ONA First Vice-President Wins Prestigious National Nursing Leadership Award

Long-time ONA Nursing Leader Vicki McKenna
Presented with CFNU Bread and Roses Award

TORONTO, June 5, 2015 /CNW/ - Ontario Nurses' Association (ONA) First Vice-President Vicki McKenna, RN, has been awarded a top honour by the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions (CFNU) in recognition of her many years of strong leadership and advocacy work on behalf of registered nurses and allied health professionals in Ontario.

McKenna was presented with CFNU's Bread and Roses Award for outstanding individuals who contribute to policy and decision-making, enhance public awareness, participate in positive media and other public events, lobby governments and educate members and the public.

Serving her fifth term as First Vice-President on the ONA Board of Directors, McKenna is responsible for the political action and professional issues portfolio. An ONA member for more than 30 years and an ONA activist for 20-plus years, McKenna has served on various positions on the Local 100 Executive Committee at London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) and as Local Coordinator. She also has served on many ONA provincial committees and teams, including Hospital Central Negotiating Teams, and has participated on the Local 100 Independent Assessment Committee, addressing professional and workload concerns at LHSC.

As Bargaining Unit President and Local Coordinator at LHSC, McKenna represented over 1,000 members. Her important work challenging the hospital's budget process through the Fiscal Advisory Committee became the model for the rest of the province.

An RN since 1979, McKenna works in the day surgery unit at LHSC, providing care for both adult and pediatric patients and their families.

McKenna believes ONA's success at lobbying the government to improve conditions for nurses – and thus, quality patient care – lies in using our collective voice through meetings with MPPs and media relations. She feels strongly that ONA's 60,000 RNs and allied professionals, and more than 14,000 nursing student affiliates, have power, and by working with our allied associations and unions, that power can be leveraged.

"Nurses are on the front lines and are the experts on health care issues and delivery. As experts, who have the respect and confidence of the public, nurses should exercise that voice to advocate for patient care, their profession and to maintain and improve our health-care system," says McKenna.

"ONA is a leading voice with nursing col­leagues across Canada, the government and other nursing associations and unions. We will not be silent partners; the objectives of our members are front and centre," says McKenna.

Adds ONA President Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN: "Vicki is a tireless and passionate advocate for health care and nurses in Ontario and in Canada. She is an exceptional leader and an ardent spokesperson on behalf of quality patient care and our highly skilled and dedicated RNs and allied health professional members. It has been my privilege to work alongside Vicki for more than 10 years."

ONA is the union representing 60,000 front-line RNs, RPNs and allied health professionals and more than 14,000 nursing student affiliates providing care in Ontario hospitals, long-term care facilities, public health, the community, industry and clinics.

Visit us at: www.ona.org; Facebook.com/OntarioNurses; Twitter.com/OntarioNurses

SOURCE Ontario Nurses' Association

For further information: Ontario Nurses' Association; Melanie Levenson, (416) 964-8833, ext. 2369; Katherine Russo, (416) 964-8833, ext. 2214; Cell: 647-539-1925


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