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2019-2020 Preceptor Award Winners

These awards are normally given out in-person at our annual Preceptor Development & Appreciation Conference. However, this past year the event was cancelled because of the COVID-19 Pandemic. We still wanted to recognize our preceptors from 2019-2020 who were nominated for awards and so we held a virtual awards event in conjunction with our inaugural Health Sciences Webinar.

Academic Excellence

Cara Green – St. Joseph’s Care Group, Thunder Bay

Cara was nominated for two award categories by her colleagues and dietetic interns. A colleague shared, “Cara supports medical students, nursing students and dietetic interns in a variety of ways. She supports them through hands-on labs, direct clinical experience and supervising research. Cara supports her colleagues and coworkers with their efforts as a preceptor and research advisor. She promotes herself as an open resource, and she regularly makes time for others requesting her guidance and support”. Cara was also the recipient of this award in 2018-2019!

Laura Dias – Timiskaming Health Unit, New Liskeard

As a sole RD at Timiskaming Health Unit, Laura oversaw a NODIP practice-based project with two interns this past year involving two Family Health Teams. She provided project mentorship onsite, while also supporting six-week placements for both interns to meet their population and public health competencies. While also providing ongoing support in data analysis, report writing and a 20-minute virtual presentation while deployed during COVID. Project outcomes will inform further programming at the community level and has been recognized by the NELHIN related to seniors’ health initiatives. Laura will be pursuing post-graduate studies in fall 2020 including involvement with a nationally- funded project related to building Indigenous Truth and Reconciliation into Canadian Dietetic Practice.

Commitment to Clinical Education

Lisa Lees – St. Joseph’s Hospital, Thunder Bay

Lisa’s nominee shared, “Lisa was my preceptor for my first ever clinical dietitian experience. Her patience and kindness with me as I was learning how to be a dietitian in a hospital setting is something I will never forget. Lisa shared with me many resources to find evidence-based guidelines in order to assist me in making informed decisions about client care. She found a way to explain very complex topics to me very simply, ensuring I understood everything before moving on. She was phenomenal at finding the balance between supporting an intern, yet challenging them when they needed to be.”

Megan Bernard – Sault Area Hospital, Sault Ste. Marie

Megan is the Professional Practice Lead at Sault Area Hospital and her commitment to student learning is exemplary. Her nominator states, “Megan provided me with the perfect amount of guidance, yet challenged me daily to use my critical thinking skills and research information I did not know about.   She is able to discuss and explain the rationale for various practices that were not ‘black and white’.  Megan is a strong advocate for the dietetic profession.”

Innovative Preceptor Award

Kim McGibbon – Roots to Harvest, Thunder Bay

Kim developed an innovative placement by combining food service management, culinary and gardening skills, and community outreach. She quickly adapted this placement during the pandemic for emergency food distribution to the community. The nominee added, “Kim ensures that dietetic learners have the opportunity to directly impact food literacy among our community’s young mentally ill population. This population is disproportionately affected by lifestyle-related chronic disease stemming from poor diet. Developing food literacy and early relationships with Dietitians outside of a clinical setting may increase the likelihood of clients’ working with RDs and ultimately improve their nutritional well-being.”

Jessica Love, Kendra Patrick and Nicole Selman  – North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit

Jessica, Kendra and Nicole were an exceptional team offering a remote/virtual placement in spring 2020. When the pandemic interrupted practical training the NBPSDHU RDs reached out to inquire about how they could assist the current cohort. They were adaptable, engaged and innovative in identifying relevant learning activities to assist the dietetic intern in meeting her practice competencies.

Interprofessional Collaborator

Sue Pienig – Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre

Sue regularly takes on the preceptor role. Her nominee for this award shared, “Sue is the sole RD with the Cancer Program. She values and demonstrates interprofessional collaboration. I learned that collaborating with other health care team members allows for improved client-centred care.” Sue was also nominated for the Commitment to Clinical Education award.  Another nominee described Sue as “an indispensable preceptor.”

Lee Rysdale – NOSM

Lee is always finding innovative ways to teach nutrition to medical learners and ensures our dietetic interns are involved in this education. Her nominee provided, “Examples include: Academic Days where interns presented their research alongside RD lecturers; Culinary Medicine Labs (CML) where the interns prepare, teach, evaluate, and modify culinary programming delivered to medical learners; and virtual CMLs where the interns teach part of the content and facilitate break-out room content. Lee also advocates to incorporate more nutrition in the medical school curriculum taught by RD faculty. In addition to developing and chairing the Nutrition Curriculum Working Group at NOSM, an interdisciplinary committee, Lee works to incorporate nutrition topics and interventions into existing medical case studies helping learners identify nutrition risk and when/how to collaborate with a Registered Dietitian.”

Northern Ambassador

Deha Reimer – Dryden Diabetes Centre, Dryden

Deha frequently takes interns and provides them with diverse learning opportunities. She partakes in “Diabetes Days” with various small towns and Indigenous communities surrounding Dryden to offer RD diabetes education and support to these remote areas in collaboration with the interdisciplinary team. Deha makes an effort with her interns to include client referrals from Wabigoon First Nation and Eagle Lake First Nation. She encourages interns to expand their understanding about why some Indigenous people may be hesitant to access health care and diabetes management services. The nominee shared, “This experience alone taught me more about Indigenous issues in northern Ontario than any class I had. It will impact my approach to providing nutrition care and counselling. Trust and relationship building is critical.”

Joby Quiambao – Noojmowin Teg Health Centre, Manitoulin Island

Joby looked for additional learning opportunities for the student to immerse herself in the communities of Manitoulin Island to enhance her practicum learning. The student shared, “I was encouraged to learn about traditional healing methods, meet community members and research programs available in the various health centres.” The student shared that Joby encouraged reflection and open discussion to examine her values and beliefs about the Indigenous culture and the socio-demographic profiles of the Indigenous peoples on Manitoulin Island.