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Dedicated volunteer receives highest honour for volunteerism

Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre awarded local volunteer with the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers.
NEWS RELEASE
THUNDER BAY REGIONAL HEALTH SCIENCES CENTRE
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THUNDER BAY -- An award ceremony was held Friday to present Mona Hardy, a dedicated volunteer at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre with the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers. This prestigious national award recognizes the volunteer achievements of Canadians from across the country in a wide range of fields.

“Volunteers play such a crucial role at our Hospital, and Mona exemplifies the essential link volunteers fulfill to help ensure patients have the best experience possible when at our hospital,” said Dr. Rhonda Crocker Ellacott, President and CEO of TBRHSC, and CEO of the Thunder Bay Regional Health Research Institute. “Mona has been an extremely dedicated, long-serving volunteer, tirelessly contributing her time, gifts, skills, and energy to improving the lives of many people. I'm thrilled that she is receiving this well-deserved recognition."

Originally from Rocky Bay First Nation in Northwestern Ontario, Mona has been a passionate volunteer in our community for the past 10 years, notably with organizations such as TBRHSC and NorWest Community Health Centres. Mona is one of TBRHSC's first Patient Family Advisor volunteers and has contributed many hours in this advisory capacity on various committees, including participation in the Hospital's Indigenous Advisory Committee and the Hospital's PRIDE Committee. She has been integral when it comes to bringing issues of the LGBT community to light and, more importantly raising the voice of the transgender community. Mona also spends quality time with patients who are undergoing Renal Dialysis, where treatments can sometimes take a number of hours to complete and Mona shares her time, empathy, humour and knowledge in many ways. Mona has been a mentor to patients and families helping them learn how to live and self manage their life on dialysis.

“It is truly a privilege to work with someone who is so dedicated, competent, hardworking, and professional in all of her interactions with patients, staff, and fellow volunteers,” said Bonnie Nicholas, Manager, Patient and Centred Care at TBRHSC. “Mona’s positive, outgoing personality, kindness, and generosity have an immense impact on so many people in our hospital and the wider community.”

The SMV is the highest honour for volunteer service that an individual can receive within the Canadian Honours System. The SMV program was created in 2016 to replace its predecessor, the Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award, conceived in 1995 by then-Governor General the Right Honourable Roméo LeBlanc. The Medal builds on the legacy and spirit of the CCA by honouring the dedication and commitment of volunteers.