The Healthy Weights for Children National Advisory Committee members are representing organizations across the country. Please read on for bios from each of our members;
Sherry Sinclair – BC Association of Family Resource Programs
For over 20 years, my passion is to facilitate health and wellness for children and their families. I am grateful to participate on the National Advisory Council for the Health Weights for Children project and offer my full support as executive director of the BC Association of Family Resource Programs network. My volunteer time includes the BC and Canada Special Olympics and the BC Summer Games. Being active outdoor restores my spirit, especially when picnicking with family and friends. Balancing on a ‘slack line’ is my next goal. Masters of Education, Curriculum and Instruction, Health Education and Active Living, Simon Fraser University.
Brenda Sheppard – Burin Peninsula Brighter Futures
Brenda is Executive Director of Burin Peninsula Brighter Futures, a charitable organisation dedicated to promoting the healthy development of young children and families. Her relationship with Family Resource Centers and Healthy Baby Clubs began in 1994, and although she has held several positions throughout her working career, she has enjoyed the entirely of it working in the not for profit sector. Brenda is passionate about helping people live their best lives, and has dedicated over twenty years to see that children in rural communities have access to programs and services that provide them every opportunity to grow and thrive. She is looking forward to sharing her experiences, and learning from the diverse approaches and perspectives of the National Advisory Committee. She is also very eager to continue to promote the Healthy Together Program in the beautiful province of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Kelly Stone – Canadian Association of Family Resource Programs
As Executive Director of the Canadian Association of Family Resource Programs, Kelly supports members who work with half a million mostly vulnerable families in some 2300 communities. During her Government of Canada career, Kelly had responsibility for research and public policy on child and youth issues as well as federal programs aimed at children. She also completed an Executive Interchange with the Child Welfare League of Canada focusing in on mental health, fostering, and effective government/not for profit partnerships. Kelly’s extensive international experience focused on advancing child rights-based legislative and public policy frameworks leading to practical implementation strategies.
Karen Coulson – Diabetes Canada
Karen Coulson, Program Manager, Food Skills for Families. Karen joined Diabetes Canada in August 2014. She has enjoyed a varied and challenging 20 year career in the not for profit sector in Ontario and British Columbia, along with a brief international opportunity in London, England. Her passion for all things nutrition and food are a perfect match for the Food Skills mandate of creating healthier communities, connecting people in the kitchen and teaching fun, hands-on cooking skills. The FSF program aims to support populations at risk for diabetes and supports the prevention mission of Diabetes Canada. Our hope is to test out the flexibility of the program by introducing a modified version merged with the Healthy Together curriculum to selected test locations in BC. This pilot version would allow organizations the opportunity to weave in topics that are featured in both programs and add in physical activity in a 12 week format versus traditional six week FSF program.
Wendy Auger – Immigrant Services Calgary
Wendy’s background in early childhood education and passion for working with families and children led her to join Immigrant Services Calgary’s Mosaic Family Resource Centre in 1997 as an Early Childhood Specialist.
Since that time, Wendy has had the amazing opportunity to work with and learn from immigrant and refugee families from around the world. Today, as the Director of the Mosaic Family Resource Centre, Wendy currently supervises 16 different programs to engage new Canadians in the areas of healthy families, child development and youth support.
Janine Monahan – Kingston Frontenac and Lennox & Addington Public Health (KFL&A)
Janine Monahan is Manager of School Health, at KFL&A, a local public health agency with over 200 staff and 150 volunteers who deliver public health programs and services to the people of the KFL&A area. She has a B.Sc. in Nursing and Life Sciences from Queens University and a Master of Science in Nursing from The University of Toronto. Janine has worked for over 30 years in nursing, in the areas of acute and critical care, nursing education, and public health. She believes that we need to work upstream to promote and protect the health of school aged children and youth and their families, and she values collaboration and partnerships.
Lynnene Lewis – Kootenay Family Place
Kootenay Family Place is a multi-service agency serving the West Kootenay Boundary Region. I have been a part of the administrative team at KFP for 26 years. In my role as Director of Family Programs, I understand the need for community programs that enhance the lives of children and families and support their many diverse needs. I chose to be a part of the NAC for the Healthy Together initiative because I believe in it. I’ve been impressed with The Bridge’s organization and delivery of this project and also have seen the positive impact that it has had on our families.
Sanja Sladojevic – Mount Pleasant Family Centre
Sanja Sladojevic has managed, facilitated and created early childhood development programs and services for almost 20 years using her wide multicultural knowledge and experience as well as her skills and sensitivity in relations to parents and their children. Currently she works at Mount Pleasant Family Centre Society where she manages the Circles of Care and Connection (CCC) Early Years Refugee Program. The CCC Program, established in 2009, provides early childhood development, family support and settlement services to young refugee children (0-6) and their families. The Healthy Weights Program has been a valuable, popular and well-liked addition to CCC programming.
Nathanael Patriquin – New Brunswick Association of Family Resource Centres
Nathanael has been working in community development, recreation and family programs for several years. He currently works for the New Brunswick Association of Family Resource Centres as the Association Director and works as a project coordinator for Healthy Start / Départ Santé. He holds a Master of Business Administration and also manages a small media business. He enjoys photography, reading and enjoying nature.
Dorothy Snyder – Our Place Family Resource and Early Years Centre
Dorothy Snyder is the Executive Director of Our Place Family Resource and Early Years Centre in Kitchener. She has held this position for 27 years coming into it with a business background. In a prior life she worked as a Manager in the insurance industry. Dorothy has extensive involvement in community planning initiatives, serving on a variety of community and provincial planning and advisory tables including various the Ministry of Education, Minister’s Early Years Advisory table. Dorothy is co-chair of the Ontario Early Years Provincial Network. She is passionate about creating inclusive, welcoming environments, the value of early learning experiences and the importance of parenting support for all families. She is the mother of 2 adult children, both of whom grew up immersed in the Family Resource field!
Ana Machado – Pacific Immigrant Resources Society
Ana has a broad experience working with families as a registered psychologist working in clinical, educational and community areas, and taught at University for many years in Peru. In Canada, she has been working in non-profit organization with immigrants, refugees and high risk families providing support, guidance and facilitating parenting sessions. As Children’s Program Coordinator at Pacific Immigrant Resources Society, she oversees children and parenting programs. She is pleased to be member of the NAC – Healthy Together since she believes that healthy family lifestyle has a great impact on well-being not only at the individual level but also at a social and community level.
Michelle Negreiff – South Okanagan Boys & Girls Club
Michelle has been supporting children and families for the last 20 years. She became an Early Childhood Educator in 1996 and went on to graduated from the University of Victoria in 2003 with a Bachelor’s in Human and Social Development, specializing in Child and Youth Care. She has worked in many different fields of service such as Infant Development, Mental Health, various daycare facilities, and Supported Child Development. She is currently the Program Coordinator of the Family Outreach drop in programs at the Okanagan Boys and Girls Club. She also enjoys being in the outdoors, gardening and spending time with her family.
Sheri-Lynn Moulton – The Centre for Northern Families
Sheri-Lynn Moulton is the Director for the Centre for Northern Families Childcare and Family Program division in Yellowknife, NT. Though she has been employed for almost 20 years in the childcare field; an employment change with a move across Canada in 2015 broadened her childcare perspectives to family programs and the importance of providing healthy, supportive services to young children and their parents (guardians). Living in the North we have to be creative with the availability and cost of foods to maintain a healthy lifestyle – looking forward to sharing ideas on the HWC NAC!
Stephanie Fragman – Vanier Community Services Centre’s (Vanier CSC)
Stephanie Fragman holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Concordia University and a Master’s degree in Psychoéducation from the University of Montreal where her thesis focused primarily on parent-child attachment. Following her graduate studies, she moved to Maine, USA for 3 years where she worked as a home-based family counselor. The families she worked with were all at very high risk of losing their children or had already lost custody and were working towards reunification. When she returned to her native city of Montreal, she pursued her career as a school-based counselor and worked in various daycares, elementary and high schools. As part of her responsibilities, Stephanie delivered many workshops to students, parents and school personnel. She eventually moved with her husband and 2 sons to Ottawa in 2011 and was hired by the Vanier Community Service Centre as a program supervisor/coordinator where she oversaw several school readiness programs. In 2014, she was promoted to her current position of Director of Family Services and now oversees all early years, youth and family programs. She is currently in the process of developing the first social pediatric hub in Ontario based on Dr. Gilles Julien’s evidenced based model in Québec.
Andrew Klukas – Western Convenience Stores Association (WCSA)
Andrew Klukas is President of the Western Convenience Stores Association (WCSA), representing convenience and gas retailers (c-stores) in the Western Canada and the Territories. The WCSA has adopted the mandate of promoting healthier food choices in the industry. As an estimated 30% Canadians visit a c-store each day, the industry can serve very effectively as a vehicle for public outreach. As the WCSA is at the intersection of consumers, retailers, distributors and manufacturers, it is in a unique position to support the Healthy Together program’s goal of reducing obesity related illness. Andrew’s goal is to uphold and advance its support.
Sharon Taylor – Wolseley Family Place
My life’s passion is social justice; in my work and my personal life, I have placed a strong emphasis on this standard. My work has provided me with opportunities to develop a broad understanding of the position of diverse groups of people. I have worked with elders, youth, homeless, women, families, sex-trade workers and sexually exploited individuals, refugees and other newcomers, people of Aboriginal descent, people who live with varying abilities, people of various sexual orientations and identities, people who experience difficulties with psychological wellness and people who have come into contact with the law. In managing an organization and serving the people we serve, I have networked with people from business, industry, health, government, education and research, justice, the media, and the community. My chosen field is social service where I have worked for over 35years. For the past 20 years, I have been the executive director of an organization that has thrived under my leadership. My accomplishments have been recognized through awards and nominations. I have been sought out for committees, boards, advisory commissions, think tanks, and presentations at conferences and before students at college and university.
Tracy Beshara – Marpole Oakridge Family Place Society
Nikita Ryall – Froude Ave Community Centre
Darren Pratt – Boundary Family & Individual Services Society
Lynne Cormier – Temiskaming Native Women’s Support Group (TNWSG)