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:  http://aohna.org/resources-links/aohna-light-the-lamp-social-media-campaign

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 http://cohna-aciist.ca/awards/cohna-aciist-bursary-award/.

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 info@cohna-aciist.ca.

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 cohna-aciist.ca/continuing-education/

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

Evaluation, Treatment and Return to Work of Workers Suffering from Rotator Cuff Disorders

The IRSST carried out an extensive literature review regarding several aspects of rotator cuff impairments. The main objective of the review was to summarize the evidence-based data and make recommendations for diagnostic and clinical evaluation tools, therapeutic interventions, and workplace interventions for workers with rotator cuff impairment.

Please find here included a short description of this report and the URL toward the publication:

Musculoskeletal impairments of the shoulder are a major problem among the general population and workers in particular. This type of impairment affects the shoulder’s functional status and the quality of life of the individuals involved, and in the case of workers, sometimes leads to problems of absenteeism or losses of productivity.

Workers who perform tasks with their arms above shoulder height or repetitive tasks are at higher risk of developing shoulder impairment, especially an impairment of the rotator cuff.

The IRSST carried out an extensive literature review regarding several aspects of rotator cuff impairments. The main objective of the review was to summarize the evidence-based data and make recommendations for diagnostic and clinical evaluation tools, therapeutic interventions, and workplace interventions for workers with rotator cuff impairment.

No treatment algorithm exists to guide professionals in treating rotator cuff tendinopathy. However, based on the results of this literature review, some interventions can be recommended for managing tendinopathy or full-thickness tears of the rotator cuff.

For rotator cuff tendinopathy, taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for a short period of time appears useful for alleviating pain An exercise program has also demonstrated positive outcomes in study populations of adults and workers. Particularly in workers, a therapeutic exercise program can reduce pain, improve shoulder function, and speed up the return to work. Some studies have shown similar efficacy between an exercise program and acromioplasty-type surgery for rotator cuff tendinopathy. Conservative treatment is therefore recommended initially for adults with this condition. If it fails, surgery can then be envisaged.

The predictive factors for absenteeism and return to work (RTW) were also explored. This literature review confirmed the ambiguity surrounding the factors associated with these two issues. Numerous factors actually emerged from the review, but with no consensus. Based on the determinants explored for joints other than the shoulder, psychosocial or environmental factors as well as the employer’s role appear to be key factors in the success of the RTW.

To download the report: http://www.irsst.qc.ca/en/publications-tools/publication/i/100910/n/clinical-evaluation-treatment-return-work-suffering-rotator-cuff