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FNHA Nurses Awarded for Centenary Medal of Distinction

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On May 2, 2019 the University of British Columbia (UBC) awarded three FNHA nurses a Centenary Med​al of Distinction. The medal serves to recognize individuals who have brought high honour to the school and/or to the profession of nursing, and/or who have made long-standing/significant contributions to advance its vision, mission, and mandate.

"This award celebrates the great work our FNHA nurses have been doing for First Nations in BC,"​ shares FNHA CEO Joe Gallagher. "I'm proud of the all contributions they are making to strengthen the relationships in First Nations communities. Congratulations to Becky, Debbie and Lucy."

As nurses based in the community, they often work so closely with families – providing primary care, public health, health promotion and emergency care for First Nations individuals, families and communities. The FNHA currently has eight nursing stations staffed in locations ranging from coastal to northern communities.

Learn more about the Centenary Medal recipients below.

Centenary Medal – Dr. Becky Palmer

Dr. Becky Palmer serves as the inaugural Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) with the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA), providing transformational leadership and innovation for health services, education, knowledge exchange and practice to advance the health and wellness of BC First Nations individuals, families and communities.

Prior to her role at FNHA, Dr. Palmer served as an Executive nurse leader at BC Children's Hospital and BC Women's Hospital and Health Centre. She currently serves as a Board member with Canadian Nurses Foundation (CNF) and the Nurses and Nurse Practitioners of British Columbia (NNPBC). Through almost 30 years of experience in nursing practice, education, research and senior leadership positions, she embodies a strong commitment to relationship, quality, excellence, justice and equity.

Deeply respected in her field and dynamic in her approach to leadership, she is known for developing and leading innovative health initiatives, creating holistic learning environments and fostering strong relationships with partner organizations.  In her work at FNHA, she is guided by the vision of embedding cultural safety and humility into health service delivery and working to transform the way health care is delivered in the Province and on a global scale.

Dr. Palmer is a proud alumni of UBC (BSN, 1994; PhD, 2005). She is also an alumni of the University of Alberta (MN, CNM, 1997) and Langara College (Nursing Diploma, 1991).

Married with three children, Dr. Palmer enjoys spending time with her family, including many pets. To embrace wellness, she loves to cook, bake, read and spend time outdoors in nature.

Centenary Medal – Debbie McDougall

Debbie McDougall is currently the Director of Collaborative Practice at the First Nations Health Authority and feels truly honored to have this opportunity to serve BC First Nations clients.

Debbie graduated from UBC with her BSN in 1981 and her MSN with a focus in Education Leadership in 2008.  Debbie considers herself a lifelong learner, valuing the richness in learning and mentorship from others and pursuing professional development opportunities to strengthen her contributions in roles that she has held throughout her career including point of care, management, education, education leadership and professional practice. Debbie's career began in maternal/child and women's health at the Salvation Army Grace Hospital. Through 37 years at BC Women's and BC Children's, Debbie held different clinical, education and leadership roles.  She has also consulted with many provincial and national organizations to advance interprofessional collaborative practice, education and research, leadership, preceptorship, coaching and student practice education. Her role at FNHA since 2017 has been to develop and lead a team to support nurses and clinicians in rural and remote First Nations communities providing practice consultation, clinical education, advanced practice nursing, new knowledge and leadership in quality and safety.

Debbie's approach has always been to work in partnership to promote a high standard of excellence in learning and practice with an aim for an exceptional client experience.  She holds a passion for creating safe, quality environments for learning and growth through authentic and transformative leadership, mentorship and coaching.  With a strong commitment to culturally safe, patient centred and community driven practice, she believes that knowledgeable and supported interprofessional teams holding this same fundamental foundation are key to promoting health and wellness for clients, their families and communities.

Debbie's daughter, her two sons and their wives, and her large extended family and circle of friends are the reason for her healthy life balance.

Centenary Medal – Lucy Barney, Titqet Nation

Lucy is at the forefront of developing innovative and successful programming for and with Indigenous people. She works on strategies to assist existing programs and to develop new programs for Indigenous health that will enable Indigenous people to access culturally appropriate services. Lucy's own life experience as a First Nation woman, mother, and traditional dancer brings enormous commitment, dedication, and creativity to her work. Her voice as a leader is crucial. She is a model of strong, innovative leadership in the Indigenous community. She was awarded an Award of Distinction from the UBC School of Nursing, one of the 150 nurses to know in British Columbia, an ACCOLAIDS Award for Innovative Programming and a Langara College Outstanding Alumni Award for Community Service. Lucy completed her Master of Science in Nursing at the University of British Columbia in 2005. She was program manager of Chee Mamuk, an Aboriginal HIV/AIDS education program at the BC Centre for Disease Control, Aboriginal Lead with Perinatal Services BC as well the Perinatal Specialist in the Wellness Department, currently as Cultural Advisor Patient Experience at FNHA.

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