Grand River Hospital’s Regional Cancer Centre oncology nurses recognized as cancer care leaders by de Souza Institute

April 1, 2014 |

Oncology nurses at Grand River Hospital’s Regional Cancer Centre are being recognized for excellence in cancer care on Oncology Nursing Day (April 1st) by de Souza Institute, an innovative centre of cancer care learning.

GRH’s Regional Cancer Centre has been a leader in Ontario with over 125 nurses participating in de Souza’s cancer care courses, including over 75 nurses who have taken the standardized chemotherapy and biotherapy course.

“We are proud to present Grand River Hospital’s Regional Cancer Centre with this prestigious plaque,” said Dr. Mary Jane Esplen, Director of de Souza Institute. “The nurses at GRH’s Regional Cancer Centre are leaders in cancer care and the community is lucky to have these expert nurses who are committed to cancer care excellence.”

Maureen Watt-Smit, a registered nurse and education practice lead at GRH’s Regional Cancer Centre, will be individually recognized with a plaque for achieving her de Souza Nurse Designation. The designation showcases her expertise in cancer care. After completing a program of intensive oncology courses and a clinical fellowship, Maureen became the second nurse to achieve the de Souza Nurse Designation at GRH and is one of only nine nurses to hold a de Souza Designation.

“To me, the fundamental component of excellence in nursing practice begins with education, where new learning is applied to practice,” says Maureen. “The de Souza Institute provides diversity in oncology education, which has helped me to consider patient needs from multiple perspectives. This is invaluable learning for any oncology nurse.”

The demand for nurses with specialized skills in cancer care is continuing to grow. Grand River Hospital’s Regional Cancer Centre and the de Souza Institute are focused on improving the cancer care experience for patients and families by ensuring they have access to the best cancer care nurses and information.


About Grand River Hospital’s Regional Cancer Centre

GRH’s Regional Cancer Centre opened in Kitchener, Ontario in September 2003. We are proud to serve the residents of Waterloo Region, Wellington County and surrounding areas, with a population of greater than 700,000.

GRH’s Regional Cancer Centre, an integrated cancer program, is a full service and comprehensive cancer treatment and research centre. Areas of specialized care include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, clinical trials, supportive care, inpatient oncology and palliative care.

About de Souza Institute

Established in 2008, de Souza Institute in partnership with University Health Network, Cancer Care Ontario and funded by Ontario’s Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, provides ongoing educational support, professional development and career counseling to nurses caring for cancer patients and families. de Souza Institute is providing cancer care excellence by: delivering innovative continuing education and mentorship programs; helping nurses to achieve national certification; funding graduate scholarships to develop tomorrow’s leaders, and supporting in self-care and career development.


For more information, please contact:

Anna Hewat, Communications Officer

Grand RiverHospital

Office:  (519) 749-4300 extension 2986| Twitter @GRHospitalKW | Youtube: griverhosp


Shanna Brisebois

de Souza Institute

Cell: 647-537-6714