Barbara Muskat appointed Clinical Director of Social Work at SickKids

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Barbara Muskat, PhD to the position of Clinical Director, Social Work reporting directly to me.

Barb is an accomplished leader and academic, having held numerous roles in child and family health including Director of Community Consultation at Integra, Toronto; Social Worker, Metropolitan Toronto Social Services; and most recently at SickKids as an Academic and Clinical Specialist with a focus on research.

Barb is an Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto and is the recipient of a 2011 grant to support her research on the “Experiences of Parents of Paediatric Patients with ALL, Two Months After Completion of Treatment”. Additionally she received a 2010 New Investigators Grant from the National Grants Program from SickKids Foundation.

Barb has published extensively and brings a wealth of clinical social work skills to her broad research expertise.

Wishing her much success as she takes on the operational and academic responsibilities for the social work program at SickKids.

Please join me in welcoming Barb to her new role.

Karen Karen Kinnear, RN BScN MBA
Executive Director, Clinical Labatt Family Heart Centre and Critical Care Services
The Hospital for Sick Children
In addition to all the achievements mentioned above, Barb is also the current staff co-chair of the Family Centered Care Advisory Council and so her appointment doubles up the support and the opportunity for SickKids patient and family-centered care research and practice.

Margaret Keatings, Chief of Interprofessional Practice and Chief Nurse Executive, announces retirement

Margaret Keatings, our Chief of Interprofessional Practice and Chief Nurse Executive, has announced her retirement. Margaret has dedicated her entire career to the nursing profession, including nursing practice, research and education. She joined the Executive Team at SickKids in 2004 after having served in senior leadership and clinical roles at both University Health Network and Hamilton Health Sciences. Margaret has had an impressive impact on SickKids; there has been a steady increase in nursing engagement scores across the organization, RN Council was expanded and Advanced Practice Nursing roles have grown.

In addition to her deep commitment to the nursing profession, Margaret has been a passionate champion for inter-professional practice and education at SickKids where she has both developed and executed an integrated strategy. She is presently working on a strategy to advance the academic mandate of health disciplines.

Family-centred care has also been an important priority for Margaret. She has played a key leadership role in advancing family-centred care at SickKids, where she has enhanced the family advisory committee model and increased the number of families and patients represented on hospital committees and re-designed the patient representative program.

Margaret has led a number of innovative initiatives, including a pilot of nurse practitioner-led clinics for paediatrics and a project with Citizenship and Immigration Canada which has resulted extensive cultural competence training and translation of educational materials for patients and families. This work is now being shared with the broader healthcare community to advance cultural competence across the province.

Academically, Margaret is a recognized leader in nursing and ethics having co-authored the third edition of Ethical and Legal Issues in Nursing during her tenure at SickKids. She is appointed at both the University of Toronto and McMaster University. During her time at SickKids she chaired the CAHO CNE sub-committee during which time they were instrumental in successfully advocating for the New Graduate Guarantee. Margaret also championed the development of RNAO Healthy Work Environment Best Practice Guidelines.

In her retirement, Margaret plans on travelling, renovating her homes and continuing to contribute to advancing nursing and health care both here and abroad.

Formal recognition of Margaret’s many contributions to SickKids will be held in the coming months. I invite you to please join me in congratulating and thanking Margaret as she enters the next chapter of her life.

Kind regards,
Mary Jo

Mary Jo Haddad, CM, MHSc, LLD, BScN
President and CEO The Hospital for Sick Children

National Meeting on Grief and Loss funded by Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)

The second Grief and Loss Meeting will be held at the The York University Psychology Clinic on Friday February 10th, 2012.

With funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research this meeting  continues a cross-national and interdisciplinary conversation on grief and loss including theory, research and practice at York University in Toronto, The Graduate Center and City University of New York.

The intention is to bring together a diverse group of people across professions who normally do not talk to each other to share resources, hear and converse on community and cultural responses to grief and loss and continue a budding cross-national exchange program launched in 2011.

Preliminary Agenda:

Screening of GriefWalker and discussion with Stephen Jenkinson. Griefwalker is a National Film Board of Canada documentary featuring Stephen Jenkinson’s work with dying people. Griefwalker shows Jenkinson in teaching sessions with doctors and nurses, in counselling sessions with dying people and their families. Questions to be explored include: Where does our culture’s death phobia come from? Is there such a thing as good dying? How is it that grief could be a skill instead of an affliction? How can seeing your life’s end be the beginning of your deep love of being alive? See

Panel on cultural and community responses to grief and loss will include talks by:

Kate Kenny from South Riverdale Community Health Centre speaking about the Grief and Loss Education and Action Project focusing on women’s experiences of grief and loss following custody loss.

Lynn Lavallee from Ryerson University speaking on the Normalization of Death and Dying: A Story of the Generational Impacts of a Métis Family.

Mary Ellen Macdonald from McGill University speaking on Grief Online: How virtual memorialization may be changing concepts of childhood death and parental bereavement.

Registration costs $30. Spaces are limited and people will be enrolled on a first come first serve basis. You must register in advance in order to attend the meeting. RSVP to griefandlossproject AT