CARE Centre Announces 2012 Winner of the Joan Lesmond IEN of the Year Award

CARE Centre Member a Valued Registered Nurse in the London Health
Sciences Centre’s University Hospital Intensive Care Unit

For Immediate Release
Toronto, October 26, 2012
CARE Centre for Internationally Educated Nurses is pleased to announce that Ismail El-Assaad, RN, a CARE Centre member from Palestine is the 2012 CARE Centre Joan Lesmond IEN of the Year Award. The award is named after the late nursing leader Dr. Joan Lesmond, who championed the cause of IEN education and integration. El-Assaad works at London Health Sciences Centre’s University Hospital Intensive Care Unit. He has also worked as a nurse instructor and senior nurse in Lebanon and in the United Arab Emirates.
“Coming to Canada was always a dream for me, I was very much devoted to explore and experience the uniqueness of the nursing profession in Canada, and for a person like myself who always likes to be up to date and very well oriented about all the advanced practices and technology involved in nursing, Canada seemed like the land of opportunity in my eyes,” stated Ismail in his winning essay. He was nominated by his nursing supervisor Mary Kroh, Coordinator of Cardiac Surgery, University Hospital Intensive Care Unit.
In her nomination submission Kroh commented, “Since Ismail started in the ICU as primary caregiver I have received several letters from family and patients commending Ismail on his exceptional care, compassion and professionalism; from the family it was the care given for a dying family member. The empathy and support given to the family was appreciated and of great comfort to them in this time of sadness. Another was from a post operative cardiac surgery patient that describes the care received from Ismail as exceptional, ‘I was cared for as a person, not just a patient.’”
Ismail El-Assaad will receive the CARE Centre Joan Lesmond IEN of the Year Award at a luncheon ceremony in his honour on Thursday, November 15th at the London Health Sciences Centre. The award was first commemorated for CARE Centre’s 10th anniversary in 2011 and the inaugural City of Toronto Internationally Educated Nurses Day, to be observed again this year.

CARE Centre Executive Director Zubeida Ramji said, “We are very pleased that we can present the award to a CARE Centre member working in London, one of the five regional centres where CARE Centre serves IENs. Ismail is an exemplary member who embodies all of the qualities and traits that our IENs bring to the nursing profession in Canada, and his professionalism, care and compassion bring enormous benefit to the health and well-being of Ontario families.”
“Mr. El-Assaad’s passion and commitment to the field of nursing makes us proud. He is a de-serving recipient of the CARE Centre Joan Lesmond IEN of the Year Award,” said the Honour-able Charles Sousa, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. “Newcomers like Ismail make out-standing contributions in this province every day. Ontario’s bridge training partners like CARE Centre are a big part of that success. Bridge Training makes it easier for newcomers to put their skills to work in Ontario which benefits us all. Congratulations to Mr. El-Assaad.” – October 26, 2012.

The CARE Centre Joan Lesmond IEN of the Year Award is presented annually with the call for nominations in May and the award ceremony taking place in November. To be eligible, the IEN must be currently registered as a nurse in Ontario (RN or RPN); be working in a nursing practice environment for at least one year; and be a member of CARE Centre.
Since its founding in 2001, CARE Centre for Internationally Educated Nurses has supported over 1,000 nurses from more than 140 countries to become registered in the province. CARE Centre is a not-for-profit professional organization funded by the Ontario Government and the Government of Canada. CARE Centre provides immigrant nurses with the one-on-one case management, language and communication skills, exam preparation, professional development, mentoring and networking to be successful in the nursing profession. CARE Centre recognizes the value of nurses with diverse education and experience and is committed to advocating for their full contribution to Ontario’s healthcare system.
For media inquiries please contact:

Tina Novotny
Marketing and Communications Coordinator
CARE Centre for Internationally Educated Nurses
45 Sheppard Ave East, Suite 512
Toronto, Ontario M2N 5W9