Health caring: How 8 nursing innovators are pushing the boundaries of science and compassion

In honour of International Nurses Day, we celebrate U of A researchers, students and graduates making an impact in improving care for patients in Canada and around the world.


On International Nurses Day, we celebrate eight U of A nursing innovators who are improving patient care in Canada and around the world.

If you know a nurse, today’s the day to tell them “thank you” for all they have done to care for our loved ones over the past year and a half, despite the challenges wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

May 12 is International Nurses Day, chosen to mark the birthdate of that iconic nurse Florence Nightingale, who established the world’s first secular nursing school, an innovator whose professional standards are still followed today. 

On this International Nurses Day, the University of Alberta salutes eight of its own innovators—nursing professors, students and graduates who have helped make the U of A one of the top nursing programs in the world, with a focus on excellence in both research and teaching. These nurses are continually setting the bar higher, bringing the best new knowledge from bench to bedside, and improving care for patients.


James Benoit

James Benoit is pioneering the first mobile health app for Canadian parents, who will be able to verbally tell the app their child’s symptoms—such as “barky cough,” “runny nose” or “crying”—to see videos, infographics and other resources based on the best available evidence. 

Learn more about James Benoit


Jill Charlie

As a nurse working in remote northern communities for 15 years, Jill Charlie grew her knowledge of and respect for First Nations cultures. Now she is transforming how health-care services are delivered across the Yukon as lead on an interdisciplinary team that is creating a new electronic health records system.

Learn more about Jill Charlie


Keith King

In his role as a clinician, PhD student and assistant teaching professor, Keith King works to improve the health of LGBTQ+ patients.

Learn more about Keith King


Susan Sommerfeldt

Susan Sommerfeldt examines how workplace culture can help health-care workers foster their own mental health while they take care of others.

Learn more about Susan Sommerfeldt


Edith Pituskin

Canada Research Chair Edith Pituskin created a unique rehabilitation program for cancer patients who have received a stem cell transplant to regain their strength and protect their hearts.

Learn more about Edith Pituskin


Carla Hilario

Carla Hilario taps into her expertise on equity in access to health care to advise the Canadian government on how to help women rejoin the workforce after COVID-19.

Learn more about Carla Hilario


Matthias Hoben

Matthias Hoben studies how pandemic restrictions designed to protect older adults in designated supportive living settings had the unintended consequence of keeping out some of their closest caregivers.

Learn more about Matthias Hoben


Oluwakemi Amodu

Oluwakemi Amodu brings reproductive education and treatment for sexually transmitted infections to 250 women living in a refugee camp in northern Nigeria.

Learn more about Oluwakemi Amodu