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ParaMed Nurse Received the 2016 CARE Centre Joan Lesmond IEN of the Year Award

In November 2016, Viral Pandya, an RPN from India who works as a community nurse for ParaMed, received the CARE Centre Joan Lesmond IEN of the Year Award. The award is presented two outstanding internationally educated nurses, one RPN and one RN. The award is named to honour the late Dr. Joan Lesmond, a champion of diverse and inclusive nursing, and an early advisor to CARE Centre.

“Deciding to hire Viral two years ago was probably my best staffing decision,” said Samantha Thomson-Brown, RN, Nursing Supervisor at ParaMed (a division of Extendicare). “At the time, it was a bit of a risk since it can be a hard transition for new staff that have no community nursing experience. We were in need of a strong nurse with a broad skill base who would be able to get up and running quickly. Viral has lived up to the need and is now one of our best nurses!”

“I believe that I belong in this field because ever since I was a child I always wanted to be a positive influence in people’s lives,” said Viral Pandya. “The words I use, my actions and my attitude can help another human being to heal. Personally, having the opportunity to impact someone else is very powerful. Nursing is one of the few careers that not only helps others but also helps you. The work is tough but this is that path that I chose and I am proud of it. I am extremely thankful to CARE Center for helping me throughout my journey to become part of healthcare in Canada. I want to refer all IENs to CARE Centre!”

About CARE Centre for Internationally Educated Nurses

Over 3,500 nurses from more than 140 countries have accessed services and supports at CARE Centre for Internationally Educated Nurses since 2001. CARE Centre is a not-for-profit professional organization funded by the Ontario Government and the Government of Canada. CARE Centre provides IENs with the one-on-one case management, language and communication skills, exam preparation, professional development, mentoring and networking to be successful in the nursing profession. CARE Centre recognizes the value of nurses with diverse education and experience and is committed to advocating for their full contribution to Ontario’s health care system. CARE Centre for IENs is a registered charity (Charitable Number 84420 5948 RR0001). To learn more about CARE Centre and its work, please visit