SickKids Cardiac Nurse Award for Excellence in Family Centred Nursing Care

Thanks to the help of SickKids Heart Centre nursing staff, we are very happy to announce the first award at SickKids in tribute to Sasha, The Sasha Bella Award for Excellence in Family Centred Care to be given to a Heart Centre nurse yearly.

We are very happy to help in any small way to inspire excellence in family-centred care practices especially in cases of multi-organ challenge, palliative care or multi-service care and we are gratified to see the creation of a multi-disciplinary and inter-professional committee for the award.

There are a number of criteria that can be used separately or in combination including the nurse's clinical excellence in support of family-centred care which is described as:

"nursing practice that demonstrates above average knowledge, skill and judgment in alleviating the impact of illness on the child and family or supporting the child and family during end-of life care. This includes facilitating family involvement in decision-making and direct care, assessments of family needs or stressors, identification of appropriate resources, culturally sensitive care, sensitivity to family communication, devising strategies to enhance family coping, and when needed, early integration of Palliative Care."

Many thanks to Cecilia St. George-Hyslop, Judith Wilson, Linda Fazari, Denise Ferreira, Karen Kinnear and Bonny Fleming-Carroll for helping push this through quickly for nursing week. Thanks to Dr Jennifer Russell for her support of this nurse award.


  1. Anonymous12:48 AM

    what a wondeful tribute to this little doll! the nurses are the pulse of family care and it is so fitting that they are honoured.

    what a lovely picture of sasha you have chosen....we all miss her deeply but this is a little way to keep her dear and special life in memorium.

    grief for a baby is so hard....but you both are so courageous to give back and make her passing into something that makes a difference for all the other parents.

    god bless you, all three. your little sasha was and is a gift.....
    special little angel sent from heaven to give you unending love.

  2. The only solace to losing Sasha is that we knew her beauty for a time and that she breathed such love and connected so many compassionate people.

    We hope the multidisciplinary interprofessional committee for the award and research grant (to be setup soon) will radiate family-centered care initiatives from the bedside out to every level of the hospital and back down. We miss Sasha and we miss her care givers and we are so happy at the keen interest shown by everyone we have spoken to at SickKids about family-centered care intitiatives.

    SickKids is a large institution that is continually evolving and we hope these tributes add incrementally to all the good work, honour Sasha and allow us to retain a small connection to the amazing nurses, doctors and allied professionals we met.

    These tributes are also essential to our grieving and living with Sasha's death in a healthy way and we will similarly work with the Palliative service to integrate and expand the discussion about all options open to patients and families.

    These Heart Centre tributes recognize the exemplary professionalism of the cardiac service, now the Labbat Family Heart Centre. We hope that the amazing recent donation by the Labatt family will also go to research, training and appropriate support of families, support for all the soft services that accompany the technologies and machinery.