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St. Michael’s Hospital kicks off Nursing Week by announcing chair in nursing

Toronto, May 8, 2011

Photo of Gala co-chairs Angel Ball Gala chairs Tony Gagliano, chief executive officer of St. Joseph Communications, and his wife Lina; Joe Natale, executive vice-president of Telus, and his wife Melissa Martin. (George Pimentel Photography)

By Leslie Shepherd

St. Michael’s Hospital kicked off Nursing Week early by announcing the creation of the Hospital Volunteer Association Chair in Nursing Research.

The announcement was made Saturday night at the 2011 Angel Ball Gala, which raised $3.29 million for research in nursing, trauma and kidney transplants. The chair is named for the association representing St. Michael’s volunteers, which pledged Saturday to raise an additional $500,000.

St. Michael’s is on the leading edge in terms of the number of staff nurses engaged in research. Much of their work is directly related to patient care, such as how to prevent falls when patients are transferred and how to avoid errors by decreasing interruptions when dispensing medications.

“We are so grateful to our donors, especially our wonderful hospital volunteers, for raising money for this chair,” said Ella Ferris, the hospital’s chief nursing executive. “This will elevate the important research conducted by nurses at St.Michael’s and continue to improve safe and effective quality patient care that is evidence-based.”

Chairs are considered very prestigious in the research world – they guarantee a researcher’s salary, allow the holder of the chair to hire other world-class researchers to the team, and help bring in more funding.

More than 1,500 people from the arts, business and healthcare communities gathered at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre for the seventh Angel Ball Gala. The name of the ball honours the fact that St. Michael’s is known as Toronto’s Urban Angel, for its downtown location and quality patient care.

The gala paid homage to all things Canadian. Canadian talent was a highlight of the evening, with performances by jazz singer DK Ibomeka, who was planning to become a doctor before he discovered his passion for music; 17-year-old folk singer-songwriter Camille Delean; and Toronto tenor Mark Masri, who sings beautifully in six languages.

The Angel Ball Gala is held every three years. For the second time, the gala chairs were Tony Gagliano, chief executive officer of St. Joseph Communications, and his wife Lina; and Joe Natale, executive vice-president of Telus, and his wife Melissa Martin.

National Nursing Week begins Monday and this year’s theme is Nursing - The health of our nation. The Registered Nurses Association of Ontario will be holding a news conference at St. Michael’s on Monday to highlight the knowledge of registered nurses and the central role they play in providing quality patient care.