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Sexcellence Awards 2017: SHNS Honours Ruthie Patriquin & Cathie Penny

Sexual Health Nova Scotia (SHNS) is proud to announce the recipients of the 2017 Sexcellence Awards.

Since 2008, SHNS has given the Sexcellence Award to individuals in Nova Scotia who support and promote outstanding work in the field of sexual health education. 

This year's "Sexcellent" recipients are: 
•    Ruthie Patriquin, outgoing executive director of the Sexual Health Centre for Cumberland County (SHCCC)
•    Cathie Penny, former executive director of the Cape Breton Centre for Sexual Health (CBCSH)

Ms. Patriquin and Ms. Penny truly embody the spirit of the Sexcellence Awards. They are each known in their communities as local leaders, skilled educators, and trusted voices on healthy sexuality and relationships. 

On a provincial level, they were a driving force behind the creation of Sexual Health Nova Scotia.

Both recipients chose this year to retire after lengthy careers as sexual health educators. Ms. Patriquin has worked in the Cumberland County centre for 36 years, while Ms. Penny served in Cape Breton for 29 years.

In those decades, they've achieved an impressive list of "Sexcellent" accomplishments.

Ruthie Patriquin began working at the SHCCC in 1981. She has developed many programs over the years, including sex ed for deaf and hard of hearing youth, a self-esteem camp for young girls, and a resource for seniors called "Sex Over 50". Her work with youth has received national awards, while her regular newspaper column has raised awareness locally of the importance of healthy sexuality throughout the lifespan.

Cathie Penny started working at the CBCSH in 1987. Since then, she has been involved in launching the Ally Centre of Cape Breton, the Sharp Advice Needle Exchange, the Sydney region's local Community Health Board and earliest Youth Health Centres. She has also been a longtime active supporter of the Elizabeth Fry Society, which serves women who are involved in the criminal justice system.

This is the first year that more than one Sexcellence Award has been given out. A list of past recipients is available here.