ICCER Steering Committee
Chair ICCER Steering Committee
Francine Drisner, is a senior health care executive with more than 30 years of experience in the Alberta health-care system.
Francine has been a health-care leader in a variety of settings including acute care, rehabilitation and long-term care. Throughout her career she has focused on many facets of health care and is most passionate about how to support clients and residents to achieve the best quality of life possible.
Francine also participates in various regional and national committees. She is a member of the Seniors Quality Leap Initiative (SQLI), a collaboration of North Americas leading nursing home care providers to share performance data and the results of specific initiatives in an effort to drive improved quality of care and safety of seniors. She is also a member of the Alberta Continuing Care Quality Working Group (CC-QIWG) which is selecting quality indicators for the continuing care sector that will be reported to the public.
Francine began her career with CapitalCare in 1998 as manager of community programs. She became the administrator of CapitalCare Dickinsfield in 2006, and administrator of CapitalCare Lynnwood in 2011. On November 2, 2015 she became acting Chief Operating Officer for CapitalCare following the retirement of Iris Neumann, and was confirmed as COO in June 2016.
Francine was born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta. She has a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy from the University of Alberta and a Masters in Health Studies from the University of Athabasca.
Vice-Chair ICCER Steering Committee
Rita Wright Director, Resident Care
Bethany Care Society
Steven Friesen is Director, Quality, Clinical Education and Research at Bethany Care Society and holds an adjunct appointment with the University of Alberta's faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine’s Occupational Therapy department. He has held research and evaluation positions in Alberta’s public and non-profit health care sector for more than 15 years. His professional experience includes a broad focus on health service and system research and program evaluation across primary care, continuing care and acute care settings. Steven’s graduate work in environmental design and subsequent research experience emphasize a special focus on the performance of the built environment and relationship to health and health care systems.
College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta
Glenda Tarnowski - Since becoming an LPN in 1984, Glenda has practiced in a variety of acute care, long term care, clinic settings, and specialized perioperative practice. Moving into nursing regulation at the College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta in 2014 and taking on the portfolio of Director of Professional Practice in early 2018.
She have a strong commitment to life-long learning and hold a Master of Arts in Leadership with Health specialization from Royal Roads University, and a Certified Health Executive designation from the Canadian College of Health Leaders. Most recently having completed graduate studies in Corporate Social Innovation with a focus on Design Thinking for creative solutions.
The health and wellness of individuals served through the continuing care sector are of particular interest. Her belief being that supporting a person-centered care philosophy through evidence informed practice enables an empowered and collaborative team approach and enriches the health journey of care recipients.
Brad Perkins has been on the Board of Excel Society as President/ CEO since March 1, 2016. Brad was born and raised in Edmonton and graduated from the University of Alberta. He is a Chartered Professional Accountant, Certified Management Accountant, and former partner with KPMG, one of the worlds largest business services firms. Brad served on the Excel Society Board of Directors for 12 years including roles as Chair, Chair of the Building Committee, and Chair of the Audit Committee.
Good Samaritan Society
Edythe Andison, Vice President, Clinical Support
Eli Ahlquist (RN, EdD) is the Dean of Health and Human services at Keyano College. He is a registered nurse with 12+ years of experience in post-secondary education. Prior to joining Keyano College, he served in various academic leadership roles for nursing and health science programming in Saskatchewan. He is passionate about education and committed to the integration of technology to enhance learning. His current research interests include the use of virtual reality-based simulation in teaching and the integration of professional doctorates as faculty in nursing education.
Renate Sainsbury, General Manager
Erika Goble is the Manager of Research at NorQuest College. Prior to joining NorQuest, she was the Research Project Coordinator in the Relational Ethics in Health Care Research Program at the University of Alberta from 2004 to 2014. Erika’s research interests concern the ethics of practice in health and education, aesthetic experience, and the use of images in teaching, research and practice. Erika holds a Doctorate of Philosophy in Secondary Education from the University of Alberta and a Masters in Anthropology from Dalhousie University.
Jennifer Mah, Dean, Faculty of Health & Community Studies
Shepherd's Care Foundation
Silvera for Seniors
Andrea Young is the Research & Program Development Lead for Silvera for Seniors, the third largest seniors housing management body in Alberta. Prior to joining Silvera, she spent 12+ years working in the non-profit sector in various roles such as research, evaluation, capacity building, financial management, and program design & delivery. Andrea is passionate about evidence-based practice, data-informed decision making, and innovative service delivery for older adults. In her role at Silvera, she supports the growth of their learning culture and strengthens community connections through ongoing evaluation work and collaborative research. Andrea holds a Master’s of Science in International Development from the University of Bath in England, and a Bachelor of Management in Accounting and International Management from the University of Lethbridge. She has lived in/visited over 40 countries, and is an author and dill pickle enthusiast. Through Silvera’s membership with ICCER, Andrea has been able to contribute and take part in province-wide learning opportunities and the advancement of quality of life for older adults.
Kathy Fortunat, has been a Nurse in Alberta’s health care system for over 30 years. Her experience includes critical care, home care, and most recently, long-term care. Kathy is passionate about quality, person centred-care for seniors at all levels of the health care system and believes the best way to achieve these outcomes is by engaged, motivated, self-directed and happy caregivers.
Kathy began her career with Sherwood Care in 1998, working as the night RN and moved to her current role as Director of Care in 2006.
Kathy was born and raised in Fairview, Alberta. She obtained her RN diploma at the Royal Alexandra School of Nursing in Edmonton and completed the Bachelor of Nursing Program through Athabasca University.
University of Alberta
Adriana Rios Rincón (PhD) is an assistant professor of the Department of Occupational Therapy, University of Alberta. She is an AGE-WELL network investigator. Her current research is devoted to investigating the use of assistive technologies to assess and promote cognitive skills and engagement in play in individuals with motor and cognitive impairment including those living with dementia. She is also interested in exploring the use of information and communication technologies and artificial intelligence to support decisions about transitions across the continuum of care in older adults and individuals with disabilities.
Hannah O'Rourke (RN, PhD) holds a Faculty of Nursing Professorship in Dementia Care Interventions at the University of Alberta and has a New Investigator Award from the Alzheimer Society. Her program of research is patient-oriented, and focuses on the design, evaluation and dissemination of interventions to improve quality of life for people with dementia. She has adapted several interventions for use with people with dementia, which are aimed to address loneliness and promote positive perceptions of intimacy and belonging in relationships with others (i.e. social connectedness) – a priority for quality of life according to people with dementia. Future studies will test whether and how well the interventions work and for whom, contextualizing the findings for sub-populations of people with dementia. The ultimate goal of Hannah’s research is to produce effective interactions that promote social connectedness, which people with dementia, and their family, friends and health care providers find acceptable for use in real world settings to improve clinical practice and quality of life of people with dementia.
Kathy Tam is the Chief Executive Officer at Wing Kei in Calgary, a position she has held since 2007. Kathy has extensive experience in continuing care and geriatric rehabilitation medicine and is currently an Accreditation Canada surveyor for other long term care centres across Canada. Throughout her career in health care, her focus has been on creating dynamic, flexible teams that meet the needs of residents and patients.
Kathy has experience in starting up a long term care centre in Calgary, Alberta as well as being on the leadership team of one of Canadas largest centres in Edmonton, Alberta. Her entrepreneurial spirit has enabled her to develop and lead specialized outpatient, day and home care programs, developing partnerships within the health care system and externally.
Kathy holds a Masters of Science in Administration from the University of Central Michigan and is affiliated with several professional associations including the Canadian College of Health Service Executives.