SIMS Healthcare Hero

McKay HH

Healthcare Hero

Dr. Roberta McKay

Trailblazer, philanthropist, cultural enthusiast and trusted care provider – SIMS is very proud and pleased to recognize Dr. Roberta McKay as a Healthcare Hero!

Dr. McKay has practiced dermatology for more than three decades in Saskatchewan. Born and raised in Regina, she re-located to Saskatoon following high school in order to pursue post-secondary studies at the University of Saskatchewan (U of S). After completing her nursing degree, she began her healthcare career as a general duty nurse at Royal University Hospital, where she began to teach nursing and later served as the head of staff development for a number of years. Following the completion of her medical degree at the U of S, Dr. McKay headed to Montreal to undertake her residency in dermatology at McGill University.

Returning to Regina, Dr. McKay went on to assume leadership roles in the Plains Health Centre, Pasqua Hospital, and the Regina Health Region, all the while heading her successful dermatology practice. During this time, Dr. McKay additionally served as a member of the board for the Saskatchewan Medical Association and became the association’s first female president.

Driven by a love of her vocation and a deep commitment to the people she serves, Dr. McKay is a celebrated medical professional. She attributes her success to the encouragement, generosity and compassion of her parents, along with the support and inspiration of valued mentors and colleagues. The stories and experiences of her patients serve as a daily motivation, while the ever-changing healthcare landscape generates new challenges and opportunities that keep Dr. McKay excited and engaged on her chosen path.

A number of years ago, AIDS South Saskatchewan approached Dr. McKay with an innovative idea to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments and achievements of the healthcare providers in the province. The organization felt that many extraordinary things were going unacknowledged in communities around Saskatchewan and Dr. McKay could not have agreed more! Thus, the Saskatchewan Healthcare Excellence Awards (SHEA) were born, with Dr. McKay playing a leadership role in the initiative as the founding sponsor. 2015 marked the 13th annual SHEA awards!

In addition to their contributions to healthcare, Dr. McKay and her husband, renowned sculptor Elmer Brenner, are very involved in the provincial arts community. Sharing a passion for music, theatre, dance, visual arts, architecture and heritage, they are generous and enthusiastic patrons to a variety of creative and cultural organizations across Saskatchewan.

Dr. McKay has been recognized as Regina’s Citizen of the Year and was the recipient of the Association of Fundraising Professional’s Philanthropist of the Year award. Dr. McKay has also received a YWCA Women of Distinction Award in Health and Wellness, along with a number of other accolades and deserved acknowledgement for her charitable activities.

Please join us in recognizing and celebrating Dr. Roberta McKay for all she does to make Saskatchewan a healthier, safer place!


SIMS Healthcare Hero

HH Jacqui Fleury

Healthcare Hero: Dr. Jacqui Fleury

As the owner and clinical director of True Potential Health Services, Dr. Jacqui Fleury is living her dream while making a lasting and significant difference in the lives of others. With the launch of True Potential, the people of Saskatoon are now able to access a wide range of diverse, yet specialized services offered through the five licensed naturopathic doctors in the practice.

For years, Jacqui’s vision has been to create a centre of influence where patients could have access to quality alternative healthcare options. She’s made her passion a reality and is increasingly becoming recognized as a leading voice in Saskatchewan as an advocate for healthy living through an integrated approach.

Jaqcui’s inspiring work was recently recognized through a Women of Distinction nomination in the category of entrepreneurship and SIMS is thrilled to name her as a Healthcare Hero in our province!

What inspires you to do what you do?

It is very rewarding and incredibly energizing to guide individuals down a path towards more positive and empowered choices that keep them actively engaged in their own health and wellbeing.

I am passionate about helping people feel better about themselves and that transformation tends to happen when individuals have the knowledge and support to make attainable and sustainable changes in their lives.

Every day I have the opportunity to witness the return to a quality of life that many people initially think is impossible, which continually reminds me of the power of naturopathic medicine. This work is my true calling – if you could see the stack of books beside my bed at any given time, you would know that I never tire of the learning and exploring!

Who have been the major influencers in your life?

A chiropractor I worked for many years ago saw potential in me and steered me down the road of integrated healthcare. Since then, I have made a point of surrounding myself with teaching and teachers that continue to elevate the bar higher and higher for my personal and professional growth.

Equally important is the fact that my mom and dad taught me the power of unconditional love; no matter where I go or what I do, I intrinsically know I am accepted and loved. This, in turn, has translated into the ability to take risks in life, follow my passion and to pass on the importance of unconditional love to my own family.

What are you excited about for the future?

I want to continue to raise the awareness of who we are and what we do as naturopathic doctors. I want each and every person in Saskatchewan to know that they have choices in their healthcare, and to teach people how to be their own advocate. There is so much room and opportunity for collaboration in healthcare in this province, and it will come people knowing what their options are and then pursuing a combination of all the care available to them. These are exciting times for our profession as we work with the government to expand the scope of our practice.

To learn more about Dr. Jacqui Fleury and True Potential Health Services, be sure to visit:

To hear Jacqui speak more about the practice and the team’s collaborative approach:

SIMS Healthcare Hero- Dawn Anderson

Dawn Anderson

Healthcare Hero: Dawn Anderson

As a registered nurse who has been active with the international humanitarian aid efforts of the Red Cross around the globe since 2010, Dawn Anderson routinely encounters danger, tragedy and hardship that is unimaginable to most of us. Yet, despite the enormous risks and significant emotional toll that she undoubtedly faces, Dawn continues to stand strongly alongside some of the world’s most vulnerable, yet bravest people, to bring compassion and care in times of conflict, war and natural disaster. A nursing graduate of the University of Saskatchewan, Dawn has travelled to Haiti, Afghanistan, Philippines, Central Africa, Nepal and Palestine to assist in relief efforts and provide essential medical care services. On May 12, it was announced that Dawn was among the thirty-six outstanding nurses from 18 countries who have been awarded the Florence Nightingale Medal. This prestigious international award recognizes exceptional courage and devotion to victims of armed conflict or natural disaster, along with exemplary service or a pioneering spirit in the areas of public health or nursing education. SIMS is incredibly pleased to recognize Dawn Anderson as a Healthcare Hero and we were honoured by the opportunity to recently speak with her about her experiences and what motivates her life-saving and life-changing work.  

What inspires you to do the work you do?

I knew from a very young age that I wanted to help people, although I wasn’t always sure how I was going to do it. As a nurse working in emergency, I would watch the news and witness tragedy after tragedy around the world and I became moved by a deep calling to help the people experiencing this trauma and devastation. It did, and still does, feel like a powerful physical pull to go. I grew up moving around and seeing the world. I lived in Peru and Saudi Arabia and travelled to multiple countries. As I got older and started to travel alone, I couldn’t understand why people asked me if I was scared. Why would I be scared? Humans are humans everywhere in the world; there is no difference, as there is good and bad everywhere. Of course, it is always about being sensible, but I was doing what I wanted and what I believe everyone should – knowing, experiencing and understanding something beyond my own life and reality can open your eyes in very important ways. I see people at their worst in crisis, natural disaster and in conflict, but it is other side – the strength of survival and the humanity in the world under extreme circumstances – that continues to inspire me.

Who influences you?

Growing up, the experiences with my family awakened me to all the amazing differences in the world. These differences are not bad, but beautiful, and I think I get a richer understanding of life by seeing how others live and survive across the globe, under vastly different circumstances. I thank my parents for that opportunity. My family continues to support me no matter where I want to go. I know it is terrifying for them in some cases, but they still find a way to consistently support and encourage me. The people I work with, especially the local staff, inspire and motivate me everyday to keep doing the job. These are amazing people who leave their families and come to work during times of war or natural disaster all in the name of helping others. They show up day after day after day. To me, that is true sacrifice and I only hope that one day I can show the same human spirit. It is always my greatest sorrow to leave a country that is devastated by extreme circumstances, and I can’t bring everyone back with me to a safe and comfortable home like Canada.

What does the future hold?

I am always excited for the future – where my next mission will be, along with what I can learn and see when I am there. It is always a bit of a surprise. I feel very fortunate to do the work I do, because there are so many opportunities and options to work in different capacities in a humanitarian aid context. For example, working in emergency and in pre and post surgery, along with the chance to teach. Earlier this year, Dawn was featured in the Star Phoenix in a powerful and heart-warming article.

It can be found here: Please join us in celebrating and recognizing Dawn for her courage, compassion and conviction in helping to make the world a healthier and safer place.

SIMS Healthcare Heroes

HH Warman Final

In honour of National Volunteer Week, it is our distinct pleasure to recognize the Warman Volunteer Fire Department. This incredible team of volunteers not only provides fire protection and rescue services for Warman and the surrounding rural area, they also respond to medical emergencies and provide first responder service in conjunction with MD Ambulance and the Saskatoon Health Region.

Earlier this year, the department made headlines when the team rescued a woman from the South Saskatchewan River after her car broke through the ice and became dangerously submerged in the water. Of the 28-man crew, 16 members have been trained in ice rescue. We recently had the opportunity to chat with Deputy Fire Chief, Russ Austin, to learn more about this impressive team and their unwavering dedication and service to the community.  

What motivates you to do the work that you do?

I think back to when I started in EMS 22 Years ago, and I was inspired by the opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life when they needed it the most.  The first time I made that difference, I was hooked!  I think our whole team is inspired by that belief in making a difference in our community- they are volunteers and their hearts are committed to that ideal.  As the years passed, my inspiration to improve every day and make that difference stays the same.  When people ask “how can you do what you do” we answer the same way- it’s not a matter of how could we, it’s how could we not help others if we have the training and ability to do so?  We can’t stand by, it’s not in our DNA.

Who have been the major influencers in your life – personally and professionally?

I personally have been influenced by a lot of mentors in both EMS and Fire on personal and professional levels.  I think those who came before us as First Responders set a pretty high bar, and as junior members rise through the ranks they follow those trails to try and fill those footsteps.  In discussing this question, a big one has always been our Military Veterans- they volunteered and put themselves in harm’s way for others, and though what we do pales in comparison to those great Canadians we can draw inspiration from them every day.

Can you tell us a little bit more about the Saskatchewan First Responder program?

The Saskatchewan First Responder program has come a long way, but it is rarely remembered that the program in Saskatchewan was started right here in Warman in 1987!  We were the first group in the Province, and blazed the trail for every other group in Saskatchewan under the leadership of Fire Chief Gord Thompson.  He was also the driving force creating the 310-5000 emergency line in the Province as well.  I think our Communities are safer every year and it has a lot to do with the level of teamwork of the health care providers.  From the first responders on scene passing care to the ambulance, then emergency then critical care teams it works because all the pieces of the puzzle fit together.  We can only solve the puzzle if the pieces mesh together and I think we do that very well – and its getting better as we go!  Our City and surrounding area are very well taken care of whether Fire, EMS, or Rescue calls come in, and we are sure proud to serve our great community!

Can you share your thoughts on leadership in general, but also from a volunteer perspective?

My philosophy and leadership style has always been the same – “Practice like you Play,” and even though you are volunteers you are still professionals.  We run Warman Fire Rescue based on this philosophy and our terrific team is committed to these principles. Our members train every week to professional standards but have a lot of fun doing it!  Our call volume has increased with our City growth, and at an average of a call per day we certainly get a lot of hands on to reinforce the skills we learn in our weekly training sessions.

Luck favours the prepared! SIMS is very proud to honour the Warman Fire Department as Healthcare Heroes and so much more! Please join us recognizing and celebrating this outstanding group of volunteers.

SIMS Healthcare Hero for December 2014

Lynn Final

Healthcare Hero Special Tribute Lynn Boudreault On November 20, 2014, the Saskatchewan healthcare community suffered a profound loss with the sudden passing of one its best and most beloved providers. Lynn Boudreault – outstanding nurse, treasured friend, trusted colleague, and cherished wife, mother and grandmother – touched countless lives with joy, comfort and compassion and she will be deeply missed by all who had the pleasure and privilege of knowing her. Along with a few of our friends and colleagues who knew and loved Lynn, it is our deep honour to recognize, remember and celebrate the life and legacy of a Healthcare Hero who may be gone, but will live on forever in our hearts and fondest memories. In Their Own Words For 14 years I had the pleasure of working very closely with Lynn Boudreault in the capacity of a Flight Nurse. For most of those years we were able to work on the same team and I could not have asked for a better crewmate. Previous to these aeromedical years, I would often run into Lynn as I gave off nursing care to her in the emergency setting.  No matter where we worked together, Lynn was one of the most stable colleagues I have ever encountered. Regardless of the challenges or the busyness of the day, Lynn always remained positive and dedicated when her skills and enthusiasm were put to task. No situation was too overwhelming – her strong clinical expertise, her calm demeanor, her smile, and her genuine care always made you feel privileged to have her alongside. Lynn was an outstanding colleague and friend. – Anne Marie Parker R.N., Flight Nurse Lynn’s nursing career, next to her family, was the most important aspect of her life. Forty years in the same profession is proof in itself.  She prided herself on the fact that every area she worked in was more rewarding than the one before – with Sask. Air Ambulance being the top of that list!  She not only came to work to learn something new each shift, but always did it with that big smile of hers! The more intense the trip, the more she looked forward to it. She would make both the patient and their families feel at ease with her confidence and skill in the care she gave. Parents of sick children would feel comfortable knowing their child was in good hands by her kind words. She was able to work and act very professionally yet still bring humour into appropriate situations, which made life for all that much easier. The nursing profession has lost one of its finest, but I have no doubt she will be looking after all of us patients, families and healthcare workers from up above. RIP our dear friend and coworker. – Jude Heffernan, R.N., Flight Nurse Lynn was the quintessential nurse who respectfully provided care with enthusiasm and professionalism, the consummate patient advocate before “patient first” was a catch phrase. Whether delivering patient care as a new grad in Ile a la Crosse, in the busy RUH Emergency Department, or at 20,000 feet while working as a Flight Nurse with Saskatchewan Air Ambulance, Lynn always gave 100%! Lynn compassionately provided care to every single patient she encountered in the 40 years of her nursing career. Whether working alongside physicians, paramedics, fellow nurses or mentoring new staff members, Lynn considerately collaborated with all and displayed a work ethic second to none. With impeccable timing, her beautiful smile and awesome sense of humor, Lynn provided comic relief in stressful situations to ease the tensions of her fellow care providers. The world is sadder following the loss of our dear colleague; however, the legacy of Lynn’s dedication to the nursing profession will not be forgotten. Lynn’s spirit will continue to remain strong in those she touched along the way and especially in the hearts of Lynn’s loved ones. May you rest in peace, mon amie. – Kathy Sproxton, R.N., Flight Nurse I had the privilege of working alongside Lynn for over 15 years. Lynn was the whole package – kind, caring, empathetic, strong, intelligent and as witty as they come. She had a smile that would light up the world. Lynn was the nurse who everyone wanted to work with and the nurse who everyone wanted to care for their loved ones. No matter whom Lynn worked with, whether it was a pilot, nurse, paramedic, unit clerk, housekeeper or physician, everyone was a respected and valuable member of the team in her eyes. There will never be another nurse or person like Lynn Boudreault, because she was very simply one of a kind. I have no doubt that Lynn is still doing what she did best – taking care of others. – Jan Hiebert, Saskatoon Institute for Medical Simulation  

Celebrating Safe Care: A Partnership in Safety

The transformation of safety culture across Saskatchewan is a common goal for both the Saskatoon Health Region (SHR) and the Saskatoon Institute for Medical Simulation (SIMS). With this shared vision in mind, it’s not surprising that the two organizations have recently joined forces in a series of dynamic collaborations that aim to leverage the combined expertise of both sides in their respective efforts to significantly increase the safety and quality of healthcare in the province.

In March of 2014, SHR launched the new safety alert system that endeavours to reduce medical errors and harm to patients and staff, while simultaneously empowering healthcare professionals in a more positive, but accountable environment. As Petrina McGrath, SHR’s VP of People, Practice and Quality, explains: “We’re not looking for blame, but for a safe system to deliver health care… It’s about looking at the systems that have gotten in the way of safety and making changes so we improve safety for everyone who walks in our doors.”

The alert system was designed during a province-wide 3P (production preparation process) and incorporates contributions from more than 65 participants including patient and family advisors, employees from a wide variety of health region departments, nurses, physicians, as well as senior and operational leaders.

On the other side of the safety table in 2014, SIMS officially opened their doors as the first private medical simulation centre in Saskatchewan. “Our ultimate aim is to support the healthcare professionals in the province as an innovative and exceptional continuing medical education provider,” says CEO Jan Hiebert. As COO Shelly Luhning points out, “Open, ongoing dialogue, systems change and accessibility to high quality training opportunities are all equally foundational to realizing substantive change in Saskatchewan healthcare. SIMS just wants to contribute meaningfully where we can.”

The Safety Alert System is designed to be one point of entry, to receive and triage safety concerns, to dispatch the appropriate response within a certain timeframe, and to provide feedback to the front line providers about the safety incident. According to Victoria Schmid, Director of Safety Alert System, “What better way to prepare our leaders than to give them actual hands on training through simulation to help prepare them for attending to safety issues?”

Beginning this past summer, SIMS has been providing such training to the leadership and front line providers in the Saskatoon Health Region and by all accounts, it has been a tremendous success. Both sides are looking forward to growing this partnership in safety that promises to have a lasting impact for years to come.

SIMS Healthcare Hero for November 2014


Healthcare Hero

November 2014

Noelle Rohatinsky, RN, MN, PhD, CMSN(C)

Celebrated educator, dedicated mentor, engaged scholar, dynamic leader and respected colleague – according to students and colleagues, these are among the many hats worn by Registered Nurse and University of Saskatchewan (U of S) Professor, Noelle Rohatinsky.

Noelle joined the College of Nursing in 2006 as a clinical nursing instructor. In 2012, she was hired into a tenure track position as an Assistant Professor, where she teaches medical and surgical concepts and skills to BSN students. Outside of her role as an educator, Noelle continues to work on a general surgery unit in Saskatoon and is actively involved in a variety of high profile committees at the local, provincial, and national levels. Noelle has been the recipient of a multitude of honours and academic awards.

Noelle’s work is fueled by a deep passion for the profession of nursing. “I am so proud to be a nurse and absolutely love what I do,” say Noelle. “Clinically, I find great fulfillment in caring for patients and families and assisting them to progress towards recovery or a quality death.” Noelle also credits her students and colleagues as being an ongoing source of motivation in her day-to day-work, “The students are so excited about their education and their future careers – I feel very fortunate to be a part of their journey. I’m also incredibly lucky to be surrounded by a remarkable group of healthcare professionals who constantly inspire me to strive to become an even better teacher, mentor and nurse.”

In 2013, Noelle received her doctoral degree in nursing. Noelle’s passion for teaching and leadership, coupled with her interest in promoting quality work environments, revealed mentorship as a dominant theme throughout her graduate research at both the master and doctoral level. Noelle’s quantitative master’s research studied registered nurses’ perceptions of mentoring in two provinces, while her qualitative PhD dissertation examined nurse managers’ perceptions of their roles in creating mentoring cultures.

According to SIMS COO, Shelly Luhning, “Healthcare students, professionals and faculty all benefit from ongoing, high-quality mentoring as they continue to develop into safe, competent and compassionate practitioners and researchers.” In addition to modeling current best practice and communicating developments in healthcare education, says Luhning, “practice-based mentors and educators are critical to ensuring the delivery of exceptional care. This is why Noelle’s work is so vital.”

In speaking to Noelle about the current Saskatchewan healthcare landscape, we asked her what she considered to be some of the more exciting developments. “Patients and families are being encouraged to become increasingly involved in their own healthcare experiences. As healthcare professionals, we have a unique opportunity to collaborate in order to provide quality, patient-centered healthcare. By encouraging increased patient and family engagement, we are creating a responsive healthcare system that will more fully meet the needs in our province. Ultimately, positive healthcare outcomes will result.”

SIMS is proud and very pleased to honour Noelle Rohatinsky as November’s Healthcare Hero. Please join us in recognizing and celebrating Noelle for all she does to make Saskatchewan a healthier, safer place.