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Our Governors

The NOSM University transition Board of Governors was confirmed on April 5, 2022, comprised of 16 members who reflect the geographic and demographic diversity of Northeastern and Northwestern Ontario, including Indigenous, Francophone, and rural and remote communities. It is responsible for the corporate and fiscal governance of the University. Membership of the Board is drawn widely to achieve the balance of skills and expertise required to enable the Board to fulfill its governance responsibilities. A new Board of Governors will be announced on November 24, 2022 and will begin their terms January 1, 2023.

Dr. Sarita Verma, President and Vice Chancellor

As of July 1, 2019 Dr. Sarita Verma will take the position as Dean, President and CEO of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine. Former Vice President, Education at the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada and a Professor Emerita in the Department of Family and Community Medicine. Until January 2016, she was the Associate Vice-Provost, Relations with Health Care Institutions and Special Advisor to the Dean of Medicine at the University of Toronto. Formerly the Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Medicine (2008-2015) and Associate Vice-Provost, Health Professions Education (2010-2015), she is a family physician who originally trained as a lawyer at the University of Ottawa (1981) and later completed her medical degree at McMaster University (1991). She has been a Diplomat in Canada’s Foreign Service and worked with UNHCR in Sudan and Ethiopia for several years. Dr. Verma is the 2006 recipient of the Donald Richards Wilson Award in medical education from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada; the 2009 co-recipient of the May Cohen Gender Equity Award from the Association of Faculties of Medicine in Canada and the 2016 recipient of the Charles Mickle Fellowship from the University of Toronto for excellence in medical education. From 2009-2011, she was one of the lead consultants for the Future of Medical Education in Canada Postgraduate project. For six years she held the position of Governor at the University of Toronto, has been a board member of several teaching hospitals, the Michener Institute, Associated Medical Services and the Chair of the Canadian Residency Matching Service. From 2011 to 2015, she was the Co-lead for the Canadian Interprofessional Health Leadership Collaborative (CIHLC) at the Institute of Medicine’s Global Forum on Innovation in Health Professions Education and was a key member of the Association of Academic Health Centers International Steering Committee.

A world traveler and leader of national and international projects, Dr. Verma is a recognized scholar in the areas of leadership development, distributed and interprofessional education models, Indigenous health, physician wellness, health human resource and workforce planning, accreditation of health professions education programs, and a superb reviewer and problem-solver of challenging situations. She also excels in the design and establishment of foreign health and education systems, governance and organizational assessments, and in strategic planning and strategic implementation. Uniquely qualified, Dr. Verma brings her skill/strength as an expert in the accreditation of health sciences programs, the rigorous application of social accountability and curricular reform, her outstanding skills in conflict resolution and complex disciplinary issues, and her experience as a diplomat to the resolution of high-risk medical-legal issues and complex collective bargaining. For more from Dr. Verma, please see her blog titled Northern Routes.

Dr. Alexandre Anawati

Associate Professor NOSM University, Global Health Coordinator NOSM, Emergency Physician at Health Sciences North, Sudbury & Physician Collaborator with the Sudbury & Districts Nurse Practitioner Clinics, Inner-City Clinic
Term 2016-2021

Dr. Alex Anawati is originally from Sturgeon Falls, is Francophone, a NOSM alumni from the charter class and has lived, trained or worked in every province in Canada except Nunavut and Labrador. Currently working as a full-time ER physician at Health Sciences North and part-time with the Sudbury & Districts Nurse Practitioner Clinics helping to deliver care to people who experience homelessness in Sudbury. Dr. Anawati has been a member of a few national and international organizations that advocate for social accountability in medical education and medicine. Currently, he is a member of the College of Family Physicians of Canada’s Social Accountability Working Group and the Association of Medical Education of Europe’s ASPIRE for Excellence Social Accountability Panel.

Mme Danielle Bélanger-Corbin

Danielle Bélanger-CorbinJudicial Law Clerk to the Honourable B. Richard Bell – Federal Court
Term 2015-2022

Danielle Bélanger-Corbin is a decorated Canadian Forces Army Logistics Officer who retired in 2000 after a rewarding career where she played key leadership roles in the evolving business of logistics and supply within the department of National Defence in support of its military operations at home and abroad. A firm believer that one should never stop learning, Danielle obtained her Law degree (Juris Doctor) in 2022 and is now completing her clerkship at the Federal Court.

Previously, Danielle served six years (two terms) with the North East Local Health Integration Network (NELHIN) Board of Directors where she held the role of Chair of the Board as well as the positions of Vice Chair and Chair of the NE LHIN’s Audit and Governance Committees. From 2017 to 2019, Danielle was appointed to the Ontario Review Board – an independent tribunal that makes or reviews dispositions concerning any accused in respect of whom a verdict of not criminally responsible by reason of mental disorder or unfit to stand trial, is rendered.  In addition to the governance work that she does, she owns and operates a farm and private equestrian training facility in Temiskaming Shores.

Danielle is a fluently bilingual Francophone who is passionate about the North and making a difference in the lives of Northerners through community activism and philanthropy. She has helped found and serves on various boards of not-for-profit organizations in her community, such as the North on Tap/Le Nord en Fût Craft Beer Festival, FrancoCiné, the Festival des Folies Franco-Fun and the South Temiskaming Active Travel Organization.  Danielle has a long history of volunteerism, whether it be working with youth in the classroom, on soccer fields, in hockey arenas, on ski trails, helping those on low incomes complete their income tax forms, teaching ESL to refugees or serving as a Crisis Responder Team Lead with Temiskaming & District Victim Services.  She is happiest when exploring the world, with her husband and three adult children.

Mr. Craig Abotossaway

Executive Director, Mnaamodzawin Health Services, Mnidoo Mnising (Manitoulin Island)
Term 2020-2022

Craig has 25 plus years experience working directly on a variety of First Nations health initiatives.  Craig has a Masters of Social Work degree from Wilfred Laurier University, specializing in Indigenous Health Practice. As a former elected Chief of his First Nations community of Aundeck Omni Kaning, he brings extensive political knowledge of both the provincial and federal levels of government and health issues facing First Nations people, both regionally and nationally.

Currently, Craig is the Executive Director of Mnaamodzawin Health Services, which services five member First Nations communities on Mnidoo Mnising (Manitoulin Island).   Craig is a strong advocate of Indigenous approaches to Health practice, and ensuring they are highly promoted and expected by the staff of the agency, ensuring health services meet the unique needs of First Nations people.  Annually, Mnaamodzawin Health Services is an active partner with NOSM, taking  first year students for their CBM 106 placement.

Craig is passionate and always striving to bring about positive growth within First Nations Health services.  He has worked at a variety of levels of health, from the grass roots, management and up into the politics effecting the health of First Nations people. He brings experience as a valued member, sitting on a variety of Boards and Committees.

Craig is an active member of the Anishnabek community, as a public speaker promoting the rich culture and heritage of First Nations people and their contributions to the various levels of society.  He is the recipient of the 2010 Union of Ontario Indians Lifetime Achievement Awards – Scotia Bank Education Excellence Award.  Craig continues to share his knowledge, teaching college level First Nations Social Work courses and as a placement supervisor for Laurentian and Wilfred Laurier University social work students.

As a newly appointed member to the Board of Directors, Craig is looking forward to working with the other valued members and contributing to the success of the Northern Ontario School of medicine.

Ms. Lucy Bonanno

Chief Executive Officer, Geraldton District Hospital
Term 2016-2022

Lucy Bonanno is the Chief Executive Officer of the Geraldton District Hospital located in the North West LHIN. She is an accomplished healthcare executive with a 20+ year track record for improving patient care, service excellence, program development and outreach for hospitals, non-profits, and community healthcare organizations at local, provincial, and national levels.

She sits on the Board of Directors for the Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM), Lymphoma Canada, the Northern Policy Institute (NPI) and the Ontario Hospital Association, Small, Rural and Northern Leadership Council. She served four years as Chair of the West GTA Regional Stroke Steering Committee and sat on the President’s Community Advisory Council with Mackenzie Health (formerly York Central Hospital in Richmond Hill, Ontario) for four years.

Lucy currently writes a regular quarterly column for ‘Airwaves’, a magazine specific to the Respiratory Therapy Society of Ontario (RTSO) and is a peer reviewer for the ‘Healthcare Management Forum Journal’ of the Canadian College of Health Leaders.

Mme Juliette S. Denis

Retired Health Care Professional and Owner of a small Management Consulting and Translation Firm, Sudbury
Term 2019-2022

Born and raised in the small rural village of River Valley, Ontario, Juliette is the 5th oldest of a family of 16. She is a very proud daughter, sister, spouse, mother of two sons, Meumér of four grandchildren, and auntie to several nieces and nephews.

Juliette is a citizen of the Métis Nation of Ontario. She honours her mixed heritage and has played a leadership role in her Métis community as member of the Provisional Council of the Métis Nation of Ontario, Regional Councillor of MNO Region 5, Women’s Representative of the Sudbury Métis Council, and/or in her role as Métis Elder in residence at Sudbury Laurentian University and the McEwen School of Architecture.

A lifelong learner, Juliette is a graduate of the Sudbury Regional School of Nursing where she obtained her Registered Nurse diploma, as well as a graduate of Laurentian University where she obtained a Bachelor of Business Administration.

Juliette’s career in Health care spans over 35 years. She had the privilege of working in the institutional, community and public health sectors and in various positions such as Registered Nurse Nursing Supervisor/Coordinator, Director of Nursing, Executive Director, Community Development Officer, Coordinator of Communicable Diseases Program, Public Health Researcher, and Teacher at the community college level.

Juliette is a dedicated community volunteer, always striving to bring about positive changes. She is currently a member of the McEwen International Advisory Board and a member of the Ladies Auxiliaries of the Knights of Columbus Council 5005. Previous contributions include University of Sudbury Ad-hoc Language and Culture Committee, Cambrian College Board of Governors, Cambrian College Aboriginal Affairs Committee, Conseil d’éducation autochtone du Collège Boréal, Canadore College Nursing Advisory Committee, The Northeastern Ontario Regional Economic Development Pilot Project Implementation Committee, and Deputy-Reeve of the former municipality of Springer Township, among others.

Mr. Mark Hartman

Senior Vice President, Patient Experience and Digital Transformation, Sudbury
Term 2020-2022

Mark Hartman completed a Bachelor of Applied Science Degree in Radiation Therapy in Melbourne, Australia in 1989. Since arriving in Sudbury in 1992, he worked as a radiation therapist at the Northeastern Ontario Regional Cancer Centre before entering management positions in the Radiation Treatment Program and as Director of the $44M Cancer Centre capital expansion project.

In 2004, Mark became the Administrative Director of the Regional Cancer Program of the former Sudbury Regional Hospital. He completed a Masters in Business Administration through Athabasca University in 2009 and between 2010 and 2018 provided leadership as the Vice President of Cancer and Clinical Support Programs at Health Science North as well as the Regional Vice President of Cancer Care Ontario for the Northeast. During this time Mark led the development of two Regional Cancer Plans for the Northeast along with the development of the first Regional Aboriginal Cancer Plan for the region. In 2018 Mark was appointed to the role of Senior Vice President, Patient Experience and Digital Transformation at Health Sciences North.  This portfolio includes leadership of 2,298 FTE employees with a budget of $382 million and is comprised of all clinical programs, quality and patient safety and information technology. Mark has executive leadership for the HSN Strategic Plan 2019-2024 goal to become digitally enabled through implementation of a regional electronic medical record and secure patient portal

Mr. Mark Hurst, Vice Chair

Past President and CEO North Bay RHC, North Bay
Term 2015-2022

Mark began his post-secondary education at Glendon College, York University earning a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in History and a minor in French.  Following his initial foray into the hospital environment, working as a Human Resources recruitment officer for St. Joseph’s Hospital in Toronto, Mark decided to continue his education in this field at the University of Toronto, receiving a Post Graduate Diploma in Hospital Administration.

After continuing his exposure to health care management as Director of Human Resources at The Homewood Sanitarium in Guelph, Mark moved to North Bay in 1982 to accept a position as Assistant Executive Director at the North Bay Civic Hospital.  In 1990 Mark was promoted to the position of President & CEO of North Bay Civic.  In this role, Mark played a significant leadership role in the merger of North Bay Civic Hospital and St. Joseph’s General Hospital in 1995, and became President & CEO of the newly consolidated North Bay General Hospital at that time.

Plans for a new hospital facility had long been in the works for North Bay, and Mark was a key proponent in the eventual fulfillment of that dream with the opening of the North Bay Regional Health Centre on January 30, 2011. Shortly thereafter on April 1, a second voluntary corporate merger was finalized with the Northeast Mental Health Centre, the former North Bay Psychiatric Hospital.  This was a milestone achievement resulting in a fully amalgamated and integrated multidisciplinary health facility serving a large catchment area in northeastern Ontario.
From the inception of NOSM, Mark developed a strong working relationship with the medical school, as North Bay became a very popular placement location for NOSM learners.  Until his retirement in 2012, Mark was directly and actively involved in the onsite program.

Mark became involved initially with the Board of Directors at NOSM in 2015 when he joined the Governance Committee as a Non-Director member.  After enjoying his experiences in and around NOSM, he submitted his application for the 2016 year, welcoming the opportunity to participate at the governance level in helping to ensure continued positive outcomes.

Mrs. Nancy Jacko

Retired Health Care Professional
Term 2016-2022

Nancy Jacko retired from the North Bay Regional Health Centre in December 2014 where she was Vice President and Chief Nursing Executive.  On retirement, she managed a project with the North East LHIN implementing Quality Based Procedures across the region and also has done private consulting. Nancy has had a progressively varied career in health care spanning 43 years including two hospital corporate amalgamations and the planning and moving to a new hospital in 2011. She has led several initiatives to achieve operational and systemic efficiencies and processes for truly patient centered care.

Nancy is a graduate of St. Joseph School of Nursing (Hamilton) and the University of Windsor. She worked in Critical Care and Public Health at the beginning of her career in the Hamilton and the Toronto areas. Since 1980, Nancy has been employed in the hospital system in North Bay where she held various management roles.  Since 1997 until her retirement, Nancy had been a member of the senior administration team with responsibility for numerous clinical programs and participated in corporate planning and goal setting. She led the inaugural strategic planning process for the newly amalgamated North Bay Regional Health Centre and developed the first corporate score card for the organization.

Nancy has served on many hospital, local, LHIN and provincial Boards and committees such as a Family Health Team, the Ontario Hospital Association, and the Canadian Military.  She has presented at various district, regional, provincial, and international conferences on various topics related to health care.

In 2011, Nancy was honoured to receive the Influential Women of Northern Ontario Award for the Public Sector in recognition of her leadership in health care. In March 2020, she was awarded the Davedi Order of Merit for her contribution to healthcare in the community.

Nancy is an active member of the community involved in various volunteer activities. Currently, she is the Chair of the Board of the North Bay Parry Sound District Public Health Unit. She has been a member of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine Board since 2016 and also sits on the Governance Committee and chairs the Nominations Community Relations Sub-Committee.

Nancy resides in North Bay with her husband Bill.  She is a strong advocate for healthy lifestyles and fitness.

Ms Virginia May ‘Mae’ Katt

Primary Health Care Nurse Practitioner, Honorary LLD, Thunder Bay
Term 2020-2023

Mae is Ojibway from Temagami First Nation.  She is a Primary Health Care Nurse Practitioner and holds an Honours Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing, Master of Education (Curriculum Specialty) and an Honorary Doctorate of Laws degree from Trent University. 

Her diverse nursing career includes mental health and substance use, adolescent health, maternal and child health and community health. She has a strong health policy and research background in community development, youth suicide, early psychosis, cancer care, health human resources and acquired brain injury. 

In clinical practice she provides primary care in an Indigenous high school and mental health and substance use treatment in remote and rural First Nations.  She coordinated an opiate-agonist treatment program at a high school that successfully eliminated high opioid prevalence at the school. 

She was appointed by the Minister of Health to the Mental Health and Addictions Leadership Council responsible for the implementation of Ontario’s Phase 2 of the Mental Health and Addictions Strategy.  She has also worked as senior administrator responsible for First Nations health programs, both as Regional Director (Ontario) for Health Canada’s First Nations and Inuit Health, and as Health Director at Nishnawbe Aski Nation, representing 49 First Nations in northern Ontario.   

 As a researcher affiliated with the Centre for Rural and Northern Health Research for 30 years, she has taken the lead in developing appropriate knowledge transfer strategies for several projects done in partnership with First Nations.   

Mme Sue LeBeau

CEO West Nipissing General Hospital, Sturgeon Falls
Term 2020-2023

I am the CEO of the West Nipissing General Hospital, in beautiful Sturgeon Falls. I bring a variety of hospital, community, and education sector experience to this role. I have supported regional healthcare planners and home care as the director of Quality and Risk at the North East Local Health Integration Network. I have a dozen years of progressive leadership experience at the North Bay Regional Health Centre, including Director of Surgical, Critical Care, Diagnostic Imaging, Laboratory, Pharmacy, Quality, Professional Practice and Education. I also bring over 14 years of experience as a University and College course professor in Nursing, Nurse Practitioner, and healthcare leadership programs in Ontario and New Brunswick. I have enjoyed my work in various community settings,  including Public Health, Community Health Centre, Sexual Assault/Domestic Violence Treatment Centre, and independent practice as a nurse practitioner. I value volunteerism and have contributed as a Director on boards including that for an NP-led Clinic, Victim Crisis Services, a Francophone association, and the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario. I have also been a member of The Canadian College of Health Leaders national ethics committee and chapter executive. I am delighted to support NOSM University as it meets its social accountability mandate and works towards its vision of innovative education and research for our wonderful North!

Dr. Shemer Ratner

Nephrologist-Internist, Health Sciences North, Sudbury
Term 2020-2023
 

Shemer Ratner is a physician recruited to HSN to join the Nephrology Department in serving the Northeastern Ontario region.  

He brings his medical expertise with thirteen total years of post-secondary education that have taken him all over the world including to parts of Africa, Europe, Asia, the U.S. and South America. He attended medical school at Western on a full scholarship. 

He has served as Chief Fellow of the Nephrology Program at Western, held various roles on local, provincial, and national level medical organizations. 

In his free time, Shemer loves to spend time with family, kayak around Ramsey Lake, and hike in the Laurentian Conservation Area.  

Mr. John P Stenger

Treasurer Huron Shores, Elliot Lake
Term 2020-2023

John is a seasoned financial professional with a strong financial background; solid problem solving and decision–making abilities with over 30 years of experience. He bring years of experience in healthcare; private enterprise and business/economic development.

Previously employed in small and rural hospitals in both northern and southern Ontario for over a decade. Positions included Chief Executive Officer of Leamington District Memorial Hospital and Chief Financial Officer of Temiskaming Hospital; Listowel Wingham Hospital Alliance and St. Joseph’s General Hospital Elliot Lake.

After completing a Bachelor of Mathematics degree at the University of Waterloo he was successful in obtaining the designations Chartered Accountant and Chartered Professional Account. His belief in life-long learning led to a Diploma in Investigative and Forensic Accounting and an Advanced Health Leadership Certificate from the Rotman School of Business (University of Toronto).

He current resides in Elliot Lake and enjoys spending time in the outdoors with his spouse.

Mr. Bruce Sutton

Retired Health Care Executive
Term 2015-2022

Bruce Sutton retired in 2013 from a healthcare career of almost 30 years. He spends his time in retirement volunteering for a number of organizations. He served four years on the board of the Northwest Community Health Centres, he volunteers every Friday at Habitat for Humanity, serves meals at a local soup kitchen, and is active in the Knights of Columbus. Most importantly, he is “Grandad” to Luke, Anna, Penny and Jacob.

Bruce’s most recent position was part-time Executive Director of the Northwest Health Alliance, which is a shared service corporation owned by the hospitals in Northwest Ontario. His last full-time position was Executive Vice President for Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre (TBRHSC). Prior to that, he held the shared VP and CIO role for TBRHSC, St. Joseph’s Care Group, and was the CEO of the Nipigon District Memorial Hospital.
 

In terms of education, Bruce obtained his undergraduate degree from Lakehead University and he holds the designations Certified Health Executive, Certified Management Accountant, and Chartered Professional Accountant. In recognition of his career and contributions to society, Bruce was honoured in 2007 by being named a Fellow of the Society of Management Accountant of Canada. A lifelong learner, Bruce earned his Masters of Health Studies from Athabasca University in 2010 at the age of 53. Bruce was elected to the Board of NOSM in September 2015 and has served as Treasurer since that time. He was a non-director on the school’s Finance, Audit and Risk Management Committee for a year prior.

Mrs. Joy Warkentin, Chair

Retired/ Self Employed Consultant
Term 2016-2022

Joy Warkentin is passionate about Leadership and Service. She was educated first as a nurse and then as an educator, holding a degree in Sociology and a MEd in Curriculum Development.

She taught Nursing, became Chair of Health Sciences and then Associate Dean Academic at Confederation College. She then relocated to London, Ontario where she was the Senior Vice President at Fanshawe College from 2000 to 2009. While at Fanshawe, she led the improvement in Graduation Rates, started the first Research Department, led the development of the first Applied Degrees, established Student Success Advisors in every School, and developed the College’s first Academic Plan. For 6 years she co-led a residential Leadership Development Program on behalf of the Association of Canadian Community Colleges.

She was awarded an Honorary Degree from Fanshawe in 2008 for her contributions to Applied Learning. She was the 2009 recipient of the Minister’s lifetime Achievement Award from the Minister of Training, Colleges, and Universities and was awarded the YMCA of London, Women of Excellence Award.  The Fanshawe College Board of Governors named her the College’s first Vice President Emeritus in recognition of her 40 years of service to Ontario’s Colleges and Students.

Ms. Gina Kennedy, University Secretary

University Secretary (Non-voting)
Director, Office of the President

Since 2006, Gina Kennedy as Corporate Secretary has been responsible for directing the activities and operations of the Board of Directors and Academic Council and now since proclamation of NOSM University in April 2022, she is the University Secretary and Director in the Office of the President. During her time at NOSM, she has received the Innovation Award implementing several initiatives to maximize the effectiveness and efficiency of the School’s governance system. As an active community member, she received the volunteer leadership award for United Way in 2018, recognizing her passion for the Young Leaders On Board program. Appointed to the Brain Injury Association of Sudbury and District in 2018, she demonstrated her leadership in spearheading the Unmasking Brain Injury Initiative in Sudbury.  In February 2019, she was appointed Vice Chair of the Accessibility Panel for the Greater City of Sudbury, a position that gives her great pride in being a part of helping the City be accessible for all. She is a member of the Canadian University Board Association since 2006. In October 2020 she was appointed to the Board of Directors for the Association of College and University Policy Administrators for a three year term, where she is also serves as a member on the Membership Committee.

A Toastmaster since 2009, Gina has held a number of high-profile leadership positions within Toastmasters and has attained the Distinguished Toastmaster designation—the highest level of educational achievement in the organization in 2016 and 2020. “Knowledge is only valuable if you share it,” is her motto as she considers herself a working ambassador helping others gain confidence in public speaking, one speech at a time.

Alexandra ‘Aley’ Curry, Assistant University Secretary

Since October 2021 Aley has been the Assistant Secretary in the Office of the President.

Incoming Board of Governors

2022-2023 NOSM University Inaugural Board of Governors

Joy Warkentin
Joy Warkentin
Chair, NOSM University Board of Governors
Retired / Self Employed Consultant

Joy Warkentin is passionate about Leadership and Service. She was educated first as a nurse and then as an educator, holding a degree in Sociology and a MEd in Curriculum Development.

She taught Nursing, became Chair of Health Sciences and then Associate Dean Academic at Confederation College. She then relocated to London, Ontario where she was the Senior Vice President at Fanshawe College from 2000 to 2009. While at Fanshawe, she led the improvement in Graduation Rates, started the first Research Department, led the development of the first Applied Degrees, established Student Success Advisors in every School, and developed the College’s first Academic Plan. For 6 years she co-led a residential Leadership Development Program on behalf of the Association of Canadian Community Colleges.

She was awarded an Honorary Degree from Fanshawe in 2008 for her contributions to Applied Learning. She was the 2009 recipient of the Minister’s lifetime Achievement Award from the Minister of Training, Colleges, and Universities and was awarded the YMCA of London, Women of Excellence Award.  The Fanshawe College Board of Governors named her the College’s first Vice President Emeritus in recognition of her 40 years of service to Ontario’s Colleges and Students.

 

Mark Hurst
Vice-Chair, NOSM University Board of Governors
Past President and CEO North Bay RHC

Mark began his post-secondary education at Glendon College, York University earning a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in History and a minor in French.  Following his initial foray into the hospital environment, working as a Human Resources recruitment officer for St. Joseph’s Hospital in Toronto, Mark decided to continue his education in this field at the University of Toronto, receiving a Post Graduate Diploma in Hospital Administration.

As President and CEO, Mark played a significant leadership role in the merger of North Bay Civic Hospital and St. Joseph’s General Hospital in 1995, and became President & CEO of the newly consolidated North Bay General Hospital at that time.

Mark became involved initially with the Board of Directors at NOSM in 2015 when he joined the Governance Committee as a Non-Director member.  After enjoying his experiences in and around NOSM, he submitted his application for the 2016 year, welcoming the opportunity to participate at the governance level in helping to ensure continued positive outcomes.

John Stenger
Treasurer, NOSM University Board of Governors
Treasurer Huron Shores

John is a seasoned financial professional with a strong financial background; solid problem solving and decision–making abilities with over 30 years of experience. He brings years of experience in healthcare; private enterprise and business/economic development.

Previously employed in small and rural hospitals in both northern and southern Ontario for over a decade. Positions included Chief Executive Officer of Leamington District Memorial Hospital and Chief Financial Officer of Temiskaming Hospital; Listowel Wingham Hospital Alliance and St. Joseph’s General Hospital Elliot Lake.

After completing a Bachelor of Mathematics degree at the University of Waterloo he was successful in obtaining the designations Chartered Accountant and Chartered Professional Account. His belief in life-long learning led to a Diploma in Investigative and Forensic Accounting and an Advanced Health Leadership Certificate from the Rotman School of Business (University of Toronto).

He currently resides in Elliot Lake and enjoys spending time outdoors with his spouse.

Dr. Sarita Verma
Ex-Officio Member, NOSM University Board of Governors
President, Vice-Chancellor, Dean & CEO, NOSM University

Dr. Sarita Verma is the First President and Vice Chancellor of NOSM University (April 1, 2022) and former Dean, President and CEO of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine.

She was the Vice President, Education at the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada and is a Professor Emerita in the U of T Department of Family and Community Medicine. Formerly the Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Associate Vice-Provost, Health Professions Education she is a family physician who originally trained as a lawyer at the University of Ottawa (1981) and later completed her medical degree at McMaster University (1991).

She has been a Diplomat in Canada’s Foreign Service and worked with UNHCR in Sudan and Ethiopia for several years. In 2021 she was named one of the most powerful physicians in Canada and inducted into the McMaster University Alumni Gallery.

 

Dr. Cindy Blackstock
NOSM University Chancellor
Executive Director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society

A member of the Gitxsan First Nation, Cindy is honoured to serve as the Executive Director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society and a professor at McGill University’s School of Social Work. She has over 30 years of experience working in child welfare and Indigenous children’s rights and has published more than 75 articles on topics relating to reconciliation, Indigenous theory, First Nations child welfare and human rights. Cindy was honoured to work with First Nations colleagues on a successful human rights challenge to Canada’s inequitable provision of child and family services and failure to implement Jordan’s Principle. This hard-fought litigation has resulted in hundreds of thousands of services being provided to First Nations children, youth and families.

She recently served on the Pan American Health Commission on Health Equity and Inequity and fundamentally believes that culturally-based equity is essential to meaningful reconciliation. Cindy is frequently sighted in the company of the Caring Society’s reconciliation Am-bear-rister, Spirit Bear, engaging children in meaningful actions to implement the TRC Calls to Action.

 

Craig Abotossaway Member, NOSM University Board of Governors Executive Director, Mnaamodzawin Health Services, Mnidoo Mnising (Manitoulin Island)

Craig has 25 plus years experience working directly on a variety of First Nations health initiatives.  Craig has a Masters of Social Work degree from Wilfred Laurier University, specializing in Indigenous Health Practice. As a former elected Chief of his First Nations community of Aundeck Omni Kaning, he brings extensive political knowledge of both the provincial and federal levels of government and health issues facing First Nations people, both regionally and nationally.

Currently, Craig is the Executive Director of Mnaamodzawin Health Services, which services five member First Nations communities on Mnidoo Mnising (Manitoulin Island).   Craig is a strong advocate of Indigenous approaches to Health practice, and ensuring they are highly promoted and expected by the staff of the agency, ensuring health services meet the unique needs of First Nations people.  Annually, Mnaamodzawin Health Services is an active partner with NOSM, taking first year students for their CBM 106 placement.

Craig is passionate and always striving to bring about positive growth within First Nations Health services.

As a newly appointed member to the Board of Governors, Craig is looking forward to working with the other valued members and contributing to the success of NOSM University.

 

Imran Bagha
Member, NOSM University Board of Governors
NOSM University Class of 2023 Elected Learner

Imran Bagha is a final-year MD candidate at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine. He holds a Master in Philanthropy and Non-Profit Leadership from Carleton University, and has served as a Director and Evaluator for local, national, and international non-profit organizations since 2017. In addition to serving NOSM, he is the President and Director of two regional recreational organizations in Thunder Bay, a previous Board member of the Health Sciences North Volunteer Association in Sudbury, and an evaluator of Youth Without Shelter in Toronto and CanUgan in Ottawa.

Aside from his medical studies and Board work, Imran is the owner of Northern Writing Consultants, a writing firm which he founded and grew while in medical school. Previously, he worked in business development for the City of Sudbury at the Regional Business Centre. An avid volunteer, Imran serves his community regularly at the local soup kitchen, homeless shelter, and as a chaplain for the local jail.

For leisure, Imran enjoys travelling (14 countries so far!), ultimate frisbee, and working on his car. He has been a member of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine Board of Governors since 2022.

 

John Beaucage
Member, NOSM University Board of Governors
Grand Council Chief, First Nations of the Anishinabek Nation

In October 2004, John Beaucage was elected as Grand Council Chief to serve the 42-member First Nations of the Anishinabek Nation. John was re-elected in 2006, by acclamation, a rare occurrence in the history of one of Canada’s oldest First Nation political organizations. Prior to his election as Grand Council Chief, Beaucage was the elected Chief of Wasauksing First Nation and served in that capacity for four consecutive terms. Beaucage is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario with a combined degree in English and economics, and he has done post-graduate work in First Nation planning at the University of British Columbia. He also was the recipient of a Honorary Doctor of Letters from Nipissing University in the 2009 Convocation.

Grand Council Chief Beaucage played an instrumental role in the First Ministers Meeting which took place in Kelowna, BC in November of 2005.  Leading up to the First Ministers Meeting, Beaucage served as the Co-chair for First Ministers Working Groups for both Housing and Relationships. Since leaving his position as Grand Council Chief, Beaucage now serves on a number of boards and is working on developing green energy projects with several First Nations across the country. He has also been involved as a mediator with land disputes and was appointed as Special Advisor to the Minister of Children & Youth Services, which resulted in a much publicized report on the state of native child welfare in Ontario.

Eyaabay (his traditional name) is a Pipe Carrier from the Bear Clan.  A citizen of

Wasauksing First Nation, he was raised on the Shawanaga First Nation and has extended family in Nipissing, Curve Lake and Moose Deer Point First Nations. John and his wife Bonnie have been married for 45 years and have four children and thirteen grandchildren.

Note: Mr. John Beaucage is the first of five Lieutenant Governor in Council appointees.

 

Angela Carter
Member, NOSM University Board of Governors
CEO – Ka-Na-CHi-Hih Treatment Center

Angela Carter is an Ojibway from Michipicoten First Nation.  She is the CEO of Ka-Na-CHi-Hih Treatment Center (Wakenagun Youth Healing Lodge and Pelican High Peak Youth Healing Lodge).  Angela holds a Bachelor of Arts in Indigenous Learning, a Masters of Social Work and is presently pursuing her PhD Indigenous Health.

Angela has been working in the health field for the past 30 years in a diversity of positions with her most recent position in expanding resources in mental wellness and addiction for Indigenous youth.  Angela brings to the board her passion in working  on identifying and implementing strategic direction to include equitable practices in the health-care field.

She is excited in the journey of being part of the Directors team and moving forward in the exciting work ahead.

 

Dr. Kristy Côté
Member, NOSM University Board of Governors
NOSM University – Elected Staff

Kristy Côté, Ph.D. joined NOSM University in April 2003 and has held several progressive positions in various portfolios where she acquired an in-depth knowledge and understanding of human resources, leadership development, financial planning, policy development, strategic planning, transformational change and direct service/program development and delivery. Dr. Côté currently holds the position of Postgraduate Medical Education (PGME) Manager within the PGME Unit of NOSM University.

Having completed her Honours Bachelor of Arts degree through Laurentian University, her Master of Arts – Integrated Studies degree through Athabasca University, and her doctorate in Rural and Northern Health at Laurentian University, Dr. Côté is a strong advocate for health, and health research in the North. Her doctoral thesis focused on the lived experiences of Francophone prostate cancer patients from Northeastern Ontario and her ongoing work with NOSM U centers on postgraduate medical education within Northern Ontario. Kristy also holds the designation of Certified Human Resource Leader (CHRL) as recognized by the Human Resource Professionals Association and is an active volunteer member, currently serving as Chair of the Board of Directors of the Northern Cancer Foundation in Sudbury.

Dr. Côté is committed to ongoing research and continuous quality improvement initiatives through provincial and national interdisciplinary collaborations within the postgraduate medical education domain in areas including, but not limited to, postgraduate medical education curriculum development, resident wellness, Family Medicine curriculum evaluation and needs assessment projects related to the training of educational leaders in Family Medicine and Royal College speciality programs. Kristy is a proud Francophone and proud member of the Métis Nation of Ontario. She and her husband Simon enjoy travelling and spending time camping with their three amazing children: Alexandre, Emmalise and Éliana.

 

Mark Hartman
Member, NOSM University Board of Governors
Senior Vice President, Patient Experience and Digital Transformation

Mark Hartman completed a Bachelor of Applied Science Degree in Radiation Therapy in Melbourne, Australia in 1989. Since arriving in Sudbury in 1992, he worked as a radiation therapist at the Northeastern Ontario Regional Cancer Centre before entering management positions in the Radiation Treatment Program and as Director of the $44M Cancer Centre capital expansion project.

In 2004, Mark became the Administrative Director of the Regional Cancer Program of the former Sudbury Regional Hospital. He completed a Masters in Business Administration through Athabasca University in 2009 and between 2010 and 2018 provided leadership as the Vice President of Cancer and Clinical Support Programs at Health Science North as well as the Regional Vice President of Cancer Care Ontario for the Northeast. During this time Mark led the development of two Regional Cancer Plans for the Northeast along with the development of the first Regional Aboriginal Cancer Plan for the region. In 2018 Mark was appointed to the role of Senior Vice President, Patient Experience and Digital Transformation at Health Sciences North. This portfolio includes leadership of 2,298 FTE employees with a budget of $382 million and comprises all clinical programs, quality and patient safety and information technology. Mark has executive leadership for the HSN Strategic Plan 2019-2024 goal to become digitally enabled through implementation of a regional electronic medical record and secure patient portal.

 

Nancy Jacko
Member, NOSM University Board of Governors
Retired Health Care Professional

Nancy Jacko retired from the North Bay Regional Health Centre in December 2014 where she was Vice President and Chief Nursing Executive.  On retirement, she managed a project with the North East LHIN implementing Quality Based Procedures across the region and also has done private consulting. Nancy has had a progressively varied career in health care spanning 43 years including two hospital corporate amalgamations and the planning and moving to a new hospital in 2011. She has led several initiatives to achieve operational and systemic efficiencies and processes for truly patient centered care.

Nancy is a graduate of St. Joseph School of Nursing (Hamilton) and the University of Windsor. She worked in Critical Care and Public Health at the beginning of her career in the Hamilton and the Toronto areas. Since 1980, Nancy has been employed in the hospital system in North Bay where she held various management roles. Since 1997 until her retirement, Nancy had been a member of the senior administration team with responsibility for numerous clinical programs and participated in corporate planning and goal setting.

Nancy has served on many hospital, local, LHIN and provincial Boards and committees such as a Family Health Team, the Ontario Hospital Association, and the Canadian Military.  She has presented at various district, regional, provincial, and international conferences on various topics related to health care. In 2011, Nancy was honoured to receive the Influential Women of Northern Ontario Award for the Public Sector in recognition of her leadership in health care. In March 2020, she was awarded the Davedi Order of Merit for her contribution to healthcare in the community.

Nancy is an active member of the community involved in various volunteer activities. Currently, she is the Chair of the Board of the North Bay Parry Sound District Public Health Unit. Nancy resides in North Bay with her husband Bill.  She is a strong advocate for healthy lifestyles and fitness.

 

Virginia May Katt
Member, NOSM University Board of Governors
Primary Health Care Nurse Practitioner, Honorary LLD

Mae is Ojibway from Temagami First Nation. She is a Primary Health Care Nurse Practitioner and holds an Honours Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing, Master of Education (Curriculum Specialty) and an Honorary Doctorate of Laws degree from Trent University.

Her diverse nursing career includes mental health & substance use, adolescent health, maternal and child health and community health. She has a strong health policy and research background in community development, youth suicide, early psychosis, cancer care, health human resources and acquired brain injury.

In clinical practice she provides primary care in an Indigenous high school and mental health & substance use treatment in remote and rural First Nations.  She coordinated an opiate-agonist treatment program at a high school that successfully eliminated high opioid prevalence at the school.

She was appointed by the Minister of Health to the Mental Health and Addictions Leadership Council responsible for the implementation of Ontario’s Phase 2 of the Mental Health and Addictions Strategy.  She has also worked as senior administrator responsible for First Nations health programs, both as Regional Director (Ontario) for Health Canada’s First Nations and Inuit Health, and as Health Director at Nishnawbe Aski Nation, representing 49 First Nations in northern Ontario.

As a researcher affiliated with the Centre for Rural and Northern Health Research for 30 years, she has taken the lead in developing appropriate knowledge transfer strategies for several projects done in partnership with First Nations.

 

Ashley Larose
Member, NOSM University Board of Governors
CEO, Science North

Ashley Larose is the Chief Executive Officer at Science North, Canada’s second largest science centre and Northern Ontario’s most popular tourist attraction.

Ashley joined Science North in 2006 and has held various leadership and business development roles throughout her 16 years with the organization, including Senior Manager of International Sales, Director of Customer Relations & Business Development and most recently as the Director of Development overseeing the development and implementation of giving programs and major fundraising initiatives benefitting all catalysts of Science North’s strategic plan.

Ashley received her Honour’s degree in Biology from the University of Waterloo and completed her Master’s of Science at Laurentian University. She is a passionate scientist who spent the earlier part of her career working as a research scientist in cities across North America. Her Master’s degree saw her bringing cutting-edge genomic techniques to the world-renowned freshwater research that was already underway.

As a volunteer, Ashley has served on numerous boards and committees including: Cambrian College’s International Business Advisory Committee, City of Sudbury Tourism Development Committee, to name a few.

In her downtime Ashley enjoys being outdoors with her son and husband and is a skilled mixologist, and pizza connoisseur.

 

Sue LeBeau
Member, NOSM University Board of Governors
CEO, West Nipissing General Hospital

I am the CEO of the West Nipissing General Hospital, in beautiful Sturgeon Falls. I bring a variety of hospital, community, and education sector experience to this role. I have supported regional healthcare planners and home care as the director of Quality and Risk at the North East Local Health Integration Network. I have a dozen years of progressive leadership experience at the North Bay Regional Health Centre, including Director of Surgical, Critical Care, Diagnostic Imaging, Laboratory, Pharmacy, Quality, Professional Practice and Education. I also bring over 14 years of experience as a University and College course professor in Nursing, Nurse Practitioner, and healthcare leadership programs in Ontario and New Brunswick.

I have enjoyed my work in various community settings, including Public Health, Community Health Centre, Sexual Assault/Domestic Violence Treatment Centre, and independent practice as a nurse practitioner. I value volunteerism and have contributed as a Director on boards including that for an NP-led Clinic, Victim Crisis Services, a Francophone association, and the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario. I have also been a member of The Canadian College of Health Leaders national ethics committee and chapter executive.

I am delighted to support NOSM University as it meets its social accountability mandate and works towards its vision of innovative education and research for our wonderful North!

 

Dawn Morissette
Member, NOSM University Board of Governors
CEO, Services de santé de Chapleau Health Services

Dawn Morissette was born and raised in northeastern Ontario and is passionate about access to equitable healthcare for northerners. She is bilingual and has extensive experience working across the healthcare sector. She has had the opportunity to live and work in Alberta, Quebec and in Ontario.

Ms. Morissette is currently the CEO of Services de santé de Chapleau Health Services, an integrated rural health hub in northeastern Ontario. Past roles include Professor of Business at Sault College, Executive Director of the Huron Shores Family Health Team, Executive Director in a private healthcare organization, Private Consultant, Interim Leader, Deputy Mayor of the City of Elliot Lake, Physician Recruiter, and Organizational Development Specialist. With exposure to so many facets of healthcare, she is especially interested in facilitating the integration of healthcare and finding efficiencies in process.

Ms. Morissette completed a Bachelor of Business Administration at Wilfrid Laurier University, a Masters of Arts (Leadership) at the University of Guelph, and completed the Third Party Neutral Program with the Canadian Institute of Conflict Resolution.  She has also completed the AdvantAge Ontario Administrator Leadership Program for Long-term Care.

Ms. Morissette enjoys hiking, skiing, paddling, time with her family, and always looks forward to a new good book.

 

Shemer Ratner
Member, NOSM University Board of Governors
Nephrologist-Internist, Health Sciences North Elected Faculty

Shemer Ratner is a physician recruited to HSN to join the Nephrology Department in serving the Northeastern Ontario region.

He brings his medical expertise with thirteen total years of post-secondary education that have taken him all over the world including to parts of Africa, Europe, Asia, the U.S. and South America. He attended medical school at Western on a full scholarship.

He has served as Chief Fellow of the Nephrology Program at Western, held various roles on local, provincial, and national level medical organizations.

In his free time, Shemer loves to spend time with family, kayak around Ramsey Lake, and hike in the Laurentian Conservation Area.

 

Susan Soldan
Member, NOSM University Board of Governors
Retired Public Servant

Susan Soldan is known for her commitment to public service and volunteerism within Thunder Bay and beyond. She is also proud of her Ukrainian roots and is active within the diaspora.
At the end of 2019, Susan retired from the Ontario Ministry of Transportation, where she was part of the Northwestern Region senior management team.

Susan’s career includes roles within the Ontario Public Service (OPS) and the Broader Public Service (BPS), after leaving public accounting practice where she obtained her Chartered Accountant (CA) designation. Susan worked for the Ministry of Natural Resources as Manager of Internal Audit, for the Ministry of Education as Finance Officer, and for the Ministry of Transportation as Regional Services Manager.

Susan holds an Honours Bachelor of Commerce degree from Lakehead University, and earned Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) and Chartered Professional Accountant (FCPA, FCA) designations. In 2013, she was proud to be elected as a Fellow of the former Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario (now CPA Ontario), in recognition of her long and varied history of service to her profession and her community. She is a long-standing director of the Thunder Bay-Northwest chapter of CPA Ontario, President (and 2nd soprano) of Lakehead Choral Group, and Treasurer of Holy Cross Ukrainian Catholic Church. Past roles on volunteer boards of directors include as Treasurer of the United Way of Thunder Bay, President of the Thunder Bay Community Auditorium Board, President of the Education Safety Association of Ontario, and President of the Thunder Bay-Atikokan Federal Liberal Constituency Association.

In March 2018, Susan became a community member of the Governance Committee of NOSM and currently serves as Vice-Chair.