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 Riverview Medical Group – Lower Level.
Kristin Kathiravelu – Executive Director
Ensuring service excellence is of utmost importance to Kristin. As an integral member of the team, the Executive Director reports to the organization’s Board of Directors to advise on matters of policy and risk, quality monitoring, evaluation and human resources. Kristin also supports service planning and delivery by actively developing team-based, patient-centered programs that meet the highest standards of care. She works with the Board of Directors to develop and execute the organization’s strategic plans and acts as a liaison with community partners and the Ontario Ministry of Health. Outside of working hours, Kristin enjoys spending time with her family, reading, cooking and enjoying all that Centre Wellington has to offer.
Hilary Blackett – Manager Quality & Programs
As Manager, Quality and Programs, Hilary works on aligning the programs and services provided by the FHT to the needs of the community and our local physicians. Hilary is responsible for program design, implementation and evaluation at the FHT and for advancing our strategic principle of continuous quality improvement within the organization. Hilary collaborates with clinical staff to establish goals and benchmarks, and processes to improve service delivery to meet the needs of our clients. Hilary is a resident of Fergus and is passionate about improving the care and overall well-being of the population in our region. Hilary has two young children and likes to spend her time outdoors playing sports and keeping active.
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 worked as a Privacy Analyst at the eHealth Centre of Excellence in Kitchener. She resides in Waterloo with her husband and enjoys spending time with her family, watching movies and is very passionate about 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.
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!
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.
Programs/Services offered by Jena Docking:
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
Linda is one of the Mental Health Therapists at the UGFHT and has been working here since 2012, enjoying helping people find ways to have happier and more satisfying lives. Linda refers to herself as a “cat lady” but she considers all pets as “people!” Making good soup gives her joy, and sleeping in on weekends is her guilty pleasure.
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.
Tasha Lake MSW, RSW, RP
Tasha is a registered social worker and registered psychotherapist. She recently moved to Centre Wellington from Toronto and has previously lived in the Northwest Territories and British Columbia. Tasha is a yoga and meditation teacher/student and she enjoys bringing these practices into her psychotherapy work. Tasha is dedicated to lifelong learning and improving her effectiveness as a therapist. Always looking for the next adventure, Tasha has keen interests in travel, outdoors, books and interesting food. Tasha looks forward to the privilege of serving the UGFHT community.
Alex Innes, RPN – Telemedicine Nurse
“The Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN) is one of the largest telemedicine networks in the world, helping to deliver clinical care and distance education among health care professionals and patients using live, two-way videoconferencing systems and related diagnostic equipment. In addition to its capacity to bring health care to virtually any patient, anywhere, at any time. The Ontario Telemedicine Network also enhances opportunities for professional development for physicians, allied health care providers, and students. More than 3,000 health care professionals in more than 1175 sites across the province use OTN to deliver care to their patients. This year, alone, OTN will deliver more than 135,000 patient visits.” Ontario Telemedicine Network 2017.
For more information on Telemedicine services visit www.otnhub.ca.
Holly Stokman RN, BScN, CDE Chronic Disease Management Nurse
As a Registered Nurse, Certified Diabetes Educator and Certified Respiratory Educator, Holly provides care for people living with (or at risk of developing) diabetes, lung and heart diseases, and support for anyone trying to quit smoking. She works with local physicians at their offices or Groves hospital during clinics, and will meet 1:1 for ongoing assistance at her office in Elora, over the phone, or make home visits for those without transportation. Holly is passionate about helping people to live well with chronic illness, to break free from unhealthy habits, to heal their bodies and minds.
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.
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.
Andrea was born and raised in Kirkland Lake where she enjoyed winters downhill skiing and summers at her family cottage in Quebec. Andrea eventually left the great white north to complete a BScN degree at Queen’s University in Kingston. She was subsequently employed with Toronto Public Health in the Sexual Health department followed by the Family Health department where she worked as a French language Public Health Nurse for the Healthy Babies Healthy Children program. She worked mainly with French speaking immigrants and refugees for a number of years before leaving to travel the world with her husband. The two traveled extensively through Southeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and numerous central and eastern European countries before returning home to refocus on their careers. Andrea feels that she gained tremendous cultural knowledge and understanding through both her personal travel and work experience.
After much debate, Andrea left Public Health in 2005 and decided to return to a more clinical focus. She completed her Primary Health Care Nurse Practitioner Master’s Degree in 2008 and has since been employed with the UGFHT where she hopes to remain until her estimated date of retirement in 2037! Andrea and her family are happy to call the communities of Elora and Fergus “home”. Andrea looks forward to collaboratively supporting you and your family for years to come!
Barb Wagg is a Primary Care Nurse Practitioner who works with patients out of the Arthur Family Health Center; she is also a member of the memory clinic team in Fergus. She enjoys educating patients on health promotion and prevention. Before becoming a Nurse Practitioner in 2009 she worked for nine years as a registered nurse in the Emergency Room at the Guelph General Hospital. She lives on a horse farm outside of Damascus with her husband, son, and two daughters. In her spare time enjoys reading, skiing, and riding horses with her family.
Colleen Loree is a Primary Health Care Nurse Practitioner who has been with the Family Health Team since 2015 and serves patients of the Grand River Family Physicians clinic in Fergus. She has a nursing background in the Intensive Care Unit and Cardiac Surgery/Coronary Care Unit in Kitchener, as well as the Emergency Department at Groves Memorial Community Hospital. She also has shared her knowledge by teaching nursing students at Conestoga College. She has a passion for comprehensive, evidence-based mental health, sexual health, and chronic pain management. Colleen delights in the knowledge that the Nurse Practitioner role allows her to spend more time with her patients in order to understand their health challenges (and assets) so she can be a resource for their pursuit of health goals. In her leisure time Colleen enjoys competitive, synchronized skating, playing with her daughter, running, camp nursing, and planning family travel adventures.
Julia graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from McMaster University in 2006. She then worked as an RN in the Emergency Department at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, before travelling to Australia to work for a year. There she worked in various hospital and primary care settings in the Sydney area with her now-husband, who grew up there. She completed her Primary Health Care Nurse Practitioner and Masters of Science in Nursing Program at York University in Toronto in 2011. Upon graduation, she worked as a Primary Care NP with the Guelph Family Health Team before joining the UGFHT in 2014. Her experiences have developed her passion for a holistic approach to preventative health care, women’s and children’s health, and chronic disease management, as well as caring for all patients throughout their lifespan. Outside of her work she loves hiking, cooking, travelling and spending time with her husband and two beautiful young daughters.
Kristin is a Primary Health Care Nurse Practitioner who has been with the UGFHT since 2008. She has a long history in Public Health with sexual health, women’s health and health promotion. Kristin’s passion for herself and others is a healthy lifestyle to obtain optimal health and prevention of illnesses. She especially enjoys all outdoor activities, especially sailing, kayaking and paddle boarding. Walking in the woods and doing yoga is also a strong interest for the meditative benefits. Kristin and her husband have three sons in their twenties who are mostly in the West pursuing more rigorous outdoor pursuits.
Programs and Services offered:
Karin McEachern, OT Reg. (Ont.)
Karin is an Occupational Therapist with over 20 years of experience who has worked predominantly in community based care. She has been an ADP mobility devices authorizer for 20 years and has advanced training in chronic pain self- management. In addition to working at the Upper Grand FHT, she runs a Chronic pain self- management program at the Stratford FHT and works on the Rural Wellington Low Back Pain Program. She is dedicated to assisting clients towards improving their independent self -management of any chronic conditions to help maximize their functional independence and safety.
Karin has 3 sons and a husband who also keep her quite busy. In her spare time, she enjoys singing, crocheting and socializing with friends.
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.