UAlberta Nursing Alumni Magazine 2020


University of Alberta Faculty of Nursing digital copy of the annual Alumni Magazine.

An early goal must be addressing working conditions that

include fair remuneration and benefits, healthy work

environments, consideration of the childcare needs and

that of older family members, and engagement in care

decisions and planning. While several provinces have lifted

the wages of front-line workers, much remains to be done

– not only to determine longer term remuneration

patterns, but also to address the issue of whether

personal support workers/care aides should be a

regulated group. Each of these areas requires the voices of

government, operators, representatives of major

workforce groups in policy-making processes – with a

gender balance that is reflective of the gender balances in

the paid workforce in LTC.

COVID-19 did not cause today’s tragedy in nursing homes,

but it exposed deep and longstanding fault lines. In

Canada, we accepted that “warehousing” our loved ones

was good enough and without malice or ill intent, we took

advantage of often voiceless older adults with dementia

who wait for the voices of other, also vulnerable, to

advocate. And that is shameful.

Caregiving is honourable work. Society and

governments must make the caregiving provided in

nursing homes an economic priority – to make this

important work visible and decide its value to

society. This means we must take a hard and serious

look at what paying for caregiving appropriately and

supporting the particular needs of women caregivers

really means. Our communities and our nursing

homes – our senior citizens – will flourish in a

healthy society that considers caregiving worthy of

adequate training, good pay, and esteem in our


COVID-19 lays bare the nursing home crisis and its

embedded crisis for women: we jeopardize the care

of our most vulnerable – our moms and dads, our

grandparents, our siblings and spouses, and our

companions. Demographic aging in Canada may only

heighten this crisis. We can and must do better.

Interested in contributing to this crucial work to support COVID-19 research?

Please contact

If you are unsure whether or not your child needs to

go to the ED, call Health Link by dialing 811 for advice

from a registered nurse. They will ask questions,

assess symptoms and determine the best care for

your child.

Some hospital procedures have changed during the

pandemic. If you’re directed to take your child to the

ED, here are some examples of what to expect:

Expect additional screening processes.

This may include asking about your child’s symptoms,

if you or your child have travelled in the past 14 days,

and if you or your child have had close contact with a

suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19. In some EDs,

patient-waiting areas may be separated based upon

additional screening.

Hospital staff will also look different.

They will be wearing personal protective

equipment (PPE) such as gowns, masks, eye

shields, and gloves. This may be scary for your

child. You and your child may also be asked to

wear masks.

With this pandemic likely to last for a while, we

need to make sure people are getting timely care

for what they need. If your child is experiencing

symptoms that on any other day would require a

trip to the ED, take them to the ED.

Your emergency department is safe — if you need

to go, you should.

The ED may look different.

There may only be one entrance that is open. Most

hospitals only allow one parent or caregiver to come

in with a sick child.

Dr. Shannon Scott is director of the Translating Evidence in Child Health to

Enhance Outcomes (ECHO) program, Stollery Science Lab Distinguished

Researcher, Canada Research Chair, and professor at the University of

Alberta Faculty of Nursing; Dr. Lisa Hartling is director of the Alberta

Research Centre for Health Evidence, Stollery Science Lab Distinguished

Researcher, Canada Research Chair, and professor in the department of

pediatrics at University of Alberta Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry; Hannah

M. Brooks is research manager of the Translating Evidence in Child Health to

Enhance Outcomes (ECHO) program. Interested in supporting Child Health

research? Please contact

Income is about money, but at its roots are

barriers — both barriers to higher income that

black people face, and the new barriers low

income creates. For the many members of our

community who are immigrants, black people’s

skills and credentials are often ignored, and it

can take years to recognize the experience and

expertise of new Canadians. That’s years of

lost income for black immigrants, and years of

lost talent for our country.

Racism itself is also a barrier to income

equality. For example, there are Canadian

studies showing that so-called “ethnic” names

(including those common to black people)

receive less consideration on resumés than

European names.

From lower health outcomes to less time with

children, as black parents need to work longer

hours to make ends meet, the black income gap

releases the first domino in a downward spiral

of negative outcomes for black families.

The devastation of this cycle is particularly

evident in second-generation immigrant

children, who often experience worse mental

health than their immigrant parents.

Clearly, there’s work to be done. And everyone

needs to play a part in addressing the income

gap for black Canadians.

First, we need new and better policies. These

include, for a start, policies related to

assessment and recognition of credentials. We

need policies that address systemic racism in

the employment process. We also need black

people at the decision-making tables and in all

levels of organization and institutions.

On the employment side, we need employers

who are not just aware of biases, but who take

active, evidence-based measures to address

these biases in their hiring and promotions


And for the black community, we need to build our own power by fostering strategic alliances with other

groups who have traditionally been marginalized and disenfranchised. For example, we need to look to, work

with, and mutually support Indigenous communities, who have faced their own systemic barriers to health

and wellbeing.

Finally, we need to call on the power of our own black diversity, reaching out to and supporting new

immigrants, religious minorities, language minorities, and sexual and gender minorities within our own diverse


Of course, this work isn’t easy. It means asking hard questions of our systems, our governments, our

employers and even ourselves. But, if we are serious about improving outcomes for the black community, we

can’t ignore the income gap. And, this isn’t just about the black community. Addressing the black income gap

means all Canadians benefit from the strengths, skills, brilliance, and excellence of black Canadians. The black

community has so much to offer. By tackling the black income gap, our community will flourish. Our strengths

will grow and prosper. Our children will be healthier and our communities stronger.

That’s good for black people, and it’s good for all Canadians.

Dr. Bukola Salami is an associate professor in the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Alberta. Original

article printed in the Edmonton Journal. Interested in supporting Dr. Salami's research? Please contact

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Historical Nursing residence

Mrs. Armstrong at 1995 reunion

Class at 1995 reunion

Vivan Holtby in the Faculty of Nursing history room with uniforms of different time periods

“Nursing levels the playing

field and insists that everyone

has the right to expect

equitable access to care.”

Veikley currently works with Doctors Without

Borders / Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) as a

Nursing Activity Manager for HIV and Tuberculosis

in Kimbi-Lulenge, South Kivu, the Democratic

Republic of the Congo. Through her diverse work

experience — which paved the way for her to work

with MSF — she is able to provide equity in access

to care for vulnerable and marginalized


Her current role and second mission with MSF

involves supervising the HIV/TB program in three

health centres and the regional hospital. For the

last four months, she has worked in a politically

unstable region that is home to a very large,

mobile, and populous area of gold miners. East

Congo is very rich in natural resources; as a result,

miners travel from all corners of the country and

across borders looking for gold while living in

cramped temporary shelters. The risk of

tuberculosis is very real, substance use among this

population is common, and the commercial sex

work industry thrives in migrant worker

communities, dramatically increasing HIV and

sexually transmitted disease risk.

Veikley explained HIV and TB can be managed

successfully with the adept combination of testing,

treatment, and prevention —and even though they

have access to medications that are available

worldwide, they have to constantly balance their

efforts “in a context where these infections still

represent challenges in terms of education and

stigmatization.” Their work is complicated by a lack

of trust in the health care system, the value of

traditional healers within the community, and most

recently, the emergence of the Coronavirus disease


“As a nurse here, you will recognize the importance

of public health and community health workers in

disseminating even the most basic information

about health care and disease prevention,” stated


Nursing abroad can be exhilarating and rewarding,

albeit not for the faint of heart. A career with MSF

involves giving up 24/7 access to “creature

comforts,” such as a warm bed, hot water, and


Please return undelivered mail to:

Faculty of Nursing

Level 3, Edmonton Clinic Health Academy

11405 87 Avenue, University of Alberta

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T6G 1C9


You make our work possible. Thank you. To support nursing

education and research, contact | 780-492-9171

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