​The Krembil Nursing Awards (KNA), as a subset of the Krembil Foundation, has generously supported Toronto Western Hospital (TWH) nurses since 2004. These Awards provide opportunities for point-of-care full-time nurses to devote designated time to conduct quality improvement (QI) projects for up to a year or research projects for up to 18 months to improve patient care in their clinical areas.

Projects funded by the Krembil Nursing Awards allow nurses at TWH to directly impact nursing practices and patient care. Learn more about the projects, challenges, successes, and why other nurses should apply in the short video below.

Key Dates

  • Application announcement – Ongoing
  • Proposal submissions your KNA mentor – November 1
  • Submit Intent to Submit Proposal to Rose Puopolo no later than November 1
  • Final proposal submission from KNA mentor to the Krembil Foundation – December 1
    *NEW* Submit via Submittable
  • Principle investigators meeting with Mrs. Stacey Krembil & Rose Puopolo – February
  • Selection committee – April 15
  • Conditional letter of acceptance – April 30
  • Celebratory Tea during Nursing Week – May
  • Annual Krembil showcase – September
  • Biannual progress reports – October 31 & March 15
    Send to

  • The Krembil Nursing Awards offer an exciting opportunity for nurses to develop skills in quality improvement projects or in research with guided support from other experienced nurses and advanced practitioners.
  • This is an opportunity to: 
    • Be innovative
    • Co-create best practice
    • Lead innovative change
    • Develop more efficiency in the system
    • Improve patient education
    • Enhance the work environment for both nursing staff and the inter-professional team
    • Develop leadership skills
  • As an organization, UHN depends on point-of-care staff to deliver and optimize patient care at the bedside, ensuring safety and efficacy.

  1. Two Principle Nursing Investigators are required to conduct a project consisting of Staff Registered Nurse (RN) and/or Registered Practice Nurses (RPN).
  2. Other team members may include part-time or casual nurses and Allied Health. Each project will have an identified Krembil Mentor to report back to the Committee. The Primary Mentor is an Advanced Practice Nurse who may or not be the identified Krembil Mentor.
  3. Proposal submissions are a maximum of 2 pages (excluding the title page, budget and any appendices) and must include:
    • On the title page labelled "Krembil Nursing Award Proposal", names of the Principle Investigators (PIs), at least one team member, Krembil/Advanced Practice Mentor and Unit Manager. Include email contact of all mentioned individuals.
    • Headings for QI project: Background, Current Knowledge, Description of Problem/Gap, Purpose Statement, Significance, Protection of Human Rights, Project Timeline, Evaluation Plan and Sustainability Plan.
    • Headings for Research project: Abstract, Introduction, Background/Review of Literature, Purpose Statement, Research Question(s)/Hypothesis, Methodology, Protection of Human Rights and Project Timeline.
    • Budget (excluding dissemination funds).
    • Appendices must include a Letter of Support from both the Primary Mentor and one from the Unit Manager.
  4. Deadline for Proposal Submission is December 1 (annually).
  5. Final proposals must be emailed to the Krembil Foundation (
  6. The Selection Committee meets to review and discuss all proposals and select the successful recipients. Letters of Acceptance will be given to all successful participants and all will be notified at the end of April annually.
  7. Once accepted, Nurse Managers are expected to help staff schedule days off to work on the project. You have 12 months to complete the QI project from the date of acceptance and 18 months to complete from date of REB approval for a research project.
  8. All proposal projects must be assessed using the ARECCI Ethics Screening Tool to identify need for REB (Research Ethics Board) approval need.
    Email completed ARECCI tool to and Anita Sengar. The ARECCI Ethics Screening Tool is to be submitted at the same time you submit your proposal to the Krembil Foundation.
    Indicate in subject line of email: Quality Improvement Project and attach tool along with a brief description of the nature and aims of the project. Note: You must explicitly request an exemption letter from REB if you wish to receive formal communication from REB.
    An exemption letter from REB is to be sent to the Krembil Award Committee if applicable.
    Any study that requires REB approval needs first be submitted to CAPCR® (Coordinated Approval Process for Clinical Research) an online application system to obtain all the approvals required to conduct human research at UHN.
  9. Biannual progress report stating how the project is progressing, is required for each successful project with both Investigators' signatures using the template provided.
  10. A more detailed report outlining the effectiveness of the project as it relates to the expected goals and outcomes is required a year after the project receives funding.
  11. Any request for an extension of the time period or need for additional finances must be provided in writing for approval by Stacey Krembil.
  12. The budget required for dissemination must be submitted separately.

RoleArea of Expertise
Natasha Briggs Nurse Practitioner Orthopedics, 9A
Gavin DandalPatient Care CoordinatorOR
Carla DominguesPatient Care CoordinatorOR
Grace AndeniyiAdavanced Practice Nurse EducatorGIM, Rheumatology
Brittany JenkinsManager of Professional PracticeED, GIM, MDU
Sandra Li-JamesProfessional Practice DirectorTWH
Shondra LorenowiczPatient Care CoordinatorOR
Naudea MairClinical Nurse SpecialistGIM
Fiona O'NeillPatient Care CoordinatorOR
Renee PignataroAdvanced Practice Nurse Educator 
Rose PuopoloManagerOR
René SamudaAdvanced Practice Nurse EducatorTWH - ED
Petal Samuel Clinical Nurse SpecialistGerontology
Heather WyersAdvanced Practice Nurse EducatorOR



Toronto Western Hospital Library
Phone: 416 603 5750

For aid in conducting a literature resource search, please contact the Information Specialist assigned to your program.

eLearning Module

Writing & Research


Research Consultation
Anyone can ask for an hour consultation from any of the CAP Research Leads.
To book a one-hour research or QI consultation with a CAP Research Leader, please e-mail

CAPCR® (Coordinated Approval Process for Clinical Research)
Any new study (retrospective data access studies, retrospective biospecimen access studies, prospective studies) that requires REB approval needs first be submitted to CAPCR®, an online application system, to obtain all the approvals required to conduct human research at UHN. This application can be obtained under Research on the UHN Intranet. Submitting a study through CAPCR® ensures review by all the departments and committees whose approval is required before study initiation. Once all required approvals are received for a study, Institutional Authorization will be issued by the CAPCR® system. Following this, the study may begin.

REB Process

Review Steps

  1. PI to gather all relevant information, organize required documents for approval.
  2. Submit the study through CAPCR®. REB Approval is only one element of Institutional Approval (required to begin a study at UHN).
  3. REB receives the study.
  4. REB triages the incoming study based on several factors including risk.
  5. Review assessment is conducted.
  6. A decision to approve the study is made; modifications are requested; more information is required.

Initial Submissions

When submitting a study, the REB determines one of the following review paths, depending on the nature and risk profile of the submission. This application is only completed once per study.

  • Full Board Review: greater than minimal risk
  • Delegated Review: the study presents minimal risk to study participants

This process can be found under Research on the UHN Intranet.​

 Krembil Nursing Scholarships

Krembil Nursing Scholarships logo  

How to Apply

A maximum of two recipients will receive a total of $10,000 over two years ($5,000/year) to aid in the pursuit of a Master in Nursing or in a health-related field.

Eligibility criteria: Applicants must be a nurse (including nursing leadership) at the Toronto Western Hospital (TWH) and have been employed within TWH for a minimum of one year.

Applicants are required to submit the following:

  1. A current resumé
  2. A personal statement (2,000 words or less) outlining why you are pursuing a Master's degree; how this will impact and advance patient care and how it will contribute to your current or future role/profession;
  3. A nomination letter from your current manager that outlines your contribution to patient care or workplace for the staff and how you are advancing nursing practice; and
  4. A copy of your acceptance letter into the respective program.

Please send required documents to Stacey Krembil and Riley Krembil.

Deadline: December 1

2021 Recipients

Nicole Chan  

Nicole Chan is a Canadian Nurses Association certified nurse in neuroscience and has been working on the Neurovascular Unit at Toronto Western Hospital for over 5 years. She graduated from Ryerson University with Distinction in 2016 and is currently enrolled in the Double Degree program at the University of Victoria, for a Master's in Nursing and a Master's in Science in Health Informatics. Nicole is excited to explore the field of health informatics and how health technology can be utilized to improve patient outcomes, especially with the advancements made possible through the pandemic. Nicole continues to look for opportunities to improve professional practice through Krembil Nursing Awards and is excited to share her knowledge with others.

Fiona O'Neill  

Fiona O'Neill is a Patient Care Coordinator in Toronto Western Hospital Operating Room. Fiona was a perioperative nurse in the OR at TWH for 4 years after graduating from Queen's University with her Bachelor of Nursing Science. Before becoming a PCC, she had the opportunity to receive 2 Krembil Nursing Awards. Fiona has had the opportunity to present the findings of her projects locally and looks forward to more opportunities to share learning. Fiona is part of the Krembil Mentors Committee and enthusiastically supports the many quality improvement and research projects the committee oversees. Fiona is completing her Master of Nursing from Athabasca University and is scheduled to complete the program in December 2022.

Emma Robertson  

Emma Robertson graduated in 2012 with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Saint Francis Xavier University. She has worked as a Perioperative nurse at Toronto Western Hospital for the past eight years, she was able to complete a Krembil Nursing Award quality improvement initiative creating a standard operating procedure for organ donation in the operating room. She has recently started her masters in Global Surgical Care through University of British Columbia where she hopes to build on her knowledge and experience with humanitarian aid and surgery in resource poor settings.

Katrina Lazo  

Katrina Lazo is a graduate student of Athabasca University's Master of Nursing program. As a registered nurse at Toronto Western Hospital (TWH), her commitment for patient advocacy and nursing empowerment have carried through her clinical experiences on General Internal Medicine and the Medical-Surgical/ Neuro Intensive Care Unit (MSNICU). Her passion for teaching led to her roles as nurse preceptor, mentor, and clinical instructor. During the unprecedented times of the COVID-19 pandemic, Katrina responded to the emergent educational needs as the interim Advanced Practice Nurse Educator for TWH's MSNICU. As a dedicated life-long learner and clinician, Katrina aspires to continue leading with authenticity and integrity.

2020 Recipients

Tahmina Noori  

Tahmina Noori is currently a graduate student with the University of Toronto in the Masters of Nursing (Nurse Practitioner program). She started her journey at York University, obtaining a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Soon after, Tahmina found her passion for Neurosciences at University Health Network (UHN), where she practices as a Registered ICU Nurse at Toronto Western Hospital. Tahmina's personal experience of evading civil war and being a refugee shaped certain inherent qualities and desires. Her passion to help the underprivileged, the sick and the dying, and to provide them with comfort has led her to pursue a Master of Nursing degree. As a Nurse Practitioner, she wants to promote concepts of social justice, equality, and health for all.

Anita Sarpong  

Anita Sarpong is a graduate student currently enrolled in the Master of Nursing program at Athabasca University. Anita completed her undergraduate degree from Ryerson University, where she obtained a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN). As a Registered Nurse, she has been practicing through University Health Network (UHN) at Toronto Western Hospital, specifically on the Spine/Neurology unit. Her desire to empower others through education has allowed her to become an agent of change, and to strive for her Master of Nursing degree. She is excited to embark on this endeavour, enrich her knowledge, diversify her worldview and develop professionally along the way.

Kendra Willis  

Kendra Willis graduated in 2012 with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Brock University. For the first three years of her career, she worked in an inpatient nephrology unit caring for acutely ill renal patients at St. Catharines General Hospital. In 2015, Kendra moved to Toronto and pursued her passion for surgical nursing and began working in the Operating Room at TWH. During this time, she completed several Krembil Nursing Awards that sparked an interest in Quality and Process Improvement. In 2018, while simultaneously applying to graduate school, Kendra took a job as a Patient Care Coordinator (PCC) for Perioperative Services at TWH. In 2019, she began a Master of Health Management through McMaster University and is scheduled to complete her degree in 2022. The skills and knowledge Kendra has gained through graduate school have been extremely beneficial and applicable to her role as PCC.

Heather Wyers  

Heather Wyers is the current Advanced Practice Nurse Educator in Toronto Western Hospital Operating Room. Before taking on this role, Heather was a perioperative nurse in the OR at TWH for 6.5 years and had the opportunity to receive and complete two Krembil Nursing Awards. Heather has presented at local, provincial, national, and international levels on her Krembil Nursing award: Improving Accuracy in Calculating Estimated Blood Loss Through the Use of a Standardized Approach. Heather has just completed her Master of Nursing from Athabasca University and is an active Krembil Mentor for nurses completing their Krembil Nursing award.​​

 Mentorship Program

KNA Mentors team
From L to R: Joyce Reardon, CNS, Natasha Briggs, NP, Sandra Tully, NP, Carla Domingues, PCC, Shondra Lorenowicz, PCC, Petal Samuel, CNS<


A key goal for the Krembil Nursing Awards is professional growth and development for all nurses participating in either a QI or research project. By building capacity for nurse leaders as mentees and mentors, the profession will continue to evolve as we challenge ourselves to broaden our experiences and ideas. Together, nurses can change the future of health care by focusing on the needs of the individual patient and by ensuring that safe and best care is always delivered.

The Mentorship Relationship

  • Supports staff professional development and learning through sharing one's knowledge, skills and experiences
  • Provides encouragement and support
  • Promotes inter-professional collaboration and fosters team building
  • Is unique to each mentorship experience

Benefits for Mentor

  • Promote career development
  • Develop leadership and knowledge transfer skills
  • Provide recognition
  • Improve job satisfaction
  • Provide professional development
  • Act as role model
  • Provide guidance and assist mentee in making their goals achievable

Benefits for Mentee

  • Is provided with professional advice, counsel, exposure to the "real world"
  • Promote career planning opportunities
  • Fosters skill development
  • Opportunities for developing critical thinking
  • Opportunity to put theory into practice

Benefits for UHN

  • Optimize staff recruitment and retention
  • Coaching
  • Understanding knowledge gaps
  • Bringing people together
  • Fostering skills development

Roles and Accountabilities

Mentors and Mentees

  • Maintain a positive, professional relationship involving constructive interactions, joint problem solving and appropriate behaviours
  • Achieve an understanding related to the amount of time spent together and how the mentee/mentor contact one another
  • Participate in regular, face-to-face meetings to effectively maintain the mentoring relationship; as well as additional communications either by phone or by email
  • May terminate the relationship if unable to achieve rapport and without a sense of failure if this situation occurs
  • Keep all discussions in confidence
  • Adhere to UHN's Code of Conduct and Code of Ethics and are accountable to comply with legislation


  • Serve as role models and advisors; share their experience, knowledge and expertise and assist mentees in determining their priorities
  • Provide mentees a safe setting to discuss and identify their professional, academic and education directions
  • Provide encouragement and support
  • Refer mentees to other team members when expertise required exceeds that of the mentor
  • Communicate effectively and with sensitivity to the needs of mentees
  • Review mentees' individual goals to: determine if the mentee has any problems or concerns; identify areas of success; identify challenges or frustrating experiences
  • Are honest in their feedback in order to assist mentees' in developing accurate insight into their own skills and ongoing development


  • Are responsible for identifying a mentor with adequate professional practice experience
  • Will review their progress and reflect on their experiences, documenting their learning activities whenever possible and using these discussion points with mentors
  • Should use the mentor as a valuable resource in conjunction with independent efforts to gain competence, such as self-study
  • Will arrange meetings with mentor on a regular basis to discuss progress of project and any developments or concerns
  • Will provide to the Krembil Committee written quarterly reports and an end-of-year report of completion of project


  • Responsible for the secondment of PI to work on projects
  • Ensure cost centre is reimbursed
    • Submit Payroll Register Detail
    • Payroll Code Education: G120
  • Commitment to support PI and sustain projects as appropriate

Krembil Nursing Awars showcase team  photo
Back row, L to R: Kendra Willis, PCC, Natasha Briggs, NP, Gladys Mokaya, SPPL, Jan Newton, VP, Kevin Smith, CEO, Charmaine Arulvarathan, APNE, Silvi Groe, Clinical Director
Front row, L to R: Andrea Sharp, SPPL, Kateland Reinhart, Principle Investigator, Rita Nwalu, Principle Investigator, Sandra Li-James, Director of Professional Practice, Shemeka Jones, APNE​

Published Projects

Past Award Projects

# Title Principle Invesitgator(s) Unit
1 Improving Documentation Compliance of Pt Education Record (PER) Among Staff on Neurovascular Unit Rebecca Aguiar & Josephine Li 6A
2 Level 2 Quick Reference Nursing Guide Rachel Offeh & Ramindia Bastiampillai 6A
3 Examining Nursing Knowledge and Practices Related To Deep Breathing Exercises in Spinal Surgery Setting Anita Saprong & Sabrina Phan 5A
4 Teaching Initiative in Prioritizing of Nursing Skill Christopher Chow< & Joyce Ascano 8A
5 Suture Identification & Recognition: Improving Staff Knowledge re Sutures & their Use in Surgical Procedures Kristen Davison & Justin Sanchez OR
6 General Surgery Video Education Simone Phang & Katherine Gregory OR
7 Circulating Nurse Learning Tool Camilla Ferreira & Steven Garalde OR
8 Modernizing the Virtual Resource in Periop Setting Venus David & Meaghan Tickner OR
9 Strengthening Competence & Confidence in Novice Nurses with Retrieving Hips & Knee Arthroplasty Implants Daniella Di Giuseppe & Rochelle Rock OR
10 Implementing a Video Tutorial for Novice Nurses during Orthopedic Operating Room Orientation
Genesis II Total Knee Replacement
Alex Paris & Olivia Hellier OR

# Title Principle Invesitgator(s) Unit
1 Enhancing the Nursing Observership Experience in TWH OR Christine Keys & Erika Kraus OR
2 Standardization of Operative Pick Lists for Orthopedics & Hands Program at TWH Anna Kalleitner & Angela Hoang OR
3 Establishing a Data Collection Tool & Process to Track External Ventricular Drains (EVDs) within MSNICU Marcie Sett & Simone McCarthy MSNICU

# Title Principle Invesitgator(s) Unit
1 Addressing Barriers to Enacting Bowel Care Regimens in Patients at Risk of Constipation due to Neurogenic Bowel Nicole Chan 6A
2 Reduction of Skin Breakdown in Hip Fracture Patients Across the Continuum of Care Tatiana Velasquez & Danielle Souche 9A & OR
3 Perceptions of Patients in Isolation Rooms Kenneth Prosper & Khemraj Sukhdeo 9A
4 CCRT Huddle Ramya Satyanarayana & Crisman Hingada MSICU
5 Improving Sleep Quality through Nursing Interventions within the MS-NICU Oksana Cheveleva & Mendy Ting MSICU
6 Establishing a Safe and Comfortable Transition for Patients and Families from Neuro Surgical Intensive Care Unit to the Medical Wards at TWH, through Patient Education and Implementation of a Pre-transfer Information Pamphlet Jan Camille & Valtiendas Arvin Alcalde MSICU
7 Revisiting Assessment, Management and Prevention of Pressure Injuries in the Med-Surgical/Neuro Intensive Care Unit Karen McFarlane & Princess Guthrie McGraw MSICU
8 Revision of TWH Day Surgery Documentation Flow Sheet Megan Bruce & Morgan Ford PACU
9 Trillium Gift of Life Emergency Case Cart: A QI Project Aubrie Graham & Emma Robertson OR
10 Mentorship Program for New Hires who have Completed their Orientation Amy Rust & Lina Phan OR

# Title Principle Invesitgator(s) Unit
1 Assessment of Intro of Automatized Pupillometer to ICU RNS Standard Bedside Clinical Exams: A Cohort Study Kitty Cheung & Sai Thavendran MSICU
2 Implementation of a Care Pathway for Patients with Responsive Behaviors Nicole Magwood & Joy Allanic 4B
3 Optimizing Patient Care and New Employee Readiness through Enhancement of Nursing Orientation on the Krembil Neuroscience Centre's Spine/Neurosurgery Unit Emma Bingham & Esther Olukayode 5A
4 The Effectiveness of a Spinal Surgery Education Booklet: Enhancing Patient Satisfaction< Carly Turner & Jennifer Turner 5A
5 Improving Patient Experience by Promoting a Culture of Safety in Epilepsy Nursing Trudy Whiting & Agnes Leung 9B
6 Evaluation of Discharge Tool & Translation Roda Bondoc & Ana Marie Hegedus OR
7 Evaluation of Resource Manual for Newly Hired Nurses on the Orthopedic Unit Tanisha Brown & Joycelene Gyebi 9A
8 The Effectiveness of Intentional Hourly Rounds on Patient Care Morena Velasque & Karen Punchard 9A
9 Initiation of PIP Dressing to Minimize Skin Breakdown in Fractured Patients Tatiana Velasquez & Kadiatu Kamara 9A
10 Development & Implementation of Communication Tools to Improve Patient Safety Jerson Lumibao & Janny Lee MSICU
11 Addressing Barriers in Turning Hemodynamically Unstable Patients in the MS/NICU Ian Jefferson Alagada & Shevaun Lai MSICU
12 Managing Post-Operative Patient Thirst in PACU Shandelle Wilson & Faith Sostino PACU
13 Safe Handling of Sharps in the Operating Room Diana Zelman & Fiona O'Neill OR
14 Reducing Intraoperative Distractions: Implementing the "Critical Moments Campaign" Kendra Willis & Melissa Lem OR

# Title Principle Invesitgator(s) Unit
1 Cardiac Arrests in the Operating Room: Improving Code Blue Response through Education and Simulation Phase 2 Jempe Culanny & Keisha Alexander OR
2 Perceptions, Circumstances and Responses to Nursing Errors in the Operating Room McKenzee Balcom & Fiona O’Neill OR
3 Traffic in the Operating Room: Improving the flow of personnel into the Operating Room to reduce Surgical Site Infections Indira Gobin & Heather Wyers OR
4 Regional Block Room and Ketamine Educational Tool Julia Cioffi & Angela Palisoc OR
5 Evaluation of Falls Prevention Strategies Kremraj Sukhdeo & Carlo Santiago 9A
6 Improving Crisis Management Amongst OR Nurses: Implementation of Emergency Checklist Cards Danielle Souche & Kendra Willis OR

1 Development of Effective Model of Care to Enhance Team Nursing

2 Developing 'Grab and Go Educational Modules' to Enhance Nursing Knowledge & Improve Patient Outcomes

3 Transitioning from New to Experienced OR Nurses: Updating Online Resources

1 Development of a Normothermic Protocol for Neurological Injury Patients in the TWH MS/NICU

2 Physical Restraint Use Prevalence and Patterns in Intensive Care Unit: Nursing Staff Survey

3 Development of an Evaluation Tool to Complement the Teaching & Learning Styles Between the Preceptor & New Staff Member or Student

4 Improving Communication of Pain in the Presence of a Language Barrier

5 Detecting Factors Associated with Deteriorating Ward Patients Among Neuroscience Units

6 Evaluation of Minimizing Pressure Ulcers on the Orthopedic Unit by Nursing Led Initiative

7 Speaking Up to Incivility: Improving Nurses' Confidence Communicating with Family Members

1 Assessing the Use of the Telephone to Facilitate Communication Between Patients & Family in the Post Anesthetic Care Unit: A QI Project

2 Improving Intraoperative Communication with Waiting of Families Through the Use of Text Messaging Technology

3 Improving OR Scheduling in General Surgery

4 Improving Accuracy in Calculating Estimated Blood Loss Through the Use of a Standardized Approach

5 Personalized Education for Arthroscopic Shoulder Day Surgery Patients

6 Exploring Critical Nurses' Perspective on Access to Professional Development & Leadership Opportunities

7 Development of an Integrated Spinal Cord Clinical Pathway: A Quality Improvement Initiative

8 Promotion of Patient Safety Through Education: Having a Joint Replacement – Translation of the DVD into Italian, Portuguese & French

9 Development of a Resource Manual for Newly Hired Nurses in Orthopedics

10 Promoting Patient Safety in Elective Hip & Knee Patients: Discharge Tool

11 Evaluating the Effectiveness of Applying Continuous Monitoring & Remote Notification Systems on Post-op Patients: A QI Project

12 Improving Patient Diabetes Management Through Nurse Educational Initiatives

1 Pain Management for Bariatric Patients

2 The Effects of Bladder Distension and Urinary Retention in the Elective Patient

3 UTI Incidence in Spinal Unit: Impact of Change

1 Hepatitis A and B Vaccination Rates in Patients with Hepatitis C Virus Infection: A Quality Assurance Project​

Art Contest: A Celebration of Nursing

Congratulations to our winners!

First Place: Faultering by Anja Orom

Second Place: Stride to Excellence by Mike Daryl Chan Li


Third Place: The Giving Tree by Rebecca Aguiar & Eva Gross

 ‭(Hidden)‬ 2018 Award Tea Ceremony

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