McMaster University

McMaster University

Governor General gives shout out to McMaster School of Nursing

By Amanda Boundris
Published: April 25, 2012
Governor General David Johnston with McQuesten local planning team
Governor General David Johnston, first row centre, with the McQuesten local planning team on April 18. The School of Nursing has been working closely with the McQuesten neighbourhood, and Johnston said he has great admiration for the School.

The McMaster School of Nursing (SON) has received high praise from the Governor General of Canada.

While speaking with members of the McQuesten local planning team (LPT) during a recent visit to Hamilton, David Johnston said he has great admiration for the SON and praised the School for its work in empowering people in developing countries. Johnston met with the group of residents, service providers and SON representatives at the East Kiwanis Community Centre on April 18 and learned about the many activities happening in the neighbourhood.

When Johnston asked about some of the neighbourhood challenges, McQuesten resident and LPT chair Pat Reid spoke to the group about the need for people to connect with each other. Reid, along with assistant professor of nursing Dyanne Semogas, discussed the Zine newsletter that nursing students and faculty are helping residents with. Johnston then mentioned how impressed he was by the work the nursing school does in the community.

"I was thrilled that the commitment of the School of Nursing to the Hamilton community and beyond was recognized by someone who has dedicated his life to the public good,' said Semogas. "It shows that our mission as a school of nursing to inspire students through serving the community is fundamental to what we do and has an impact in making a difference to the lives of others."

Semogas attended the meeting with third-year nursing student Claire Wolfe. McQuesten is one of three neighbourhoods that nursing students and faculty have been working closely with as part of the School's Health in the Hubs initiative, in which priority health issues are being addressed.

In McQuesten, residents are concentrating on job creation through food security by developing a community kitchen and community garden. Nursing students were involved with hosting a recent community dinner, and are currently developing partnerships with local businesses to increase access to nutritious, affordable foods in the neighbourhood.

"I was absolutely delighted that Mr. Johnston was aware of the past and current efforts of the McMaster School of Nursing within developing communities. I was fascinated by his sincere intent to empower the members of McQuesten," said Wolfe.

"It is wonderful for the School to be so highly regarded by someone in such an esteemed position," said Catherine Tompkins, associate dean of Health Sciences and director, School of Nursing. "Hearing his speech at Liuna Station, he certainly was positive about McMaster. His message urging Canadians to be smart and caring certainly describes what students like Claire are doing every day to help make neighbourhoods experiencing social and financial inequity healthier places to live, work, play and raise a family."

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