Brian Dokis – Chief Executive Officer
Brian is a member of Dokis First Nation and has been the Executive Director at SOAHAC since October, 2000. Prior to this, he was the Executive Director at Shkagamik-Kwe Health Centre in Sudbury. Throughout this time he has demonstrated his commitment to the provision of effective health care in general and more specifically the provision of the effective health care that is culturally appropriate and acceptable to First Nations people. Brian has also been active in the areas of First Nations health research.
Shannon Marchand – Chief Financial Officer
Shannon has been with SOAHAC since March 2003. She brings with her 20+ years of experience working for non-profit organizations. As part of the leadership team, Shannon has taken part in SOAHAC’s growth and development. Shannon is proud to be part of SOAHAC’s team while balancing a personal life as a wife and mother of 2 children.
Miranda Campbell, RN, NP-PHC – Director of Clinical Services
Miranda is a member of the Oneida Nation of the Thames and has been with SOAHAC since June, 2007. She began her employment with us as a nursing student job placement during the first year of undergrad. She graduated from Western University with her BScN in 2010. Miranda has evolved through several positions while employed – clinical assistant, EMR Health Lead, Registered Nurse, Nurse Practitioner serving on-reserve clients receiving SASH services, Clinical Integrated Care Lead, and Director of Clinical Services.
Etta Beeswax – Executive Assistant (Management Team)
Etta is a member of Oneida Nation of the Thames, Bear Clan. She has been with SOAHAC since 2011, starting out on placement as a recent graduate looking for experience. She has started out as a Medical Administrator and is now Executive Assistant. She is proud to be apart of SOAHAC’s leadership team while balancing her personal life as a student, wife and mother of 5 children.
Marianne Hebb – Executive Coordinator (Leadership)
Lin Yuan-Su, MScFN, RD – Health Promotion and Integration Manager
Lin became the Health Promotion and Integration Manager upon her return from maternity leave. Prior to this, she was the Integrated Care Manager at SOAHAC-Chippewas of the Thames for over a year. In the past, Lin was also a dietitian working with the Nutrition and Healthy Lifestyles and Diabetes Education teams. She completed her Masters in Foods and Nutrition at Western University in 2010. Lin is originally from China and has lived in Canada since 2002, and London since 2003. She loved the dietitian profession and is proud to have become a Registered Dietitian in Canada. Her passion for food is another reason she chose this profession. Lin also has a strong interest in fitness and teaches group exercise classes on the side as part of her own healthy lifestyle. In her exciting new role, Lin is exited to work with staff across SOAHAC to ensure that health promotion is integrated into all of our services. Lin currently lives in North London with her husband Hai, a Traditional Chinese Medicine Doctor, their baby boy Alex Zi Jie, and their two miniature schnauzers.
Anna-Marie Evans – Human Resources Manager
Anna-Marie joined SOAHAC in August 2015 as the Human Resources Manager. Prior to this role, she worked with Ontario Lottery and Gaming for over 16 years in Operations and Human Resources (HR). She has also spent 5 years in the Naval Reserves as a Naval Officer. Anna-Marie returned to school to complete Human Resources Management and received her Certified Human Resources Leader designation. She brings over 20 years of management experience in various capacities.
Anna-Marie devotes much of her spare time within the community and is thankful to be a part of SOAHAC.
Catharine Campbell – Data Management Coordinator
Catharine Campbell joined the SOAHAC team in 2014 to work with the staff on our Electronic Medical Record – Nightingale on Demand. Catharine brings 20+ years of experience in the design, development and application of computer-based information systems with particular emphasis in health care. Catharine specializes in supporting staff through all phases of the implementation, workflow and optimization of the EMR to support the delivery of care to our communities. Over the last 10 years Catharine has spent time in London working with all levels of health care – the larger hospitals as well as the solo family practitioners as they adopt EMRs. Catharine brings her broader health care sector experience uniquely positioning her to understand the challenges and concerns of our staff and clients having worked with the various partners and funding bodies; eHealth Ontario, South West LHIN and OntarioMD as well as the regional hospitals in Southwestern Ontario.
Arlene McIntyre – Bookkeeper
Arlene is a member of the Oneida of the Thames First Nation. She began working at SOAHAC in 2009 through a work placement. After its completion in 2010, she was brought on under contract to work as bookkeeper and administrative assistant. Now she is the fulltime bookkeeper for SOAHAC. Over the years, Arlene has worked with several Native organizations in London, including N’Amerind Friendship Centre, AIAI, and At^Lohsa.
Cassandra Harris – Communications Coordinator
Cassandra is a settler of mixed European ancestry, and was born and raised in Sarnia, Ontario. She moved to London in 2005 to complete her undergraduate studies, finishing with a BA(hon), majoring in Religious Studies and in English Language & Literature. She also has a post-graduate certificate in Corporate Communications and Public Relations from Fanshawe College, and has been working in non-profit and community health in the field of Communications since 2012. Cassandra has provided communications support to SOAHAC since 2013. She loves laughing, imagining, writing, dancing, and problem-solving. She is passionate about communication, about humanity’s relationship with Mother Earth, and about spiritual health and wellness.
CHIPPEWA SITE INTEGRATED CARE TEAM
Jan Martin – Integrated Care Manager
Jan is a proud member of the Aamjiwnaang First Nation (formally known as Chippewas of Sarnia), a community of about 2300 Chippewa (Ojibwe), 850 if whom live on reserve. Jan is a seasoned senior leader and has honed her skills as an innovator, top notch communicator and a positive motivator. She has spent her entire career advancing the health and wellbeing of First Nations people. Jan began her career with the Union of Ontario Indians, during which time she was a member of the UOI delegation London, England in the early 1980s that successfully advocated with British Parliament to not remove Aboriginal rights from the constitution. She has also worked with the Federal Government within the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs in various roles including Personnel Management, Financial Management, and Policy. Jan was the Executive Director of the Chiefs of Ontario, collaborating with 134 First Nations Chiefs across the province and assisting the Ontario Regional Chief and National Chief to advance First Nations’ priorities. She has also worked as Health Director for the Delaware First Nation. She believes that we must understand our history to continue to affect positive change.
Paula Cousins – Nurse Practitioner
Paula joined SOAHAC in December, 2011. She achieved her RN designation from Fanshawe College before working in both northern Manitoba and Ontario for over 10 years. In 1998, Paula achieved her Primary Health Care Nurse Practitioner certificate, then worked in a Community Health Centre in Southwestern Ontario until 2010. Paula currently works for Health Canada and offers clinics for SOAHAC clients on a part-time basis.
Kelly Doxtator – Medical Administrator
Farley Eagle Speaker – Resident Elder
Lainie Gardner, CYW – Tele-Mental Health Coordinator
Lainie is a member of Oneida Nation of the Thames. For the last 17 years she has been employed by the ministry. Her work experience is with youth justice, child and youth mental health and social services. For the last ten years Lainie has been a caseworker for the Ontario Disability support program and working as the Indigenous case worker over the last few years. She is the mother of two young children and is excited about her role at SOAHAC.
Nikki George, RD – Maternal Child Health Nutrition
Nikki is a Registered Dietitian who specializes in community nutrition. She is from Kettle and Stony Point First Nation. Nikki became a member of the College of Dietitians of Ontario after completion of an honours nutrition degree from Brescia College, Western University and successful completion of a dietetic internship with London Health Sciences Centre. Nikki came on board with SOAHAC in January, 1999 after work within both government and community sectors. Nikki has a passion for promoting health and family wellness to young Aboriginal families. She brings valuable knowledge and experience to her role as community dietitian with Maternal Child Health Nutrition Program. Nikki is currently working toward a Masters of Health Studies designation as she continues her employment with SOAHAC.
Laura Kime, BScN, NP-PHC – Nurse Practitioner
Laura graduated from the University of Western Ontario with a BSc in Nursing and Psychology and Physiology. As a student, she volunteered in Tanzania, Africa for a summer. Laura worked as an RN in cardiology for almost a year and the ICU for over 6 years. During her Nurse Practitioner training, she felt fortunate to have her first placement at the London SOAHAC site. Laura graduated from the University of Windsor in 2013 and started working as a Nurse Practitioner in Ilderton at a Family Health Team. Most recently, she co-created a Patients First initiative called the Complex Care Team.
Lisa Morgan, BScN, NP-PHC – Nurse Practitioner
Lisa grew up in Delaware, Ontario, just down the road from SOAHAC’s site in Chippewas of the Thames First Nation. She completed her undergraduate degree in nursing at McMaster University, and moved to Toronto shortly after graduating in 2012. Lisa’s first RN position was at Mount Sinai Hospital within a perinatal nursing internship, and shortly thereafter, accepted a full-time job in their NICU. In the fall of 2015, she decided to return to London to begin the Primary Health Care Nurse Practitioner program at Western. Throughout the program, she had placements within a variety of primary health care settings, and had the privilege of completing a placement at SOAHAC’s Chippewa site. Lisa is now a licensed nurse practitioner and is excited that she is beginning her career with SOAHAC.
Mandy Morrison, RD, CDE – Dietitian/Diabetes Educator
Mandy is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator. She has been working with Aboriginal people since 2007, through her previous position as Community Dietitian with Oneida Nation of the Thames. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Foods and Nutrition from Western University.
Pam Plain – Children’s Mental Health/Addictions Facilitator
Pam Plain, spirit name “White Cedar Bark Woman” comes from Aamjiwnaang First Nation. She is of the turtle and eagle clans, of Oneida and Ojibwe ancestry. Pam graduated from Wilfrid Laurier University with her Master’s of Social Work; Aboriginal Field of Study in 2013. She has been working in the social work field since 2006 in the areas of healing; child welfare, protection and prevention; and recently children/youth mental health and addictions. In her early years her main focus was on child development, as an Early Childhood Educator for 17 years.
Pam currently assists families and clients with mental health and addictions issues, utilizing a wholistic approach to healing and helping. Based on Indigenous world view and premise that our cultural ways of helping and knowing are at the core of an individual’s healing journey. Pam has had many opportunities to learn from elders and cultural teachers in many forms and utilizes these epistemologies in her field of practice.
Miriam Racine – Chiropodist
Miriam graduated from Chiropody in 1984 and set up a clinic at Victoria Hospital. In 1985, Miriam moved over to Parkwood Hospital and set up a Chiropody clinic there and worked at that clinic until 2000 when they closed the clinic due to funding. She has been in private practice since 2000 with a clinic in London.
Alisha Smith, RN (EC), NP-PHC, NP-Adult, MN, BScN, BHSc – Nurse Practitioner
Alisha joined the SOAHAC team in June, 2011. She received her BScN from Western University in 2005 and began working in Cardiology and Cardiovascular Surgery. She obtained her BHSc while working as a RN and returned to school in 2007 to pursue her goal of becoming a Nurse Practitioner. Alisha graduated with her Masters in Nursing and Nurse Practitioner Certificate in May 2010 from D’youville College in Buffalo NY. She enjoys working as an integral part of SOAHAC’s Primary Health Care Team and is looking forward to continuing to work with clients and their families.
Alex Timofte, RN, BScN – Diabetes Nurse Educator
Alex has a Bachelor of Nursing from the University of New Brunswick, and has spent much of his career working with patients, families, healthcare professionals, and pharmaceutical companies to address the multiple challenges of life with diabetes. He aims to bring compassion, education, and knowledge to all clients so that they can live active, healthy, and connected lives, bringing them happiness and well-being. Alex is especially invested in helping people with diabetes to manage their disease, and he is committed to promoting wholistic healthcare services, which respect and utilize both traditional Indigenous and western health practices. Alex immigrated to Canada in the late 1990’s. He experienced both the challenges and rewards that life can present for individuals who may face difficulties in accessing the services and resources that they require. Alex is proud to become a part of a healthcare organization that so values its clients, staff, and the larger community. He currently lives in Southwestern Ontario by Lake Erie where he enjoys the beauty of rural life in the company of his wife, two dogs, three cats, and three parrots.
Stephanie Trudeau – Traditional Healing Liaison
Stephanie is a member of M’Chigeeng First Nation (formerly West Bay), Manitoulin Island, Ontario and member of the Wolf clan. She joined the staff at SOAHAC in April 2007 as a Receptionist, before she took on the role of Shkaabewis Kwe (Helper) to the Traditional Healers. Throughout her time here, Stephanie has learned a lot about utilization and implementation of health care practices for the Anishinabek people of the Southwestern Ontario First Nations. Health care is a field that has always interested her, and helping the Anishinabek People is what she takes pride in.
Mike Vreugdenhil, MD – Physician
Dr. Vreugdenhil started with SOAHAC in 2003. He achieved his Medical Degree at McMaster University and is a member and Fellow of the Canadian College of Family Physicians.
LONDON INTEGRATED CARE TEAM
Bonnie Doxtator – Integrated Care Manager
Bonnie is a member of the Oneida of the Thames, Turtle Clan, and her family roots are from Aamjiwnaang First Nation. She joined the SOAHAC team in December 2008 as an Aboriginal Patient Navigator with the Supporting Aboriginal Seniors at Home (SASH) Program. Bonnie has been working within the First Nation Community, both on and off reserve, since 1992 as a front line health care worker. She brings with her a wealth of knowledge and experience.
Danielle Alcock MA – Seniors’ Health Advocate
Danielle is Anishanaabe kwe and is a member of the Chippewas of Rama First Nation. She completed her MA in socio-cultural anthropology at Western University in 2014 focused on First Nations families navigating the health care system. She has an Honours BA in Anthropology and History from York University completed in 2011. She brings 5 years of experience working in community organizations in Southwestern Ontario and experience in public health working on projects focused on cultural safety and Indigenous health issues in Canada.
Joe Antone MSW, BSW, RSW – Clinical Addictions Counselor
Joe is from the Oneida Nation of the Thames. He is a registered social worker and holds a Bachelor and Master’s degree in Social Work. Joe has several years of direct addictions practice and writes academically in the field of addictions. Other areas of expertise include youth leadership, community development, and research. Joe is also passionate about facilitating connections between Indigenous and non-Indigenous service organizations in the hope of building a well-connected and highly diverse community of care for the people he works with.
Pamela Bridgen, RN(EC), NP-PHC, MN – Nurse Practitioner
Pamela joined the SOAHAC team in September, 2009. She achieved her BScN at Western University, and afterward began working in general surgery at University Hospital in London, Ontario. In 2008, Pamela decided to return to school to pursue her goal of becoming a Nurse Practitioner. She received her Primary Health Care Nurse Practitioner certificate from the University of Windsor in August, 2009 and her Master’s in Nursing from the University of Windsor in April, 2010. Pamela enjoys working on the Primary Health Care team and looks forward to continuing to work with clients as they pursue their personal health goals.
Nancy Buchanan – Family Social Worker
Nancy Buchanan is a member of M’Chigeeng First Nation. She holds a BA (Hons) from University of Western Ontario, BSW from Dalhousie University, and a MSW from University of Western Ontario. Nancy has worked with a wide range of clients including 3 years with youth at Nimkee NupiGawagan Healing Centre, 2 years with St. Joseph’s Hospital in both the Forensic outreach program and the Veteran’s Care program. Most recently, Nancy has been working with Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA) clients as an outreach/community social worker. Nancy has two huskies which she loves dearly and enjoys horseback riding in her spare time.
Sue Cheechoo – Medical Administrator
Sue is a Cree woman, originally from the little Island of Moose Factory in the James Bay area. She joined the SOAHAC staff as Clinical Support Worker in April, 2004 and thoroughly enjoys working with the staff and clientele of this area. There have been many changes made at SOAHAC over her years with the organization, making it great learning experience. Sue particularly loves the southern weather and enjoys spending her time off with her sweet grandchildren.
Chanda Doxtator – Traditional Healing Liaison
Chanda’s Ukwehuwe name is Kahnekiyostha, meaning to Purify Water. She is Bear Clan, from Oneida Nation of the Thames and a mother of two handsome boys. For the past few years, Chanda has been learning in a Traditional Medicine Practitioner program and doing some work in the Chippewa, Munsee and Oneida area. She has been working with medicines and mentors, learning what she can to help with wholistic healing.
Ramona Lee Dunn, RN, BScN (Hons) – Diabetes Nurse Educator
Ramona’s spirit name “Yellow Hawk Woman” is a member of the Beaver Lake Cree Nation. She is Wolf Clan. Ramona graduated from Seneca College School of Nursing a number of years ago. After working for many years as an RN in various roles, she returned to school at Ryerson University and obtained her BScN with Honors in 2004. Her specialty is Diabetes Education and she was instrumental in starting a diabetes education program at a previous Aboriginal place of employment. Ramona is a proud mother and Kookum. She considers it an honour and a privilege to be working within her community again.
Eileen Hagar, MA – Mental Health Counsellor
Eileen is a member of Batchewana First Nation. She has been part of the SOAHAC team since November, 2009. She has a Master of Arts Degree (Psychology). Eileen has been working within the First Nation Community, both on and off reserve for over 20 years, providing front line counseling and clinical support. She looks forward to contributing her sharing, as well as continuing her learning at SOAHAC.
Trista Hill – Aboriginal Midwife
Trista is a graduate of the Aboriginal Midwifery Training Program at Tsi Non:we Ionnakeratstha Ona:grahsta (Six Nations Birthing Centre). She is Wolf Clan from the Mohawk Nation, and was born and raised on the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory. Trista has 2 wonderful children. She looks forward to working; bringing birth back to our own territory, in the comfort of your own home. She is deeply grateful to the strong, beautiful and empowering Aboriginal Midwives who have already started to pave the road ahead of the newer Aboriginal Midwives.
Brennan Ireland – Addictions Counsellor
Brennan is Bear Clan from the Oneida Nation. He has been working in the Addictions/Wellness Field both on and off reserve for several years. Through training from the White Bison Inc, Brennan facilitates wholistic wellness circles and workshops that provide Indigenous teachings for wellness and recovery. He is an Indigenous Certified Addictions Specialist, and recently achieved the position of Canadian Certified Addictions Counsellor.
Joanne Jackson – Traditional Healing Manager
Joanne Jackson is Eagle Clan from the Kettle & Stony Point First Nation. Joanne has sat with various elders and healers for over twenty-five years where she obtained her valuable Indigenous Knowledge. She had helped, observed and gained hands-on experience through the healing approaches and guidance of elders and healers that inform her practice today. Joanne has been entrusted to conduct Traditional Doctoring, various healing ceremonies such as sweatlodges, and she provides cultural teachings to guide people on their own journey. Joanne knows that her own life-long journey toward healing and wellness are not yet over. What she learns along the way she brings home to share with her Nation. In addition, Joanne has a very good knowledge of alternative methods of moving toward healing and wellness that she might incorporate into her practice. Joanne has also obtained a Master’s Degree in Social Work. She integrates all of these modalities with her personal gifts to create a wholistic approach to healing. Joanne respects individual diversity and adjusts her healing style to meet these personal needs. She has worked in many First Nations and Native organizations over the past 20 years.
Peggy Martin, MSW – Family Social Worker
Peggy is from the Cree nation of James Bay. She graduated from Lake Superior State University with a Bachelor’s in Human Services, then graduated from Wilfrid Laurier University with a Master’s in Social Work. She has three adult children and has grandchildren; two girls and five boys. Peggy has years of experience working in a treatment setting. She was a Program Coordinator at Sagashawao Healing lodge for Adults; Nimkee NupiGawagan Healing Lodge, working with Youth with addictions and I also worked at Southwest Regional Healing Lodge with Families. In her personal time, Peggy loves to garden, sew, go to pow-wows, fish, travel and spend time with family.
Phil McCabe, MD – Physician
Dr. McCabe achieved his Medical Degree at the University of Ottawa, his Certificate College of Family Practice at McMaster University, and his Masters of Applied Science Occupational Health and Epidemiology at McGill University. He is a Fellow on the Canadian Board of Occupational Medicine.
Chris McDonald, NP – Nurse Practitioner
Chris has worked with SOAHAC since November, 2011. She is a Nurse Practitioner and Facilitator for the SASH program at the London site. Her area of focus is Aboriginal Seniors aged 55+.
Jacqueline Morrissey, M. Ed, OATR, CCC, RP – Mental Health Counsellor
Jacqui has been part of the SOAHAC team since 2003. She has a Master’s in Education (Counselling), certification in the Canadian Counselling Association and a Registered Art Therapist, and Registered as a Psychotherapist in the new College of Ontario Psychotherapists and Mental Health Therapists. Her professional development and training has focused in the areas of grief, trauma, depression, stress and anxiety management. Jacqui has been working with Aboriginal people both urban and rural settings since 1996 and has become an advocate for improving Aboriginal health and wellness. In addition to some front line clinical work, she is also involved in collaborating with other Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal community agencies to improve services and resources for the Indigenous people we serve.
Melodie Smith — Aboriginal Midwife
Melodie is a member of the Cayuga Nation Wolf Clan of the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory. She began her journey with Aboriginal Midwifery in 1996 as one of the first clients of the Six Nations Maternal and Child Centre, having both a Registered Midwife and Aboriginal Midwifery students assist in the delivery of her first son at home. She began the Aboriginal Midwifery Training Program in 2009 at Tsi Non:we Ionnakeratstha Ona:grahsta following 3 successful home births of her own children. Melodie graduated with Honours in 2013 and has practiced as an Aboriginal Midwife at Tsi Non:we Ionnakeratstha Ona:grahsta’ since that time. Her vision is “an Aboriginal Midwife in every Aboriginal community”.
Madeleine Stoney, RN — Registered Nurse (Palliative Care Team)
Madeleine Stoney is a Registered Nurse and a member of Wasaho Cree Nation. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2014 at Western University. Madeleine is currently taking online graduate studies with the Michener Institute of Education with UHN. She has experience working with Indigenous communities in Ontario and is committed to improving Indigenous health through advocacy and reducing health disparities.
Katrina Thibert, RN(EC), NP-PHC, MN – Nurse Practitioner (Palliative Care Team)
Katrina graduated from Western University in 2008 with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and began working as a Registered Nurse in various areas including general surgery, cardiac and intensive care. After the birth of her daughter, she decided to pursue further nursing education and completed a Masters of Nursing Primary Health Care Nurse Practitioner degree from Western University in 2016. During her schooling she had the opportunity to complete two clinical rotations with SOAHAC at both the London and Chippewas of the Thames sites. She thoroughly enjoys working with the clients and delivering wholistic care to help them achieve and maintain well-being.
Tiffany Zub – Medical Administrative Assistant
Tiffany is from Northwestern Ontario and a Member of Couchiching First Nation, Lynx Clan. She has a Medical Administrative Assistant Diploma, a Native Child and Family Community Worker Diploma, and a Native Counsellor Certificate, and has almost 25 years of experience working in the human services field. Her work has included support work for persons with disabilities, advocacy, developmental services, Aboriginal child protection, patient bed allocation and administrative support. Tiffany is passionate about health, wellness in all aspects, and in helping others. She loves to learn, meet new people and be a part of a team.
Jocelyn Zurbrigg RD, CDE – Dietitian
Jocelyn joined the SOAHAC team in 2007 and has taken on a role with the Diabetes Education team. She has a Bachelor of Applied Science Degree in Nutrition from the University of Guelph. Since completing the Northern Internship with a First Nation Focus in 2005, she has worked in several settings including community health, long term care and home care. Her professional development and personal interest is in diabetes education, which led her to become certified as a Diabetes Educator.
Kiona Greene – Aboriginal Patient Navigator
Laura Mennen – Registered Practical Nurse
Rachele (Sissy) Miller – Medical Administrative Assistant
Alex Poulette – Maintenance
Tisha Summers – Child and Youth Worker
Sandra Walker – FASD Educator
Mary-Ann Wisenberg – Nurse Practitioner
OWEN SOUND INTEGRATED CARE TEAM
Lisa George – Integrated Care Manager
Lisa is a member of the Saugeen First Nation and, before being hired as the Owen Sound Site Operations Manager, worked as a Seniors Health Advocate with the Supporting Aboriginal Seniors at Home program. She is a graduate of Brock University and recently achieved her Masters of Education (Counselling) from the University of Victoria. Lisa brings over 20 years experience working with Aboriginal families and community to SOAHAC and has been with us since October, 2011.
Karen Garvin, BScN, RN, CDE – Primary Care Nurse
Karen grew up in rural Alberta and completed her BScN at the University of Alberta in 1995. Nursing has provided her with diverse experiences from acute care to home care, and has taken her to England, the Northwest Territories, and the Rocky Mountains of Alberta. Since settling on the Bruce Peninsula over 10 years ago, Karen has worked in both hospital and primary care settings. She has a passion for helping people to optimize their own healthy lifestyle while preventing and managing chronic diseases, and has specialized experience as a Certified Diabetes Educator. Karen loves exploring wild places with her partner, Jeff, and daughter, Aven.
Charmaine Jenner – Traditional Healing Liaison
Charmaine is from Neyaashiinigmiing First Nation, formerly known as Cape Croker. She is Ojibway and Oneida, and her clans are the Otter and Turtle. Charmaine was raised by her grandparents in Neyaashiinigmiing First Nation, brought up knowing her Anishnaabe way of life which included ceremonies, and culture being integrated in her everyday life. For the past five years, Charmaine has been working the Kina Waa Noojmojig Nanaweing Wellness Centre in Neyaashiinigmiing First Nation. Her role was frontline worker, including administrative duties and community support, advocacy and triage to the Wellness Team, as well as, other resources. She has enjoyed getting to know her community through regular programming, and ceremonial events such as Sweats, Ceremonies, and Cultural Workshops. Charmaine acknowledges that Healing is about taking care of our physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being.
Lynda Quesnel, BN, RN(EC), MScN, NP-PHC – Nurse Practitioner
Lynda joined the SOAHAC team in August, 2013. She became a Registered Nurse in 1994 and began working on various units in the hospital. In 2000, Lynda accepted an opportunity to work Mbale, Uganda helping to start a new Pediatric Surgical Hospital by supervising and mentoring the nursing staff. In 2002, Lynda returned to Canada and started working in isolated First Nations communities in Northern Ontario with Health Canada. She completed her Nurse Practitioner certification at McMaster University in 2009. Since that time she has continued to work in Northern Ontario and at a Family Health Team as a Nurse Practitioner. She has also worked hard to achieve her Masters degree in the Science of Nursing (MScN) all while working full time and caring for her busy family. Lynda is an integral member of the SOAHAC team as the Nurse Practitioner in Owen Sound.
Shannon Paul – Medical Administrative Assistant
Dominique-Michelle Legacy, OT Reg. (Ont.) – Transitional Case Manager
Dominique-Michelle Legacy is a member of the Elsipogtog First Nation from New-Brunswick. She has been part of the SOAHAC team since September, 2013. She holds a Master in Health Science (Occupational therapy) from University of Ottawa and a Bachelor in Psychology from University of Moncton. Dominique is looking forward to continuing to work with clients as they pursue their physical, spiritual, emotional and mental goals towards a healthy and balanced lifestyle.
Kathy Lloyd – Therapist
Lara Longo – Transitional Case Manager
Natasha Lubimiv, MSW, BSW, HBA – Social Worker
Natasha is on a journey to fulfill her practice hours as a Play Therapist. Originally from Petawawa, Ontario, she has been living in Saugeen Shores for the past 4 years. During this time, she has had the pleasure to work within Saugeen First Nation as the Aboriginal Healthy Babies Healthy Children Coordinator and was involved with various Band initiatives such as the Light Up Your Nation Run, where she presently sits as a committee member. In partnership with a dear friend, Natasha operates a small private counselling practice in Southampton called Sacred Tree Services for Children and Families offering specializations in play and attachment interventions. Natasha spends her time outdoors mountain biking, running, scuba diving, hiking or kiteboarding. Indoors, she loves to upholster and refinish furniture, sing, read and is a self-proclaimed musical theatre nerd.
Sarah Newton, BScN, MPH, NP-PHC – Nurse Practitioner
Sarah completed her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at McMaster University in 1998. She spent several years working as a Registered Nurse in Acute Paediatrics in Toronto and in Oxford, England. During this time, she obtained her Masters of Science in Public Health (2004). In 2005, Sarah travelled for an extended period of time prior to returning to Canada and had the opportunity to work and volunteer as a Nurse in Switzerland, Nepal and New Zealand. On returning to Canada in 2006, Sarah began working as a Public Health Nurse and completed the Primary Care NP Program in 2011. Since that time, she has worked at a rural Community Health Centre. In addition to providing care to clients of all ages, her practice has focused on Adolescent Health, Mental Health, Addictions and Harm Reduction Programs.
Julia Peart, NP-PHC — Nurse Practitioner
Julia Peart enjoys working with communities and the people within them. Her primary experience in Nursing has been working with diverse groups of populations, from those who access private health care services to those who cannot access basic necessities such as, running water. Enjoying diversity and being busy, she pieces together several clinical positions to fill her week. Julia owns a company called ‘See the NP’ wherein she works to provide dermatology services to the Grey/Bruce county area. She also holds a position with the Ministry of Health as a Coordinator for the Medical Assistance in Dying program (MAID CCS). On Monday mornings, you will find Julia running a volunteer walk-in clinic at the Meaford foodbank. When she is not at work, Julia enjoys spending time with her husband and two children and attempts to get outdoors as often as possible. Her interests include hiking, music and learning about traditional medicines.
Roberta Scharuda – Child & Youth Worker
Roberta is a member of the Upper Nicola First Nation, located in the Okanagan Territory of British Columbia. Roberta has worked within the Indigenous community for over 14 years, both in Ontario and BC. She has extensive experience working with families and assisting them on their healing journey. She has acquired knowledge and experience working with such organizations as The Barrie Area Advisory Circle, Enaahtig Healing Lodge, White Buffalo Aboriginal and Métis Health Centre, Cknucwentn First Nations Court in Kamploops, BC and the Simcoe Muskoka Family Connexions FNMI unit. Roberta is the proud mother of 2 children.
Marnie Speck, NCW, BA – Aboriginal Patient Navigator
Boozhoo, hello. Anung Waagush Kwe nDizhinikaz, The Blue Mountains nDoonjeba, Wikwemikong nDoonjii, Baakting megwa ndeda, Jiijaak dodem. Marnie Speck was born and raised in Sault Ste. Marie, ON. She is a band member with Wikwemikong Unceded First Nation located on beautiful Manitoulin Island. Her Anishinaabe name is Anung Wagush kwe, which means Star-fox woman, and is a member of the Crane clan. Marnie holds a diploma in the Native Community Worker program from Sault College of Applied Arts and Technology and a Bachelor of Arts from Laurentian University. During her time being a student she was extremely involved in student government and has worked in various aspects of Aboriginal education and health for the last eleven years. She is currently the Aboriginal Patient Navigator at the Southwest Ontario Aboriginal Health Access Centre. In this capacity, Marnie provides improved access to primary care and chronic disease management to seniors aged 55 and older. Her main goal is to provide culturally safe care for Aboriginal seniors and to link clients with the health and community supports required to live safely in their homes. Marnie currently resides in The Town of The Blue Mountains with her husband, Troy and their ten year old daughter Ada.
Renée Young, RD – Community Dietitian
Renée is a graduate of McGill University in Montreal. She has been working in the NGO sector, coordinating territorial research in the Yukon for the last year. She has also completed a certificate of Food security at Ryerson University. The wholistic approach to health care that SOAHAC prioritizes is something that Renee has always been passionate about, and which she incorporates into her practice.
WINDSOR INTEGRATED CARE TEAM
Sylvie Guenther — Integrated Care Manager, Windsor & Delaware First Nation sites
Sylvie has lived and worked in Northern Ontario (Timmins), throughout her career, making a big life change by with her recent move to Windsor. After graduating with a BSW from Laurentian University, she began work in Cochrane with troubled youth at Mee-Quam Youth Residence. After this, she spent about 5 years as a counselor with the Canadian Mental Health Association, before moving into health promotion and system planning work for 13 years with the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. Most recently, she was able to experience planning and funding through the lens of the North East Local Health Integration Network (LHIN). Sylvie is passionate about the field and study of Leadership, and completed her Masters in Leadership a year ago.
Sylvie has two beautiful daughters who are both pursuing their post-secondary education. In Windsor, she is now closer to her parents. She is excited to have joined the SOAHAC team and is looking forward to sharing knowledge and learning from everyone on this next part of her journey.
Shelley Price, MScN, NP-PHC – Nurse Practitioner
Shelley was born and raised in Windsor, Ontario. She was influenced to become a nurse from her grandfather and uncle who were both firefighters, and taught her the value of helping and healing others. After 20 years of experience as a Registered Nurse (RN), during which she also completed her baccalaureate degree, Shelley returned to school for her Masters in Nursing and became a Nurse Practitioner in 2013. Shelley has worked in the United States in an acute care hospital focusing on pediatrics and oncology. She has also worked at the South West Detention Centre, focusing in the areas of women’s health and mental health and addictions, and has experience working at a rural nursing station
Karen Ranisavljevic – Data clean-up/Administrative Assistant
Karen came to SOAHAC as a temporary worker in the summer of 2017. She worked as an RN for 23 years and most recently as an entrepreneur in family businesses. As a Registered Nurse, Karen worked in numerous roles in Ontario and in Michigan. She held a Certificate in Cardiac Care Nursing and Levels 1,2 & 3 of Hospital Trained Courses. Some of the areas she practiced in aside from Cardiac Care were, NICU, Renal, Medical/Surgical, ER Observation, Short Stay, Day Surgery, & Community Nursing specializing in Palliative Care & Wound Care. In 2008, she chose to leave her nursing career to pursue business and management opportunities. She became an Office Manager and was responsible for finances; procurement of materials and office supplies, showroom displays, human resources; in-house sales; marketing (print materials and radio promotions); scheduling for the sales team and installation crews; & organization of Home Shows for the business. Karen is very excited and thrilled to be part of the SOAHAC family and feels that working in such a caring, focused environment that provides continual learning……is exactly where she belongs. Karen’s family is celebrating a big year in 2018: she will be married to Gord (Goran) for 25 years in April. They have a 24 yr. old daughter completing the Graphic Design course at the St. Clair College Centre for the Arts. She lives in LaSalle, loves animals and has a fuzzy, grey feline named Thor.
Melissa Thomas, MSW – Outreach Social Worker for Children and Youth
Melissa is a Métis ∞ woman who was born and raised in Windsor. She is a mother, and a daughter, sister, granddaughter, niece and auntie. Melissa is a Social Work and Women’s Studies graduate from the University of Windsor. She graduated in 2013 and began working in Detroit, Michigan as an addictions counselor at a residential treatment centre. Since 2013, Melissa worked at Can Am Indian Friendship Centre in Windsor as the Aboriginal Alcohol and Drug Worker, gaining knowledge and experience in both traditional and western practices. She has an immense amount of experience working with individuals and families in various areas of mental health and addiction, a strong passion for working with individuals and families, and for being a strong advocate in the community.
Stephanie Williams – Medical Administrative Assistant
Stephanie is Ojibway kwe from Bkejwanong Territory. She was born and raised on reserve (Walpole Island First Nation), where she has lived all her life. Stephanie is a daughter, grand-daughter, sister, auntie, cousin and most importantly mother of two beautiful children. She brings a great deal of experience through her professional career and life experiences. She worked as an Administrative Assistant for eight years at Three Fires Ezhignowenmindwaa Women’s Shelter on Walpole Island and has experience working with Chatham-Kent Community Health Centre as a Medical Receptionist. Most recently, she worked at Sarnia Lambton Children’s Aid Society within the Administration Department. Stephanie enjoys working with people and loves being a helper. She believes in wholistic and traditional healing, along with promoting healthy balanced daily living.
DELAWARE FIRST NATION INTEGRATED CARE TEAM
Sylvie Guenther – Integrated Care Manager (see Windsor for bio)
Sabrina Puente – Mental Health & Addictions Counsellor
Sabrina joined SOAHAC in March 2016 as a Mental Health and Addictions Counsellor. Prior to this role, she had over 10 years of experience working with individuals and families in different capacities, most notably as an Elementary Teacher and foster parent in a remote Inuit community; as a clinical intern and subsequently a Child and Youth Counselor (Relief) at a residential mental health facility for youth; and most recently as a Family Service Worker with Brant FACS – Native Service Branch. After 2 years in that role she realized that her heart still truly lied in the field of mental health and addictions services.
Sabrina grew up in Nova Scotia where she completed her Bachelor of Arts (2006) and Bachelor of Education (2008) degrees at Acadia University. She later went on to complete her Master of Social Work (2013) at Wilfrid Laurier University. Throughout her personal, academic, and professional experiences, Sabrina has remained passionate about working alongside Indigenous individuals and families.
ONTARIO INDIGENOUS CULTURAL SAFETY (ICS) PROGRAM
Diane Smylie – Provincial Director
Diane is Métis with early roots in settlements in Manitoba and later in Alberta. Her Mother and Grandmother spent most of their lives in Saskatchewan and her father was born and raised in northern Ontario. She has lived in Ontario for most of her life except for the last 6 years when she enjoyed living on Coast Salish Territory in Vancouver, B.C.. She worked in community-based substance use services as a clinician/counsellor and a manager for many years before becoming more involved in program evaluation, program development, system planning, community engagement and knowledge exchange initiatives. She has educational backgrounds in both nursing and social work. More recently, she has been working as a Substance Use Knowledge Exchange Leader with the Provincial Health Services Authority in B.C. on initiatives to strengthen trauma-informed practice, Indigenous cultural safety and compassion; inclusion and engagement. Diane brings her personal commitment to improving health equity to all of her work and is looking forward to focusing her work on improving cultural safety for Indigenous people across health and social service systems in Ontario. She will soon be living in Toronto with her partner Rob and son, Andreas.
Jessa Bear, BA, BEd, Cert., MEd – ICS Online Facilitator
Jessa is an Anishnabe kwe who has been with SOAHAC since February, 2014. She has earned her Bachelor of Sociology and minor in Psychology in 2009 and Bachelor of Education in 2011, both from the University of Windsor. She continued towards a Certificate of Autism and Behavioural Science from St. Clair College in 2010 and a Masters in Education from Lakehead University in 2014. Her background working with learners from infant to elder, as well as those with different abilities, has prepared her to support all her participants. As an ICS facilitator, she facilitates and supports participants as they explore the impacts of colonization, reflect on their own stereotypes or assumptions and discuss the health disparities that Indigenous people may face.
Leila Monib – Provincial Practice Lead
Leila is a settler-Canadian of diverse ancestry (African, Middle Eastern and European) who was born, lives and works on the traditional territory of the Huron-Wendat, the Anishnaabeg, Haudenosaunee, Métis, and the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation (Toronto Purchase, 2010), within the territory of the “Dish With One Spoon” Treaty. Leila is a Provincial Practice Lead with the Ontario Indigenous Cultural Safety Program and is currently on a Leave of Absence from Toronto Public Health’s Access and Equity Team where she worked with the Toronto Indigenous Health Advisory Circle to develop and implement Toronto’s first Indigenous Health Strategy. She has also worked as the Youth Program Manager at the Rexdale Community Health Centre. Leila has a Master’s degree in International Development from the University of kwaZulu Natal in South Africa and attended McMaster University where she completed an Honours BA in Political Science/Women’s Studies with a minor in Human Rights and International Justice. Leila is passionate about exploring the roles/responsibilities of Settler Canadians in examining implicit bias and colonial narratives while honouring treaties and international law to improve health outcomes for diverse Indigenous communities.
Michèle Parent – Manager, Research, Evaluation and Monitoring
Michèle is originally from the Outaouais region in Québec. After working throughout Canada, she chose to settle on the French River in Northern Ontario by the Dokis First Nation. For many years she has been teaching in universities and colleges across the country. Since 2013, under the umbrella of her independent practice she has been providing research and education services to universities, colleges, health professions’ associations, and government across the country and beyond. She is a mentor to health professional students across the country and advisor to researchers and policy-makers on Indigenous health, community engagement, education, policy development, and research conduct with Indigenous People. She is Adjunct Professor at Laurentian University, which is on the traditional territory of the Atikameksheng Anishnaabeg. Over the past twenty years, her work in outposts, research, education and program evaluation has focussed on tuberculosis management, Indigenous health, consensus building, and creating ideal post-secondary education for Indigenous Peoples. She is bilingual (French and English) and her roots in the Algonquin culture and family influence her practice on a day-to-day basis. She is a registered nurse and she has completed Master’s and PhD education.
Jocelyn Raikes – Registration and Data Coordinator
Jocelyn was born and raised in London, Ontario. She attended the University of Western Ontario and completed a double major in Sociology and Criminology in 2009. In 2014, Jocelyn moved to the United Kingdom and spent the following two years immersing herself in different cultures. While in the UK, Jocelyn became a Registrar in the hospitality industry. She has a passion for learning and is excited to extend this passion to others in her role with the Ontario ICS Program.
Randi Ray – Provincial Practice Lead
Randi is a thinker, leader, and achiever. A proud Anishinaabe Kwe from Flying Post First Nation, she grew up as the daughter of a First Nations Chief, gaining the perspective and wisdom required to not only serve one’s community but, at the same time, improve it – together. She is an emerging leader in the Indigenous community, a respected professional and an academic who believes in lifelong learning. Randi holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Promotion and a Master’s degree in Human Kinetics at Laurentian University. She is also pursuing a PhD in Education focusing on sustainable First Nations Leadership development from Nipissing University in North Bay, Ontario. Before accepting this role with the Ontario Cultural Safety Program, she worked to develop an Indigenous Cultural Safety lab with Health Sciences North Research Institute while also supporting Dr. Bourassa in her role as Scientific Director of the Institute for Indigenous Peoples Health. Randi developed reciprocal relationships as the Community outreach and Liaison Coordinator for Laurentian University. In this role, she was required to act as an expert lobbyist and advocate, developing strategies that engage an extensive network of Indigenous and non-Indigenous political leaders, institutions, and community organizations. As well, she was created space for Indigenous Knowledge translation at the University. Randi’s passion for Indigenous health outcomes flourished during her time at the Sudbury and District Health unit as a Health Promoter. There, she led the implementation and evaluation of public health programs, formative research, literature reviews, data collection and analysis. Randi is an active member of her community having had the opportunity to lead and contribute to community development via a multitude of board appointments, volunteerism, sport, drum circles and mentorship programming. Most importantly, she is truly grounded by her partner and step-daughter who are her inspiration each and every day.
SOAHAC BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Our Board of Directors includes representatives from Chippewas of the Thames First Nation, Oneida of the Thames First Nation, N’Amerind Friendship Centre, At^Lohsa Native Family Healing Services Inc., Kettle and Stony Point First Nation, the Canadian Métis Council and community members.
Leo Hopkins, President
Diane P Sullivan, Treasurer
Laurel Day, Secretary
Martha Albert, Elder
Olive Elm, Director
Diane George, Director