Dr. Amanda Kamminga – Medical Director
The primary responsibility of the Medical Director role is to provide leadership within the FHT related to quality of care, access to care and efficiency of care delivery. In this role Dr. Kamminga collaborates with the Executive Director and all members of the inter-disciplinary team to provide leadership regarding Access of Care, Clinical Coverage and Support, Quality and Risk Management, as well as representing the organization at various local and regional tables. Dr. Kamminga is also currently a practicing physician at the Limestone Medical Group.
Hilary Blackett – Executive Director
As the UGFHT’s Executive Director, Hilary is responsible for the day-today management of the organization and for supporting our Board in the achievement of our strategic goals and objectives. Hilary actively supports our team and clinical programs through the development of team based, patient-centered practices that meet professional and best-practice standards of care. Hilary brings to the organization over 10 years of experience in government, not-for-profit and academic sectors. Hilary is a resident of Fergus and is passionate about improving the care and overall well-being of the population in our region. She has two young children and likes to spend her time outdoors playing sports and keeping active.
Gwen Kostal – Manager, Quality and Programs
Gwen is a quality improvement professional with many years of experience working in primary care in different clinical, leadership and quality roles. Gwen is responsible for helping Upper Grand FHT meet its commitments to quality care. She believes that striving for high-quality care is the job of everyone working in healthcare. She aims to make quality improvement support accessible to everyone at Upper Grand FHT who sees an opportunity to improve care. Gwen believes in the expertise of lived experience and values learning from patients, caregivers and clinicians. Gwen lives with her family in Fergus and can be spotted on weekends biking with her kids on the region’s beautiful trails, supporting local businesses and attending the many wonderful community events.
Niharika Kumar – EMR/IT Specialist
As EMR/IT Specialist, Niharika is responsible for providing ongoing Electronic Medical Record (EMR) support, assistance, and training to Clinicians and administrative staff. She is also responsible for coordination and implementation of digital tools and solutions within the Family Health Team and the Family Health Organization. Previously, Niharika is highly motivated healthcare professional with five years of experience in digital healthcare and health informatics with privacy training specialization. She resides in Waterloo with her family and when not at work, she enjoys gardening, cooking and dancing.
Nicole Bird – Human Resources Manager/Executive Assistant
As Human Resources Manager & Executive Assistant, Nicole is responsible for managing all aspects of human resources for the Family Health Team, as well as providing administrative support to the Executive Director, members of the Board, Medical Director and staff. She has worked in a Family Health Team since 2011 and is very happy to be a part of the Upper Grand FHT in her hometown of Centre Wellington. When not at work Nicole enjoys spending time with her family, walking and being outside, especially in the summer.
Cohl Johnston – Human Resources Manager/Executive Assistant
Having worked within the field of Human Resources for the past six years, Cohl is excited to start her journey within the medical industry. She holds a Master of Business degree, and enjoys tying these learnings into her education received within HR. Cohl likes to be involved within her community by mentoring students, sharing international perspectives from her experiences living abroad, and being an executive member on a variety of not for profit groups. At the Upper Grand Family Health Team, Cohl is responsible for managing all aspects of human resources, such as health and safety, attraction and retention, compensation, rewards programs, and employment relations. She also provides administrative support to the Executive Director, members of the Board, Medical Director, and staff. In her free time, she likes to go camping, trail running, hiking, kayaking, and snuggling up with her fur cat babies Coby and Gordon.
Lucy De Finis – Administrative Assistant
Lucy moved to Fergus nineteen years ago with her husband and three young children. Nine years after moving to Fergus her family added a new member to the family, a Bichon Frisée Poodle named Tiffany. She returned to the work force after sixteen years of staying at home. Lucy has been the Receptionist with the UGFHT since 2009 and couldn’t have asked for a better place to work. Her focus is to make clients feel welcomed when they enter our office, as well as answer any questions or concerns our clients may have.
Outside of working hours, Lucy’s passion is to prepare authentic Italian and gourmet meals for family and friends. In addition to her passion for cooking, she also looks forward to every spring when she plants her vegetable garden. It’s a very small garden but it’s enough to put her gardening skills to the test… evidently, to the benefit of the FHT staff, she always plants too many tomatoes!
Kate McLintock, B.A., MSc.
Kate grew up in Aldershot and completed her undergrad at McMaster University. From there she completed a post-graduate diploma in Addiction Care Work as well as a MSc. in Drug and Alcohol Studies from the University of Glasgow. Kate has previously worked in the Addiction and Mental Health field in Glasgow, UK and Toronto prior to joining STC. Kate has been working with Stonehenge Therapeutic Community since September 2018 and joined the Rural Wellington Addiction Service in August 2019. In her spare time, Kate enjoys reading, spending time with her friends/family and her dog.
Regan Roberts, SSW
Regan grew up in the Township of Mapleton and is very familiar with Rural Wellington. Regan has completed her Social Service Diploma at Sheridan College and focused her studies on Addiction and Mental Health. Regan has been working in Mental Health and Addictions in the Waterloo Wellington Region for several years and has a variety of work experiences supporting individuals in need. In October 2019, Regan joined Stonehenge Therapeutic Community as a Peer Outreach Worker. Regan is present at the UGFHT on Mondays and Fridays during the Rapid Access Addictions Clinic (RAAC) and is out in the community supporting individuals on Tuesdays and Thursdays. As a Peer, Regan has lived experience of addiction, mental health and recovery.
Regan has two daughters and two sons, she is also a proud grandmother. She enjoys walking her two dogs and going to the beach with her family.
Program(s)/Service(s) offered by Addiction Workers:
Health Promoter/Registered Kinesiologist
Jena Docking, Reg. Kin, CSEP CPT
Jena has worked in the fitness industry for over 15 years. She quickly found her calling for Fitness and Health promotion after working at a local fitness facility in her hometown of Mount Forest. Jena received her diploma From Niagara College in the Fitness and Health Promotion program and became a Certified Personal Trainer through the Canadian Society of Exercise Physiology. After graduating she began personal training clients ranging from the general public to Triple A hockey players, which sparked her interest in injury rehabilitation. Jena eventually took a position at a physiotherapy clinic which led her back to school where she pursued her undergraduate degree in Kinesiology.
Jena has been with the UGFHT since 2013 and is actively involved in walking programs, musculoskeletal rehabilitation, chronic disease management, falls prevention, smoking cessation, exercise prescription, fitness and health education, fitness assessment, program design, and much more.
Heather Longeway, Reg. Kin
Heather has been working within the health and wellness industry for over 12 years, with ample experience in personal training, nutritional consultations and athletic coaching. Heathers passion for health promotion began in University when she completed her degree in Kinesiology and volunteered with the Women’s Athletic Association. Since then, Heather has continued to actively participate and facilitate corporate wellness programs, training clientele and educating members of the community on strategies to improve their quality of life.
Heather takes a holistic and empathic approach to enlighten clients to reach their potential. As a results-oriented individual, Heather also aims to ensure all clients needs and goals are met while providing the tools necessary to sustain results.
Heather is new to UGFHT and will be actively involved with walking programs, musculoskeletal rehabilitation, chronic disease management, falls prevention, smoking cessation, exercise prescription, fitness and health education, fitness assessment, program design, and much more.
Programs/Services offered by Health Promoter:
Mental Health Counselors
Mental Health Counselors play an integral part in assisting in the improvement of patient mental health and social well-being. Our counselors help clients learn to cope with issues in their lives that cause emotional distress and/or to self-manage mental health issues.
Linda Borys, MSW, RSW
Linda has been with the UGFHT since 2012 and has worked alongside individuals for 25 years in their journeys to greater self-awareness, acceptance, and fulfilment.She was a Lecturer with The National University Of Ireland for eight years where she taught various courses with the Department Of Adult and Community Education. Linda feels it is important to live an authentic life with meaning and purpose. Professional development is always at the forefront, and Linda keeps up-to-date with current approaches.
Lindsay Long, MSc, MSW, RSW
Lindsay joined the FHT in 2019 and comes with over 10 years working with people who struggle with serious and persistent mental illness. Lindsay feels it is a privilege to walk alongside people on their path to recovery. Staying current in best practices is very important to Lindsay and she is frequently exploring new learning opportunities. In her spare time, Lindsay loves spending time with her family and exploring the trails around Fergus/Elora with her dog.
Marilyn Vaccaro, MSW, RSW
Marilyn has been with the UGFHT from the very beginning, in 2007, working as a Mental Health Therapist. She attended the University of Montreal initially and spent time travelling before moving to Waterloo to complete her Master’s Degree in Clinical Social Work. Keeping current professionally is very important to Marilyn and she loves learning about the best ways to help people help themselves. During her time at the FHT she has pursued professional development in Equine Assisted Therapy, mindfulness, and the neuroscience behind trauma. In her spare time Marilyn enjoys restoring by the sea, and being creative.
Nadia Landry, MSW
Nadia is a Master’s level Social Worker (MSW) who has been with the UGFHT since 2007. She currently splits her time as a Mental Health Therapist with the Dalby Family Practice and as the FHT’s Geriatric Social Worker. Nadia is passionate about helping clients to feel empowered to live their best life. To help achieve this she is committed to ongoing education and has recently completed Wilfred Laurier University’s Cognitive Behavioral Therapy certificate program and Narrative Therapy training through the Hincks-Dellcrest Centre in Toronto. In her spare time, Nadia enjoys quality time with her family and pets, reading, nature walks, and traveling “back home” to Canada’s east coast to spend time by the ocean.
Natalie Carere, MSW, RSW
My goal is to work collaboratively with clients to identify and work towards their goals. I firmly believe that I am not the expert on your life but rather an ally in your journey. I have experience working with children, youth, and adults who struggle with depression, anxiety, trauma, self-regulation, and relational issues. I am an EMDR trained therapist and work from an attachment and trauma-focused lens to support clients towards emotional coping, wellness, and self-understanding. I am passionate about providing quality and collaborative care to the Centre and North Wellington communities. In my spare time I enjoy spending time with family and friends and gardening in the summer months.
Angela Hammond, MSW, RSW
Angela joined the FHT in 2020. She comes with over 20 years of experience working with children, youth and adults in a variety of capacities. She started her career in developmental services then moved into mental health and addictions. She has worked with individuals who have experienced: significant mental health, chronic illness and pain, addictions, low self-esteem, grief and loss, eating disorders and other chronic illnesses. Angela has a passion for working with marginalized populations. She works from a trauma informed perspective and is focused on the needs of the person. She utilizes many therapeutic techniques including: CBT, DBT, Motivational Interviewing, Social Focused Therapy and Mindfulness to help meet clients’ needs. Angela also teaches part time at Renison University College, University of Waterloo in the BSW program as she feels it is important to mentor the next generation of Social Workers.
Angela is currently working as our Palliative Social Worker, she works with both patients in palliative care and their family members to provide end of life and bereavement support.
Nicole Schlumberger, MSW, RSW
Nicole grew up in Waterloo and completed her undergrad in Social Development Studies and Social Work at the University of Waterloo. She then completed her Masters of Social Work specializing in Gerontology at the University of Toronto. Nicole has been with Stonehenge Therapeutic Community (STC) since 2018, and recently joined the Rural Wellington Addiction Service team (RWAS) in July 2020. In her spare time, Nicole enjoys walking her dogs and spending time with family.
Alex Innes, RPN – Telemedicine Nurse
Alex is Registered Nurse with 20 years of experience. She is very passionate about incorporating and assisting with bringing telemedicine into her daily practice. She has worked in variety of primary care settings and enjoys spending time with her family and a pet dog. Outside of work, Alex really enjoys yoga and being outside.
Janis Moriarity, RN- Geriatric Specialist, Telemedicine Nurse
Janis is a Registered Nurse who started with the UGFHT in November 2017. She completed her Bachelor of Science in Nursing through McMaster University/Conestoga College in 2006. In her early career Janis worked in Acute Care Hospital specializing in the areas of cardiac care and vascular access nursing. She has also worked in the community in programs focused on chronic health conditions. Janis’ passion is working with seniors. In her role as Geriatric Nurse Specialist Janis’ goal is to use health promotion and disease prevention strategies to help seniors stay in their homes and in optimum health. She works in collaboration with Family Physicians and Geriatric Specialists for those who require further assessment and care. When she is at home Janis enjoys hiking, entertaining family, and the traditional arts: sewing, knitting, painting and telling stories.
Kellie Ross, RN
Kellie Ross is a Registered Nurse who looks forward to advocating for geriatric patients and assisting those in achieving their best health outcomes as the Geriatric Nurse Specialist. She is committed to ensuring that all will receive the highest levels of service available and she will do her best to be a friendly support to those entrusted to her care. After graduating from Western University in 2014, Kellie acquired her nursing experiencing working in acute care at London Health Sciences Centre. Outside of work Kellie enjoys traveling, caring for animals on her family’s dairy farm, and spending time outdoors.
Shelley Lillie, RN, BScN, SHPCN(C) – Palliative Specialist
Shelley is the supportive and palliative care nurse who helps people in our community with life threatening illnesses. She provides pain and symptom management, navigation through hospital-community transitions, and end of life planning for the individual and families. Her qualifications include RN, BScN, and a specialized certification in palliative care, CHPCN(C).
Stephanie Pick, RN, BScN, CPMHN(C) – Chronic Disease Management Nurse
Stephanie started working as a Chronic Disease Management Nurse Specialist with the Upper Grand FHT in 2018. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from McMaster University in 2008, and has over nine years of mental health and addiction nursing experience. As a Chronic Disease Management Nurse Specialist Stephanie provides a greater continuity of care for those at risk of developing or currently living with chronic disease(s), such as pre-diabetes or Diabetes Mellitus (Adult), COPD, CHF as well as provides smoking cessation support. She is passionate about providing supportive, comprehensive and evidence based care. Outside of work Stephanie enjoys spending her time running, hiking and back country camping. She also is passionate about traveling and enjoys experience different cultures, cuisines and landscapes.
Programs and Services offered:
A Nurse Practitioner (NP) is a nurse with advanced university education who works both independently and in collaboration with other health professionals to provide individuals of all ages with quality health care services. NP’s take care of the physical, emotional, mental and social aspects of their patients’ health needs. They have additional education and advanced decision-making skills in the assessment and diagnosis of acute illnesses and injuries and in the management of chronic illnesses such as diabetes and hypertension. They have the knowledge and authority to prescribe certain medications are are authorized to order laboratory tests, x-rays and other diagnostic tests, as well as refer patients to other healthcare professionals.
Programs and Services offered:
Amanda Froese, OT Reg. (Ont.)
Amanda Froese is a registered Occupational Therapist who earned her Bachelor of Science in Health Studies with a minor in Gerontology from the University of Waterloo before pursuing her Masters in Occupational Therapy at McMaster University.
At the Upper Grand Family Health Team, Amanda has a broad scope of practice. She works with clients of all ages and a variety of conditions to help them participate in occupations that are important to them. Occupations are more than just jobs, and include all the day-to-day activities someone wants or needs to be able to do. From children struggling with their morning routine to older adults looking to live safely at home, Amanda enjoys working together with clients of all ages to help them overcome obstacles interfering with their daily activities. She is also involved with the FHT’s Chronic Pain and Memory Clinic Programs. Outside of work, Amanda enjoys hiking, travelling and playing Ultimate Frisbee.
Lissa Kuzych, OT Reg. (Ont.)
Lissa is a McMasters graduate, and comes to us with a lot of experience working as an Occupational Therapist as a part of the Centre for Family Medicine, Grand River Hospital, and CBI Homecare Services just to name a few. Having moved to the Fergus area 26 years ago after getting married, she never sees herself moving away. With two sons in University, Lissa loves to hang out with her yellow lab/retriever. She also loves swimming, baseball and reading in her spare time, and plays the bass clarinet in a concert band with 70 other players! She has done a lot of volunteer work over the past number of years and finds it massively rewarding.
Nikki has been with the UGFHT since June 2015 and is an Outreach Worker with the Rural Wellington Community Team (RWCT). The Rural Wellington Community Team understands that it’s hard to reach out and find the resources you need, when you need them. They work in the community and with each rural health team to connect you to community agencies, help you to navigate social programs, and support you when family or friends can’t help. The RWCT knows that there are many factors in your life that can affect your health.
Cora Van Zutphen, RPh
Cora Van Zutphen graduated from Dalhousie University College of Pharmacy in 2004, receiving awards for Evidence-Based Clinical Practice and Natural Medicines Recognition. She was born and raised in Newfoundland and moved to Ontario to be close to family.
At the Family Health Team you can find Cora providing Asthma education, Chronic Pain assessments, medication reviews and drug information. Cora is an active member of the FHT IT/Medical Records and Quality committees. She has been a participant of the Wellington Guelph Drug Strategy Rx Drug Working Group, the Ontario Primary Care Team Pharmacists Working Group and the Ontario Renal Network initiative to improve safety of medication prescribing in patients with chronic kidney disease.
Outside of working hours Cora enjoys spending time with her family, running with her high energy canine companions and attempting Pinterest DIY projects.
Physician Assistants (PA) are healthcare professionals who practice medicine as members of a team with their supervising physicians. As part of their comprehensive responsibilities, The UGFHT PA conducts physical exams, diagnoses and treats illnesses, orders and interprets tests, counsels on preventive health care, and prescribes medications.
Cathy Verity, BSc., MSc., BHsc.PA
Cathy completed her Bachelor of Sciences and Master of Sciences at the University of Guelph. She was in the second class to graduate from McMaster’s Physician Assistant Program. Cathy joined the UGFHT in 2011 and primarily works with the Geddes Medical Group in Elora. She, also, enjoys working with the Memory Clinic Team in Fergus monthly. Cathy is the proud mom of three children, of whom she loves camping, getting outdoors and listening and playing music with. Cathy is an advocate in her role as a Physician Assistant and is happy to answer any questions you may have about the profession!
Nicole Arthurs, RD, CDE – Telemedicine Nurse
Nicole is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator who has been with the UGFHT since 2010. She completed her BASc in Applied Human Nutrition at the University of Guelph and her dietetic internship with Hamilton Health Sciences. She enjoys being a member of a collaborative team and sharing her love of food and nutrition with the community. She has experience counseling clients in all aspects of nutrition, but has particular interests in the areas of Diabetes and Gastrointestinal Disease. When she’s not working she enjoys baking, trying new recipes, and spending quality time with her husband, daughter, and cat.
Terri Ney, RD
Terri grew up in Erin and completed her undergrad at Ryerson in Toronto. She eventually found her way to Fergus where she found her dream job working as a dietitian with the Upper Grand Family Health Team in 2007. After becoming a mom and raising children locally she became aware of areas to improve care for families using nutrition. Since then Terri has spearheaded the launch of the Breastfeeding Café and a series of Pediatric Nutrition workshops. Terri has been sought out to share her unique programs with other FHTs and is considered a leader by her dietitian peers.
Leanne Richardson, RD, MPH
Leanne joined the Upper Grand Family Health Team in February 2021. She completed her undergraduate degree in Applied Human Nutrition at the University of Guelph, and her Masters of Public Health and dietetic internship at the University of Toronto. Leanne has experience counselling clients with a wide range of nutrition concerns to improve their health and well-being. Her greatest strength as a Registered Dietitian is her ability to convey nutritional information in an inclusive and easily understood manner. When she’s not working, Leanne enjoys cooking and eating delicious food, playing piano and guitar, exploring nature and nurturing her many plants. She is also a proud cat mom.
Danielle Simko, RD, CDE
Danielle grew up in Elmira and completed her BASc in Applied Human Nutrition at the University of Guelph. She did her internship with the Northern Ontario Dietetic Internship Program in Sudbury. For the past eight years, she has had the privilege to work as a primary care dietitian in four Indigenous communities along the North Shore of Lake Huron. She has gained a lot of experience supporting clients living with diabetes and other chronic diseases, and is also passionate about health promotion and disease prevention. Although she loves the beauty of Northern Ontario, she is happy to move back to her home area with her husband to raise their daughter closer to family. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time outdoors (e.g. cross-country skiing, cycling, hiking, etc.), playing piano, and experimenting with new recipes. She is excited to join the Upper Grand Family Health Team and continue to support patients in their journey toward optimizing health and well-being.