Nursing staff are highly skilled health care professionals who combine the art of caring with scientific knowledge and skills developed through their education and career.  Nursing staff are involved in educating patients about health and disease processes, health promotion activities, clinical procedures and management of nursing processes.  Nurses can practice in a variety of areas with a different scope of practice.

During National Nursing Week the second week of May, we celebrate the hundreds of nursing staff at MAHC and the work they do to provide patient- and family-centered care. At the hospitals, these individuals include Registered Nurses, Registered Practical Nurses and Nurse Practitioners.

Introducing Sara Tumber, RNRegistered Nurse Sara Tumber was a new nursing graduate when she came to MAHC more than two decades ago. With a keen interest in critical care, she has spent more than half of her career in the Emergency Dept. where, as Sara says, no two days are the same. Showing compassion and empathy during emergency visits is a big part of who Sara is as a nurse.
So are keeping up her own skills and teaching courses like Advanced Cardiac Life Support for adult and pediatric patients to other medical professionals. Sara is a Board Award of Excellence recipient, and an avid traveller with a trip to Portugal in the wings. She also has a daughter who is pursuing a degree in science.



Introducing Way Lem, RNRegistered Nurse Way Lem epitomizes what it is to be a nurse.  With his larger than life personality and comic relief, he is well known in South Muskoka for going the extra mile for patients in the Emergency Dept.  His nursing career has included working at the local corrections facility and also a travel assignment to Arizona where he experienced e-health charting.  He credits all of his fellow co-workers from all departments, past and present, for being excellent teachers of better ways to do things.  Way is a Board Award of Excellence recipient, trains community members in CPR, First Aid and AED, and also teaches Tai Chi.  He says it's an honour and privilege to be involved in the lives patients and co-workers.




Introducing Laura Derbyshire, RNRegistered Nurse Laura Derbyshire's reason for becoming a nurse is just like many others -- the personal need to help others.  Laura has been an RN at MAHC for nearly 30 years and has developed her leadership skills as the Clinical Lead for Inpatient Services, a role in which she provides day-to-day support for the medical/surgical floor, Obstetrics and Intensive Care.  Laura ensures daily rounds follow patient discharge plans and is also involved in meeting with families to ensure patient needs are being met.  Laura believes in "see, do, teach" and loves mentoring new nurses and seeing them grow.  When she's not working, she likes being on the back of a motorcycle. Laura is currently part of the Leadership Team. 




Introducing Alanna Major, RNCaring for people runs in Registered Nurse Alanna Major's family.  Her grandmother and her mother were PSWs at SMMH, and one of her daughters is ready to follow in her footsteps.  Alanna has spent the majority of her 25+ year nursing career caring for critical patients in the Intensive Care Unit.  Teamwork is what nursing is all about and Alanna says she is proud  to work with an amazing team of nursing professionals in Bracebridge.  Besides providing high-quality patient care, she says the best part of her job is the energy that new nurses bring to the hospital. Alanna is also a gardening guru.




Introducing Lee-Ila Phinney, RPNExposure to a hospital setting and kind nurses at a young age inspired Lee-Ila Phinney to get involved in patient care. She has worked as a Registered Practical Nurse since 1990 and was fortunate to spend part of her career in her home community of Burk's Falls.
Currently, Lee-Ila works in a Resource position where she is assigned to work in a specific area of the hospital at the beginning of her shift. She has spent time in a variety of departments like Emergency, Intensive Care, Dialysis and supporting ambulance transfers.
"Every day can be different, which is one of the nicer things about the position. You have to be versatile and I very much enjoy working in different departments. I love my job. It's been a good choice."




Donna Carson, RNDonna Carson has worked as a Registered Nurse in many areas of the hospital. She spent 10 years in Emergency and as many more in the Operating Room.  Donna has also worked as a Clinical Lead for acute care, Obstetrics and the Intensive Care Unit where her problem-solving and leadership skills were put to good use on a daily basis as a frontline leader providing assistance and support at the point of care. In 2013, she celebrated her 20-year anniversary at the hospital.
"Coming from other specialty areas, it's been a pleasure to get to know the staff on the medical/surgical floor and branch out into another area of managing patient care. It's a rewarding position for me to support other nurses who rely on my guidance and assistance."



Shannon Fletcher, RNRegistered Nurse Shannon Fletcher strives to make one's visit to the Emergency Room as comfortable as possible. "Communication and trust are most important to developing a rapport with a patient," says Shannon.
Despite the department's fast pace, Shannon takes the time to listen to her patient's needs and appreciates that everyone's experience is different, and sometimes scary.
Looking back nearly 15 years, Shannon came to the hospital as a new graduate and worked on Med-Surg and in Obstetrics. She is grateful for the mentorship by the many experienced nurses at the hospital.




Dan Gaughan, RNRegistered Nurse Dan Gaughan is empathy and compassion personified. He grew up down the road from Huntsville Hospital and remembers touring the facility as a child when it first opened. He may have never imagined that one day he would be working in the Emergency Dept. But following a career in forestry and experience answering medical calls as a volunteer firefighter with the Oxtongue Lake Station, Dan was inspired to become a nurse. Caring for others isn't just a job for Dan. He also volunteers his time with a non-profit community-based agency called Street Health, which provides care to Toronto's homeless.




Tammy Devoe, RPNRegistered Practical Nurse Tammy Devoe has had the pleasure of working at both of MAHC's sites since pursuing nursing as a second career about five years ago. Currently Tammy holds a Resource position where at the beginning of her shift she is assigned to work in a specific area of the hospital. She likes the variety of nursing in different departments and working with colleagues from different interprofessional teams. She enjoys caring for and providing support to patients in their time of need and getting to know their personalities. Educating patients about their care is also a big part of her nursing role.




Debbie Payne, RNRegistered Nurse Debbie Payne has made caring for others a focus of her life, both personally and professionally. She is one of 4 nurses embracing a new role at MAHC's sites as a Patient Experience & Flow Navigator. Focused on the patient's care experience and their care journey, they work collaboratively with the inter-professional care team to ensure patients get the high quality care they need in the right setting at the right time and also assist with safe discharge home. Nursing staff advocate for the patient and support a patient- and family-centered approach to care.





Introducing Heather Maskell, RNAsk Heather Maskell and she will tell you she is passionate about Perioperative nursing. It's also what brought her to MAHC in April 2008.
"It's my passion," she says. "I love it."
As a Perioperative Nurse, Heather feels she is making a very direct impact on a patient's life and health outcome. The nursing team members bring different specialties to the team and Heather's area of focus is a specialized endoscopic procedure.
"Here we do it all," she says. "One day I could be checking a patient in recovery, another I could be in the operating room and the next I could be doing scopes. I really like the diversity, and seeing that continuation of care also helps to foster a better appreciation of the patient's experience and how the team operates." Newly married, Heather enjoys a variety of outdoor activities in all four seasons.



Introducing Sue BedorePatients are Sue Bedore's first priority.
As a Perioperative Nurse, Sue supports the Surgical Services team and is part of the patient's care before, during and after a surgical procedure. Sue has worked at the hospital for just over 30 years and has seen the shift to more outpatient procedures.
At MAHC, Perioperative Nurses are assigned to different surgical areas, like Endoscopy, Day Surgery or helping the surgeons in the Operating Room.
"We operate as a team, but we all have our own duty or job to do," says Sue. "The patient is why I'm here and I enjoy being a part of their road to recovery, listening and being there for them, and answering questions they may have."
Sue says her colleagues are just like members of her family and she has enjoyed watching both physician clerkship and nursing students grow.


Introducing Tracy Mackenzie, RNTracy Mackenzie, RN, spent many years in a private doctor's office before pursuing a new challenge in nursing. The Operating Room proved to be a perfect fit for Tracy, and she now leads and supports the daily functions of the perioperative team as the Clinical Leader. She has been part of the MAHC team since 1998 and recently worked very hard to help prepare for the addition of gynecological surgery.
"It's a great team environment and the best part is getting to know each other so well," Tracy says. "It's very rewarding to work so closely."
Tracy loves to cook and enjoys sitting down with a pencil or paintbrush, or hanging with her grandchildren.




Introducing Lesley-Anne Earl, RNLesley-Anne Earl has worked in Huntsville as a Registered Nurse on the Medical/Surgical Unit since 2006. "LA", as she's known to her colleagues, completed her placement in the Emergency Dept. and now enjoys being able to see a variety of patients on the floor. Most recently she has stepped up to cover for the Clinical Leader of the unit. She has supported new nursing grads in preceptorship and orientation and also obtained critical care training to expand her clinical scope. LA enjoys working with a great group of nurses, who she calls her second family to her husband Clayton and children Jake and Jordyn who also keep her busy with activities and taking pictures.




Introducing Joanne Koch, RNAfter working in big city hospitals through a staffing relief agency, Joanne Koch made the move north to work as a Registered Nurse in Muskoka. Since joining the MAHC team in 2002, Joanne has found a new family at work, which she describes as the best people she's ever worked with. Her interest in labour and delivery led her to focus her nursing skills on Antenatal and Obstetrical care at the HDMH Site. She believes in doing all she can for her patients and wears her heart on her sleeve. When she's not nursing,Joanne puts her do-it-yourself skills to work with renovations at her home.




Introducing Shelly McMurray, RNShelly McMurray is a familiar face at the SMMH Site where she was born and now thrives on being part of the team that brings new babies into the world. Over her nursing career, Shelly also worked on the Medical/Surgical Unit and in long-term care, but says Obstetrics is her favourite specialty area. Often times in the community setting, moms remind her that she was there when their bundle of joy was born. Recently, Shelly has been working hard to improve her skills as a core member on the Managing Obstetrical Risk Effectively (MOREOB) team. For Shelly, patients and their families come first in her commitment to high-quality care.




Introducing Kelli Todd, RNKelli Todd worked as a PSW (Personal Support Worker) for 10 years before studying to become a Registered Practical Nurse. Kelli is grateful to have had the support of the Education & Scheduling Departments at MAHC as she pursued her diploma. She was able to return to the SMMH Site for her nursing consolidation and has enjoyed every minute of her new role on the care team. Teamwork is a big part of what Kelli stands for and she is grateful to many nurses and doctors who take the time to teach her new things. She is a relentless advocate for those she looks after at the bedside, and believes in doing the little things that make patient care better.