Heartfelt support: Bursary program to nurture cardiac nursing talent at the Heart Institute

October 19, 2023

OTTAWA, October 19, 2023 The University of Ottawa Heart Institute Foundation (UOHI Foundation) is proud and honoured to announce it has received a charitable gift of $1.5M from the Joyce Family Foundation to fund a nursing bursary program at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute (UOHI).

The Joyce Family Foundation Nursing Bursary Program will provide undergraduate students entering the first year of their nursing program with a tuition bursary while the UOHI will provide the opportunity to intern and receive mentorship, enhanced training, and employment opportunities.

“The Joyce Family Foundation is proud to support student nurses and open the door to internships at the UOHI, Canada’s state-of-the-art education and training in cardiac nursing care,” said the Honourable Ed Lumley, chair of the Joyce Family Foundation. “The recipients selected for this unique opportunity will reflect the diversity of the population, including Inuit and First Nations. This partnership between the Joyce Family Foundation and the UOHI will continue to have impact year after year, addressing a critical need for skilled nurses.”

“When there is passion and impact behind a gift of this magnitude, you can’t help but feel excited about what is possible for the next generation of nurses here at the Heart Institute,” said Lianne Laing, president of the UOHI Foundation and vice president of philanthropy. “We are so grateful for the generosity and vision of the Joyce Family Foundation toward realizing this initiative.”

Students from Ottawa, Eastern Ontario, Gatineau and Nunavut applying for financial support through the nursing bursary program will be eligible for internships. Yearly, many nursing and allied health trainees come to the UOHI for internships and training placements in several specialty areas.

“Together, the UOHI Foundation and the Joyce Family Foundation are investing in the next generation of cardiac nurses who now have the opportunity to make a lasting impact on patient health in their home communities,” said Paul LaBarge, director and former chairman of the Board of Directors of the UOHI, and instigator of the nursing bursary project. “Ron Joyce understood financial adversity as a child and young adult and was intent on giving the disadvantaged a leg up – this gift does that and will diversify the nursing corps to reflect the communities served by the UOHI.”

It is anticipated the fund will provide up to eight awards annually, valued at up to $8,000 each. The awards are renewable for each subsequent year of a student’s enrollment for up to four years.

“This bursary will provide much needed financial support to aspiring nurses, particularly those from diverse backgrounds who may not have otherwise considered cardiac nursing as a career option for them,” said Bonnie Bowes, chief nursing officer and vice president of quality, risk and health information at the UOHI.

The selection committee will give priority to applicants of Inuit and First Nations backgrounds, individuals in the greatest financial need, those facing socio-economic barriers (who may not have the same opportunities to pursue professional training), and those who have overcome obstacles and adversity.

“The impact of this bursary endowment extends beyond individual students,” said Erika MacPhee, vice president of clinical operations at the UOHI. “By supporting the education of nursing professionals with hands-on, on-the-job learning opportunities, we are ultimately enhancing the quality of care provided to patients with cardiovascular conditions.”

About the UOHI

The University of Ottawa Heart Institute has flourished into one of Canada’s most distinguished heart health centres for the unparalleled care it provides to its patients, a world-renowned research institute that brings science from bench to bedside, and the country’s main influencer when it comes to preventing heart disease. Its promise remains the very pillar on which it was built: Always putting patients first.

About the Joyce Family Foundation

The Joyce Family Foundation (formerly The Joyce Foundation) is a private, family foundation created by Canadian entrepreneur Ronald V. Joyce (1930-2019). His philanthropy reflects a deep-rooted sense of responsibility to give back to his community. The Trustees carry out Ron Joyce’s vision in his memory.

Media contact

Leigh B. Morris
Communications Officer
University of Ottawa Heart Institute
613-316-6409 (cell)