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Three new registered nurses stand outside McMaster Children's Hospital, smiling.
Hamilton Health Sciences has been named one of Hamilton-Niagara’s Top Employers for the third year in a row. Find out what inspired Sifa Lwesso, Tran Thai and Alessandra Cascioli to launch their nursing careers here.
November 23, 2023

HHS recognized for being an exceptional place to work

There are careers, and then there are callings. After graduating with nursing degrees earlier this year, Alessandra Cascioli, Sifa Lwesso and Tran Thai joined Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) as registered nurses – making them part of an award-winning hospital organization recognized regionally and nationally for being an outstanding workplace.

On Nov. 23, HHS was named one of Hamilton-Niagara’s Top Employers for the third year in a row. This annual competition is organized by editors of Canada’s Top 100 Employers, in recognition of Hamilton-Niagara area employers that lead their industries in offering exceptional places to work. The Hamilton Spectator is an editorial partner in this project, and announced the winners in a special feature also published on Nov. 23.

Aaron Levo, HHS VP of people, culture and communications.

We are thrilled to be recognized as a top regional employer, especially at a time when hospitals across the country, including HHS, are working hard to retain and recruit employees.” — Aaron Levo, HHS vice president of people, culture and communications.

This is the ninth time HHS has received this recognition since the annual competition launched in 2008.

HHS is the largest employer in the greater Hamilton region, with 15,000 staff, physicians and volunteers. Editors of Canada’s Top 100 Employers evaluated submissions using eight criteria: workplace; work atmosphere and social; health, financial and family benefits; vacation and time off; employee communications; performance management; training and skills development; and community involvement. Employers are compared to other organizations in their field to determine which offers the most progressive and forward-thinking programs.

Tran Thai joined HHS as a registered nurse after working here as an extern while finishing her nursing degree.

“Since we’re a large hospital system, our staff have opportunities to work at different HHS sites and try new roles,” says Levo.

“This gives our people options to work in different areas of health care and find the one that they feel the most passionate about. We also offer many opportunities for professional development and leadership growth.”

HHS is also in the running for Canada’s Top Employers for Young People Award, with winners to be announced in early 2024. This award is also organized by the Canada’s Top 100 Employers project. HHS received this national award in 2023 and 2022.

The HHS workplace culture

As a teaching hospital, HHS trains the next generation of health-care professionals in collaboration with academic partners including McMaster University and Mohawk College.

Sifa Lwesso had leg surgeries at MCH as a child, and was inspired by the nurses who cared for her.

Cascioli, Lwesso and Thai were introduced to HHS while studying nursing at McMaster University, and all three worked as clinical externs at HHS’ McMaster Children’s Hospital (MCH) before graduating and joining our team as registered nurses.

Senior university and college students in nursing, occupational therapy, respiratory therapy, physiotherapy and paramedic programs can apply to work at HHS hospital sites as clinical externs while in school, working at least one shift per week while also building their skill sets, knowledge and connections.

Externs make significant contributions by helping with tasks they’re allowed to perform as unregulated care providers. Staff welcome the extra hands-on-deck, and students gain valuable work experience at HHS.

Alessandra Cascioli was inspired to become a nurse by her younger brother Joseph, who she accompanied to MCH medical appointments as a teen.

Cascioli was inspired to become a nurse by her younger brother Joseph, who was born with Down syndrome. As a teen, Cascioli accompanied Joseph to medical appointments at MCH.  “I know from those visits how special it is to be so involved in the care of a child. That’s why I want to practice nursing.”

Sifa Lwesso knew from first-hand experience what it’s like to be an MCH patient. “I had leg surgeries at MCH when I was very young because I fractured my femur,” she says. “I remember how amazing the nurses were.”

Tran Thai studied nursing after completing a bachelor of science degree. “As an undergraduate I found myself loving health care but not knowing what career path to take,” says Thai. “I loved the opportunities that I had to work with patients, which is why I thought nursing would be a great fit.”

HHS is hiring across the hospital, recruiting nurses and other health-care workers. For more information about available roles, please visit our careers page.