Mary Ann Murphy has a Ph.D. in Health and Social Policy from the distinguished Heller School of Public Policy and Management at Brandeis University (Boston), and also holds both a Master of Social Work and Bachelor of Social Work. from the University of Calgary, and a B.A. from the University of Alberta. She has worked in private industry, government, and academia with a variety of populations (children, youth, families and seniors) and stakeholders (businesses, not-for-profits, NGOs).
Dr. Murphy worked at the United Nations (Vienna) and spent 10 years of her career working for consulting firms including Price Waterhouse, on social research, strategic and urban planning, and community/new town development. For the past number of years, she has worked at UBC’s Okanagan campus as an Associate Professor with a Cross-Appointment on Aging, teaching courses in the areas of: Canadian families; geriatric social work; health/social policy; and global aging. Mary Ann has received awards for excellence in teaching and research innovation, public education through media, and community service.
As a long-term resident of West Kelowna, Mary Ann has worked tirelessly in her Okanagan and Southern Interior communities, donating hundreds of volunteer service hours to veterans, families, and organizations advocating for the needs of seniors’ and youth, healthy aging, housing, civic engagement, and intergenerational relations. Mary Ann has worked with over 40 organizations, lending support on both short and long-term projects, including: Alzheimer Society of Canada (BC); Global Citizen Kelowna; Volunteer Canada; CARP (Canadian Association of Retired Persons); B.C. Old Age Pensioners’ Organization; B.C. Gerontological Nurses Association; BCGEU; Central Okanagan Association for Cardiac Health (COACH); Junior Achievement B.C.; Kelowna Museum Society; Kelowna Community Resources; Kelowna Drop-In Centre; Rotary Club of Peachland; Kelowna Seniors Outreach Services & Resource Society; Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society; Kelowna Legion Branch #26; Korean Veteran’s Association; Peachland Wellness Society; Peachland Seniors’ Housing Committee; Schubert Centre (Vernon); Westbank Rotary Club; Shatford Centre (Penticton); Society for Learning in Retirement; Westside Health Network; Okanagan Science Centre; Baptist Housing; Kelowna Policy Roundtable; Penticton Recreation & Wellness Center; Naramata Centre; and, Desert Sun Counselling and Resource Centre.
In her free time, Mary Ann enjoys spending time with family and friends, waterskiing, playing tennis, hiking, and exploring the beautiful Okanagan Valley.
I support the advocacy demonstrated by The Bridge Family and Youth Services in seeking to develop and fund new residential youth treatment beds in the Okanagan to avoid youth injury or death. The vulnerability of youth, their need for rapid, local responses and the importance of seeking help early should persuade anyone of the need to further advocate for resources to treat youth at home in their own communities with affordable options. Long wait lists for available, scarce beds in BC, and the need for culturally sensitive counseling services for assessment, treatment and recovery are persuasive reasons for arguing for a facility and beds like the fairly new 20-bed Fraser Health facility for youth in Chilliwack, supported by BC Housing and the BC government. While health care decisions such as these are primarily provincial, I would advocate for any additional federal supports that may be available to further this initiative.