Home > News Room > News Releases > 2010 > Canadian Nurses Association Installs 44th President: Judith Shamian of Ottawa – News Release

Canadian Nurses Association Installs 44th President: Judith Shamian of Ottawa – News Release

Ottawa, June 9, 2010 – Judith Shamian, RN, PhD, will be installed as 44th president of the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) today at the closing ceremonies of its highly successful biennial convention in Halifax. As president, she will represent more than 139,000 registered nurse members across Canada.

Shamian is currently president and chief executive officer of VON Canada (the Victorian Order of Nurses), where she has been a steady champion of the home and community care agenda in Canada. Her expertise in this area will serve her in good stead as CNA advocates for changes to the health system that will ensure its long-term sustainability. A staunch defender of medicare, Shamian believes that nurses hold the key to a fundamental shift in how governments at all levels assure the health of Canadians.

“Greater investments in keeping people healthy will yield important long-term dividends in the form of lower costs for treating the sick. A greater focus on community and public health, the promotion of healthy lifestyles, better access to primary health care and on comprehensive management of chronic illness would make for smarter use of our tax dollar,” says Shamian. “What’s more, health depends on many factors such as income, housing, safe food and education. Smart health policy looks at all of these factors together to create winning conditions.”

Born in Hungary, Shamian holds a doctorate from Cleveland’s Case Western Reserve University, as well as two honorary doctoral degrees. She was the recipient of the Canadian Nurses Foundation’s Ross Award for Nursing Leadership (1995); the 2002 Golden Jubilee Medal, presented by the Governor General; an award of merit from CNA and the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions in 2004; and the CNA Centennial Award. Most recently, Shamian was designated one of Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 by the Women’s Executive Network. Before joining VON Canada, Shamian was president of the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario and was the executive director of Health Canada’s Office of Nursing Policy. She spent a decade as the vice-president of nursing at Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital and has held a number of academic positions. This considerable breadth of experience in policy matters, clinical operations and the classroom has already proven a valuable asset at the CNA board table.

“In working sessions this morning, nurses from across the country expressed concerns about changes being made to nursing care delivery models and to the mix of care providers on the health-care team,” said Shamian. “The evidence shows that patient safety and quality of care – not just the financial bottom line – must be the guiding principles when such changes are being considered. Nurses clearly want this to be a top priority for CNA. As their new president, I am committed to making this happen.”

At CNA’s annual meeting, Barbara Mildon was voted in as CNA’s president-elect. A doctoral candidate in nursing at the University of Toronto, Mildon is the former chief nurse executive and vice-president, professional practice and integration at Fraser Health (BC) and past president of the Community Health Nurses of Canada. Mildon will begin her presidency in June 2012.

About CNA CNA is the national professional voice of registered nurses in Canada. It is a federation of 11 provincial and territorial nursing associations and colleges representing over 139,000 registered nurses. CNA believes that the sustainability of a quality, publicly funded, not-for-profit health system rests upon a vibrant nursing workforce.

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For more information, contact:

Paul Watson,
Communications Coordinator
Canadian Nurses Association
mobile: 613-697-7507 
E-mail: pwatson@cna-aiic.ca

Lisa Brazeau,
Director of Corporate Communications
Canadian Nurses Association
mobile: 613-864-1371 
E-mail: lbrazeau@cna-aiic.ca