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Retirement of Hands’ Executive Director

Posted on: October 29th, 2018

After 31 years as Executive Director of Hands TheFamilyHelpNetwork.ca (Hands), Jeffrey Hawkins announced on October 26th, 2018, his intent to retire in the summer/fall of 2019.

“On behalf of current and past Board members and employees, I would like to express our sincere appreciation for the exceptional leadership, passion, and dedication that Jeffrey has provided to our organization, our communities and the Province,” said Frank Brouse, President of the Board of Directors, Hands TheFamilyHelpNetwork.ca. “I would especially like to acknowledge and thank Jeffrey for assuring that the voices of clients and their families are always at the center of planning and decisions.  We strongly value the leadership that Jeffrey has brought and continues to bring to Hands and the communities we serve.”

Jeffrey’s career extends over 40 years, with the significant majority of this time spent with the Hands organization. In 1987, he became Executive Director of the District of Parry Sound Child and Family Centre, which had nine (9) employees and a $300,000 budget.  Through growth of service offerings and friendly amalgamations, Hands TheFamilyHelpNetwork.ca has evolved into an accredited, regional organization that serves more than 12,000 clients annually, from across Northern and Eastern Ontario. Hands’ services have grown to meet a diversity of needs in the areas of Child and Adult Developmental Services, Autism, Child and Youth Mental Health, Early Intervention and Justice services; the organization now has 230 employees, 13 service locations and a $27 million budget.

At a provincial level, Jeffrey has been active in a number of service delivery efforts including:

  • The Provincial Council for Maternal and Child Health;
  • Emergency Department Pathways for Child and Youth Mental Health;
  • Community Networks of Specialized Care;
  • Ontario Child and Youth Mental Health Centre of Excellence;
  • The Sparrow Lake Alliance; and
  • Moving on Mental Health

As well, his accomplishments include pioneering the original introduction of video conferencing for the delivery of health services to rural locations, something for which he was recognized in the legislature of Ontario and internationally at the time.

Endings require new beginnings and Hands’ Board of Directors has established a Search Committee charged with securing a leader to succeed Jeffrey. An executive search firm will be engaged to support these efforts.

“We are confident that we will find an experienced and visionary leader to sustain and grow the exceptional work done under Jeffrey’s leadership so that Hands TheFamilyHelpNetwork.ca can continue to make a positive difference on the quality of life of the clients and families that we serve,” said Mr. Brouse. “We look forward to Jeffrey’s continued strong and active leadership at Hands through the recruitment and transition of his successor.”

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