Award Recipient

Dr. Marie Loyer


 osl.vis2_vis2-osl-378_0031.Loyer.m37Marie A. Loyer was born in Ottawa in the depth of the Great Depression of 1933. She completed a diploma in nursing at the University of Ottawa in 1955 and was awarded a baccalaureate degree in nursing sciences with a speciality in community/public health nursing in 1960. She practiced her nursing skills in local hospitals, and at the Brockville Psychiatric Hospital. While working in an emergency department and hospital clinics she came face to face with the pain and suffering that happens on the streets of her city and how less fortunate persons needed help to navigate successfully our health care system. This was a turning point which led her to community nursing practice in several surrounding rural communities as a public health nurse. There she could devote herself to the delivery of personal health services to individuals, families and groups, and to promote, preserve and maintain their health in their homes and communities.

Searching for advanced knowledge to improve her practice led her to graduate studies at Columbia University in New York City and at the University of Ottawa where she obtained her PhD in Education. She further pursued post doctoral studies focussing on the assessment of psychiatric disorders at the University of St Louis, Missouri and a Senior University Administrator diploma at the University of Western Ontario.

Most of her active career has been dedicated to nursing education, leadership and administration. After twenty nine years of service at the University of Ottawa, as professor, Dean/Director of the School of Nursing, Associate Dean at the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Health Sciences and as a member of numerous committees and organizations she retired in 1994. Prior to retirement she was Chairperson of the University Committee on the Status of Women and of the Faculty of Health Sciences Human Research Ethics committee as well as a member of the Executive Committee of the Board of the University and a member of its Board of Governors.

Marie Loyer never lost sight of her goal! She said “I have received much, from the values transmitted by my parents, from the determination they instilled in me, from the gifts acquired through my education at the University of Ottawa and other institutions of higher learning. It is time to give back to society, to my peers, to other nurse educators, researchers and practitioners. From this perspective I have honed my personal motto for my Coat of Arms: “Sowing seeds to help others. Ensemencer pour aider les autres”. In 2006 the University of Ottawa announced the Loyer-DaSilva Research Chair in Community and Public Health Nursing, the first personally endowed research chair in this field in Canada. The Chair aims to provide an infrastructure that promotes the development and support of a research program designed to expand the body of nursing care knowledge in the field of community and public health nursing care and to disseminate it by implementing responsible practices within groups and communities that are underprivileged or marginalized

Increasingly aware of the relationship between poverty and the social determinants of health and their impact on individuals, families and the society’s well being, she devoted many years of service to the Canadian Public Health Association, becoming its President in 1980-1982. The R.D. Defries Award is the Association’s most prestigious award. It’s presented annually for outstanding contributions to the broad field of public health to a member who has devoted a lifetime interest and action in public health in Canada. In 2010 she was the recipient of this important award.

In 1975 she joined the Board of Trustees of the Royal Ottawa Hospital, and served on many committees. She was Chairperson for the Board of Trustees from 1982 to 1985.  Called back into action in 1994, she organized the first Consumer Advisory Council at the ROH. This group of clients selected from each of the hospital’s programs brought consumer advocacy and input into delivery of care within the hospital structure.

Marie Loyer participated actively as a member, consultant, advisor, and educator within a group of nurse clinicians and clinical nurse specialist at the Royal Ottawa Hospital whose aim was to increase the level of competency of nurses in psychiatric nursing practice with an objective to foster support for Certification in Psychiatric Nursing through the Canadian Nurses’ Association.

Research has always played an important role in her career. She believes it is important that research be client oriented and include consumers and consumer viewpoint so that the outcomes can more effectively and more quickly find their applicability in improving delivery of care.  Wishing that these traditions be supported on a continuing basis she set up the Dr. Marie A. Loyer Fund at the Royal Ottawa Foundation for Mental Health, to benefit future nurses who aspire to seek higher levels of education, initiate worthwhile nursing research studies and apply the findings to improve nursing practice and nursing care.

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