National Nursing Week Spotlights

It’s National Nursing Week (May 6-12) and Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre (TBRHSC) is highlighting a few of our nurses and their achievements.

Amy Binch, Clinical Nurse Specialist

Amy always knew she wanted to be a nurse, but her career has evolved in ways she never could have anticipated. She knew from early into her university degree that she had a passion for acute care nursing. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Lakehead University in 2012, Amy embarked on her career at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre.

Amy started as a staff nurse on our 1A medical oncology unit, where she then joined the Nursing Resource Team and was able to diversify her nursing skills by working in numerous areas across the Hospital. After a few years of floating between units, Amy accepted a position on 2A medical inpatient unit. Here, Amy not only continued to grow as a nurse, but also discovered a love for teaching, leading, and mentorship. Additionally, Amy is committed to creating exceptional learning experiences for nursing students and have been involved in instructing clinical groups in a variety of settings over the years, as well as collaborating with Lakehead University for teaching content and instructing in the Nursing Skills Labs. This passion for teaching and learning fueled her pursuit of a Master of Nursing degree with a focus in Leadership from Athabasca University.

Currently, Amy is the Clinical Nurse Specialist for the Medicine program, where she supports units 2A and 2B. In this role as an Advanced Practice Nurse, all of her work aims to improve the care provided at the Hospital. Amy’s multifaceted role encompasses six practice competencies including research, education, direct comprehensive care, consultation and collaboration, optimizing health systems, and leadership. Amy is very involved in the training of new nursing staff, analyzing health research to determine nursing best practices, writing and implementing policies and procedures, quality improvement initiatives, teaching nurses, and supporting nurses in the care they provide to patients at the bedside. This impactful role allows her to combine the knowledge and experience to directly improve patient outcomes while contributing to the advancement of the nursing profession.

“I do not do this work alone, I’m fortunate to work alongside a remarkable team of Clinical Nurse Specialists, Interprofessional Educators and Professional Practice Leads,” says Amy. “I am incredibly proud of my team and exceptional work we accomplish together.”


Christian Popa, Nurse Practitioner

Christian is a highly skilled Nurse Practitioner specializing in trauma and acute care surgery. With a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Primary Health Care Nurse Practitioner certification, a Masters Degree, and expertise in emergency and trauma nursing, Advanced Cardiac Life Support, and Pediatric Advanced Life Support, Christian brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the field.

Motivated by a desire for in-depth medical knowledge and a lifelong commitment to learning, Christian transitioned from a background in emergency department nursing to the Nurse Practitioner role. This position allows for both autonomy and collaborative care, ensuring the highest quality treatment for patients in Northwestern Ontario.

: Christian’s dedication to patient well-being extends beyond the initial treatment phase. Notably, Christian spearheaded the implementation of the Hospital’s Trauma Follow-up Clinic. This innovative initiative ensures comprehensive post-discharge care for trauma patients, promoting a smoother recovery journey, and avoiding readmissions to hospital.

As part of the Trauma and Acute Care Surgery team, Christian excels in providing comprehensive care from admission to discharge and follow-up in his clinic. This includes patient assessments, treatment implementation, cross-specialty consultations, procedural expertise, and patient, family, and staff education. Christian is dedicated to safe, seamless transitions of care through a strong multidisciplinary approach. He possesses a keen interest in advanced procedures, regularly expanding his skillset to provide the best possible care for his patients.

A key highlight is involvement in outpatient follow-up, promoting full recovery for trauma patients, as well as in research and policy development to advance the field. Beyond direct patient care, Christian is passionate about injury prevention, community health education, and knowledge translation. Teaching students and residents is a significant and rewarding part of his role.


Carly Della Vedova, Registered Nurse

Carly Della Vedova has been working as a nurse in surgery for five years and loves her job. She enjoys working with a great group of people and appreciates the unpredictability and complexity of surgeries. Carly has pursued further education, obtained wound care certificates and has taken courses that allow her to broaden her knowledge and expertise. She finds wound care especially interesting and enjoys using her additional education to better serve her patients every day.


Grace Fleming, nursing student at Oshki-Wenjack


Grace Fleming has worked as a ward clerk at Red Lake Hospital since 2014. Grace knew early in her employment that she wanted to become a nurse, but the opportunities to advance her career in Red Lake were limited. In 2022, she discovered a nursing program at Oshki-Wenjack. “Oshki has allowed me the ability to do most of the program from my hometown,” says Grace. “I have enjoyed the small class sizes, and the one-on-one learning. I am looking forward to starting my career in my hometown of Red Lake.”


Mary Flaherty, Registered Nurse

Mary Flaherty graduated from Lakehead University in June 2022 with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Currently, she is working as a Registered Nurse on 3B, a surgical inpatient unit at Thunder Bay Regional Health Science Centre. Mary has learned a lot during the last year and a half, and she has advanced from being a new graduate to becoming a reliable member of the team. She often serves as a unit lead, managing various situations beyond the typical caseload, which makes for an exciting and ever-changing environment. Mary says that her passion for nursing has grown through the experiences she has shared with fellow staff and patients she has worked with. She credits the amazing nurses she works with on 3B for their help and guidance, which has shaped her into the nurse she is today. Mary hopes to set an example for future generations of nurses and to be a role model of patient-centred care.


Lelo Dlamini, a nursing student at Oshki-Wenjack

Lelo Dlamini, is originally from the Kingdom of Eswatini. She is a proud mother of three wonderful children. Recently, Lelo embarked on an exciting journey to Canada, embracing new opportunities and experiences. As a newcomer to this country, Lelo is eager to immerse herself in its diverse culture and community while building a bright future for herself and her family.

Lelo decided to pursue a career in nursing after being deeply moved by the exceptional care that her mother received during her struggle with diabetes. “The nurses who attended to her showed clinical proficiency, remarkable empathy, and kindness,” says Lelo. “Their support greatly influenced our family’s journey through a challenging period. I aspire to become a nurse, so that I can offer the same compassionate care and support to others during their moment of need.”


Sara Bobyk, Registered Practical Nurse

Sara graduated from Confederation College in 2016. With over eight years of nursing experience across various settings, Sara has thrived in supporting patients across many areas of the healthcare system. From her time at Roseview Manor (LTC) to the OATC methadone clinic and now the last six years in acute care at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, Sara has consistently found deep fulfillment in helping and caring for patients as they go through some of the most difficult moments of their life.

“I enjoy building connections with patients and appreciate the opportunity to learn about their unique backgrounds and stories,” says Sara. “It is fulfilling to see patients get better and be able to provide comfort to those who might not have supported or don’t have a good prognosis.”


Ashley Pecore, Registered Practical Nurse

Ashley is a Registered Practical Nurse at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre (TBRHSC). After graduating from Confederation College in 2022, she worked at London Health Sciences Centre (University Campus) to practice her nursing skills. It was during that experience when she fell in love with the profession. After a year, Ashley decided it was time to come back home and began working at TBRHSC.

Throughout her time at our Hospital, Ashley developed a fondness for teaching and aspires to be as supportive as the nurses who trained her. According to Ashley, teaching within the nursing field is crucial. It sets the foundation for the first experience in the field and helps students and new hires see how gratifying nursing jobs can be. Teaching also allows nurses to improve their awareness and understanding of their responsibilities, skills, and knowledge. Despite the challenges of being a nurse, Ashley believes nursing is a rewarding profession that allows individuals to grow and impact patients and their family members during some of the most difficult moments of their lives.