Health Professionals Advisory Committee - HPAC - updated November 20, 2013

Each LHIN has established a Health Professionals Advisory Committee.  These committees are responsible for assisting the Network in carrying out its responsibilities by providing advice on how to achieve patient-centered health care.  The current membership of the Central East LHIN HPAC is detailed below.  

Opportunities to join the Central East LHIN HPAC continue to be available.  To complete a web-based application form, please click here   For more information on HPACs, please visit the Ontario LHINs website by clicking here.  


Michelle Acorn

Michelle Acorn, Nursing 

As a Registered Nurse in the Extended Class in Ontario, Michelle Acorn holds dual specialty certifications as a Primary Health Care and Adult Nurse Practitioner. She also holds nursing certifications in both emergency and gerontology and is a certified geriatric and anticoagulation prescriber. 

Michelle successfully innovated multiple NP roles at Lakeridge Health starting in the Emergency, then as a Hospitalist, SAFE Clinic, and GAIN Clinic and currently returning to Whitby NP led hospital focusing on seniors and complex continuing care. Michelle holds academic cross appointments at the University of Toronto and the University Of Ontario Institute Of Technology. She is the Immediate Past President of the Nurse Practitioner Association of Ontario. 

Michelle is the Advance Practice Nursing Professional Practice Leader at Lakeridge Health and Lead NP.  Michelle has been awarded the Gerow NP Leadership Award and Lakeridge Awards of Excellence. She co chairs the RNAO/NPAO Admit Treat Discharge working group and sits on the OHA working group.

photo to be supplied 

April Coulter, Nursing

As Director of Care at Centennial Place Long Term Care Home since it opened in 2003, April Coulter’s primary responsibilities have been to ensure the provision of high quality resident care and to promote palliative care and best practice guidelines within the Home.  April graduated from the nursing program at Fleming College in 1996 and since has acquired certification in HPCN (Hospice Palliative Care Nurse), Advanced Palliative Care and MDS-RAI.  She actively services on Fleming College Advisory Committee, Trent University Advisory Committee and is a member of the CNE/CNO Governance and Leadership Initiative – Knowledge Exchange.  She shares her passion for continuing education by acting as a preceptor for BScN students from Trent University and completed a research study in pain management at the Home.  In 2008, April was honored by Fleming College as the recipient of the Partnership in Education Award.

Sue Fergusan 

Susan Fergusan, Physiotherapy

Susan has been a practicing physiotherapist for many years with experience in hospital, out-patient clinic and most recently for the past twenty-five years in the Home Care sector which provides her with a broader view of challenges and opportunities within the Central East LHIN area.   She has also supported better health care provision as a volunteer by working to bring an expanding Family Health Team to her local area.   

Currently serving on an advisory committee for the Ontario Physiotherapy Association, Susan was recently honoured by the OPA for her external contribution to her profession. She is looking forward to her role on HPAC as a representative of the physiotherapy profession and ensuring the value-added contribution physiotherapists make to the health of the community, in hospital, out-patient rehabilitation, chronic disease management and in the homecare sector, is considered.  

Kevin Finn

Dr. Kevin Finn, Chiroprator

Dr. Kevin Finn obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Physical and Health Education at the University of Toronto and followed with his Doctor of Chiropractic degree at the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College in Toronto.  Since graduating in 1997 Dr. Finn has maintained a general family chiropractic practice in Pickering.

In addition to his private practice, Kevin  is a lecturer and instructor in the clinical diagnosis and clinical education departments at the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College.  Dr. Finn was one of the founding members of the college’s hi-fidelity simulation lab, the first of its kind in a chiropractic educational institution and helped organize their first inter-professional simulation event partnering with Centennial College’s paramedic program.

HPAC - Lori Halliwushka

Lori Halliwushka, Dietary

Ms. Lori Halliwushka is the Director of Nutritional Services at Leisureworld Caregiving Centres. In this role she is responsible for the operation of dietary services in several long- term care homes located in the Central East LHIN

She is a Registered Dietitian with over twenty-five years of professional practice experience in a variety of settings including acute care, outpatient adult diabetes education and long-term care. During her career, she has also taught at the community college level and mentored dietetic interns. 

Ms. Halliwushka graduated with Distinction from the University of Guelph with a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Applied Human Nutrition. She completed a dietetic internship at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, has been a Certified Diabetes Educator since 1995 and is a qualified Long Term Care Facility Administrator.

She is a member of Dietitians of Canada Gerontology Network and LHIN volunteer group. Ms. Halliwushka is also a member of the Long Term Care internship-working group and is a reviewer for the RAI-MDS 2.0 Nutrition Care Resource Guide working group.

Samim Hasham

Samim Hasham, Pharmacy

Samim Hasham obtained her Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Pharmacy from Robert Gordons University, Scotland in 1985. She is currently pursuing an International Masters for Health Leadership from McGill University and her Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of Colorado.

Samim has been involved in community pharmacy for over 25 years and is the owner of Morrish Pharmacy in Scarborough, Ontario. Her hospital pharmacy experience includes ICU, Nephrology and Transplant units. Samim is the satellite pharmacist for the New Dimensions ACT, the East Metro ACT and the Scarborough Hospital ACT programs. She was instrumental in initiating a 6-month project called ACT Now, a weight loss, healthy living and fitness challenge program for the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA). She recently helped develop the Medication Management Standards for CMHA Toronto’s successful application with Accreditation Canada.

Samim has completed the Training Enhancement in Applied Cessation Counselling and Health (TEACH), CPhA QUIT and OPA Smoking Cessation programs and runs a number of smoking cessation clinics often utilizing the Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN). She is also involved in Primary Health Care and Chronic Disease Management initiatives with community agencies.

Samim was invited to speak at the Ontario Pharmacists Association Conference (Toronto 2013) and the joint Commonwealth and Caribbean Pharmacists Association Conference (Bahamas 2013) on “The Role of Medication Reconciliation in Transitions of Care”. She recently delivered a “Personal Perspective” on “Clinical Pharmacy Practice in Psychiatry” for the University of Florida’s Master’s degree program.

Samim is the recipient of the 2012 Spirit of Belonging Award from CMHA Toronto for her outstanding commitment and dedication in the area of mental health.

Kori Kostka

Kori Kostka, Dietary

Kori Kostka is a Registered Dietitian with the West Durham Family Health team. She has experience in lifestyle management, motivational interviewing and medical nutrition therapy. Kori has a passion for facilitating patients to make healthy lifestyle changes in a non-weight biased environment. As a graduate of Ryerson University she received her B.Sc. in Nutrition and Food in 2007 and completed her dietetic internship to become a Registered Dietitian with ARAMARK. Subsequently, Kori worked at Trillium Health Centre, Mississauga and gained experience working in General/Respirology Medicine, Psychiatry and Continuing Care. Her passion for preventative care lead her to her current role at the West Durham Family Health Team, Pickering.

Through continuing education opportunities such as receiving her certificate from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics for Adult Weight Management, Craving Change facilitator training, DC-DOC Obesity Retreat participant, CAMH Motivational Interviewing course, facilitator training for Choices and Changes: Clinician Influence and Patient Action and Am I Hungry® previous Licensed Facilitator have influenced Kori to access and develop effective self-management programs using the Health At Every Size® paradigm.

As a consultant through her business KorNutrition, Kori enjoys maximizing the accessibility of evidence-based nutrition through the use of social media. Kori is also the previous vice-chair for the Dietitians of Canada-Ontario Family Health Team Registered Dietitian network and the secretary for the Association for Size Diversity and Health.

HPAC - Robert Kyle

Dr. Robert J. Kyle, Community Medicine

Dr. Robert J. Kyle has been the Commissioner and Medical Officer of Health for the Regional Municipality of Durham since 1991. He is a former Medical Officer of Health for the Peterborough County-City Health Unit.

He obtained his medical degree and Master of Health Science degree from the University of Toronto. He is a certificant in the Specialty of Community Medicine from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and holds a certificate in Family Medicine from the College of Family Physicians of Canada. Dr. Kyle is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and the American College of Preventive Medicine.

Dr. Kyle is an active member of many provincial and regional health organizations, including the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s Public Health Performance Management Working Group. Currently, he is Vice-Chair of the Public Health Physicians Section of the Ontario Medical Association and Chair of the Port Hope Community Health Centre.

HPAC - Sherry McGeough

Sherry McGeough, Nursing

Ms. Sherry McGeough works for the Ontario Association of Community Care Access Centres (OACCAC) and is a registered health care professional with 23 years experience, including 14 years of progressive management and leadership responsibilities. 

Sherry holds a Nursing Diploma from Mohawk College, and is currently completing a Bachelor of Health Care Administration Degree. 

Dr. Mohan

Dr. Naresh Mohan, Speciality Medicine

General surgeon Dr. Naresh Mohan has been a part of Rouge Valley Health System’s medical team since 1993. He completed his medical training at the University of the West Indies and completed his training in general surgery at the University of Toronto. Dr. Mohan established his practice in east Toronto at Rouge Valley Centenary and has served in various medical leadership roles, including Chief of Staff since 2004.

Dr. Mohan’s primary focus is to ensure that the medical services offered at Rouge Valley are of the highest quality, and meet the needs of the communities it serves in west Durham and east Toronto. He is keenly interested in exploring innovative technological solutions to address healthcare challenges for patients, and is currently completing a master’s degree in health information sciences.

HPAC - Robert Neville

Dr. Robert John Neville, Family Medicine

Dr. Bob Neville is a life-long resident of Peterborough where he has been in private practice as a Family Physician since 1986.  Dr. Neville is also the Medical Director for Occupational Health & Claims Management at The Peterborough Regional Health Centre, a position he has held since 1988.  He also works as a Medical Director for Collins & Aikman Automotive, General Electric, Milltronics, A.G. Simpson, Purity Packaging, Cameco Co., & Zircatec Precision Industry as well as earlier appointments with JPE Inc. & Pebra Inc.

Dr. Neville’s volunteer work has included: Peterborough District Childbirth Association, Marycrest Home for the aged, Inglewood Retirement Residence, and Peterborough Petes Hockey Club. He is currently a Director of the Peterborough Petes Hockey Club, a Governor with the Ontario Hockey League, President of The Medical Centre – Peterborough, Lead Physician for The Medical Centre Family Health Organization and Vice President of Primary Health Care Services Peterborough.

Dr. Neville has acted as preceptor in teaching final year medical students and to nurse practitioners.  He has also lectured on various topics in Occupational Medicine & Pharmacology throughout Central Ontario.

Dr. Neville has been the recipient of a number of academic and non-academic awards including: The Dr. A. Travill Award of Achievement, The Professor’s Prize in Family Medicine, First Chief Resident from a 2nd year Class, Peterborough Sportsman of the Year 1996.

Elizabeth Romero

Elizabeth Romero, Nursing

A Registered Nurse for over 30 years, Elizabeth has varied experience in the different fields of nursing including community, teaching, hospital, research and clinics (Hemodialysis, Gastro & Immunology).  With over ten years of professional Community Health experience as a professional, Elizabeth has held various management positions with community health agencies, adult teaching schools and clinics.  She has developed, managed and completed several projects which include setting up and operating a private school for the PSW program and setting up a four-suite endoscopy clinic.

Elizabeth's professional trainings include Footcare Nursing, Occupational Health, Clinical Research, Project Management and she is affiliated as a CNO Registered Member, RNAO Member, SoCRA Member, PMI Member, BLISS Community Advisor for Senior Care, PLM Alumni Association President (Canada).  Elizabeth's professional goal is to effectively collaborate towards Quality Change for a Better and Healthy Community.

Gabrielle Sadler

Gabrielle Sadler, Physiotheraphy

Gabrielle Sadler is the Unit Manager of the Continuing Care Program at the Ross Memorial Hospital in Lindsay, managing interdisciplinary teams on Palliative, GERI, Rehabilitation, Functional Enhancement and Complex Medical units.  Since 2009, Gabrielle has taken a lead role and collaborated with community partners on several initiatives, including Senior Services such as the Geriatric Engagement and Re-integration Unit and the Restorative Care Program, the 2011 Hospital Smoke Free Site Initiative and a community-based Heart Failure Education and Support Group.  In addition, Gabrielle is a member of the HKPR District Stroke Council and the Canadian Physiotherapy Association.

Previously, Gabrielle worked as a physiotherapist in a variety of community and hospital-based roles, including Infant Development, ICU, Medicine and Employee Musculoskeletal Injury Prevention.   Gabrielle graduated with a B.Sc.PT at the University of Western Ontario in 1999.  She has since achieved an M.Sc.PT from the University of Toronto and a Master’s Certificate in Health Care Management from the Schulich School of Business.  Gabrielle has been published in peer reviewed research journals and presented at both national and international conferences.   Gabrielle brings a passion for patient and family centred care, inter-professional and cross-organizational collaboration to promote best care for the people of our community.

Lesley Santos

Lesley Santos, Social Work

Mrs. Lesley Santos is a Manager of Quality and Resident Support at Shepherd Village Inc. She is a registered Social Worker with nine years of experience working with the elderly population in a variety of settings, including hospital, long-term care homes and a government setting.

At the Ontario Seniors’ Secretariat, she was a member of the Federal/Provincial/Territorial Safety and Security Working Group who coordinated the Elder Abuse Working Forum in 2007. She has also taught the Social Service Worker/Community Service Worker program at a local community college in her area and has mentored social work students, as well as a post-graduate student.

In 2009, she attended the 26th Annual Social Work Day at the United Nations in New York City and the Global Student Social Work Conference at Fordham University. She possesses a Master’s Degree in Social Work from York University, where she obtained an entrance scholarship. Her master’s thesis is entitled, A Critical and Postmodern Analysis of Ontario’s Elder Abuse Programs and Services: It’s where domestic violence was 20-25 years ago. She was also on the Dean’s List for the Bachelor of Social Work program at York University. 

Mrs. Santos is a current member of the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers and the Ontario Association of Social Workers.

photo to be supplied 

Rebecca Weeks, Midwifery

Rebecca Weeks is a registered midwife with the College of Midwives of Ontario.  She has been practicing in the Haliburton and surrounding communities since 2008 with Midwifery Services of Haliburton-Bancroft.  Prior to opening the midwifery practice in Haliburton, Rebecca was an associate midwife with Community Care Midwives in Oshawa.   Ms. Weeks is a member of the Association of Ontario Midwives and is currently a member of the policy advisory committee and the eye prophylaxis sub-committee.  She is also a member of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.  Rebecca has also been recommended for appointment to the rank of Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Family Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences at McMaster University. 

Prior to becoming a midwife, Ms. Weeks was a psychometrist working with individuals with acquired brain injuries and those with learning and memory challenges in the Peterborough area.  Rebecca holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Trent University, a Graduate Diploma in Gerontology from the University of Waterloo, and a Bachelor of Health Science degree in Midwifery from Ryerson University. 

Sheila-Mae Young

Dr. Sheila-Mae Young, Family Medicine

Sheila-Mae Young is a practicing Lindsay Family Physician within the City of Kawartha Lakes Family Health Team.  Throughout her career, Dr. Young has had multiple leadership responsibilities within her Community Hospital, the Ross Memorial Hospital.  She has served as Chief of Medical Staff, President of Medical Staff and Clinical Medical Director of the Continuing Care Program at the Ross.  Dr Young was pleased to accept the James Ross Award of Excellence, Ross Memorial Hospital in 2007 and the Glenn Sawyer Service Award, OMA in 2008.  From 2002-2006, she was Co-Chair of Quality Assurance Program of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario and since 2007 continues as a member of the Discipline Committee.

From November 2008, Dr. Young has held the position of Primary Care Lead for the Central East Regional Cancer Program of Cancer Care Ontario, a position she holds with fourteen other Regional Primary Care Leads across the Province.  In 2011 and 2012 for six months, she performed the duties of the Provincial Primary Care Lead at Cancer Care Ontario.  She has been co-lead of two Guidelines for Family Physicians and other Primary Care Providers on Referrals for Suspected Prostate and Lung Cancers that are published on the Cancer Care Ontario website in conjunction with the Program for Evidence Based Care (PEBC).

Within the Central East LHIN, Dr. Young has been a member of the Primary Care Working Group since 2009 and most recently serves on the new Primary Health Care Advisory Group with its inception in 2013.  In 2008 and 2010, she participated in Humanitarian visits to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania with the non-governmental organization of Institute for Cultural Affairs (ICA)-Canada.  Dr. Young continues in her volunteer participation in programmatic development at the community level for ICA Canada with particular interest in the “Il Ngwesi” approach to HIV/AIDS program development.

Family pursuits remain top priority and the grounding values for all activities.