McMaster University

McMaster University

Faculty of
Health Sciences

Nurse practitioner recognized for role in interdisciplinary training

Published: June 22, 2006
Linda Hilts

A nurse practitioner who is active in the clinical education of medical students, family medicine residents and nurse practitioners has been named the winner of the 2006 John C. Sibley Award for part-time faculty.

Linda Hilts, of Ancaster, is an assistant clinical professor in McMaster’s School of Nursing and an associate member of the Department of Family Medicine. She started teaching McMaster nursing students in 1989, while working as the patient education co-ordinator for Hamilton Health Sciences.

Since 1998 she has worked as a family practice nurse at the Stonechurch Family Health Centre, one of the academic teaching units for the family medicine department. She became increasingly involved in the education of medical students and residents, and became the unit’s education co-ordinator in 2002.

The Sibley award is presented annually to a part-time faculty member in the Faculty of Health Sciences who has made outstanding contributions to the education of health professionals. It recognizes excellence, initiative and sustained commitment among part-time faculty members.

Susan Denburg, associate vice-president, academic for the Faculty, praised Hilts for her commitment to both the School of Nursing and family medicine, while working full-time in a clinical setting.

"Within the Department of Family Medicine her commitment to the education of medical, nursing and social work students, and family medicine residents is held in high regard," she said, noting that Hilts’ contribution is one of the main reasons cited for an increase in educational activity at the Stonechurch Family Health Centre.

Hilts said she was honoured to receive the award and credited the support and recognition of her colleagues for helping to make her accomplishments possible.

She is particularly dedicated to interdisciplinary training of medical professionals.

"I believe working together as health professionals provides a more comprehensive approach to learning and ultimately to better patient care," she said. "I feel I have been able to incorporate my nursing background with my degree in education to educate patients, residents and other learners."

Allyn Walsh, assistant dean for faculty development in the Faculty of Health Sciences, noted that Hilts’ focus on interdisciplinary training was a key reason she was nominated for the Sibley Award.

"Bringing her perspective as a nurse with her broad and extensive clinical background to her teaching, she is able to function uniquely in the family medicine setting, where interprofessional teamwork is critical," she said.

Hilts began her career as a nurse in 1968, and held various nursing positions over the next 30 years before joining the Stonechurch centre. In addition to a nursing diploma from the former Hamilton Civic Hospitals School of Nursing, she earned her Bachelor of Science, Nursing degree from McMaster in 1987, and a master’s degree in education from Brock University in 1989.

In 2001 she was honoured with the Ted Evans award, given annually by the Department of Family Medicine to a skilled clinician who demonstrates exemplary practice and has an exceptional interest and potential to develop in the area of research in clinical practice and medical education.

The John C. Sibley Award is named for a former associate dean who was one of the founders of the Faculty of Health Sciences. Sibley was known for his interdisciplinary approach to community health both locally and internationally.

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