My name is Ava Onwudegwu and I grew up on the beautiful Island of Jamaica, before migrating to Canada at the age of 18. I am currently an Assistant Patient Care Manager in the Medicine Department at St. Joseph’s Health Centre – Unity Health Toronto. I have held various positions at Unity Health Toronto, from staff nurse on the Resource Team and in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU); as well as, eCare Support, Professional Practice Leader for Nursing Practice and Education, Manager of Nursing Practice and Education, and Clinical Educator – Nursing. I have also had the opportunity to work in academia as a Clinical Instructor and Clinical Advisor. I am also currently an Adjunct Lecturer at the University of Toronto.
In all my leadership experiences I was always the only Black person on the team. I didn’t see Black representation or mentors. As the Academic Coordinator at CBNA, I am motivated by my desire to empower and build another generation of leaders who will forge the way for the generations to come. I am passionate about seeing Black nurses and Black nursing students reach their highest heights. I believe we have so much to offer. We must all leave a legacy!
Outside of the world of Health Care, I am passionate about working with young adults, travelling and dancing. I have been part of different planning committees for conferences geared to empower Women and Young Adults. I have also been featured as a speaker and guest performer at many of these events.
Not only do I give back to my immediate community but on a larger scale, I have travelled to Israel, the Philippines, Trinidad and Tobago, and other areas within Canada doing humanitarian work.