Lakehead Adult Education Centre; Thunder Bay, Ontario.
Mary Lou Kelley, MSW, PhD, is the Lakehead University Chair for Palliative Care, a Social Work Professor at Lakehead University and a Professor at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Her work focuses on promoting interdisciplinary research and education in gerontology and palliative care for health care professionals especially those working in rural, remote areas, long term care homes and First Nation’s communities. Dr. Kelley’s research and publications focus on health and social services for older adults, rural health, long-term care policy and delivery, palliative care, and interdisciplinary gerontology education. She was the founding Director of the Centre for Education and Research on Aging and Health in 1992 wand a founding member of the Northwest End-of Life Care Network in 2005, served on the network's steering committee and was co-chair. In 2011 she was a co-chair for the system integration subcommittee of the MOHLTC Advancing Palliative Care Engagement Strategy that worked to create a vision for palliative care system integration in Ontario. She has provided advice to Accreditation Canada on developing new palliative care standards for long term care and currently she is a member of the Health Quality Ontario Expert Advisory Panel on End of Life Care. She was the recipient of the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association's 2011 Award of Excellence and the Queens Diamond Jubilee medal in 2012 in recognition of her contribution to Canadian palliative care practice, education and research.
Much of Willow Springs’ off-site programming, including a horticultural therapy program for seniors, and youth, adult, and alternative education art programs, is supported in partnership with other community organizations. Partners include: the March of Dimes Canada (MOD), Dawson Court Home for the Aged, Lakehead Psychiatric Hospital (LPH), Sister Margaret Smith Centre, Community Living Thunder Bay, Thunder Bay Art Gallery, Lakehead University, Confederation College, and Gorham and Ware Community School. Willow Springs also receives support from other arts and gardening/environmental organizations in and around Thunder Bay. Organizations such as the Baggage Building Arts Centre, CAHEP, EcoSuperior, Roots to Harvest, Food Security Research Network, Horticultural Society and the Master Gardeners work with Willow Springs to support and complement each others’ work.