Not many people can remain dedicated to the same profession over the course of four decades. Mary Sawyer has done that and more. Since she completed training at St. Paul’s Hospital School of Nursing in 1967, she has held various positions as a registered nurse, including on a combined urology, orthopedic and general surgery ward at SPH; SPH Labour & Delivery; in a physician’s office; SPH Diagnostic Imaging and on a casual basis at St. Ann’s Senior Citizen’s Village where she continues working to this day.

A quote from Muriel Jarvis’ recent book, Thin Pink Lines, relates directly to how Mary conducts herself: “…if we pay more attention to their needs and endeavour to meet them, our quality of care will improve whether inside or outside the institution.” thumbnail_Mary_Sawyer

In support of her nomination for the Muriel Jarvis award, many colleagues illustrated just how Mary’s actions encompass the qualities of dedication, commitment, tenacity, excellence, determination and wisdom – all necessary to become a Muriel Jarvis award recipient. Mary also consistently shows compassion to her patients and treats them all with dignity, helping them to “…enjoy each day, or staying with them in their final hours, helping them to die with dignity.” Her respect for each patient’s needs illustrates that she is “…the perfect example of the intelligent, dedicated, caring and compassionate general duty nurse who we would all want to care for us or our family members if the need arose.” Through example and mentorship she inspires her co-workers to be the best they can be as health professionals.

Mary was born in Montreal, Quebec and raised in Scout Lake, Wymark and Milden in Saskatchewan as her father was a station agent with Canadian Pacific Railway and had to relocate during his career. She has been married to Ken, a retired Saskatoon City Police officer, for 45 years and they have three daughters, Sandra (Charlie Hargarten), Erin (Ramsee McGrath) and Megan (Korey Hamm). Mary and Ken have six grandchildren, Rebekka, Andrew, Connor, Olivia, Noah and Samuel. She is proud and happy to be working at St. Ann’s with her granddaughter, Rebekka, who graduated as a registered psychiatric nurse in January 2013.