Gertie Mai Muise — Chief Executive Officer
Gertie Mai Muise is Mi’kmaq from Bay St. George, Western Newfoundland and a member of the Qualipu Mi’Kmaq First Nation raised steeped in the decolonization of her people and the Indigenous “healing movement” across Turtle Island. She has lived and worked in Ontario for the past 25 years committed to developing Indigenous health capacity through securing a meaningful place for Indigenous informed wellness models and approaches. She has held senior leadership positions with Indigenous governed, regional health service organizations for over a decade.
Gertie Mai is currently the CEO of the newly formed Indigenous Primary Health Care Council (IPHCC) and Co-Chair of the Indigenous Primary Health Care-MOHLTC Engagement Table. She holds a Masters of Arts in Leadership from Royal Roads University. Concerned about removing system and structural barriers, Gertie Mai has spearheaded a cross provincial Indigenous cultural safety program since 2014 which has trained over 10, 000 health professionals. She has also chaired the Provincial Health Aboriginal Leads Network and the National Committee for Aboriginal Health Service Standards development with the Canadian Centre of Accreditation (CCA). Gertie Mai currently lives in London.
Theresa Stevens – Executive Coordinator
Theresa Stevens is an Ojibwe from Nipissing First Nation. She is a proud mom to two young boys. Theresa brings 10 years of experience working with First Nations people and communities across Ontario to the Indigenous Primary Health Care Council.
Theresa is the Executive Coordinator for the Council working with the Aboriginal Health Access Centres & Aboriginal Community Health Centres and supporting Data and Performance Management. She is passionate about strengthening and promoting healthier communities and has adopted the values represented by the Model of Wholistic Health and Wellbeing.
Theresa studies Public Administration & Governance, and Criminal Justice at Ryerson University. She enjoys spending her spare time exploring outdoors with her boys and travelling home to North Bay to visit with family.
In her own community, Theresa has devoted time to volunteer in different capacities. She has been active within the Community Wellness, Maamwi Kindaaswin Powwow, Policing, and Community Development Committees.
Theresa’s ambition motivates her to practice and share the gift of respect, love, and humility in her work and everyday life.
Melanie Lazarus – Quality Decision Support Specialist
Melanie Lazarus is from Moose Factory and a member of the Moose Cree First Nation. She resides in Sudbury with her husband and three children. Melanie has worked the frontlines in Indigenous health as both a Nurse Practitioner and Registered Nurse, for the last decade. She has worked in a variety of clinical settings, including hospital, AHACs, CHC, Public Health and a private specialty clinic. Additionally, she has worked in urban, rural and remote settings. She has made the transition from her clinical role to bring her experience from the frontline to the health care administration world. Melanie holds a Masters in Health Management from McMaster University. Her passion for advancing Indigenous health care motivates her to advocate for health equity among our Aboriginal communities.
In her down time, Melanie enjoys being active and is an avid runner. She enjoys spending quality time with her family and watching her two older children play on their competitive sports teams (hockey and baseball).
Angela Recollet – Co-Chair
Angela Recollet is an Ojibwe woman from the Wikwemikong Unceded Reserve and a member of the Wahnapitae First Nation. She is a mother of three, and a grandmother of five and resides in Sudbury, Ontario. Ms. Recollet is the Executive Director of the Shkagamik-Kwe Health Centre since March of 2010. Previous to this post, Angela was the lead in Aboriginal Affairs at Laurentian University from 1994-2010.
Cumulatively, Angela has extensive experience working with the Aboriginal community both as an advocate in education and in improving the general living and health conditions of Aboriginal populations. She has worked hard at ensuring the contributions of First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples are recognized in the health and community building sectors. She also advocates for our people at many other levels (i.e. Ministry of Corrections and Community Safety, Northern Ontario School of Medicine Board of Directors, Social Planning Council Board of Directors, the Sudbury Police Services – Aboriginal Community Police Advisory Committee, Board of Directors for the Association of Ontario Health Centres, and the Co-Chair of the Ontario Aboriginal Health Access Centre Executive Circle). Angela has most recently been appointed a provincial post with the Greater Sudbury Police Board.
Angela’s leadership strengths have led to numerous community engagements increasing the visibility of Aboriginal people’s accomplishments. She was most recently awarded the Northern Ontario Influential Woman’s Award in the spring of 2016.
Angela walks with integrity, dignity and respect in all that she does. She is passionate and stands true to her world view of natural law, and her tenet of making healthy choices for our seventh generations.
Pam Williamson – Co-Chair
Dr. Pamela Williamson is the Executive Director of Noojmowin Teg Health Centre (an Aboriginal Health Access Centre), working in partnership with three area First Nation health authorities (Wikwemikong, M’Chigeeng, and Mnaamodzawin) and five smaller First Nations (Audeck Omni Kaning, Sheguiandah, Sheshegwaning, Whitefish River and Zhiibaahaasing) located within the Manitoulin Island District, as well as area Family Health Teams, and two satellite hospital sites. The organization recently expanded to provide services to indigenous populations living within the Espanola area and are working closely with the area Family Health team, regional and area hospitals, and various health and social service providers. The services of the Health Centre include primary care, mental and traditional health as well as health promotion/prevention services to the area First Nations and off-reserve aboriginal populations. Noojmowin Teg health professionals work in close collaboration with external health care counterparts focusing on area health priorities, using both a western and traditional lens within the provision of services.
As a community based primary care and indigenous health centre, Noojmowin Teg Health Centre is challenged to improve its practices, and to standardize health indicators in-house and with area health partners as a means of determining the effectiveness of collective services. The organization is currently working on a number of positive initiatives that demonstrate a focus on collaborations and engaging in effective communication regarding client care. The organization is pleased with the opportunity to share on existing challenges and successes as an indigenous and culturally relevant health service provider.
Dr. Williamson is an Anishnaabe Kwe, with Indian status from Moose Deer Point First Nation, and raised on Manitoulin Island (Midoo Mnising). Her clan is N’me N’Dodem (Sturgeon Clan). She is the mother of three grown children, one grandchild, and has worked in a senior administration capacity for over seventeen years – both in health (working at Noojmowin Teg Health Centre since 2005) and, in higher education. Dr. Williamson has a doctorate is in Administration – Higher Education and is a published author.
Brian Dokis – Organizational Secretariat
Brian Dokis is Ojibway, band member of Dokis First Nation and is presently the Chief Executive Officer at Southwest Ontario Aboriginal Health Access Centre (SOAHAC) with locations in London, Chippewas of the Thames First Nation, Owen Sound and Windsor and prior to this was Executive Director at Shkagamik-Kwe Health Centre in Sudbury. Throughout this time, he has demonstrated his commitment to the provision of effective health care in general and more specifically the provision of effective health care that is culturally appropriate and acceptable to First Nations people. Brian has also been active in the area of First Nations Health research, at the local level and also as a past member of the Aboriginal Healing and Wellness Strategy (AHWS) – Research and Evaluation Working Group that oversaw and managed all AHWS – related research, evaluation and review activities as directed by Joint Management Committee – AHWS.
Brian formerly served on the Board of the Association of Ontario Health Centres (AOHC) (2000 – 2002) serving as Treasurer, Member of Finance Committee and Chair of Membership Secretariat Committee. He is also a former Board Member of Community Organizational Health Inc. (COHI) which is committed to fostering quality, innovation and learning within health and social services organizations. COHI owned and administered the quality improvement and accreditation program called Building Healthier Organizations (BHO). He is presently a member of the South West LHIN and Erie St Clair LHIN Indigenous Health Committees, which identify and where possible implement practical approaches to improving health of Aboriginal people living within the two LHIN regions.