Josephine (Josie) Santos, RN, MN, is a registered nurse with a specialty in gerontology. She is also the program manager for the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario’s (RNAO) long-term care best practices initiative. This Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care-funded initiative is unique in Canada and worldwide. Josie oversees the work of 15 long-term care (LTC) best practice coordinators across Ontario and supports their role in coaching LTC by implementing evidence-based practices and best practice guidelines (BPGs). Through Josie’s leadership and innovative strategies, the initiative has had a significant impact on LTC homes and the sector as a whole. Results include greater awareness among LTC staff about BPGs and their impact on residents’ care and outcomes, improved staff retention and recruitment, and substantive savings for LTC organizations and the health system. Josie is also leading RNAO’s work on the prevention of elder abuse, including the development of a BPG on this topic.
Josie and her team have developed knowledge-translation resources to support evidence-based practice and guideline implementation in Ontario LTC homes, which are also accessible on-line for dissemination nationally and internationally. In 2009, Josie and her team won the Health Minister’s Award of Excellence in the category of improving quality and patient safety. This year, RNAO’s LTC initiative was selected by the international centre for health innovation at Western University’s Richard Ivey school of business to be included on their innovation map website to highlight the initiative’s accomplishments in improving health care in Canada.