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Behind the Gift

A legacy that will empower highest level of nursing expertise

March 20, 2024

Laura Mary Teague

Laura Mary Teague, PhD and nurse practitioner was, by all accounts, a force of nature. Her devotion, determination, and drive meant that everyone whose life she touched - friends, family, colleagues, patients - was moved by their interactions. Her passion for patient care was rivaled only by her commitment to bettering the understanding and practice of wound care, her field of expertise. Laura changed the world during her lifetime. After being diagnosed with cancer, Laura and her husband, David Breukelman, talked about what Laura would like as her legacy. They decided they wanted to honour and reflect Laura’s commitment and passion for nursing. Following her untimely death, Laura’s husband and family are determined to keep that legacy alive, and so founded the Laura Mary Teague Scholarship Foundation.

The Scholarship Foundation will support Ontario's nurses and nurse practitioners who are dedicated to advancing their expertise in the specialized field of wound care - Laura’s focus. Recognizing the critical impact of proficient wound management on patient recovery and quality of life, this fund aims to empower nursing professionals through financial assistance, thereby facilitating their pursuit of further education, training, and certifications in wound care.

“Laura’s passion for nursing was almost incomprehensible,” says David. “I’ve met people with tremendous passion throughout my life, but Laura eclipsed them all. Remarkably, she also had no ego about her passion nor her extraordinary knowledge. She knew when she was right, she knew when she was able to learn something more, and she would always, always ask questions. In so doing, she was able to unite and focus diverse groups of people into a common goal and make it look easy. I was always astounded by her gifts.”

Laura focused her energy on many different facets of wound care throughout her career. She established and led clinics focused on caring for individuals with wound care needs, and honed her clinical skills and expertise to the point where she was an admired and sought after expert in the field. She worked tirelessly, educating government officials to help increase an understanding of how to best care for wounds, and thus impact how wound care was viewed and funded by the health care system. She also advocated alongside patients and practitioners, particularly those living in rural, remote, and Indigenous communities, to gain better access to care. “Laura wrote articles, ran meetings, attended conferences, and treated patients. She practiced, she taught, she built, all in service of her personal mission, which was to reduce the unnecessary suffering of the thousands and thousands of patients dealing with wounds,” says David.

Channeling that energy into her eponymous Scholarship Foundation, Laura’s family and Sinai Health wanted also to recognize Laura’s roots in Northern Ontario, and her commitment to equalizing access to care. As such, the Scholarship Foundation will annually award a recipient both in the GTA as well as from a rural/remote/Indigenous community, looking to fund individuals with a passion for wound care, a commitment to clinical excellence, and a clear intention to contribute to the advancement of the field. The Laura Mary Teague Scholarship Foundation not only will perpetuate the standard of care that Laura exemplified, but it will ensure patients across Ontario will benefit from the highest level of nursing expertise.

“Part of what motivated Laura was the concept of narrowing the gap between the larger cities and regions in the province, like the GTA and the Ottawa area, and the outlying regions. She saw time and time again the socioeconomic impact of not dealing with wounds and wound care appropriately, and the disproportionate impact this had on populations without the support networks of larger cities. She was tireless in her devotion to bringing better patient care to everyone and believed deeply in universal health care. I hope that this Scholarship Foundation can help further her commitment to patient care and changing the system. And I hope it can enable nurses that have that same calling, that same passion, and give them some of the opportunities Laura created for herself,” says David. “Ultimately, I try to channel Laura and what she would want to do. Laura never saw problems, she saw opportunities to improve things - patient care, the health care system. With this scholarship, I hope I can create more opportunities for others to make improvements, in Laura’s name. I know she would be proud of that.”

Thank you to David Breukelman and Laura’s family for their creation of the Laura Mary Teague Scholarship Foundation, Sinai Health is honoured to help carry on Laura’s legacy.

Learn more about supporting the Laura Mary Teague Scholarship Foundation.


Learn more about supporting the Laura Mary Teague Scholarship Foundation