For the first time since its inception, a man has won the Lois Fairley Nurse of the Year Community Service Award.

Doug Mercer was recognized Friday at Windsor Regional Hospital’s Ouellette campus for his compassion and ability to help others feel calm during stressful situations

Mercer began his career in the emergency room at Grace Hospital 24 years ago. He was transferred to Hotel Dieu Grace Hospital and is now at Windsor Regional.

Mercer says he thought he was being pranked when he first learned he won the award and thanks his colleagues who nominated him for the honour by describing his as skilled, compassionate and knowledgeable.

“I have a great job, I love going to work and I work with great people so they make it easy for me,” says Mercer. “I’m not sure I deserve it, but it’s fantastic and it’s nice to be recognized.”

The award is named after Lois Fairley, who was a mentor and advocate for the profession before she passed away in 2007.