Legacy 2020 Centennial Awards of Distinction


Recognizing Outstanding Contributions in Leadership

As part of its celebration of 100 Years of World Class Research & Innovation in Nursing, the Arthur Labatt Family School of Nursing is proud to recognize nurses from across the spectrum of practice with the following awards:

  • Nursing Alumni Rising Star Award
  • Nursing Alumni Awards of Distinction
  • Legacy 2020 Centenary Awards of Distinction

Nursing Alumni Rising Star Award

Susana Caxaj, PhD'13

Susana Caxaj photoDr. C. Susana Caxaj holds a BScN from Queen's University, and completed her graduate studies, earning a PhD in Western's Arthur Labatt Family School of Nursing in 2013. Her program of research is in the area of global health, with a particular interest in migrant farmworkers' health, safety and human rights. Her prior research has explored issues related to Indigenous community health within the global south and rural Canadian context, as well as immigrant and refugee wellbeing and belonging. She currently holds a fellowship in health equity at Western, and she is a co-founder and member of the Migrant Worker Health Expert Working Group.

Nursing Alumni Awards of Distinction

Mary Anne Andrusyszyn, MScN’86

Mary Anne Andrusyszyn photoDr. Mary-Anne Andrusyszyn, Professor Emerita, was Professor and Director of the Arthur Labatt Family School of Nursing, Western, from 2007-2016, and educated at McGill (BScN, 1977), Western (MScN, 1986), and University of Toronto, OISE (EdD,1996). She taught at undergraduate and graduate levels, published extensively, presented nationally and internationally on flexible and conventional education, mentorship, reflective learning, and perspective transformation. She co-authored Curriculum Development in Nursing Education (2005), now in its 4th edition and is co-founding Editor and Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Nursing Education Scholarship (IJNES), launched in 2004, the first fully online nursing education journal in the world.

Dionne Sinclair, BScN’98

Dionne SinclairAs the Vice President, Clinical Care & Chief Nurse Executive at CAMH, Dionne plays an integral part in helping the organization achieve its goals towards integrated and equitable care and support for people with mental illness. She leads the program that supports those with the most complex illnesses and is dedicated to improving access to excellent patient-centred care so that people may live their best lives. Dionne brings high energy, a strong work ethic and a positive attitude to all that she does.

Dionne is also a member of the RNAO Black Nurses Task Force, the founder of The Canadian Black Nurses Network and an active member of the College of Nurses, Employer Reference Group. As a Certified Healthcare Executive (CHE), Dionne's previous leadership roles include Multi-Site Director, Diversity and Cultural Advancement, Director, Medicine Program at Southlake Regional, Director Home & Community Care, Northwest LHIN, Director Complex Continuing Care, Saint Vincent Hospital and Manager, Mental Health and Addictions, Humber River Hospital. Dionne is a mother of 3 beautiful girls, an entrepreneur, a motivational speaker, and an award-winning fitness professional.

Carol Wong, BScN’71, MScN’86

Carol Wong photoIn 2019, Dr. Wong retired as Professor at Western University after 14.5 years of teaching and research activities in nursing. A major focus of her work was leadership and its influence on nurse and patient outcomes. Prior to teaching at Western, Dr. Wong had 33 years of experience in clinical and leadership roles in London/area healthcare organizations. Her contributions to nursing knowledge include the application of authentic leadership in nursing/healthcare, illumination of mechanisms by which leadership influences quality work environments, advancement of knowledge describing the work outcomes of managers, and synthesis of evidence supporting the effects of nursing leadership on patient outcomes. In terms of leadership practice, her work addressed strategies for key health human resource issues, including development of future leaders and improvements to work environments. Dr. Wong has published 94 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, supervised or participated on the committees of 57 graduate students, and acted as research editor and editorial board member for two international nursing leadership/management journals.

Legacy 2020 Centenary Awards of Distinction

These awards are presented to nurses who graduated from the Arthur Labatt Family School of Nursing during its 100-year history. This award recognizes outstanding leadership contribution to:

  • Nursing/health care in the area of clinical practice, research, education, administration and/or policy
  • The profession of nursing more broadly, including community enrichment/service locally, provincially, nationally, and/or internationally.

Bonnie Adamson

Bonnie Adamson photoAfter Ms. Adamson began her career as a bedside nurse in 1969, she received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (University of Toronto, 1974) a Master of Science in Nursing (Western, 1984) and a Doctor of Laws- honours causa (Western, 2019).

In her fifty years of experience, she served with an unwavering commitment to patient-centred care and leadership including sixteen years as President and Chief Executive Officer in three hospitals and retired in 2014 as CEO from London Health Sciences Centre.

Ms. Adamson held several academic and governance appointments, authored numerous publications, received notable awards, delivered speeches at national / international forums, and served as a healthcare consultant.

Currently, she is a member of the Associated Medical Services Board and Cancer Quality Council of Ontario.

Irmajean Bajnok

Irmajean Bajnok photoAs the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario’s (RNAO) International Affairs and Best Practice Guidelines (BPG) Centre Director, Irmajean oversaw growth and refinement of BPG development, implementation and evaluation including RNAO’s global Best Practice Spotlight Organization Designation.

Dr. Bajnok’s successful career encompasses practice and administration in long-term, acute and home care; and professorial/administrative roles at Western and Ryerson Universities, and University of Toronto. Her extensive international contributions span Jamaica, Europe, Pakistan, China and Australia.

Dr. Bajnok is a Senior Policy Advisor at RNAO and an international health-care consultant. She co-authored, with Dr. Doris Grinspun, the international best-seller - Transforming Nursing Through Knowledge.

Andrea Baumann

Andrea Baumann imageAndrea Baumann RN, PhD, FAAN, C.M. is the Associate Vice-President of Global Health, Director of the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre in Primary Care and Nursing Health Human Resources. She has made substantial contributions as a health services researcher, writer and award-winning academic. She has more than 200 peer-reviewed publications and has written and contributed to several books. Topics have included the employment integration of international nurses, the largest predominantly female group of highly skilled newcomers to Canada and quality issues in long term care. She has received numerous awards, including the Order of Canada in July 2018.

Jennifer Baumbusch

Jennifer Baumbusch photoJennifer Baumbusch, RN, PhD is an Associate Professor and CIHR Chair in Sex and Gender Science at the University of British Columbia’s School of Nursing. Jennifer’s research and scholarship focuses on enhancing person- and family-centered care for older adults and people with lifelong disabilities. She is an expert in qualitative research and innovative, collaborative approaches to knowledge translation. Her more recent research focuses on the impact of the pandemic on persons with dementia and their family caregivers, as well as children with medical complexity and their families. Jennifer’s work has been widely published in the disciplines of nursing and gerontology.

Charlene Beynon

Charlene Beynon imageCharlene wanted to be a nurse by age five. Western helped that dream become a reality. Charlene joined the nursing faculty at Kingston General Hospital. Returning to London, she began a 38 year career with the Middlesex London Health Unit, which offered many opportunities, including working as a district and an attachment nurse with a group of family physicians and joining the management team. Working in the Teaching Health Unit Program was a highlight, which included an appointment to the School of Nursing. Retiring from the health unit, Charlene worked in a family practice, and “retired” in 2018 to pursue new adventures.

Richard Booth

Richard Booth photoRichard Booth is an associate professor at Western's Arthur Labatt Family School of Nursing and a clinician researcher with an active research program exploring health informatics, human-technical relationships, and psychiatric-mental health nursing. From a teaching perspective, he has developed a variety of serious games for use within undergraduate nursing education, including a homecare dementia simulator and electronic barcode medication administration game. He currently holds both provincial and federal grants from the Ontario Ministry of Research, Innovation and the Science Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and supervises numerous graduate students at the masters and doctoral levels.

Camille Burnett

Camille Burnett photoDr. Camille Burnett (PhD, MPA, APHN-BC, RN, BSc.N, DSW, CGNC, FAAN) is the Associate Vice President, Education and Health Equity, and Executive Associate Director, Institute for Inclusion, Inquiry, and Innovation (iCubed), Office of Institutional Equity, Effectiveness and Success at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). She is a faculty affiliate at VCU School of Nursing and UK Center for Research on Violence Against Women. Dr. Burnett works in partnership on population health issues toward the co-creation of health equity and innovative justice solutions through research and initiatives that attend to structural and policy drivers of health and opportunity for vulnerable populations.

Donna Ciliska

Donna Ciliska photoDr. Ciliska is a Professor Emeritus in the School of Nursing at McMaster University. After a BScN and MScN at Western, and a PhD (Medical Sciences, Toronto) she was involved in numerous education, research, synthesis and knowledge translation activities in public health, at all levels of education and practice.

Donna initiated or collaborated on multiple funded research projects and centres and has over 100 peer-reviewed publications. She co-edited two textbooks on Evidence-Based Nursing and was Editor of Evidence-Based Nursing journal. She received many fellowships and awards including a Career Scientist Award (Ontario MOH), and the Community Health Nurses of Canada Lifetime Membership Award.

Christine Duffield

Christine Duffield photoDr. Christine Duffield is the Professor of Nursing and Health Services Management at Edith Cowan University in Perth and Emeritus Professor at the University of Technology Sydney. She is a highly accomplished researcher with experience in the health and education industries in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the UK. She is one of the top 10 most-cited nursing and midwifery professors in Australia and New Zealand and was recently named in Mendeley’s top 100,000 cited researchers in the world. Christine is also the President of the Australian College of Nursing (ACN).

Adeline Falk-Rafael

Adeline Falk-Rafael photoAdeline completed a BScN at Western in 1989, 25 years after completing her initial nursing education at Misericordia General Hospital in Winnipeg. Once “purple and proud”, she went on to earn her MSN at D’Youville College in Buffalo and her PhD from the University of Colorado.

During her career, Adeline has worked in various nursing positions, including staff nurse in both acute care and public health, administrator, and for the last 20 years of her career, as a nursing educator in the US and Canada, including 3 years in Western's Faculty of Nursing. In 2001 she joined the York University School of Nursing where she held faculty and administrative positions before retiring in 2014.She is presently a Senior Scholar at York University.

Adeline’s scholarship combined an interest in power, empowerment, and caring in public health nursing. In 2011, she published a mid-range theory of public health nursing, Critical Caring, which was recently included in the 5th edition of Nursing Theories and Practice, 5th Ed.

Adeline has a strong belief in professional citizenship and has worked with numerous professional associations. She was President of the Community Health Nurses Initiatives Group twice and President of its parent association, the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario, from 2002-2004. She is currently on the management team of Nursology.net.

She has received numerous awards for nursing leadership and education, including an RNAO Honorary Life Membership Award. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing.

Carroll Iwasiw

Carroll Iwasiw photoDr. Carroll Iwasiw (MScN'75) began her nursing career working in coronary care in Toronto, Vancouver, and London. She was a faculty member Western’s School of Nursing from 1975 to 2016 and served as Director from 1997 to 2003. She dedicated her academic career to teaching, researching, and publishing about Nursing Education. She has presented and consulted about nursing education internationally and co-founded the International Journal of Nursing Education Scholarship. Dr. Iwasiw led the development of Russia's first nursing management program and Rwanda's first BScN program. She chaired the Accreditation Bureau of the Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing and the Council of Ontario University Programs in Nursing. Dr. Iwasiw was recognized with provincial teaching and leadership awards and was named a World Expert in Nursing Education by the World Health Organization.

Heather Lokko

Heather Lokko photoHeather has worked as a direct service provider, professional practice lead, manager, and senior leader during her career in 24-year career in public health. She is currently the Director, Healthy Start at the Middlesex-London Health Unit, a division focused on implementation of public health’s Healthy Growth and Development Standard. Additionally, as MLHU’s Chief Nursing Officer, Heather leads the agency’s health equity strategy and reconciliation and anti-racism efforts, promotes public health and nursing practice excellence, and provides nursing leadership within and beyond the organization in regional, provincial, and national initiatives. Heather is the Community Co-Director of the Centre for Research on Health Equity and Social Inclusion, teaches at Western University, and sits on the Board of the London Intercommunity Health Centre. Heather is passionate about public health, health equity, leadership, building healthy families and communities, and collaboration and collective action.

Abe Oudshoorn

Abe Oudshoorn photoAbe Oudshoorn is a two-time graduate of the School of Nursing at Western (BScN 2004; PhD 2011). Having worked as a nurse at the London InterCommunity Health Centre with newcomers, low-income families, and people experiencing homelessness, Abe has since focused on preventing and ending homelessness through community positions and academic research. Currently an Associate Professor in the Arthur Labatt Family School of Nursing, is cross-appointed as an Associate Scientist with the Lawson Health Research Institute, and is the Arthur Labatt Family Chair in Nursing Leadership in Health Equity.

Karen Perkin

Karen Perkin photoKaren Perkin is currently the Vice President of Patient Care and Chief Nurse Executive at St. Joseph’s Health Care London (St. Joseph’s). She joined the Senior Leadership Team at St. Joseph’s in April 2010 as Vice President of Professional Practice and Chief Nurse Executive, supporting nursing and allied health professional practice, spiritual care and ethics. In April 2011, the role expanded to include accountability for all of the clinical programs at the St. Joseph’s Hospital acute ambulatory site. In 2014, the role further evolved to include pharmacy services. Previously, she held the position of Director, Nursing Practice at St. Joseph’s.

Karen has more than 25 years of experience in a variety of nursing leadership roles in clinical and support services. She obtained her Masters of Science in Nursing from Western University in 1994 and a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing from the University of Windsor in 1984. Karen is also an Associate Professor at the Arthur Labatt Family School of Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences, Western University.

In addition, she has published professional practice and research papers, presented internationally and taught nursing students at Fanshawe College and Western University at the undergraduate and graduate level.

Karen is passionate about patient- and family-centred care, nursing practice, leadership and system transformation, and is very grateful to have the opportunity to serve in health care at this pivotal time.

Jenny Ploeg

Jenny Ploeg PhotoJenny Ploeg, RN, PhD, is Professor Emeritus in the School of Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences at McMaster University. She is Co-Scientific Director of the Aging, Community and Health Research Unit. She obtained her BScN and MScN from Western University. Her research interests focus on the development, implementation and evaluation of health care services for older adults with multiple chronic conditions and their family caregivers. She received $10 Million in research funding as a principal or co-principal investigator and has over 220 peer reviewed publications. She received the 2018 Canadian Association on Gerontology Recognition Award for Excellence in Student Mentoring.

Carol Young-Ritchie

Carol Young-Ritchie photoCarol is Executive Vice President and Chief Nursing Executive and at London Health Sciences Centre as well as Adjunct Clinical Professor at the Arthur Labatt Family School of Nursing. Over the past eighteen months, Carol has successfully co-lead the hospital’s COVID pandemic response as well as serves on Ontario’s Provincial Critical Care COVID Command Centre. Carol is known as an effective collaborator who courageously challenges the status quo to advance healthcare. Carol has also been recognized as a Fellow Canadian Academy of Nursing.

Carol received a diploma in Nursing from Fanshawe College (’84), as well as a Baccalaureate (’01) and Master of Nursing Science (’07) from Western University.