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Surveyor Penny Gagnon to succeed Dan Stavert as CARF Canada’s Chief Accreditation Advisor

Stavert will retire on September 29 after 15 years of service at CARF

May 24, 2017, Edmonton, Alberta — Since Dan Stavert joined CARF Canada in 2002 as its chief accreditation advisor, the number of CARF-accredited programs in Canada has increased from 267 to more than 4,300. The growth has been steady across all provinces and program areas, and has now expanded into the Yukon territory. Over that time, Stavert’s main focus has been to strengthen the relationships among providers, communities, and persons needing services around Canada. He will retire later this year having made huge strides toward this goal.

“I, the staff at CARF, and especially the staff at CARF Canada in Edmonton and Toronto wish to extend our enormous gratitude to Dan for his work over the past 15 years,” says CARF President/CEO Brian J. Boon, Ph.D. “His dedication and genuineness in leading this dynamic team of individuals have been of great benefit to our accredited programs and persons served in Canada. He leaves us with a solid business foundation and terrific relationships spanning customers, advocates, payers, and regulators.”

While reflecting on his tenure at CARF, Stavert says his longevity is due to the overarching vision of CARF to encourage quality improvement by better connecting systems to the persons receiving services. He is proud in particular of CARF’s work with First Nation communities. “It has been a pleasure working with indigenous groups across our nation and to be a part of their celebrations of incredible success in meeting international standards,” he says. This is one of the reasons he is excited to welcome his successor, Penny Gagnon, who has worked in multiple northern communities and completed her undergraduate work in First Nations Studies.

Gagnon comes to CARF with more than 15 years of executive leadership experience specializing in nonprofit organizations and team development. She most recently served as chief executive officer at Churchill Park Family Care Society. Prior to that role, she was the executive director of the Fort St. John Child Development Centre. She serves, or has served, on several boards of directors, including the BC Association of Child Development and Intervention, Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies, Prince George Native Friendship Centre, and an affiliate committee of the Health Employers Association of British Columbia (BC). For the past eight years, Gagnon has taught in the business management program at Northern Lights College and previously taught at Royal Roads University in the Masters of Arts Program.

Gagnon’s first experience with CARF came at the beginning of her executive leadership experience when the Ministry of Children and Family Development in BC recognized CARF as a vehicle for quality improvement. She has worked with CARF Canada staff, including Stavert, for several years, and eventually became a CARF surveyor two years ago. About joining CARF, Gagnon said, “I’m most excited about the stakeholder engagement component of this position and the value CARF brings to organizations. Joining the CARF team aligns with my own personal values of best practice for the best possible outcome for persons served. I am excited about being part of a responsive organization that places the persons served at the core of service delivery and that uses feedback as a driver of quality improvement.”

Stavert believes that Gagnon’s expertise in the health and human services field, and familiarity with CARF, will be valuable to CARF Canada as it continues to develop relationships with health authorities and take a leadership role in emerging trends, such as the proliferation of technology and data-driven outcomes. In particular, he is confident that CARF’s recent leadership efforts in creating standards focused on outcomes will be in good hands with Gagnon. “Ms. Gagnon comes to CARF with knowledge, passion, and support to persons served, organizations, and communities. It is with great pleasure that I welcome Ms. Gagnon to the role of chief accreditation advisor for CARF Canada,” he says.

In announcing Gagnon’s hiring, Boon echoed Stavert’s confidence, saying, “Like many organizations worldwide, providers in Canada are under increasing pressure to demonstrate accountability and continuous improvement. Now more than ever, they are looking for third-party guidance and strong quality mechanisms. Penny Gagnon is an experienced leader and a former CARF surveyor. She is perfectly suited to lead CARF Canada in meeting these industry needs and furthering our mission to enhance the lives of persons served in Canada. We are looking forward to her joining CARF Canada and being a member of our international leadership team.”

As chief accreditation advisor, Gagnon will be responsible for cultivating relationships with CARF Canada stakeholders and decision makers. She will help identify industry trends and public and regulatory policy, with the goal of tailoring standards development to best reflect the practices and needs of persons needing services across all of CARF’s accreditation areas.

Gagnon will join CARF Canada on July 24. She will work jointly with Stavert until his retirement to ensure a smooth transition.

Health and human services providers interested in accreditation may contact CARF at (888) 281-6531 or

5/24/2017 1:50:00 PM

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