This month, VHA nurse Dusanka Kalabic was named as one of Canada’s top nurses as a nominee for the 2020 Hospital News Nursing Hero Award.
“I really appreciate being recognized by my clients and colleagues, especially now,” says Dusanka, who has been a nurse with VHA for over 15 years and has been a key part of the team ever since. “Being a nurse is my passion. I love to work with and help people,” she added.
It is this passion that Dusanka brings to the job every day that led four of her VHA colleagues and the daughter of a client to nominate her for the Nursing Hero Award. Dusanka has provided care to this client since 2003. The client appreciates Dusanka so much that she even switched service provider organizations to make sure she would continue to have Dusanka as her nurse when Dusanka began working fulltime at VHA in 2004. They’ve grown very close over the years.
“This nomination is a tribute to Dusanka’s strong skills when delivering care, and the leadership she displays with her colleagues,” says Dan Clydesdale, VHA Regional Director, Central. “This is a big achievement for Dusanka, VHA, and the home care industry. Being a nurse is a hard job. It’s even harder today with the pandemic,” adds Dan. “I consider it an honour to work with her.”
The Hospital News Nursing Hero Awards started in 2005 to honour and thank extraordinary nurses across Canada. Out of over 200 applications for 2020, Dusanka was one of just two home care nurses that were named as nominees in the July 2020 edition of Hospital News.
“To this year’s winners and nominees,” writes Hospital News editor Kristie Jones. “Thank you for not only putting yourself at risk to go to work, but for continuing to go above and beyond during a very trying time.”
Dusanka is an amazing example of the great care so many VHA service providers deliver every day, including throughout COVID-19.
“Dusanka’s work exemplifies VHA’s commitment to quality and client and family-centred care,” says Kathryn Nichol, Vice President Quality, Best Practice, Research and Education & CNE. “We’re proud to have her as an ambassador for VHA in the community.”
Behind every nursing hero is a wonderful team. Dusanka feels everyone on her team should receive this award and she is so grateful for their support and the support of VHA and her supervisor Vilma Richards.
“Dusanka’s work speaks for itself. Her knowledge, resilience and dedication go beyond empathy,” says Vilma. “She’s so deserving of this recognition for her constant mentorship and support to myself and the rest of the team. Congratulations Dusanka!”