POPLAR HILL FIRST NATION, ON — A nurse working in northwestern Ontario is one of the three recipients this year of an award from Indigenous Services Canada.
Minister Seamus O'Regan announced Monday that Barathi Vengadasamy, the nurse-in-charge at Poplar Hill First Nation, has received the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch Award of Excellence in nursing.
Nominated by their peers, a government news release stated that the recipients are chosen for showing "commitment to their work through sound judgement, professionalism and culturally appropriate support in their nursing practices."
Vengadasamy has worked around the world.
In 2005, she began her nursing career in Canada as a community health nurse in several locations in Nunavut and Ontario.
Her career has included medical surgical areas, anesthesia units and long-term care facilities..
After working with Indigenous people in northern Ontario, Vengadasamy realized that her true passion was being a community health nurse.
She previously served in First Nations communities in the Sioux Lookout Zone, and is currently posted to Poplar Hill.
"The highlight of her nursing career has been her continued growing connection to the community. This has allowed her to become more sensitive to individual needs while providing nursing services from a community perspective," the announcement stated.
At present, Vengadasamy is pursuing a Master's in Public Health, with a specialty in Health Promotion.