Board Administration

Our Board is made up of 10-12 members from our community plus a past-chair. The Board meets monthly (excepting July, August and December). Since 2001, our Board has used the Consensus Model of Decision Making – both at committee and board meetings.

Currently, our Board has seven standing committees. Terms of Reference for each committee are reviewed and approved annually – click on the links below to access the Terms of Reference for each committee.

Accountability to the Board

ConnectWell Community Health reports to the Board through:

  • Monthly reports from the Chief Executive Officer to the Board.
  • The development of annual workplans aligned with our strategic objectives and funding agreements.
  • Detailed team and/or program presentations to the Planning and Review Committee of the Board on an 18-month cycle, followed by a subsequent presentation to the Board.

ConnectWell Community Health Board Minutes

Board Bios

Deborah Duffy - Chair (Lanark Highlands)

After being called to the Bar of Ontario, Deborah served as in-house Counsel and General Counsel in a number of private and public sector corporations, including Bank of Canada. Following early retirement, Deborah obtained a diploma in Horticulture Technology from Algonquin College and consulted as a landscape designer.

She has served on the Board of Directors of the Mississippi Madawaska Land Trust and as President and Board member of the Perth and District Community Foundation, chairing the steering committee of the inaugural Vital Signs project.

She currently serves as a member of the Board of The Table Community Food Centre and an informal consultant on governance matters to several local, not-for-profit organizations. Deborah is also a member of the Board of the Community Foundations of Canada, where she hopes to bring a rural perspective to CFC’s nation-wide work.

When not at a computer or in a meeting, Deborah enjoys gardening at her Lanark Highlands home, travelling, pursuing a long-standing interest in the visual arts including making messes on canvas as the least accomplished member of the MERA Arts Circle, and riding her bicycle along the local byways.

Tom Baumgartner - Past Chair (Lanark)

Tom has been retired since 2005 after a career in the data communications and telecommunications industry and now spends his time at golf, tennis, curling, fishing, bridge, software programming, building websites and reading science fiction.

Tom worked in both Canada and the U.S.A. He started in Engineering and then moved into Marketing with leading vendors of telecommunications and information technology products. His experience ranges from start-ups to $100+ million companies and from individual contributor to manager of a 150-person department. His most noted accomplishment was being an editor of the original IEEE 802.11 Wireless LAN Standard (popularly called Wi-Fi).

His formal education was at Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA, BS EE with Honors, 1967 and Keller Graduate School of Management, Chicago, IL, MBA with Distinction, 1992.

Stephen Bird - Vice Chair (Perth)

Stephen Bird grew up in Perth with multi-generation roots in the Almonte and Pakenham area. Stephen practised law (1990-2010) with the Lanark, Leeds & Grenville Legal Clinic (now The Legal Clinic) which serves low income residents of Lanark, Leeds & Grenville, and North Frontenac counties.

Stephen served on the Board of the North Lanark County Community Health Centre when Lanark Community Programs joined to form Lanark Health and Community Services. When he returned to the Board in 2012 Whitewater Bromley CHC became part of LRHCS. He has served as Vice Chair, Chair, Secretary-Treasurer, and Past Chair of LRHCS. Now, with his return to the Board in 2020, he will serve as Vice Chair as well as Chair of the Governance Committee. Stephen has a J.D. degree from Osgoode Hall Law School of York University and an M.A. from the University of Waterloo.

Kim O’Connor - Secretary/Treasurer (Carleton Place)

Kim has worked in the Developmental Services Field for 35 years and has been in team leadership for over twenty years, more than ten of those at senior levels of non-profit organizations, including reporting to a Board of Directors and to government Ministry officials.

She has been particularly focused on working for individuals with complex health and behavioural needs, to live high quality lives in their communities. Inclusion and equality are her guiding principles and passion.

She and her family have also been respite and Homeshare providers for person with Intellectual Disabilities. While thorough and professional at all times, she enjoys finding the laughter in life and making sure, everyone has the opportunities they need to succeed.

She has received many gifts and contributions of grace and perseverance throughout the years from the people that she has worked for and it is now time for her to “pay it forward”.

Gwen Bennett - Forester’s Falls

Gwen is a newcomer to the Lanark Renfrew Health and Community Services Board, having just started her term in June 2018. She served on the Board of the Bernadette

McCann House for two terms, and is presently the Chairperson of the Whitewater Library Board.

She has had the opportunity to live in New Zealnad, Japan and Hong Kong, and obtained a Masters in Social Work at Victoria University in Wellington NZ. She worked in child protection for the majority of her career.

Since retirement three years ago, Gwen has both the time and energy, along with skills which she believes will be of benefit to LRHCS Board. LRHCS serves a very large area and she feels it is important for the Whitewater Region to be represented. She feels privileged to be chosen for this task.

She brings good listening skills and the ability to speak in a forthright manner, as well as an interest in learning more about health-related systems.

Andrea Brett - Lanark

Andrea resides in Lanark Highlands with her husband, Doug Nuttall and their two school-age daughters.

Andrea went to Trent University for Geography and Indigenous Studies and then completed her B.Ed. at Queen’s University, specializing in Outdoor and Experiential Education.

Andrea is an active member with the Lanark, Leeds, and Grenville Special Needs Steering Committee as well as their Community of Practice as a parent volunteer. She provides a perspective of a family with a child who has Down Syndrome.

It is important for Andrea to advocate for rural families and those with needs that are not adequately met.

Cynthia Carver - Lanark

Cynthia is a physician practicing psychotherapy and family medicine part-time. She received her medical degree from the University of Toronto and worked in a Toronto Community Health Centre (CHC) and then in private practice. She did a Master’s in Public Health, was the Assistant Medical Health Officer for Regina, and later, at Health Canada, worked towards the transfer of health programs to the control of First Nations. She was a health policy/program consultant for the province, a Board member at the Britannia Park Coalition (environment) and the Olde Forge (seniors). She was Chatelaine’s medical columnist for ten years, and did medical segments on CBC TV’s Midday program.

Cynthia brings to LRHCS experience in health administration, public health, program evaluation, training of health care workers and work with diverse communities. Being on the Board will provide an opportunity to serve her own community with others who share her desire to ensure that future health needs are met with comprehensive, high-quality, user-friendly services.

She has lived in Lanark Highlands since 1990, has three children, seven grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren. She reads historical fiction, and plays Celtic and classic fiddle/violin.

Matthew Dever - Carleton Place

Matthew (Maddy) Dever (they/them) is an Autistic parent of five children with three also on the autism spectrum, living in Carleton Place in rural Eastern Ontario. They advocate at both provincial and federal governments for inclusion and acceptance of Autistic individuals and for Autistic people to have their own voice in policy decisions. Matthew is a former member of the Ontario Autism Program Advisory Panel, and current member of the Ontario Autism Program Implementation Working Group.

Matthew is a founder of Autistic Bridge, an Autistic self-advocacy group, and a leader in the National Disability Strategy movement to build a nation-wide coalition of disability organizations advocating for a Barrier-Free Canada that meets all needs of all disabilities at all ages. They are also a member of Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorder Alliance (CASDA), where they are providing an Autistic view on the development of policy and helping with aspects of developing a National Autism Strategy and presenting at the annual CASDA Summit.

Matthew has also led workshops and panels on topics surrounding autism and education and has spoken about autism with many groups including ECHO Autism where they are now part of the Expert Hub, which works to educate and inform health professionals on issues related to autism. Matthew writes on the blogs and and has a podcast called ‘The Autistic Rambler”.

Carole Devine - Eganville

Carole Devine is a nurse by training who spent the majority of her career at Algonquin College as a professor and then at a variety of healthcare settings in the Ottawa Valley including RVH, Bonnechere Manor and most recently at Supples Landing as the Executive Director. Carole believes strongly in inclusive and upstream models of health and wellness and is committed to building communities where everyone belongs.

She lives in the Ottawa Valley with her husband and most recently has supported the growth and expansion of their family business, Conway’s Pharmacy.

Carole has made long-term commitments to supporting a number of organizations including the Eganville Rotary Club and she recently chaired the Bonnechere Valley Health Committee. She is an avid bridge player, enjoys walking and biking, and believes in the importance of prevention as a key determinant of health and wellness.

Barbara Drake - Carleton Place

Barbara Drake has been a resident of Carleton Place for more than 35 years, where she worked with her husband in his medical office and, together, they raised four children, one of whom has Down Syndrome. Barbara became an advocate after his birth, sharing her experiences with him to promote inclusion, acceptance and improve service for individuals with exceptional needs. She has reached out to new parents of infants with Down Syndrome, providing support and information. She has also served on a local school parent council, the board of the VON, Carleton Place branch, the board of Lanark Health and Community services (the precursor of Lanark Renfrew Health and Community Services) and continues to actively volunteer with various groups in her community.

Bonny Johnson - Whitewater

Her educational and work background included RN and Nurse Practitioner, in acute care, primary care and long-term care. She has worked in Canada and England. Her work experience has included front line, management, project management and teaching.

Her philosophy of health has been focussed on assisting people to access the tools required to achieve optimum health. This led to researching the CHC model and then lobbying for the Whitewater Bromley CHC in the late ‘90s. She holds a strong belief in the value of the CHC model and access to programs to support rural communities.

She and her husband are fortunate to live on the shores of the beautiful Ottawa River in the Whitewater Region and enjoy all the benefits it offers, as it is a wonderful place to enjoy grandchildren, family and friends.

Sharon Mousseau - Beckwith Township

Sharon Mousseau is currently the Deputy-Reeve of Beckwith Township – a position she has held since 2003. She is also a member of Lanark County Council and was elected County Warden in 2011.

During that time Sharon has chaired the County Community Services Committee four times. That Committee is responsible for Social Services, Housing and Lanark Lodge and provided her the opportunity to learn and advocate for the many services and issues that are so important to the most vulnerable members of our community. Sharon also served as the County representative on the Lanark Transportation Association Board.

Sharon’s employment background also reflects her passion for social service issues. She was employed at Lanark County Interval House for seven years and prior to that worked for the Child Welfare League of Canada as well as at the ODSP office. In addition to this, Sharon also served on the Boards of Community Home Support and Mills Community Support Corporation (now Carebridge).

Sharon has also been an active member of the community – serving as a Girl Guide leader, Commodore of the Carleton Place Canoe Club, and Commodore of Canoe-Kayak Canada.

Sharon has three children, five grandchildren and was married to her late husband Gary (a member of the RCMP) for almost 47 years.

Sharon is honoured to serve as a member of the LRHCS Board and looks forward to continue her work to ensure our most vulnerable citizens have access to the services and supports they need.

Richard Schooley - Perth

Richard grew up in Ottawa through grade 10, then a move to Perth. Except for a 4-year stint in the GTA, Lanark County has been home.

His life partner is Karen, who was born and raised in Lanark Village, a retired RN, graduating from Toronto General Hospital School of Nursing. She enjoyed a varied nursing career, the most exciting, an OR nurse; the most satisfying, her time in community nursing, with the VON in Lanark County. 

They have three children and six grandchildren, all living within 40 minutes of them.

Richard was 47 years as an Insurance Broker and Risk Management Consultant. 

The firm operated from offices in Carleton Place, Perth, Smiths Falls, Kemptville and West Ottawa, with over 60 employees. While the brokerage was multi-faceted, his personal practice focused on insurance and risk management services to the municipal, healthcare and not for profit sector.

Immensely curious, he grew up needing to understand how things worked and equally, why things do not work or are challenged. Hence the affinity to risk management as a tool, enabling dynamic community.

His community engagement started in high school; he has contributed as a municipal councillor, a Business Improvement Area, Tennis Club and Church Council, inaugural chairs; Provincial Broker Association Director and most recently 8 years on the board of PSFDH; terms as Finance, Quality and Board Chair. 

His most satisfying involvement in healthcare was the establishment of Rideau Tay Health Link and putting proof to the tremendous contributions, to healthy community, that can be realized through the focused integration of a myriad of health, social and community services and collaboration between those services, through the lens of the person receiving care.

He admires the indispensable contributions of CHC’s, supporting and enabling services integration in advancing healthy communities.

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