Thanks to her dedication to improving the lives of the elderly, a nurse in Cote St. Luc has been honoured with a national award.

Lucie Tremblay, who has spent the last 13 of her 27-year nursing career at the Donald Berman Maimonides Geriatric Centre, was awarded a Nursing Leadership Award by the Canadian College of Health Leaders.

The accolade may make her one of the top nurses in the country, but Tremblay said she has her patients to thank.

"I think that we have so much that we can do for the elderly. I have a lot of respect for them. I think that they build our society, so I'm very thankful to them," said Tremblay, who is the director of nursing and clinical studies at the centre.

In her years of nursing, Tremblay has coordinated several projects to improve the lives of seniors, including giving patients more freedom.

"We removed the restraints on wheelchairs. There were about 60 to 70 clients that were tied to their chair, and now, as we're speaking there are only four people that still have restraints within the entire building," she explained. "It was an opportunity to give them freedom, to give them back their dignity, and from that project, all kinds of other projects emerged."

The award was an honour to everyone at the centre, explained Karen Flam, director of the Maimonides Foundation, who joked about Tremblay's new status as a top nurse.

"It was a labour of love for us because we're all so proud. We call her the queen around here. I always say to everybody, ‘We've gotta keep her happy!'" said Flam.

The patients agree, including Jack Letovsky, who said she has a good relationship with those in her care.

"She's easy to talk to… I love her smile," he said.

Tremblay said, humbly, she could not have received the Nursing Leadership Award without great support.

"I often say that I'm only the conductor of a great orchestra," she said.