WorkSafeBC 2020 Innovation at Work Research Grant Competition

Hello Canadian Association for Occupational Health Nurses,

Do you have an idea that could help improve workplace health and safety?

We are pleased to announce the launch of our 2020 Innovation at Work research grant competition. These grants support small-scale research projects that lead to the development of practical solutions to address workplace health and safety issues.

Award details:

  • Awards are generally up to $50,000 for one year
  • Multiple awards available each year
  • No specific education or training required
  • Projects should align with our research priorities.

Any Canadian resident may apply for this competition. There are no specific education or training requirements needed. We welcome applications from individuals with non-academic backgrounds. Academics may also apply but they require a non-academic team member, who takes an active role.

Important dates:

Applications open:     November 22, 2019
Letter of Intent:       December 20, 2019 (optional)
Applications close:     February 14, 2020

We can help!

We encourage applicants to reach out to us with any questions or assistance in completing the application form. You may contact us at 604-244-6300 or

Hines Health Services – Recipient of the Canada’s Women Entrepreneurship Fund

May 6, 2019
FORT MCMURRAY, AB – Hines Health Services is pleased to announce that it has been named as a successful applicant of the Government of Canada’s Women Entrepreneurship Fund and received an investment of $100,000 to develop a workplace impairment assessment tool called WAIT.

The Government of Canada is advancing women’s economic empowerment with the first-ever Women Entrepreneurship Strategy, a $2-billion investment that seeks to double the number of women-owned businesses by 2025. The strategy complements the Government of Canada’s efforts to advance gender equality, which include addressing pay equity, providing more affordable childcare and putting an end to gender-based violence. The Women Entrepreneurship Fund is a $20-million fund providing direct investment in women entrepreneurs to help them innovate, grow, and access new markets.

“It’s a great honour to be selected and to be included in a group of such accomplished female business leaders”, said Kristi Hines, Founder & Director of Hines Health Services. “This investment from the Government of Canada is going to help Hines Health Services diversify into the technology sector and grow. I’m proud to be part of this innovative Women Entrepreneurship Strategy,” she added.

As part of the strategy, the Honourable Mary Ng, Canada’s Minister of Small Business and Expert Promotion announced a $1.2-million investment in 13 women-led companies in the Edmonton area through the Women Entrepreneurship Fund.

“Our government believes that women’s economic empowerment is not just the right thing to do; it’s good for the bottom line. That’s why we launched the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy, a strategy that seeks to double the number of women-owned businesses by increasing their access to financing, networks and advice. It’s a smart investment with an economic and social return,” said the Minister Ng.

Minister Ng joined the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Natural Resources and Member of Parliament for Edmonton Mill Woods, Randy Boissonnault, Member of Parliament for Edmonton Centre, and several local women entrepreneurs to celebrate women’s entrepreneurship in Canada and share how the federal government is helping women entrepreneurs succeed.

“Our government knows that Canada works best when it works for everyone. This is why, through the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy, we are investing in women entrepreneurs here in Edmonton and in communities across the country,” said Minister Sohi.


Women’s Entrepreneurship Fund The Women’s Entrepreneurship Fund is a $20-million fund providing direct investment in women entrepreneurs. Successful applicants will receive investments of up to $100,000 to help them grown their business and reach new export markets.

For more information on the Women’s Entrepreneurship Fund, visit:

Hines Health Services Based in Fort McMurray, Hines Health Services specializes in occupational health and takes great pride in being at the forefront of medical testing and assessment in the workplace. Recipient of the 2018 Professional Services Business of the Year Award from the Fort McMurray Chamber of Commerce, Hines Health Services serves thousands of employees in oil and gas, construction and government and has a national network of 120 affiliate clinic locations across Canada.

For more information on Hines Health Services, visit:

WAIT App WAIT mobile app is a Workplace Impairment Assessment Tool that is designed to provide immediate results to analyze impairment, with specific applications for fit for duty work environments. This digital tool, based on mobile technology and a proprietary algorithm, is developing the standard in workplace impairment testing across Canada providing a centralized hub for data collection, verification, and application.

For more information on the WAIT App, visit:

Sailing into the Ice

The Arctic Ocean is so beautiful in the late summer and early fall, but can be deathly cold & unpredictable. Having a well-prepared, self-sufficient team is critical when it comes to marine safety and emergency response.

Theresa McGuire, COHNA-ACIIST Director for Nova Scotia penned the article Sailing into the Ice, which you can read in FrontLine Defence Magazine.

Theresa McGuire is a certified Occupational Health Nurse and Canadian Registered Safety Professional in Halifax, NS. She is a retired Canadian Armed Forces officer and former volunteer ground search and rescue team member, who now works with the Coast Guard as a Health Officer. Theresa McGuire is very proud of the great work done by the Canadian Coast Guard and looks forward to many more sailing missions in the years to come.

Safety Risks for Flood Responders

Floods are a serious catastrophe and are the number one natural disaster in Canada, with both numbers and severity on the rise.

Theresa McGuire, COHNA-ACIIST Director for Nova Scotia penned the article Safety Risks for Flood Responders featured in FrontLine Defence Magazine

You can view the full interactive magazine at the link above or read Theresea’s article online here.

Theresa McGuire is a certified Occupational Health Nurse and Canadian Registered Safety Professional in Halifax, NS. She is a retired Canadian Armed Forces officer and former volunteer ground search and rescue team member, who now works with the Coast Guard as a Health Officer.


2018 COHNA-ACIIST Bursary Awards

We are pleased to announce that Ashley Kushnir and Shawna Nelson are the successful applicants for the 2018 COHNA-ACIIST Bursary Award.


Ashley Kushnir is an Occupational Health Nurse with the Winnipeg Police Service in Manitoba. She is also the COHNA-ACIIST Board of Director representing Manitoba. She is awarded $410 to offset the costs of writing the CNA COHN(C) certification exam. Ashley passed the exam and is now nationally certified. Congratulations from the COHNA-ACIIST Board of Directors! We are very proud of you!





Shawna Nelson is the Manager of Employee Health & Ability at Covenant Health in Edmonton, Alberta and also is an instructor at the MacEwan University’s Occupational Health Nursing program.  She currently serves on the Board of the Alberta Occupational Health Nurses’ Association as the Education & Events Coordinator. Shawna is being awarded $590 to support her studies in completing an Executive Masters of Business Administration, Health & Safety Leadership, with the University of Fredericton. We wish you every success as you work toward the completion of this degree Shawna. Congratulations!

AOHNA/UNB Light the Lamp Winner 2017 – Regina Harty

Together with Educational Sponsor, University of New Brunswick, the Alberta Occupational Health Nurses’ Association (AOHNA) presented their 2017 “Light the Lamp” social media campaign award at their Annual Education Day and Symposium in May.

The winning video was submitted by Regina Harty, New Brunswick, who flew out to attend the symposium and accept her award. Watch her winning video at:

The “Light the Lamp” social media campaign is intended to increase public awareness and knowledge about the role and value of occupational health specialty nursing practice.  The association encourages nurses to submit videos for judging and recognition of their contribution to occupational health that showcases the unique skills and abilities of occupational health nurses and the unique settings in which they work. This campaign also provides the opportunity for nurses to develop and enhance their skills and abilities working with new and evolving technology that will expand their capacity in the workplace.

Congratulations Regina!


Bursary Award Announcement

March 21, 2017

COHNA-ACIIST is committed to supporting member’s continuing education to enhance not only your personal and professional growth but our collective knowledge as a vibrant and essential occupational health and safety profession.

We are now accepting applications for the COHNA-ACIIST Bursary Award from members who have taken occupational health & safety related educational programs; participated in continuing education; research; or have written the CNA certification exam in the past 18 months. For more information, the Bursary Award Guidelines and Application Form go to

The submission date has been extended to April 30, 2017.

Applications and required documentation must be submitted to the attention of Anne Masters-Boyne, Secretary/Treasurer, by April 30th at

Yours Truly

Cathy Dormody RN BN COHN(C) // President

Occupational Health Nurse

Partnership with University of New Brunswick (UNB)

We are pleased to advise that COHNA-ACIIST has entered into an agreement with UNB to promote continuing education. UNB has a long and successful history of providing occupational health and safety training to Canadian industry. In partnership with subject matter experts across the country, UNB has recently expanded and now offers a Certificate in Occupational Health Nursing.

UNB Director of Business Development, Kelly O’Brien stated, We are very excited to be collaborating with COHNA-ACIIST on a very special co-marketing relationship to help create awareness of the online certificate program. UNB takes pride in the special partnerships we have to serve the needs of Canadians, and working with COHNA-ACIIST will be a significant step forward in terms of serving this important profession.”

There are several programs and courses related to occupational health nursing practice that members can avail of and use for continuous learning hours and they include:

  • Certificate in Occupational Health Nursing (COHN)
  • Pathway to Coping (PTC)
  • Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety (COHS)
  • Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety (DOHS)
  • CRSP Preparation course
  • Certificate in Management Essentials (CME)

COHNA-ACIIST will receive a percentage of the course registration fee when members register using the link through our website. To register for a course or one of the programs of study listed above, and for more information go to

Yours Truly

Cathy Dormody RN BN COHN(C) // President

Occupational Health Nurse

President’s Message 2017





President’s Message, March 21, 2017
Cathy Dormody RN BN COHN(C)

It has been a special honor and privilege to begin my term as President of COHNA-ACIIST in January 2017 and my first order of business is to say thank-you! Our outgoing President, Heather Temple, deserves a huge thank-you for her leadership, commitment and passion for the practice of occupational health nursing and to our association. Heather is very knowledgeable and we are fortunate that she will remain on the Board of Directors (BOD) representing Manitoba. I am grateful to be able to rely on her experience as we move forward. I would also like to thank our all of the Executive and BOD. I am inspired by everyone’s commitment to be part of a National voice. Canada is a diverse country and Occupational Health Nurses in each Province have their own set of challenges and successes. Coming together to share knowledge, expertise and innovative ideas will continue to strength our association and I am confident that we will be steadfast in addressing the challenges we face over the next two years and our accomplishments will be many. Finally, thank-you to our Administrator who continues to manage our business activities and provide guidance on the work we do. I look forward to working with you all and continuing to fulfil the mission of COHNA-ACIIST.

We are well on our way through 2017 and we have many exciting yet challenging times ahead. Our focus this year has been to continuing to add value, support the provincial members and to grow as an organization. We have some new initiatives planned and some from past successes that we will continue to maintain. There are several key elements that will help drive us forward and I would like to share them with you:

New Website: On March 21, 2017, we will launch our new COHNA-ACIIST website. This was an unexpected project that began in 2016, however, with the tireless efforts of the entire BOD we now have a new, modern, and user friendly website. All the information on our previous website has been reviewed, edited, updated and some information archived. In keeping with the “added value” to our members we are thrilled to announce that our website has the ability for each Provincial member to have their own microsite with the same functionality as the main COHNA-ACIIST site. This includes the ability to post your association/special interest group logo and have public and private members sections. We trust that this new initiative will benefit you greatly and we strongly encourage members to join. This will help to strengthen our connections and to be seen truly as a National organization. For members who wish to continue to have their own independent websites, you are invited to create a public page with an external link to your website. In the coming weeks a separate announcement and detailed instructions will sent to each member.

Building Relationships: COHNA-ACIIST is one of the 46 members of the Canadian Network of Nursing Specialties (CNNS). We are also one of the 20 specialties that hold a CNA Certification. As President of COHNA-ACIIST, I represent you on both on the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) committees; CNNS and Certification Program Advisory Committee (CPAC). I will continue to build on the relationship established by our Past President and those before. I will keep you informed and up to date on the activities, trends and happenings that impact our Occupational Health Nursing specialty group and our practice.

We are also looking to continue to foster and build relationships with other organizations with an interest in supporting and promoting occupational health and safety.

Finally, we are especially interested in you, our own Provincial members! If you have any special projects or initiatives planned and you would like to engage COHNA-ACIIST, please let us know.

Promoting Continuing Education and CNA Certification: Were you aware, COHNA-ACIIST has an annual Bursary Award? We do but hurry! 2017 applications are due April 30th.The Bursary Award supports continuing education focused on advancing and enhancing occupational health nursing knowledge including CNA Certification in occupational health nursing.

This year we have also entered into a partnership with the University of New Brunswick (UNB) to promote a variety of online course offerings in the field of occupational health nursing and safety. Registration will be through our website!  More details on this new initiative coming soon.

National Conference: As many of you are aware, annually we partner with one of our members to host a National conference. I am proud to announce that the 2017 conference is in partnership with New Brunswick Occupational Health Nurses Group (NBOHNG) and will be held on Moncton, N.B. from September 26-27, 2017. This year’s conference “Choose to Care” will have experts who will speak on current and emerging health and safety topics relevant in today’s workplaces. Stay tuned for more details and save the dates!

National Forum: COHNA-ACIIST in partnership with the Alberta Occupational Health Nurses Association (AOHNA) is planning a National Forum on Occupational Health Nursing in Canada. This is a major initiative and will take place on September 22-23, 2017 in Moncton, N.B., just prior to our National Conference.  This forum will address the challenges facing Occupational Health Nurses in Canada and assist us in creating a unified strategic plan to ensure a strong and sustainable future.  We will be inviting several stakeholders to participate including occupational health nursing associations and special interest groups who are currently not part of COHNA-ACIIST or CNA. More details on the forum will be shared as they develop.

As you can see, the Executive and BOD have been working diligently towards serving you better and leading many beneficial changes. I am proud to be given this opportunity and with the support of our Executive and BOD I know together we can achieve success and strengthen the practice of Occupational Health Nursing for today and the future.


Yours Truly

Cathy Dormody RN BN COHN(C) // President

Occupational Health Nurse