Elena DiBattista receives Mary Neville Award honouring her efforts in prevention and early intervention

Mississauga – Elena DiBattista, Program Director of Success by Six Peel, is the winner of the prestigious Mary Neville Award presented annually by Peel Children’s Centre to a member of the Peel community who has made an outstanding contribution towards prevention and early intervention in children’s mental health services.

Nominated by Linda Lee-Berkowitz, Manager, Clinical Services at Peel Children’s Centre, Elena DiBattista received the Mary Neville Award at the Annual General Meeting of Peel Children’s Centre on June 17, 2008.

In her nomination remarks, Linda Lee-Berkowitz said, “Elena DiBattista brings to life the mission of Success by 6 Peel – ‘All Children Will Thrive.’ One of the best known stewards for our youngest children in Peel Region, Elena is dedicated to developing fully participative processes and making informed decisions. Passionate, tireless, thoughtful, intelligent and highly ethical, she is just the kind of person you want championing our most vulnerable who may not have their own voice.”

In addition to establishing Success by 6 Peel as a national leader in collaborative approaches to child development, Elena DiBattista has led and facilitated numerous unique community-level initiatives, such as the St. John Fisher Neighbourhood Learning Place. With over 25 years in the human services sector, she has also been Executive Director of The Family Education Centre and has held positions with Catholic Children’s Aid in Toronto, Peel Children’s Aid, the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board, the Ministry of Children and Youth Services, United Way of Peel Region and Dixie Bloor Neighbourhood Centre.

Humphrey Mitchell, Executive Director of Peel Children’s Centre, said, “Peel Children’s Centre is honoured to recognize visionary, accomplished leaders like Elena DiBattista who continue to advance the importance of prevention and early intervention as keys to achieving outcomes that enable children to be happy, contributing members of society.”

Mitchell noted that Peel Children’s Centre established the Mary Neville Award 21 years ago to honour the efforts of the now late Mary Neville, former Prevention Coordinator at the Centre, who was also the first recipient of this annual award. “Mary was a forward-thinking and vocal champion whose mission has since been supported by the findings of scientists such as Dr. Fraser Mustard,” said Mitchell.

Peel Children’s Centre is a fully accredited, not-for-profit, charitable organization that has provided a range of high quality mental health services for children, youth and their families since 1985. The Centre serves 3,700 children/youth annually with a budget exceeding $18 million. Detailed information about the Centre and its services is available at www.peelcc.org.

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