Subfonds - May Bernadet Ratsoy

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May Bernadet Ratsoy

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102 photographs and other materials

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Biographical history

May Bernadet “Bernie” Kiss was born October 24, 1936 in Edmonton, Alberta. After graduation from the Edmonton General Hospital in September 1957, where she was class president, her desire to “explore the world” led her to spend a brief time in Spokane before returning to Edmonton with Edward Paul Ratsoy, whom she married April 19, 1958. She practised Obstetric Nursing at the Misericordia and Edmonton General Hospitals until 1960, when they moved to Vancouver.

Beginning in 1966-1967 she was clinical Instructor in Obstetrics in St. Paul’s Hospital School of Nursing. As Coordinator of Obstetric Nursing from 1968 to 1979, she developed and implemented the first family centred maternity care program in BC, and was co-director of the Vancouver Perinatal Health Project. Here she was responsible for infection control, ambulatory services, obstetrics, rehabilitation, and pediatrics.
After graduation with a BSN, in 1968, she became Clinical Coordinator at St. Paul’s Hospital until 1979. Between 1975 and 1981 she studied part-time at UBC, completing a Masters Degree in Health Services Planning. As Vice- President of Nursing from April 1979 to November 1989 she was responsible for assuring quality of care in a department of over one thousand professional and non-professional staff. From 1983 to 1985 she was also president of the Registered Nurses of British Columbia, a spokesperson fro 27,000 registered nurses. She was nominated fro a YWCA Women of Distinction aware of 1988.

Briefly, from 1990-1991, she was Executive Director of the Alberta Association of Registered Nurses, where she was responsible for the administrative, legislative and professional activities of the association. She returned to Vancouver, and from 1991 to2002 was Associate Dean of Health Sciences at the BC Institute of technology. Here she was responsible for the administration and educational leadership of the Nursing and Specialty Nursing programs, Biomedical Engineering Technology, the Prosthetics and Orthotics and the Occupational Health and Safety Programs. She received the RNABC Recognition Award for valuable contributions to the nursing profession in2002, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Health CARE Leaders’ Association of BC in 2003.

Ratsoy’s many accomplishments include the development of a family centered maternity care program and the initiation of a three year prenatal health research project. At St. Paul’s she was responsible for infection control, ambulatory services, obstetrics, rehabilitation and pediatrics. At BCIT she initiated nursing specialty courses such as Critical Care and Emergency. She responded rapidly and effectively to the AIDS epidemic in Vancouver, developing nursing care and staff protection programs.

She has had over fifteen publications in books and recognized journals, and was often invited for public speaking engagements. In September 1982 she was keynote speaker at the 2nd annual conference of Nurse Administrators in Toronto. She died in 2009.

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Subfonds consists of textual records, photographs and plaques dating from 1955 to 2009 related to Ratsoy's varied nursing activities. Incoming and outgoing correspondence document her many professional involvements. She published numerous articles, particularly in the RNABC News, while she was President of this association, and made many presentations.

A folder of newspaper clippings relate to Ratsoy's presidency of the B.C. Nursing Association and her appointment to the position of Executive Director of the Alberta Association of Registered Nurses. Another folder describes her work at BCIT. Her numerous awards are also documented. The photographs, which further describe her activities, audiotape interviews related to her life and career are also in the subfonds.

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All materials except for the photograph album, were acquired by B.C. History of Nursing Society archives from Don Ransom July 13, 2009.


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General note

Includes the following photographs: RBSC-ARC-1831-PH-1102 to 1129, PH-1131, PH-2076, PH-2166-01 to 2166-71.

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Includes the following audio cassettes: RBSC-ARC-1831-SPC-AU-06 to SPC-AU-08.

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Includes the following artifacts: RBSC-ARC-1831-AR-001 to AR-002.

Physical description

5 cm of textual records
2 plaques
3 audio cassettes
3 pins
1 ring

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