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Tribute Award for Leadership

Dr. Nicola Jones-Stokreef

Headshot of Nicola Jones-StokreefThere are a number of positive adjectives that can be applied easily to developmental paediatrician Dr. Nicola (Nicky) Jones-Stokreef: commitment, determination, leader, innovator, visionary, collaborator, role model, mentor, and many more.

But perhaps the words that describe Nicky’s work at its core is a comment from a colleague: “…she goes above and beyond for the families she supports and ensures that they never feel alone in their journey.”

And as committed as Nicky has been to her patients and their families in Simcoe County, she has expanded her role so that others can improve care for children with developmental challenges. Throughout her distinguished career of more than 20 years, she has gracefully balanced exceptional clinical practice with regional system development and provincial level advocacy. She has been instrumental in advancing the autism diagnostic system in Ontario and has served as a true leader and inspiring role model for physicians, allied health professionals, and others in the child development and pediatric rehabilitation sector.

There are many examples of how Nicky’s leadership and innovation came to improve care for kids with disabilities. A better program for diagnosing autism in children is one. More than 16 years ago, Nicky was providing most autism diagnostic services in Simcoe Country. And there were long waiting lists. Nicky’s vision was to expand the number of professionals in Simcoe County who could diagnose a child with autism.

As part of her plan, she trained five speech language pathologists to administer the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule. Her guidance and mentorship had a ripple effect – those professionals shared their knowledge with others including occupational therapists and early intervention workers.

While her contributions to service excellence have been immense, Nicky’s work to transform the system for kids with disabilities and their families also exemplifies her talent as a leader. She is kind, compassionate and an assertive advocate. She recognizes the power of her voice and position and leverages it through participation in local- and provincial-level planning committees to ensure that the needs not only of her patients, but all children and youth with disabilities in Ontario are met.

Nicky has a remarkable ability to connect with people. As a parent of three children with autism wrote, “I cannot thank her enough for her help, support, professionalism, and, most importantly, the stability she offered as a specialist and a person. These days, it’s a rare experience. She will remain an important part of our family in our grateful hearts.”

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Read about Dr. Ripudaman Minhas

Read about Liviya Mendelsohn

Read about Monika Myers

Read about Sen. Jim Munson

Read about The Hon. David C. Onley

Read about Rachel Teplicky


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