Award Recipient

Roberta Heale

AstraZeneca Nursing Award

I am privileged to have had a wonderful career in nursing that has now extended longer than 25 years. In that time I’ve worked as an RN in hospital, then as a NP in community settings. In 2006 I became a university faculty member with teaching and research and I’ve maintained a part time NP practice.

In 2005 there were an estimated 30,000 unattached patients in the Sudbury area.  In response, my colleague and I started a lobby for more NP positions. The effort gained momentum and supporters throughout the summer of 2006. In the end we were given the opportunity to develop Canada’s first NP-Led Clinic (NPLC) which opened in 2007. Thousands of unattached people have since registered with the clinic. This success led to the development of 25 additional NPLCs across the province.

Through the development of the NPLC model I’ve learned that nursing has a vital role to play in health care reform that is effective, patient-centered and fiscally responsible. NPLCs have been very welcome in many communities, but formal evaluation of the NPLC model is missing. I have a tremendous interest in knowing how well the model works. I undertook a PhD with the intention of evaluating a part of the NPLC model. My objective is to develop recommendations for enhancement or improvement of the NPLC model and to demonstrate the value of the NPLC in delivery of primary healthcare to underserved communities with the hope of future expansion.

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