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Local health units recognized during YMCA Peace Week

The YMCA located on Wright Crescent in Kingston. Photo by Lucas Mulder.

KFL&A and Leeds Grenville and Lanark public health units were recognized with YMCA Peace Medals at a virtual presentation held earlier this week. Each year, YMCA Peace Week provides a moment to reflect on the need for peace in our communities and those who act for peace, building stronger communities.

“YMCA Peace Week is celebrated by YMCA movements around the world,” explained Rob Adams, CEO of the YMCA of Eastern Ontario in a media release dated Tuesday Dec. 15, 2020. “The medal recognizes the efforts of individuals and organizations in building peace in their communities. Whether these acts are big or small, they grow outward, creating ripples through the whole community.”

At a virtual medal presentation held on Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2020, Adams recognized the important work that local public health units have carried out. He commented that: “This year, Peace Week has taken on new meaning, illustrating how the ongoing work of building peace needs to continue now more than ever. COVID-19 is challenging us, as individuals, as communities, and as a country, to act together and to care for one another.”

He added that public health exemplifies the work of building stronger and healthier communities.

“You and your staffs have worked tirelessly throughout this year, missing vacations and time with your families to keep our communities informed and safe,” he said. “My staff is grateful to public health for guidance while we operated emergency childcare and then opened our regular childcare services. Your guidance helped us with our reopening in September and you have continuously offered advice to help us maintain safety standards in our facilities.”

Dr. Paula Stewart, medical officer of health for Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit, shared her thoughts on the importance of peace in our communities at this time.

“The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit is honoured to receive the YWCA Peace Medal. Thank you on behalf of all of our employees. This truly is a time when bringing peace to our communities with our public health services is essential as we cope with the challenges brought about by COVID-19,” said Dr. Stewart. “Peace-of-mind comes with the availability of good quality information and a place to ask questions for the public, providing support and guidance to people with COVID-19, their families, and their contacts, and working with municipalities, boards of education, businesses, and workplaces to provide safe places for employees and the public in their sites.”

Speaking on behalf of KFL&A Public Health, Linda Murray, director of corporate services said: “Our agency is honoured to accept the YMCA Peace medal. We recognize the increased hardship public health measures has brought to our region over the last nine months. This award belongs to everyone in KFL&A for keeping each other and our community safe. Thank you. We would not be receiving this honour without the support from our community.” 

About the YMCA of Eastern Ontario: The YMCA of Eastern Ontario is a charity that provides programs and services to improve health and health outcomes, develops leaders, helps build social connections and provides safe, inclusive spaces for people of all ages. The Y is Canada’s largest provider of childcare with trademarked curricula, and offers fitness and other programs including SCUBA, Karate and Total Life Care

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