About Us

Provincial Board Members

Vivien Lai

President

Vivien Lai has an MA Degree in Sociology from York University in Toronto. Vivien has specialized training in aging research and policy, quality improvement strategies and measurements, futurist planning and new models of care for continuing care. Vivien has more than forty years of experience as a senior executive and planner in a number of provinces in Canada in the areas of aging policies, health system development, supportive housing, long term care and home care.

Vivien has won numerous awards in her career, including the Premier Award of Excellence for designing New Models of Continuing Care by the Premier of Alberta, the REACH Awards for Bright Ideas for the development and implementation of the Continuing Care Health Services Standards, Continuing Care Strategy, and Continuing Care Services Projection Model by Alberta Health and Wellness. She won the Women of Distinction Award by YMCA in 1999. From January 2012 to November 2015, Vivien was the Vice President of the Brenda Strafford Foundation helping the organization to conduct strategic planning activities. As from 2016, Vivien has been functioning as a Health Care Consultant helping organizations, and professional organizations to do futuristic planning in health and social services to prepare for the aging of the population.

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Bruce West

Vice President

Bruce West is a continuing care advocate. He retired in October 2013 after five years as Executive Director of the Alberta Continuing Care Association (ACCA), a voluntary, non-profit advocacy organization that represents the owners and operators of long term care and supportive living facilities, and the providers of home care and home support services throughout Alberta.  Prior to his time with the ACCA Bruce had a 30-year career with the Government of Alberta where he held a number of senior management positions related to Alberta’s housing and continuing care systems. Bruce has particular interests in promoting a sustainable continuing care system that enhances the quality of life of the people it serves.

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Grace Maier

Secretary

Grace’s background includes approximately 25 years working in seniors’ health services including continuing care and rehabilitation. Grace joined the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital in 2001 as the Director for Geriatrics. This portfolio includes program responsibilities for inpatient and ambulatory geriatric assessment & rehabilitation, cognitive assessment & rehabilitation and geriatric psychiatry. Her portfolio also includes the professional services of Communication Disorders, Social Work and Recreation Therapy, Volunteer Resources, Transition Services and Spiritual Care.

Grace is a registered dietitian and a Certified Health Executive of the Canadian College of Health Leaders. Grace is strongly committed to collaborating with other sectors in the healthcare continuum, other seniors’ organizations and older adults to enhance services that will contribute to the quality of life of senior Albertans.

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Sherry Dahlke

AAG-Mag Editor

Sherry Dahlke is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Alberta. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Adult Education from the University of Regina, a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing from the University of Victoria, a Master’s degree and PhD in Nursing from the University of British Columbia. Her areas of research interest are focused on how to improve older adult care and nursing education. She has extensive clinical experience prior to coming to academia working with older people in hospitals and community care. Dahlke has published in journals specializing in gerontological nursing, gerontological education, as well as geriatrics and gerontology.

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Sandra Hirst

Research & Awards Chair

Sandra P. Hirst RN, PhD, GNC(C) is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Nursing. She has held a number of leadership positions in gerontology including: president of the Canadian Gerontological Nursing Association; president of the Canadian Association on Gerontology, and president of the Alberta Association of Gerontology. Sandra has completed a three year appointment from the Prime Minister to sit on the National Seniors Council. She currently sits on the Board of the IFA. Her areas of research and related scholarship focus on abuse and neglect of older adults, and the experiences of older adults who reside in long term care facilities. Sandra was appointed Director of the Brenda Strafford Centre for Excellence in Gerontological Nursing, at the University of Calgary, in the late summer of 2008 for a five year term. In 2009, Sandra was awarded the Life time Achievement Award from the College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta, and in 2011 received an Honourary Life membership from the Canadian Gerontological Nursing Association for her contributions to practice. In 2012, she received the Jeanne Mance award from the Canadian Nurses Association, the highest honour that a registered nurse can receive from her peers.

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Dana Penner

Member at Large

Dana is a Registered Nurse and has worked in Continuing Care for over 20 years. Her current role is Site Administrator for Bethany Calgary, a large Long Term Care and Supportive Living facility operated by Bethany Care Society. Dana’s role is to oversee the daily operations of the care facility to ensure residents receive high quality, person-centred care in a comfortable, home-like environment. Previous roles with Bethany have included Registered Nurse/Palliative Care Advisor, Care Services Manager and Director of Care. Dana is also a member of a Regulatory Committee for the College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta (CARNA).

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Jenny Robinson

Member at Large

Jenny Robinson is the Chief Operating Officer with The Brenda Strafford Foundation. The Foundation is committed to people first, innovation, leadership, quality and relationships. As a charity, the Foundation not only provides an array of services for over 800 aging adults in four senior care facilities, but has also established four chairs with the University of Calgary, and delivers care services in Haiti, Jamaica and Dominica.

Throughout her career, Jenny has held several senior positions in various health care fields, including: Regional Administrator with Summit Care Corporation (AB), Building Nurse Supervisor with the Atlantic Health Sciences Corporation (NB), and Project Lead for the commissioning of three continuing care centres. She also completed research, an empirical study, with the Burke Pain Clinic (AB) on Fibromyalgia in 1998. Management experience includes acute care, mental health, Alzheimer’s care, assisted living and long term care.

She holds a Masters of Education and Bachelor of Nursing from the University of New Brunswick, Certified Health Executive (CHE) from the Canadian College of Health Leaders, diploma in nursing from John Abbot College (QC), and is registered with the College and Association of Registered Nurses in Alberta. She is currently a Board Member with the Alberta Association of Gerontology. She has been a member of the Leading Practice Expert Panel with Accreditation Canada for three years and a member of the Canadian Council of Health Leaders (CCHL). She has completed various other programs including, Critical Care Nursing, Skin Wound Assessment Treatment (SWAT III) and was awarded the People First Award in 2005 for her contribution with the Calgary Care Centre Infection Prevention and Control team.

Jenny has coordinated numerous accreditation surveys for the facilities she worked in and led the first amalgamated survey for her organization. She brings diverse experience to her role as surveyor and has the ability to be receptive to different ideas and opinions.

Jenny published in the Long Term Care Magazine and has volunteered several years for the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

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Jennifer Mah

Member at Large

Jennifer is a registered nurse with a Masters in Nursing and over 25 years of experience in a variety of health settings, leadership, research and education. Over a decade of her career has been devoted to excellence in education and growing the next generation of front line health and community studies workers. Currently, she is the Associate Dean with the Faculty of Health and Community Studies at NorQuest College. The graduates from these programs work on the front line and they interact with seniors often and have a significant impact on the health system. As Associate Dean, she provides leadership for a variety of programs, some of which are among the largest in the country. She oversees curriculum, new program development, quality assurance, and program approval for over 12 programs. She is a driving force for innovation, simulation, and ensuring programs are workforce relevant. She is a member of the Alberta Nursing Education Administrators and the Canadian Association of Practical Nurse Educators. She has experience working on projects with Indigenous and international partners and is a strong advocate for diversity.

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Susan Slaughter

Calgary Chapter Representative

Dr. Susan Slaughter is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Alberta. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Life Science from Queen’s University, a Master’s degree in Nursing from McGill University, a PhD degree in Community Health Sciences from the University of Calgary, and a postdoctoral fellowship in Knowledge Translation from the University of Alberta. Susan Slaughter has extensive experience working as a nursing specialist in geriatric assessment and rehabilitation and is a leader in the care of the elderly. She has experience leading five funded longitudinal research studies involving people with dementia who live in long-term care facilities. Susan uses various knowledge translation approaches to enhance the relevance of her research for the care of older adults. She has published in journals specializing in gerontological nursing, rehabilitation, long-term care, geriatrics and gerontology. She has also presented scientific papers at local, national and international conferences.

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Jim Tweddle

Edmonton Chapter Representative

Jim Tweddle is President of the AAG Edmonton Chapter and a Project Manager for Alberta Health Services Continuing Care – Edmonton Zone, Planning and Performance. Jim has worked in continuing care for fifteen years. He has worked for Alberta Aids to Daily Living and Capital Care Edmonton Area. Jim was the Manager of Laurier House Lynnwood for five years.

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Sharon Anderson

Student Representative

Sharon Anderson is a PhD Candidate supervised by Dr. Norah Keating in the Research on Aging, Policies and Practice in the Department of Human Ecology at the University of Alberta. Sharon completed her Master of Science in Health Promotion at the University of Alberta and Masters of Education in Community Rehabilitation and Disability Studies at the University of Calgary. Her dissertation is focused on what happens to the marital relationship in the context of care after a partner’s stroke. Prior to her PhD studies, Sharon worked as a Dental Hygienist in British Columbia and Ottawa and a Research Associate in the Social Support Research Program at the University of Alberta.

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Stephanie Chamberlain

Student Representative

Stephanie Chamberlain, BHSC, MA, PhD Student. Stephanie is a PhD student with Dr. Carole Estabrooks at the University of Alberta. Stephanie has a Bachelors of Health Science (specialization in Gerontology) from the University of Ottawa, and a Masters in Family Studies and Gerontology from Mount Saint Vincent University. Stephanie currently works with the Translating Research in Elder Care (TREC), a program of research that focuses on improving the quality of care provided to nursing home residents, enriching the work life of their caregivers, and enhancing system efficiency. Before coming to TREC she was a research coordinator at the Bruyère Research Institute (Ottawa, ON) and a research assistant at the Nova Scotia Centre on Aging (Halifax, NS). Ms Chamberlain’s research focuses on social isolation, social engagement, knowledge translation, and quality of care in nursing homes. Her PhD work will document the prevalence, health outcomes, and potentially unmet care needs of residents who are without family or friends in Alberta nursing homes. Stephanie is currently the President of the Canadian Association on Gerontology Student Association.

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