The North East LHIN Healthy Change Champion Award

The North East LHIN created the Healthy Change Champion award in 2012 to recognize the outstanding work that is being done across the region by our providers to transform the health care system so that it becomes more integrated, easier to access, and delivers quality care when Northerners need it.

Do you know a Healthy Change Champion?

Tell us in one to two paragraphs why you think a person or organization working to transform health care in the North East region should be nominated as a North East LHIN Healthy Change Champion. Send your nomination to

Please include a phone number where you can be reached for more information.

Healthy Change Champions:

December 2018 - Kapuskasing Interprofessional Primary Care Committee
Kapuskasing has historically had a shortage of primary care resources. Many people in the community are unattached patients who do not have access to a primary care provider. An even larger number do not have access to the services of an interdisciplinary primary care team. Recognizing the challenge, a large number of local partners came together to form the Kapuskasing and Area Interprofessional Primary Care Committee. Through collective action, the committee developed innovative strategies to improve access to primary care for the residents of Kapuskasing. For their efforts, they are being recognized as Healthy Change Champions by the North East LHIN.

Kapuskasing Interprofessional Primary Care Committee
November 2018 - Nipissing Service Collaborative Implementation Team
The Nipissing Service Collaborative Implementation Team helped to develop a system navigation guide to better connect clients to the services they need related to mental health, addictions, and developmental disabilities. For its dedication to improving and transforming the mental health and addictions system in Nipissing, the team has been nominated a North East LHIN Healthy Change Champion.

Nipissing Service Collaborative Implementation Team
November 2018 - Alan Elliot
Alan Elliott, a Laird Township resident and the co-chair of the North East LHIN’s Patient and Family Advisory Committee (PFAC), is a long-standing volunteer dedicated to helping the less fortunate in Sault Ste. Marie and area. Over the past two years, Alan has helped collect close to 2,000 household items for donation to charitable groups such as the Salvation Army.

Alan Elliot
October 2018 - Jake Marion, Aimee Belanger, and Jon Brunetti
Health service providers and people living in the area identified that access to health care services in the community is an ongoing issue. Espanola and Area Family Health Team (FHT) and Public Health Sudbury & Districts took the lead in transforming the system so that it becomes more patient-focused, integrated, and easier to access. For their work to bring more services to Webbwood, they have been named North East LHIN Healthy Change Champions.

Jake Marion, Aimee Belanger, and Jon Brunetti

April 2018 - Dr. Al McLean and Dr. Sarah White
Two Sault Ste. Marie physicians, who have a passion for helping patients in difficult circumstances, are being recognized by the North East LHIN as Healthy Change Champions. Dr. Alan McLean and Dr. Sarah White provide physician coverage at a weekly drop-in clinic that operates each Thursday at the Neighbourhood Resource Centre (NRC) on Gore Street.“Thanks to the efforts of Dr. McLean and Dr. White, people in Sault Ste. Marie are receiving quality care and patients are being linked to vital social and community supports in order to live more healthy and well,” said Jeremy Stevenson, CEO of the NE LHIN. “As a LHIN we are working to ensure quality care is delivered equitably so that people can access it close to home. Dr. McLean and Dr. White are making great strides in addressing equity and accessibility in their communities.”

Dr. Al McLean and Dr. Sarah White

March 2018 - Donna Stewart
Donna is Director of Integrated Social Services at the Manitoulin-Sudbury District Services Board (DSB), where she oversees a number of programs and initiatives including social housing. Two years ago, Donna spearheaded a unique initiative that would make available mental health supports to residents within the Manitoulin-Sudbury DSB’s social housing units. For her work in developing an innovative model to better serve vulnerable patients, Donna Stewart has been named a North East LHIN Healthy Change Champion.

Donna Stewart

January 2018 - Dr. Jennifer Jocko
A registered nurse in the Northeast for 10 years, Dr. Jocko decided to pursue a career as a physician. She attended medical school at McMaster University, and completed her obstetrics and gynecology (OB/GYN) specialty training at the University of Ottawa. In 2014, she joined the team at Health Sciences North. For the last year and a half, she has also been the Regional Cervical Screening and Colposcopy Lead for the North East Local Health Integration Network (NE LHIN). In addition, she is a consultant specialist at the Shkagamik-Kwe Health Centre where she has a weekly half-day clinic – and she has a monthly rural outreach OB/GYN clinic on Manitoulin Island. Dr. Jocko holds an Assistant Professor position at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, and is an active member of several medical societies. For her commitment to women’s health and patient-centred care, Dr. Jocko has been named a North East LHIN Healthy Change Champion.

Dr. Jennifer Jocko
December 2017 - The North Algoma Steering Committee‚Äč 
For the past several years, a diverse group of people from six communities have been working hard to make improvements to the health care system in North Algoma. For their work, the North Algoma Health System Steering Committee has been named a Healthy Change Champion. ”The North Algoma Steering Committee highlights the extraordinary work taking place across Northeastern Ontario to improve the patient experience,” said Kate Fyfe, Interim CEO of the NE LHIN. “This group has pulled a wide range of partners together and focused on how people can more quickly and easily move through the health care system to get the care they need, as close to where they live as possible.” 

Darlene Trovarello (left) and Mary Anne Pearson

October 2017 - Chad Carter
Preparing to move 24 hospitals to a single Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system is no small task. However, it’s one that a Sault Area Hospital (SAH) employee has embraced enthusiastically by working tirelessly while keeping an infectiously positive attitude. For this commitment to improved patient care, SAH Enterprise Architect, Chad Carter, has been named a recipient of the North East LHIN’s Healthy Change Champion award.

Chad Carter

August 2017 - Dr. Janet McLeod
For close to a year, Dr. McLeod has been meeting with patients and providers, working to develop a plan to better coordinate care for people living in rural areas of Northeastern Ontario. For her work with Rural Health Hubs (RHH), Dr. Janet McLeod has been named the North East LHIN's Healthy Change Champion.

Dr. Janet McLeod 

March 2017 - Pam Williamson, Gloria Daybutch, and Angela Recollet
The NE LHIN has named the Executive Directors of the region’s three Aboriginal Health Access Centres (AHACs) as Healthy Change Champions for their work in advancing the system of care for Aboriginal Northerners. Gloria Daybutch is Chair of the LHIN’s Local Aboriginal Health Committee (LAHC) and Executive Director of the Maamwesying North Shore Community Health Services Inc. located in Cutler. Angela Recollet is Executive Director of Shkagamik-Kwe Health Centre in Sudbury and a member of LAHC. Pam Williamson is Executive Director of Noojmowin Teg Health Centre in Little Current, a member of LAHC, and Co-Chair of the NE LHIN’s Mental Health and Addictions Advisory Council. 

Pam Williamson, Gloria Daybutch, and Angela Recollet
February 2017 - Kerby Audet
Kerby was the North East CCAC sponsor behind the eReferral software project, an incredibly valuable tool that helps facilitate a patient’s journey through the health care system. When a patient is about to be discharged from hospital, and requires home care services, a member of the hospital care team electronically submits a request for assessment to the CCAC. The referral then automatically populates patient information into the CCAC’s electronic health information system and notifies the CCAC of the planned discharge date and assessment required.

Kerby Audet
January 2017 - Jennifer McLeod
“Jennifer has been instrumental in many patient-focused projects in the Timmins area, including the Health Link, Timmins Palliative Resource Team, the North East Specialized Geriatric Centre Regional Systems Steering Committee, and more.  She is renowned for her collaborative approach,” says Louise Paquette, CEO, NE LHIN. “Jennifer’s leadership is exactly what the system needs as we continue to find ways to work together better so Northerners get a positive health care experience as close to where they live as possible.”

Jennifer McLeod
December 2016 - Sault Ste. Marie Police Service
The SSM Police, led by Chief Robert Keetch, received the North East LHIN’s award for Healthy Change Champion for their leadership and commitment to maintaining a healthy community and working with residents at the Gore Street Neighbourhood Resource Centre, and collaborating with the Sault Area Hospital on mobile crisis and mental health calls.

The SSM Police Service’s Gore Street Neighbourhood Resource Centre, which started in 2014, pulls together a number of initiatives and services for people in the area. Since its inception, partners, including police officers like Constable Darin Rosetto have developed trust and respect with residents through positive interactions. It is increasingly becoming a place where people turn for help. Police have seen a decrease in calls for property crime, social disorder, and violent crime in the area since the resource centre started.  

Sault Ste. Marie Police Service
July 2016 - Mary Davis
Mary has been at the helm of a forward-thinking collaborative effort to help move patients with unique needs from the North Bay Regional Health Centre to either transitional or permanent housing in community. Mary demonstrates the best qualities of our Northern health care leaders -- she champions the interests of clients first, and works with partners to achieve the best outcomes for people. Her unwavering focus on doing what is best for Northerners is remarkable,” says Louise Paquette, CEO of the NE LHIN.

Mary Davis
December 2015 - Yves Barbeau
Yves Barbeau, Executive Director of the Kapuskasing Community Health Centre (CHC), has been named a North East LHIN Healthy Change Champion for both his work in improving access to health care for Francophones and his leadership in implementing the Canadian Index of Wellbeing  for his centre’s clients.

The Kapuskasing CHC is part of a provincial initiative and one of two Francophone CHCs to pilot the index. It is now in year two of the project. The index determines whether progress is being made towards sustainable well-being in eight inter-connected categories – health, living standards, community vitality, environment, leisure and culture, education, time use, and democratic engagement. 

Yves Barbeau
October 2015 - Victoria Nicholson
Veronica, who is Anishnawbe from the Michipicoten First Nation near Wawa, has been the Executive Director of the Timmins Native Friendship Centre (TNFC) since 2004. The Centre was established in 1974 to provide a cultural approach to the delivery of services and programs for members of the urban Aboriginal community. Veronica contributes strongly to her own organization and to our Board’s Local Aboriginal Health Committee, and works in partnership with others to include the values of Aboriginal culture and traditions into today’s health care system.

Victoria Nicholson
August 2015 - Jennifer Amyotte
The North East LHIN salutes the work of Jennifer Amyotte, City of Greater Sudbury Paramedicine Service Commander of Community Paramedicine and Professional Standards. She has been named a Healthy Change Champion for her leadership in transforming how paramedics help people with complex conditions, as well as those in crisis in the community. Amyotte has also worked with the LHIN on a project to provide paramedics with specialized mental health and addictions training so that ambulances can bring appropriate patients to receive help at Crisis Intervention Services on Cedar Street or the Detox Centre, rather than the hospital’s busy emergency department.

Jennifer Amyotte
August 2015 - Northern Postpartum Mood Disorder (PPMD) Strategy
Alan McQuarrie, Executive Director of Community Counselling Centre Nipissing; Linda Rankin, Director of the Northern Ontario PPMD Project; and Jennifer Gordon, Coordinator of the project; have been recognized as Healthy Change Champions by the LHIN for their efforts to raise awareness of  postpartum mood disorders -- a mental illness known to be one of the most debilitating for women in their childbearing years. The strategy also recognizes that PPMD impacts the whole family and, in particular, infant development.

The Northern Ontario PPMD Strategy and its resources are available at These include eight videos with families telling their “lived experience”  stories with this mental illness, as well as professionals discussing recent research. Linda is promoting the project across Ontario, with the hope of achieving an Ontario PPMD strategy.

Northern Postpartum Mood Disorder (PPMD) Strategy
April 2015 - West Parry Sound District Community Support Services Program Volunteers
When one of their 550 Parry Sound clients needs a friendly visitor, a ride to an appointment in a NE LHIN funded vehicle, help with grocery shopping, meals on wheels … you name it, a member of this volunteer brigade is at the door to help. The volunteers’ contribution of about 10,000 hours a year, aligns with the NE LHIN’s efforts to bring care closer to where people live. A strong home and community based system of care helps seniors to live independently longer while strengthening the health care system by easing pressures on hospitals and long waits in emergency rooms. “Our volunteers are exceptional,” says Linda Taylor, Director of Community Support Services for West Parry Sound Community Support Services. She’s worked with the program for 26 years and says it continues to expand its services to benefit clients. “Our volunteers strongly believe in our vision,” says Taylor. “It’s Reaching out and responding. Our mission is YOU.”

West Parry Sound CSS Program Volunteers
December 2014 - Minnie Jeffries

Minnie’s commitment to learning led her to complete the Diabetes Education Program in early 2002, and the designation of Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE).  Her fluency in Cree and knowledge of the culture of her people has made diabetes education more meaningful and accessible to many of her clients and patients.

“Minnie was always willing to share her knowledge and experience with staff and students and was a preceptor to nursing students interested in Diabetes Education,” said Caroline Lidstone-Jones, Chief Quality Officer, Weeneebayko Area Health Authority.  “Minnie has had the opportunity to work with a variety of Diabetes Education Nurses and Dietitians during her 16 years in the diabetes program.  She has shared her knowledge, experience and passion with many staff and students.”

Minnie Jeffries
September 2014 - Cochrane Behavioural Supports Ontario (BSO) Integrated Response Team
“Providing specialized care through our BSO program for aging Northerners and support for their caregivers, are priorities for the North East LHIN,” said Louise Paquette. “This BSO team demonstrates the person-focused care that is at the core of strengthening our health care system here in Northeastern Ontario.” Responsive behaviours can be a result of dementia, mental health and/or substance use disorders, and other neurological disorders. The team includes professionals based out of several organizations including the Alzheimer’s Society, Canadian Mental Health Association in Timmins, Extendicare Timmins, Extendicare Kapuskasing and North Bay Regional Health Centre.

Cochrane BSO Integrated Response Team

August 2014 - Kathy Chirgwin and Family
This month, the North East LHIN is recognizing Andy’s family as Healthy Change Champions for their work in positively transforming our Northeastern health care system to make it more patient-focused. The family worked with Tamara Dubé-Clarke, Patient and Family Partnered Care Coordinator at North Bay Regional Health Centre (NBRHC), to create a video of his life story to introduce Andy, a retired policeman, husband, father and grandfather, to his caregivers.

Kathy Chirgwin and Family
Kathy Chirgwin and Family

March 2014 - Heather Cranney
Heather has been a system navigator at the Canadian Red Cross, working out of North Bay Regional Health Centre, and will now serve as the First Nations’ Communities Health Development Lead for Red Cross. She previously was a manager of the Timmins and District Branch of the Canadian Red Cross. Throughout her 30-year career, Heather has always championed a strong community-based system of care and has worked tirelessly to help ensure health human resources are in place in Northeastern Ontario to strengthen this system.

Heather Cranney

February 2014 - Paula Fields
A longtime resident of Manitoulin Island, Fields understands the dynamics of providing quality health care in a rural area that includes several small municipalities and seven First Nation reserves. With more than 15 years of experience working for various health care organizations, including community Aboriginal Health Authorities, long-term care homes, and hospital settings, Fields continuously searches for opportunities to improve patient care.

Paula Fields

January 2014 - Lynne Cheliak
Lynne is a northerner who puts the needs of the women she serves first, including making sure that Francophones in her area get the help they need in French.

Cheliak joined Pavilion Family Resource Centre in 2001. Although it is currently in the process of changing its name to Pavilion Women’s Centre, Pavilion will continue to provide counselling for women survivors of sexual assault and sexual abuse in a linguistically and culturally sensitive manner.

Lynne Cheliak

December 2013 - Shalene Bonhomme
Shalene is one of the many outstanding front line workers in the North East who are helping seniors live independently in their own homes. She has embraced this career as a calling and by so doing has changed the lives of her clients for the better.

Bonhomme has worked in ICAN’s Outreach Attendant Care and Supportive Housing programs for persons with physical disabilities and then recently made the switch to supporting seniors in their homes.

Shalene Bonhomme

October 2013 - Barbara Harten
Barbara Harten’s work as an Administrator at Algoma Manor Nursing Home in Thessalon has been defined by a commitment to collaborate with partners and stakeholders to create new models of rural care.

Barbara has worked, and continues to work, with many partners to create a more integrated rural model of care -- one that is focused on seniors and others who need help with the tasks of daily living.

Barbara Harten

September 2013 - Alice Radley
Alice has been involved in PHARA’s three housing projects, and ensured that supportive housing has been an integral part of each one.

In addition to her active work on the North East LHIN’s various committees, Alice serves on various Ontario boards. She is Board Chair of the Ontario Association of Independent Living Service Providers, and has been a board member of the Ontario Non Profit Housing Association. She also is a member of the Northern Independent Living Association which works with members from across the North East Region.

Alice Radley

June 2013 - Gil Contant
Every hour of every day, assisted living clients in Elliot Lake are assured that services are available to allow them to live safely in their own homes for as long as possible – thanks in part to Gil Contant and the Huron Lodge team.

June 2013, Gil Contant and Huron Lodge are being recognized as Healthy Change Champions by the North East Local Health Integration Network for their quality work in providing assisted living services to "high risk" seniors.

Gil Contant

May 2013 - Shana Calixte & Marion Quigley
Shana is the Executive Director of NISA/Northern Initiative for Social Action, a consumer/survivor initiative located in Sudbury, where she provides organizational leadership, as well as advocacy for mental health consumers. Witnessing the recovery of others through peer support, Shana believes in the power of mutual support to challenge as well as strengthen the mental health system and often speaks about the need to include a health equity lens into peer support work.

Marion, the CEO of the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Sudbury / Manitoulin Branch, has been working in health care for almost four decades, including 20 years in mental health. Over the past year, she has collaborated with other community organizations including Health Sciences North and the Greater Sudbury Police Service to create a new model for Community Crisis Intervention Services.

Shana Calixte

Marion Quigley

March 2013 - Dr. André Hurtubise & Dr. Eric Paquette
Both physicians are primary care champions for their Health Links – a new model of care being developed for patients with complex conditions, which includes seniors and those with multiple chronic diseases, mental illness and addictions.

Dr. Hurtubise

Dr. Paquette

November 2012 - Monica Bretzlaff
Monica is the Regional Behavioural Supports Ontario (BSO) Coordinator, with the North Bay Regional Health Centre.

She is being recognized for championing a new system of care for our most vulnerable – older adults with dementia, neurological conditions and mental illnesses – and also providing new help for their caregivers.

Monica Bretzlaff

Relevant Links

Healthy Change Champion Award Criteria