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Celebrating National Nursing Week 2019!

Helen Mark, Nurse Clinician, Retired

National Nursing Week is Monday, May 6, to Sunday, May 12, 2019. To all nurses, thank you for being a guiding light for patients.

We would also like to send a special thanks to Helen Mark for everything that she has contributed to the lives of patients, the nursing space, and to the world during her time as a Nurse Clinician. Helen is now retired, enjoying life with her wonderful family. We feel privileged to have the opportunity to help celebrate this important week.

We have featured Helen Mark, Nurse Clinician, in a previous blog post to celebrate Woman's History Month. We are proudly re-telling her story again now, for National Nursing Week.

Helen Mark also happens to be my aunt, and I'm incredibly proud of her for all that she has accomplished and all that she has given through her work as a nurse.

Helen Graduated nursing school in 1978 and spent the next 40 years working with Women's College Hospital. At the start of her career, Helen was a nurse on the surgical floor and then moved into family practice. Approximately 20 years ago, Helen moved to the Breast Cancer Centre where she was involved in every aspect; from diagnosis, treatment to reconstruction. Helen eventually became manager of the Breast Cancer Centre.

Helen later became involved with the implementation of the Ontario Breast Cancer Screening program. In the latter years of her career she focused on being a patient advocate and helping navigate patients through the diagnosis and treatment process. During this time, she also focused her clinical work on breast reconstruction. She was an innovator in patient-centred care and was renowned within the hospital and the breast cancer community for her compassionate patient care and support.

Countless patients have credited Helen with being the key to their ability to cope with their diagnosis and treatment. With the patient always being Helen’s focus, she founded the breast reconstruction workshops at Women’s College Hospital, which has become a model for enabling prospective reconstruction patients to hear directly from leading health care providers in the field and make informed decisions regarding their treatment options.

In 2011, Helen was recognized by Cancer Care Ontario and honoured with the Human Touch Award, which recognizes exemplary patient care. Helen retired from the Breast Cancer Centre in December 2017.

To my Aunt Helen - thank you for dedicating the last 40 years of your work-life to providing care, guidance, and smiles to patients living with cancer. The world is lucky to have you!

Happy National Nursing Week 2019!


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