President’s Award Program recognizes the remarkable people at LHSC


For Immediate Release:
June 9, 2010

(LONDON, Ontario) – Cliff Nordal, President and Chief Executive Officer of London Health Sciences Centre is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2010 President’s Awards, which include the established award for Community Service and two awards for Living Our Core Values, How We Work Together and How We Serve Our Patients, in addition to this year’s new award for Leadership.

Vimla Harry, a medical laboratory technologist, is this year’s recipient of the President’s Award for Community Service, recognizing her years of dedication to the Sunfest-London Committee for Cross-Cultural Arts. This award recognizes an individual at LHSC whose volunteer achievements have made a difference to the lives of people in our community.

Brenda Cannon and Kather Rosser are the recipients of the two awards for Living Our Core Values, How We Serve Our Patients and How We Work Together, respectively. Cannon has been the receptionist on Switchboard at South Street Hospital for 16 years, while Rosser has spent the past 35 years as a communications clerk in the Clinical Neurosciences department at University Hospital. Each of these individuals demonstrates our values of respect, trust and collaboration on a daily basis.

Monique Prendergast, manager of Physiotherapy Practice is the inaugural recipient of the President’s Award for Leadership, recognizing leaders at LHSC – both formal and informal – who make a significant difference to the effectiveness of the organization.

“During my time as President and CEO of London Health Sciences Centre, I have been witness to many extraordinary events. Medical and surgical firsts, research breakthroughs, and patient care milestones,” says Nordal. “Yet what inspires me most is the remarkable people behind it all. The staff, physicians and volunteers at LHSC embody the spirit of the President’s Awards in so many ways, and I am privileged to recognize this year’s recipients for their dedication and hard work.”

For more information on each recipient please see the backgrounder below.

Each winner’s name now appears on the perpetual plaques honouring award recipients, located in the President’s Gallery at both Victoria and University hospitals.


About London Health Sciences Centre
London Health Sciences Centre has been in the forefront of medicine in Canada for over 130 years and offers the broadest range of specialized clinical services in Ontario. Building on the traditions of its founding hospitals to provide compassionate care in an academic teaching setting, London Health Sciences Centre is home to South Street Hospital, University Hospital, Victoria Hospital and Children’s Hospital, two family medical centres, and Lawson Health Research Institute - a joint research initiative with St Joseph’s Health Care, London. As a leader in medical discovery and health research, London Health Sciences Centre has a history of over 30 international and national firsts and attracts top clinicians and researchers from around the world. As a regional referral centre, London Health Sciences Centre cares for the most medically complex patients including critically injured adults and children in Southwestern Ontario and beyond. The hospital’s 10,000 staff, physicians, students and volunteers provide care for more than one million patient visits a year. For more information visit

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For more information:
Kelly Almond
Communications Associate
London Health Sciences Centre
(519) 685-8500 ext.77129

After-hours assistance:

Call LHSC Switchboard at 519-685-8500 and ask to page the communication consultant on-call.


Backgrounder – 2010 President’s Award Recipients

Vimla Harry

2010 President’s Award for Community Service

Vimla Harry

Vimla Harry is a medical lab technologist in the Molecular Pathology Lab at University Hospital.

Since 1996, Vimla has been volunteering with the London Committee for Cross Cultural Arts, a non-profit organization that presents several events each year, including Sunfest, a free, volunteer-run music and food festival that thousands have enjoyed over the years in Victoria Park.

For the past 14 years, Vimla has been the volunteer coordinator at Sunfest. Thanks to her enthusiasm, the festival has a dedicated core group of volunteers, many of whom base their holiday time around the festival so they can commit as much time as possible. Several of the high school student volunteers return after graduation because of the wonderful experience they have had.

As the festival has grown over the years, so has Vimla’s participation and commitment to it. She is now involved in budgeting, grant applications, and overseeing its development into a recognized non-profit corporation. For several years, Vimla has served as Chair of the Sunfest Board of Directors.

“Through Vimla’s dedication and commitment to London’s community and her ability to inspire others, Sunfest has helped to create a tolerant, respectful community where people of diverse cultural backgrounds can celebrate multiculturalism together,” says Nordal.


Brenda Cannon

2010 President’s Award for Living Our Core Values – How We Serve Our Patients

Brenda Cannon

A receptionist on Switchboard at South Street Hospital for 16 years, Brenda represents LHSC with a positive and caring attitude while working in an environment that at times can be very challenging.

Brenda demonstrates respect for every patient or visitor who comes through the doors, greeting them with a smile and ensuring everyone is looked after. In her nomination, one colleague noted how on a cold, wintry day, an elderly gentleman came up to the information desk at South Street. He asked Brenda if there was somewhere in the hospital that he could get a pair of slippers, indicating he had just been removed off a city bus because he had no footwear. After seeing the man only had two pairs of work socks on his swollen feet, she called security to see if there were any unclaimed slippers, shoes or boots. With nothing available, Brenda gave this man $20 of her own money and he subsequently bought a pair at the nearby Goodwill store. The next month, this gentleman returned with a big smile and coffee for Brenda. He said he remembered her kindness and returned the $20.

Through examples such as this, Brenda demonstrates compassion and builds trust with the people who arrive at her desk by immediately showing them how much she cares and assisting however she can. She collaborates with various departments on a daily basis to ensure the best reception possible for our patients.

“Brenda is a wonderful example of how you don’t need to be in a clinical environment, or at the patient’s bedside to be an ambassador of how LHSC serves and cares for our patients,” says Nordal.


Kathy Rosser

2010 President’s Award for Living Our Core Values – How We Work Together

Kathy Rosser

A communications clerk on the Clinical Neurosciences floor at University Hospital for 35 years, Kathy interacts daily with nurses, allied health team members, physicians and leaders from many disciplines across the organization.

“Kathy received no less than 100 signatures of support from her colleagues who collectively nominated her for this award,” notes Nordal. “She truly represents the values of London Health Sciences Centre and is a champion of how we work together.”

Kathy always treats everyone with respect and strives to understand the team’s changing needs. Trusted for many years to help colleagues deal with work-life challenges, she takes joy in her team’s engagements, marriages, and births, and offers a compassionate ear when difficult situations arise.

Described as a role model of collaborative practice, Kathy wears many hats in her role. She is the first point of contact for patient’s families, the welcoming committee to new staff, and a connection to the past. Her colleagues note that when they travel to conferences, former medical residents and staff always ask “Is Kathy still there? How is she doing?”

Kathy is a champion for young nurses and a valued colleague and friend to senior staff and physicians. With her vast experience, Kathy participates in interviews and mentors new clerks to the unit. She even helped develop an orientation program for this pivotal position to make sure her successors have the skills and tools necessary to meet and exceed her standards.


Monique Prendergast

2010 President’s Award for Leadership

Monique Prendergast

Monique Prendergast is the Professional Practice Leader of Physiotherapy at LHSC.

With 22 years of service to London Health Sciences Centre, colleagues describe Monique as forward-thinking, flexible, and adaptable to change.

With the ability to accurately assess the skill set of her staff and assign them to work in areas most suited to them, Monique ensures excellent patient care while maintaining staff enthusiasm. She actively nurtures growth and development in others, and is supportive of continuing education for her staff. Monique also supports her staff in pursuing opportunities outside of the clinical service, such as Gwen St. John who was the LHSC sponsored employee for the 2007 United Way campaign.

After leading an inter-professional team in reviewing, analyzing and restructuring evening physiotherapy services, this team is now seen as a model of excellence for weekend and evening coverage. She led the task team that designed the new physiotherapy workspaces at both Victoria and University hospitals, and helped lead the successful relocation of patients from South Street to Victoria Hospital during Milestone 1.

Most important to Monique’s leadership style is her ability to motivate and enable others towards a vision. One colleague described her as their “shield and their sword,” leading the charge for change. She is trusted by her peers to champion for what is right for both her staff and patients.

“Monique is recognized by her physiotherapy colleagues for consistently going above and beyond expectations, giving endlessly of her expertise, time and energy, and all the time completing her work with a positive and caring attitude,” says Nordal.