About Us

The Northern Health Foundation Inc. is a registered non-profit corporation located in Flin Flon, Manitoba. Our team is made up of Manitobans with roots in the North. We have a collective mission to raise and distribute funds for the advancement of knowledge and care in the fields of healthcare and health research. Our primary goal is to enhance the well-being of individuals residing in the Northern Health Region.

Our Foundation is overseen by a Board of Directors representing various areas in the Region, including Thompson, The Pas, and Flin Flon. Additionally, two members of the Northern Health Region’s Board of Directors serve on our Foundation’s Board.

The Northern Health Foundation has been recognized by the Canada Revenue Agency as a public foundation since 2014. Our charity registration number is 812860971 RR0001.

Our Board

CARRIE ATKINSON, Board Chair – The Pas

Carrie moved to Northern Manitoba in 2005. Owning a business gave her opportunities to meet a variety of people beyond the borders of The Pas. She was appointed Vice Chair to the Northern Health Region in 2017, which led to the appointment of the Northern Health Foundation Board Chair in 2019.

Throughout her time in The Pas, Carrie has served on the executive team for the local Chamber of Commerce for 13 years, as well as the Board Chair for Oscar’s Place. Now in her second term as a Councillor for The Town of The Pas, Carrie finds continuing to serve her community to be both a privilege and a priority.

DOUG LAUVSTAD, Board Vice-Chair – The Pas

Doug was appointed President and Vice Chancellor of the University College of the North in 2017. The mandate of this unique, northern institution is to enhance the social and economic well-being of northern Manitoba. Prior to this appointment, he was the Executive Director of the Northern Manitoba Sector Council, an association of northern Manitoba’s largest industry sectors. This organization focuses on building and sustaining a world-class workforce in northern Manitoba. Under his leadership, hundreds of northern and Indigenous people have received training, resulting in fulfilling and prosperous careers in Manitoba’s resource sector.

Doug has over 15 years of experience in leadership and governance, including experience as Chair of the Northern Regional Health Authority. He has served on the Apprenticeship and Trades Qualification Board, as well as the Look North Economic Development Agency Board of Governors, Colleges and Institutes of Canada, the National Advancing Workplace Literacy Committee, The Pas Community Development Corporation, the Premier’s Economic Advisory Council, Minister of Advanced Education and Learning’s Advisory Committee, and the First People’s Development Council.

ANTHONY MCINNIS, Board Secretary – Thompson

Anthony is a long-time Thompson resident and is the City Manager (Chief Administrative Officer) for the City of Thompson. He is connected to his community through former board experience, as well as project management and leadership experiences in provincial and municipal government.

Anthony has both a personal and professional interest in the promotion and enhancement of northern healthcare as his mother worked as an RN at the Thompson General Hospital for over 30 years.

MARGOT GRAY, Board Treasurer – Flin Flon

Margot considers it her honor and pleasure to sit on the Board of the Northern Health Foundation. After graduating from St. Boniface School of Nursing in 1973, Margot worked in the healthcare field until 2006. As well as maintaining her nursing career, she has been a member of various Committees and Boards, both professionally and personally. Margot sat on the Board for the College of Registered Nurses of Manitoba for several terms, as well as the Flin Flon Arts Council and Flin Flon and Area Ducks Unlimited Committee.She and her husband are very involved within the community in order to give back to its members. She strongly believes it is one’s duty and privilege to get involved and give back to the community.

DWAYNE PORTEY, Board Member – Thompson

Dwayne was born and raised in Thompson and is passionate about giving back to his hometown community. His family all resides in the North.

Dwayne is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and Chartered Investment Manager (CIM), and established his business in Thompson 20 years ago. He has been an active volunteer in youth athletics (hockey coach) and most recently, became a member of the City of Thompson’s Development Review Committee. Dwayne is a vital part of the Northern Health Foundation Board.

RYAN LALONDE, Board Member – Thompson

Ryan was born and raised in Thompson, and has spent the majority of his time living and working in Northern Manitoba. Ryan is an Assessment Officer for the Province of Manitoba’s Municipal Assessment and Advisory Services Branch. In 2017, he received his diploma in Civil Engineering from Canadore College. In 2022, he received a Certificate in Real Property Assessment from the University of British Columbia. Ryan strives to connect with residents from a variety of sectors in the north, including taxpayers, business owners, and community stakeholders. This, combined with his personal lived experience of the north, has given Ryan a keen sense of the unique needs of Northern Manitobans and the challenges they face.

Ryan enjoys everything the north has to offer. He is an avid outdoorsman and enjoys camping, hiking, and exploring, but his true passion is fishing. He was recently married to his wife, Kaidie, and they are expecting their first child. They also take care of three cats and a German Shepherd named Sam.

HEATHER RICHARDSON, Board Member – Flin Flon

Heather is a Regional Trainer for the NHR and a City Council Member for the City of Flin Flon. She has been with the NHR since 2011. Heather is also the current President of the Flin Flon Creighton & Area SPCA, as well as Flin Flon Community Garden and a member at large for various other boards around the beautiful city of Flin Flon.

Although originally from Ontario, Heather grew up in Flin Flon since 1999. Heather has a strong sense of community and is dedicated to realizing her vision of seeing the north flourish. She is excited to work with organizations that give back to northern communities, such as the Northern Health Foundation.

JIM BERSCHEID, Board Member – The Pas

Jim became involved with the Northern Health Foundation after hearing of the Foundation’s past accomplishments. He was inspired by what had been achieved and joined the Board in order to contribute to the ongoing and future successes of the Foundation.

Jim is self-employed (VJ Berscheid Ltd.), and has an extensive background in marketing, finance, and human resource development. Jim has been a Councilor for the RM of Kelsey, President and Board Member of The Pas and OCN Chamber of Commerce and long-time member of the Rotary Club. He is a graduate of the University of Saskatchewan in Ag Business and an International Trade Accelerator Program.

CHELSEA CUDMORE, Board Member – The Pas

Chelsea was born and raised in The Pas, MB. She is the Administrative Assistant for Medical Services in The Pas and has worked with the Northern Health Region since April of 2013.

Chelsea enjoys spending time with her family, listening to music, and exercising. She joined the Northern Health Foundation with the goal of becoming more involved in her community. Chelsea is happy to be a volunteer and is looking forward to being a part of the future and ongoing success of the Northern Health Foundation.

SCOTT HAMEL, Ex Officio Non-Voting Member – Flin Flon

Scott’s unique journey to the Northern Health Region allowed him to gain the knowledge, skills, and experience needed to support the vision of healthy people in a healthy north. As a lawyer, he was able to learn and instruct negotiations and collaborative practice. Working in Seoul, South Korea also afforded Scott key interpersonal skills.

Scott is experienced as a Policy Analyst at Manitoba Health, Seniors, and Active Living (MHSAL), allowing him to gain systemic knowledge of the Northern Health Region. Scott’s completion of an MBA has tied all of his education and experiences together, and he is committed to the Mission, Vision, and Values of the Northern Health Region.

RAJ SEWDA, Ex Officio Non-Voting Member – Flin Flon

Raj is a Registered Nurse, having received his Fellowship with both the American College of Health Executives and the International Society for Quality in Health Care. He is a Surveyor and a Leading Practice Reviewer for Accreditation Canada. In addition, Raj was a Professor in the Health Management program at Ontario’s Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology and was the Chief Operating Officer, Executive Vice-President Clinical and Chief Nursing Executive at Toronto’s Runnymede Health Centre.

Most recently, Raj was employed as a Clinical Partner at Sienna Senior Living, providing support to Long Term Care Communities across Ontario and British Columbia. Raj has accepted the opportunity to lead the Northern Health Region as CEO and to experience this vast area in all its diverse needs.

SARA PAWLACHUK, CEO, Ex Officio Non-Voting Member – Flin Flon

Sara has been involved with the Foundation since its creation. Having worked in administration roles with the Northern Health Region since 2013, Sara has participated in volunteer roles for events as well as the background administration and governance growth for the Foundation. This experience along with her current role as Communications Coordinator for the NHR bring a wealth of Regional knowledge to the Board.

Sara is a born and raised northern, from Flin Flon, MB. She obtained a Business Administration Diploma, Majoring in Finance from SAIT Polytechnic in Calgary, Alberta and then returned back to Flin Flon. She enjoys raising a family in a tight-knit community with so many outdoor experiences right out the backdoor. As a former lifeguard Sara is passionate about water safety, and she also sits on the local public daycare Board of Directors.

Our Staff

EMILY DOUCETTE, Foundation Office Coordinator – The Pas

Emily grew up in The Pas, MB. In 2020, she returned to her hometown and reestablished herself in the North. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications and English from the University of Missouri, and has a background in administration and communications.

Emily is passionate about building community. She teaches yoga, coaches youth swimming, and runs the NorMan Masters swim program. Emily sits as a Board Member for The Pas Regional Library and the Clearwater Lake Outdoor Club. She is also the Coordinator and one of the co-founders of The Pas Guest List Inc., a social-artistic non-profit organization that raises funds for unique arts and cultural endeavors in the Tri-Community Area.