2011 Winners

North Bay | Public Sector

Nancy Jacko

Nancy Jacko

With a life of physical fitness and volunteer coaching, Nancy Jacko can't say enough about the benefits of sports for women.

In order to achieve balance in life, one has to take care of physical, emotional, and social elements, especially as being physically fit helps dissipate stress, she said.

"We're a high number of females in health care and the ability to work as a team is groomed through sport. Sometimes you don't win. But you learn even more from that. Winning, losing, working hard together as a team will take you further than worrying about what makeup and clothing you are wearing. Esteem comes not from what others say to you, but by your accomplishments."

Jacko's accomplishments are lengthy, having helped oversee the amalgamation of the North Bay General and the North East Mental Health Centre, and having participated in the planning, building, and the opening of the new hospital.

"Our new hospital is spectacular—to see 10 years of work come to fruition is exciting. The patients and staff are in an environment they deserve."

North Bay General Hospital's VP, Medicine Care Centre, also developed a district sexual assault/domestic violence centre; amalgamated addiction services; and partnered with a private rehabilitation provider to develop a private physiotherapy outpatient clinic. She also developed the first Telestroke program in the province. Her efforts have resulted in better health care for patients.

When she was asked what serving her community means to her, Jacko said, "We have such an honour to care for our neighbours next door. You can make a difference in their lives."

She said she believes people have a responsibility to make their community a better place to live, be it through fundraising, coaching, or mentoring.

"Wherever your time and talent can take you helps make the fibre of the place stronger. We need to do what we can to fill the gaps in our communities."

In addition to participating in a number of charitable runs, fundraising for a number of groups and coaching, Jacko shares her experience by mentoring others.

"We can all remember someone along the way in our lives who helped us learn valuable skills. If someone has taken the time and patience to mentor you, it is your time to 'pay it forward'."

Jacko started her career in health care as a nurse almost 38 years ago. Though she has worked predominantly in administration for the last 20 years, she proudly states, "I have never regretted the choice I made for this profession. I am proud to be a nurse and I encourage others to follow that path as well."

She never thought she was the kind of person who would be nominated for such an award. "Being nominated by the Chamber, and having two former employees and one colleague complete the form for me was emotional and truly heart warming. The process has been very meaningful."