No one disputes that Candace Hind, a doctoral candidate in social work at the University of Windsor and an instructor in its undergraduate and master’s programs, is an inspirational leader. Recognition from the Ontario Association of Social Workers just made it official.
The association conferred its Inspirational Leader Award on Hind for exemplifying this year’s theme of “You are not alone.”
An expert in gerontology, she works at the Franklin Gardens long-term care home in Leamington and helped to establish a local group of practitioners in this field.
In presenting the award, Jane Gagnon praised Hind’s work to share lessons she learned on the frontlines in long-term care during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This pandemic has highlighted the importance of human connection and the risks when it is lacking,” Gagnon said. “Candace has been keenly aware of these realities. She has shared stories of supporting other disciplines who are short-handed and has worked beyond the bounds of her own working hours to ensure that residents, colleagues, peers, friends, and family feel less alone.”
Hind said she draws inspiration from the residents she has served in long-term care.
“If this pandemic has taught us anything, it is that the stories, the human connection, is what there is to live for,” she said. “Their strength, resilience, humour, and wisdom has been immense over the years and particularly during the past 14 months.”
She also expressed thanks for the “incredible education” she has received at the University of Windsor.
“The School of Social Work has helped to ingrain in all of us professional ethics such as honouring the dignity and worth of all persons and to be in service to humanity,” said Hind. “All the theory, ethics, skills, and training have never been so tested as during this pandemic. This award demonstrates that our social work has value, the stories have value. I have been so fortunate to be able to share and to pass it on.”