Janet Lapins, RN, BscN, has provided the kind of extraordinary health-system leadership that makes Alberta a provincial leader in the use of best evidence. As vice-president of acute care and support services in the former Chinook Health Region, she fostered a culture of evidence-informed practice and decision-making. In the 1990s, Lapins was director of Chinook’s health information and outcomes department, one of the first health region departments in Alberta focused specifically on evidence-based health care and decision-making.
She was a graduate of the provincial SEARCH (swift and efficient application of research in community health) program, which increased the capacity of health professionals to engage in evidence-informed best care. In 2007, she received SEARCH Canada’s award for ongoing contributions to knowledge capacity. Her leadership in the Taber primary care project, the first provincial project in Alberta focused on improving primary care, was instrumental to its success, and it set the stage for further provincial investment in primary care. She played a key role in establishing the Chinook Primary Care Network in 2005 and in supporting the connection of the network to the Institute for Health Care Improvement. She also helped establish the Pincher Creek primary care project and the chronic disease network, which advanced progressive, integrated and interdisciplinary approaches to chronic disease management and prevention.
Lapins is currently a maternal/child health instructor in nursing education in a southwestern Alberta program where her colleagues describe her as a role model and nursing care advocate who exemplifies the best in the nursing profession.