Please find out more about the members of the Provincial Board, the Calgary Chapter Board and the Edmonton Chapter Board below.
Provincial Board Members 2022 - 2023
- Lynne Mansell - President
- Dr. Chantelle Zimmer - Vice President
- Sharon Anderson - Executive Secretary
- French Lau - Treasurer
- Sandra Hirst - Goal 1: Governance Chair
- Marlene Raasok - Goal 2: Policy Chair
- VACANT - Goal 3: Membership Chair
- Dorothy Chacinski- Chair, AAG Calgary Chapter
- Jennifer Mabugat Chan - Chair, AAG Edmonton Chapter
- Catarina Versaevel -Member at Large
- Lydia Shiao - Member at Large
- Barry Pendergast - Member at Large
- Kathleen Hunter - Member at Large
- Heather Tomlinson - Member at Large
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.
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.
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.
French Lau is currently the Controller for Lifestyle Options Retirement Communities, a private operator of several senior retirement facilities in Edmonton and surrounding area. He is an advocate for alleviating pressure in the health care system by moving seniors out of acute care and back into the community and their home.
French is a seasoned accounting professional with over ten years of experience in both public practice and industry. Prior to joining Lifestyle Options, he was the Manager of Financial Reporting for a crane and heavy haul services company.
He holds a Bachelor of Commerce Degree with Distinction from the University of Alberta and received his Chartered Accountant designation while working at PwC.
Goal 1: Governance Chair
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.
Goal 2: Policy Chair
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.
Chair, AAG Calgary Chapter
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.
Jennifer Mabugat Chan, BScN, BSBA, RN, GNC©
Chair, AAG Edmonton Chapter
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.
Member at Large
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.
Member at Large
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.
Member at Large
Barry Pendergast is a retired architect having served on many boards including as Vice President of the Alberta Association of Architects with a responsibility for education, held a position as an Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Environmental Design at the University of Calgary and served six years on the University Senate. Is currently involved in advanced technology research with several Canadian universities to investigate how virtual reality can play a part in assisting clients with dementia and communication with their families and medical advisors. At the same time using the technology to provide affordable solutions that help seniors maintain a reasonable level of physical, mental, and cognitive wellbeing.
In recent years he has also been involved in researching practical ways to allow seniors to age-in-place in the their community by creating age friendly organizations that provide a variety of support services using a well-organized volunteer base. Options would include regular check-ins, social connections, creative arts, affordable renovations, home sharing, fitness programs, technology training right the way through to palliative care and end of life support. A major objective to provide viable alternatives to unnecessarily having to downsize into unfamiliar surroundings or long-term care.
Through this work he has established excellent connections with the majority of seniors organizations in the Calgary region and with national groups like AgeWell Canada. He has lectured widely on possible solutions.
Member at Large
Kathleen F. Hunter (Professor, University of Alberta Faculty of Nursing) holds specialization in gerontological and continence nursing. In addition to teaching and research, she is an NP at a continence clinic. A long-time member of AAG, Kathleen assumed the AAG Scholarship Chair role in Fall 2021, is a member of the AAG Futures Policy Forum Stakeholders Collaborative Committee and is delighted to have joined the AAG Board in June 2022. She has interests in addressing ageism in health care and society, and improving access to health and social services for older Albertans.
Heather Tomlinson, B.A. (Honours), M.Sc. (A), CGeront., R.SLP, SLP(c)
Member at Large
Heather is a speech-language pathologist (SLP) with Alberta Health Services. She has significant experience working across the continuum of care including acute care, long-term care, and community rehabilitation. Her educational background includes a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in psychology (Concordia University), and a Master of Science (Applied) in Communication Sciences and Disorders (McGill University). She obtained a post-graduate certificate in Gerontological Studies from Mount Royal College (now Mount Royal University). She is a passionate lifelong learner, and to that end, she is a currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Leadership through Royal Roads University, and will be completing her thesis in a long-term care setting.
Throughout her career, she has been a strong advocate for seniors and has been involved in projects to improve the experiences of seniors in hospital settings and long-term care. Heather’s main areas of interest include helping to improve the quality of care for seniors who live in long-term care, and helping to improve communicative access for adults who are living with aphasia, a common language disorder after stroke. She is a co-founder of the Calgary Aphasia Centre, who is dedicated to raising awareness about aphasia. As well, Heather regularly provides training for health care professionals who work with adults who are living with aphasia.
Calgary Chapter Board Members 2022 - 2023
- Dorothy Chacinski – Chair
- Jenna Naylor – Member at Large
- John Vaillancourt – Member at Large
- Linda McFarlane – Member at Large
- Sophie Sapergia – Member at Large
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.
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.
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.
Edmonton Chapter Board Members 2022 - 2023
- Jennifer Mabugat Chan – Chair
- Sarah Lucas – Board Secretary
- Simon Palyfreyman – Treasurer
- Antonio Miguel-Cruz – Member at Large
- Beth Wilkey – Member at Large
- Dr. Minn N. Yoon – Member at Large
- Noelannah Neubauer – Member at Large
- Saleema Allana – Lead for Student Laison
Sarah Lucas, BA, MSc Gerontology
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
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.