May 2023 Member Highlight
This May we reached out to two TRO board members to share their appreciation of fellow friends, co-workers, and TRO members. This year, TRO has initiated monthly member highlights as a way to engage and share the wonderful impacts that our members have every day. This month we are thrilled to share the connections that the TR field has created and the dedication to the profession.
Blair Chard is a current TRO Board Member. He has worked alongside Barb Cathcart and has shared his appreciation for the connection. Here is what Blair has to say.
“It is an immense pleasure to have had the opportunity to work alongside the exceptional Barb Cathcart for the past two years. Her unwavering dedication to her work and her innate ability to stay ahead of the curve have truly been awe-inspiring.
Barb has an impressive career history, starting with her work in corrections before finding her true passion in therapeutic recreation. With her fearless approach to life, Barb successfully secured a role at the Royal Ottawa's FTU, which eventually led her to co-build one of the most comprehensive evidence-based leisure education programs.
As her co-worker and friend, I have witnessed firsthand Barb's tireless efforts in ensuring that the program is of the highest quality. Her unwavering focus and drive have been instrumental in making it a model for other facilities in the province to emulate.
One of the things that sets Barb apart is her unquenchable thirst for knowledge. Whether she's reading articles at her desk or seeking feedback from colleagues in other facilities, Barb is always learning and striving to be the best she can be. Her dedication to the field of therapeutic recreation is second to none, and the community is all the richer for having her in it.
Today, the entire therapeutic recreation community celebrates Barb Cathcart for her passion, focus, and skill. We are all grateful for the tremendous impact she has had on the field, and we know that she will continue to inspire others for years to come. It has been an absolute honor to work with such an incredible individual, and I feel lucky to have had the privilege of calling her my colleague and friend.”
Alexis More is a TRO Board Member and currently sits on the Membership Services Committee. Alexis is showing her appreciation for one of her co-workers and friend: Bernadette! Happy reading!
“Bernadette Welch is a kind, caring, and inspirational Therapeutic Recreation Specialist at Parkwood Institute in London, Ontario. She has been working in the Amputee Rehabilitation Program and Specialized Geriatric Services Day Hospital for six months, and before that, she was a Therapeutic Recreation Aide in the Veterans Care Program for five years! Everyone who knows Bernadette will describe her as a genuine person who is extremely dedicated to her patients and passionate about improving quality of life through Therapeutic Recreation. When asked about her favourite elements of the profession Bernadette stated, “I am inspired by the resiliency of the patients I’ve had the privilege to work with. Despite health challenges, they are able to find joy and improve their overall wellbeing through leisure. I love that we, as Recreation Therapists, are able to take a holistic approach to healthcare to help our patients reach their goals. I also love how we get to be so creative in finding various adaptive techniques.” In her spare time, Bernadette enjoys exploring nature with her dog and playing volleyball.”
Another highlight by board member, Blair, he highlights the amazing contributions of Heather Johnston to the field of TR.
Heather Johnston is an outstanding individual whose remarkable achievements have made her a shining star in the world of Recreation Therapy. Throughout her illustrious career at CAMH, she has served as a beacon of hope and inspiration for numerous Recreation Therapists, guiding and mentoring them on their professional journeys. Her invaluable expertise, vast knowledge, and unwavering commitment to the field have made her an indispensable asset to the organization and a role model to many.
One of Heather's greatest strengths is her ability to create innovative and life-altering programs that have had a profound impact on the lives of countless individuals. From designing programs for patients with mental health issues to organizing community-based initiatives, Heather's contributions have been instrumental in promoting physical and mental well-being, fostering social connections, and enhancing overall quality of life. Her exceptional creativity, resourcefulness, and ingenuity have enabled her to develop programs that are both engaging and effective, and her dedication to continuously improving and refining her methods has set a benchmark for excellence in the field.
Moreover, Heather's contributions extend beyond her role as a program developer. As a mentor, she has been instrumental in guiding and inspiring countless Recreation Therapists, helping them to hone their skills, build their confidence, and reach their full potential. Heather is known for her exceptional ability to empower others, and her guidance and support have been pivotal in the success of many Recreation Therapy programs at CAMH.
Throughout her career, Heather has remained steadfast in her unwavering commitment to the field of Recreation Therapy, and her passion for her work burns as brightly as the sun. Her enthusiasm and energy are infectious, and she is always willing to go above and beyond to ensure that her patients receive the highest quality of care. Her contributions to the field of Recreation Therapy have been immeasurable, and her legacy will undoubtedly continue to inspire and influence future generations of practitioners.