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ICCER Steering Committee


Chair ICCER Steering Committee

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Francine Drisner, is a senior health care executive with more than 30 years of experience in the Alberta health-care system.

Francine has been a health-care leader in a variety of settings including acute care, rehabilitation and long-term care. Throughout her career she has focused on many facets of health care and is most passionate about how to support clients and residents to achieve the best quality of life possible.

Francine also participates in various regional and national committees. She is a member of the Seniors Quality Leap Initiative (SQLI), a collaboration of North Americas leading nursing home care providers to share performance data and the results of specific initiatives in an effort to drive improved quality of care and safety of seniors. She is also a member of the Alberta Continuing Care Quality Working Group (CC-QIWG) which is selecting quality indicators for the continuing care sector that will be reported to the public.

Francine began her career with CapitalCare in 1998 as manager of community programs. She became the administrator of CapitalCare Dickinsfield in 2006, and administrator of CapitalCare Lynnwood in 2011. On November 2, 2015 she became acting Chief Operating Officer for CapitalCare following the retirement of Iris Neumann, and was confirmed as COO in June 2016.

Francine was born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta. She has a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy from the University of Alberta and a Masters in Health Studies from the University of Athabasca.

St. Michael's

Vice-Chair ICCER Steering Committee

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Rita Wright Director, Resident Care

Bethany Care Society

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Steven Friesen is Manager of Quality, Best Practice & Research at Bethany Care Society and holds an adjunct appointment with the University of Alberta's faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine’s Occupational Therapy department. He has held research and evaluation positions in Alberta’s public and non-profit health care sector for more than 15 years. His professional experience includes a broad focus on health service and system research and program evaluation across primary care, continuing care and acute care settings. Steven’s graduate work in environmental design and subsequent research experience emphasize a special focus on the performance of the built environment and relationship to health and health care systems.

Bow Valley College

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Nora MacLachlan, Dean, School of Health and Wellness


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Jeanine Kimura

College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta

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Jeanne Weis (BN, RN, CHPCA (c)) is an Executive Officer with the College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta, overseeing the portfolios of Practice, Professional Development, Policy and Research for the College. Prior to coming to the CLPNA, Jeanne was working in practical nursing education, both as an educator and in leadership roles. Employed in healthcare for over 28 years, she holds her Master’s degree in Nursing with a focus on teaching, and the specialization in Hospice Palliative Care Nursing.

Jeanne’s nursing career is extensive and diverse including the clinical areas of vascular surgery, gerontology, oncology, palliative care and community in clinical, research, education and leadership capacities. Involved in provincial and national initiatives, Jeanne also currently serves as President Elect of the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Nurses Group.

Excel Society

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Brad Perkins has been on the Board of Excel Society as President/ CEO since March 1, 2016. Brad was born and raised in Edmonton and graduated from the University of Alberta. He is a Chartered Professional Accountant, Certified Management Accountant, and former partner with KPMG, one of the worlds largest business services firms. Brad served on the Excel Society Board of Directors for 12 years including roles as Chair, Chair of the Building Committee, and Chair of the Audit Committee.


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Brigette Berry is the Senior Long Term Care Consultant for Extendicare Western Operations. Since joining Extendicare in 2005 she has led numerous projects focusing on quality improvement in all aspects of resident care. She has over 25 years of experience advancing the care of seniors in the community, Assisted Living and Long Term Care environment. Brigette is a physiotherapist by profession and holds a Master of Health Studies from Athabasca University. Her current areas of interest are the setting and monitoring of quality indicator benchmarks in Long Term Care and Assisted Living.

Good Samaritan Society

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Edythe Andison, Vice President, Clinical Support

Keyano College

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Vincella Thompson, Dean, University Studies, Career Programs & Academic Upgrading

Lifestyle Options

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Renate Sainsbury, General Manager

NorQuest College

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Erika Goble is the Manager of Research at NorQuest College. Prior to joining NorQuest, she was the Research Project Coordinator in the Relational Ethics in Health Care Research Program at the University of Alberta from 2004 to 2014. Erika’s research interests concern the ethics of practice in health and education, aesthetic experience, and the use of images in teaching, research and practice. Erika holds a Doctorate of Philosophy in Secondary Education from the University of Alberta and a Masters in Anthropology from Dalhousie University.

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Jennifer Mah, Dean, Faculty of Health & Community Studies

Shepherd's Care Foundation

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Bridget Smith has been an RN for over 30 years and has worked in progressively senior leadership roles for the past 16. She has a diverse clinical background: maternal/newborn (she was a Registered Midwife in the UK where she comes from), medicine, cardiology, palliative care, rehabilitation, home care/community nursing and specialized geriatrics. She has spent over 20 years of her career in clinical practice/leading teams in continuing and long-term care. As well her undergraduate degree, Bridget is formally trained in healthcare management. She graduated from the University of Alberta Business School’s Executive Education Program in January 2017. She has an MSc in Advancing Healthcare Practice and is currently studying for her MBA.

Bridget is committed to excellence, research, innovation and best practice application in seniors’ care. She currently works as the Executive Associate to the President and CEO, Shawn Terlson, at Shepherds’ Care Foundation’s corporate office.

Silvera for Seniors

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Sarah Price, Chief Service & Operations Officer

Sherwood Care

Kathy Fortunat

Kathy Fortunat, has been a Nurse in Alberta’s health care system for over 30 years. Her experience includes critical care, home care, and most recently, long-term care. Kathy is passionate about quality, person centred-care for seniors at all levels of the health care system and believes the best way to achieve these outcomes is by engaged, motivated, self-directed and happy caregivers.

Kathy began her career with Sherwood Care in 1998, working as the night RN and moved to her current role as Director of Care in 2006.

Kathy was born and raised in Fairview, Alberta. She obtained her RN diploma at the Royal Alexandra School of Nursing in Edmonton and completed the Bachelor of Nursing Program through Athabasca University.

University of Alberta

Bob Haennel

Dr. R. G. (Bob) Haennel has served as Dean of the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine since 2012. He joined the faculty in 2005 as Chair of the Physical Therapy Department. Dr. Haennel’s research interests are in the area of exercise in the management of chronic diseases, such as heart disease and cancer. Bob received his PhD from the University of Alberta in 1987 and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in the Division of Cardiology at the University of Alberta. He currently has a cross appointment with the Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute. His current research includes: Cardiac Rehabilitation, Pulmonary Rehabilitation and Cancer.

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Hannah O'Rourke (RN, PhD) holds a Faculty of Nursing Professorship in Dementia Care Interventions at the University of Alberta and has a New Investigator Award from the Alzheimer Society. Her program of research is patient-oriented, and focuses on the design, evaluation and dissemination of interventions to improve quality of life for people with dementia. She has adapted several interventions for use with people with dementia, which are aimed to address loneliness and promote positive perceptions of intimacy and belonging in relationships with others (i.e. social connectedness) – a priority for quality of life according to people with dementia. Future studies will test whether and how well the interventions work and for whom, contextualizing the findings for sub-populations of people with dementia. The ultimate goal of Hannah’s research is to produce effective interactions that promote social connectedness, which people with dementia, and their family, friends and health care providers find acceptable for use in real world settings to improve clinical practice and quality of life of people with dementia.

Wing Kei

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Kathy Tam is the Chief Executive Officer at Wing Kei in Calgary, a position she has held since 2007. Kathy has extensive experience in continuing care and geriatric rehabilitation medicine and is currently an Accreditation Canada surveyor for other long term care centres across Canada. Throughout her career in health care, her focus has been on creating dynamic, flexible teams that meet the needs of residents and patients.

Kathy has experience in starting up a long term care centre in Calgary, Alberta as well as being on the leadership team of one of Canadas largest centres in Edmonton, Alberta. Her entrepreneurial spirit has enabled her to develop and lead specialized outpatient, day and home care programs, developing partnerships within the health care system and externally.

Kathy holds a Masters of Science in Administration from the University of Central Michigan and is affiliated with several professional associations including the Canadian College of Health Service Executives.