Nursing Now Ontario
Awards 2023

RPN Category

Winner:  Sarah Goodreau, RPN

Sarah Goodreau graduated from the RPN program through Conestoga College in 2012 and has been nursing ever since. Over the past 12 years, she has worked in long-term care, retirement, community care, as a clinic nurse and is now the health promotion nurse at the North Bay Indigenous Hub.

Sarah demonstrates exemplary nursing practice by always going above and beyond for patients and communities involved with the Hub. As part of her role, Sarah visits Temagami First Nation, which is a partnering Indigenous community located on Bear Island, to assist in running their Clinic Day. She ensures that all clients’ needs are addressed and performs thorough assessments of patients before they are seen by their primary care provider. She also ensures that all equipment and medical supplies required for the Clinic Day is organized prior to travel and performs many hands-on nursing skills including skin treatments, wound care, ear flushing and more.

Sarah has made a huge impact on her clients by helping them reconnect with their culture. She frequently refers clients to other hub departments — including the traditional healing team — to allow them to connect with elders, get involved in cultural events and activities and access traditional medicines. Sarah also plays a major leadership role at the Hub and is frequently involved in making decisions for the organization regarding things like program planning, training and hiring. Her nominator, Carly Collins, says her “work ethic and ideas are invaluable to the Hub, and the work she has done for [her] patients will have a life-long impact. Sarah also frequently collaborates with community members, such as the health unit and community partners, to improve services available to patients. She even recently spearheaded the North Bay Indigenous Hub smoking cessation program and will be seeing patients for smoking cessation appointments in the upcoming months.

Sarah’s collaboration with team members and others is making a huge difference in the lives of Indigenous people in North Bay and surrounding communities. “I strongly believe in accessibility to health and wellness services to First Nation Communities, which is why I feel like it is a gift to work for such an amazing organization,” says Sarah. This year’s recipient of the Nursing Now Ontario Award in the category of RPN is Sarah Goodreau. Maamakaadendaagwad!

NP Category

Winner:  Lori Palozzi, NP

Lori Palozzi is the NP recipient of the 2023 Nursing Now Ontario Awards. With more than 30 years of experience in caring for infants, children and adolescents in pain, Palozzi is a true nursing leader whom colleagues describe as empathetic and compassionate. In 2015, she helped develop the Get Up and Go: Persistent Pediatric Pain Service at Toronto’s Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital. Through the service, she has helped hundreds of patients find ways to manage pain and lead fulfilling lives.

Palozzi graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Toronto in 1984 and began her nursing career in SickKids’ Burn and Plastic Surgery unit. Her interest in pain management for kids grew from there, leading her to complete a research master’s in 1991 on children’s experiences of pain management during burn dressing changes. From there, Palozzi worked in several nursing roles related to pain management at SickKids, most notable being her role as a clinical nurse specialist in the Acute Pain Service — the first of its kind in Canada. To increase her opportunities and work more independently, Palozzi attained her post-master’s acute care NP certificate in 1995 and continued her work at SickKids to implement new pain assessment tools and strategies. For the past eight years, she has been part of a great team at Holland Bloorview and is proud of their unique, impactful work.

From a young age, Palozzi knew she wanted to be a nurse to care for and help people. Palozzi’s advice for nursing students beginning their careers is, “the time spent with patients — listening and being together with them — is the most important thing you can do.”

RN Category

Winner:  Ellie Neary, RN

A passionate and dedicated advocate for prevention in domestic violence and sexual assault, this year’s registered nurse (RN) recipient of the fourth-annual Nursing Now Ontario Awards is Ellie Neary. With professional excellence, Ellie is a Nurse Counselor and team lead for the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) Program for Grey Bruce Health Services. Ellie is also an active member and representative on Violence Prevention Grey Bruce, a community of organizations whose mission is to end violence in all its forms. She meets with staff from many departments including Emergency, ICU, addictions treatment centres, labs, mental health, police/OPP, victim services, women’s shelters and more in efforts to streamline services for the SANE program to improve care for better client outcomes.

To help her colleagues and ultimately her patients and clients, Ellie advocates for training opportunities, so that every SANE Nurse is able to maintain their competency in the SANE role and building portfolios for evidence in court when being called to testify in sexual assault and domestic violence cases as a SANE Nurse or expert witness. Her support and skills are paramount in assisting her colleagues.

A tireless supporter, Ellie has advocated for another SANE RN role which resulted in a new full-time counselor position. She has consistently advocated for more resources including moving the SANE program to a new office closer to emergency, for electronic order sets for SANE lab work and electronic documentation. Her efforts have also led to having a designated exam room with a bathroom and shower in the future. Ellie’s gentle and professional care to clients who have experienced trauma is a true testament to her strong sense of excellence and compassion.

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