“Rhonda is the kind of leader we all wish we could be, a team player through and through, always thinking of others. We see so much of Leslie’s ethics in Rhonda.”
That is how Rhonda Scarfone’s colleagues at the North Bay Regional Health Centre, describe her. She is the first recipient of the annual Leslie Burt-Manary RN Leadership Award, which recognizes the dedicated nurse who died of cancer in 2017.
To celebrate Leslie’s life her mother established an endowment fund, a lasting legacy to celebrate nursing leadership, which provides an annual grant for professional development.
In nominating RN Educator Rhonda Scarfone, her colleague pointed out while the nursing care Scarfone provides is now indirect, it is fueled by her years of nursing in the birthing unit where the patients and family always came first with her. When asked in the nomination to provide an example of exemplary performance, she responded: “Rhonda is a key player in the implementation of the First Responder Tool Kit, a mock code blue (cardiac arrest) response program for Mental Health (soon to be hospital-wide). Her leadership also shone through in the implementation of the revised Care After Death policy which gives staff the quick tools they need to provide the best care to patients and families.”
Rhonda asks opinions and involves all stakeholders. She has perseverance. She utilizes many learned tools to assist with keeping items on track and keeping all involved up to date. Rhonda advocates for patients and families by showing empathy and asking the questions: How would I feel? How would I make this happen? What if?
Rhonda’s colleagues believe she has so much talent that she is always being asked to take on a new role, as others see the value of her skills. She always lands back as an educator, which speaks volumes to her amazing leadership qualities where she is always mentoring, always looking for ways to improve and find solutions in our ever-changing healthcare world.
“We congratulate Rhonda! She is an excellent team player who through her work supports nurses to be problem solvers and critical thinkers, challenging them to attain their full potential, as Leslie always did. I also acknowledge the following deserving nominees: Stephanie Barnhardt, Paula Doncaster, Rhonda Millar, Heather Murray, and Mario Plante,” said Tiz Silveri, Chief Nursing Executive, NBRHC.
The endowment fund was seeded with a $2,500 cash contribution from Pauline Burt last year. Additional donations to the Leslie Burt-Manary Endowment Fund will help it reach the threshold of $25,000 so that the annual grant of $250 can be sustained and funded through interest.