Chatham-Kent: February 9, 2018 - Today, Chatham-Kent Health Alliance (CKHA) announced its new Board of Directors. This is the final step in the move to a new hospital corporation governing both the Chatham and Wallaceburg hospital sites with a single Board of Directors.

The selection of the new Board of Directors is the culmination of a robust and professional search process.  Using an executive search firm, potential candidates were sought from across the region.  A Nominations and Selection Committee guided the process.  This committee was comprised of three inaugural Board members, Greg Aarssen, Dan Miskokomon and Sharon Pfaff along with Lori Marshall, Dr. Pervez Faruqi, Dr. Allison Morand and Ron Thomson from the Rural Health Advisory Committee. 

"I am impressed with the caliber and skills of the individuals from across Chatham-Kent who are willing to step up and volunteer their time and expertise to serve on the Board of Directors," said Rob Devitt. "I am confident that these outstanding individuals will provide a new standard in governance for CKHA.  I am pleased with the way this group fills the range of skills we were looking for and reflect the geography and rural and urban communities that our organizations serves."

The following individuals are the new board of CKHA:

Greg Aarssen

Greg, born and raised in Wallaceburg, is an entrepreneur, investor and farmer. Greg enjoyed over 30 years in the oil and gas industry. He worked corporately with AltaGas Ltd., a TSX 100 corporation, serving in various executive capacities, including Vice President Corporate Affairs and Co-President, Gas. Greg holds a Bachelor Science (Honours) from the University of Western Ontario, and an MBA and Juris Doctor (JD) from the University of Windsor. Greg retired from the energy industry in 2012.  He continues to provide consulting and management advice to the energy sector. 

Kathryn Biondi

Kathryn is a resident of rural Chatham-Kent.  She is past Chair of the Erie St. Clair Community Care Access Centre, past Board member of Ontario Association of Community Care Access Centres and Chatham-Kent Community Strategic Planning Committee.  Presently, she sits on the Essex-Kent-Lambton Grant Review Team for the Ontario Trillium Foundation and is a Board member for the Chatham-Kent Police Services Board.  Kathryn has extensive work experience in senior roles in the Ontario Public Service and University of Guelph. 

Robert Dye

Robert is a resident of Ridgetown. Prior to his retirement he served as the President and Chief Operating Officer of the Purchasing Management Association of Canada. He is a member of the Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario and Chair of the Chatham-Kent Strategic Priority Advisory Committee. He is past Board member and Treasurer for the Board of the Directors of the Erie St. Clair Community Care Access Centre.  Robert was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree (LLD) from Wilfrid Laurier University in 1999 for his contribution to management education in Ontario Universities. 

Brian Glover

Brian was born and raised in Wallaceburg. He graduated from the University of Waterloo and is currently employed with the National Bank Financial as an Investment Advisor.  Previous to this Brian was the CEO for the Chatham-Kent Family YMCA.  He has served as board member for several organizations including YMCAs of Southwestern Ontario where he currently chairs the Audit Committee. He has been a Board member for Entegrus Powerlines, Chatham-Kent Family YMCA and Chatham-Kent Safety Village.

Deborah Hook

Deborah is the Executive Director for Community Living Wallaceburg. A graduate from Université Laval with a Bachelor of Law degree, she also holds a certificate in Corporate Governance.  Deb is fully bilingual in English and French and is a member of the Québec Bar.  She has more than a decade of experience in health care and community leadership in Southwestern Ontario and Ottawa.  She is currently a Director with the YMCAs of Southwestern Ontario and is Chair of the Governance Committee and a member of the Executive Committee. 

Rita Mezei

Rita has over 20 years of progressive career experience working in a diversity of roles including operations, policy, project management and administration in healthcare and public safety. She lives in Chatham with her family and is the Executive Director for the Canadian Centre for Healthcare Facilities since 2013.  She has a Master of Science in Planning degree from the University of Toronto and a Bachelor  of Arts (Honours), Political Science from McMaster University. 

Dan Miskokomon

Dan is currently serving his second term as Chief for Bkejwanong Territory/Walpole Island First Nation (WIFN). Previously he held the roles of First Nation Manager for WIFN & Delaware Nation - Moravian of the Thames, Co-Manager for Munsee-Delaware Nation and Economic Development Programs Planner for WIFN. He is also the former Owner and CEO of DRSKOKE: Technical, Financial and Management Consultant Services.  Dan holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix and a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Western Michigan University (received Outstanding Native American Alumni Award) and received Mechanical Drafting Technician from St. Clair College, Windsor (recipient of the Alumni of Distinction Award).

Geetu Pathak

Geetu is an area business owner and executive. She serves as CEO of Milo-FAIS and is Vice Chair of Ekagrata Inc. She has considerable experience in turn around management, business building and strategy consulting.  Geetu has extensive governance experience and is currently serving on the Board of Directors for the Toronto International Film Festival, where she Chairs the Audit Committee. She is also a member of the Board of Directors of Ryerson University. Recently, Geetu completed her term as a member of the Board of TV Ontario where she was Chair of the Audit Committee. Geetu has an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahemadabad and a B.Tech degree in Chemical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology.

Sharon Pfaff

Sharon, a resident of Erieau, has held senior roles at Cancer Care Ontario with direct accountability for the Information Programs of Prevention & Screening, Cancer, Chronic Disease Management which included Cardiac Care Network, Ontario Renal Network and Access to Care. Sharon was the Chief Executive Officer for Consolidated Health Information Services (CHIS). Since retiring in 2012, Sharon has fulfilled the community board member role for the Chatham-Kent Board of Health. Sharon was the Chair of the Lester B. Pearson Board of Directors and former Director for the Chatham-Kent Children's Services' Board.

Mark Richards

Mark lives and farms in North Kent. He has significant governance experience serving on the Michigan Sugar Company Board of Directors, including as Board Treasurer since 2013. He also serves as the Vice Chairman of the Agriculture Credit Corporation, based in Guelph.  Mark was also the recipient of the Kent Federation of Agriculture's Ed Campbell Memorial Award for Director of the Year and the Meritorious  Service Award.  Mr. Richards was recognized by the Wallaceburg and District Chamber of Commerce as a Young Leader. In 2017, he received the Agriculturist of the Year Award from the Chatham-Kent Chamber of Commerce.

April Rietdyk

April is a long time resident of the region and is currently the General Manager, Community Human Services/CEO for Chatham-Kent Public Health. She has her PhD in Public Health, a Masters of Health Studies, Leadership and Bachelor of Science in Nursing. She is a member of Advantage Ontario, Ontario Municipal Social Services Association, Canadian Public Health Association, and the Ontario Public Health Association. 

Betty Schepens

Betty lives in Wallaceburg and is a Registered Nurse. Betty worked at the CKHA Wallaceburg Site for several years before joining the Public Health Unit with the Municipality of Chatham-Kent, where she is currently a Program Manager. Her Board experience includes time as the Municipal representative to the Essex-Kent-Lambton District Health Council, including roles as Vice-Chair and Chairperson Elect.  Betty also led development and implementation of the Chatham-Kent Community Health Centre as a founding board member.

This final step follows the approval of a single corporation for the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance by the Minister of Health and Long Term Care effective February 1, 2018.  

The new board members will participate in an extensive orientation program later this month as they transition to taking over the governance role beginning on April 1, the start of the next fiscal year for the Organization.  

"This is very exciting for CKHA and the community. While I have enjoyed my time working with community and the CKHA organization, it is time to return the hospital governance to the local community," Devitt said. 

For more information please visit www.askckha.com. All biographies are posted under "Governance."

A teleconference will be held today (Friday, February 9, 2018) at 1:30 p.m. with Rob Devitt and Lori Marshall to answer any questions. Please RSVP to Fannie Vavoulis. Conference call details are as follows:

Dial in number: 1.866.613.5223
Passcode: 6732455

For more information, please contact:

Fannie Vavoulis, Director,
Chief Communications & Community Engagement Officer
fvavoulis@ckha.on.ca
519.359.3172 (cell)