Dear Selection Committee,
We are pleased to nominate Karen Sims for the Terina Werry Award for Excellence in Clinical Practice (APN). Karen is an exceptional Nurse Practitioner with expertise in many areas including acute, primary, and specialized care in inherited bleeding disorders and is well known and respected across the NP community in PHC and BC.
She demonstrates excellence in nursing on a daily basis through her knowledge and expertise in all areas of care, and can frequently be heard saying at rounds “I did a literature search and…” She also invites opinions from her team members by saying “I just want to bounce something off you” and thoughtfully acknowledges the opinions offered. Karen has acquired advanced skills in Point Of Care Ultrasound (POCUS) for muscle skeletal assessments, which is a valuable tool in our program for identifying and assessing bleeds. In 2020, Karen co-authored a paper detailing the peripartum management of a rare type of Von Willebrand Disease, and then went on to share this expertise with her colleagues across Canada during the annual meeting of the Canadian Association of Nurses in Hemophilia Care.
Karen’s commitment to patient care is unsurpassed. In March 2020, the pandemic had just begun and nobody knew what the future held. The patients were uncertain as to how they would access their treatments and our program. Karen jumped into action and quickly created a draft program framework, to address a host of issues that our program was about to face, these included virtual care, possible team illness, and the need to work from home. In these early days, a few of our patients that required nursing assistance to infuse coagulation products in their homes were suddenly told that home nursing would not be available. As our program scrambled to come up with a plan, Karen immediately volunteered to go on a “road trip” to assist a few patients in need, to tide them over till we could secure nursing or come up with a new plan of care.
In the midst of the above stress and uncertainty Karen proposed a Bleeding Disorder Team WhatsApp group. Postings could only be about non-work topics and definitely not Covid. Posting was optional and the goal was “Team led, low volume, comic relief and safe harbour for sharing, staying connected and maintaining team connectedness”. After her initial hilariously cute set of baby goat videos on March 23, 2020 we were all hooked. The team continues to stay connected this way and she aptly realized that caring for the team is really important.
Karen is very diligent in ensuring patients receive high quality care. She takes the time to follow up on unanticipated medical outcomes to see where gaps may lie and how we can improve care in the future. Karen role models excellence in nursing care not only in her clinical practice, but through her work on multiple committees. She is the chair of the PHC Nurse Practitioner Department Quality Committee, she was involved in the updating of the Canadian integrated and Comprehensive Care Standards for Inherited Bleeding Disorders, she is a member of the BC College of Nurses and Midwives Objective Structured Clinical Examination Standards Committee, and currently holds the position of President of the NP Council of the Nurse and Nurse Practitioners of BC.
In all components of practice Karen exemplifies what professional and exceptional care is in real life – her strong work ethic, and focus on excellent patient care really sets her apart. Her communication skills are exceptional – last spring Karen was interviewed during nursing week regarding the role of NPs in BC. Karen was articulate and her deep knowledge of the health care system and NPs contribution was evident. We are so fortunate to have Karen on our Adult Bleeding Disorder team and an integral member of the NP Division at PHC.
Sandra Barr, RN, MHA, CHE
Program Director Medicine, Older Adult & Palliative Program, Providence Health Care
Regional Administrative Director Medicine Program VCH/PHC
Michelle Bech Clark, MN, ACNP-NP (A)
Adult Bleeding Disorders Program of BC/Yukon, Providence Health Care
Angela Carr, BScN, LLM
Patient Care Manager (PCM)
SPH Medicine & Lung Ambulatory Clinics, Providence Health Care
Shannon Jackson, MD FRCPC
Adult Bleeding Disorders Program of BC