The 2019 Pediatric Award of Excellence was presented to Dr. Kimberley Widger, a passionate researcher, mentor and educator for Pediatric Hospice Palliative Care.
Dr. Widger’s career spans more than 20 years in the field of pediatric hospice palliative care where she began working as a Clinical Nurse Specialist at the IWK in Halifax. Dr. Widger then went on to complete her Ph.D. at the University of Toronto where she won the Dean’s Medal for top Ph.D. student. In 2013 Dr. Widger took up the position of Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto and the Nursing Research Associate for the Pediatric Advanced Care Team at SickKids. Through her tireless work and efforts, Dr. Widger has been awarded many research awards which resulted in infusing over $4,250,000 into pediatric hospice palliative care. Dr. Widger has been nominated for a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Pediatric Palliative Care. Dr. Widger continues to serve as a mentor, educator, researcher, and leader within the pediatric hospice palliative care community.
Dr. Widger’s impressive list of accomplishments includes:
- Being an active clinical member of one of the country’s first Pediatric Palliative Care services in Halifax, where she spent seven years directly supporting patients and families.
- Through her research, she has been instrumental in bringing the patient/family voice to the forefront for which she was awarded the Career Development Award from the Canadian Child Health Clinician Scientist Program and CIHR Strategy for Patient Oriented Research.
- Has been instrumental in receiving research grants directly benefitting Pediatric Hospice Palliative Care, including, but not limited to, being awarded $1,000,000 for her joint research “Enhancing the Quality of Palliative and End-of-Life Care for Children with Cancer”, which facilitated the training of EPEC-trainers at each tertiary pediatric centre across Canada.
- Led the research that has tracked the evolution of pediatric hospice palliative care in Canada highlighting the importance of access to specialist care across Canada.
- Aided in the establishment and growth of the specialist pediatric hospice palliative care program at McMaster Children’s Hospital.
- Spent 12 years as an executive member of the CNPCC and 11 years on the committee overseeing the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Nurse Examination.
Dr. Widger’s efforts in research have aided in bringing a breadth of knowledge, funding, and impact to the field of pediatric hospice palliative care. Her skills as an educator have brought forward numerous new researchers with passion and interest in pediatric hospice palliative care and whose research may go on to have similar impacts. Her commitment to bringing about changes through cutting edge research and putting the patient/family voice forward has made a valuable difference to the lives of patients and their families. It is for these reasons, as well as her many notable accomplishments not listed, that Dr. Widger is the 2019 recipient of the Pediatric Award of Excellence.