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Maryse Neilson

Maryse Neilson

Maryse Neilson

Director of Health Promotion, CFB Esquimalt

Breakout Session 3: Panel Discussion on Change in First Responder Communities – Canadian Forces | February 25, 2016 | Vancouver

Director of Health Promotion, CFB Esquimalt

Maryse has over twenty years of experience in organizational and program development and health promotion. Maryse completed three degrees at the University of British Columbia: Bachelor of Arts, 1993; Bachelor of Social Work, 1995; and a Masters Degree in Social Work in 1996.

During her Master’s program, Maryse was hired as the first Director of the St. Paul’s Anglican Church Advocacy Office – a downtown Vancouver health outreach program specializing in providing advocacy services to residents of Davie/Denman and surrounding neighbourhoods. After graduating, Maryse left Vancouver for Victoria and worked for a short while for the Ministry for Children and Families before being hired as Executive Director for the Learning Disabilities Association (LDA) of Greater Victoria. After five years with the LDA where she tripled the operating budget, established the Know Your Rights program with the Law Foundation of British Columbia, and established the Coalition for Special Education, Maryse continued to work in the field of Invisible Disabilities (ID) for the Brain Injury Association of British Columbia as a social marketer and health promoter. During her time in the ID field, Maryse represented the LDA-SVI on LDA BC, was President of the Federation of Invisible Disabilities, and developed the reputation as a strong advocate and compelling speaker.

For the last thirteen years, Maryse has been the Director of Health Promotion for the Department of National Defence at Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt. She is responsible for leading one of the largest devoted and in-house health promotion programs in the country. Her team delivers programs and services to individual defence team members, their families, work teams, and internal community groups in four health priority areas: Active Living & Injury Prevention, Addictions Free Living, Nutritional & Weight Wellness, and Social Wellness. Maryse and her team also guide and advise the MARPAC Health and Wellness Strategy – an innovative community development initiative involving over 80 stakeholders aimed at transforming the military culture to one that promotes health and wellness.

In addition to her work for CFB Esquimalt, Maryse has a thriving personal counselling practice. She also facilitates courses she has developed for Continuing Education UVIC:  Boundaries 101 and the Constructive Use of Anger.

Maryse lives in Victoria with her husband and two daughters, age 19 and 7. She is an avid runner and fitness enthusiast, and she enjoys entertaining, traveling and reading.


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