The Grief Centre is committed to our Vision and Values and executing on our Mission:
To provide optimal grief support, a safe space, programs and resources to children, youth and families; leadership in the integration of research, care and education to build strength, resilience and hope in our community and beyond.
Our operating plan is to evolve quickly from a virtual service delivery model to a more comprehensive centre of excellence which will also have a multi-use 'bricks and mortar' space, and one which will integrate research into all aspects of a broad array of programs, services, and resources.
We will also dedicate efforts to reach out to partner with under-served areas/communities, including those of the First Nations, Metis, and Inuit, to learn how we can help them facilitate the provision of grief support services and resources.
Jay joined an exploratory committee in June 2021 which sought to look at what could be done to address the critical need for grief counselling and services for children, youth, and families following that Board's decision to permanently close the doors of Dr. Jay's Children's Grief Centre in May 2021. Following work done over the summer and fall, Jay helped create The Grief Centre, becoming a founding Board Member in December 2021.
Jay is a retired dentist who practised dentistry for over 33 years both in private practice, also teaching dentistry at the University of Toronto.
He was the founder of Dr. Jay's Charitable Foundation 25 years ago and a founder, energetic supporter and inaugural Board Member of Dr. Jay's Children's Grief Centre. Jay began the annual Dr. Jay Golf Classic which has raised several millions of dollars for these charities.
We are honoured to have Jay's support, experience and passion.
Lorne joined an exploratory committee in June 2021 which sought to look at what could be done to address the critical need for grief counselling and services for children, youth, and families following that Board's decision to permanently close the doors of Dr. Jay's Children's Grief Centre in May 2021. Following work done over the summer and fall, Lorne helped create The Grief Centre, becoming a founding Board Member in December 2021.
Lorne is a practising lawyer in Toronto at Glass and Associates with a Family Law and Child Welfare practice he built over the last four decades.
He was a founding Board member for Dr. Jay's Charitable Foundation and Dr. Jay's Children's Grief Centre and a loyal supporter, donor, and top fundraiser. Lorne was on the Board and was the Chair of Access for Parents and Children of Ontario (“APCO”) which is the supervised access program in Toronto. He was also on the Board of Vita Community Services, which is an organization assisting young adults with developmental disabilities, dual diagnoses and chronic mental illness.
We are honoured to have the support and valuable counsel of Mr. Glass.
Brian joined an exploratory committee in June 2021 which sought to look at what could be done to address the critical need for grief counselling and services for children, youth, and families following that Board's decision to permanently close the doors of Dr. Jay's Children's Grief Centre in May 2021. Following work done over the summer and fall, Brian helped create The Grief Centre, becoming a founding Board Member in December 2021.
Brian was the former Director of Development of Dr. Jay's Children's Grief Centre up until its closure and used his non-profit and charitable sector consulting experience to help start the new Grief Centre. Brian was also a donor to DJCGC. Brian has worked in this sector as a fundraiser and leader for the past thirteen years. He has decades of senior operational experience with a focus on building capacity and teams.
We are honoured and fortunate to have Brian working with us to build this organization.
Scott joined an exploratory committee in June 2021, which sought to look at what could be done to address the critical need for grief counselling and services for children, youth, and families following that Board's decision to permanently close the doors of Dr. Jay's Children's Grief Centre in May 2021. Following work done over the summer and fall, Scott helped create The Grief Centre, becoming a founding Board Member in December 2021.
Scott was a sports journalist/broadcaster/author for more than 40 years, working for The Toronto Sun, Sportsnet, CBC and Hockey Night in Canada. He received the Hockey Hall of Fame's Elmer Ferguson Award in 2006 and has written numerous books.
Scott and his son Mark became associated with the Dr. Jay's Children's Grief Centre after the passing of his wife in 2008. He served on the board of the Dr. Jay's Charitable Foundation and through an annual golf tournament in his wife's memory he continues to be a loyal supporter and fundraiser. He was also on the founding board for Road Hockey to Conquer Cancer with Princess Margaret Hospital. For more than 30 years he has been Chair of the Conn Smythe Sports Celebrities Dinner in support of Easter Seals Ontario, and is on the board of the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame.
We are honoured to have the support and valuable counsel of Mr. Morrison.
Dr. Rapoport is an internationally recognized, honoured, and awarded leading expert in paediatric and palliative care. He is currently the Medical Director, Paediatric Advanced Care Team (PACT) at The Hospital for Sick Children. He is also the Medical Director of Emily's House Children's Hospice and Associate Professor, Departments of Paediatrics and Family & Community Medicine at the University of Toronto.
Dr. Rapoport is a general pediatrician with a Masters in bioethics. In 2009, Adam joined the Temmy Latner Centre for Palliative Care at Mount Sinai Hospital as their pediatric consultant. In July 2011 he became the first Medical Director of the Paediatric Advanced Care Team (PACT), the palliative care service at SickKids. PACT provides both inpatient and outpatient palliative care to children with life-threatening illnesses, and their families, including grief and bereavement support. In 2013 Adam became Medical Director at Toronto's first pediatric residential hospice – Emily's House. Adam's academic work focuses on the intersection of his 3 primary interests: pediatrics, palliative care and ethics.
Colleen is a Registered Psychotherapist with a Masters in Counselling Psychology, is the co-owner and Clinical Director of Andrea Warnick Consulting.
Over the past 20 years Colleen has worked in agencies such as Dr. Jay Children's Grief Centre and Woodview Children's Mental Health and Autism Services. Colleen has extensive experience helping people of all ages and abilities face challenges related to serious illness, grief and bereavement. She also possesses the rare expertise of helping those with Autism Spectrum Disorder navigate grief. She is trained in a variety of modalities including cognitive behavioural therapy, art therapy, play therapy and EMDR.
Oren is the Managing Partner at UpOnline, a digital marketing agency specializing in healthcare, SMB, and non-profit services. For over two decades Oren has helped charities raise hundreds of thousands of dollars through UpOnline services and donates much of his time and services to clients and causes in the industry.
Oren has run or assisted with numerous fundraising initiatives for the Dr. Jay Charitable Foundation, Ontario Camping Association, Bnai Brith / Camp Northland, Maccabiah Games, and the Volunteer Readers Programme, to name a few.
A problem solver at heart, Oren started applying those skills professionally while studying at the University of Toronto for Software Engineering and then founding startups in the areas of mobile software development, SaaS platforms, and IT Management. Those experiences along with skills and clients picked up along the way led to launching UpOnline in 2002 originally as a way to provide online marketing services to existing customers. In 2017, Oren opened a digital start up space called The Annex Exchange to provide space and an ideal environment for growth and mentorship in Toronto.
Ellen Schwartz is an elementary teacher, community leader, author, and public speaker. As founder of Project Give Back she links her decades of teaching together with her personal passion for charitable causes. She co-founded Jacob's Ladder, Canadian Foundation for the Control of Neurodegenerative Diseases.
Jacob's Ladder raised millions of dollars towards research, education, awareness and therapy into neurodegenerative illnesses.
Ellen has published three books. 'Lessons from Jacob: A Disabled Son Teaches His Mother About Courage, Hope and the Joy of Living Life to the Fullest', 'Without One Word Spoken', and 'The Puddle Jumper'. 'Without One Word Spoken' rated a National Best Seller by the Globe and Mail. Her newly released children's book 'The Puddle Jumper,' was written together with her daughter Beverly.
Ellen has been honored by the Israel Cancer Research Fund, Ve'ahavta, Aish Toronto, Sick Kids Hospital and Brilliant Minded Women. She was awarded a Queen's Jubilee medal, the Meritorious Service Decoration by the Governor General of Canada, and a Canada 150 Exemplary Canadian medal.
Ellen lives in Toronto with her husband Jeff and children, Beverly 24, Ben 21 and Jacob who is forever 21.
John is a seasoned franchise executive with over 30 years of experience in launching and operating successful franchises across North America. As the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Development Officer at Bin There Dump That, he lead the growth and operations of the greatest "residential friendly" dumpster company on earth, with over 245 franchise territories in Canada and the US.
John has a unique perspective on small and medium sized businesses in the franchise industry, having been an owner/operator of several small businesses, an award-winning franchisee and a fast-growing franchisor. He has developed and coached creative and effective sales strategies at the local and national levels, and he thrives in leading a fantastic team of 18 great teammates on the Super Support Team, whose goal is to support and empower the company's franchise operators to be the best they can be. He is also a Certified Franchise Executive (CFE), a credential that demonstrates his commitment and expertise in franchising.
John has a lifelong love of team sports and he now looks forward to working on The Grief Centre team to make it as wonderful as it can be for all the kids and families in need.