Media Release - Valerie Kenny and Kathy Sdao-Jarvie, Co-recipients of the 2016 Mary Neville Award

For Immediate Release
21 June 2016

Mississauga – This year’s Mary Neville Award will be presented to Valerie Kenny, Manager, Parent and Family Literacy Centres of Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board; and to Kathy Sdao-Jarvie, Chief Officer, System Planning and Accountability at Peel Children’s Centre (PCC).

Valerie and Kathy will receive the Mary Neville award at tonight’s Joint Celebration, beginning at 6:45 p.m. at the Mississauga Convention Centre. The Joint Celebration will follow PCC’s Annual General Meeting, which will begin at 6:00 p.m. and which will be held concurrently with the Annual General Meetings of six other Peel social service agencies.

Presented annually by PCC, the prestigious Mary Neville Award recognizes community members who have made outstanding contributions towards prevention and early intervention in children’s mental health services.
Valerie Kenny was nominated by Donna McIlroy, Bhupinder Heer and Frank Inglese of Peel Children’s Centre (PCC), and they describe Valerie as “the epitome of the ‘strengths-based’ approach” and “stellar at community engagement, parent engagement and building strong partnerships that benefit all involved.” Now a Manager with the Parent and Family Literacy Centres (PFLCs) of Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board (DPCDSB), Valerie’s career began 25 years ago with lived experience as a parent in one of the first family resource programs established in Toronto. She completed an MA in Early Childhood Studies, focusing her research on parent engagement and the empowerment of marginalized families, and has dedicated her career to bringing parents and community resources together to support children.

More recently, Valerie has partnered with PCC’s School-Based Services program to support parent consultations in PFLCs and the St. John Fisher Neighbourhood Learning Place, ensuring that PCC is connected to parents who might not otherwise have sought out mental health services for their children. Valerie has also played in integral role in developing high quality programming in PFLCs; establishing strong connections between PFLCs and Peel Ontario Early Years Centres; and fostering partnerships with PFLCs and other service providers to expand the network of resources available to her staff and parents. Throughout her career, Valerie has been committed to ensuring that the needs of children and their caregivers are at the forefront of her work with them.

Kathy Sdao-Jarvie, Ph.D., Chief Officer, System Planning and Accountability of PCC and Nexus Youth Services, was nominated by Child and Parent Resource Institute (CPRI) Program Manager Ian Kerr for her “outstanding leadership” with respect to the transformation of child and youth mental health services in Peel. Ian writes that Kathy “continually demonstrates unwavering support” for all who are involved in the transformation process, and that the “supportive and empowering tone Kathy sets” has helped the six Core Service Delivery Partners “make meaningful use of CPRI’s support and maintain forward progress toward new standards of excellence” in Peel.

Kathy, who joined PCC in 1999 after having worked at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, also provided key leadership in the development of a quality improvement and evaluation strategy (QUEST© Framework) and the implementation of clinical assessment and outcome tools. Her dedication to “high quality at all levels of service, from targeted prevention/intervention to specialized, more intensive assistance” and “visionary leadership” will, in Ian’s words, “surely leave a legacy in Peel, helping children get access to appropriate mental health services so that they, and their families, can thrive.”

Humphrey Mitchell, Chief Executive Officer of PCC, said, “Valerie and Kathy, it is an honour to recognize your careers dedicated to early intervention and prevention. You have greatly enriched the services and supports available to children and their families in Peel.”

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Media enquiries:
Alexandra Macgregor-Amde, Communications Specialist
905-795-3500 ext. 2297


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