Board Members

The Board of Seniors Care Network includes senior healthcare leaders representing hospitals, community service providers, seniors’ advocates and others from across the Central East Region. The Board’s responsibilities include strategic planning, risk management, organizational and management oversight, oversight of internal financial and operational controls, corporate governance, and communication with stakeholders.

Board Members include:

Board Chair

Taryn Rennicks, Executive Director, Community Health Centres of Northumberland – Host Agency Representative

Taryn Rennicks was recently appointed as Executive Director of the Community Health Centres of Northumberland. Ms. Rennicks has been an integral part of the leadership team at the CHCN, advancing from the Manager of Business Operations in 2014, to the Director of Corporate Services in 2016. Taryn’s tenure with the Centre dates back to 2009.

Taryn brings over fifteen years of experience working in healthcare with extensive work in governance and board relations developing strategic and operational plans, motivating staff and volunteers in coordinated efforts to execute these plans, and developing lasting and productive working relationships with all stakeholders properly positioning the CHCN as a true partner in community healthcare providers; most recently as the representative on the Ontario Health Team of Northumberland. Taryn is also on the Board of Directors for Habitat for Humanity Northumberland.

Board Vice Chair

Denyse Newton, Executive Director, Alzheimer Society Durham Region– Community Agency Representative (Durham)

Denyse Newton is currently the Executive Director of the Alzheimer Society of Durham Region. Over the past 4 years, she has lead the agency through extensive growth and positioned ASDR as a leader within the community support sector.  Denyse has been co-lead on the CE LHIN Dementia Strategy Plan and is currently part of the CELHIN Steering Committee to develop a Dementia Capacity Plan for the region.  Additionally, she sits on a number of provincial advisory committees with fellow Alzheimer Society leaders.

Denyse has worked within the charitable sector for over 25 years with management & leadership roles within Community Care Durham, WrapAround Durham, United Way, Resources for Exceptional Children, Canadian Blood Services and Ontario Senior Games.   Denyse is a strong advocate for vulnerable persons and has sat on a variety of community Boards and committees whose focus is upon serving those living with developmental disabilities and seniors.   Denyse holds a BA in Psychology and has completed post graduate certificates in Nonprofit Management and Community Health Leadership as well as a Master’s Certificate in Public Administration.

Trish Baird, Chief Executive Officer, Community Care Northumberland – Community Agency Representative (North East)

Trish has worked in the health and social service sector for the past 30 years. Currently she is employed with Community Care Northumberland, a multi-service, volunteer-based community agency as their Executive Director, a position she has held for 23 years. While at Community Care, Trish has led the growth of the agency to become recognized as a ‘lead’ in the community support sector and community hospice delivery of services in Northumberland County. Trish has a Bachelor degree in Social Sciences from the University of Ottawa and a Certificate in Long Term Care Administration from Ryerson University. Trish lives in the Town of Campbellford where she and her husband raised two boys and all were active in the local community. Trish has been a volunteer with a number of community organizations recently finishing a nine-year term on the Campbellford Memorial Hospital Board and also involved with the Community Mental Health Centre, the Venture Van Board, Beehive Daycare and 5 years as a municipal councillor (Municipality of Campbellford/Seymour).

Dr. Sarah Brisbin, Geriatrician – Physician Specialist Representative (Geriatric Medicine)

Dr. Sarah Brisbin is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada with dual certification in Internal Medicine and Geriatric Medicine.

Dr. Brisbin is a Geriatrician at the Kawartha Centre in Peterborough. She provides outpatient Geriatric Medicine Consultation and also serves as a Sub-investigator for clinical trials research for Alzheimer’s Dementia.  She additionally provides service for the Geriatric Medicine Consultation group at the Peterborough Regional Health Centre, as well as throughout the area with the GAIN team program.

Dr. Brisbin received her Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Toronto before heading west to obtain her residency training in Internal Medicine at the University of Calgary. She additionally completed her subspecialty fellowship training in Geriatric Medicine at the University of Calgary where she was Chief Resident of the program in her final year. Prior to her formal medical training, Dr. Brisbin completed graduate studies in molecular genetics and worked as a research assistant in Geriatric Psychiatry at Queen’s University. She is a published academic in the fields of molecular biology, Geriatric Psychiatry and Geriatric Medicine.

When she’s not busy with clinic duties, Dr. Brisbin enjoys all the outdoor opportunities Central East Ontario has to offer, especially spending time on the water. She is very excited to be joining the Seniors Care Network board and optimizing Senior’s healthcare in her community and province.

Lisa Burden, Vice President, Home and Community Care Support Services, Central East (Ontario Health East) – Ex-Officio Member

In Lisa’s role of Vice President – Home and Community Care, she is responsible for the development, implementation and evaluation of home and community care programs and services. As a member of the East Region’s Executive Leadership Team, she continually contributes to the Home and Community Care Support Services – Central East’s strategic

plan, evaluating the effectiveness of the Service Delivery Model and ensuring the continuity of equitable patient care. As well, she continues to develop and enhance community partnerships and jointly plans innovative patient-focusedcommunity initiatives that best serve the Central East residents.

Lisa Burden has 30 years of experience in various health care settings including hospital, long term care homes, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and the community. She joined the Central East LHIN in 2017 in the role of Vice President after holding various positions in the management team at the Central East Community Care Access Centre (CECCAC) from 2000onward (formerly Durham Access to Care).

Lisa holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Laurentian University. Throughout her career she has been involved with several committees, projects and working groups across the Central East region, including Complex Diabetes Management, Vascular Health, Geriatric Services, Stroke Network, the Renal Program and many other Home and Community Care Support Services – Central East initiatives.

Lisa is committed to improving health outcomes for the patients in Central East; her ideas and approaches are driven by a desire to contribute to a better performing health care system overall. Lisa utilizes her strategic planning skills and result oriented approach to ensure innovative patient care which encompasses all system health care partners.

Renate Crizzle – Seniors’ Advocate/Public Member (Scarborough)

Renate is a very active, involved retiree devoting much of her time to advocating for fair and equitable treatment of older people through her volunteer work with CARP, an organization promoting the interests, rights and quality of life for Canadians as they age, as well as promoting an active life style through her volunteer work in the field of tennis as President of a Scarborough tennis club.   A lifelong successful career in Human Resources has equipped her to handle intricate interpersonal relationships and resolve problems successfully.  Rather than seeing just one isolated part of a story, she sees the big picture, for instance the reality that our frail old seniors, whose numbers are steadily increasing, need adequate and effective health care services but also appropriate housing, transportation and caregiver support, and the caregivers in turn need support to prevent burnout. Recognizing the importance of this issue to society, she is hoping to make a contribution as a Board member to finding workable solutions.  Renate has a BA and a Diploma in Human Resource Management from the University of Toronto.

Diane Duncan, Executive Director, Senior Persons Living Connected (SPLC) – Community Agency Representative (Scarborough)

Diane’s career of over 25 years has spanned community-based health and support services, and affordable housing. She is a passionate believer in supporting people to live in the community.  Her experience has included work in direct services, human resources and leadership, with organizations supporting people living in community with developmental disabilities, physical disabilities, HIV/AIDS and seniors. Diane is a Certified Human Resources Leader (CHRL) and is currently pursuing a Master of Health Administration (Community Care) with Ryerson University. She has studied governance with Ryerson University, Community Health Leadership with Rotman Executive Programs and holds a certificate in Indigenous Cultural Safety.

Diane has been Executive Director since 2012 with Senior Persons Living Connected (SPLC), a community organization offering a basket of care and services, and also managing subsidized rental and life lease housing. Collectively, these offer a model of care and housing that enable ageing in place for thousands of diverse seniors. Diane has led a strategy that strengthened sustainability while developing responsive and equitable supports specialized to underserved seniors.

Michele James, Vice-President, People and Transformation at Scarborough Health Network (SHN) – Hospital Representative 

Michele James is the Vice-President, People and Transformation at Scarborough Health Network (SHN) where she has worked since 2008. Michele’s portfolio includes oversight of human resources for the organization’s 5200 employees and executive leadership for diversity, inclusion and health equity; and strategy and transformation.

Michele has contributed to the health sector for 32 years in hospitals, the Ministry of Health and as a management consultant. Former roles include associate partner in IBM’s health care practice and director of the health care consulting practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers. Michele holds a Master in Business Administration with a specialization in Health Services Management from McMaster University and a Bachelor of Science in Human Biology from the University of Toronto. She is a Certified Health Executive, a graduate of Rotman’s Advanced Health Leadership Program and she holds an Advanced Good Governance certificate.

Michele serves as Chair of the Board of Governors for Durham College and also chairs the Advisory Committee for the Black Physicians Association of Ontario. Michele was selected as one of the 100 Accomplished Black Canadian Women for 2020.

Pamela Kulas, Administator, Victoria Manor Long Term Care Home (Lindsay) – Long-Term Care Representative

Pamela J. Kulas has devoted her entire career to “helping seniors live fully – every day” (coincidentally, Sienna Senior Living’s mission) by role-modelling Sienna’s core values of respect, passion, teamwork, responsibility, and growth – both to her staff and literally dozens of residents at Victoria Manor.

Having been with Sienna Senior Living since 2003, she stepped into her present role in 2014 where she was challenged with (1) restoring internal culture at this municipal home owned by the City of Kawartha Lakes and (2) Instituting cost-effective systems and processes.

In just a few short years, she has elevated resident satisfaction year over year, uncovered new ways to enhance fiscal responsibility, and introduced a range of technology improvements. Key to Pamela’s career-long success is embodying a “warmth of human connection” philosophy so that families derive peace of mind, knowing their senior loved ones are properly cared for.

In earlier roles with Sienna Senior Living, Pamela created a series of new programs / policies / procedures and willingly took on extra assignments to position Sienna Senior Living as a top-of-mind choice as seniors transition into their next phases of life.

Her passion for helping others, building teams, and improving lives extends into her volunteer activities. Since around 2017, Pamela has volunteered for an organization that focuses on repurposing textiles into unique items of clothing shipped to Nicaragua and Peru.  In addition, she continues to sponsor a young rep volleyball team – comprising 13- to 15-year-old girls – where the girls receive invaluable lessons in teamwork and camaraderie.

No matter the activity, Pamela has earned a reputation of injecting a culture of excellence to unlock group and organizational potential.

Diane MacEachern, Nurse Practitioner – Primary Care Representative

Diane MacEachern has been nursing for about 30 years – 24 years as a Primary Health Care Nurse Practitioner. Diane graduated with her BScN from McMaster University in 1991 and has since completed her Nurse Practitioner Certification (1997) and MScN (2013) at York University with a focus in leadership and education.

Diane spent the first few years of her career as a staff nurse in Oshawa and as a Public Health Nurse in Scarborough. After completing her education as an NP, she practiced at The Youth Centre, Community Health Centre and had the privilege of working within a caring and highly skilled interdisciplinary health care team for 13 years. Diane eventually shifted her focus to providing primary health care to the frail elderly living in long-term care and served the CE LHIN with NPSTAT, Nurse Practitioners Supporting Teams Averting Transfers for over 10 years.

Diane considers herself to be a lifelong learner and has always enjoyed a role in supporting other nurses and students in this regard. She has taught and preceptored at Ryerson University in the NP program and has been both a Clinical Instructor and Faculty Advisor in the School of Nursing at Ontario Tech (formerly UOIT). She joined the faculty team in the BScN and Bridging Programs at Centennial College about two years ago, and in a full time capacity in January 2020.

In addition to her current teaching responsibilities, Diane maintains a small private practice in a local retirement home. Her focus in her current clinical practice is supporting the elderly as they manage often multiple chronic illnesses. She has a keen interest in nursing care that supports those whom are living with dementia. Supporting patients and families through their palliative and end-of-life journeys is also very important to her. She enjoys working with families and appreciates both the challenges and rewards that come when caring for this vulnerable, and often invisible, population.

Diane is married and has a 22 year-old son and an 20 year-old daughter. In her spare time, Diane enjoys reading, gardening, cooking, travelling and watching hockey!

Carolyn Plummer, President and CEO, Haliburton Highlands Health Services (HHHS) – Hospital CEO Representative

Carolyn Plummer is Interim President and Chief Executive Officer at Haliburton Highlands Health Services (HHHS), an integrated rural healthcare hub that includes hospital, long-term care, community, and mental health services. Carolyn joined the organization in October 2015 as the Director of Patient Services and Chief Nurse Executive; prior to this, she was the nursing professional practice lead and corporate lead for practice-based innovation at University Health Network in Toronto, Canada. Carolyn has held clinical, leadership, and management positions in acute care, complex continuing care, and long-term care, she has worked in private sector consulting in the areas of strategic planning, operations, and practice, and she has previously served on the Board of Directors for HHHS. She has a broad spectrum of leadership experience and expertise in innovation, leadership development, person-centred care, practice, operations, strategy, quality improvement, healthy work environments, research, education, and governance.

Carolyn received her Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from the University of Toronto in 1994, and a Master’s Degree in Health Sciences (Health Administration) from the University of Toronto in 2001; she is currently completing her PhD at Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara, California, with a focus on human and organizational systems.

Dr. Sanaz Riahi – Vice-President, Clinical Services, Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences – Mental Health Sciences (Hospital) Representative

Sanaz Riahi (RN, PhD) is Vice-President, Clinical Services at Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences (Ontario Shores).  Sanaz works collaboratively with internal and external stakeholders to optimize and advance clinical operations and quality of care at Ontario Shores. She’s passionate about maximizing the use of technology, to support, promote and advance quality interprofessional practice environments to optimize outcomes for patients, staff and the organization.

She has led Ontario Shores in the achievement of HIMSS Davies Award of Excellence and multiple HIMSS EMRAM Stage7 revalidations, placing Ontario Shores as the first hospital in Canada to receive these awards in recognition of its Electronic Health Record System. She is also collaborating with teams to advance bundled care pathways in mental health.

Sanaz is a researcher and educator who has done numerous presentations and has publications in the areas of nursing education, the minimization of seclusion and restraint, the implementation of electronic health records, and violence and aggression in mental health. She is currently a Lecturer in the Department of Psychiatry at University of Toronto.

Dr. Kim Ritchie – Seniors’ Advocate/Public Member (Durham) 

Kim has worked as a registered nurse for 25 years, primarily in mental health and geriatric mental health. Her experience includes direct clinical care in hospital and community, working as a clinical nurse specialist in geriatric mental health, and in professional practice and leadership roles. She teaches part-time at Trent/Fleming School of Nursing. She also has experience as a caregiver, having fulfilled this role for older family members with multiple health care needs.

Kim completed a Bachelor of Nursing Science from Queen’s University, a Master of Nursing from the University of Toronto, and a PhD in Rehabilitation Science from Queen’s University.

She currently works as a Research Associate in the Trauma and Recovery Lab at McMaster University. Her research focuses on understanding the unique and shared lived experiences, and psychological impacts among healthcare providers and public safety workers resulting from their work during the COVID-19 pandemic. Other research projects Kim is involved in include PTSD, trauma, and mental health issues impacting older adults.

Dr. Sina Sajed, Primary Care Physician (Family Medicine and Care of the Elderly) – Primary Care Representative

Dr. Sajed completed his residency in family medicine at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. After his residency, Dr. Sajed started a community based teaching practice in the Kingston/Gananoque/Thousand Islands area. Among his physician roles in that area, Dr. Sajed attended to patients and was the medical director of two nursing home and was a consulting physician at the Upper Canada FHT Collaborative Memory Program. In October of 2015, Dr. Sajed closed his practice and relocated to the GTA in the pursuit of better specialized educational services for his son with autism. In Toronto, Dr. Sajed completed the Certificate Program in the Care of the Elderly through the University of Toronto at the Toronto Rehabilitation Hospital in 2017.

Currently, Dr. Sajed attends to patients at the Ukrainian Canadian Care Centre and the Tony Stacey Centre for Veterans. Dr. Sajed is a consulting physician at the Toronto Memory Program and the Courtice Primary Collaborative Care Memory Clinic. Dr. Sajed is also the lead physician of the Primary Care Collaborative Memory Services for the Durham/Scarborough. As he was in the Kingston area, Dr. Sajed remains an Assistant Professor for the Department of Family Medicine at Queen’s University (Oshawa/Lakeridge Campus) and has a community based teaching family practice at the Oshawa Clinic where he supervises resident physicians and nurse practitioner students.

Seniors’ Advocate/Public Member (North East) – vacant

If you are interested in this position, please see: