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Provincial and Chapter Boards

Please find out more about the members of the Provincial Board, the Calgary Chapter Board and the Edmonton Chapter Board below.

Provincial Board Members 2021 - 2022


Lynne Mansell

President

Lynne Mansell

Lynne is currently serving as President of AAG and is a recipient of the Mary Morrison Davis Award. She is semi-retired and also serves on the board of the Edmonton Lifelong Learning Association. Lynne has a BSc in Pharmacy and a Masters in Health Services Administration and spent the majority of her career in seniors health and continuing care positions. Recent board positions include the Brain Care Centre of Edmonton and the Primary and Integrated Health Innovation Network as Chair of the Patient Advisory Committee. Her interests include patient-oriented research, healthy aging policy, travel and spending time with her grandchildren.

Grace Maier

Vice President

Grace Maier

Grace’s background includes over 30 years of experience in seniors’ health services; continuing care and rehabilitation. Grace joined the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital in 2001. This portfolio includes tertiary inpatient and ambulatory geriatric assessment & rehabilitation, cognitive behavioural and geriatric psychiatry.

Grace is a Certified Health Executive of the Canadian College of Health Leaders. Grace has strong relationships with other sectors, including those along the healthcare continuum, City of Edmonton senior initiatives and senior serving organizations. Some of the initiatives that Grace has been involved in include accessible housing guidelines and the importance of activity and early mobilization to prevent functional decline.

The opportunity to be involved in the Alberta Association on Gerontology is an excellent avenue to influence future services for older adults in the province. Grace hopes that her years of experience in seniors’ services will be an asset to the discussions in shaping the best possible service and support context for older adults to live the quality years they desire.

Sharon Anderson

Executive Secretary

Sharon Anderson is a Family Gerontologist who brings a wealth of practical experience as a family caregiver as well as academic and research experience to the AGG Board. She completed her PhD with Dr. Norah Keating in the Research on Aging, Policies and Practice in the Department of Human Ecology at the University of Alberta after finishing 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. Sharon enhanced her knowledge of social support and participatory community-engaged research as a Research assistant and then Associate in the Social Support Research Program at the University of Alberta. Sharon also cared for her mother from 2009 to 2017. She currently works as a research coordinator for Dr. Jasneet Parmar at the University of Alberta and the Network of Excellence in Seniors Health and Wellness.

Dorthe Flauer

Minute Recorder

Dorthe Flauer

Dorthe has been a member of the Provincial AAG Board since 2017 and is the Minute Recorder for the AAG Executive Committee. Working for many years as a frontline Social Worker and a group facilitator with youth and adults for various Not for Profits, Dorthe has been enriched by others sharing their life journeys and experiences. During the past 7 years, Dorthe has been working at Lifestyle Options as Education Coordinator. Being a previous caregiver to her father living with Alzheimers’ and working with the Butterfly Approach to Dementia Care has highlighted for Dorthe the many diverse needs of older adults living in Alberta while identifying their contributions as well as many of the challenges they experience as they live and age in the community.

Dorthe has also been active in the community volunteering with different organizations including Drive Happiness Assisted Senior Transportation, EODAF (Early Onset Dementia of Alberta Foundation), and the Friends of Pioneers Seniors’ Lodge. Dorthe is also a current member of the Citizens Advisory Committee for Correctional Services of Canada working with other community members to observe, provide impartial recommendations to CSC and to liaise with the community. Dorthe’s latest passion is spending time with her one-year-old German Shepard puppy that provides many special moments of joy and laughter and now thinks he is the ‘boss’ of every two-legged and four-legged member of the family.

Renate Sainsbury

Treasurer

Renate

Renate Sainsbury received her B.A. Rec. Administration (Major in Special Population) degree from the University of Alberta in 1981. Renate has extensive experience in various areas including pediatrics, psychiatry, long term care and geriatric assessment.

Renate set up and operated two group homes, Lifestyle Options Inc. for seniors/special needs individuals that offered 24 hours care/support and allowed individuals to live in the community as independently as possible. In 1996 Renate partnered with local private developer, Ken Ferchoff. Both of them brought their vision together to provide quality affordable housing for senior citizens to reality and since then, they have completed four additional buildings. For the past years, Renate has been actively involved in numerous Boards that look at seniors’ issues relating to quality of life. Since 2017, Renate has been actively involved on the Provincial Board of the Alberta Association on Gerontology. On a day-to-day basis, she is the General Manager of the five Lifestyle Options Retirement Communities. Renate’s vision in these facilities not only creates jobs, it also creates leaders. The impetus to provide person-centered care, and to go the extra mile, comes directly from Renate.

Renate is passionate about improving care for people with dementia. Renate is selfless and is always on the go when an opportunity arises to improve care. Renate’s philosophy in life is, “Live your life to the fullest; strive to be the very best you can; when one door closes another opens; and have lots of love and laughter in your life.”

Sandra Hirst

Goal 1: Governance Chair

Sandra Hirst

Sandra P. Hirst BScN, MSc(NEd),PhD, Associate Professor Emeritus, Faculty of Nursing, University of Calgary. 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. 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 awarded the Life time Achievement Award from the College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta. 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.

Adrienne Richard

Goal 3: Membership Chair

Adrienne is the Communications Manager for Heartland Housing Foundation, a housing management body that provides affordable housing for seniors and families in Strathcona County and Fort Saskatchewan. Adrienne was the coordinator for the Geriatric Medicine Grand Rounds at the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital from 2016 to 2019 and participated in the planning of the AAG’s Vision 2030 Symposium in 2018 - 2019.

She has over 10 years of experience in communications, issues management, public engagement, and strategic planning in the public and private sector. In her work she applies her academic training in critical theory and semantics to optimize meaning-making and impact. She has volunteered in poverty reduction work for over 20 years, and is trained in SPRINT methodology, Human Centered Design, and accessibility optimization.

Jennifer Mabugat Chan, BScN, BSBA, RN, GNC©

Chair, AAG Edmonton Chapter

Jennifer Chan

Jennifer is a Program Manager for AADL (Alberta Aids to Daily Living) with the Government of Alberta. Previous experience includes, Director for Clinical Operations of a Supportive Living organization wherein she was fortunate to partake as a Project Lead launch of U.K’s first Dementia Care Butterfly homes® in Canada. Jennifer is affiliated as a Regulatory Committee member with professional associations including the College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta (CARNA). Other involvement includes, as a Member of the Council for a Health profession regulatory college under the Health Professions Act, and actively participated as a member Provincial Dementia Advisory committee (representing Alberta Seniors Citizen Housing Association). Beforehand, she held the position as a Board of Director /General Manager in the hospitality industry and property management, respectively for over 15 years.

Chantelle Zimmer

Chair, AAG Calgary Chapter

Chantelle Zimmer

Dr. Chantelle Zimmer is a Senior Project Coordinator with the Brenda Strafford Centre on Aging and an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Kinesiology at the University of Calgary. She has a multidisciplinary background in the health and social sciences. Chantelle completed a PhD at the University of Alberta and a Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the University of Calgary. Her primary interests are enhancing the social participation, social inclusion, health, and well-being of equity deserving populations. Most of Chantelle’s work with older adults is focused on age-friendly communities and healthy aging, involving collaborations with community organizations and government. She has provided leadership for academic associations through serving on various boards and committees as well as non-for-profit organizations working as a consultant.

Catarina Versaevel

Board Member

Catarina Versaevel

Ms. Versaevel has senior strategic experience in the health care and social services fields at the local, provincial, and national levels as well as executive-level experience in the Alberta government departments of Community Development and Social Services. Catarina has developed numerous background and policy papers and managed major high-level policy initiatives for the Government of Alberta, including a strategy for primary health care reform; a coordinated provincial policy and approach for services to seniors; the development and review of health information protection legislation and the development of an accountability framework for Alberta’s health system. Some of Ms. Versaevel achievements includes Alberta’s inaugural Director of the provincial Day Care program, co-led the development of the pan-Canadian health information protection guidelines with Health Canada on behalf of Alberta and being responsible for the leadership and implementation of the Butterfly Model of Care in Canada. Ms. Versaevel currently provides leadership and consulting services to care homes and organizations serving older Albertans and Canadians.

Haidong Liang

Board Member

Haidong Liang

Dr. Haidong Liang is a gerontologist who devoted his three degrees in Canada to the specialty areas of physical activity, recreation, and gerontology. Dr. Liang has gained a reputation as an innovative practitioner dedicated to helping seniors achieve healthy aging in communities. Dr. Liang has brought 12 years of gerontology research expertise to the seniors serving network, having created the WeSeniors.ca platform, which actively connects older citizens to services provided by the public, private and non-profit sectors. During the COVID-19 pandemic, this platform reached out to 3,500+ Alberta seniors to keep them healthy and engaged. In 2019, Dr. Liang was named one of Avenue Magazine’s Top 40 Under 40. He is the executive director of Westend Seniors Activity Centre, which won the 2019 Minister’s Seniors Service Award. In 2021, he also won the Minister's Seniors Service Award from the individual category.

Recently, Dr. Liang joined the Interim Collective Leadership Group formed by the City of Edmonton and the Edmonton Seniors Coordinating Council to lead a transformation of Edmonton's network of seniors serving organizations.

Marlene Raasok

Board Member

Marlene Raasok

Marlene Raasok has had a career focused on enhancing services for aging adults, starting with her thesis in the Masters of Health Services Administration program, followed by policy and planning roles with the Department of Hospitals and Medical Care and then operational leadership roles with Extendicare, Carewest and the Calgary Health Region. Leadership roles in post-secondary roles followed the operational responsibilities with initiatives to enhance preparation of graduates for working effectively with aging adults. Helped set up the collaborative structure for the Research Institute for Aging while at Conestoga College in Kitchener. Currently retired and living in Airdrie with a focus on innovation for healthy living and aging through community engagement and organizational collaboration.

Lydia Shiao

Board Member

Lydia Shiao

Lydia Shiao’s career is focused on enhancing health services and promoting autonomy for adults living in the community. Lydia is a part of the AHS team that is responsible for the quality, education, and practice development of case management at the designated support living sites. She works closely with various stakeholders to support the independence and quality of life of older adults at the designated support living sites. Lydia also participates in and leads quality improvement projects that support research and promote the best practice among the staff and the service providers.

Lydia is also experienced in conducting quality assurance reviews that facilitate positive outcomes for patient safety from her tenure as a clinical safety lead.

Calgary Chapter Board Members 2021 - 2022

Dorothy Chacinski

Secretary

Dorothy is an undergraduate psychology student at the University of Calgary. She has experience working, volunteering, and researching in long-term care since 2018. Research projects include caregivers of individuals with dementia, the effects of COVID-19 on poverty, and neurocognitive decline in individuals with history of TIA. She is a strong advocate of using an intersectional and multi-disciplinary approach in gerontology and hopes to be working as a clinician and researcher in this field.

Jenna Naylor

Member at Large

Jenna is the interim Research and Innovative Practice Manager at The Brenda Strafford Foundation. Her educational background includes a Bachelor of Science in Foods and Nutrition undergraduate degree from Western University and a Master of Health Leadership and Policy – Seniors Care graduate degree from the University of British Columbia. Jenna’s main areas of interest include creating age-inclusive communities and promoting nutrition and physical activity throughout the lifespan.

John Vaillancourt

Member at Large

John is the owner and operations manager of Blooms on 9th following six and a half years as the Senior Manager of Knowledge and Recreation at the Kerby Centre. John has more than 25 years of experience in the field of gerontology including: case assessment/management; program creation and implementation for an older adult crisis centre; program/recreation manager for long-term care in B.C.; policy and program advisor for a long-term care in England; manager and administrator in the retail sector; project management of various special events in the public, private and charity sectors; and assistant secretary-treasurer for a municipal government. John proudly holds a BA in Gerontology from Laurentian University, and an MSc in Gerontology from the University of Southampton Centre for Research in Aging. John’s areas of expertise are: Social policy; program and leisure (analysis, design, and implementation); person centered care; dementia care; horticultural therapy; qualitative research; leadership; quality and risk management; project management; and an intricate understanding of policy issues facing older adults.

Linda McFarlane

Member at Large

Linda holds a Bachelor of Science from McGill University and a Bachelor and Master of Social Work from the University of Calgary. She is an older adult who is passionate about improving our continuing care system and ensuring that people who need ongoing care either in the community or in a care home receive respectful, dignified care, support to be as independent as possible to have a sense of wellbeing and quality of life. Linda is a patient engagement volunteer with Alberta Health Services Continuing Care and is on the Board of the Alberta Council on Aging. Working with others she researched and wrote two reports, one on the experience of caregivers in Calgary and the other on Issues and Visions for Continuing Care. sis line. Passionate about volunteer work to improve the quality of life and quality of care in continuing care, promote the need for a national seniors’ strategy. Currently she is a patient/family advisor with the Alberta Health Care Seniors Strategic Clinical Network and Continuing Care Quality Committee and is on the board of the Alberta Council on Aging and a member of the Alberta Association on Gerontology Recently completed two projects gathering input from Albertans about their experiences and their recommendations to support caregivers and to improve continuing care. Founding member of a social work group focusing of advocacy for poverty reduction and anti-racism. An adventure-oriented person, she enjoys cycling, hiking and has climbed Kilimanjaro and to Everest base camp.

Seema King

Student Representative

Seema is a PhD student at the University of Calgary in the Department of Community Health Sciences, Cumming School of Medicine. She completed her Master’s in Social Work at University of Calgary, and a Master’s in Science at the University of Alberta. For the past 6 years, Seema has been involved in a number of research projects aimed at improving the lives of seniors and their families in a variety of clinical contexts. Her PhD thesis aims to improve the supports available for substitute decision makers of seniors living with dementia.

Brooklynn Fernandes

Student Representative

Brooklynn is an undergraduate student in the Faculty of Science at the University of Calgary and is currently a research student at the Cumming School of Medicine. Following her great passion for working with seniors, Brooklynn founded the non-profit What the Tech Calgary LTD which provides free educational seminars for seniors to improve their technological literacy. Brooklynn is employed in a residential care home where she facilitates physical and cognitive well-being exercises for the residents.

Edmonton Chapter Board Members 2021 - 2022

Sarah Lucas, BA, MSc Gerontology

Board Secretary

Sarah Lucas

Sarah is a Senior Policy and Legislative Advisor with the Continuing Care Branch in the Ministry of Health where she has worked since 2013. She is currently leading the review of the legislation governing Alberta’s continuing care system. Before working in government, Sarah worked in the Recreation Department in a large long term care home and at the University of Alberta for a research project in long term care (https://trecresearch.ca/). Sarah has a Bachelor of Arts and a Masters of Science in Gerontology from the Department of Human Ecology at the University of Alberta.

Simon Palyfreyman, RN, PhD

Treasurer

Simon is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Alberta. He completed his Masters and PhD at Sheffield University in the UK. Prior to moving to Edmonton he was a nurse in the UK caring for those with chronic and acute wounds. Many wounds are a result of the ageing process and occur in the older population. The focus of his research is on measuring the impact of wounds on older people and other groups. Simon has published in a wide variety of journal and presented at local, national and international conferences.

Antonio Miguel-Cruz  DrSc, MSc, NucEng

Member at Large

Antonio Miguel-Cruz is an adjunct assistant professor at the University of Waterloo and an assistant lecturer and program evaluator at the University of Alberta as well as the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital. He is an engineer and his research focuses on development and assessment, and user adoption of technologies for rehabilitation assessments and interventions, and ways technologies can help older adults and family caregivers.

Beth Wilkey – RN, BN, MN, CHPCN(c), GNC(c)

Member at Large

Beth is a registered nurse with nearly 30 years in healthcare, primarily in palliative care and gerontology. She currently works at AHS in a leadership role and teaches as a Sessional Instructor at MacEwan University.

In addition to her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in nursing, Beth holds a certificate in Hospice Palliative Care and is dual certified with the Canadian Nurses Association in both Hospice Palliative Care and in Gerontological nursing. Beth is passionate about person and family-centered care and improving the patient experience in all settings.

Dr. Minn N. Yoon

Member at Large

Dr. Yoon is an associate professor at the University of Alberta, School of Dentistry. She obtained her PhD from the University of Toronto. The research from her dissertation focused on the oral health of vulnerable long-term care populations. Specifically, she has investigated the relationship between oral health status and the risk of developing aspiration pneumonia, explored inter-professional perceptions surrounding oral care, and the translation of evidence-based practice at the frontline of care provision. She continues her work in looking at oral health for vulnerable and marginalized populations using a variety of qualitative and quantitative methods.

Noelannah Neubauer, OT, PhD

Member at Large

Noelannah is an Occupational Therapist at Lacombe Hospital and Care Centre and a Postdoctoral Fellow at University of Waterloo. She completed her PhD in Rehabilitation Science at the University of Alberta in 2019. Her interests includes assistive technologies, dementia care, long term care and aging in place.

Saleema Allana, PhD

Lead for Student Liaison

Saleema Allana is the Edmonton Chapter scholarship recipient. She is also a PhD candidate in Nursing at the University of Alberta and actively contributes at the University as a Graduate Teaching Assistant. She also is a current Nursing Instructor at Norquest College. Saleema interest in Aging care and research is long standing and began at the Aga Khan University Hospital. She has carried her passion for improving the quality of life of older adults to her PhD and gave rise to her voluntary community service for the older adults. She developed the first ever ‘Care of Elderly’ course in South East Asia, while holding a role as an Assistant Professor at the Aga Khan University. She remains an active mentee for Transdisciplinary Understanding and Training on Research (TUTOR) Primary Health Care in Western Ontario. She holds various roles in several curriculum committees in Nursing and in the Cardiac Centre of Excellence and remains an active mentee for Transdisciplinary Understanding and Training on Research (TUTOR) Primary Health Care in Western Ontario.