The Mentor Award criteria: “Makes a positive contribution by being a true leader. An influential counselor, teacher or educator that provides support or sponsorship. Demonstrates a high level of ethics and professional standards, is an inspirational motivator, excellent communicator, good listener and a reliable resource to the community.”
The 2020 Mentor Award, sponsored by Chris Chan-Realtor, goes to Gaudenza Ramunno:
Gaudenza Ramunno’s career as a nurse is all about mentorship.
Born and raised in Kamloops, the mother of four went back to school in her late 40s in order to work in public health as a street nurse.
Ramunno loves her job serving the needs of marginalized populations, connecting them with health-care services.
“When you can make a difference in one person’s life who might not have been able to have any health care or change or hope … I think that’s huge,” Ramunno said.
Ramunno currently works at Interior Health’s mobile supervised consumption site in Kamloops.
Her role at the mobile unit goes far beyond ensuring safe drug use, as the facility offers myriad services such as wound care, referrals to treatment and collaborates with other agencies.
“I like to think of it as more of an education site,” Ramunno said. “We’re trying to build relationships with the clients so we can connect them back into our community.”
The pilot project also involves relationship building, Ramunno said, adding it’s an important service for Kamloops and is why she wanted to lead it.
Ramunno has received a KTW Community Leadership Award in the mentor category, and credits many colleagues for being there to guide her in her career and her clients for inspiring her to do the work she does.
Humbled by the fact people see her as a mentor, Ramunno said the job is accolade enough.
“I love looking after the people, I love the job that I do,” she said.
Having waited her whole life to become a nurse as work and motherhood and work got in the way, Ramunno’s passion and dedication has now inspired one of her daughters to follow in her footsteps.