Inspirational Leaders Award 2019

Ontario Association of Social Workers (OASW) is excited to announce the recipients of the Inspirational Leader Award 2019 in celebration of Social Work Week (March 4 - 10) and its theme: "From everyday issues to complex needs: Social Workers, it’s what we do."

Although there are a number of possible candidates each year, the OASW Inspirational Leader Award goes to individuals who have made an extraordinary contribution to the social work profession. OASW’s Inspirational Leaders inspire others through their leadership, optimism and innovation in addressing situations/problems, and they serve as a positive role model. OASW congratulates this year’s winners, Lauren Clark and Michael Bennett:

Lauren Clark, MSW, RSW, is a social worker in the Medicine Department of The Ottawa Hospital (TOH), where her primary roles are providing support to patients and their families/caregivers and facilitating discharge planning. In addition, she has been an active member of the Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) Team at TOH since its inception in 2016, acting as Lead Social Worker for this group. She is also the Regional Lead Social Worker with the Champlain Regional MAID Network (pilot project, winter 2019). As well, Lauren sits on the Board of Directors for Bridge C-14, a national organization for those with lived experience with MAID. Read full profile

Michael Bennett, MSW, RSW, is the Coordinator of Psychosocial Services at the Hospice of Windsor-Essex County, a PhD student at the University of Windsor, and a leader in palliative care education. Michael Bennett has been invited to speak regionally, provincially, and internationally at conferences and workshops. His research regarding social work in palliative care has been published in the Critical Social Work Journal, Journal of Social Work in End-of-Life and Palliative Care, and Traumatology: An International Journal. Appointed to Cancer Care Ontario’s Board of Directors in 2018,  Mike served on the Board of Directors of the Distress Centre of Windsor-Essex from 2007-2015. He continues to volunteer at the centre as a volunteer for crisis services, training assistant and member of the fundraising committee. Mike participates on a planning committee that is introducing Death Cafés throughout Windsor-Essex County. Additionally, he founded ONEDAY, a charity in Windsor granting final wishes to adults 18 and older in their last year of life. Read full profile…

For Media Inquiries about the Inspirational Leader Awards or Social Work Week, please contact Joan MacKenzie Davies, CEO, (416) 923-4848, info@oasw.org.