University of Calgary

Diamond Jubilee awards

UToday HomeJanuary 28, 2013

By Karen Cook

Associate professor Sandra Reilly will receive the Diamond Jubilee in recognition of her long-time efforts on behalf of families with infants and children in crisis. Photo by Dave BrownAssociate professor Sandra Reilly will receive the Diamond Jubilee in recognition of her long-time efforts on behalf of families with infants and children in crisis. Photo by Dave BrownAssociate professor Sandra Reilly is one of six registered nurses chosen to receive a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal from the College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta.

Nominated by colleagues, the award acknowledges Reilly’s long-time efforts on behalf of families with infants and children in crisis or in need of respite. She wrote the original proposal, secured the funding and oversaw the implementation of the first crisis nursery in Alberta, which operates under the auspices of the Children’s Cottage Society.

“I am most honoured by the recognition from the nursing college,” says Reilly. “It is an exceptional honour because it comes from my provincial colleagues, who are very aware of the outstanding achievements of Alberta’s nurses with whom I am privileged to work.”

The Children’s Cottage Society has now expanded to include a network of resources including the Healthy Families Program, offering parents and newborns regular home visits; the Community Respite Program, providing in-home support for infants as well as daycare and day home placement for children; and Brenda’s House, a transitional shelter and re-housing for homeless families with children.

The society was named as one of Canada’s top charities by Charity Intelligence Canada in both 2011 and 2012. Over the last twenty-five years, Reilly has served continuously on the society’s board and as chair of its Evaluation Committee.

“I wholeheartedly believe there is nobody more deserving of this prestigious award,” says nominator Wendi Lokanc-Diluzio, a PhD candidate in the Faculty of Nursing.

Reilly will receive her medal at a March ceremony in Ottawa, where 30 Canadian nurses will meet with His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, at a celebration luncheon.

Other Faculty of Nursing recipients of the Diamond Jubilee medal are associate professor Sandi Hirst, alumna Sheri Ewing, professor emerita Lorraine Wright, adjunct professor Barb Shellian and former nursing faculty member Ardene Vollman.