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Reva Appleby GERSTEIN


1917 - 2020
Reva Appleby GERSTEIN Obituary
REVA APPLEBY GERSTEIN C.C., O.ONT., LL.D., PhD. March 27, 1917 - January 6, 2020 Our Mimi passed away peacefully at Bridgepoint Hospital in her 103rd year. Daughter of David and Diana Appleby, Reva was predeceased by her brothers Irving and Sidney Appleby and husbands Bertrand Gerstein and David Raitblatt. Loving mother of Irving and Gail (Smith), and Ira and Lisa Zwig; devoted grandmother of Marcy, Frank and Laurie, Anthony and Melissa, Carrie and Jonathan, Lee and Natalie, and Devin; great-grandmother of Elias, Lily, Sydney, Madeline, Benjamin, Cleo, and Lewis. Reva was born in Toronto, attending Fern Avenue Public School, Parkdale Collegiate and received her Hon.B.A. (1938); M.A (1939) and Ph.D (1945) all from the University of Toronto. She was at various times a Psychologist, Educator, Policy Advisor, Corporate Director, Research Coordinator, Humanitarian and always a caring and loving mother. During the war years, at the University of Toronto Department of Psychology, Reva taught numerous courses in the general and honours field, plus graduate courses in psychological testing. She worked directly with Sir Frederick Banting on the effects of oxygen deprivation on mental abilities for the Royal Canadian Air Force and was hired as the first Child Psychologist in the Ontario school system by the East York-Leaside Board of Health. In 1945, she left the University of Toronto Department of Psychology, when the male members of the Department returned from the war to become National Director of Program Planning for the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) working with Dr. Clarence Hincks and Dr. Jack Griffin both of whom became great friends and mentors. At CMHA she was the originator of "Mental Health Week" in Canada and ran a weekly Mental Health Program on CBC Radio. Subsequently (1968) Reva founded, chaired, and lead the campaign to raise the funds to create the Hincks Treatment Centre for Adolescents which had a strong base in infant and adolescent psychiatry and which is now part of the SickKids Centre for Community Mental Health. While still at CMHA she continued to teach courses in psychology at the University of Toronto School of Social Work and Nursing with special emphasis on training teachers as liaison officers in mental health. From 1954 to 1958 Reva was National President of the National Council of Jewish Women of Canada introducing gerontological fellowships, mental health programs, and Golden Age Clubs across Canada. In 1962, Reva was appointed by Premier John Robarts as the first woman member of the Committee on University Affairs (CUA) serving as its Chairman from 1972 to 1975. In the late 1970's, Reva was appointed by Premier Bill Davis to the newly reorganized Ontario Council on University Affairs (OCUA) and became a member and editorial chairman of the Commission on Post Secondary Education in Ontario. In this capacity she was one of the pioneers in furthering the legitimacy of mature students as an integral part of the university education system. Reva was the first woman director of McGraw- Hill Ryerson Publishing Co., Maritime Life Assurance Co., Avon Inc., and the International Nickel Co. (INCO). She was a member of the Mount Sinai Hospital Governing Council, Board Member of Baycrest Centre, Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Hospital for Sick Children, Chairman of the SickKids Foundation, Chairman of the Hospital Council of Metro Toronto, Member of the Ontario Police Commission, Chairman of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR), and was the first woman Chancellor of Western University (1992-1996). It was always with particular pride that Reva looked back at her time as Chair of Mayor Art Eggleton's Action Task Force on Discharged Psychiatric Patients in Toronto. The resulting "Gerstein Report" conceived of bringing together housing needs, support services and a physical crisis centre backed up by networks of community workers, consumers and traditional hospital help. Several of these "Crisis Centres" operate in Toronto today, Reva having served for six years as the first chairman of the board which included one-third Consumer Survivors. The reality of these "Crisis Centres" placed the needs of Consumer Survivors on many a corporate and government agenda and represented a major breakthrough in the mental health field. After her departure from the board Reva was greatly honoured when the "Crisis Centres" were re- named "Gerstein Centres". Reva received many honours over the years recognizing her public service including Woman of the Year - B'nai Brith (1961), Life Fellow of the Ontario Psychiatric Association, Life Fellow of the Canadian Psychological Association, Life Member of the American Psychological Association, C.M. Hincks Award from CMHA (1987), Honourary Doctorates from Western University, University of Guelph, Queen's University, Lakehead University, York University, and the University of Toronto. She was a Member of the Order of Ontario, and a Member (1974), promoted to Officer (1979), promoted Companion of the Order of Canada (1997). Mimi was very much a part of our family. We were always so proud of her accomplishments and know that her work over a lifetime contributed so selflessly to the benefit of many. We shall miss her greatly, her wonderful smile and joy of life will be always with us. The family is forever grateful to Dr. Samir Sinha and Dr. Eugenie Phan of the Geriatric Outreach Programme at Mt. Sinai Hospital, as well as the staff at Mount Sinai Hospital and Bridegpoint Active Healthcare, her niece Lynne Appleby Bohnen, dearest friend and youngest mentor Pat Capponi, and to her caregivers, Mindy Sabinorio, Joyce Mira, Amalia Cruz, and Ellen Boamah. At Holy Blossom Temple at 1950 Bathurst Street for service on Thursday, January 9, 2020 at 12:30 p.m. Interment at Holy Blossom Memorial Park. Shiva at 55 Clarendon Avenue, in Toronto. Memorial donations may be made to Gerstein Crisis Centre or Mount Sinai Hospital.
Published in The Globe and Mail from Jan. 8 to Jan. 12, 2020
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