The Board of Seniors Care Network includes senior health care leaders representing hospitals, community service providers, seniors’ advocates and others from across the Central East LHIN.
Supported by the Central East LHIN, the Seniors Care Network Board is accountable for the development, delivery and monitoring of an integrated regional system of Specialized Geriatric Services for frail older adults.
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:
Varouj Eskedjian, Board Chair, President and CEO, Campbellford Memorial Hospital – Hospital CEO Representative
Varouj Eskedjian has had a varied 30+year career in health services administration across the health care system, across the Province of Ontario and with significant experience in seniors’ care and health services transformation.
Varouj obtained a Masters Degree in Health Services Administration from the University of Toronto and began his career at The Riverdale Hospital (now Bridgepoint Health) in Toronto that focused on complex continuing and rehabilitation care for seniors. His first executive position, as an Assistant Administrator, followed in the mental health sector at London Psychiatric Hospital. Following his senior role in London, Varouj Eskedjian moved into a position in the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, which included the time of the Hospital Restructuring Commission from 1997-2000. After 5 years in the Ministry, Varouj went back into health services administration in community hospitals in Orillia and Lindsay as a Vice President. While in Orillia, Varouj held a volunteer Board position with Simcoe County Association for the Physically Disabled (now Simcoe CountyIndependent Living Services) and was a founding Board member and Chair of the Child, Youth and Family Services Coalition of Simcoe County. In Lindsay, Varouj Chaired the Board for United Way City of Kawartha Lakes and was a founding member and Chair of the Board of Community Care Village Housingthat built a 70-unit affordable seniors housing complex in Lindsay.
Following his tenures as a Vice President, Varouj moved into the CEO roles at Haliburton Highlands Health Services and Campbellford Memorial Hospital, both small integrated health services delivery organizations in the most rural areas of the Central East LHIN. In Haliburton, Varouj championed the integration of hospital and community serviceswhere all community health services were transferred to HHHS resulting in a model “rural health hub” delivering the full continuum of health services in Haliburton County.Varouj also developed strategic partnershipsat HHHS with Ross Memorial Hospital in Lindsay, at CMH where a shared leadership and back-office integration was developed with Northumberland Hills Hospital, and most recently as one of a dozen health services providers approved to develop an “Ontario Health Team” for Northumberland County.
Denyse Newton, Board Vice Chair, 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, Executive Director, 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).
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.
Dr. Jenny Ingram, Past Chair, Central East LHIN Physician Lead for Seniors Care, Specialist Internal Medicine and Geriatric Medicine
Dr. K. Jennifer Ingram is a specialist in Internal and Geriatric Medicine, who practises in Peterborough Ontario and provides clinical consultations in many surrounding communities, a role she has embraced since her arrival here in 1987. Until she found a clinical home, Dr. Ingram worked as a Health Care Consultant to several large consulting firms doing health care reorganization and strategic planning throughout Ontario and Canada. Settling into clinical work in Central East has allowed Dr. Ingram the ability to focus on patient care and emerging needs of seniors. Dr. Ingram has worked in Acute Care, in Long Term Care, and with the Psychiatric Assessment Services for the Elderly team before assuming a major role in the delivery of geriatric care in the community. As she likes to remind people, “the community is where the majority of seniors are and where they want to stay”.
She is the founder and Principal Investigator of the Kawartha Regional Memory Clinic, one of 25 centres for clinical research in dementia accredited through the Consortium of Canadian Centres for Clinical Cognitive Research (C5R). Dr. Ingram has been pivotal in the development of geriatric and dementia care clinical services in the Central East Local Health Integration Network (CE LHIN), including Primary Care Neurocognitive Testing services, the Geriatric Assessment and Intervention Network, which provides assessment and care to older adults living with frailty, and was a founding member of the Peterborough chapter of Osteoporosis Canada.
Currently, Dr. Ingram is the Board Chair of the Seniors Care Network Board, as well as the founding chair of the Peterborough Council on Aging, a municipal government advisory group on age friendly planning. The PCOA, along with its member organizations, has established an annual policy and education day, the Seniors Summit, and an annual community services event, the Seniors Showcase.
Dr. Ingram is a trained and registered Capacity Assessor performing legal assessments of financial and testamentary capacity for individuals and their legal counsel. She is a Peer Evaluator and Lead for Geriatric Medicine for the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario which has allowed Dr Ingram to visit geriatricians across Ontario. Together with her four Geriatrician colleagues at Peterborough Regional Health Centre, they have formed the Division of Geriatric Medicine, with Dr. Ingram serving as the Chair. The Geriatricians in the Division act as consultants to eight of the eleven GAIN Teams, three Primary Care Memory Clinics and to Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences Memory Clinic. Their efforts have become a template for service delivery for the larger community as members tackle the development of Consultation Liaison teams in Acute Care, Geriatric Assessment and Behaviour Unit, and Senior Friendly Care.
Dr. Ingram is also one of three Ontario Lead Investigators in a CIHR funded Canadian Team for Healthcare Services / System Improvement in Dementia Care, as part of the Canadian Consortium for Neurodegeneration in Aging (CCNA). This team will be assessing dementia care implemented in primary health care for persons with Alzheimer Disease and related disorders. In addition, a Regional Extension Study will carry this protocol forward to evaluate dementia services across the spectrum of Primary Care, Geriatric Medicine clinics and Geriatric Psychiatry Memory Clinics in the Central East LHIN, believed to be a Canadian first. This initiative, led by Dr. Ingram, has been a collaborative community based effort supported by Trent Centre for Aging and Society, Seniors Care Network and Ontario Shores Mental Health Services.
Dr. Ingram has been recognized for her leadership by Trent University receiving the Trent University Community Leaders Award (2009) and by the Ontario Medical Association, who awarded Dr. Ingram the Glenn Sawyer Service Award (2016) for outstanding contribution to the OMA, the medical profession or the community. Most recently, Dr. Ingram received the Irma Parhad Award from C5R in recognition of excellence in research based on the translational research in the community.
Dr. Ingram is both honoured and pleased to join the team of physician leads that are working to create a sustainable health care future for the CE LHIN. She views her role as the Seniors Physician Lead as an important signal that the Central East LHIN has embraced Seniors Health Care as a pivotal component in their policy and system improvements to support Healthy Aging in our region.
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.
Helen L.Y. Leung, CEO, Carefirst’s Group of Organizations – Community Agency Representative (Scarborough)
Helen, since 1994, has been the Chief Executive Officer of Carefirst’s group of organizations, which include Carefirst Seniors and Community Services Association, Carefirst Family Health Team, and Carefirst Foundation. Carefirst provides comprehensive community-based support services, primary health care and health education programs to the fast growing aging population in the Greater Toronto Area and York region.
Under the leadership of Helen, Carefirst has developed exemplary community partnerships to enhance community members’ accessibility to health care and social services systems. For example, Carefirst has developed partnership with The Scarborough Hospital’s renal dialysis centres to enhance the CKD patients’ access to renal social support programs since 2001. Carefirst has been identified as primary lead in various areas; recent new initiatives include: Assisted Living, Assess & Restore, Community GAIN team, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Program, and Exercise and Falls Prevention program.
Helen also actively participates in different LHIN’s advisory committees, such as the Central East LHIN’s Vascular Aim Coalition and Regional Specialized Geriatric Service Governance. Through her active committee participation, Helen continues to advocate and contribute to the implementation of integrated care across the different sectors of our health care system.
Scott Macpherson – Seniors’ Advocate/Public Member (North East)
After a number of years as a clinician at CAMH (the Donwood Institute), Scott joined the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care where he took the lead in developing Ontario’s Problem Gambling Strategy, followed by the Rationalization of Ontario’s addiction system. Then with the Alzheimer Society of Ontario he assumed the project manager role for the completion of the multi-faceted Alzheimer Strategy Transition Project.
Scott then went on to be an independent consultant where he spent much time supporting a broad range of community agencies, in areas that included: strategic planning, policies and procedures, community engagement and stakeholder relations, corporate finance, Ministry and LHIN relations, proposal writing and advocacy. His consulting career ended with the Central East LHIN where he was the project manager for the implementation of Behavioural Supports Ontario (BSO) and the expansion of the Geriatric Assessment and Intervention Network (GAIN).
Now retired and living with his artist wife Barbara, Scott is well-ensconced in the Northumberland County community, and remains involved in health care, serving as an advisory volunteer on several boards and committees.
Carolyn Plummer, Interim President & 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. Sina Sajed – 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.
Dr. Karima Velji, Vice President of Clinical Services, Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences- Hospital CEO Representative
Dr. Karima Velji is a health care executive with progressive leadership experience spanning the full continuum of care. Her expertise encompasses development and implementation of innovative models of care, inter-professional practice, and quality and safety systems to foster patient-centered outcomes.
Dr. Velji holds the position of Vice President of Clinical Services at Ontario Shores, a Centre of Excellence for Mental Health Care in Whitby, Ontario. Previously she was Vice President for Patient Care and Quality at St. Joseph’s Health Care in London, Ontario; Chief Operating Officer and Chief Nursing Executive at Baycrest, Toronto; and Vice President of Patient Care and Chief Nursing Executive at Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, which is now a program of University Health Network.
Dr. Velji is a sought after consultant for system level projects. She has led the development of patient experience projects for the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care and the Local Health Integration Networks in Ontario. She has led external reviews of several organizations including Sunnybrook Health Science Centre, Bruyere Continuing Care and Schlegel Villages.
Dr. Velji’s responsibilities extend to provincial and national leadership. She is Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of Accreditation Canada and co-chair of Health Canada’s Violence Evidence Guidance Action (VEGA) program. She is completing her term as the 2016 United Way Campaign Chair for London Middlesex. Dr. Velji has completed her term as President and Chair of the Board of Directors of Canadian Nurses Association (2014-16).
Dr. Velji has cross-appointments to the University of Toronto, University of Western Ontario, McMaster and Nippissing University. She has won several outstanding achievement awards including the Sigma Theta Tau Excellence in Administration award, University of Toronto Distinguished Alumni award, Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) Margaret Comack Award of Excellence in Nursing Leadership, and the Award of Excellence in Teaching (student nominated) from the Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing at University of Toronto. She is profiled in the boundless banner campaign as an outstanding alumnus of University of Toronto.
At the system/global level, Dr. Velji is a consultant to global sites, including East Africa, the Middle East and Asia, for development of quality of care and academic plans.
Dr. Oleg Veselskiy, Physician, Specialist in Internal and Geriatric Medicine – Geriatrician Representative
Dr. Veselskiy is currently practicing as a Geriatrician in the Peterborough area providing both community outpatient and inpatient care for seniors. He completed his training in Geriatric Medicine at Dalhousie University and joined the Geriatric team in Ontario in 2015. He carries international experience from his past work as a Neurologist in Ukraine. He has completed research projects on stroke management and did a Stroke Research Fellowship at The University of Ottawa. His areas of expertise are managing complex advanced dementia patient with impaired behaviour, dementia associated with movement disorders, and medication adjustment. He is happy to join The Senior Care Network and has the goal of using his knowledge to improve care of the elderly, particularly those who suffer from dementia.
Anne-Marie Yaraskavitch – Seniors’ Advocate/Public Member (Durham)
Anne- Marie is a resident of Whitby who brings a mixture of consumer, caregiver and business experience to her role of senior advocate/public member on the board of the Seniors Care Network.
Her 28 year career with Bell Canada spanned work in a number of different areas within the organization, including leadership positions in client services and business management. After her retirement in 2001 Anne-Marie pursued studies in the area of aging, completing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Gerontology. She has also completed a certificate program in Working with Dementia Clients.
Since her retirement Anne-Marie has focused her volunteer work in areas related to health care initiatives focused on improving the system of care and support for seniors and caregivers. She has served as the chair of the Dementia Network of Durham Region and been a board member of the Older Adult Centres’ Association of Ontario and the Alzheimer Society of Durham Region. Her volunteer work has also included being a senior/caregiver representative on various Central East LHIN initiatives including the Seamless Care for Seniors Steering Committee, the Caregiver Support and Well-Being Priority Project, the GAIN Steering Committee and the GAIN Redesign Project. Anne-Marie has also had first-hand experience as a family caregiver in both an urban and rural setting.