For more than 30 years, Josephine Mills has been a strong advocate and passionate supporter of children and families living with Down syndrome. She has devoted her career to improving the quality of medical care, education, and opportunities in the community for people with Down syndrome and their families.
Ms. Mills has been instrumental in founding three major organizations that address the needs of people with Down syndrome: Down Syndrome International, the Canadian Down Syndrome Society, and the Down Syndrome Research Foundation. Her vision and determination have also led to the establishment of parent support groups across Canada.
Ms. Mills has worked tirelessly to build relationships with university researchers, medical specialists, corporations, and organizations that provide service to the Down syndrome and developmental disability communities. Due to her efforts, the Ninth Annual World Down Syndrome Congress was held in Vancouver in August of 2006, the first time the conference has been held in Canada.
Ms. Mills has influenced many others to join in her efforts to help children with Down syndrome maximize their potential. This includes partnerships with Simon Fraser University, BC Children’s Hospital, University of BC, and the University of Victoria – partnerships that have improved people’s lives by increasing collaboration on research clinical services and other programs for people with Down syndrome.
Under her leadership and guidance, the Down Syndrome Research Foundation has become a leading centre of excellence in this field, benefiting thousands of families and children annually through its programs and services.