NPAO Board and Staff

Executive

President

Barbara Bailey, NP-Adult, CCN(C), MN, BScN

Barbara Bailey graduated in 1995 with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing at McMaster University. Upon graduating, she worked across the United States and returned to Canada in 2001 when she joined the University Health Network (UHN). She began her UHN career as a staff nurse in the cardiovascular surgery intensive care unit. In 2007, she completed her Master’s in Nursing/Acute Care program at the University of Toronto while working as a nurse clinician in cardiovascular surgery, transitioning to nurse practitioner (NP) once completing her studies. Barb has developed advanced knowledge in adult congenital heart disease (ACHD) with a focus on postoperative management. However, since April 2015 she has been the NP for the Toronto ACHD program at the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre. 

Barb is currently cross-appointed with the Lawrence S. Bloomberg, Faculty of Nursing University of Toronto and is currently an instructional assistant in the Adult NP program. She holds memberships with the Canadian Council of Cardiovascular Nurses (CCCN), International Society of Adult Congenital Heart Disease (ISACHD), Nurse Practitioner Association of Canada (NPAC), Registered Nurses of Ontario (RNAO) and Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) and is the current President of the Nurse Practitioners’ Association of Ontario. Barb is certified in cardiovascular nursing (CCN(C)), basic and advanced cardiac life support.  Her accomplishments include a patient education initiative, a children’s storybook to help parents discuss their heart surgery with their children, and the development of a mindfulness recovery program after cardiac surgery.  She has co-authored publications in adult congenital heart disease (ACHD) and cardiovascular surgery. She has co-published in the Canadian Journal of Nursing Leadership and recently published in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology (CJC) Pediatric and Congenital Heart Disease, which explores cannabis use in ACHD.

Past President

Amanda Rainville, NP-PHC, MScN, BScN

Amanda completed her undergraduate degree in Nursing at Laurentian University in 2003. She worked as an RN in small rural hospitals in Northern Ontario until returning to Laurentian to complete the NP program and Master’s Degree. She has been practicing as a PHC-NP since 2009 and has been working at the Capreol NPLC since it opened in 2011. Amanda’s focus on the Board is to ensure that NPs across the province have an avenue to voice their concerns.

President Elect

Marie Greer-King, NP-PHC, MN, BScN

Marie completed her undergraduate degree in Nursing at Western University in 2005. She worked as an RN in the areas of pediatrics and postpartum care in London and Stratford hospitals. In 2008 she returned to Western part time to complete the Masters of Nursing degree and Primary Health Care NP program. She has been practicing as a PHCNP since 2011 and has been working as the only full-time NP at the Alexandra Marine & General Hospital (AM&GH) since 2012. At AM&GH, Marie provides primary care to patients and their families in the emergency department, prenatal clinic and mental health inpatient units. When Marie is not working, she enjoys spending time with her family.

Marie is looking forward to being part of the board and to continuing to advocate for NPs in Ontario in this constantly changing healthcare environment.

Secretary

Chantal Sorhaindo, NP-PHC, NP-GH, MN, BScN

Chantal is a Nurse Practitioner at the Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Toronto Family Practice Unit, St. Michael’s Hospital. She graduated from the Sheridan College Practical Nursing program in 2010, completed the Centennial College Bridging to
University Certificate in 2011, and graduated from the Ryerson University Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program in 2013. She recently completed her MN and NP Certificate (Primary Health Care) with a specialty in global health at the University of Toronto (U of T). Chantal has experience working in Primary Care, Occupational Health, Safety and Wellness, Home Care, and served as a Quality Improvement and Charge Nurse in Long-Term Care. She prides herself in her anti-Black racism work and served as the Black Graduate Student Association (BGSA) Outreach
coordinator, where she represented U of T at the Harvard University Black Policy Conference in April, 2019.

Currently, she is the group Chair of the NPAO Black Nurse Practitioners’ Community of Practice, is on the leadership team of St. Michael’s Hospital Department of Family and Community Medicine Anti-racism Advisory Committee, is working with the NPAO social media committee, and was a contributor to the New and Novice NP New Graduate Tool kit.

In her spare time, she enjoys singing and song writing, spending time with friends and family, and has recently picked up golfing. She is looking forward to working with the NPAO board of directors with the goal of elevating NP voices and making actionable changes to benefit the lives of NPs in Ontario

Directors

Director, PHC NPs

Jodi Colwill, NP-PHC, BScN

Jodi has been a Nurse Practitioner with the Minto Mapleton since 2008 where she was supported under the “Grow your own Nurse Practitioner” initiative. She obtained her Bachelors in Nursing Science from the University of Western Ontario with Sigma Theta Tau recognition in 2005. In 2009 she completed her Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Certificate. Jodi manages a primary care practice across the lifespan. With experience as an RN on labour and delivery at Grand River Hospital she is passionate about both women’s and children’s health. Additionally, she is the rural representative on the Waterloo Wellington Regional Children’s Mental Health Committee. Jodi is passionate about equitable care for all and has been a long standing member of her FHT quality improvement committee and recently the OHT QI committee as well as their collaborative QI initiative with community partners. Jodi helps provide quality care to rural patients by advocating for technological innovation in her region. She has presented at AFTHO and NPAO conferences about her team’s collaborative care psych program through OTN as well as enhancing primary care through multi-digital solutions. She recognizes the importance of team based primary care and has participated in political advocacy locally. She is looking forward to continuing to pursue such themes on a larger platform with NPAO. In her spare time she has completed medical missions to West Africa, Guatemala and Peru.  She loves swimming and skiing with her family and being a hockey mom. For self care she enjoys “sewing for her sanity”.

Director, Paediatrics

Sarah Schmidt, NP-Pediatrics, MN, BNSc

Sarah completed her undergraduate education in nursing at Queen’s University. After graduating in 2007, she began work at the Hospital for Sick Children in the neuroscience and trauma inpatient unit. Sarah enjoyed working in Asia for a period of time where she was involved in community-based research on diabetes prevention. After returning to Canada, she also returned to her first love of paediatrics, enrolling in the joint Master’s of Nursing/Paediatric Nurse Practitioner program at the University of Toronto and graduating in 2016. Sarah has worked in paediatric diabetes, complex epilepsy and obesity management. She holds a Graduate Certificate in Food Security from the Chang School at Toronto Metropolitan University and a Professional Diploma of Tropical Nursing from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Sarah chairs the paediatric community of practice with the NPAO.

Sarah is also a wife, mom to two wonderful young boys and farms alongside her family in the Kawarthas.

In joining the NPAO board, Sarah is excited to enhance the voice of NPs working in paediatrics across the province, and furthering the NPAO vision of exceptional healthcare for all.

Director, Adult NPs

Noorin Jamal, NP-Adult, CCN-C, MN, BScN

Noorin is a passionate nurse leader with over 15 years of clinical experience.  After several years in critical care, she pursued her passion for learning and graduated from the Master in Nursing program at the University of Toronto.  She has been practicing as a Nurse Practitioner since 2010 with a specialty in cardiology.  She is currently practicing as a Nurse Practitioner at Sunnybrook Health Science Center and Akira by Telus health. In her previous hospital leadership role, she was responsible for professional practice of nursing and health professions in the Peter Munk Cardiac Center, General Surgery and Psychiatry program at the University Health Network.  She is actively involved in the academic realm with an adjunct lecturer appointment through the Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing at the University of Toronto. Most recently she worked in the role of clinical consultant for the development of the first decision aid tool on refractory angina. She has developed a supplementary chapter on chronic angina self- management in Living a Healthy Life with Chronic Conditions, a program through Stanford University. She is most passionate about her volunteer work which has focused on resolving issues pertaining to access to healthcare and healthcare education for marginalized populations. Her goal is to enhance the patient experience through patient education and she uses this to guide her clinical practice.

Director, Legal

Julian Berko, JD

Julian is a lawyer that specialises in Civil Litigation and Privacy law. Julian completed his bachelor’s degree at York University. After graduating, he pursued a Juris Doctorate at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Prior to serving as Board Director of Governance, Julian served in the role of Legal Advisor to the NPAO Board where he regularly provided support to the Board on its responsibilities to the organization and to the Members. Julian also contributed to the development of policies while serving as Board Legal Advisor.

In his current role as Board Director of Governance, Julian is responsible to ensure the NPAO is aware of its risks with respect to legal and regulatory requirements as it concerns the affairs of the NPAO and to the Board’s decisions. Julian regularly contributes to Board discussions and decisions as a non-NP board member and provides a non-clinical lens to the Board on pertinent issues and decisions.

Director, NP

Jessica Romeo, NP-Pediatrics, MN, BScN
Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, Division of Orthopaedic Surgery
Adjunct appointment, University of Ottawa & University of Toronto

Jessica Romeo completed her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University of Ottawa in 2007 and went on to earn her Masters of Nursing degree and Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (NP) certificate from the University of Toronto in 2012.  She has worked at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario since 2007, which initiated as an RN on the surgical inpatient unit, followed by her current role as the pediatric NP for the Division of Orthopedic Surgery.  Additionally, she has experience working as a NP in primary care with a Family Health Team.

Jessica holds joint appointment as adjunct faculty with both the University of Ottawa and University of Toronto Schools of Nursing, and participates regularly as a guest lecturer, and NP preceptor.  Her clinical practice focuses on the care of hip dysplasia in infants and children, as well as Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis and general orthopedic concerns in the early stages of child development.  Jessica is also a Principal Investigator with the CHEO Research Institute and is actively involved in division wide orthopedic research.

NP

Kelly Kokus, DNP, NP-PHC, MScNP, BScN

Dr. Kelly Kokus is Nurse Practitioner specializing in substance use disorders at the Brant Haldimand and Norfolk (BHN) Rapid Access Addiction Medicine (RAAM) clinics. She graduated from the collaborative nursing program through Loyalist College and Brock University in 2013. She worked as an occupational health nurse  at Unilever from 2014-2018. She attended D’Youville University in Buffalo, New York, from 2014 to 2019, where she completed a Master of Science in Family Nurse Practitioner program, and Doctor of Nursing Practice – Family Nurse Practitioner stream. She has been a board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner since 2017. Currently, she is completing the fourth and final course for the Mental Health and Addictions NP Certificate through the University of Toronto. Dr. Kokus has worked on several mobile addictions outreach teams before starting her current role as the BHN RAAM NP in July 2019. She has held numerous leadership roles within various nursing organizations. Most recently, she has held the position of Ontario representative on the International Society of Addiction Nurses Canadian Executive and is the Co-Chair of the NPAO’s Mental Health and Addictions Community of Practice. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with friends and family, reading, running, gymnastics, figure skating and going to bakeries.

Paediatrics NPs

Kevin Zizzo, MN GDipNPAC NP-Paeds

Kevin Zizzo completed his Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN) through Ryerson University and George Brown College. After gaining several years of clinical experience he pursued a graduate level education and obtained a Masters in Nursing (MN) and a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (NP) Certificate through the University of Toronto. In addition, Kevin is one of seven individuals in Canada to obtain a Graduate Diploma as an NP in Anesthesia Care (GDipNPAC). His clinical experiences have primarily been in Pediatric Emergency Medicine, Community Health in remote First Nations communities, Pediatric Cardiology, and Pediatric Anesthesia. Kevin is a strong advocate for NP practice and has a passion for educating future nurses. He is cross appointed as an Assistant Clinical Professor at McMaster University and an Adjunct Lecturer at the University of Toronto.

NPAO Board Advisors

Financial

Melanie Towell, CPA CA

Melanie Towell is the Director Finance, Association of Ontario Midwives Benefit Trust, a Trust which manages the benefits administration of the Association of Ontario Midwives. She has served in several senior financial roles in the not for profit sector, including The Arthritis Society, Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation and Muscular Dystrophy Canada. Ms. Towell, completed her LLB at the University of Exeter, U.K. and her C.A. at the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales, and her CPA in Ontario.

NPAO Staff

Chief Executive Officer

Michelle Acorn, DNP, NP PHC/Adult, MN/ACNP, BScN/PHCNP, FCAN, FAAN, GCNC, FFNMRCSI, FQNI

Dr. Acorn has over 35 years of nursing, health systems and leadership expertise. NP Acorn transitioned to her NPAO CEO role in January 2024. She previously was the inaugural Chief Nurse with the International Council of Nurses, a former Provincial Chief Nursing Officer in Ontario, and has served as a NPAO President.

Dr. Acorn was inducted as an inaugural Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Nursing (FCAN), Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing (FAAN), Fellow of the Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland (FFNMRCSI, Ad Eundem), and Fellow of the Queens Institute in the United Kingdom. NP Acorn has received prestigious recognitions including the Nurse Practitioner Association of Canada Award of Excellence and Premier’s Award Nominee for Outstanding Scholars and Leaders. NP Acorn upholds all the NP advanced practice role domains. She is diploma to post-doctoral educationally prepared as a Doctor of Nurse Practitioner/ Nursing Practice, dually registered as both a Primary Health Care and Adult Nurse Practitioner, and a certified Global Nurse Consultant. Dr. Acorn’s diverse clinical expertise includes practicing in the Emergency, as a Hospitalist, innovating GAIN (Geriatric Assessment and Intervention Networks), and pioneering the most responsible provider (MRP) impacts of a NP–led model of inpatient hospital care as well as NP primary care models in corrections.  NP Michelle continues to practice in the community enhancing access to care for health equity seeking populations.  Michelle is recognized as a credible clinician, thought leader, mentor, teacher and scholar locally to globally.

Manager of Continuing Education

Vanessa Mooney

Vanessa Mooney is the Continuing Education Manager at the Nurse Practitioners’ Association of Ontario.  Vanessa graduated from Carleton University with a B.A. in Sociology, received a certificate with Honours from Seneca Collage in Human Resources Management and a certificate from Ryerson University in Meeting Planning and Management of Conferences, Conventions and Meetings.  

She is an accomplished planning, program development and delivery strategist with over 15 years of experience leading the innovation, design and delivery of creative program solutions in the not for profit health sector. 

Skilled in Clinical Research, Education, Public Policy, Patient Safety, and Health Promotion Vanessa has had the privilege of working with many influential CEOs, senior executives, international opinion leaders, community experts, cabinet ministries, and academia.

In addition to this rewarding work Vanessa has a passion for running and has completed 2 triathlons and 3 half marathons and is presently training for another.

Operations Manager

Marcela Killin

Marcela Killin was born and raised in São Paulo, Brazil and immigrated to Canada in 2013. She holds a Business Administration degree from the Getulio Vargas Foundation, a Diploma in Healthcare Management from the Ontario Hospital Association, a certificate in Public Policy and Administration with the University of Guelph, a Credential of Readiness from Harvard Business School Online and is currently pursuing her MBA in Social Enterprise Leadership with the University of Fredericton. She is passionate about social impact, healthcare and education and has been with the NPAO team since 2015. She is also a board member with the Ajax Public Library, a volunteer of the Town of Ajax IMPACT team and a committee member of the Regional Municipality of Durham’s Newcomer Advisory Table.

Admin and Member Support Coordinator

Pavarni Jorgensen

Pavarni Jorgensen was a Senior Research Scientist with the Western Cape Department of Agriculture (WCDoA), South Africa (SA) for 16 years. She graduated from the University of KwaZulu-Natal with a B.Sc. (Genetics and Biochemistry), and B. Sc. Honours in Genetics (Cum Laude) for which she was awarded the Van Schaik medal as the best South African Genetics Honours student in 2002. As a Young Professional employed by the WCDoA, Pavarni began her training as a junior research scientist in Animal Sciences. She completed her M. Sc. (Genetics) in 2013 and was invited to become an Agricultural Professional Fellow (a Cornell University-affiliated program) in 2014.  She is a Golden Key member.

Pavarni is a published scientist; she has written both peer-reviewed scientific articles and popular scientific communications and has presented her work at local and international conferences. She has also compiled and edited industry-specific technical manuals and books. As sub-editor of the department’s quarterly magazine (Agriprobe/Elsenburg Journal), she worked with contributors, designers, and publishers. She was responsible for creating content for the Research and Technology Development section of the website. She has represented the WCDoA at various public events and expos. Her interest in scientific communication led her to pursue a certification in the Science of Science Communication (University of Stellenbosch, SA) in 2019.  

She has also served on several WCDoA provincial government committees: the Events Committee, Departmental Ethics Committee for Research on Animals (DECRA), and the Western Cape Agricultural Research Forum. Pavarni served as the secretary of the Green Committee (2013-2017) and the Ovine Genomics Working Group (2015-2019). Pavarni moved to Toronto from Cape Town, South Africa at the end of 2019. She lives with her husband, human boy child, and 3 canine furkids. Their home is full of books.

Communications and Member Support

Justine Rose

Justine is an experienced designer who has been working in the marketing and design industry for over 10 years. Her expertise lies in corporate and creative brand identity and marketing collateral. After graduating from OCADU, she went on to work with companies whose focus ranged from fashion and food & wine, to the technology and health care sectors. Justine became the contract designer for the NPAO in 2016 and was the lead photographer for the 2016-17 NPAO Annual Conference.

Become a part of this vibrant, dynamic organization!

The Nurse Practitioners’ Association of Ontario is your professional voice.

NPs speaking for NPs.

NP Central Become a Member

Follow Us

@NPAOntario