June 20, 2006
Media Release

York Region celebrates service of outstanding volunteers

June 20, 2006 York Region celebrates service of outstanding volunteers
NEWMARKET June is Seniors Month and, in celebration, York Region presented the 2006 Lifetime Service Award of Excellence to three local volunteers in a special ceremony this afternoon.  This prestigious award recognizes and honours individuals who have made a lifetime commitment to volunteer at an extraordinary level in a variety of seniors-related services and activities in York Region.
 
"York Region applauds the remarkable level of service that these three individuals have given to our community," said Regional Chair and CEO Bill Fisch.  "They have made a life-long commitment to improve the quality of life of our senior population and, by doing so, have enriched the lives of so many of our residents."
 
Lois Anderson of Vaughan, Dianna Durisin of Newmarket and Jacqueline McCarthy formerly of Newmarket are the recipients of this year's Lifetime Service Award of Excellence award.  (Biographies of the winners are attached).
 
"Volunteers play a critical role in helping seniors achieve a full and productive lifestyle," added City of Vaughan Regional Councillor Joyce Frustaglio, Chair of the York Region Health and Emergency Medical Services Committee.  "Every hour of service offered by volunteers, either in the community or in long term care facilities, makes a lasting contribution to the fabric of our community."
 
The award is presented annually to coincide with Seniors Month activities.  It is offered by the York Region Health Services Department, Long Term Care and Seniors Branch.  This is the third year the award has been offered.  The ceremony took place at the Newmarket Health Centre, in Newmarket.
 
"Our senior population is an important part of the programs and services that our health department offers," said Joann Simmons, Commissioner of the York Region Community Services, Housing and Health Services Department.  "York Region has the highest life expectancy in the province at 81.8 years and volunteers play a huge role in helping us offer high quality, client-focused programs that enable our seniors to lead longer and healthier lives."
 
The Long Term Care and Seniors Branch of York Region Health Services operates two not-for-profit long term care facilities.  The Maple and Newmarket Health Centres are designed to meet the needs of long term care clients 18 years of age or older who are no longer able to live independently in their own homes and who require complex medical nursing and/or psychiatric care. 
 
In addition to long term care facilities, the Long Term Care and Seniors Branch offers other supportive programs, including:
 Day and Outreach Programs for adults who may suffer from cognitive impairment, physical disability, acquired brain injury or communication disorder
 Alternative Community Living Program (ACL), which is a supportive housing program that provides personal care and essential support services for seniors and adults with disabilities so that they can stay in the community and remain independent
 Client Intervention and Support Services, which offers social work services to clients in the privacy of their own homes
 Regional Psychogeriatric Mental Health Consulting Services, which provides support and training to agencies which serve people who exhibit difficult or aggressive behaviours
 Personal Emergency Response Program, which makes living in the home safer and more secure for frail vulnerable seniors through the use of an emergency call system
 Alzheimer's Resource Centres, which contain reference materials that relate to Alzheimer's disease and other dementia type illnesses
 
There are many volunteer opportunities available.  To discuss volunteer options, obtain additional information about the programs and services offered by the York Region Long Term Care and Seniors Branch, or to obtain details on nominating an individual for the 2007 Lifetime Service Award of Excellence, please call 1-866-967-5582.
 
To discuss an individual's long term care placement in one of our Centres, contact the Community Care Access Centre (CCAC) of York Region at 1-888-470-2222.
 
For more information on long term care-related programs or other health-related questions, contact York Region Health Services Health Connection at 1-800-361-5653 or visit www.york.ca
 
Attachment:  Biographies of this year's award recipients.
 
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Media Contact: Jennifer Mitchell-Emmerson, York Region Health Services
 Phone:  (905) 830-4444, ext. 4016 or After-hours Pager (905) 830-3302
 Email: jennifer.mitchellemmerson@york.ca
 
 

2006 Lifetime Service Award of Excellence award recipients
 
The York Region Health Services Department, Long Term Care and Seniors Branch, presents the 2006 Lifetime Service Award of Excellence to the following three volunteers in recognition of remarkable volunteer contributions to long term care and seniors-related services and issues in York Region.
 
Lois Anderson
Lois Anderson has offered the gift of her time to countless community organizations and activities for most of her life, beginning in 1957 with a 25 year commitment to the Canadian Cancer Society.  From 1968 to the present, she has volunteered with the York Central Hospital Volunteer Association in various capacities and has been honoured for this remarkable volunteer work by the hospital, the Ontario Hospital Association and the City of Vaughan.  She has also been an active volunteer for over 35 years with Maple United Church and the Kingscraft art studio, as well as, more recently, with York Region's Maple Health Centre, donating whatever time she can to visiting residents and other duties.  Lois is a resident of the City of Vaughan.
 
Dianna Durisin
Dianna Durisin has volunteered tirelessly for many years, with a particular passion for improving the lives of seniors and local hospice services.  Her long list of volunteer service to community groups includes the Arthritis Society, Heart and Stroke Foundation, the Terry Fox Run, Canadian Red Cross Society, and the York Regional Police Victims of Trauma program (VICAR).  In 1985, she helped to establish Home Support Services for Seniors (now CHATS) and was fundamental in its development.  She has also been a dedicated volunteer and Board member with Hospice Newmarket for 18 years and, last year, received the June Callwood Outstanding Provincial Service Award for this service.  Dianna has served as a volunteer at York Manor and, later, the Newmarket Health Centre for over 20 years, and has been instrumental in developing the strong volunteer program that now exists.  Dianna is a resident of Newmarket
 
Jacqueline McCarthy
Jacqueline McCarthy has dedicated a remarkable amount of energy and time to improving the quality of life of seniors and residents of long term care facilities.  She has served on countless seniors-related community organizations and boards, including as founding chair and member of the Community Care Access Centre (CCAC) of York Region and the Long Term Care Planning Committee of the District Health Council.  Her long-time service to the Newmarket Health Centre has included acting as chair and member of the Community Advisory Board and caring involvement in pastoral care.  Jacquie was a long-time resident of Newmarket before her recent move to Madoc, Ontario.
 
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Media Contact: Jennifer Mitchell-Emmerson, York Region Health Services
 Phone:  (905) 830-4444, ext. 4016 or After-hours Pager (905) 830-3302
 Email: jennifer.mitchellemmerson@york.ca
 
 

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