Board, Staff and Volunteer Contacts
NPAO Board, Staff and Volunteers 2017-2018
Click on the board member’s name to view their bio.
- President: Shawn Dookie, MPH NP-PHC
- President Elect: Leanna Lefebvre, BScN NP-PHC
- Secretary: Donna Ruffo, MN GNC(C) NP-Adult
- Director, PHC-NPs: Gayle Poapst, BScN MN MBA NP-PHC
- Director, Paediatrics NPs: Diane Wilson, BScN MN NP-Paeds
- Director, Adult NPs: Kristine Turnbull, RN(EC), MN, NP-Adult, GNC(c)
- Director, NPAO Regional Representatives: Amanda Rainville, BScN MScN NP-PHC
- Director, Membership: Kevin Zizzo, MN GDipNPAC NP-Paeds
- Director, Legal: Julian Berko, JD
NPAO Board Advisors
Click on the board advisor’s name to view their bio.
- Financial Advisor: Melanie Towell, CPA, CA
Click on the staff member’s name to view their bio, or to send an email.
- Chief Executive Officer: Dana Cooper, MNA, CAE
- Manager of Administration and Operations: Marcela Killin, BA
- Manager of Policy: Claudia Mariano, Manager, Practice and Policy
- Manager of Continuing Education: Vanessa Mooney
Suite 1801 • 1 Yonge Street (Toronto Star Building)
Toronto • Ontario • Canada • M5E 1W7
Phone: (437) 980 -4566
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
NPAO Office Hours are Monday to Friday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Marnee Wilson completed a Baccalaureate degree in Nursing at Laurentian University and worked for several years of clinical practice in the areas of Cardiology/Critical Care. She completed a Master’s in Science at University of Toronto. After working for as an RN, ACLS Instructor and CNS in these areas, she completed a Post-Master’s Certificate in Acute Care and has worked as an NP in the areas of Heart Failure, Electrophysiology and the Cardiac Surgery setting. When title protection legislation was passed, she registered as an Adult NP. She joined the Board of Directors of NPAO shortly after the legislative changes in 2011 authorized NP Practice in Ontario hospitals. Since that time, she has been actively engaged in creating and sharing framework to support and enable NPs to practice fully in hospital settings. She has been a sessional Instructor with the University of Toronto’s Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing for several years and has developed and taught Professional Development courses for NPs with the Bloomberg’s Centre for Professional Development. Currently, Marnee is the Practice Lead for NPs and NP in Cardiovascular Surgery at St. Michael’s Hospital and is developing an NP-Hospitalist Certificate Program in collaboration with NPAO and the Bloomberg Centre for Professional Development.
Marnee’s focus as President is to build upon the good work done in the past and continue to build a stronger, more transparent, united and member-focused professional voice for NPs in Ontario.
Shawn was born and raised in the Toronto area, he relocated to Thunder Bay in 2009 and still resides there. He started his nursing career working in various Emergency Departments in Toronto. Shawn found his calling working with Indigenous people on remote and isolated First Nations and has spent almost the last decade working with this population in both urban and remote settings. Shawn completed his Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Ryerson University, and his Master of Public Health at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay. He is currently working at the NorWest Community Health Centres where he provides street outreach services to individuals at the local homeless shelters and detox centres, he is also a part-time lecturer in the Lakehead University School of Nursing.
As a strong patient advocate, Leanna brings 15 years of front line nursing experience, including nine years as a PHC NP. She developed and leads the North Muskoka NPLC, a non-profit, interprofessional team that provides full-scope, NP-Led primary care to thousands of rural Ontarians. Leanna brings to the board experience in innovative leadership, business management, collaboration, policy development, and non-profit governance.
Donna completed her undergraduate nursing degree at the University of Toronto in 1992. Her passion for ongoing learning and desire to acquire more knowledge about caring for complex elderly patients took her back to the University of Toronto where she completed a Master’s degree and subsequently the post-masters Nurse Practitioner diploma both in the clinical area of Geriatrics. In addition to working as a Nurse Practitioner at North York General Hospital since 2004, Donna holds an adjunct appointment with the Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing whereby she is involved in mentorship activities in the undergraduate program and precepts nurse practitioner students. Aside from clinical work she is actively involved in committee work both internally and externally where she helps to contribute to both senior friendly strategies and nursing leadership. When she isn’t busy with work Donna enjoys travelling, photography and CrossFit.
Gayle began her nursing career in 1985 working in med-surg and palliative care. Over the years, she has spent time in community care, long term care, management and most recently in mental health. She obtained her nursing diploma from St. Lawrence College, a BScN from University of Ottawa, an MBA from Queen’s and MN (Primary Care NP specialty) from Athabasca University. She is certified in psychiatric and mental health nursing from CNA. In addition to nursing, she is a yoga teacher / therapist opening and running her own yoga studio for 12 years. She loves to incorporate complementary practices in her nursing interventions.
Her varied board experience includes the Kemptville Business Improvement Area Board, Helping Hands for India Charity and the Kemptville District Hospital Board of Directors. She is employed full time as a Primary Care NP at Merrickville Community Health Centre. Just for fun (in her spare time) she officiates weddings, teaches CPR and plays with her grandchildren.
Diane has been practicing as an NP for 10 years in the acute care setting. She has a special interest in infants with brain injury and congenital brain malformations in her practice setting of Neonatal Neurocritical Care. She participates in international research and education focused on improving neurological outcomes for children with brain injury.
Kristine was born and raised in Montréal, Québec, and relocated to Toronto in the summer of 2018 for her first NP role working on the Acute Pain Service. She completed her Bachelor of Nursing from McGill University. During her undergraduate studies, she volunteered as a student RN in rural villages in Livingstone, Zambia. Kristine worked for five years at the bedside in CICU, as well as the Code Blue team, at McGill University Health Centre before deciding to pursue her Master’s of Nursing- Adult NP at the University of Toronto. When not actively pursuing new learning opportunities, Kristine can be found riding her road bike!
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.
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.
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.
Julian is a lawyer currently working at the Office of Privacy and Access at the Markham Stouffville Hospital. 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 working in privacy, Julian worked as a policy analyst at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario.
Dana possesses over 25 years of experience in association management in a variety
of roles and as a consultant. He is credentialed as a Certified Association Executive
(CAE) and has an MBA from the University of British Columbia. He is currently
serving as the Interim Executive Director for the Canadian Association for Nurses in
Oncology after spending six years with Orthotics Prosthetics Canada as their Executive Director. Prior to that, he served as the Director of Government Relations and Public Policy for the Canadian Association of Optometrists.
Dana currently instructs the CAE 200 membership course and has presented at conferences across Canada on the member experience, service delivery, volunteer leadership, relations and retention, technology and amalgamation. In 2015, he was awarded the Executive Member of the Year by the CSAE Ottawa-Gatineau Chapter.
He lives in Ottawa with his wife, their three boys and two Yorkshire Terriers. Dana likes to golf, scuba dive, hike and be outdoors as much as he can.
The NPAO is very excited to have Claudia join our team. Claudia is coming in as Manager of Practice and Policy and will lead pivotal membership projects including MAiD, The NPLCA, and our newest project, NPs in private practice. We look forward to the significant leaderships she brings to the team and of course, her passion for NP practice.
Here are just a few words about Claudia:
Claudia Mariano graduated from the University of Toronto in 1986 with her Honours Bachelor of Science in Nursing. After working in medical-surgical nursing and public health nursing, she returned to U of T and obtained her Master of Science in Nursing in 1992.
In 1999 she graduated from the Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Program, also from U of T. Since that time she has embraced primary care and chronic disease management, working at the East End Community Health Centre in Toronto for 10 years, and for the past 10 years at the West Durham Family Health Team in Pickering. Claudia is a Certified Diabetes Educator and has obtained her certificate in Intensive Smoking Cessation Intervention. She is also a trainer for the Ottawa Model for Smoking Cessation. Her clinical practice is heavily focused on health promotion and self-management of chronic disease.
Claudia is a Past President of the Nurse Practitioners’ Association of Ontario, past Board member of the Association of Family Health Teams of Ontario, current Adjunct Lecturer at the University of Toronto Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, and author/editor of ‘No One Left Behind: How Nurse Practitioners are Changing Canada’s Health Care System’. She currently works at NPAO as the Manager of Practice and Policy and continues her clinical practice doing locum work in the community.