2019 HOSPITAL SOCIAL WORKER OF THE YEAR NOMINEE

Illana Perlman

Illana Perlman

Nominated For: HOSPITAL SOCIAL WORKER OF THE YEAR

Illana has dedicated her 32 year social work career to enhancing the lives of the traumatically injured. For the past 28 years, she has practiced as a hospital social worker in the Trauma Program at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre (SHSC), Toronto. This is the largest trauma center in Canada, treating approximately 2500 patients annually, the majority of who have sustained a brain injury. Illana has developed an outstanding reputation in the hospital as well as the larger health care community and is highly regarded for her knowledge, skills and passion for helping her clients navigate the complex hospital system. Ilana’s expertise in crisis intervention, advocacy, grief counselling and care planning has benefited thousands of patients and families to cope with the stress of such devastating injuries. Notably, in April 2018, Illana played a leadership role during Sunnybrook’s Code Orange response to the mass casualty event following the horrific Yonge Street van attack. She was pivotal in helping to set up the Family Support and Information Centre at the hospital, helping many of the family members through the night, and working with the survivors thereafter.

In addition to her demanding hospital clinical practice, Illana simultaneously holds the role of Social Work Education leader, coordinating all facets of the student education program for SHSC’s 3 sites. She is committed to ‘passing on the torch’ within the social work profession, and has worked tirelessly to enhance the involvement of the social work service at SHSC in offering student placements. In 2010, she pioneered the Sunnybrook Social Work Student Education Standard the first of its kind in North America which sets out expectations and criteria for staff in terms of teaching activities. Illana is an Adjunct Lecturer at the Factor Inwentash Faculty of Social Work (FIFSW), University of Toronto, where she teaches in the MSW program and serves as the Chair of the Faculty Council. She has been awarded 2 research grants from the FIFSW and has numerous publications and awards to her credit, including SHSC’s Schulich Award for Clinical Excellence, exemplifying the quality of her care to patients, the North American Field Educators Award (the second Canadian to ever receive this international award), and the FIFSW’s Platinum Award for Excellence in Field Education.

Illana completed her Master of Social Work at the University of Toronto in 1990 (with Distinction), and her Bachelor of Arts in Social Work (Cum Laude) from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa in 1987.

Further details about Illana’s work and training can be found online at:

– LinkedIn Profile 

 

– Toronto Star (April 2019): “We believe there will be others”

– Toronto Star (May 3, 2018):  Families surged into Sunnybrook after last week’s van rampage. Here’s where they went by Vjosa Isai

– Toronto Star (April 23, 2018):  The Van Attack – One year later by May Warren and Jim Rankin

– Collaborative Caring, Stories and Reflections on Teamwork in Health Care, edited by Suzanne Gordon, David L. Feldman and Michael Leonard.

 

16 Comments
  • Sarah ginn says:

    When my life and my parents life changed the day I was flown to sunnybrook hospital my parents felt lost alone scared and afraid… my parents and myself were blessed to have the gift the blessing the support the strength and the endless belief and love from a Illana whenever my parents stood beside my bedside when the doctors didn’t have faith that I’d survive heal or pull through Illana stood by my parents with faith belief support and hope LOVE her like family today tomorrow and always for her guidance direction and support after I came home recovering healing and rebuilding my life with my parents too

  • Bibiana Gonzalez says:

    Illana,
    It is an excellent Social Worker. Mrs Perlman is very compassionate , very knowledgeable about patients conditions and able to advocate for patients in order to provide them with the best outcome.
    I have been in difficult situations and with her help my job has become easier and effectively.

  • Leslie Pocklington says:

    Illana is a precious gift that quietly walked into our trauma room on Aug 19 2019.
    Our son lay in the ICU at Sunnybrook with a broken neck from a trampoline accident. He was paralyzed from the chest down.
    After being told that Josh might not survive the surgery, we were broken.

    Illana was our only light in such incredible darkness. Her loving, kind and nurturing soul saved us all.

    Over the weeks as we prayed that Josh would be able to breath again on his own, we leaned on Illana. It truly felt like she was holding us. Her compassion steadied us and made us believe we would actually survive our living hell.

    Never have I met someone more deserving for this award then Illana Perlman. She’s an angel.

    Two years later she continues to check in and offer support.

    We love this precious lady.

  • Kiersty Hong says:

    Illana has a calming, affirming presence about her that puts people at ease. She instills trust and confidence through her knowledge and compassion. I had the opportunity to work along side Illana during the Code Orange experience at Sunnybrook and during this time I saw her collaborative leadership skills put to work. Very happy to see that she’s been nominated!

  • Dr. Todd Mainprize, Head of Division of Neurosurgery, Sunnybrook says:

    I am delighted and honored to provide a testimony for Iliana Perlman, an outstanding social worker at Sunnybrook Health Science Centre, for the 2019 Hospital Social Worker of the Year Award. I am the currently the Head of Neurosurgery at Sunnybrook Health Science Centre and work very closely with Ms. Perlman as a Neurosurgeon at Canada’s busiest trauma centre. I have had the pleasure of working with her since 2008 and have nothing but the utmost respect and admiration for her consummate professionalism, work ethic, compassion and teamwork. I can only give you the highest possible recommendation for her in regard to this Award.

    Over the past 28 years as a social worker on the Trauma Service at Sunnybrook, Ms. Perlman has dedicated her career to the improvement of the lives on some of the most vulnerable patients in Ontario. Upwards of 1000 patients a year come through our trauma center with the majority of them suffering closed head injuries. These patients comprise some of the most complicated social and supportive needs of any patient in a hospital setting. Ms. Perlman is involved in the care of these patients and their families from the acute ICU setting until they leave the hospital and beyond. In general, the trauma service at a large tertiary care centre and be an inhospitable environment for a patient due to the extreme multidisciplinary nature of the care provided to these multi-injured patients. Through her dedication and knowledge, her ability to integrate much of the diverse medical care and patients’ social needs have made important differences to the lives of so many patients at the Sunnybrook Trauma Program.

    Throughout her career, she has demonstrated not only excellence in clinical care but also excellence in academic research projects, patient and staff education and patient advocacy. I have had the opportunity to see her caring, compassion and competency at work in the patients that I care for at Sunnybrook. These patients and their families are very thankful for everything that she does for them and often have cards of thanks that they ask me to pass along to her during their follow-up visits. Her CV is a testament to her academic and teaching abilities. She has won many awards throughout her career and continues to garner much deserved and merited accolades such as the Schulich Award for Clinical Excellence, the Bertha Rosenstadt Trust Fund Research Grant, Heart of Social Work Award, and Long Service in Field Education Award to name only a few in the last couple of years.

    From the time that I was a neurosurgery resident until now, I have been impressed by her ability to help patients and their families understand the difficult situations and help them navigate the health care system. She is an integral part of the trauma team and especially shines during difficult times for the patients and their loved ones. I have always admired her unique aptitude to help patients and their families cope with difficult situations and difficult news. Not only does she help guide them, but she has the wisdom to sit and listen to the patient, understanding their needs and wishes for the future. As a neurosurgeon, her opinion and perspective on the patient and family needs are not only welcome, but usually sought out.

    I wholeheartedly support her for the 2019 Social Worker of the Year Award and I don’t think that there is anyone more deserving of this award than her. Our patients, their families, our Trauma Program and the hospital are all in better places because of her and the amazing work that she has been doing over the past 28 years.

  • Dr. Avery Nathens, Surgeon in Chief and Medical Director, Trauma Program at Sunnybrook says:

    It is my pleasure to write a testimonial in support of Ms. Perlman’s candidacy for the above award. I have been fortunate to have worked closely with Ms. Perlman since my appointment at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in 2012. I am currently the Surgeon-in-Chief and Medical Director of the Trauma Program. My role as Surgeon-in-Chief provides me with a perspective across the organization, while my role as Medical Director of Trauma provides me with insights into Ms. Perlman’s tremendous contributions to improving the lives of patients.

    First, from the organizational perspective, Ms. Perlman is a highly respected leader and mentor. She holds a faculty appointment at the University of Toronto and so touches the next generation of social workers. I have witnessed her tremendous mentorship and guidance for our social work students. She has also demonstrated leadership in the development of patient-centred policies and procedure. On a larger scale, she led the implementation of the Family Information and Support Centre (FISC) to reunite families during a mass casualty incident. The FISC was critical to providing families the information they needed during the van attack on April 23, 2018 and will serve as a model for the citywide response, which will be tested in a drill in November 2019.

    Ms Perlman is a social worker serving the needs of patients in the Tory Trauma Program. It is in this context as medical director of the program and trauma surgeon where I am fortunate to work directly with her in providing support for patients. This program is the largest trauma centre in Canada, with over 2000 trauma patients per annum. The case complexity is extraordinary with interpersonal violence, substance abuse, and mental health issues all present as risks for our patients. Their recovery is challenged by homelessness, family estrangement, inadequate community support or inadequate funds for the provision of post acute care and the enormous emotional toll for patients and families that comes with catastrophic injuries. It is here that Ms. Perlman really demonstrates her expertise and compassion. Her intellect and years of service have provided her with a perspective and knowledge that allows her to solve complex problems that others see as insurmountable. Her focus on patient needs and her compassion shine through in all her communications and efforts to restore the lives of patients (and their families) so affected by trauma and tragedy.

    Based on my own experience as a trauma surgeon caring for these complex patients and as the Surgeon-in-Chief, where I see the impact that Ms. Perlman has had on our organization, I can think of no one more deserving for the Hospital Social Worker of the Year award. She is our go-to for all problems, large and small and for all policies and procedures where we need the right combination of compassion, patient centredeness, and experience. I strongly support her candidacy for this award.

  • Dr. Homer Tien, Trauma Surgeon and Chief Medical Officer, Ornge says:

    I am delighted to provide a testimony on behalf of Illana Perlman, social worker at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, for the 2019 Hospital Social Worker of the Year Award. I am currently a trauma surgeon at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, and was previously the medical director of trauma at Sunnybrook from 2010 to 2016. I have worked closely with Ms. Perlman since I came on staff at Sunnybrook in 2004. Based on my experience working with Ms. Perlman and based on my review of the Award criteria, I can confidently give you my highest recommendation for Ms. Perlman’s nomination to be the 2019 Hospital Social Worker of the Year.

    As I understand the Award criteria, recipients of the award will be determined in part by the following criteria:
    1. Strong advocacy for their clients;
    2. Positive outcome for their clients;
    3. Years of service; and
    4. Credentials.

    As an introduction to Ms. Perlman for the Selection Committee, I will first review her extraordinary credentials and years of service. Illana has spent her entire career of 28 years as a social worker on the trauma service at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. Sunnybrook is Canada’s busiest trauma centre, and treats the highest number of patients with severe brain injury in the country. Illana has devoted her considerable talents and credentials during her career to improving the lives of these patients with brain injury, educating future health care professionals regarding best practices, and developing the new generation of best practices for trauma social work. Ms. Perlman received her Bachelor’s Degree (Honours, Cum Laude) in Social Work from the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa in 1987 and her Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Toronto in 1990. She began working at Sunnybrook on the trauma service shortly after graduation from the University of Toronto. During her time with the trauma program, she has achieved a long list of awards and distinctions. These include the Schulich Award (2016) for Clinical Excellence, and numerous awards for teaching including “the Heart of Social Work” (2014) for field education and the University of Toronto Faculty of Social Work Platinum Award for Excellence in Field Education (2014). Illana also publishes on her experiences and her observations, creating a new set of “Best Practices” in Trauma Social Work for the next generation of social workers.

    What I would like to focus on, however, is how incredibly compassionate she is regarding her patients, and how her strong advocacy for them translates into positive outcomes. I will illustrate this by presenting a case; I am very familiar with this case as I was a trainee at Sunnybrook when this occurred. The details of this case were very instructive to me and Illana wrote about this experience in a book chapter as a lesson to future generations of social workers:

    In essence, Sarah was a young woman who was involved in severe motor vehicle collision. She had severe multisystem injuries, including a severe brain injury, and was given less than a 10% chance of survival. The ICU physician met with the family, and recommended the withdrawal of life-support.

    In her role as the hospital social worker, however, Illana was “the one consistent staff person at a time of enormous anxiety and uncertainty in an overwhelming hospital complex that comprises multiple units and a myriad of constantly changing physicians and nurses”. Illana later wrote that “I experienced an uneasy realization that this family did not have sufficient medical information with which to make this grave decision.” Illana helped organize other opinions regarding Sarah’s prognosis which was in complete agreement with the wishes of the family, but which incurred the displeasure of the ICU physician. In the end, care was not withdrawn and aggressive medical and surgical treatments were continued. Two months later, Sarah was discharged from hospital to her family. After years of therapy, Sarah has been able to return to school and become a nutritionist, and become a motivational speaker.

    Two key criteria for this award are (i) strong advocacy for clients; and (ii) positive outcome for clients. I present this one case of how her strong advocacy directly resulted in the positive outcome of survival with return to a good quality of life. I present this case as it left a deep impression on me as a trainee, and now as a staff trauma surgeon. Advocacy is easy if there is no adverse consequence to the advocate. In this case, Illana faced tremendous pressure from the senior staff ICU physician to become aligned with the recommendation to withdraw care, even if the family remained uncomfortable with that course. Illana cared enough for the family and patient to listen to their wishes, and then to advocate on their behalf and seek out other opinions. In doing so, Illana directly contributed to Sarah’s positive outcome.

    Sarah represents one case. However, by helping save this one girl, Ilana’s advocacy already has helped thousands more. Sarah now touches the lives of many young people as a motivational speaker by speaking to them about the dangers of reckless judgement and behaviours as teenagers. I think this one case is enough to recommend Illana to the Selection Committee for Hospital Social Worker of the Year. However, Illana has helped thousands of patients like Sarah with her compassion, clinical excellence and advocacy during her 28 year career at a Hospital Social Worker.

    There is no one I think more deserving of the award of Hospital Social Worker of the Year.

  • Dr. Mahmood Fazl, Neurosurgeon, Sunnybrook says:

    It has been about 30 years that I have known Illana who has been looking after our patients.

    She has been an excellent social worker and she has been an intelligent hard-working person with a great deal of compassion. She has always given exceptional advice and always thinking on behalf of the patients and their families. She has been a real asset to our trauma unit, helping patients and their family under stress with nonstop effort. I am proud to be working with her for all of these years and I have always respected her opinion.

  • Elizabeth McLaney, Director of Interprofessional & Academic Education, Sunnybrook says:

    I am delighted to provide this testimonial letter in support of Illana Perlman’s nomination for the 2019 Hospital Social Worker of the Year Award.

    I have worked with Illana since 2013 when I joined the organization. (She has worked at Sunnybrook Health Science Centre since 1992). In addition to the many clinical patients she serves, another key client group is the students she oversees in her role as Student Education Leader. In this role she provides leadership in planning, developing, and administrating of all aspects of the social work student education program across the 3 Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre campuses. This includes facilitating, coordinating and supervising Masters of Social Work student placements, and maintaining a strong collaborative partnership with the Social Work Faculty at our primary academic partner the University of Toronto. Through teaching and lecturing activities, research, and curriculum development initiatives she provides leadership within the Social Work professional council at Sunnybrook. I consistently hear positive feedback about Illana from the University, and her teaching and leadership with respect to students have been recognized through the prestigious ‘Heart of Social Work Award’ (Recipient, North American Network of Field Educators and Directors) and the 2014 Excellence in Field Education: Platinum Award” (the highest award offered by the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work at the University of Toronto).

    One area that stands out when I think about Illana’s work with students is the ongoing tutorial sessions she arranges so that students placed across the various campuses of Sunnybrook can come together for instruction and more detailed exploration of learning topics which are relevant in the hospital environment. By creating these points of intersection, a sense of community is fostered among students, and by inviting different social workers to teach and act as content experts, additional, in depth and topically-focused learning opportunities are created.

    In my role I have had the opportunity to review many positive comments from students about their learning experience at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and in working with Illana. In a recent thank you card, for example, a student notes (with respect to Illana) “regardless of how much work you have and the number of patients on your caseload you somehow remain calm and poised and put together – thank you for teaching me what commitment to social work looks like, and how to always advocate for our importance. Thank you for being my mentor, cheerleader and advocate.”

    In her education role, we can also consider the social work teachers at Sunnybrook to be clients of a sort. Illana provides support to this group in the instance of challenging issues – but more importantly to ensure proactive skill building and faculty development opportunities. For example she has collaborated with our Professional Leader for Social Work to bring in distinguished speakers such as Dr. Ken Shulman (former Dean and Professor in the School of Social Work at the University at Buffalo) which provides important continuing education/professional development opportunities for the social work council. Illana is also an advocate for interprofessional learning, which engages social work students in acquiring team skills and enhanced knowledge of the roles their colleagues in different professions. She ensures that students participate in interprofessional learning opportunities while at Sunnybrook on placement, and also encourages and recruits Social Work staff to act as facilitators for interprofessional events.

    In addition to her work with students, Illana contributes actively and significantly to Education Research and Scholarship – which in turn contributes to advancing the field of Social Work student practicum education. Key areas of academic interest for Illana include faculty development (from point of entry to the profession as social worker students), generational differences in learning, and connecting theory to practice for students. An overarching passion she brings to her work is as an advocate for systematizing social work student education. Her contributions have been formally recognized via appointment as a Practice-Based Researcher at the Sunnybrook Research Institute.

    I will close with a final example of Illana’s commitment and attention to detail when it comes to a very important client – social work students – who are the future of healthcare and the next generation. At the end of each student’s placement Illana provides them with a package containing an academic article, a photo from their time at Sunnybrook, a poem about the profession and a handwritten note of encouragement and thanks. To me this example underlines Illana’s dedication to the profession and investment in – and advocacy for – it’s future.

  • Lina Gagliardi, Professional Leader for Social Work, Sunnybrook says:

    It is my pleasure to write to you with respect to Illana Perlman, social worker at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, in support of her nomination for the Award of Excellence in Brain Injury Rehabilitation in the category of 2019 Hospital Social Worker of the Year.

    As Professional Leader for Social Work at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, I am often involved in advancing the role and practice of Social Work within our various Quality Improvement Initiatives and Strategic Priorities. I highly endorse Illana Perlman for this distinct recognition as she is an avid advocate and provides excellent patient/family care and is passionate about Social Work practice and care delivery.

    Ms. Perlman is very dedicated to student Social Work learners as the Education Lead for Social Work Field Education at Sunnybrook. Illana provides student education leadership for onboarding, orientation and educational seminars with our learners. She is a dedicated scholar and teacher at the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work at the University of Toronto.

    Illana’s tenure as a clinical Social Worker for the past 28 years within the Trauma program has awarded her the time to experience the needs of this population over a significant amount of time which has led her to share her knowledge and experience in various domains and has been recognized for excellence in clinical practice.

    In 2016, Illana was awarded the Schulich award for Clinical Excellence which recognizes clinical excellence across the Sunnybrook organization that reflects clinical care that goes above and beyond the usual practice and care expectations.

    Illana has also demonstrated great passion and leadership through her scholarly work and publications for Field Education which is a fundamental part of truly demonstrating clinical excellence. Illana’s also been recognized for excellence in Field Education by receiving the Health of Social Work award in 2014 and the University of Toronto Faculty of Social Work Platinum Award for Excellence in Field Education (2014).

    Illana Perlman truly demonstrates excellence in Social Work practice by integrating her clinical experience with field education and scholarly work and research. I highly support Illana Perlman and recommend her for the 2019 Hospital Social Worker of the Year Award.

  • Professor Faye Mishna, Past Dean, Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto says:

    It is my pleasure to provide a reference on behalf of Illana Perlman, social worker at the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, in support of her nomination for the Award of Excellence in Brain Injury Rehabilitation in the category of 2019 Hospital Social Worker of the Year. As Dean of the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work at the University of Toronto from 2009-2019, I can say with full confidence that Ms. Perlman is an ideal candidate to receive this award. She is exceptional in contributing to the field of social work through practice, education and service.
    Ms. Perlman is a highly dedicated social worker who is committed to ensuring the wellbeing of patients and their families and committed to providing education to Master of Social Work (MSW) students as a field instructor and as the Education Coordinator of Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. She is fully committed to ensuring that students receive excellent opportunities to advance their knowledge and skills. Moreover, Ms. Perlman is an invaluable community member of the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work. She not only is actively involved on various committees and initiatives assuming responsible roles, but she is someone I as Dean, could always count on.

    Ms. Perlman received her Honours in Social Work from the University of the Witwatersrand, in Johannesburg South Africa in 1987 and her MSW from the University of Toronto in 1990. Ms. Perlman has received several awards recognizing her achievements, many in her capacity as a hospital social worker, including the Schulich Award in 2016 for Clinical Excellence. She has received awards for teaching, such as the international social work field education “Heart of Social Work” Award in 2014 and also in 2014, the University of Toronto Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work Platinum Award for Excellence in Field Education. Ms. Perlman engages in academic activities such as writing articles and conducting research. Ms. Perlman integrates her clinical activities with education, research and scholarship/publishing, which distinguishes her—it remains uncommon for social work clinicians to continually engage in such integration of practice, education and research/scholarship.

    Unquestionably, Ms. Perlman’s integration and commitment reflects her devotion to enhancing social work and dedication to her own professional development. Such an integrative evidence-informed approach to social work has only quite recently been recognized and embraced as ideal.

    Ms. Perlman has been a social worker at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre for 28 years, which has entailed working in Trauma. Ms. Perlman has provided a range of social work services to thousands of patients with brain injuries and their families. It appears that across the country, Ms. Perlman has provided the longest period of service in this area of hospital social work. An important focus of Ms. Perlman is ensuring that the patients and families have a voice and indeed, to be a voice for them within the context of the interprofessional team and in her collaborations with outside providers such as other hospitals and facilities, insurers, rehabilitation professionals and lawyers. An example of her advocacy with a family on behalf of a patient has been published as a chapter in a book by Cornell Press University Press (Perlman, 2014).

    As Dean of the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work until June 30, 2019, it has been a privilege and pleasure to work with Ms. Perlman on various activities. Field education/ the practicum placement has long been recognized as an integral component of social work education. Ms. Perlman works to ensure that social work students receive high quality education in order to prepare them to work with patients and their families within interprofessional and complex settings. Ms. Perlman works tirelessly to ensure that field education is improved based on the best evidence and she makes it a priority to recognize field instructors and facilitate professional development. Ms. Perlman provides valuable contributions through her involvement in various committees and initiatives within the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work. For example, she is currently Chair of the Faculty’s Faculty Council. Ms. Perlman is thoughtful and thorough in acting as Chair.

    To conclude, I highly support Illana Perlman’s nomination for the 2019 Hospital Social Worker of the Year Award. Ms. Perlman’s commitment and significant achievements are exceptional. The field of social work and the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work are lucky to be associated with Ms. Perlman and benefit greatly from her contributions.

  • Rinata Mayer, Social Worker, Sunnybrook says:

    It is my pleasure to provide a reference on behalf of Illana Perlman, social worker at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, in support of her nomination for the Award of Excellence in Brain Injury Rehabilitation in the category of 2019 Hospital Social Worker of the Year.

    I have known Illana since I joined Sunnybrook as an MSW student in 2002. I was in graduate school at Wilfrid Laurier, Illana was not my direct education coordinator. However, I was privileged to be part of the weekly seminars she coordinated. During these seminars it was evident that Illana held great passion for the social worker profession – I was impressed by her commitment and knowledge.

    Upon graduating, a contract summer position in the trauma program became available. Illana recommended that I consider the position – this is in line with her continued advocacy to promote the development of new graduates. Through this contact we developed a close working relationship and she provided me with mentorship support. She has extensive clinical experience working with acquired brain injury as a seasoned social work practitioner. She works extremely effectively within the fast- paced hospital environment and manages a significantly high volume caseload, with complex patient demands.

    Illana is a competent clinician that is able to prioritize and attend to patients and families in crisis. She offers a breadth of knowledge in crisis intervention, supportive and emotional counselling and in building therapeutic relationships. Her significant contributions to the scope of social work profession reflect her continued commitment to the population she works with, her colleagues and community partners.

    Ms. Perlman is a highly dedicated social worker who is committed to providing education to Master of Social Work (MSW) students as a field instructor and as the Education Coordinator of Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. In 2012, we offered a rotational placement to a student within the trauma program. Illana demonstrated her high level of commitment to ensure that our student receive excellent opportunities to advance their knowledge and skills. She is also highly regarded at the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work.

    Ms. Perlman has received several awards recognizing her achievements, many in her capacity as a hospital social worker. I am proud of her many academic achievements and the awards she has received over the years, for teaching, journal publications and continuing to broaden her research and field education role. These include the Schulich Award (2016) for Clinical Excellence, and numerous awards for teaching including “the Heart of Social Work” (2014) for field education and the University of Toronto Faculty of Social Work Platinum Award for Excellence in Field Education (2014). Illana also publishes on her experiences and her observations, creating a new set of “Best Practices” in Trauma Social Work for the next generation of practitioners.

    Ms. Perlman is an ideal candidate to receive the award of Hospital Social Worker of the Year. She is exceptional in contributing to the field of social work through practice, education and service.

  • Leslie Pocklington, family member of past trauma patient at Sunnybrook says:

    Illana is a precious gift that quietly walked into our trauma room on Aug 19 2017.

    Our son lay in the ICU at Sunnybrook with a broken neck from a trampoline accident. He was paralyzed from the chest down. After being told that Josh might not survive the surgery, we were broken.

    Illana was our only light in such incredible darkness. Her loving, kind and nurturing soul saved us all.

    Over the weeks as we prayed that Josh would be able to breathe again on his own, we leaned on Illana. It truly felt like she was holding us. Her compassion steadied us and made us believe we would actually survive our living hell.

    Never have I met someone more deserving for this award then Illana Perlman. She’s an angel.

    Two years later she continues to check in and offer support.

    We love this precious lady.

  • Sarah Ginn, brain injury survivor and past trauma patient at Sunnybrook says:

    A gift, an Angel at amazing Sunnybrook hospital, there for my parents and me when I lay in the Sunnybrook hospital ICU in a coma and given a ten percent chance of survival. Illana was there for my parents and me with support, belief, hope, strength and love.

    Illana stood beside my parents when the doctors said I’d be lucky to make it through the night, when my brain pressure went off the charts and when doctors wanted to take me off life support.

    She was always there for my parents when they were lost, afraid and unsure what would happen day to day at the hospital and an true advocate for the family.

    Illana is and will always be part of our family, a true friend and a saint, a soul, a guidance when we were lost and gave us nothing but support and advice we value and appreciate.

    Illana you are truly our shining light and continue to do that today.

  • Marietta Galzote says:

    Illana, she a gem in Sunnybrook Hospital. It’s really an honour working with her. I worked with her for almost 16 years in Trauma unit. Through those years I have witnessed how she supported and liason to the Trauma Patients, Traumatic Brain Injuries Patients and how happy the patients and family on her service. She does a phenomenal Job her field. Oh, I just wish can eloquently write more details on what she have done to the patients and families . Her actions speaks louder than words. She not only an advocates for patients but to all nurses and allied coworkers.
    I, myself experience her genuinity support when I was Injured myself at work. You can reach her anytime without hesitation. She’s really a treasure and an asset , not only as friend but as an employee of SunnyBrook Hospital.

  • Antonette Gomez says:

    Illana is an excellent social worker on C5. I had worked with her for 18 years. She’s kind, respectful, friendly, helpful and down to earth. Patients and families loves her, as she’s a great listener and advocates really well for her patients. She’s an amazing coworker. She always greet everyone with a friendly smile and takes her time to have a chat just to find out how the day is going by or just to say hello. Sunnybrook especially C5 is blessed to have her.

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