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Jessica Rebeiro smiles for a photo.
February 19, 2020

First-of-its-kind nurse practitioner fellowship in Canada

Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) launched a first-of-its-kind Nurse Practitioner (NP) Fellowship Program in Complex Malignant Hematology (CMH). The fellowship was established through generous support from Ron and Nancy Clark to Hamilton Health Sciences Foundation.

Jessica Rebeiro, NP, has been granted the very first Ron & Nancy Clark Nurse Practitioner Fellowship in Hematology. In this role, she will make a vital difference in the field of CMH, which incorporates the diagnosis, treatment and care of people who are diagnosed with leukemia, lymphoma, aplastic anemia or multiple myeloma.

“Malignant hematology has been my passion since I began my nursing career,” says Jessica. “I am fascinated by its complexities, and have always found value and taken tremendous pride in helping others who are confronted with such life-altering diagnoses.”

Jessica began the fellowship on January 20, 2020, and will spend the next year building on and advancing knowledge, skills and competence as an NP in CMH. She will also lead a quality improvement or research initiative aimed at improving patient care and processes in CMH.

“This fellowship means I have the opportunity to increase my expertise as an NP in CMH in order to provide the best care that I can to patients,” explains Jessica. “I think it is a fantastic way to start my career as an NP and am very much looking forward to this year.”

The fellowship team stands in a line and smiles for a photo.

The fellowship project team: Denise Bryant-Lukosius RN PhD, clinician scientist and director of the Canadian Centre of Excellence in Oncology APN (OAPN); Kim Alvarado, the director of oncology, critical care & palliative care program; Margaret Forbes NP, Ron & Nancy Clark NP Fellowship program lead; Jessica Rebeiro NP, the inaugural NP fellow of the Ron & Nancy Clark NP Fellowship; Kari Kolm NP in hematology and NP fellow mentor; and Jennifer Lounsbury, chief of interprofessional practice

An innovative fellowship  

Under the guidance of Margaret Forbes, NP and program lead, the primary goal of this one-year clinical fellowship is for the NP fellow to gain specialized knowledge and skills in CMH.

“Currently, NPs who are interested in practicing in CMH come to the role without the specialized knowledge, skills and competence needed for the position,” says Margaret. “The Ron & Nancy Clark Nurse Practitioner Fellowship in Hematology offers NPs a one-year opportunity to develop clinical, research and leadership skills in CMH.”

“This fellowship means I have the opportunity to increase my expertise as an NP in CMH in order to provide the best care that I can to patients.” – Jessica Rebeiro

This fellowship will draw national attention to HHS.

“This is the first fellowship of its kind in Canada, and in subsequent years the position will be open to NP applicants across the country,” says Margaret.

Margaret notes three key benefits of this new fellowship:

  • Patients with CMH diagnoses and their families will be provided with an excellent experience
  • NPs will be engaged and empowered to meet the health care needs of CMH patients at HHS
  • NPs will conduct research in CMH that will inform health care processes nationally and internationally

The donors who made this possible

A $1.5-million endowment gift by Ron and Nancy Clark supported the fellowship’s creation.

For decades, the Clarks have contributed their time, expertise and financial support to numerous charities in this region and beyond, especially Hamilton Health Sciences Foundation.

The Clarks’ generous support has transformed the state of cancer care at Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre (JHCC) by enabling the purchase of advanced technology and equipment, as well as enabling redevelopment initiatives.

Sadly, Ron passed away in January 2019. The fellowship was developed to acknowledge the NPs who provided exceptional care while he was a patient at JHCC.