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Law Alum Returns to Nursing to Serve Indigenous Community

Posted on September 3, 2020 at 3:40 PM

When Martina Dwyer '11 pursues something, her passion shines through. Upon learning of the public health nursing shortage due to COVID-19, she made the decision to temporarily leave her law practice in Hamilton to make an impact on the frontlines of the pandemic in Northern Ontario.

 

Indigenous health services dwindled significantly amid the pandemic, and Martina answered the call. Commissioned by Indigenous Services Canada, she was assigned to the nursing station in Keewaywin First Nation, an Oji-Cree First Nation and one of the northernmost communities in the province of Ontario. During her four-week appointment, Martina's duties include COVID-19 preparation and screening within the community.

 

Martina's education is expansive. In 1985 Martina graduated with a diploma in Health Sciences from St. Clair College and became a registered nurse. She continued her career in perinatal intensive care while obtaining a certificate in public health nursing from the University of Windsor in 1993. She then pursued a Pedorthics degree, as well as a Bachelor of Science and Nursing in 2008, before obtaining her law degree from Windsor Law in 2011. She was appointed to the Ontario Agency for Health Protection and Promotion (Public Health Ontario) in January 2020 and was recently appointed as chair of the Governance Committee.

 

Martina travelled to Keewaywin First Nation with a month’s worth of medical supplies and scrubs. She is using her education and experience to help keep the community safe and ensure it can both protect itself from the first wave of this virus and prepare itself for the inevitable second wave as well.

 

"Not only do I have an immense feeling of self-satisfaction to help this community," says Martina. "But I am also humbled by the invaluable learning experience I am receiving about Indigenous Peoples in Northern Ontario, their culture, their challenges and their resilience.”

 

She says her days are intense, ensuring that no details are missed as she teaches other frontline workers essential processes ranging from how to properly gown before a shift to how to safely return home at the end of the day.

 

As if she wasn't busy enough already, Martina also hosts a one-hour radio program twice per week. The show provides an opportunity for community outreach, involving community members in the education process amid COVID-19.

 

Although she didn’t know it at the time of the COVID-19 outbreak, she was perfectly positioned to assist the community when they needed it most. As the courts suspended much of their operations due to the pandemic, more time became available for Martina to act. During her temporary leave from her law practice, Martina has entrusted the day-to-day operations to her daughter, Julianne Fogarty – also a lawyer and University of Windsor alum, obtaining her Bachelor of Science in 2014.

 

Founded in 2014, Martina's law practice offers 30 years of experience in pedorthics and nursing, which has uniquely situated Martina at the intersection of law and health. Moving forward, Martina's plan is to continue working in the areas of both law and nursing. She states, “being busy has taken on a whole new meaning. I am driven by helping people overcome their life challenges."

 

- Published May 19, 2020 at https://www.uwindsor.ca/law/alumni-respond-to-covid-pandemic" target="_blank">http://https://www.uwindsor.ca/law/alumni-respond-to-covid-pandemic

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About Us,

Since its' inception in 2014, the legal team in our boutique family law litigation firm has proudly brought many, even high conflict, cases to a resolution.

Our clients receive the benefit of a team of family litigation lawyers to provide them with individualized, accessible and responsive legal care. Though we are located in Hamilton, Ontario --just across the street from the Hamilton Unified Family Court, our office services the Hamilton area as well as the GTA, London, Sarnia, Chatham, and Windsor, Ontario.

Here, at Dwyer Law Office we believe in legal care. To our office this means that we will emphasize the approach that works for our clients, balancing the goal of achieving their best possible outcome with their financial means and, where possible, prioritizing the less-adversarial alternative dispute resolution mechanisms available to minimize conflict between partners (in the interest of their children, if any).

In situations where no out-of-court resolution is possible, we will continue to bring you the same quality of care by providing you with representation through each step of your litigation process. We are confident that, through our collaborative, committed and detail-oriented practice we can assist you in determining your best approach to help you achieve your goals.

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Meet Us,

Martina Dwyer

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Martina founded our firm in 2014 after practicing in Toronto and Windsor, she brings to each case the knowledge of over twenty years of practice in nursing and pedorthics prior to even becoming a lawyer. She has successfully represented clients from all walks of life in cases in of Family Law, Estates, Malpractice and Defense.

In her free time Martina is passionate about boating, history and travelling. Martina also speaks German.  Additionally, Martina is a Director with Public Health Ontario and a public health nurse who has assisted with the COVID-19 efforts for an aboriginal community throughout this pandemic.

Martina is a member of the Law Society of Ontario, the Windsor-Essex Law Association, and the Hamilton Law Association.

Julia Fogarty

B.Sc., J.D.

Family Lawyer

Julia joined Dwyer Law Office permanently in 2018 after completing her articles with a top-tier litigation firm in Yorkville, Toronto, Ontario. During her time there she spent most of her term in court assisting her principal with a $14.9 million dollar malpractice trial. Prior to this, she acted as a judicial clerk/extern to the former senior family law judge for all of Ontario.

In her free time Julia is passionate about animal rights, boating, holistic health care, running and singing. Julia also speaks French.

Julia is a member of the Law Society of Ontario, the Windsor-Essex Law Association, the Hamilton Law Association, the Canadian Bar Association, the Ontario Bar Association (Family Law Section), the American Bar Association (TTIPS).

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