Dan McGann honored by Rotary, volunteer coaches

The founder of the Credit Valley Hospital’s teen run-therapy program was honoured by the Rotary Club of Etobicoke and volunteer run coaches May 11. Dan McGann, who recently retired from CVH to concentrate on his own private practice, started run-therapy seven years ago.

David Harris, CEO and founder of CameronHelps said Dan’s program has had a tremendous impact on his life and the charity. “Our Team Unbreakable running programs are currently being launched or already launched in other hospitals, community organizations and schools and it is modeled after Dan’s program.”

“I have had the privilege, as I think we all can say, to be involved in the CVH program and watched how it transformed lives,” David said.

Hugh Williams president of the Rotary said, “Dan deserves to be
recognized for the many extraordinary accomplishments in his life and
career.  The Paul Harris Fellow Award is the highest honour that any Rotary club can bestow on a person, either inside or outside the club.”

A plaque was presented as well by Dan’s volunteer running coaches
and friends for his service and dedication. The inscription in part reads, “Young people, their parents and volunteers have been inspired by your vision, humanity and love.”

Running coach Yvonne Harris commented, “this is our graduation
breakfast to celebrate your achievement and to thank you for touching our lives in good ways, helping us all to learn resiliency.”

“You began with seven young people in 2006, morphed into a family
run group in 2008, with former participants becoming mentors to their peers in 2013. Now, young participants and coach mentors tell their stories as poised speakers to the new groups,” Yvonne said.

Dan’s work involves much more than just running – as he has a
Master of Social Work degree and he counsels children and parents from the Child and Family Clinic at Credit Valley Hospital, helping them better understand themselves and their issues. But the running program provides important life lessons that other treatments can’t. Literally running up a hill that once stood as an impossible challenge changes a kid’s narrative from ‘I can’t to ‘I can.’  It also teaches them
how to deal with tasks that at first seem impossible, said Hugh.

These honours are not the first Dan has received for his work.  In 2011 he was the recipient of the “National Quality of Life” award from the Canadian College of Health Leaders.

Dan’s therapy program has been adopted by CameronHelps and is now being run out of three hospitals and two community health centres. A related program has also been developed for us in the high schools of Peel Region through the help of a grant from the Trillium Foundation. The high school program does not just focus on kids with a diagnosed issue, but is open to all students.