Community Mental Health Nurse Receives Annual Nursing Award At OSMH

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OSMH Chief Nursing Executive Jill Colin presents the OSMH Nurses Alumnae Nightingale Award to Mandy Hillyard. Photo courtesy of OSMH

Community Support Worker Mandy Hillyard was awarded the 2019 OSMH Nurses Alumnae Nightingale Award at a special event on May 9 in celebration of National Nursing Week, according to a news release from Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital (OSMH) on May 10.

Hillyard, a community support worker in the Community Mental Health Services department at OSMH, was nominated by her peers for the award along with 18 other nurses at OSMH. The OSMH Nurses Alumnae Nightingale Award recognizes a nurse at OSMH whose work has positively affected the lives of patients, according to the release. It is named after Florence Nightingale, who is known as the founder of modern nursing. Jill Colin, chief nursing executive for OSMH, presented the award to Hillyard at the Nursing Week celebration, saying that Hillyard’s nominations spoke for themselves about her true passion for her work. Hillyard said she is very honoured to receive the award and it means a lot to her to receive two nominations.

“During her role at OSMH, Mandy has taken after-hours phone calls from clients in crisis, acted as an advocate in a variety of situations and continues to work to bridge the gap for those in need,” said one of Hillyard’s nominators in her nomination. “Mandy not only embodies the vision of OSMH (Excellent compassionate care … every day), she is trustworthy, reliable and strives to see people do their best, whatever that may look like.”

Hillyard’s second nomination highlighted her career as a registered nurse.

“Mandy has shown a commitment and passion towards homelessness and mental health throughout her 42 years as a nurse. There is so much experience in her career it’s difficult to highlight one piece,” said Hillyard’s second nominator. “Her commitment to advocate, break down barriers, and stigma for addictions, mental health, and homelessness and provide front line and grass roots work is shown through her years of service. She is a person who needs to be recognized for her years of commitment and service to a vulnerable sector of our community, she has made such an impact on our community services and the lives of the people she supports.”

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