Elgin County OPP honoured with St. Joseph’s Community Partner of Distinction Award

Jun. 29, 2016

They serve and protect with a difference. Showing great compassion and understanding for those with mental illness, Elgin County OPP has been recognized by St. Joseph’s Health Care London as a distinguished partner in battling stigma and advocating for the most vulnerable in our community.

The detachment is this year’s recipient of the Community Partner of Distinction Award, which recognizes a group or organization that has made significant contributions to the health and well-being of individuals and the community as a whole through collaboration with St. Joseph’s.

“Elgin OPP has been more than just a good neighbour,” says Janice Vandevooren, director of the Forensic Psychiatry Program at St. Joseph’s Southwest Centre for Forensic Mental Health Care, located in Elgin County. “We partner in a way that best serves our patients and also allows us to serve our mutual purpose of public safety.”

The detachment has reached out into the larger community in numerous ways that impact individuals receiving mental health services, says Vandevooren. This includes:

  • Participation in the Southwest LHIN Behavioural Supports Ontario program – a program aimed at improving the lives of older adults who display challenging behaviours due to mental health and addiction issues or dementia related diseases.
  • Development and implementation of a Provincial Mental Health Strategy, which required reaching out to more than 50 community partners across health, social, justice and political sectors to develop creative solutions to meeting the needs of individuals with mental health issues.
  • Participation in education sessions offered by St. Joseph’s teams to create better interactions with patients encountered in the community who exhibit signs of mental illness.

“St. Joseph’s sincerely appreciates all that Elgin County OPP do to serve and protect some of the most vulnerable people in our communities,” said Vandevooren. “Elgin OPP has been a tremendous partner to St. Joseph’s and we look forward to continuing to serve our communities with them.”

At a recent awards ceremony, Elgin County OPP was represented by Detachment Commander Brad Fishleigh, Detachment Manager Staff Sergeant Greg Dafoe and Staff Sergeant Al Gordon.

“St. Joseph’s helps us provide the best possible service where individuals suffering from mental illness are treated with dignity and respect,” said Fishleigh. “Only through continued collaboration will our detachment be in a position to adapt and change to meet the needs of our community.”


For more information:
Courtney Morgan, Communication and Public Affairs
519.646.6100 ext. 65115

About Elgin OPP

Elgin County OPP strives to meet and exceed the needs of the communities we serve using intelligence led policing methods and employing a strong focused patrol program. We work in partnership with our communities using the Community Mobilization and Engagement Program to identify crime and traffic issues and collaboratively analyze and implement solutions. Our officers are engaged with the communities on and off duty and take a personal interest in helping to keep Elgin County a prosperous and safe place to live and visit. The Elgin County OPP is located centrally within the county just south of the City of St. Thomas. A satellite location is situated adjacent to Highway 401 in the Municipality of Dutton-Dunwich. Community policing offices are located in Belmont, Port Stanley and Springfield. The Elgin County OPP provides policing services to Elgin County’s four municipalities being West Elgin, Dutton-Dunwich, Central Elgin and Bayham and two townships being Southwold and Malahide.

About St. Joseph’s Health Care London

Renowned for compassionate care, St. Joseph’s Health Care London is a leading academic health care centre in Canada dedicated to helping people live to their fullest by minimizing the effects of injury, disease and disability through excellence in care, teaching and research. Through partnership with Lawson Health Research Institute and our collaborative engagement with other health care and academic partners, St. Joseph’s has become an international leader in the areas of: chronic disease management; medical imaging; specialized mental health care; rehabilitation; specialized geriatrics; and surgery. St. Joseph’s operates through a wide range of hospital, clinic and long-term and community based settings, including: St. Joseph’s Hospital; Parkwood Institute; Mount Hope Centre for Long Term Care; and the Southwest Centre for Forensic Mental Health Care.

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