SE Health National Director of Education Receives Professional Nursing Award for Advocacy from the Association of Regulated Nurses of Manitoba
Tracy Scott, National Director, Education, is being recognized for her advocacy work as a change agent and nurse leader in Manitoba.
Award highlights proven ability as a change agent – advocating for the improvement of health outcomes and a decrease of health inequities for people living in Manitoba.
Tracy Scott is supporting community health with her whole heart. It’s a choice she’s been making for over 30 years. In 1990, as a new nursing graduate, she entered a remote First Nation community in Manitoba with a kind spirit, quiet determination and unrelenting passion – to care for and help people in any way she could.
During her first weekend working, she received a call in the middle of the night from a pregnant mother of seven children, in active labour, who had discharged herself against doctor’s orders from the hospital the day before. The mother had been scheduled for a planned c-section (due to placenta previa) but left because she wanted to be home with her children and was fearful of her circumstances and surroundings. Getting to the hospital as soon as possible was critical. Scott called the local medical transportation driver and started an intravenous that she hung from a coat rack. The closest hospital was over two hours away.
“We met the ambulance halfway and the mother was scared; she was refusing to have a c-section when we arrived at the hospital. I was able to sit with her, hold her hand and listen; listen to her fears and her needs, moment by moment. We talked about these fears and discussed why this was the best and only option for her unborn child – and that this would get her home safely to her other children,” recounted Scott, adding that this was in the “middle of an emergency room” with a lot of pressure from the hospital staff to move quickly. “I remember it like it was yesterday – the moment she squeezed my hand, looked into my eyes and said she would do it. Building that trust by intently listening to her needs and her fear of the ‘unknown’, at such a difficult time, made a huge difference.
Mother and baby survived and I visited her and her family many times over the two years that I worked in the community,” Scott added. “Every day, this stays with me as an example of the power of caring, taking the time to connect, acknowledging and supporting someone; it’s the human piece of nursing that is the essence of my mission and purpose.”
This first experience showed Scott that gathering people in safe places to talk about their hopes, fears and possible solutions, is simple, effective and long lasting. From this beginning, Scott hasn’t looked back; and last month, she was honoured by the Association of Regulated Nurses of Manitoba with a Professional Nursing award for Advocacy.
“They couldn’t have chosen a better advocate than Tracy Scott,” remarked Sylvia Flint, Regional Home and Community Care Program Coordinator in the Department of Indigenous Services at the Government of Canada. “Tracy has made such a huge impact on Indigenous Health, not only in Manitoba but across the country. She is an expert in her field, so insightful and humble. Congratulations, Tracy! You are most deserving of this award, and we are so happy for and proud of you. Thank you for all you do!”
“We are thrilled that Tracy is being recognized with this tremendous honour that highlights her amazing commitment to and care for communities near and far,” said Nancy Lefebre, Chief Clinical Executive at SE Health. “Tracy is a trailblazer and her unwavering support and dedication to helping Indigenous communities across Canada is admirable. We congratulate her on this outstanding achievement and are proud that her leadership and relentless advocacy is guiding SE Health to supporting First Nations communities, providing them with greater access and opportunities in education and beyond, in innovative ways across the country.”
“Working at SE Health is enabling me to take my early career experiences and vision to a whole new level,” said Scott, who’s been at SE Health for 15 years; in various roles and now working as the National Director of Education Services, focusing on supporting Indigenous communities through unique educational initaitives and more.
For almost 20 years, SE Health continues to invest in a dedicated First Nations, Inuit and Métis (FNIM) Program. As a key initiative of the Saint Elizabeth Foundation, the Program works to enhance and support the capacity of FNIM communities across Canada to understand and solve complex health care issues, improve access, and address barriers to care and well-being. Led by Indigenous nurses, the program respects the strength and wisdom of our partners, and their unique cultures and histories.
“I’m so proud to work with an organization that understands that the solutions are in the community,” added Scott. “We are facilitators and helpers and we support communities by bringing their knowledge and solutions forward in a way that is safe and builds trust. The answers are in the community; we are just helping people to share and rediscover what is already there.”
In over three decades of nursing, Scott has seen it all, supporting many people and families in primary care, rural and remote community health and holding leadership roles with federal and provincial governments, and with many Indigenous organizations, across Canada. Scott’s vision focuses on decreasing gaps in health care, increasing access to care and ensuring resources are culturally safe and applicable for Indigenous communities. She is also a tremendous mentor and support to many colleagues and teams along the way.
“I’ve had the pleasure of working with Tracy for over 20 years; and her passion for and commitment to helping other people is inspiring,” said Daniel Wiebe, FNIM Education Program Lead at SE Health. “She is an amazing leader who recognizes and understands opportunities and barriers and supports existing solutions in communities to create tremendous positive impact on individuals and families. Tracy cares deeply about making a difference and that care shines through her clients, her teams and her programs.”
“Thank you to the Association of Registered Nurses in Manitoba for this recognition and award. Throughout my career, I’ve had many amazing opportunities to work with incredible people who share a passion to make a difference in the world. As nurses we have many choices about where we work and where we focus our careers. For me, that has been working with and for Indigenous communities across Manitoba and in my current role across Canada. I am so grateful to work with SE Health, an organization that has a long standing and dedicated commitment to working in partnership with First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities across Canada that honours and respects the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. I am humbled to work with such an amazing team; each one of them are deserving of this recognition and I sincerely thank them for nominating me.”