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Cancer Care Ontario salutes Wellington County nurse

WELLINGTON CTY. - Kate Wick, a registered nurse practitioner whose compassion, dedication, and sensitivity are making life easier for palliative patients in rural Ontario.

She is one of six recipients of this year’s Cancer Care Ontario Human Touch Awards.

The awards recognize people who have made a difference in patient lives through exceptional and compassionate care.

They are open to all part-time or full-time health care providers, professionals, and volunteers in Ontario who provide direct patient care at either a regional cancer centre or as part of a provincial cancer study.

Cancer Care Ontario is the provincial agency responsible for continually improving cancer services and is the Ontario government’s cancer advisor.

“Kate is a tireless care giver and true patient advocate,” said Dr. Chris Lund, a Fergus physician who works closely with Wick on a palliative care team and was one of the colleagues who nominated her.

“Over the past ten years, I’m certain she has looked after every palliative patient in the village and surrounding farming area. She has become the “go-to” person regardless of the time of day or whether she is on-call.”

Wick works for Bayshore Home Health as a primary visiting nurse in the large rural area of northern Wellington County. She was selected as Nurse of the Year in 2010 for the Fergus, branch by her colleagues.

Wick is known for constantly improving her knowledge and skills in cancer and palliative care by attending workshops and conferences.

Her leadership skills, empathy for her patients, and unique sense of humour enable her to deal with the many obstacles encountered in rural nursing.

In addition to colleagues, patients also praise her for the positive difference she makes in their lives. During a recent visit to a client, family members remarked they would not have been able to deal with their mom’s cancer diagnosis and care if it had not been for Wick’s support. “We love her kindness. She is always so happy and bubbly, has a heart of gold. She’s our Katie girl – we love her.”

According to Dr. Lund, rural palliative care is a very challenging work environment since urban services are not always available in the country.

Wick travels extensive distances and rarely misses visiting a client due to stormy weather. Her days are long but full of compassion and caring.

The words of two of her colleagues sum up her nursing philosophy: “Nursing matters to Kate. People matter to Kate. Nursing people matters to Kate most of all.”



June 03, 2011,June 03, 2011


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