Rookie MHA earns seat at cab­i­net ta­ble

Sherry Gam­bin-Walsh com­fort­able with her port­fo­lio

The Compass - - EDITORIAL - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER nmercer@CBN­com­pass.ca

Mo­ments be­fore walk­ing into her first cab­i­net meet­ing, Sherry Gam­bin-Walsh felt com­fort­able with the task at hand.

The rookie MHA from Pla­cen­tia-St. Mary’s was re­cently named the min­is­ter of child, youth and fam­ily ser­vices dur­ing the swear­ing-in cer­e­mony held at Gov­ern­ment House in St. John’s. She was also named the min­is­ter re­spon­si­ble for the sta­tus of per­sons with dis­abil­i­ties, as well as the min­ster for se­niors, well­ness and so­cial de­vel­op­ment.

“It’s my first time be­ing elected, but when you look at the 31 of us that got elected, I am the one with the most ex­pe­ri­ence work­ing with peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties,” the Pla­cen­tia na­tive told The Com­pass. “I was hop­ing to get that port­fo­lio and I am very de­lighted that I did.”

With this be­ing Gam­bin-Walsh’s first go-around in the po­lit­i­cal realm, few ex­pected her to be named to Premier Dwight Ball’s cab­i­net. She is joined by 12 other min­is­ters.

Given her back­ground in health­care, Gam­bin-Walsh makes an ideal can­di­date for the role, es­pe­cially in the realm of per­sons with dis­abil­i­ties. She worked for 25 years in the health­care pro­fes­sion, which in­cluded some time as a neona­tal nurse at the Janeway Chil­dren’s Health and Re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion Cen­tre in St. John’s.

She’s also worked with the provin­cial ad­vi­sory coun­cil to the min­is­ter re­spon­si­ble for the sta­tus of per­sons with dis­abil­i­ties.

“We dealt a fair bit with as­sist­ing peo­ple to main­tain ser­vices in the com­mu­nity,” said Gam­bin-Walsh. “I’m very com­fort­able with it.”

Be­fore dig­ging into the port­fo­lio and de­ter­min­ing where to turn her at­ten- tions, Gam­bin-Walsh’s first or­der of busi­ness is meet­ing the staff she will be work­ing with.

“I’m head­ing into our first meet­ing now and I’m sure we’ll be well versed in what’s the proper pro­to­col and what we should do,” she said last Mon­day. “I’m really look­ing for­ward to meet­ing my staff.

“I’m not ner­vous at all. I’m really ex­cited ac­tu­ally. I’m a go-get­ter. I’m a per­son who really en­joys work and I’m really look­ing for­ward to this.”

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