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Hospice group opens nominations for Brenda Smith Leadership Award

Nominations open until Sept. 22 for award that celebrates 'outstanding individuals who have shown exceptional commitment, vision, and impact in hospice palliative care'
Brenda Smith

The North Simcoe Muskoka Hospice Palliative Care Network (NSMHPCN) is honoured to once again present the annual Brenda Smith Leadership Award.

Brenda Smith was a leader in our community. With the help of a core group, Brenda formed the initial structure for an end-of-life network, and eventually, the NSMHPCN became an incorporated organization, allowing for growth and sustainability.

Brenda demonstrated keen insight and extraordinary vision in planning for the future of hospice palliative care in our area, working tirelessly to promote excellent holistic care for all clients and the highest standard of hospice palliative care education for all levels of healthcare providers in this region.

She had the ability to bring people at all levels of care together and build the relationships required to create change on both the large and small scale. She believed in the value of every member of the team, no matter what their title was. It did not matter to Brenda whether someone was a PSW at the bedside or the executive director of a large organization; she saw the potential in everyone.

She encouraged everyone to make changes in their day-to-day actions, no matter how small they seemed, to improve hospice palliative care for the client and their family. She also had the ability to see how those small changes had the potential to multiply and grow into larger system changes.

Her ability to build relationships across sectors in order to enhance the delivery of care was astonishing to those who knew her. One project in which this ability is well remembered is in how she initiated and chaired a regional group, which ultimately ended in a bright orange ‘do not resuscitate’ form used locally to allow those with a wish of no resuscitation to be honoured and die at home. This occurred three years before the provincewide initiative.

“Leadership is a quality that inspires and drives change, and it’s often found in individuals who are dedicated to making a positive impact on their communities and the world,” Whitney Vowels, NSMHPCN executive director, states. “Each year the Brenda Smith Leadership Award selection committee seeks to recognize and celebrate outstanding individuals who have shown exceptional commitment, vision, and impact in hospice palliative care. We invite you to take part in this prestigious endeavour by nominating someone you believe embodies the spirit of leadership and deserves to be honoured with the Brenda Smith Leadership Award.”


The Brenda Smith Leadership Award is given to an exemplary hospice palliative care provider working or volunteering with individuals and families in the north Simcoe-Muskoka region. Individuals, in any care sector, are eligible for nomination.

How to nominate

Nominating someone for the Brenda Smith Leadership Award is a straightforward and heartfelt process:

1. Visit our website:

2. Review the criteria: Familiarize yourself with the award criteria and ensure that your nominee meets the eligibility requirements.

3. Prepare your nomination: Gather information about your nominee’s leadership achievements, contributions, and impact. Be specific and provide examples of their outstanding work.

4. Submit the nomination: Complete the nomination form by 5 p.m. on Sept. 22.

What happens next?

Once you’ve submitted your nomination, our selection committee will carefully review all submissions. The winner of the Brenda Smith Leadership Award will be notified and publicly announced during our annual awards ceremony held at the NSMHPCN Regional Conference on Nov. 8, 2023.

“We know that there are many hard-working members of the health-care community in north Simcoe-Muskoka who should be acknowledged for their tireless work and leadership in hospice palliative care,” Laura Bates, NSMHPCN education facilitator, stated. “This award provides us with the opportunity to acknowledge their efforts and honour an amazing woman who paved the way for many in our community.”

Leadership is a force that can transform lives and communities. By nominating someone for the Brenda Smith Leadership Award, you have the opportunity to shine a spotlight on their exceptional leadership and inspire others to follow their example. Join us in celebrating the leaders who are making a difference in our world and help us honour Brenda Smith’s enduring legacy of leadership and compassion. Nominate someone today and be a part of this extraordinary recognition. Together, we can continue to foster positive change and inspire future leaders to rise.



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