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About Sickkids
About SickKids

June 9, 2010

Canada's highest nursing honour for Board Trustee

SickKids Board Trustee, Dr. Gail Donner, has received Canada's most prestigious nursing award, the Jeanne Mance Award, for her positive impact on the practice of nursing in Canada.

“Gail Donner is the true embodiment of what makes a great nursing leader," said Kaaren Neufeld, president of the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA), which presents the award every two years. "Recognized nationally and internationally for her academic excellence and inspiring guidance, Gail is articulate, engaged and influential, and her leadership has had a marked positive impact on health-care delivery systems in Ontario and across Canada. She is an inspiration to us all."

“This well-deserved recognition acknowledges the tremendous impact and influence Gail has had on nursing and on health care,” said Mary Jo Haddad, President and CEO of SickKids. “She is a consummate role model for nursing and nursing leadership in Canada."

Professor Emerita and former dean at the University of Toronto's Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, Donner holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in nursing and a PhD in adult education from the University of Toronto. She also holds an honorary doctorate from Ryerson University. She retired as professor and dean in 2001 and is now a partner in donnerwheeler, a career planning and development consulting firm.

Donner has held a number of government and community appointments, including member, Metropolitan Toronto District Health Council Hospital restructuring committee; chair, Air Ambulance Review, Ministry of Health, Ontario; and vice- chair of the Director's Advisory Committee on the Long-Term Future of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE). Dr. Donner joined the Board of Trustees at SickKids in 2002 and is currently chair of its Quality Council.

Internationally recognized for her contributions to the nursing community, Donner has published extensively and is a popular speaker and presenter on health care and professional nursing issues. Her academic research and consulting interests range from health policy and nursing administration to career planning and development in Canada, the United States, Europe and South Africa.

Donner is an active volunteer in her community. In addition to her role at SickKids, she is book editor for the Canadian Journal of Nursing Leadership. She has received numerous awards over the years, including the Order of Ontario as well as recognition from the Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario, the Ontario Medical Association, the Canadian Nurses Association and the YWCA of Metro Toronto.

Since 1971, CNA has honoured a nurse at its biennial convention and annual meeting with the Jeanne Mance Award, which is named after one of Canada's most inspirational nurses. Jeanne Mance was the first lay nurse in North America, and was founder of the Hôtel-Dieu Hospital and co-founder of the surrounding settlement of Ville-Marie, which later became Montreal.