Mirabelli-Glossop Award for Distinquished Contribution

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The Mirabelli-Glossop Award for Distinguished Contribution is presented in recognition of exceptional and sustained contributions to the work of the Vanier Institute of the Family. To be recognized, contributions must be made in-kind and serve to enhance the Institute’s commitment to better understanding and supporting the central importance of Canada’s families, in all of their diversity.

This year’s recipients, Janet Fast and Donna Lero, were awarded this distinction for their outstanding contributions as lead researchers on the Caregiving & Work Project, in partnership with the Institute. Through a series of interviews, round table discussions and a national survey of senior HR executives, the Caregiving & Work Project is working with employers and managers across private, public and non-profit/voluntary sectors to identify best practices within their workplace and to support further innovations that will benefit both employers and employed caregivers.

“The Institute is delighted to be honouring these two women with such a distinction. With an aging population, a growing number of employees are providing some form of care to family, neighbours or friends. It is essential that employers are equipped with the knowledge, tools and resources to best support employed caregivers,” Nora Spinks, CEO, Vanier Institute of the Family.

About the 2012 recipients:  

Donna Lero is the inaugural holder of the Jarislowsky Chair in Families and Work, and leads the research agenda on Workplace Policies and Family Supports at the Centre for Families, Work and Well-Being at the University of Guelph, where she also teaches courses in child development and family-related social policy. Donna’s leadership in the field of child care, work, and family dates back to 1988, when she served as Director of the Canadian National Child Care Study.


Janet Fast is a professor in the Department of Human Ecology at the University of Alberta. Her participation in the Caregiving & Work Project reflects her deep commitment to better understanding the varied and hidden costs associated with adult caregiving. Janet is currently co-leading an international, multidisciplinary team investigating the juxtaposition of costs and contributions of adults with chronic illness and disability.