A former Hope resident has been recognized with a major award from the Nurses and Nurse Practitioners of B.C.
Monica Mitterboeck was presented the 2021 Award of Excellence in Nursing Education during an online ceremony held Dec. 16. She received the award for her role in developing and coordinating several education programs/initiatives in a variety of community and professional settings. Examples of her work included pregnancy outreach programs, parent and tot classes and in-school classrooms.
How she found time to do all of that is amazing, considering how busy Mitterboeck was last year as the 43-year-old found herself on the front lines of the COVID-19 fight.
“It has been a demanding but also rewarding year,” the Hope secondary grad said. “Since the start of the pandemic, I have been deployed to provide education to Fraser Health’s Case and Contact Management team. Fraser Health has hired over 400 case investigators and contact tracers to call and provide support to individuals who are COVID-19 positive. It has been a privilege to work with people with many different backgrounds.
“I have trained case investigators who have a professional background in social work and environmental health as well as retired nurses and nurses from a variety of specialty areas. In addition, I have trained contact tracer aids who have also come from a variety of backgrounds like the tourism sector, airline industry, engineering, college students etc.”
BC Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry understands the value of Mitterboeck’s work, and she was part of the award presentation ceremony. So too was B.C. Premier John Horgan.
Thatcher Demko of the Vancouver Canucks and TV personality and author Rick Mercer made appearances, and musical contributions from the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and the Sarah McLachlan School of Music completed the program.
While Mitterboeck doesn’t do what she does for awards and recognition, she appreciated a moment in the spotlight.
“While I was very busy these last years, I am grateful for the support of my family, friends, and colleagues,” she said. “We have all had to adjust to changes in our work schedules, restrictions, and uncertainties. The times I have spent at home, walking the dog with my husband, conversing with my teenagers and chatting with my parents have helped to ground me.”
Mitterboeck was born in Hope and has worked as a public health nurse for Fraser Health since graduating from the University of British Columbia School of Nursing in 1997. She obtained her Masters of Education in 2020 from Simon Fraser University.