West Park prides itself on the strong healthcare leaders and innovators it employs, and is constantly offering recognition for major career highlights.
So, when an outside association recognizes one of West Park’s best, it’s icing on the celebratory cake.
Angela LoPonte, a registered nurse and Care Coordinator with West Park's Functional Enhancement Service (FES), has been selected by the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) as a recipient of the 2019 RNAO Recognition Award for Leadership in Nursing Education (Staff Development).
“Congratulations, Angela, and so well deserved!," says Kim Cook, West Park's Vice President of Programs & Chief Nursing Executive. "Thank you for your contributions and leadership in providing education, support, and mentoring to staff at West Park.”
A graduate of George Brown in 1987, LoPonte has spent more than 30 years working as a nurse in cardiovascular surgery, orthopedic surgery, and case management focusing on rehabilitation for catastrophic injuries.
In 2014, she decided to go back to school part-time to obtain her Bachelor of Science in Nursing with distinction from Ryerson, where she developed her award-winning Dementia Caregiver Burden Quality Improvement Initiative that promotes person-centered care which West Park prioritizes.
“I was so humbled,” she modestly recalls. “I didn’t realize that all this work I was doing for my placement had had an impact.”
And while LoPonte would humbly wish to keep this recognition on the down low, her colleagues have nothing but praise for her and this career milestone. Wynne de Jong, Director of Interprofessional Practice & Clinical Education praised LoPonte’s work ethic.
“Angela embodies the core values and attributes of nursing excellence and academic practice. Her commitment to knowledge work, and keen sense of inquiry support staff development and capacity building to benefit patient and caregiver experience and quality of care,” de Jong says. “We are very proud of Angela and her well-deserved award,” a sentiment echoed by all at West Park.
LoPonte was nominated by her West Park colleagues Shannon Burke, Clinical Nurse Specialist and Lesma Bartley, Service Manager for the Functional Enhancement Service.
“Angela is confident, committed, and passionate about her work,” says Bartley. “She did a great job researching and putting together the Dementia Caregiver Burden QI Initiative which will not only benefit our patients and caregivers on GFES, but throughout the hospital. She embodies the quote from John Maxwell: 'She knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.'”
LoPonte received her award at the RNAO Annual General Meeting on Friday, April 12, surrounded by supportive peers and other award recipients.