ONA President Linda Haslam-Stroud to Serve Fifth Term: Front-Line Nurses Choose President, First Vice-President

TORONTO, Sept. 6, 2011 /CNW/ - Front-line registered nurses, allied health professionals and thousands of nursing student affiliates will have long-time political activist, nursing advocate and St. Joseph's Healthcare (Hamilton) renal transplant nurse Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN as their leader for the next two years as she has been acclaimed President of the Ontario Nurses' Association (ONA). Haslam-Stroud will serve an unprecedented fifth, two-year term as head of ONA, the country's largest nurses' union.

"I am so privileged to hold this position," said Haslam-Stroud. "I have been guided by the principle that excellence is the result of caring more than others think is wise, risking more than others think is safe and expecting more than others think is possible. As we face challenging days for our public health care system, nurses and unions, I will continue to fulfill the mandate of every nurse - to advocate for our patients, clients and residents as we seek to provide quality care for those who need and deserve it."

Haslam-Stroud has been actively leading in ONA for some 32 years now at the provincial, Local and Bargaining Unit levels. She has vowed to continue to be a passionate spokesperson for ONA's 57,000 registered nurses and allied health professionals and 12,000 nursing student affiliates in Ontario and address the issues of wages, benefits, retention and recruitment to address nursing and health care affiliate shortages, safe and healthy workplaces, heavy workloads and RNs' scope of practice issues.

First Vice-President Vicki McKenna Also Acclaimed

Also acclaimed and serving her fourth consecutive term as First Vice-President of ONA is Vicki McKenna, RN. The London, Ontario nurse who has worked with both adults and pediatric patients at the Day Surgery Unit, London Health Sciences Centre.

McKenna has been an active member of ONA for 30 years and brings a wealth of experience to the portfolio of political action and professional issues.

"ONA is a leading voice for nurses with the government and other professional organizations," she said. "The priorities and objectives of our members must be on the agenda, and we must continue to fight to protect health care - both as providers and consumers. Some employers look for any avenue to save money and replace RNs under the guise of budget restraints. But research shows the value of RNs to patients and ignoring it is simply not acceptable."

ONA Chief Executive Officer Lesley Bell, RN says that both Haslam-Stroud and McKenna have "the commitment, the passion and most importantly, the support of ONA's board and members as they advocate for quality care for Ontarians. I know that they will continue to work tirelessly on behalf of ONA members and the patients who rely on quality care."

ONA is the union representing 57,000 front-line RNs and allied health professionals and more than 12,000 nursing student affiliates providing care in Ontario hospitals, long-term care facilities, public health, the community, industry and clinics.

SOURCE Ontario Nurses' Association

For further information:

Ontario Nurses' Association
Sheree Bond      (416) 964-8833, ext. 2430    Cellular: (416) 986-8240
Melanie Levenson     (416) 964-8833, ext. 2369


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