Lanark Renfrew Health & Community Services

Board Bios

Stephen Bird

Stephen Bird grew up in Perth with multi-generation roots in the Almonte and Pakenham area. Stephen practised law (1990-2010) with the Lanark, Leeds & Grenville Legal Clinic (now The Legal Clinic) which serves low income residents of Lanark, Leeds & Grenville, and North Frontenac counties.

Stephen served on the Board of the North Lanark County Community Health Centre when Lanark Community Programs joined to form Lanark Health and Community Services. When he returned to the Board in 2012 Whitewater Bromley CHC became part of LRHCS. He has served as Vice Chair, Chair, Secretary-Treasurer, and Past Chair of LRHCS. Now, with his return to the Board in 2020, he will serve as Vice Chair as well as Chair of the Governance Committee. Stephen has a J.D. degree from Osgoode Hall Law School of York University and an M.A. from the University of Waterloo.

Matthew Dever
Carleton Place

Matthew Dever is an autistic adult of five children with three also on the autism spectrum, living in Carleton Place in rural Eastern Ontario. He advocates at both provincial and federal governments for inclusion and acceptance of autistic individuals and for autistic people to have their own voice. Matthew is a former member of the Ontario Autism Program Advisory Panel, and current member of the Ontario Autism Program Implementation Working Group.

He is founder of Autistic Bridge, a self-advocacy group, a Director with HAACO Ontario, and a leader in the National Disability Strategy movement to build a nation-wide coalition of disability organizations to advocate for meeting all needs of all disabilities at all ages. He is also a member of Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorder Alliance (CASDA), where he is helping with aspects of developing a National Autism Strategy as well as helping at the annual CASDA Summit.

Matthew has also led workshops and panels on topics surrounding autism and education. He has spoken about autism with many groups including ECHO Autism, which works to educate and inform health professionals on issues related to autism. In his spare time, he is a web and graphic designer.

Carole Devine

Carole Devine is a nurse by training who spent the majority of her career at Algonquin College as a professor and then at a variety of healthcare settings in the Ottawa Valley including RVH, Bonnechere Manor and most recently at Supples Landing as the Executive Director. Carole believes strongly in inclusive and upstream models of health and wellness and is committed to building communities where everyone belongs.

She lives in the Ottawa Valley with her husband and most recently has supported the growth and expansion of their family business, Conway's Pharmacy.

Carole has made long-term commitments to supporting a number of organizations including the Eganville Rotary Club and she recently chaired the Bonnechere Valley Health Committee. She is an avid bridge player, enjoys walking and biking, and believes in the importance of prevention as a key determinant of health and wellness.

Sharon Mousseau
Beckwith Township

Sharon Mousseau is currently the Deputy-Reeve of Beckwith Township – a position she has held since 2003. She is also a member of Lanark County Council and was elected County Warden in 2011.

During that time Sharon has chaired the County Community Services Committee four times. That Committee is responsible for Social Services, Housing and Lanark Lodge and provided her the opportunity to learn and advocate for the many services and issues that are so important to the most vulnerable members of our community. Sharon also served as the County representative on the Lanark Transportation Association Board.

Sharon’s employment background also reflects her passion for social service issues. She was employed at Lanark County Interval House for seven years and prior to that worked for the Child Welfare League of Canada as well as at the ODSP office. In addition to this, Sharon also served on the Boards of Community Home Support and Mills Community Support Corporation (now Carebridge).

Sharon has also been an active member of the community – serving as a Girl Guide leader, Commodore of the Carleton Place Canoe Club, and Commodore of Canoe-Kayak Canada.

Sharon has three children, five grandchildren and was married to her late husband Gary (a member of the RCMP) for almost 47 years.

Sharon noted she is honoured to be chosen as a member of the LRHCS Board and looks forward to continue her work to ensure our most vulnerable citizens have access to the services and supports they need.

Richard Schooley

Richard grew up in Ottawa through grade 10, then moved to Perth. Except for a 4-year stint in the GTA, Lanark County has been home.
He is life partner to Karen, a retired RN who was born and raised in Lanark Village. After graduating from Toronto General Hospital School of Nursing, Karen enjoyed a varied nursing career, ranging from exciting work in the OR to her time in community nursing with the VON in Lanark County.

Richard and Karen have three children and six grandchildren, all living within 40 minutes of them.

Richard worked for 47 years as an Insurance Broker and Risk Management Consultant, with his firm of more than 60 employees operating offices in Carleton Place, Perth, Smiths Falls, Kemptville and West Ottawa. While the brokerage was multi-faceted, his personal practice focused on insurance and risk management services to the municipal, healthcare and not for profit sector.

Immensely curious, he grew up needing to understand how things worked and equally, why things do not work or are challenged. Hence the affinity to risk management as a tool, enabling dynamic community.

His community engagement started in high school; he has contributed as a municipal councillor, a Business Improvement Area, Tennis Club and Church Council, inaugural chairs; Provincial Broker Association Director and most recently 8 years on the board of PSFDH; with terms as Finance, Quality and Board Chair.

His most satisfying involvement in healthcare was the establishment of Rideau Tay Health Link and putting proof to the tremendous contributions that can be realized through the focused integration of a myriad of health, social, and community services and collaboration between those services, through the lens of the person receiving care.

He admires the indispensable contributions of CHCs, supporting and enabling services integration in advancing healthy communities.

Carl Thomas “Tom” Baumgartner

Tom has been retired for 10 years, after a career in the data communications and telecommunications industry.

Besides golf, tennis, fishing, gardening, bridge, software programming (with two apps currently for sale on the Mac App Store), building websites and reading science fiction, Tom is active in the following volunteer roles: Chair of Active Seniors Koalition, Vice Chair of Lanark Chapter of the Canadian Association of Retired Persons (CARP), member on the executive of the Rural Recreation Association, and Vice President of the Perth Tay Tennis Club.

Tom worked in both Canada and the U.S.A. He started in Engineering and then moved into Marketing with leading vendors of telecommunications and information technology products. His experience ranges from start-ups to $100+ million companies and from individual contributor to manager of a 150-person department. He was a member of the management team that took Gandalf public on both NASDAQ and Toronto Stock Exchange simultaneously. His most noted accomplishment was being an editor of the original IEEE 802.11 Wireless LAN Standard (popularly called Wi-Fi).

Tom has demonstrated skills in all aspects of business-to-business product marketing and marketing communications. He is committed to excellence and meeting deadlines in all projects and has good communication and management skills.

His formal education was at Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA, BS EE with Honors, 1967, and Keller Graduate School of Management, Chicago, IL, MBA with Distinction, 1992.

Gwen Bennett

Since retirement a few years ago, Gwen has been busy volunteering on both the Whitewater Library Board as well as on the Board of the Bernadette McCann House. She is presently the chairperson of the Library Board, belongs to a book club, and enjoys going to the Great Canadian Theatre Company with friends. Her hobbies are travel, reading, and keeping fit. In the past two years, she has traveled to Malta, Sicily, New Orleans, and spent seven weeks in London, UK, touring palaces and castles, and watching the Trooping of the Colours. She describes herself as a royal watcher.

Born and raised in Renfrew County, Gwen grew up on a dairy farm on the Kerr Line Whitewater Region, where she and her siblings were expected to help with the milking and feeding. She
participated in 4-H, Young Peoples, and CGIT, and preferred working around the farm to helping with the household chores.

For all eight years of her elementary education, she attended Ross #12 primary school, one of the last one-room schools to remain open in the area. For high school, she attended Cobden and District HS and Opeongo HS for grade 13, after which she attended Ottawa Teachers’ College. She taught for the Ottawa Board of Education in the primary and special education areas.

In 1980, she did what many other women have done, and followed a man to New Zealand. She changed her career from teaching to social work and obtained a Master’s Degree in Social Work. Through her partner’s job, she was fortunate to have postings in Tokyo and Hong Kong. Both were great experiences, where they learned about different cultures and had more opportunity for traveling.

They returned to Canada in 1993; after two years of indecision about where to live, they built the house they continue to reside in. They are located in Whitewater Region on the part of the Ottawa River formed by the backwater of the Cheneux Dam. Their house is where Gwen’s parents had a cottage, so she has known the location since she was about eight years old. Her family members still call their place “The Cottage.”

After returning to Canada, she worked in a variety of positions in Family and Children’s Service before retiring.

As a Board member, Gwen feels it is important for the Whitewater Region to be represented as part of the large area served by LRHCS. She brings her energy, experience and skills to Board initiatives.

Andrea Brett
McDonald’s Corners

Andrea Brett is best described as a canoeist and finds herself needing to be outdoors as much as possible. She is the wife of Doug Nuttall and the mother of Josephine and Helen. Andrea was raised in rural North Pickering and experienced the joys and difficulties of rural life.
Andrea went to Trent University for Geography and Indigenous Studies and after, completed her B.Ed at Queen’s University, specializing in Outdoor and Experiential Education. She was an educator in a variety of outdoor classrooms for 15 years before starting a family in Lanark Highlands. Andrea and Doug’s move to the McDonald’s Corners area was a natural fit because of her husband’s family connections to Lanark County. Since the birth of her second child, she has been navigating the world of Down Syndrome.

As a parent, she has gained a great deal of insight negotiating the balance between being a wife and mother as well as being the primary coordinator for Helen’s health care needs.

Andrea has been involved with Lanark Community Programs since 2008. Her family has participated in many of the programs at LCP, including Infant Development, Speech and Language, Therapeutic Horseback Riding, Behaviour, Family Relief, and Summer Day Camp programs.
Currently, Andrea sits on the Lanark, Leeds and Grenville Special Needs Advisory Table as a parent volunteer, providing the perspective of a family of a child with special needs. She has been involved in the development stages as well as the training team for the Coordinated Service Plan. Andrea has been giving presentations on “An Introduction to Family Centred Practice” during the training sessions for the staff of organizations who work with children.

Her experience on the Table has allowed Andrea to be an advocate for children with special needs. She feels this is valuable because it gives her the tools to advocate for all people in the area, not only those who are identified with a label.

Andrea believes that equitable access to health and community services, for all people, is an important issue. Just because we live in rural areas does not mean we should not have access to quality services. Being on the Board has allowed her to learn more about the health systems as well as how to be a better advocate for communities to have services that allow them to thrive. She looks forward to continuing to share her ideas and experiences, and to have the opportunity to give back to the community so others can benefit as her family has. 

Cynthia Carver

Cynthia is a physician practicing psychotherapy and family medicine part-time. She received her medical degree from the University of Toronto and worked in a Toronto Community Health Centre (CHC) and then in private practice. She did a Master’s in Public Health, was the Assistant Medical Health Officer for Regina, and later, at Health Canada, worked towards the transfer of health programs to the control of First Nations. She was a health policy/program consultant for the province, a Board member at the Britannia Park Coalition (environment) and the Olde Forge (seniors). She was Chatelaine’s medical columnist for ten years, and did medical segments on CBC TV’s Midday program.

Cynthia brings to LRHCS experience in health administration, public health, program evaluation, training of health care workers and work with diverse communities. Being on the Board will provide an opportunity to serve her own community with others who share her desire to ensure that future health needs are met with comprehensive, high-quality, user-friendly services.

She has lived in Lanark Highlands since 1990, has three children, seven grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. She reads historical fiction, and plays Celtic and classic fiddle/violin.

Barbara Drake
Carleton Place

Barbara Drake comes from a health care background. The daughter of a surgeon, she worked in hospitals and nursing homes as a student and studied Nursing Science at Queen’s University, graduating with her BNSc in 1979. She has nursed in both hospital and community settings and currently is the flu shot nurse in her husband’s practice in Carleton Place, where she also does bookkeeping and other managerial tasks. This has given her a keen understanding of many aspects of our health care system.

As a mother of four, one of whom has Down Syndrome, and as primary caregiver for her widowed mother with Alzheimer’s disease through her final years, Barbara has experienced our health care system from the other side of the bed on many occasions. She has worked to improve it where she can, by sharing her experiences with students, advocating for services, encouraging and supporting new programs and volunteering with support agencies. As well, she is very familiar with the services available for the Developmentally Challenged in our community, particularly Lanark Community Programs (LCP).

A resident of Carleton Place for 30 years, Barbara has been active in her community: serving on school parent councils, the VON Board for approximately three years, the Board of LHCS for six and a half years, ending in 2011, is a member of St. James Church, and has reached out to support other families with a loved one with Down Syndrome, among other things. She has also long advocated for services and inclusion for this population and those with other Developmental Challenges, speaking to students and teachers on this subject in local elementary and high schools, as well as at the university and college level in Ottawa. Barbara helped start a Local Art Group for Developmentally Challenged Individuals in Carleton Place and the Carleton Place Social Recreation Program that LCP now runs.

In her spare time, Barbara enjoys doing handcrafts such as sewing, smocking, and ecclesiastic embroidery. She is part of a local writers group and has written two fantasy novels, one of which was considered for publishing for several years. She likes camping, hiking, traveling and spending time with family and friends.

Barbara believes in giving back to the community, and that this strengthens our community and its institutions and betters life for many. She looks forward to continuing to share her knowledge, experiences, understanding, and abilities with the LRHCS Board.

Deborah Duffy

After being called to the Bar of Ontario, Deborah served as Counsel and General Counsel in a number of private and public sector corporations, including Bank of Canada. Following early retirement, Deborah obtained a diploma in Horticulture Technology from Algonquin College and consulted as a landscape designer.

She has volunteered as a member of the Board of Directors of the Mississippi Madawaska Land Trust and as President and Board member of the Perth and District Community Foundation, chairing the steering committee of the inaugural Vital Signs project.

Her main occupation these days is as a member of the Board of The Table Community Food Centre, member of the LRHCS Governance Committee, and informal consultant on governance matters to several local not-for-profit organizations. She was recently elected to the Board of the Community Foundations of Canada, where she hopes to bring the rural perspective to CHC’s nation-wide work.

When not at a computer or in a meeting, Deborah enjoys gardening at her Lanark Highlands home, making messes on canvas as the least accomplished member of the MERA Arts Circle, and riding her bicycle along the local byways.

Bonny Johnson

Bonny was born and raised in Whitewater Region (formerly Ross Township). She strayed from her roots long enough to pursue education at McMaster University in the Nurse Practitioner (NP) program, and to York, England where she worked as a practice nurse (primary care) while her husband attended York University.

Her educational and work background include long-term care, hospital, teaching at Algonquin College, private practice with Dr. E.C. Pye, geriatric assessor, geriatric day hospital development and Whitewater Bromley Community Health Centre (WBCHC) as NP and Director of Health Services.

Since the early years after graduation from nursing, Bonny has been interested in the preventative component of health care. Helping people access the tools required to assist in managing their own health has been key to her philosophy of community health care. This led to her embracing the CHC model and advocating and lobbying for funding for a CHC for Whitewater Bromley. This work began in the late 90’s, with a local community group and support from Lanark Health & Community Services. She began to work for LHCS in 2000 and continued to advocate for programs, services and partnerships for Renfrew County as well as WBCHC and the parts of LRHCS.

Bonny retired in 2016 from LRHCS and was honoured with the Association of Ontario Health Centres (AOHC) Joe Leonard Award for her work in development of the WBCHC. This honour came from considerable work on the part of the LRHCS Board who had nominated her.

After retirement, she worked on a dementia navigation project for the Ottawa Hospital in Renfrew County. She remains actively involved, as a volunteer, in efforts to promote dementia-friendly communities. She lives in the suburbs of Lapasse and enjoys the beauty of the Ottawa
River for swimming, kayaking, and boating, as well as gardening. Her educational pursuits now include ukulele, tap, and knitting.

Kim O’Connor
Carleton Place

Kim has worked in the Developmental Services field for 35 years, and has been in team leadership for over 20 years, more than 10 of those at senior levels of non-profit organizations, including reporting to a Board of Directors and to government Ministry officials.

Kim has worked independently and as a member of a team in highly responsible positions with minimal supervision. She has been particularly focused on working for individuals with complex health and behavioural needs, to live high-quality lives in their communities. Inclusion and equality are her guiding principles and passion.

She is very person-centred and collaborative, having worked with a variety of agencies and families. She and her family have also been respite and homeshare providers for persons with intellectual disabilities.
While thorough and professional at all times, she enjoys finding the laughter in life and making sure everyone has the opportunities they need to succeed.

She has volunteered for minor sport teams, Ontario Special Olympics, People First of Lanark County, and the Mississippi Lake Planning Committee.

Kim lives on Mississippi Lake with her husband, two sons, and a variety of pets. She has received many gifts and contributions of grace and perseverance throughout the years from the people that she has worked for and it is now time for her to “pay it forward.”




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