2011 Award Recipient - Sally Brown

Sally Brown was selected as the recipient of HCCC's 2011 Award of Distinction - Outstanding Employee/Volunteer.  The selection committee considered a range of criteria such as an exceptional current or former employee or volunteer of HCCC member organizations, who have provided leadership, service and/or outstanding support to the charitable health sector.

Sally -BrownThrough Sally's work with the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Canada, she made a significant impact at the local, national and international levels. She made an enormous contribution to the mission of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada (HSFC) and the health of Canadians in her role as CEO from 2001 to 2010. Ms. Brown shepherded the Heart and Stroke Federation into a stronger and more cohesive organization thanks to her inspired, thoughtful leadership in moving the Federation to an outcomes organization with a shared mission statement and Federation-wide strategic plan.

As co-chair of the federal Trans Fat Task Force, she made an enormous contribution to the heart health of Canadians. Since the release of the report, over 60 per cent of artery-clogging trans fats were removed from the Canadian food supply. She received Health Canada's ADM's Excellence Award for Collaborative Leadership for her contributions in this area.

Under her watch, Health Check™, the Heart and Stroke Foundation's flagship food information program, grew five-fold and moved into the food service sector − helping thousands more consumers make a healthier food choices. Working actively with the food industry, Health Checkhas already helped to reduce sodium levels by 25% to 70% in some food categories. In just four years, 14 companies have removed 500,000 kilograms of salt from their products to meet the Health Check criteria: the equivalent of 20 dump trucks of salt driven from our food supply.

Her focus on building bridges and expanding partnerships helped the Foundation enlarge its reach in working to reduce chronic diseases that affect millions of Canadians by working with others. For example, the Canadian Stroke Strategy, under the leadership of HSFC and its partner the Canadian Stroke Network, has transformed stroke awareness, prevention, and care across the country, greatly reducing the devastation of this terrible disease.

She was instrumental in working with partners to progress the Canadian Heart Health Strategy and Action Plan (CHHS-AP), which aims to decrease the growing burden of cardiovascular disease in Canada through a strategic plan that is practical and sensitive to regional differences.

As an advocate for women's heart health, she wasan early champion of the Foundation'sThe Heart Truth™ awareness campaign, which has changed the way Canadian women understand their risk of heart disease, empowering them to take action to reduce their risk factors. She was instrumental in bringing together the talents of 18 of Canada's most powerful women to The Heart Truth's leadership council, harnessing their expertise, resources, and passion to further awareness of women's heart health.

Under her direction, a new focus on strategic research partnerships focused on population health research and knowledge translation means that the research funded by the Heart and Stroke Foundation is more quickly translated into advances in heart and stroke prevention and care. She did so with enthusiasm, energy, and a strong work ethic - ably moving ideas into action.

She has made equally important contributions to the charitable health sector in Canada.

Guided by the belief that the sector is influential only if all organizations are strong, her mentorship and respect for the smaller health charities brought new strength to the sector. She also brought the voice of the health charities to the research debate for issues such as the indirect costs of research.

Her commitment to improving the health of Canadians led to her serving on a number of community and agency boards including the Royal Ottawa Hospital, the Canadian Health Services Research Foundation, and the Council for Health Research in Canada, from whom she received their Award of Merit in 2005. She has served as chair of the Health Charities Coalition of Canada, as co-chair of the CIHR voluntary sector committee, and was a member of the Canadian Stroke Network's board of directors.

Sally retired from the Foundation; however; she continues to lend her expertise to the health community as an advisory board member for the CIHR Institute of Gender and Health. She is a board member of the InterAmerican Heart Foundation and the Canadian Association for Drugs and Technology in Health (CADTH).

She left the Heart and Stroke Foundation in a position of strength after a decade of collective progress and made a real difference to its health − giving hope now and for the future to millions of Canadians.

She is a role model for all of us and the members of HCCC thank Sally for her exceptional contributions to the charitable health sector.

The Health Charities Coalition of Canada 2011 Award of Distinction was presented to Sally Brown on April 14th in Toronto during its Annual Roundtable Meeting.

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