DOROTHY FERGUSON

Origin: The Dorothy Ferguson scholarship was initiated on her retirement from the St. Joseph’s Health Centre in 1997, to recognize Dorothy’s many and significant contributions to professional nursing.

Honoree background: Dorothy’s academic accomplishments include a diploma from the School of Nursing, Toronto General Hospital; a Certificate in Hospital Nursing Service and Bachelor of Science in Nursing

 from the University of Toronto; a Certificate in Hospital Organization and Management from the Canadian Hospital Association; a Master of Business Administration from Northland University; and a Fellowship of Business Administration from the Canadian School of Management.

   Dorothy held a variety of clinical and administrative positions in different hospitals, and from 1975 to 1997 was Vice-President, Patient Services at St. Joseph’s Health Centre in Toronto. Here and throughout her career, Dorothy facilitated the development of the staff nurse role as clinical expert, enabled the success of an advanced nursing practice role and in the early 70’s developed the nurse manager role beyond that of traditional head nurse to encompass general management responsibilities.  At St. Joseph’s, Dorothy spearheaded the patient care redesign process which led to the reorganization of professional services around the patient and reinforced the role of nurses as full partners in the patient care team. In addition to managing her administrative portfolio, Dorothy also maintained an in-depth understanding of clinical issues, sought new ways to enhance the professional care of patients and consistently focused on quality issues as fundamental to providing effective patient care.
    Dorothy has also been recognized in other venues for her leadership and contributions to professional nursing and health care.  Notably, she was a long time surveyor for the Canadian Council on Health Services Accreditation, a member of the Lambda Pi Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau, International (Honor Society in Nursing) and in 1993 was invited to participate in the prestigious Johnson and Johnson-Nurse Fellowship Program in Management at The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.  In 1984 Dorothy was appointed Assistant Professor at the Canadian School of Management, where she taught Quality Assurance, and Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto.
    Shortly after retiring from St. Joseph’s, Dorothy was recruited as the Associate Executive Director at the King Fahad National Guard Hospital in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.  There she met the dual challenges of managing an administrative portfolio in a large tertiary teaching hospital and being involved with the establishment of a School of Nursing for Saudi nationals. Dorothy served in Riyadh for five and a half years. Returning from Saudi in 2003, Dorothy was recruited by Sunnybrook Veteran’s Centre to serve as Director of Operations. Originally hired for a 6 month contract, Dorothy continued to serve there until her retirement in 2014. 

Award Description: The Dorothy Ferguson Scholarship will be awarded to a nursing student who wishes to pursue a baccalaureate or graduate degree.  Applicant must demonstrate outstanding leadership potential. Preference will be given to full-time students.