BCHPCA Annual General Meeting 2021

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AGM 2021 Materials


Zoom View Settings


2021 Agenda


2020 Minutes


Certified By-laws


Financial Statements

We would like to congratulate the following nominees who will be elected at the upcoming Annual General Meeting on June 16, 2022 from 11:00 am to 11:30 am via ZOOM.

Regional Directors 


M. Colleen Erickson

(First Nations Health Authority, 2-year term)

Click here – Biography

I am Marion Colleen Erickson, a Dak’elh grandmother (Ut’soo) from the Nak’azdli community and a member of the Lusilyou (Frog) Clan. As an active community member, I participate in the balhats(potlatch) system, believe that cultural identity is the foundation of health and wellness, and am committed to improving the health and wellness of First Nations.

I hold a Master’s degree in Education, with a special focus on the traditional philosophies of Carrier teachings.

Some of my experience includes being a former two-term Chief of Saik’uz First Nation, a veteran member of the RCMP and currently working as the Manager of Nak’azdli Natural Resources. My past board experience includes roles within local government, Elder’s society, as well as numerous school district appointments. Currently I serve on the FNHA Board since 2012 and as the Board Chair since 2018 as well as I sit on the Four Rivers Co-op since 2001.

I feel that with my experience and knowledge would benefit the BCHPCA by providing Indigenous perspective and understanding of cultural safety and humility.


Angel Elias

(Fraser, 2-year term)

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My name is Angel Elias and I am the current Executive Director for Mission Hospice Society and have been in my role for the past eight years. Moving the Mission Hospice Society forward in being a leader in the industry in Bereavement support and Palliative Care support as well as ensuring the MHS has the budget to fund all comforts at the Christine Morrison Hospice, our 10 bed hospice residence. Fundraising and grant writing to ensure financial sustainability for the organization is just a small part of my role.

I am a proud member of the Mission Mid Day Rotary club and have been for the past 11 years, serving as Club President in 2016 and Club Secretary from 2017 to 2019. Living by the Rotary rule “service above self”. I have been instrumental in community projects such as St. Josephs food bank. MY Youth house, Mission Park score board and Blessing in the back pack community program.

Further to this I am also the founding member of the Federation of Fraser Region Hospice Societies and I am currently working very closely with the 11 Hospice Societies in the Fraser Health region. Bringing us together for collaboration with our many programs and services.

I also sit as a Director on the Mission Chamber of Commerce and continue to give back in my community in various capacities.

I am wanting to put my name forward to join the Board of the BC Hospice Palliative association in representation of the 11 Hospice Societies and the Federation. I feel my knowledge of Hospice care and programs and support that is needed for Hospice Societies within BC will prove to be of great value to the BCHPCA.

I look forward to meeting everyone and hope you will consider having me join the Board.


Gail Porter

(Interior, 2-year term)

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I have been involved with the Greater Trail Hospice Society for the past 25 years and have held the positions of Board Member, Board Chair (3 times), Board Secretary, and temporary relief positions for the Clinical Program Coordinator (twice). I am a registered nurse (have worked mainly in community care) and an ordained pastor as well. Both of these positions have led me to be very involved with people approaching end of life, and with supporting family members through this journey. We are all going to die. It has been my goal throughout all of my careers to help people end their life with dignity, excellence in symptom control, and control over their personal choices for care. I have also been a nursing instructor for 15 years and was instrumental in expanding the palliative components of the BSCN program in our local college/university degree program.

As mentioned in the base application, I feel hospice support is generally undervalued, or is simply unknown by many people in our death-denying society. Hospice has so much to offer as a team member in palliative services, and as a unique entity that can provide navigation for people who face a life-limiting illness and their family who journey with them. I want to be a voice that reminds both the medical community and the general populace that we are here to provide emotional, spiritual, psychosocial and educational support. If we combine our voices through the BCHPCA and the HCABC we will have a louder voice and more ‘clout’ to create change that will enable all palliating and grieving people to have the individualized support they deserve.

I hope to bring the voice of rural and remote hospices ‘to the table’. Small hospices need particular support to be able to provide education and care to their communities with very minimal resources. Without palliative care teams or specialized palliative facilities small hospices often have to take on greater roles in supporting clients and families who don’t have access to designated palliative beds, symptom specialists or grief counsellors. Rural hospices have smaller ‘pools’ for fundraising, and fewer staff hours to be able to build their volunteer base. How can we, as BCHPCA, share wisdom and help small hospices not just survive, but thrive?

I also recognize there is very minimal research about hospice care, its effectiveness, and its potential. Are there ways we can partner with other researchers and organizations to build a robust collection of research studies and data that demonstrates the importance of what we do?

I understand that this position is a two-year commitment and I am willing to work with the other Board members as they do strategic planning to enhance hospice care in BC. I also commit to work with others to “collectively promote the philosophy and principles of hospice palliative care and provide leadership locally, provincially and nationally.” Not to be forgotten, support from the Board for the Executive Director is vital to keeping the office and our organization running efficiently and effectively.


Judi Smart

(North, 2-year term)

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Judi is a passionate hospice palliative care resident of Northern BC. She is committed to learning all she can to be an effective board member and representative of the Northern Region. For the past two years, she has been a board member of the Fort St John & District Palliative Care Society and is the chair of fund-raising. She is also a volunteer visitor. Having completed the training to offer public sessions on Advanced Care Planning in October of 2016, together with a fellow board member she offers public sessions in Fort St John. Judi currently works as a pension and benefits administrator and is completing her studies in social work.


Sarah Cobb

(Vancouver Coastal, 2-year term)

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Sarah has been working in end-of-life care for last 15 years. She is committed to providing exceptional care for patient’s and families at end of life, but also educating my colleagues about the importance of embedding a palliative approach to care throughout or health system.

Sarah firmly believes Palliative care is critical to ensuring the sustainability of our heath care system. Both in terms of quality of care and ensuring exceptional patient and family centred care as people navigate our complex systems.

Sarah has been working as a nurse since 2002 and in Palliative Care since 2007 and in those 15 years she has taken on many roles mostly within Providence Health Care, including acute care Palliative, consults, hospice, and community education. Sarah started her current role as the Executive Director of the Vancouver Hospice Society two years ago and in that time, she has attended many BCHPCA meetings and have been really impressed with the Association’s vision and passion for supporting hospices around the province.

Sarah has also completed her Master’s of Health and Leadership Policy (MHLP) in 2019 with a focus on Seniors Care and feels that this only deepened her understanding of the current state of end-of-life care and how much work we have to do to increase funding, education and accessibility among other priorities.

During her time at Providence Health Care she supported the accreditation process over 4 cycles, worked on the organization’s MAiD guidelines and has been a member of the Vancouver end-of-life working group for over 12 years. She also led a pilot project for embedding the Palliative Approach to care and was a long-time member of the Ethics resource committee. Sarah’s Canadian Nurses Association – Hospice and Palliative Care Certification is up to date and a recipient of two awards both the Andrew Johnson Award for advocacy in 2019 and The S Patricia Graham Nursing Award in 2019 for her work in Palliative Care.


Eda Ertan

(Proposed Director-At-Large, 2-year term)

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Eda is a Turkish-Canadian Health Scientist. Her background is in Psychology & Health Sciences with a focus on Neuroscience, Human
Development, Gerontology, Healthy Aging, Health Promotion & Disease Prevention. 

Eda also works as a Neuroscience and founder and co-lead of Quantum Care, a Neuroscience-based Wellness & Growth
coaching and consultancy educational firm.

In addition to her consultancy work, Eda has been working at Collingwood Neighbourhood House (CNH) for the past 7 years where she has been working with the Older Adults programming and Community Development Department. She is a Health Link Coordinator, leading the Social Prescribing program at one of the 4 sites in BC’s Lower Mainland where she partners with clinicians, healthcare
providers and community organizations to create a holistic system of support for marginalized older adults in the community.
Eda is also an Activity Coach for older adults with the Choose to Move research program under the leadership of Active Aging Society and the Medical School of the University of British Columbia to support older adults in enhancing their health and wellbeing through movement, health-programming and social connections that help prolong their independent living.
Eda continues her work within the community as a Community Development Specialist, the lead and co-Founder of the Anti-Racism and Equity Committee, as well as the Literacy Outreach Coordinator where she bridge between departments, organizations, and work
towards incorporating aspects EDI knowledge translations in programming and offerings.

Eda greatly believes in the human right of living healthy, dying in peace and experience life with dignity.
Eda looks forward to the prospect of the responsibility of meaningfully volunteering of her time and energy to support the vision, mission and strategic plan of BCHPCA. 

Christa Ovenell

(Proposed Director-At-Large, 2-year term)

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Christa is the founder of Death’s Apprentice Education and Planning. Her company specializes in holistic advance care planning for individuals and forward-thinking companies.
Christa is a licensed funeral director and embalmer, as well as an end-of-life doula, community death educator and columnist on CBC Radio’s province-wide weekend morning show “North by Northwest”. Christa takes a heart-centred, pragmatic approach to difficult topics, helping people get comfortable thinking about, talking about, and planning for life’s only certainty.

In addition to her role as a solopreneur in a rapidly emerging field, Christa also serves as a Board of Directors at her local community garden’s association and the Media & PR Lead at Aquamation BC Coalition

Christa is a licenced Willow EOL Educator and funeral director/embalmer’s licence at Koru Cremation, Burial & Ceremony, a locally owned, woman-led independent funeral home that is striving towards carbon neutrality while redefining family-led and community-engaged deathcare.

Before Christa became a funeral director, she was the College Director of Canada’s largest international college located at Simon Fraser University. She was a member of the provincially appointed Board of Directors for the BC Council for Articulation and Transfer and the President of the BC Private College & Universities Council until she left that profession to embrace her passion.

Christa believes her education, training and media outreach background will help support the Association and its mandates to advocate for true accessibility in End Of Life services.

Dwayne Thomas

(Proposed Director-At-Large, 2-year term)

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Dwayne is a Chartered Accountant, an Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), and an Institute of Chartered Accountants of Jamaica and currently completing his designation in Canada.

Dwayne is a goal-oriented professional with a strong Accounting and Auditing background who brings a practical approach to problem-solving. A competent strategist with keen attention to detail and enjoys being part of a successful and productive team that strives for excellence in a challenging environment. 

Dwayne is excited and looking forward to supporting the association with its financial needs and looking forward to working with the board to broaden and diverting the association’s funding sources. 

End-of-life and palliative care services are something that Dwayne hopes to learn more about in his role as a board member and looks forward to working in the non-profit sector while making a meaningful contribution to the community.

Gretchen Hartley

(Proposed Director-At-Large, 2-year term)

Click here – Biography

Since 2004, Gretchen has served as Executive Director at Cowichan Hospice with attention to the community’s needs and to the development of resources as she supports staff, volunteers and board members in their compassionate work. She holds a Masters in Social Work in Social Policy and Administration. Before coming to Cowichan Hospice, Gretchen conducted case work and advocacy with two Members of Parliament, followed by community work with Canada’s first Ministry for Women’s Equality. But, it was really learning first-hand about the compassionate care of hospice that inspired Gretchen to look into volunteering and eventually work, with Cowichan Hospice. She’s especially proud and happy to have worked on the development of Cowichan Hospice House through its many stages, including collaborating with the task force members, volunteers, community members and donors who helped to open the house in 2020. She is honoured to have worked for many years with the amazing volunteers and professionals who have delivered beautiful hospice and bereavement care for people at very difficult times in their lives. To Gretchen, heart-centered and whole-person care always makes a difference, it is based on listening deeply and focusing on people’s unique needs as they journey through serious illness or grief.

Kevin Harter

(Director-At-Large, 2-year term)

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I am writing to express my keen interest in the role of Secretary Treasurer on the BCHPCA Board of Directors. Since November 2018, I have been the CEO of Victoria Hospice, a Vancouver Island Region Member of the BCHPCA in good standing. I have worked hard to ensure that seniors, and those nearing the end of life, receive the best possible quality of care.

I have spent over 20 years in the healthcare Sector. Most notable during this time I was the President and CEO of York Care Centre in Fredericton, New Brunswick. York Care Centre is the largest long term care facility in New Brunswick with supporting services covering subsidized seniors living, assisted living for seniors, education and research as well as community support programs. I am passionate about continuously improving quality of life for patients and families. Over my 20 years in healthcare I have been involved in a number of innovative initiatives designed to improve the quality of life and care for those we served. In New Brunswick I helped to establish two organizations to support these goals: CIRA – The Centre for Innovation and Research in Aging and APPTA – an AGEWELL National Innovation Hub.

I have served on a number of committees for national organizations such as CIHI (Canadian Institute for Healthcare Information), CFHI (Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement), and SQLI (Senior Quality Leap Initiative). This service has given me valuable insight into collaboration within the healthcare sector and working with governments, both federal and provincial, to support it.

Victoria Hospice is an organization that shares my commitment to advancing care, and improving quality of life for patients and families. Its long history of advocacy, education, and research remain as relevant today as ever. They are some of the key goals in our current five-year Strategic Framework, much like BCHPCA’s Strategic Plan.

It is critical that palliative and end-of-life care is seen as a health system priority, particularly at this period of rapidly aging and growing populations in our region. If invited to join the BCHPCA Board, I would advocate for and broaden awareness of quality palliative and end-of-life care on a regional and provincial level. I look forward to working together, ensuring the best possible outcomes for patients and families in BC.

Thank you for your consideration.


Natasha Girard

(Director-At-Large, 2-year term)

Click here – Biography

Natasha Girard has been working in hospice palliative care in the not-for-profit sector for over 15 years and is very passionate about transforming experiences for individuals and families during life’s most vulnerable moments. I have been able to build my knowledge and strategic experiences in being the Hospice representative on the Southeastern Ontario Regional EOL and Palliative Care Network, advocated provincially and regionally for a 10 bed residential hospice and launched a multi-million dollar capital campaign; volunteered on the Patient and Family Advisory Council for the Southeastern Ontario Cancer Centre, and volunteered on the working committee to bring the vision of Gilda Radner and Gilda’s House to Ontario before relocating to Kelowna in 2016.

Prior to my work in hospice palliative care, I completed a Paralegal Diploma in Alberta and worked for seven years in Estate Planning and Administration, Oil and Gas Trusts, Litigation and Criminal Law.

Since joining COHA in 2016, I have been focused on strengthening and preserving an organization through some challenging times, with a focus on strengthening and building relationships with partners in care, built a new COHA Centre for program delivery and administrative offices, and reached a revenue milestone for the COHA Foundation since it’s inception 10 years ago.

I feel now is the right time share my experiences and skills to work alongside the Board of Directors of BCHPCA to support the strategic direction and participate in advancing BCHPCA movement provincially. I am a strategic thinker, strong collaborator with a strong listening ear, and someone who recognizes the successes and challenges community hospice’s face in urban and rural areas. My leadership on many levels and resilience has provided great outcomes and learnings for future initiatives. The extensive experience in healthcare both professionally and personally provides a wide lens that is advantageous to the development of quality care and support individuals and families deserve in British Columbia.

My eagerness to advocate for greater outcomes, equality and recognition in optimal quality hospice palliative care is a driver for me in wanting to join the BCHPCA Board of Directors and lead BCHPCA to the next chapter in growth. Community hospices are a part of the continuum and deserve greater recognition, and I want to join the Board of Director’s in leading greater distinction for community hospices and for British Columbians.


Shannon Freeman

(Director-At-Large, 2-year term)

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I am keen to continue my position on the BCHPCA board and promote the importance of enhanced and sustained access to palliative hospice care in BC and beyond. In my early days as an undergraduate student over twenty years ago, I worked as a part-time care aide on a palliative homecare team. I developed a passion for advocating for the needs of vulnerable populations who can be overlooked by the health system and policymakers in their greatest time of need. Although we have made great strides in Canada since then, much remains to be done. Now, as an Associate Professor in the School of Nursing at the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC), I continue that role to advocate for better support for those nearing end-of-life. I take an evidence-based approach to look at the world around me, which drives my passion for sparking change and improving access to high-quality end-of-life care from an analytic research-informed perspective. I value my connections and duty to my community and commitment to volunteerism, having recently begun my sixth year as a Director of the Prince George Hospice Society. 

As a social gerontologist, I have been actively involved in research focused on end of life and, most recently, have undertaken work to explore the effects of the implementation of medical assistance in dying in hospices in BC.

To the BCHPCA board; I will continue to bring a collaborative approach to engage in a broad range of areas, including a focus on promoting the health and well-being of those nearing end of life, including the members of their circle of care, that being formal or informal care providers. I will continue to aim to create knowledge useful to our hospice palliative care community across BC. Furthermore, as a board director of BCHPCA, I will continue to bring the latest in research evidence to the table and help engage in evidence-informed decision-making on behalf of our hospice membership across BC. 

Past President


Donna Flood

(Honourary Member)

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Donna has been a nurse for 36 years and had an opportunity to nurse in various countries around the world and Canada’s High Arctic. Her most memorable and life-changing experience was her work in Calcutta where she worked in Mother Teresa’s Hospice and instructed her nuns on nursing practice. This developed her passion for providing care in a different way. Focusing on the individual and understanding that care and compassion are key elements in supporting all people with serious illness. Donna is currently the Executive Director of the Prince George Hospice Society. She has been in that position for 5 years. Donna is the current president of the BC Hospice Palliative Care Association and is a Director on the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Board.