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North Bay nurse’s care for vulnerable people earns her prestigious nursing award

A nurse is being presented with a prestigious nursing award for her work at the North Bay Indigenous Hub.

Health promotion nurse Sarah Goodreau said she views nursing as a service to people feeling unwell. She works with Indigenous clients at the hub on their health and well-being.

“It's still a bit surreal to me,” Goodreau said. “Nurses are the backbone to health care."

Goodreau has been a nurse for four years at the hub and 12 years overall. She is receiving the ‘2023 Nursing Now Ontario Award’ in the registered practical nurse category.

The award will be presented to her May 12 as part of the 4th annual Nursing Now Ontario Awards to coincide with International Nurses' Day.

It will be presented to her by the Registered Practical Nurses Association of Ontario.

“She’s working so hard to bring care to a very vulnerable group of people,” the organization’s CEO Dianne Martin said on why Goodreau was chosen.

“When we look at Sarah, we see what we know practical nurses in this province are meant to be.”

Health promotion nurse Sarah Goodreau said she views nursing as a service to people feeling unwell. She works with Indigenous clients at the hub on their health and well-being. (Eric Taschner/CTV News)

Goodreau and a team of health-care professionals visit the Temagami First Nation once a month to help run their day clinic. The award is recognizing her compassionate care, clinical skills and professional high standards.

“She's an amazing nurse that has brought a lot of support to our patients in a variety of ways,” said the hub’s executive director Laureen Linklater-Pizzale.

“Taking that special time with each patient. Sometimes their day is a lot brighter when they see her."


Goodreau’s close friend and co-worker Carly Collins nominated her for juggling the many nursing tasks she’s responsible for at the hub, her work ethic and for her leadership.

“When patients come in with mental health issues, Sarah will make sure she really gives them the time that they need and figure out what's going on and what they need help with,” praised Collins.

“As prescriber and provider, it's really helpful to have that information."

Collins also said Goodreau plays a major role in making decisions for the organization regarding things like program planning, training and hiring.

As part of her job, she often collaborates with health-care partners and community members, such as the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit, to advocate for improved services available to patients.

Goodreau helps clients rediscover their lost culture by referring them to other departments, including the traditional healing team, so they can connect with elders. This allows the client to become involved in cultural activities and events. They can also access traditional medicine.

“A lot of Indigenous people have lost their culture due to colonialism and residential schools,” she said.

Goodreau is spearheading a new smoking cessation program at the Indigenous hub, hoping to put people on the path to quitting the unhealthy habit.

“There’s all the health disparities that come with smoking: lung cancer, COPD, heart disease, and hypertension,” Goodreau said.

“We see a lot do that."

While she’s humbled and grateful for the recognition, it’s the care she provides to her patients that keeps her motivated to do more.

“I really do feel blessed,” she said. Top Stories


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