2021 News

VHA’s Vice President of Client Services, Barbara Cawley, is Retiring

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By VHA
Barbara Cawley of VHA

Current Vice President of Client Services, Barbara Cawley

It is with mixed emotions that I share that BARBARA CAWLEY is retiring from her position as Vice President, Client Services at VHA Home HealthCare (VHA). Barbara will be greatly missed, but I know she feels this is a good time as she celebrates an impressive 45 years as an Occupational Therapist this year and is looking forward to spending more time on the golf course this summer.

Barbara joined VHA in 2009 following VHA’s merger with COTA Health. In her role providing interprofessional leadership to nursing, personal support, rehab and community support, Barbara has worked closely with clients, families and care delivery teams. Her empathetic approach ensures that clients and families feel respected and listened to and she consistently gets to the heart of issues and drives meaningful outcomes. Never having forgotten her roots in rehab, Barbara has also been a great advocate for rehab services for many clients.

In addition to her large role at VHA, she has sat on numerous multi-sector and province-wide tables with the Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs), the Ministry of Health and Ontario Health Teams and has been a driving force working closely with partners on new models of care and integrated care initiatives. Barbara has also been a true champion of Client Voice and co-designing solutions with caregivers. Her leadership led to the development of a Client Voice Program at VHA that has evolved to include a Client and Carer Advisory Council, Client Voice Steering Committee and a dedicated Client and Family Voice Liaison full-time role. She has presented on client experience work at community events at the University of Toronto, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and at community support organizations. A go-to innovator and a true leader for her role on task forces, committees and advisory groups, in 2018 Barbara was honoured by the Ontario Society of Occupational Therapists with an Honorary Life Membership Award for the profound impact she has had on clinical practice across the home care sector.

“I have had the opportunity to work in many health care sectors, but my heart will always be with the community,” Barbara said. “There are so many wonderful people that I feel lucky to have been able to work with and learn from at VHA both past and present and from many sector partners and it has been such a privilege to get to know so many wonderful clients and families. I have absolutely loved being a part of VHA.”

I have always admired Barbara’s kindness, humility and humour that allow her to connect with anyone in the room and that make her a wonderful colleague, an incredible advocate and a valued mentor. I am grateful that she has agreed to stay with VHA for a few more months – her last day will be July 2nd.

We look forward to celebrating Barbara before then, but for now, please join me in thanking Barbara for her many valued contributions and in wishing her much happiness going forward.

Digital signature of Kathryn Nichol

Dr. Kathryn Nichol
President and CEO
VHA Home HealthCare