Health Care Advocate Honoured

SAINT JOHN - At common council this week, an award was presented posthumously to a local volunteer who worked to better the lot of seniors.

Cindy Wilson/Telegraph-Journal

Left to right are Councillor Bill Farren, Hector Cormier, president of the Coalition for Seniors and Nursing Home Residents’ Rights, Maureen Barry and Mayor Ivan Court.

Barry received an award on behalf of her late husband, J. Esmonde Barry, for his contribution to the coalition. The late J. Esmonde Barry is the first recipient of an award given by the Coalition for Seniors and Nursing Homes Residents' Rights.

"(We pay) special tribute to the late Esmonde Barry for his determination to bring together individuals and groups for a common and most worthy cause," said Hector J. Cormier, the coalition's president. "His idea to form an organization continues to affect change and social justice in the area of long-term care development for those living in nursing homes, and others needing special care or home care. His contribution and volunteered time to seek common ground in making this happen is gratifying to all citizens of New Brunswick."

Barry was instrumental in forming the coalition in 2004. It worked hard to remove the liquid asset qualification that was depleting money from residents living in nursing homes and their families.

The province eventually eliminated the unpopular measure in the face of fierce lobbying.

Mayor Ivan Court said Barry was a friend and visionary whose ideas have been adopted by the province, including the need for nurse practitioners, pharmacists who can prescribe some medicines and midwives.

Maureen Barry accepted the award on behalf of her late husband. They had 12 children, 30 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.After lengthy applause, she told the audience that her husband had not wanted accolades and preferred sharing awards with groups in which everyone working for an organization was recognized.

"Published Friday April 17th, 2009 Telegraph-Journal Award The late J. Esmonde Barry recognized for work with seniors"