Meet Our Caregiving Visionary Award Winners

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Congratulations to the five winners of our First Annual Caregiving Visionary Awards:

  • Bev Foster

  • Bruce McIntyre

  • Amanda Singleton

  • Priya Soni

  • Sheila Warnock


The winners were chosen based on their answers to these three questions:

1. What do you believe is the greatest problem facing family caregivers today?
2. What's your vision for solving this problem?
3. What's your commitment to being a part of the solution?

Meet our five winners and read an excerpt from their responses to the questions:

Bev Foster
It all started in Room 217 at the Uxbridge Cottage Hospital, with my five siblings, mom and I around dad’s bedside singing the hymns he loved. These were his life songs that brought him meaning and comfort. I watched how the music accompanied him through those final hours. The songs drew us together and helped me accept what was happening. I had made piano recordings for friends and family who were ill when I was a teenager, but when I left the hospital and said good night to dad for the last time, I committed to take my “comfort” music to others facing loss or the end of life. By the fall of 2004, I had developed the idea and design for a palliative care music collection. I would call it Room 217, in honour of dad. We went into the studio and completed an 8-song demo which would be used in focus groups to help inform performance and production practices. Room 217 music was launched in the fall of 2005.In 2009, my husband, Rob, and I started the Room 217 Foundation. Structured as a not-for-profit registered Canadian charity, our vision is to use music to humanize care.

Bruce McIntyre
My vision is that encouragement and connection and support for family caregivers becomes a movement. As my wife and I have experienced our own discouragement over the past 13 years and emerged from much of it with the help of unexpected people, we have determined to be a source of encouragement for caregivers and patients. We seek to be catalysts for encouragement. This crucial, but simple, life giving element comes in many forms and from many sources. But, we seek to stoke the fires from waiting rooms to websites to turn isolation into connection, despair into hope, and exhaustion into renewal. Each of us may play our part and in so doing inspire others to generate solutions in their ability and their corner of the world. From compassionate nurses to effective support group leaders and on to insightful authors, merciful care partners, and visionary leaders, the message is delivered: you are not alone, you can do this, we can help.

Amanda Singleton
I joke that I didn't choose the caregiving life, the caregiving life chose me. Over the last six years, my husband and I have lost three of our four parents, a sibling, and close friends of all ages. Part of my life's purpose is to serve caregivers and to, hopefully, be a beacon for someone else in what can be a very dark passage. On a one-to-one basis, my law firm encourages all clients who walk through the door to address their needs as a caregiver or care partner. I am committed to fundraising for the Tampa Bay Hospices and dispelling myths about hospice and palliative care. To make a positive impact for a larger number of people than my current client base, I am working toward trainings for corporations and governmental entities to develop caregiver-centered policies and procedures. Finally, I'm committed to advocacy for creation and revision of caregivers' rights laws as I believe they will be the foundation for the next generation of caregivers. I'm excited for the future of caregiving in our country and due to the hard work and efforts of so many, there is solid traction to move us into a time in which no caregiver feels alone or unsupported.

Priya Soni
I have frequently asked myself "what is in the making of me?" from the experiences I have lived through over the last 10+ years. I am fully committed to continuing to live into this question by embracing, learning from and aiding those within the caregiver collective. This is inclusive of family caregivers, healthcare practitioners and those working to support family caregivers. As I grow within this field of care, I envision myself as someone who has the privilege and responsibility as a citizen of this world that can effect change within policy, delivery of care, communication/conflict resolution and most importantly, an advocate of caregivers around this world who spend their days contributing a vital part of their life to another.

Sheila Warnock
My vision is to empower caregivers and continue to grow and expand Share the Care (STC) through education. I see STC becoming part of the curriculum for students of social work and nursing. I see a STC curriculum for community colleges and high schools. Currently our organization is seeking funds to produce online STC educational modules. I also believe that we can start to inculcate the behavior of family caregiving into all our lives if we begin now giving just two hours a week to help a caregiver we know (or don’t know) care for their loved one. As the world is becoming increasingly technology driven, with significant and positive advancements, it must never replace our most precious resource -– our humanity and ability to listen, offer a compassionate word, or provide a much-needed hug.

We'll continue to introduce you to our five winners as we'll feature their stories on Caregiving.com and on Your Caregiving Journey podcast. Our winners also will  receive a free registration to our Third Annual National Caregiving Conference which happens November 9 and 10, 2018, at the Chicago Marriott O’Hare. We’ll honor the recipients at a reception on the evening of Thursday, November 8.

Thanks to all who nominated and voted for our nominees. And, thanks to our winners for their inspiring work!

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