Now Fraser Health’s Director, Substance Use Services, Mental Health and Substance Use program, Sherry’s experience working in the substance use field spans more than 30 years.
Prior to joining Fraser Health, she was a Ministry of Child and Family Development regional addictions consultant. She relocated to Fraser Health, Mental Health and Substance Use (MHSU) program first as the addictions leader, then as a manager for various substance use services. Since 2009 she has served as a director in the MHSU program and in addition to having Langley and Maple Ridge mental health services, she has all of Fraser Health’s substance use services in her portfolio.
Sherry has a BA in Criminal Justice from UFV, a BA in Child and Youth Care from UVic, and an MA in Criminology from Simon Fraser. She is also a PhD candidate at SFU.
Her career and academic journey started with a few courses at what was then Fraser Valley College.
“I have degrees from three different institutions but UFV is my home base! I like the way they treat students. The whole approach is so community-minded and non-threatening. There was no academic arrogance at UFV. I was never uncomfortable there. Everyone was viewed as important and worthwhile. It really diminished my level of fear. The fact that I made it through to where I am today is a credit to some really great instructors.”
“I was a mature student and mother when I began — and I went on to earn a master’s and am now a PhD candidate — you truly are never too old to start!”
And UFV is the “gift that keeps on giving” for Sherry and her family, she says. Her four adult kids all attended, and now her grandson is a student. “It’s definitely our school of choice.”
Sherry is a contracted facilitator in the UFV School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of the Fraser Valley and a course developer and instructor for SFU’s School of Criminology. She is also a major contributor and primary author of the Management Challenges in Canadian Federal Corrections text book.
She has also been involved in authoring and co-authoring several publications in both the substance use field and the field of criminology and has been directly involved in the planning and implementation of withdrawal management services across Fraser Health.
She was awarded a Canadian Institute of Health Research Fellowship for work on Gender, Women and Addictions, and a Kaiser 2011 National Award for Excellence in Leadership in the substance use field.
“When I got the call about being in the Top 40, I was flabbergasted and genuinely honoured!” Sherry says.
— Thanks to Fraser Health.ca for some of the biographical information.