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2022 OPWSA Virtual Conference & AGM

Thank you to everyone who joined us for OPWSA's Virtual Conference that took place on Wednesday, November 30th and Thursday, December 1, 2022. The conference featured presentations on a wide range of topics including relationships, new diagnosis, and an update on residential options update.

Information about the sessions can be found below.


Kelly Casey, Developmental Services Consultant

Kelly Casey has been working in the Developmental Services Sector for over 30 years. Over the past 12 years, Kelly has been a Developmental Services Consultant for people, families, and organizations, spending much of her time focusing on supporting people plan and create housing models (Homes of their Own) in their chosen community and with their chosen supports.

Kelly is on the Board of Directors for Microboards Ontario and believes in community partnerships to support full inclusion. Over the years, Kelly has actively engaged with several private and public sector partners who became allies in the transformation of our communities.

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Activating, Engaging and Leading: A Collaborative Path to Housing for People with PWS

Cathy Mallove, OPWSA Residential Options Committee Chair; Kelly Casey, Developmental Services Consultant

The Ontario government’s Journey to Belonging: Choice and Inclusion outlines a vision for developmental services reform that supports greater choice and flexibility for people over the course of their lives. As the government moves to more individualized funding and supports, we need to better understand, develop and advocate for solutions that address the unique needs of people with PWS.


There is no one simple solution or housing model for people with PWS, but working together as a community, and building on innovations and best practices around the world, we can create positive, successful, community-based solutions for our adults with PWS.


OPWSA is actively working with agencies, PWS housing experts, developers, DSO housing navigators and families on creative housing approaches. Join us for an update on our progress; learn about how you can get involved, prepare and plan for the future; and participate in an interactive session to share your vision, ideas and opportunities.


Please note that this session is only for parents/caregivers of individuals with PWS over the age of 16.

12:00pm - 1:30pm EST


Cathy Mallove, Chair, OPWSA Residential Options Committee

Cathy is a proud PWS parent (Rebecca, 27) who has been involved with OPWSA for many years, including as a board member and co-chair and currently as the chair of OPWSA's Residential Options Committee. She is a communications and change management professional with over 25 years of experience in the public, non-profit and private sectors. 

Patrice Carroll, LICSW, Director of PWS Services, Latham Centers

Patrice Carroll, LICSW, is the director of PWS services at Latham Centers in Massachusetts, USA. Patrice received her MSW from Simmons College, Boston, MA, in 2008. Patrice is a member of the Prader Willi Syndrome Organisation Professional Providers and Caregiver’s Advisory Board and has over 22 years of experience working with children and adults diagnosed with PWS. Patrice is a co-author of the book Living Healthy with Prader-Willi Syndrome. Patrice is currently working towards her doctorate degree with an emphasis on trauma in families living with PWS. In addition to her experience with developing person-centered vocational programming for people with PWS, she has specialized in the multi-modal management of skin and rectal picking using intensive, non-contingent, sensory stimulation.

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Rob Pividor, OPWSA Co-Chair

Rob is an Honor Graduate of Brock University in the field of Recreation and Leisure Studies, in addition to having received his Occupational Therapy Assistant certification from Humber College. Rob has worked in the field of rehabilitation, health care and support for individuals with Prader-Willi Syndrome and Traumatic Brian Injuries (TBI) since 1991 within the public and private sector.


Since 1996 Rob has volunteered at the annual OPWSA conference and coordinated the OPWSA Youth Program portion of the conference. Rob has also presented at the OPWSA conference with respect to innovative fitness programming for people with PWS.

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 Wednesday, November 30th, 2022 

 Thursday, December 1st, 2022 

Professional Providers Session

Filipa Almeida, Program Supervisor, Vita CLS; Jennifer Coens, OPWSA Executive Director

This session is only for professional providers/agency staff. Have questions about how to best support individuals with PWS in your agency? Come join this open dialogue with Filipa Almeida from Vita CLS in Toronto to discuss best practices in supporting individuals with PWS.

4:00pm - 5:00pm EST

Keynote Presentation: Improving Relationships for a Better Quality of Life & OPWSA AGM

Keynote: Patrice Carroll, LICSW, Director of PWS Services, Latham Centers
AGM: Jennifer Coens, OPWSA Executive Director; Holly Sine, OPWSA Co-Chair; Rob Pividor, OPWSA Co-Chair

Patrice will discuss the challenges and strategies to improve your child’s ability to make and maintain relationships throughout their life. Connection and community are the foundation for success in school, work and leisure. Improved relationship skills can have a direct, positive effect on the lives of people with PWS.

In the AGM portion, learn more about OPWSA, the work we’ve been taking part in throughout 2022, and our plans for the future.

7:00pm - 8:30pm EST

Finding Your Footing on This New Journey: A Meeting for New Diagnosis Families

Holly Sine, OPWSA Co-Chair and Parent; Jennifer Coens, OPWSA Executive Director

We may be rare, but we are united. One step at a time, together we can accomplish amazing things. Take part in this opportunity to ask questions and share experiences with other PWS families.

This session is for parents/caregivers of children with PWS under the age of 4.

12:00pm - 1:00pm EST

Virtual Dance Party

Our friend, Megan Silver from Shadow Lake Centre will be leading a fun, dance party for us! This Virtual Dance Party is for individuals with PWS of all ages. No dance experience required! Just come and have fun, and bring your best dance moves and song suggestions.

4:00pm - 4:30pm EST

Megan Silver, Program Staff, Shadow Lake Centre

Holly Sine, OPWSA Co-Chair and Parent

Holly is the President of the Pagnan Group Inc., an Animal Health and Human Health Consulting business. She specializes in generic pharmaceutical commercial operations for both the veterinary and human industry. Holly possesses a Pharmaceutical Regulatory post university diploma and has over 13 years of experience previously working with Teva Canada Ltd. registering oral and injectable generic pharmaceutical products with Health Canada.

Holly graduated with a double major in Human Biology and Economics from the University of Toronto. While at U of T, Holly was a varsity athlete for the women’s basketball team. Holly received an OUA All-star designation, OUA championship title and competed in the CIS championship tournament in her senior year.


In January 2014 Holly and her husband Michael welcomed their twins Jack and Kyrie to join their family with sons Grant and Quinn. Jack was diagnosed with PWS at 2 months of age. The Sine family resides in Burlington Ontario. The Sine’s love to travel, spend time with family and visit their cottage during the summer. 

Jennifer Coens, OPWSA Executive Director

Jennifer obtained her Bachelor of Physical and Health Education from the University of Toronto, and Bachelor of Education from the OISE/UT, where she also played varsity basketball. She has over seventeen years of experience in project management and coordination with non-profit organizations in developing and supporting the delivery of learning opportunities and resources. Jennifer has enjoyed supporting families and individuals in the OPWSA community for the past 7.5 years.

Filipa Almeida, Program Supervisor for PWS Program, Vita CLS

Filipa graduated from Centennial College in 2000 with a Diploma from the Developmental Service workers program. She has worked at Vita since 1999 in various roles through the years, and for the past 6 years she has been the Program Supervisor at the Prader-Willi Home. Over the last 6 years I have provide training for other agencies who support individuals with Prader Willi Syndrome.

Megan Silver, Program Staff, Shadow Lake Centre

Megan Silver is a program staff member at Shadow Lake Centre. This will be her third summer at Shadow Lake, and she hopes to see many of your faces again this summer! Her favourite part of SLC is the Friday dances! She is a 5th-year Kinesiology student at Wilfrid Laurier University. She is also a student-athlete being on their Varsity Cheerleading team! She is hoping to become an Occupational Therapist in the future and continue to work with people with disabilities. She can't wait to meet you all and see some familiar faces!

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