Presentation of the 2015 OASW Beverley Antle Leadership Award to Linda Jackson 

Joan MacKenzie Davies, OASW Executive Director, delivered the following award presentation to Linda Jackson at the Provincial Annual General Meeting on May 29, 2015.


"Having a long-standing collegial relationship with Linda Jackson spanning over more than two decades and having worked closely with Dr. Beverley Antle who was OASW's President from 2002 until 2006 at the time of her untimely death, it is a tremendous pleasure for me to congratulate, on behalf of the Ontario Association of Social Workers, Linda who is the 2015 recipient of the OASW Beverley Antle Leadership Award. This award was established to recognize the pivotal and dynamic leadership roles played by social workers in non-traditional positions, and is bestowed every two years at the Provincial Annual General Meeting. It seeks to profile the significant contribution these individuals make to non-social work organizations, decision-making bodies, advocacy groups, and the like, as well as to highlight how recipients of the award are exemplars of the diversity of roles and rewarding career options that build upon a degree in social work. Criteria include that the individual identifies herself as a social worker within the broader community; that she reflects the values and perspectives of the profession in positions taken either related to their role or on issues of general interest to the public; and she continues to actively support and contribute expertise to the profession and Association through: responding to issues; offering advice or consultation; serving on advisory groups or boards; and speaking at events such as our Provincial Conference. There was a call for nominations in an OASW E-Bulletin, and the Nominating Committee reviewed the nominations and made a recommendation to the Board of Directors based on the majority of votes. Hence, we are now honouring Linda today. 

Let me tell you a little about Linda's career. She started out pursuing social work at the bachelor's level at Renison University College, and then her MSW and a Graduate Diploma in Social Work Administration at Wilfrid Laurier University. In 2011, she, in fact, completed the Advanced Health Leadership Executive Program at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management. 

Linda's career has included traditional front-line social work responsibilities at the Kitchener-Waterloo Hospital and Family Service Association of Toronto. From there she moved into social work leadership roles as the Director of Social Work at both Sunnybrook Hospital and Baycrest. However, since 1997, Linda has exercised a broader executive leadership in various organizations. She has been the Executive Director of the Anne Johnston Community Health Centre in Toronto. Currently, she is the Vice-President, Residential, Community and Brain Health at Baycrest. It is a comprehensive, integrated academic campus of clinical and residential care, serving a diverse community of older adults within inpatient and outpatient, long-term care, supportive housing and community programs.  

Linda has been a Sessional Lecturer at the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto, and an Instructor in the University's Department of Family Medicine. She has been responsible for social work affiliation agreements and effective working relationships with several universities.  

Linda's volunteer and service contributions have been extensive.  She has contributed important community input at George Brown College, provided leadership at the Toronto District Health Council including acting as the Chair of several work groups influencing health system improvements. She participates in the Toronto Central LHIN Health Professionals Advisory Committee, chairs its Quality Table, and is the Toronto Central LHIN Executive Lead for the Behaviour Supports Ontario Program. She is also the Chair of the Quality Table and Executive Lead to the North West Toronto Health LINK. In addition, she was appointed to the Board of Governors, Renison University College. She has further served as a volunteer group worker and consultant for groups for adult survivors of sexual abuse at sexual abuse treatment programs in Scarborough agencies.  

Linda has served on many community boards, often as Chair, including Yorkminister Park Meals on Wheels and SPRINT Senior Care, a community agency serving seniors in Toronto. Linda has been a highly active and valued member of OASW's Health Care Advisory Group, and has been a contributing author to the OASW Newsmagazine regarding health-related issues. She has also served the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers and its predecessor organization on both public relations matters and as an examiner. Linda has written several journal articles on topics such as SARS and the impact of hospital restructuring on social work services.  

Linda has been the recipient of a number of awards including the Baycrest Presidents Award for Leadership in 2005, and the Renison University College's Distinguished Alumna Award last year in 2014. She was recognized as an OASW Inspirational Leader in 2009. This award is presented annually in celebration of Social Work Week, and those who have been selected have represented a positive role model to social workers and social work students. They have also inspired others through leadership, optimism and innovation, and Linda categorically embodied these elements. In her profile which is on OASW's website, she stated that she loves the work she does… that seniors have enriched her life, with the wisdom that comes with age, with their strength, their resilience, and their diversity. She further expressed her belief that social workers are particularly suited to be leaders, which presents them with opportunities to connect the individual with the systemic issues.  

Linda is an exceptional social work leader and has made extraordinary contributions to the social work profession through her long-standing service and leadership. She is a remarkable role model with outstanding skills in executive administration and strong, inclusive management in a multi-level organization. She is a passionate and powerful voice for the profession and most deserving of this recognition from her peers through the OASW Beverley Antle Leadership Award. It is with immense pleasure that we honour Linda Jackson today."