CPCNA Award Recipients


2022 CPCNA Leadership Award

The CPCNA Leadership Award is to honour a member of the Canadian Palliative Care Nursing Association (CPCNA) whose practice reflects components of the mission and purpose of the CPCNA. The CPCNA Board of Directors is pleased to present Cheri Purpur from Springbrook, Alberta as the recipient of the CPCNA 2022 Leadership Award!


Cheri is a distinguished registered nurse and nurse manager who has made a significant impact in her region as a leader and advocate in hospice and palliative care. Her gentle guidance and a love of teaching, promoting education and subsequent empowerment of her colleagues, has helped nurses and primary care providers to deliver high-quality palliative care.


Cheri is recognized as a clinical expert and leader whose calm presence radiates to teams, colleagues, patients, families. She has held CNA certification for close to 20 years, providing palliative care in BC and Alberta.  Her skills in leadership have been recognized in both clinical and managerial roles, most recently as nurse manager with the Red Deer Hospice Society. Dedicated to ongoing education and excellent patient and family-centred care, Cheri led a project to ensure that all nursing staff at Red Deer Hospice were certified in palliative care.


Cheri’s talents in organizing, planning and problem-solving were key to her advocacy work. She worked collaboratively with local Home Palliative Care team members, Primary Care Network physicians, the hospital palliative care unit manager and other administrators with Alberta Health Care, in order to increase access to hospice and palliative care services.   These leadership skills were highlighted over a two-year period of construction when the Red Deer Hospice underwent renovations to increase bed numbers from ten to sixteen. During this chaotic time, her calm direction allowed the staff to practice to their full potential and offer the highest quality of care. One of her colleagues stated that she believed that “the high esteem held by the Red Deer Hospice in their community was in no small part due to the leadership and advocacy roles played by Cheri Purpur from the moment it opened until present day”. 


Beyond her leadership work at Red Deer Hospice, Cheri served on the Board of Directors for CNA Certified Palliative Hospice Palliative Nursing and the Board of the CHPCNG as the Director of Membership. In this role she always encouraged nurses to join the nursing group (now CPCNA), another example of the reach of her supportive and transformational leadership across Canada.


It is with gratitude that we offer the 2022 CPCNA Leadership Award to Cheri Purpur, who has helped many to live well, die well and nurse well. Thank you, Cheri, and congratulations.

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2022 CPCNA Lifetime Achievement Award

The Lifetime Achievement Award is to honour a palliative care nurse and/or nurse practitioner, who is member of the Canadian Palliative Care Nursing Association (CPCNA), has made outstanding contributions to palliative care, palliative care nursing and the CPCNA (and/or the CHPCNG) over the course of their nursing career. The Canadian Palliative Care Nursing Association Board of Directors is pleased to announce Julia Johnston RN-EC, BScN, MN, NP CHPCN(C) from Ontario as the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award!

Julia has been a nurse, educator, researcher, advocate, leader, consultant and nurse practitioner who has contributed to the growth and development of hospice and palliative care capacity building and who was a pioneer for the development of hospice palliative care nursing and palliative nurse practitioners in Ontario and across Canada.


Julia Johnston was a registered nurse (RN) for 14 years in areas of oncology, medicine and intensive care. Her practice included education, programme planning, management and exemplified leadership through continual participation in committees and policy change/building. Julia Johnston has been recognized for her compassionate work with vulnerable patient populations. She worked to develop hospice and palliative care (HPC) norms and standards of practice that are now used worldwide. She also contributed to all aspects of the Canadian Nursing Association Hospice Palliative Care Certification. Julia’s tireless efforts to set the foundations of the palliative care nurse practitioner program have been among her greatest achievements as it resulted in more primary care and speciality care providers and teams becoming competent in palliative care. As the first person in Ontario to achieve the NP in Palliative Care designation, she has been integral in pioneering the increase of palliative care nurse practitioners.  She implemented changes through work with many organizations including CPCNA, previously CHPCNG where she contributed as Secretary/ Treasurer, President, Past President and Advisor.


A large portion of her career as a Nurse practitioner with Trillium Health Partners in Mississauga Ontario, Julia co-facilitated the development of the community Hospice Palliative Care Program, lead the development of palliative care nursing program in accordance with CNO practice and was, again, a member of performance and quality committees. Her innovative spirit led increased capacity for primary care practitioners and nurses in the community through the ‘shared care’ model.


Julia’s career exemplifies excellence in care, collaboration, compassion, fearlessness and innovation. She is inspiring and renowned as an extremely knowledgeable and encouraging mentor and leader. Her perseverance and clear vision reflect what one person can do to change the world of healthcare. Julia is a long-time member on the Board for CHPCNG and an integral member in the transition to developing CPCNA.  Her leadership in promoting palliative care nationally and internationally over the life of her profession is another reason she is a worthy recipient of this award. We are honoured to be able to present Julia Johnston with this prestigious recognition of which she is so deserving; a woman who exemplifies the principles of CPCNA and has helped us all Live Well, Die Well and Nurse Well.