines and standards, facilitating consensus statements among organizations, delivering numerous training sessions, and building communities of practice.
Beautifully capturing the personality, professionalism and power that Cindy brought to our nursing community and to health care in BC is the 2010 citation on the occasion of her being honoured with the College of Registered Nurses of BC’s Award of Distinction:
Cindy Stutzer has made the care of children and families the focus of her long career in nursing. As a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Pediatric Oncology and Palliative Care at British Columbia’s Children’s Hospital in Vancouver and in previous roles, her gentle yet professional manner has won her the appreciation of her patients and the admiration of her colleagues.
“Cindy’s work with palliative patients is what stands out for me,” says colleague Pia DeZorzi. “She works very closely with patients and their families as they transition from curative to palliative care, supporting them through this very difficult process and beyond.” Committed to providing additional support to families, she developed a series of informational pamphlets called “Parenting a dying child”, an award-winning resource available to families and caregivers worldwide.
Canadian pediatric palliative care practices owe much to Cindy’s work. She has developed policy and advocated better care and seamless transition for children at the end of their lives.
This is a field that can be extremely stressful for health care providers. Cindy has taken care to ensure not only that her colleagues have access to best practices in care, but also that they take care of their own mental stress. “She takes time to sit with people and to listen, to cry with them and is very supportive,” says Pediatric Hematologist/Oncologist Dr. Caron Strahlendorf. “She has helped many young physicians and nurses through difficult and traumatic times.”
As a mentor, Cindy’s caring demeanor once more has helped her to impact others in extraordinary ways. “Cindy has been a mentor to not only junior nurses but to all her peers as well as to the physicians on the unit,” Strahlendorf adds. “She has often been able to guide them through difficult moral and ethical dilemmas.”
Cindy was also instrumental in getting the Blood and Marrow Transplant program accredited in 2008. She worked tirelessly in developing policies, standard operating procedures and other required documentation to ensure it met with standards for the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapies. This was a great example of Cindy’s commitment to patient care. “Cindy is not only accountable, but takes great responsibility for her work and encourages others to do the same,” says one colleague.
Cindy also participates in many activities outside the BCCH. She was on the planning committee for the Canadian Association of Nurses in Oncology. She is also chair of the nominating committee for the local chapter of the Association of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Nurses and is assistant editor for the Journal of Pediatric Oncology Nursing.
Specializing in a field that includes perhaps some of the most stressful yet most emotionally rewarding work in health care, Cindy is a true example of a registered nurse who demonstrates excellence in practice.
In announcing her death, her family and close friends paid tribute to the care that she had received in her final hospitalization.
It is with sadness that we need to inform you of Cindy’s death on Thursday evening (May 31) at 11:15 in the Palliative Care Unit at VGH in Vancouver. Her life ended according to her wishes and plans. She had declared her readiness to be finished and her leaving was very peaceful. The Palliative Care team were very good to their colleague, demonstrating the respect and honour she so earned and deserved.
The UBC School of Nursing has been so fortunate to have benefitted from the clinical expertise, passion for practice, and unwavering commitment to mentoring the next generation of nurses that Cindy exemplified over so many years. She will be sadly missed.
Obituary from the Vancouver Sun for Patricia Wadsworth (Beck)
May 1, 1931 – August 16, 2017
Pat was born and raised in Vancouver and was a descendant of founders of the city and province. After attending school on the west side, she went on to complete the 5-year combined nursing program at the University of British Columbia and the Vancouver General Hospital (VGH) School of Nursing in 1955. This was later followed by a degree in Adult Education in the 1960s.
Pat excelled throughout her career and was a natural leader. She was promoted to Vice President of Nursing at VGH and then went on to be the President of the BC Health Association from 1978-1985. Due to her passion for nursing, Pat dedicated immense time to the Registered Nurses Foundation of BC and other nursing causes. With her credentials, she was an integral member of teams that accredited numerous health care facilities across the nation. As a woman pioneer in nursing and health care administration in BC, she was the recipient of innumerable honorary distinctions in recognition of her contributions.
Family and friends, personal and professional, were essential for Pat and she committed her entire life to nurture those relationships, whether they be next door or around the world. Pat loved to travel and there were countless trips globally for work and pleasure. At home, there were always many happy gatherings with people visiting and coming to stay.
Pat passed away peacefully in Vancouver on Wednesday, August 16, following a long and courageous battle with Alzheimer's disease. She is survived by Bob, her husband of over 60 years, and by sons Bill and Richard (Luc), daughter Margaret, sister Peggy Beck and fondly remembered by many extended family members and friends.
We would like to thank Jeannie, the staff at AMICA Arbutus Manor, Pacific Spirit Health Unit and Evergreen Home Health Services, as well as the many other health care professionals that helped care for Pat.
A service to celebrate Pat's life was held on Friday, September 8, 2017 in Vancouver. Donations in Pat's honour may be directed to the Registered Nurses Foundation of BC, 100-1450 Creekside Drive, Vancouver, BC V6J 5B3, 604-739-1944 https://rnfbc.ca/donate/.
Please read her Amazing Alumni Story.
The class of 1961 was the last of the combined UBC/VGH programme. It involved a year of Arts and first-year Nursing at UBC. Then the class entered the VGH program for two and a half years living in the residence, going through the progression of uniform changes of probie, intermediate and senior; graduated and became Registered Nurses. The class then returned to UBC for another year where the focus was on non-hospital practice in public health, administration, teaching and the broader aspects of health and illness with month-long field studies in each area. Fourth year students taught the first year students in their initial May/June clinical pr, supervised by the Faculty. A major project was due in October for graduation in November. The class of '61 remains a close-knit group, which continues to hold two-day reunions, with husbands in tow, every two-and-a-half years. We fondly remember our friends and colleagues:
Robin (Ransom) Copeland 1939-2017
and husband Bruce Copeland (2014)
Marion (McCombs) Burroughs 1938-2016
Wendy (Lane) MacIntyre (1938 - 2016)
Mary Beth (Melville)Matousek (1938 - 2015)
Margaret Ann (Gourlay) Turner (1938 - 2014)
Margo (Dunbar) Cross (1938 - 2003)
Joyce (Jenkins) Campbell (1938 - 1997)
Nan (Mackenzie) Beaudoin (1938 - 1993)
Jeanette (Libby) Cahill (1938 - 1993)
Court Haddock (2017) husband of Joan (Lapworth) Haddock
Jim Callanan(2016) - husband of Eileen(McGhee/Lightfoot) Callanan
Henry Kliewer (2016) - husband of Pauline (Peters) Kliewer