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Canadian Mental Health Association York Region South Simcoe celebrates excellence and innovation at annual Beacon of Light Awards

Newmarket, ON – The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) York Region South Simcoe recently hosted its annual Beacon of Light Awards recognizing the outstanding employees, volunteers and community partners who contribute to CMHA’s culture and strategic growth pillars of access to care, operational excellence and innovation.

“CMHA’s Beacon of Light Awards celebrate staff, volunteers and partners who exemplify CMHA’s team values and go above and beyond to support clients, families and our community,” said Rebecca Shields, CEO of CMHA York Region South Simcoe. “I am grateful and inspired to work with every colleague on our 350 person team, our invaluable volunteers and community partner champions. Their passion and expertise guide CMHA’s exceptional mental health and addiction services and innovation in York Region and South Simcoe.”

This year, with a record-breaking 218 award nominations, the Beacon of Light awards internally celebrated all of the nominees in the weeks leading up to the awards event, as well as special tributes to individual and team nominees at the event.

Congratulations to the individuals, teams and community partners selected as CMHA’s 2023 Beacon of Light Award Honourees:

  • Edna Bazante, Beacon of Belonging
  • Denise Miedzinski, Beacon of Mentorship
  • Karen Kugelmass, Beacon of Inclusion
  • Lindsey Russell, Beacon of Excellence in Care
  • Marina Machado, Beacon of Operational Excellence
  • Bev Milligan, Volunteer Beacon of Light
  • Camping Team, Service Team Beacon of Light
  • Ontario Structured Psychotherapy, Team Beacon of Light
  • Blue Door INNclusion Program, Partner in Care Beacon of Light
  • Judy Brunton, Community Beacon of Light

For more information about this year’s Honourees, visit

About Canadian Mental Health Association York Region South Simcoe

CMHA York Region South Simcoe (CMHA-YRSS) is one of the fastest growing branches of CMHA, last year serving more than 18,000 clients. With a vision of providing Mental Health to All, CMHA-YRSS offers more than 30 mental health and addictions programs for youth, adults, family caregivers, local businesses and community organizations. Learn more at

Media Contact

Company Name
Canadian Mental Health Association | York Region & South Simcoe: Newmarket Branch
Contact Name
Board of Directors
(905) 841-3977
1101 Nicholson Rd Unit 5
Postal Code
L3Y 9C3

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