CARE Centre Joan Lesmond IEN of the Year Awards Recognize Outstanding Internationally Educated Nurses


CARE Centre Joan Lesmond IEN of the Year Awards
Recognize Outstanding Internationally Educated Nurses


For Immediate Release

Toronto, May 11, 2016

CARE Centre for Internationally Educated Nurses (IENs) is Ontario’s first government-funded bridge training program this year celebrating 15 years of service. CARE Centre is funded by the Ontario Government and the Government of Canada as a non-profit professional organization and registered charity. Each year the organization recognizes two outstanding member nurses, one registered nurse (RN) and one registered practical nurse (RPN), with an award named in honour of the late Dr. Joan Lesmond, a champion of inclusive nursing. This National Nursing Week (May 9th -16th) CARE Centre is announcing the Call for Nominations for the 2016 Joan Lesmond IEN of the Year Awards. The award acknowledges the significant contributions IENs make to Ontario healthcare, and shines a spotlight on employers who provide a welcoming workplace to IENs.

“For five years this award has meant so much to the winning IENs, to their families and to their workplace colleagues,” said CARE Centre Executive Director Sue VanDeVelde-Coke. “Two years ago we expanded the awards to include one RN and one RPN, which also allows us to recognize their supportive supervisors and employers. Our member IENs are global professionals with international education and experience: they are the nurses that multicultural Ontario needs.”

From Tanzania, Loy Asheri, an RN in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto won the inaugural award in 2011. The 2012 award-winner was Ismail El-Assaad, a Palestinian RN who works in the ICU at London Health Sciences Centre University Hospital. RN Edsel Mutia from the Philippines, who works in Critical Care at North York General Hospital, won in 2013. In 2014 the recipients were Adela Belisario, an RPN from Peru working in Complex Continuing Care at Baycrest, and Ahmad Baki, an RN from Iran who works as an Oncology nurse at University Health Network. The 2015 winners were Alexis Lamsen, an RPN from the Philippines working at Shalom Village Long-Term Care Home in Hamilton, and Rupali Krishna, an RN from India employed with Dover Cliffs Long-Term Care Home in Port Dover.

To be eligible for the award, the IEN has to be currently registered as a nurse in Ontario (RN or RPN); be practicing as a nurse for at least one year, and be a member of CARE Centre for IENs. Nominations can be submitted by the IEN or supporters from any of the following groups: Case Manager; Nurse Manager and/or Administrator; Team Leader; Peers (nurses, health care discipline team members, and physicians); Patients and/or their Families. The main criteria for consideration are: the IEN being nominated consistently demonstrates professionalism and an excellent quality of presence and caring that assists people in the holistic healing process, a fundamental value of nursing practice; the IEN consistently displays exemplary professional knowledge and practice; and the IEN consistently promotes an atmosphere of team work.

The deadline for submissions is Friday, September 16th. Nomination kits, a downloadable poster and video backgrounders are available at

CARE Centre for Internationally Educated Nurses has supported over 1,700 nurses from more than 140 countries to become registered in the province since 2001. CARE Centre is a not-for-profit professional organization funded by the Ontario Government and the Government of Canada. CARE Centre provides IENs with the one-on-one case management, language and communication skills, exam preparation, professional development, mentoring and networking to be successful in the nursing profession. CARE Centre recognizes the value of nurses with diverse education and experience and is committed to advocating for their full contribution to Ontario’s health care system. CARE Centre for IENs is a registered charity (Charitable Number 84420 5948 RR0001). To learn more about CARE Centre and its work, please visit

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For more information please contact:

Tina Novotny, BA, BJ, MA
Communications Specialist
CARE Centre for Internationally Educated Nurses
620 Wilson Avenue, Suite 200
Toronto, Ontario M3K 1Z3
416-226-2800 ext. 240

Funded by: