Board of Directors

2022-2023 Board of Directors 

The Board of Directors is elected to provide overall governance and leadership on behalf of the Kitchener Downtown Community Health Centre/Sanctuary Refugee Health Centre (the Health Centre). As a diverse group of volunteers who provide leadership and direction to the organization and accountability to the community, the Board is responsible to:

  • Establish and implement the organization’s mission;
  • Develop and implement a strategic plan to meet its’ mission;
  • Ensure that services and programs are relevant, and that the organization meets its’ legal and financial responsibilities and;
  • Engage the Health Centre in the community.

The Board of Directors bios are listed below:

Rob Howe, Board Chairperson, currently works within the health care sectors as part of Cambridge Memorial Hospital as the Director of Digital Health.  Prior to this he has also worked at St. Mary’s General Hospital and with the KW4 Ontario Health Team with a focus on Integrated Care.  He received his MBA from Wilfrid Laurier University and has previously volunteered on other local boards as well as taught part-time at Conestoga College in the Business Program.  Rob is excited to bring his experience in healthcare and board governance together as a member of Kitchener Downtown Community Health Centre/Sanctuary Refugee Health Centre Board of Directors since 2020.  He is entering his second year as Chairperson and currently serves on the Executive and Governance Committees.

Maissaa Almustafa, Member

Maissaa Almustafa, Vice Chair, is a Postdoctoral Fellow at Glendon Political Science and a Research Fellow at the Dahdaleh Institute for Global Health Research at York University, Toronto and an Adjunct Professor at the Department of Political Science at Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Waterloo.  Maissaa earned her Ph.D. in Global Governance and Master’s in International Public Policy at the Balsillie School of International Affairs, Wilfrid Laurier University.  She completed her B.Sc. in Economics at Damascus University in Syria and worked in the fields of diplomacy and international business development at the British Embassy in Damascus.  Her research focuses on displacement and statelessness, refugee protection, and refugees’ lived experiences in the Middle East, Europe, and Canada.  Maissaa is actively involved in refugees’ resettlement and integration through her role on the Board at Reception House in Waterloo Region.  Maissaa was accepted to the Board of Directors in 2021, and accepted to the role of Vice Chair June of 2022.  She currently serves on the Executive and Governance Committees.

Rosemary McCrie, Secretary

Rosemary McCrie, Secretary, a CPA and Chartered Director brings her knowledge and experience in corporate governance, strategic transformation, system implementation and risk management gained from 35+ years of combined corporate and board experience.  Rosemary currently leads and serves as a board member for Kindred Credit Union and Food Banks Canada where she chairs the Finance and Audit Committee.  Rosemary was accepted to the Board of Directors in 2019 and accepted to the role of Secretary June 2022.  She serves on the Executive and Governance Committees.

Dennis Watson, Treasurer

Dennis Watson, Treasurer, was an auditor for the Canada Revenue Agency for 35 years until his retirement in 2009.  Prior to joining the Board, Dennis was the community member on the Health Centre  Finance Committee for almost eight years.  Dennis has served his faith community for over thirty years in various volunteer capacities, most notably in the resettlement of new Canadians and in feeding and sheltering those living the experience of homelessness in the Region.  As a member of the Board, Dennis is once again able to be part of a team dedicated to building a healthy community.  Dennis was accepted to the Board of Directors in 2019 and currently chairs the Finance and Audit Committee and serves on the Executive Committee. 

Christine Stevanus, Member

Christine Stevanus, Member, Based in Kitchener-Waterloo, Christine is an incredibly dynamic and transformational leader.  She is passionate about developing people and organizations.  She has a collaborative approach that inspires people to go beyond their perceived capability.  In addition to her education in Business Management, Counselling and Peace and Conflict Studies, Christine is certified in Change Management. Lean Process Management, Mediation and is a Certified Coad Practitioner. She has served in leadership roles for the past 25 years, working on comprehensive change projects.  Christine is a practical and engaging leaders/consultant who asks very purposeful questions that invite imagination and open new possibilities.  Christine was accepted to the Board of Directors in 2021 and serves on the Finance and Audit Committee. 

Leia Minaker, Member

Leia Minaker, Member, is an Associate Professor in the University of Waterloo’s School of Planning.  She holds a PHD in Public Health (University of Alberta, 2013) and is interested in healthy cities, public health promotion, and health equity.  Her research is focused on policies and urban designs that promote urban health.  She serves as a Director of Waterloo’s Survey Research Centre.  Leia was accepted to the Board of Directors in 2021 and serves on the Governance Committee.

April Postnikoff, Member

April G. Postnikoff, Member, for the past 20 years April has practiced in the KW area in the areas of family law, criminal defense (as Duty Counsel) and civil litigation.  Before moving to the area, she served on the Board of Directors of Ballet Creole in Toronto, a local dance company.  She has also served on the Board of Directors for Our Place, Ontario Early Years Centre.  April holds a JD from Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, and a Master’s of Science in Marketing Communications from Roosevelt University.  April was accepted to the Board of Directors in 2021 and serves on the Governance Committee.

Lara Shantz, Member, is a Teaching and Learning Consultant with the Waterloo Region District School Board.  Her teaching experience has been at the secondary level teaching students who are multilingual learners and new to our system, province and/or country.  She now supports the educators of these students and is passionate about culturally and linguistically responsive teaching and trauma informed practices.  Lara has worked with many students and families who received much needed care through the Sanctuary Refugee Health Centre and she is honour4ed to support the work of the amalgamated Community Health Centre.  Lara was accepted to the Board of Directors in 2021 and serves on the Finance and Audit Committee.

Kholoud Alkhaledi, Member

Kholoud Al Khaledi, Member, was born and raised in Damascus, Syria to a Jerusalemite family.  She attained a B.A. in literature from Damascus University, as well as Education Diploma, Faculty of Education, Damascus University.  Kholoud came to Canada in 1999.  She has experience in accounting, trained for teaching ESL, worked as an interpreter for Reception House working with refugees and has attained an Ontario Interpretation Certificate.  She currently works as a free lance interpreter Audio/Video for Medical and Health with LSA, U.S.  Kholoud is the proud mother of two young men.  Kholoud was accepted to the Board of Directors in 2021 and serves on the Finance and Audit Committee.

Frances Barclay Fortune, Member, cis a seasoned development worker and has collaborated with communities on a wide variety of issues including gender-based violence, peace and security, food security and socio-economic development of the African continent, and Asia.  Frances is a social policy expert with a  keen interest on young people and work, earning her PhD in Global Governance, at Balsillie School of International Affairs at Wilfrid Laurier University and a Masters in Conflict and Conflict Management at Royal Roads in Victoria, B.C.  Based in Kitchener-Waterloo, Frances currently works for Mennonite Economic Development Associates in Waterloo, supporting country initiatives in Nigeria and the Philippines. Frances was accepted to the Board of Directors  June 2022 and serves on the Finance and Audit Committee.

Karen Quigley Hobbs, Member,  is a dedicated healthcare executive with 20+ years of experience mitigating health risks to the community through specialized clinic services, nursing practice leadership, community outreach, and health promotion and disease prevention strategies.  Karen looks forward to lending her robust business acumen and clinical best practices to drive impactful change through shared program purpose, unified interdisciplinary teams, and flexible and adaptable operational frameworks.  Karen was accepted to the Board of Directors June 2022 and serves on the Executive Committee. 

Lynn Schulze, Member,  cis a recently retired teacher and department head for newcomers to Canada in the WRDSB.  She began her 31 year career teaching in Collin’s Bay Penitentiary where she learned from the diverse group of inmates that theirs was not a level playing field.  She has taught and facilitated teacher training in Haiti and taught in Peru at the Universidad de Piura.  These experiences have fueled her =resolve to help to level the playing field for marginalized individuals and groups in KW.  She facilitates Crossing Borders, a youth presentation group that raises awareness about newcomer issues and breaks down barriers using the arts.  She is active in refugee sponsorship.  She has served as the volunteer coordinator for various local organizations, including MTSpace’s Impact Theatre Festival, primarily to help youth access meaningful volunteer opportunities.  Lynn worked to create mental health awareness and support through volunteer and curricular programs in schools where she taught.  She is excited to be part of a dynamic team that ensures dignified access to healthcare and wellness for all. Lynn was accepted to the Board of Directors June 2022 and serves on the Governance Committee.