Congratulations to Kim Hewitt-McVicker, Manager of Eating Disorders and First Step at CMHA WW on receiving the National Award for Leadership in Occupational Therapy. The award recognizes and honours the exceptional contributions of an individual Occupational Therapist who has been in the forefront of activities, which provide strategic leadership and direction for developing the profession.
Kim has been a leader locally, provincially and nationally to address issues specific to mental health and wellness, particularly suicide. Her leadership transcends multiple areas including clinical activities, research, education, community development as well as influencing policy, education and clinical practice concerning the role of the OT profession in mental health and suicide. Kim was the first OT hired at CMHA WW and because of her client-centered and evidence-based approach and leadership there is now eight full-time OT’s working in various services at CMHA WW. Kim strategically developed OT student placements in role-emerging areas such as addictions, housing, children & adolescent mental health, which have continuously proven the value of OT’s to clients, families and colleagues resulting in placements and as a result became full-time positions. Kim’s leadership style is supportive, innovative, passionate and collaborative.
Her education and research contributions are nationally recognized through her clinical leadership in suicide prevention training, she is one of only a handful of OT’s certified as an ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training) in Canada and internationally. Over 1000+ people have been ASIST- trained through Kim’s guidance. Kim is the founder and Chair of the CAOT Practice Network – “Addressing Suicide in Occupational Practice”. She has developed a survey of OT programs across Canada on the integration of suicide as a topic in their respective curriculums, created a webpage of resources for OTs that support the management of suicide in practice, ongoing research through supervision of OT student research projects, and delivered webinars on the topic of addressing suicide in OT practice.
For over ten years, Kim volunteered as the coordinator of the children’s area at the Hillside Festival in Guelph, she worked with OT students focussing on improving accessibility with regard to programming and physical set-up. The festival won a Community Accessibility award in 2108. Kim also volunteered as the chair, past-chair and vice-chair of the Waterloo Region Suicide Prevention Council where her OT students and colleagues have become active volunteers and participants in educational and fundraising events for suicide prevention.
Congratulations to Kim Hewitt-McVicker we are proud of you and fortunate to have you at CMHA WW!