BMO Awards for Excellence in Health Care Celebrate $50,000 Milestone

BMO Bursary Group with BMO representatives and award recipients.

Now in its fifth year, the Bank of Montreal (BMO) Awards for Excellence in Health Care has reached an important milestone. On October 19, all six recipients of the 2018 awards, plus two from 2017, shared highlights of the impact of their education grants with local BMO representatives, bringing the Bank’s investment in health care excellence to a total of $50,000.

Micki Mulima, Director, Leadership & Talent Development for Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC) and Providence Care, welcomed the award recipients and thanked BMO executives for their commitment to “Building expertise in advanced skills so that our staff can be leaders in evidence-based care.”

Six annual awards of up to $2,000 are available to permanent full or part-time employees at KHSC or Providence Care, thanks to an endowment fund donated by BMO and held by the University Hospitals Kingston Foundation (UHKF.)

“These award recipients are all leaders in their own professions” said Mulima, “and have made a commitment to the organizations and people they serve to bring the outcomes of their learnings back to their profession and their health care teams.”

Among the recipients was Julie Van de Vrande, a Clinical Learning Specialist in Pediatrics at Kingston Health Sciences (KHSC) who used her grant to further a Masters of Nursing with an education focus. “When I moved from bedside to my role as an educator, a Masters Degree was a very important step to help to support everything I do” said Van de Vrande. One of the courses funded was a project on evaluation, “I was able to bring back a better evaluation tool to use with newly-hired nurses. It helps our senior nurses to recognize when people are struggling sooner so we can initiate support sooner and help that nurse transition to the bedside.”

Kara Asselstine, a physiotherapist in the Geriatric Inpatient Rehabilitation unit at Providence Care has used her award to further a Master of Science in Healthcare Quality at Queen’s University with a special focus on discharge planning. “I have brought back what I’ve learned to the geriatric team to try to improve our process…the more efficient we are in our discharge planning, and increasing flow through our program, improves access to our beds and patient flow through the entire healthcare system.”

Susan Markus, BMO’s Regional Vice President, Kingston/Rideau, Ottawa Valley Market said she felt “Very, very encouraged for the future of health care” after listening to all of the award recipients. “The commonality I heard in the room today was that each of you sought to improve something you know can be better, and invested your time and your energy. Congratulations to all of you.”

The availability of annual awards is dependent upon investment earnings from BMO’s endowment fund. For complete eligibility requirements, selection criteria or application deadlines please contact


Grant Recipients (in alphabetical order)

Kara Asselstine

Physiotherapist, Providence Care

Master of Science, Healthcare Quality, Queen’s University


Erin Brown

Former Interim Manager (QI Coordinator), Regional Cancer Program, KHSC (Currently with Lennox & Addington Community Hospital)

Masters of Arts, Leadership, University of Guelph


Heather Jenkins

Patient Flow Project Specialist, KHSC, KGH Site

Masters of Science in Healthcare Quality, Queen’s University

Goal: Bringing professionals together to drive the changes that make a difference for patients


Caitlin Jones

Pharmacist, KHSC, KGH Site

Masters of Science in Healthcare Quality, Queen’s University


Christine Sipiwe Khiyaza

Smoking Cessation Coordinator, Regional Cancer Program, KHSC, KGH Site

Master of Science in Nursing Studies, Sheffield Hallam University, England UK


David Liu

Pharmacist, KHSC, KGH Site

Master of Public Health, Queen’s University


Kyle Vader

Physiotherapist, Chronic Pain Clinic, KHSC, HDH Site

Presented at the 17th World Congress on Pain, September, 2018


Julie Van de Vrande

Clinical Learning Specialist, Pediatrics, KHSC, KGH Site

Masters Nursing Degree with Education Focus, Athabasca University

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