The 2015 Award of Excellence was presented to Brenda Hearson, advocate, motivator, and champion in the field of hospice palliative care.
Ms. Hearson’s career in palliative care started in 1998 when she joined Palliative Manitoba (formerly Hospice Palliative Care Manitoba) as a Program Coordinator. Since then Brenda has worked in palliative care in many different capacities. Brenda has served a as a clinician, coordinator, educator, and volunteer and in all capacities has raised the bar on palliative and end of life care by being a leader for positive change. Brenda is known to be a tireless advocate for the needs of patients and families, to inspire colleagues to strive for excellence, to be an exemplary team player and to be able to engage and collaborate with others in establishing partnerships to achieve common goals. Brenda is described to bring clinical excellence, compassion and caring to every interaction she has with patients and their families. From 2007 until her retirement in 2016, Brenda served as a Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) for the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority Palliative Care Program and Canadian Virtual Hospice.
Hearson’s list of accomplishments is lengthy, some of which include:
- In 2003 she was instrumental in developing the Compassionate Care Course for Health Care Aides which continues to be delivered by Palliative Manitoba in Winnipeg.
- She has been instrumental in planning the Manitoba provincial palliative care conference for 15 years, serving as a Program Committee member each year and co-chair for two terms.
- Helped to establish and support End of life Care Committees at Concordia General Hospital and Seven Oaks General Hospital in Winnipeg.
- Active member of the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Nurses Group executive, 2009 – 2015, and credited with raising the profile and improving communication across Canada.
- Major contributions to public, interprofessional and interdisciplinary education, including volunteer education across care settings at the national, provincial and regional levels.
- Continues to be committed to education and is a prolific and skilled presenter at conferences, classes and educational events.
Brenda has been described by her colleagues as a “tireless advocate for Palliative Care whose quiet and humble contributions to countless initiatives to improve palliative care have been critical in the evolution of the landscape of palliative care in Manitoba.”