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Going above and beyond: Meet the recipients of the President’s Award
22 minute read

Going above and beyond: Meet the recipients of the President’s Award


Inspiring individuals and teams recognized for their positive contributions to the SickKids community.

Presented annually, the President's Award recognizes tremendous individuals and teams across the organization who consistently exemplify SickKids’ values and positively impact the organization. Six of the categories are based on SickKids’ strategic directions, and the seventh is called “Commitment to Compassion.” Award recipients are nominated by peers, and nominations are evaluated by a selection committee appointed by the president.

Meet this year’s recipients, with testimonials from their nominations

Rose Ancona in a mask sitting at a desk with two computer monitors.

Rose Ancona

Patient Information Clerk, 5A

Commitment to compassion

Rose Ancona treats every patient and family that comes to 5A with kindness, compassion, respect and a warm, friendly smile. She is a beacon of light, advocating for those who are struggling with language or financial barriers to care and connecting them with the resources they need, both at SickKids and in the community. For staff, she is resourceful, knowing where and how to get anything done to help the 5A team provide exceptional care.

“Rose is the first person that many people meet on 5A. She greets everyone with a friendly smile, even if they are the 200th person she is coming in contact with that day. She has eyes and ears in the back of her head and treats every family and patient that walks past the nursing station with kindness and professionalism… She will ensure that we are supported before we have even ask her to make that call.”

Dr. Natasha Collia in a mask with a stethoscope around her neck. There is a variety of hospital equipment out of focus in the background.

Dr. Natasha Collia

Staff Physician, Emergency Medicine

Unleash the talent of our people

Not only thinking about the present, but also about the future and how things can be improved, Dr. Natasha Collia strives to unleash the talent of our people. As a leader in the ED, Natasha is focused on quality improvement and continuing education, developing several educational programs, for both staff and caregivers, that not only advance care but also reflect different cultural practices. She uses her social media presence to help educate families about timely health topics and tips for caring for children at home before visiting the ED.

“Dr. Collia continues to keep the organization’s core values and mission statement in mind when clinically working and when providing education. Her focus is not just the present but thinking about the future and how things can be improved at all different levels of the organizations.”

Holly Norgrove wearing a mask in a hospital room equipped with various devices and clinical equipment. She is wearing a sweater with stitching that says "SickKids" and "G-Tube feeding program".

G-Tube Feeding Program

Create a seamless child and family experience

The G-Tube Team is a personification of the hospital’s values, delivering the highest quality of care to tube-fed children and their families. Health care providers at SickKids and beyond rely on the team’s unique expertise to manage complex issues that may arise. The creative and innovative team promotes awareness and excellence in tube care through family events and education, and even founded a Canadian Feeding Tube Community of Practice.

A group of people in masks, standing outside by the hospital entrance.
Members of the G-Tube Feeding Program.

G-Tube Feeding Program members


Holly Norgrove

Registered Nurse, Diagnostic Imaging

Silvana Oppedisano

Nurse Practitioner, Diagnostic Imaging

Amanda Li

Nurse Practitioner, Diagnostic Imaging

Danielle Loveland

Registered Nurse, Connected Care

Samantha Cicciarella

Nurse Practitioner, Diagnostic Imaging

Alicia Hayes

Registered Nurse, Connected Care

Dr. Sanjay Mahant

Staff Physician, Paediatric Medicine Division

Wayne Lee

Executive Director Research Operations, Research Operations

Dr. Julie Johnstone

Staff Physician, Paediatric Medicine Division

Frances Dazo

Registered Dietitian, Clinical Dietetics

“The face of the program is the autonomous nurses, supported by the team’s leadership. In 2021, the two nurse practitioners and two registered nurses completed more than 1,100 consults and supported families and teams by phone and e-mail over hundreds more encounters... the G-Tube Feeding Program’s mission is to deliver the highest quality of care to families and tube-fed children.”

Lori Ives-Baine and Sheila Atkinson sitting at a small round table. Lori is holding a book that reads "The Memory Box, a Book About Grief". There are a number of items on the table, including a teddy bear, books, file folders, and a small urn with a colour beaded necklace hanging from it.

Pathways Grief Support Program

Commitment to compassion

In its 10 years, the Pathways Grief Support Program has offered support to nearly 2,000 bereaved families. It is typical for paediatric palliative care teams to offer bereavement services to families they follow, but this team routinely offers grief support to all families, palliative or not. The team employs various ways to counteract the negative impact of death on our staff, helping them experience the privilege of providing end-of-life care and facilitating the creation of meaningful and lasting legacies. They’ve changed our institutional culture around death and provide grief support that is the gold standard for children’s hospitals.

Seven people standing in masks on the Mary Jo Haddad Bridge in the Atrium.
Members of the Pathways Grief Support Program.

Pathways Grief Support Program members

Lori Ives-Baine

Grief Support Coordinator, Haematology/Oncology

Sheila Atkinson

Grief Support Coordinator, Haematology/Oncology

Norah Shaughnessy

Social Worker MSW, Social Work

Andrea Steadman

Registered Nurse, NICU

Caroline Bennett

Clinical Nurse Specialist, Haematology/Oncology

Shaindy Alexander

PACT Community Support Worker, Haematology/Oncology

Lindsay Croal

Nurse Practitioner, Haematology/Oncology

“A person’s grief trajectory is rarely a straight line and always unique. While the Pathways Grief Support Program focuses on the first year of bereavement, our program has an open-door policy… Caregivers appreciate this flexible approach to support. Most desire our services immediately; others are ready for assistance months later.”

Dr. George Ibrahim in a mask standing in an operating room, with a variety of hospital equipment in the bacgkround.

Dr. George Ibrahim

Surgeon, Neurosurgery

Create a seamless child and family experience

Providing the absolute best in child and family-centred care remains the core value guiding our work at SickKids. This vision can rarely be achieved without significant integration of research into clinical care. Dr. George Ibrahim achieves this challenging balance. While still early in his career, George has already published over 200 peer-reviewed publications, spearheaded Canada’s first deep brain stimulation clinic, developed completely personalized precision medicine for his patients, and brought cutting-edge neurosurgical procedures to Canadian children who before had to either travel to the U.S. for treatment or were simply unable to access this kind of personalized care.

“As the founding director of Canada’s first and only deep brain stimulation clinic, Dr. Ibrahim works closely with patients and their families to guide them through treatment decisions for conditions that would otherwise be untreatable. Our laboratory, which studies deep brain and other forms of brain stimulation, encompasses more than 10 graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and researchers – all of whom have been inspired by Dr. Ibrahim to pursue this vision for paediatric health care in Canada.”

Cory Murphy in a mask. She is facing the camera, while resting her arms on top of a wooden structure.

Cory Murphy

Interlink Nurse, Haematology/Oncology

Create a seamless child and family experience

Cory Murphy makes a difference in the lives of children with cancer and their families. Working as a Pediatric Oncology Group of Ontario (POGO) Interlink Nurse at SickKids, she is a bridge between SickKids and home, bringing support to patients and families in their homes and communities, and returning to SickKids with vital information for their primary teams, contributing to a seamless child and family experience. Cory helps them with school reintegration, reviews new diagnosis teachings in their homes, assesses individual patient and family needs, provides sibling support, and ensures patients and families have the appropriate resources available to them.

“Cory is a valued colleague and friend who cares not only for patients and families, but for the colleagues and friends she so closely works with. She is well respected and valued by her multidisciplinary colleagues... SickKids is a better place because of her.”

Dodge Baena wearing a mask and white lab coat while holding a camera. He is standing in front of a photoshoot set-up.

Dodge Baena

Medical Photographer, Creative Services Studio

Commitment to compassion

Dodge Baena is an incredibly dedicated, hardworking, creative, and caring service provider. Like the phrase, “a picture is worth a thousand words,” Dodge's impact is deeply felt across the organization. Over his 30-plus year career at SickKids he has photographed thousands of staff, patients and families, including families grieving the anticipated or actual death of their babies, children and teens. He does this out of the goodness of his heart, on top of his other responsibilities, a quiet partner in telling their story of love, grief and loss.

“His photography supports employee engagement and recognition by showcasing and celebrating staff on SickKids internal and external channels. He not only supports Public Affairs and HR in these efforts, but also makes sure the staff member being featured has photos for their enjoyment, too. His work with the Paediatric Advanced Care Team positively impacts patient and family experience during one of the most difficult times of these families’ lives.”

Jackie Hubbert wearing bright pink-framed glasses and a mask.

Jackie Hubbert

Executive Clinical Lead, Heart Centre, Critical Care and Acute Care Transport System (ACTS)

Unleash the talent of our people

Jackie Hubbert makes sure that respect, integrity and excellence are not just words, but are at the core of our culture. She is a transformational leader – resilient and positive through many unforeseen and ever-changing challenges. Jackie is well known and respected for her collaborative approach, ensuring all voices are heard. She empowers her teams to lead and solve problems, resulting in team depth and strength, leading to significant contributions both at SickKids and the broader system.

“Simply put, Jackie is the heart and soul of our programs. The scope of her impact and outstanding leadership is far-reaching… Jackie firmly believes everyone contributes to the best of their unique abilities when barriers are removed, and consistently challenges her leaders to do the same, enabling growth and maturity.” 

Stephanie Gracon-Lappan and Jane Ciordas-Lowes in masks. They are standing in front of the hospital screening stations.

Safe Access Management

Ensure quality and accountability in everything we do

The Safe Access Management team was formed as a new resource to support SickKids amid the COVID-19 pandemic, implementing new policies related to screening and visitor restrictions as effectively and compassionately as possible.

A group of people in masks standing in the Atrium.
Members of Safe Access Management.

Safe Access Management members

Stephanie Lappan Gracon

Senior Clinical Manager, Corporate Strategy & Performance

Jane Lowes Ciordas

Senior Clinical Manager, Corporate Strategy & Performance

Angie Lim

Clinical Nurse Specialist, Nursing Research, Centre for Nursing

Elizabeth Petch

Registered Nurse, Nephrology/Transplant/Chest/GI/ Nutrition

Mannat Badial

Registered Nurse, Cardiac

Sara Soares

Registered Nurse, Heart Centre – Cardiac CCU

Stephanie de Young

Senior Manager, Interprofessional Education, Global Child Health

Tiffany Yam

Nursing Practice Observation Lead, Nursing Research, Centre for Nursing

Sarah Kaufman

Registered Nurse, Paediatric Medicine, Respiratory Medicine & Infectious Diseases

Sharon Benasa

Patient Care Info. Coordinator, Cardiac

Danielle Tobias

Patient Flow Coordinator, Corporate Strategy & Performance

McKenna Spencer

Patient Information Clerk, Paediatric Medicine, Respiratory Medicine & Infectious Diseases

Bryn Harvey-Raymond

Patient Information Clerk, Paediatric Medicine, Respiratory Medicine & Infectious Diseases

Laila Strazds

Project Manager, Child Health Services

Kennedy MacLean

Occupational Health Nurse, Occupational Health & Safety Services

“The Safe Access Management leadership worked to ensure we had a balanced approach always integrating safety with compassion while ensuring flow of clinical services. This led to advocacy for patients and caregivers, such as organizing a safe/warm space for waiting for those second caregivers who had brought a sick child to the ED or an extended family that rushed to the hospital because of a child experiencing a trauma.”

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