Healthy Together is an initiative of individuals, families, communities and governments working together towards a common goal – to promote the achievement and maintenance of healthy weights in children.

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The Government of Canada has demonstrated its commitment to developing healthy children, youth, and families by supporting the project. Healthy Together wishes to express our sincere appreciation to the Public Health Agency of Canada’s Innovation Strategy – “Achieving Healthier Weights in Canada’s Communities”.

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;

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 – Families Canada 

As Executive Director of Families Canada, 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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

Karen Rawson – The Centre for Northern Families

Emma Fineblit – Wolseley Family Place

Tracy Beshara – Marpole Oakridge Family Place Society

Darren Pratt – Boundary Family & Individual Services Society

Nathanael Patriquin – Fredericton & the Upper River Valley – Horizon Health Network