Caterina Ierino first joined Deerwood Creek Care Community in Etobicoke, Ontario, as a Nurse Manager when it opened in 2001. She became Director of Care in 2003 – a role she has held ever since. “I enjoy working with the residents, families, and team members. Working in long-term care has its challenges and the sector has changed in so many ways over the years, but the one constant is the focus on residents and their wellbeing. That’s our priority – to help residents live fully every day. Residents come to the care community with different needs, varying from light to complex care, different backgrounds and different psychosocial needs. Our goal is to help fulfill those needs and through this we hope that we make a difference for them and improve their quality of life - that’s rewarding,” says Caterina.
As leader of the nursing team, Caterina and her colleagues champion best practices in nursing to ultimately benefit residents. “[We] work tirelessly to enhance resident care.” As a result of their work, Deerwood is known as a place of excellence across the sector. Recently, Caterina won the OLTCA award for Nursing Leadership. “It was nice to see my name up there and to be recognized for my efforts. It was a validation of the work I do each day, and really, an honour that extends to the entire nursing team.”
Deerwood Executive Director, Carol Ois, says, “Anyone effective in this role requires an extensive skill set: clinical knowledge and expertise in senior care, married with exceptional leadership skills including effective communication, critical thinking, and problem solving skills… Caterina possesses all of the skills described above....and many more!”
“You hear a lot of negativity about long term care,” Caterina shared, “but there is so much good that happens in long term care. This award is an award for all of us, one that takes notice of all the ways we care about residents and families, and our dedication to this important work.”