Thank you note -- the AAN Courage Award

I am extremely humbled and honoured to share that I was the recipient this week of The American Academy of Nursing (AAN) COVID-19 Courage Award on Policy. These awards “honor the incredible contributions nurses, have made to save lives, advance health equity, and protect communities during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.”

Colleagues, I dedicate this award to you all. It represents an important recognition for the expertise, deep commitment, strenuous effort, compassionate drive, and courage being demonstrated by our RNAO team: staff, board, Assembly of Leaders and over 45,000 RNAO members, as well as BPSOs at home and abroad. I am privileged to work with you every day, as we pursue structural changes, policies, and funding to tackle the enormous health and social impacts brought about by this insidious virus, especially for vulnerable and marginalized populations. I also want to thank our partners outside of the RNAO family – nurses and non-nurses -- some of whom I met during this pandemic: You have been central to our advocacy and we will continue to lean on you.

Colleagues and friends, I thank you deeply for your beautiful text messages and emails congratulating me. A special thanks to our Minister of Health Christine Elliott for her meaningful tweet. I ask you all to take this award as a sign of encouragement to continue the fight with evidence, compassion, courage, and determination. There will be an end to COVID-19, and when it happens, we will party ourselves away for having fought this virus together. We will also shed many tears of sorrow for the lives lost, and honour those who are not with us by continuing to work for a health system that delivers better for ALL.