Terri White Lobsinger 2018 Margaret Griffiths Award Recipient

If you read Terri’s biography on the COA website, you will note that she has earned a doctorate in public policy and has many years of work experience internationally, which helped her to develop a variety of methodological design and leadership skills. The biography does not tell you how much of a difference Terri White Lobsinger has made in the lives of seniors.

Terri and her husband, John, spent many years working overseas. Her family, including their three children, benefited from the exposure to various cultures and local traditions in Kenya, Tanzania, and Bangladesh. Once back in Ottawa, and after the children “flew the nest”, Terri joined the COA as a volunteer. Driven by her desire to help seniors in the community, Terri joined the COA Board of Directors and accepted the challenge of chairing the Health Issues Committee (HIC). The committee consists of representatives from municipal and provincial health care and social service agencies as well as private enterprises.

Terri’s background in health policy and research as well as her leadership skills have proven to be a natural fit for the mandate of this committee. One of Terri’s first tasks was to oversee the development and launch of a new project, “Take Charge of Your Health” (TCOYH). Terri quickly saw that such a project, driven by a peer-learning approach, could help improve health literacy among seniors.

An interactive group of seniors, led by a volunteer facilitator, discussed various aspects of the aging process. Through Terri’s commitment, TCOYH was successfully delivered over a three-year period and involved over 500 volunteers and senior participants. She ensured that the workshops were located in city-wide venues accessible to seniors from all socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds.

While the funding for TCOYH workshops wrapped up in 2017, Terri continues to promote TCOYH and seniors’ health literacy at every opportunity. Terri continues to provide value advice to the COA Board on health policy and other issues. Terri continues to lead the important work of the HIC focused on other important senior health issues, notably those related to long-term care. She has established an ad hoc committee to consider how the COA can lend its voice to advocate for our vulnerable senior population as they transition to long-term care homes.

With her commitment and energy, Terri has succeeded in making a real difference in the lives of seniors.