By Amanda Boundris
May 7, 2012
The Registered Nurses’ Foundation of Ontario (RNFOO) handed out awards at their annual gala on May 2 in Toronto and McMaster students took home their fair share, led by Rebecca Ganann.
The PhD student was given the Bernice Read Nursing Scholarship, awarded to a registered nurse (RN) studying at the baccalaureate or graduate level in order to pursue a career in the field of community nursing. She was also honoured with the Prenatal & Parenthood Education Research Award, which is intended to support an RN wishing to undertake a research project related to perinatal nursing.
Ganann said it was an honour to be recognized, but that it was extra special to sit at the same table as the granddaughter of Bernice Read, Nicki Desprey, and learn why the award was established in Read’s memory. Read was passionate about nursing and public health, and Desprey is following in her grandmother's footsteps as a public health nurse in Hamilton who now also teaches part-time with the McMaster School of Nursing (SON).
"The gala is such a wonderful celebration of nurses,' said Ganann, adding that the RNFOO provides "incredible support' for RNs looking to further their education.
Ganann’s research is looking at women’s immigrant health postpartum and their ability to access health services. She is partnering with a network of community service providers in Scarborough that are interested in supporting women with perinatal mood disorders, addressing the gaps in service delivery, and meeting the needs of vulnerable populations.
"I feel really passionate about the field of public health and addressing issues at a population health level,' said Ganann. "I think some of the challenges facing Canadians in terms of their health and in particular newcomers, are complex and require innovative approaches to address them. I feel there is a part that I can play.'
Ganann, who has a background in public health, holds bachelor of science in nursing (BScN) and master of science (MSc) degrees from McMaster, and received the prestigious CIHR Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship in 2010. She is in the final stages of her PhD and is also working on a diploma through the Ontario Training Centre in Health Services and Policy Research at McMaster. In addition, Ganann is a lecturer and research coordinator with the SON.
Other McMaster nursing students who received RNFOO awards on May 2 are:
- Breanne Anderson, The Jennifer Award
- Sarah Jennison, The Saint Elizabeth Health Care Community Nursing Scholarship
- Maria Pratt, Provincial Nurse Educators Interest Group (PNEIG) Research Award
- Kniessl Wagan, Maternal Child Nurses Interest Group (MCNIG) Scholarship — Masters program
- Abigail Wickson-Griffiths, The Alumnae Association of the School of Nursing, Toronto General Hospital Scholarship