As part of its annual general meeting in Dieppe, New Brunswick, the national secretariat of the Consortium national de formation en santé (CNFS) today presented $1000 merit scholarships to outstanding students from each of its member institutions. The recipients are exceptionally deserving individuals who have committed to studying healthcare, have shown a commitment towards a Francophone minority community and play an active role in student life at their institution.
Three University of Ottawa candidates were singled out by the selection committee:
Fatima Kaabar is an MD student from Nanaimo, British Columbia. Fatima was directly affected by the shortage of French-language health services when the only Francophone doctor in her small Nanaimo community retired. She then decided to study in French, in order to meet the needs of Francophone communities in her home province. Fatima has always devoted a large amount of her time to volunteer work, from refereeing basketball games to organizing funding drives to preparing introduction to medicine mini-courses. Speaking of the high school and university youth who have taken the mini-courses, she says in her letter of interest, I hope more than anything to have inspired them to study health care in French.
Catherine Boutet is a Bachelor of Science in Nursing student from New Brunswick. Francophone communities are a priority for her, and an essential part of her personal, social and family life. Her many volunteer activities, including at the Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont University Hospital Centre in pediatrics, as well as at the Veterans' Health Centre in Moncton, show her dedication to the community. [My experience at Georges-L.-Dumont] was one of the things that sparked my interest in health care, she says in her letter of interest. Catherine is a sports lover at heart. She takes part in a ball hockey league and has taken on a position as a volunteer figure skating coach, which has enabled her to serve Francophone athletes.
Mélanie Parent is an honours student in Social Sciences with a specialization in social work from Embrun, Ontario. She has played hockey since she was five, and loves travel and learning about different cultures. In fact, she plans to do her fourth year internship in Africa. Mélanie is a volunteer for the Conseil économique et social d'Ottawa-Carleton, an organization which welcomes newly arrived Francophones to Ottawa, and did an internship at Valoris, an organization which assists those in need in Prescott-Russell. In her letter of interest she writes, I love investing my time and energy in student life and developing my university.
The CNFS is a pan-Canadian network of 11 colleges and universities offering French-language training in a range of health care disciplines, and of five regional partners who ease access to these training programs. The CNFS has a national secretariat in Ottawa whose role is to provide leadership and coordination and to foster development. This strategic alliance helps increase the number and expand the role of French-speaking health care professionals and researchers so that more quality health care services can be provided in French and be tailored to the needs of French-language minority communities. CNFS programs and initiatives are made possible thanks to the continued cooperation and financial support of Health Canada through the Roadmap for Linguistic Duality.