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Our Stories

St. Mike’s MSICU brings home gold

Toronto, May 23, 2018

By Mary Dickie

Joyce Fenuta, Orla Smith, Karen Wannamaker and Shannon Swift
(left to right) Joyce Fenuta, Orla Smith, Karen Wannamaker and Shannon Swift

Last October, the St. Michael’s Hospital Medical-Surgical Intensive Care Unit was named a recipient of the gold Beacon Award for Excellence by the American Association of Critical Care Nurses. And on May 20, the MSICU team travelled to the AACCN’s National Teaching Institute and Critical Care Exposition in Boston to receive their award — the only Canadian unit to be certified gold.

“We’re proud to represent the MSICU, St. Michael’s Hospital and Canada at the Beacon celebration,” says Orla Smith, clinical leader manager Heart and Vascular, cardiovascular ICU, who is at the NTI conference with colleagues Joyce Fenuta, Shannon Swift and Karen Wannamaker. “We’re the sole Canadian designate among 155 units and one of only 34 to achieve the gold designation.”

View this gallery on St. Michael's Facebook page.

View this gallery on St. Michael's Facebook page.

The Beacon Award was established in 2003 to recognize individual hospital units that improve patient and family outcomes through evidence-based practices. The gold, silver and bronze award levels allow individual units to mark their progress as they strive to achieve excellence. The gold Beacon is awarded not just for excellent patient care, but also for achieving high standards in areas like accountability, professional development, research and patient and staff satisfaction.

And the team is determined to build on their success, even before they bring their gold home from the NTI conference. “Along with 9,000 other nurses, we’re participating in sessions that will provide us with new ideas and strategies to continue our excellence journey,” says Joyce Fenuta, program director, specialized complex care, “so we can provide better experiences for patients, families and staff.”

About St. Michael's Hospital

St. Michael’s Hospital provides compassionate care to all who enter its doors. The hospital also provides outstanding medical education to future health care professionals in more than 29 academic disciplines. Critical care and trauma, heart disease, neurosurgery, diabetes, cancer care, care of the homeless and global health are among the Hospital’s recognized areas of expertise. Through the Keenan Research Centre and the Li Ka Shing International Healthcare Education Centre, which make up the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, research and education at St. Michael’s Hospital are recognized and make an impact around the world. Founded in 1892, the hospital is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto.

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