Celebrating National Caregiver Day

Unpaid Caregivers Honoured as going ‘Above and Beyond’

In celebration of National Caregiver Day, Home and Community Care Support Services has honoured more than 100 extraordinary people from across Ontario who make it possible for others to live in their home or community despite the impacts of age, illness or disability.

The 2nd annual Above and Beyond Caregiver Recognition Program brought together caregivers from across the province virtually on April 2, offering a platform for caregivers to feel seen, heard and appreciated.  

Every day, the invaluable contributions of caregivers make it possible for Home and Community Care Support Services to coordinate in-home and community-based care for thousands of patients across the province. The Above and Beyond Caregiver Recognition Program was established to recognize, celebrate and support caregivers and the pivotal role they play in our broader heath care system. Whether providing meals, transportation or personal care to a family member, friend, neighbour or colleague, caregiver contributions are vital to ensuring more people can stay healthier at home.

As part of the virtual Above and Beyond Caregiver Recognition Event, nine caregivers were given special recognition under the following five categories. Learn more about their stories. See the full list of recipients (opens in a new tab).

Caring and Sharing
This caregiver is giving back to their community by helping and guiding others through sharing the knowledge and experience gained from their journey.Jennifer Irwin, Lucknow
Elizabeth Marie Chambers, St. Catharines
Caring With Courage

Through encouragement, empowerment and support, this caregiver has directly brought about positive change to their loved one's quality of life. Angela Smith*, Central Region
Melanie Denis, Leeds and the Thousand Islands
Partner in Care
This caregiving partner has provided long standing and continued support to an individual in their home or community.Emidio Galea, Etobicoke
Michael Bartlett, Port Dover
Caregiver Team
Group of people (care team) that come together to support an individual in their home or community. Robyn and the Serez Family, Kitchener
Young Caregiver
This category recognizes the extraordinary efforts of a friend or family member under the age of 30 years who has gone above and beyond to support the needs of a loved one.Alessia Porumbel, Toronto
Jessie Baker, Emo

* While Angela’s name was altered to maintain her privacy, we are honoured to share her story of extraordinary courage in caregiving.  

Between November 13, 2023 and January 14, 2024, the public was invited to submit caregivers for recognition with the only criteria being that they must be providing care to a patient, who has recently received or is currently receiving services through Home and Community Care Support Services, and that they are not a paid or registered volunteer caregiver.

Learnings shared during the event and throughout the submission period will be carried forward to develop the broader Above and Beyond Caregiver Recognition Program, which will continue to support and engage with caregivers across Ontario throughout the year.


“Caregivers are a vital part of the fabric of our communities. They help ease the burden of our health care workers, and provide support to our most vulnerable, giving them a sense of comfort and familiarity as they face life-altering challenges. Thank you to the tireless team at Home and Community Care Support Services for hosting this event, and for shining a light on the inspiring individual contributions of caregivers. To all the recipients: congratulations on this well-deserved honour. This recognition is a testament to your hard work and to the sacrifices you make every day to help those in need.” –Doug Ford, Premier of Ontario

“Congratulations to everyone recognized and celebrated today for going above and beyond and thank you for the impact you have on your communities. Your care and support of loved ones as they face difficult health challenges is truly remarkable. We see you. We hear you. And we appreciate you.” – Sylvia Jones, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health

“At Home and Community Care Support Services, we view caregivers as valued health care partners and are honoured to celebrate them through our second annual Above and Beyond Caregiver Recognition Program. Every day, I find myself incredibly moved and inspired by the way caregivers selflessly sacrifice their time and energy to provide care to others in order to improve their quality of life. While we know they do this out of compassion and love, it’s important to formally acknowledge their dedication and kindness.” – Cynthia Martineau, Chief Executive Officer, Home and Community Care Support Services

“On behalf of the Board of Directors at Home and Community Care Support Services, I wish to extend my sincere gratitude and praise to the caregivers recognized through our second annual Above and Beyond Caregiver Recognition Program. The selfless efforts of caregivers not only positively impact the health and wellbeing of their loved ones, but also the health system as a whole. Highlighting them through the Above and Beyond Caregiver Recognition Program is a small gesture that allows us to recognize and thank this group of exceptional people.” – Joe Parker, Board Chair, Home and Community Care Support Services


For questions about the program, please contact the Community Engagement team at or call 1-855-276-3096.

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