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Memorial awards honour spouses of nursing professors

Mar 11, 2019

Every March, the School of Nursing hands out awards to students enrolled in the collaborative BScN program in McMaster University, Mohawk College and Conestoga College. This awards ceremony is a highlight of the year for students and their families, as well as for the faculty members in the school who take great pride in seeing their students honoured for their hard work.

In 2017, two of the faculty members added another reason to celebrate these awards. Dr. Pam Baxter and Dr. Maria Pratt, nursing faculty, created new memorial scholarships honouring their husbands, who both passed away in 2016.

The Steve Baxter Memorial Scholarship

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Photo above: Steve Baxter

Dr. Pam Baxter established The Steve Baxter Memorial Scholarship in 2017 in loving memory of her husband Steve who died suddenly from a brain aneurysm in 2016. The award is for a student in the BScN program who, in the judgement of the School of Nursing, has demonstrated exceptional, humble leadership qualities. “Steve was an exceptional husband, father, and friend. He was so humble and never saw himself as anyone special. Yet, ask anyone who knew him and you will hear of his faith, his love for people, his compassion and support for those he met. My family is thrilled that we can pass along this award to a deserving student. I hope they continue to lead throughout their nursing career with grace, humility and excellence,” says Dr. Baxter. For more information visit: www.celebratestevebaxter.com

The Darren Lee Pratt Memorial Award for Academic/Clinical Achievement

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Photo above: Darren and Maria with their daughters Mia, Danica, and Stella. Photo taken at Christmas 2015

Dr. Maria Pratt established The Darren Lee Pratt Memorial Award for Academic/Clinical Achievement in loving memory of her husband, Darren. The award is for an undergraduate student who has completed Level II or higher of a Nursing program who, in the judgement of the School of Nursing demonstrates academic excellence, an interest in Oncology nursing and commitment to patient and family-centered care. “My dear late husband Darren appreciated the nursing care he received during his treatment and end-of-life,” says Dr. Pratt. “During the drive home from his chemo, he liked talking about how the nurses made him feel at ease by telling him funny jokes, talking to him as they drew his blood about his favourite sports and video games, and by constantly assessing his pain or potential treatment reactions. The care he received from the palliative care team was also remarkable. I thought that the the team listened to Darren’s wishes while also attending to our family concerns every step of the way. Darren wished to be cared for at home for as long as possible. He was transferred to Dr. Bob Kemp Hospice on December 22nd, 2016, where he died peacefully that same day.”

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