Board of Directors

Allow us to introduce our current Board of Directors.


Trevor Stone

Trevor Stone, CD, CCPA
Trevor was born in Toronto, Ontario and enjoyed the privilege of numerous family moves throughout Canada and Europe as a Canadian Forces dependant. After High School in Yorkton, Saskatchewan he began his 22 years in the Canadian Forces as a Medical Technician, completing his Physician Assistant program in 2001.

Trevor retired from the military in 2006 and joined the Section of Plastics at the Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg Manitoba where he is part of the reconstructive surgery team. In 2011, Trevor accepted the position of Prairie Chapter Vice President. He is an ardent supporter of the profession and is committed to ensuring Canadians in all regions are not only familiar with the Physician Assistant Profession, but enjoy access to quality medical care through MD-PA team based medical care.


Anne Dang, BHSc (Hons), BHSc. PA, CCPA

My name is Anne Dang and I am a graduate of the McMaster PA Education Program Class of 2011. I have been working in outpatient Orthoapedic Surgery and Physiatry. Since graduation and over the last six years I have been busy gaining experience both on the clinical and professional fronts. I have volunteered with the Canadian Association of Physician Assistants CAPA); recently also joined the Board of Directors (BOD) for the CPAEA; presented research at the past two CPAEA poster sessions; and have participated in the PA admissions process as a PA interviewer, OSCE evaluator, and clinical instructor. I also serve as a clinical preceptor for students in Ontario’s PA programs.  I am very passionate about PAs and would like to put that energy to better use forwarding the PA profession in Canada working for you as your vice president.

Executive Director

Patrick Nelson

Patrick Nelson
Prior to joining Santis, Patrick served as the Executive Director of Public and Corporate Affairs at the Ontario Medical Association (OMA), the voice of the province’s 34,000 physicians. Over ten years with the organization, he led the OMA through several strategic communications campaigns, a comprehensive governance review, as well as a major rebranding of the organization itself. Under his tenure, member satisfaction with the OMA doubled to a record high while over the course of a recent five-month advocacy campaign the profession has witnessed a remarkable 12% increase in public trust. From 1998-2003, Patrick worked in senior communications roles in the Ontario government. As an aide to Ontario’s Minister of Health, Patrick led the issues management and legislative agenda.



Jennifer Tracz, BSc. PA, CCPA

Jennifer was born in Winnipeg, MB and moved to Brandon, MB at the age of 7 until the completion of high school. Jennifer graduated as part of the Honors Society Class of 1988. She joined the 26 Fd Regt (Artillery) and started her military career in the Reserve Force.  For 10 years Jennifer worked as a Finance Clerk at various bases and Headquarters across Canada. Finally her passion for medicine couldn’t be neglected any further; along with working full time and attending Brandon University part time she transferred into the Regular Force as a Medical Technician September 1999.  She attended courses required by the military and outside agencies to further her medical knowledge.  Jennifer went on several deployments overseas using her medical knowledge and bedside manner to best suit the situation.

Jennifer successfully completed the physician assistant course and graduated 5 Aug 2015, from University of Nebraska Medical Centre. Then October 2015 with the successful writing of the PACCC exam her journey was complete. Currently Jennifer works in Petawawa, her and a college have tabled a mentorship program to better prepare CAF members for the PA program, she is an active member in the CAPA networking teams, an advocate for PAs with and outside the CAF speaking to military and civilian physicians about their stance and how to better integrate PAs into clinical roles and educator to nurses, LPN, RPN, Medical Technicians that have a misunderstanding of what the PA role is within the spectrum of care.

Jennifer is also wife and mother to two girls, a large mastiff, two cats and an array of fish.


Celina Wu, CCPA

Celina is a new graduate of the Consortium of PA Education at the University of Toronto. During her two years in the PA program, she served as the Curriculum Representative where she liaised between students and faculty, addressing concerns, and prepared meeting minutes. She also participated in the Admissions and Selection Committee where she reviewed applications, rated candidates at the interview and voted on candidate-selection. Furthermore, she was elected to the Board of Examiners, Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto where she reviewed cases of students in academic-difficulty, determined appropriate course(s) of action and reviewed/approved grades for transcription.

She is actively involved in PA-profession promotion, such as representing PAs at the Health Professions Open-House at the University of Toronto, speaking about the PA profession at the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute (SciHigh), Mount Sinai Hospital and serving on the Interprofessional Healthcare Student Association as the outreach coordinator. Additionally, she has promoted the PA profession through speaking with interested candidates and has recently returned from her elective in the Himalayas as the first student in the program to participate in an international elective.

Director of Communications

Robert Brunet

Robert Brunet, MEd(c), BScPA, (Hons.) BHSc, CCPA, CCP(F)
Robert’s career in health care spans more than twenty five years, originally working as a land paramedic, and later as a critical care flight paramedic (based in Toronto). He eventually transferred to the clinical education side of the profession, developing and teaching various accredited advanced life support programs. He was later invited to join The Hospital for Sick Children as clinical team leader and co-developer of Ontario’s first hospital-based Rapid Assessment and Critical Event Response (RACE) Team in the emergency department. Further to this work, Robert acquired extensive experience as team leader of Paramedic Programs (primary and advanced care) at Regional Base Hospital Programs. In this capacity, Robert was a contributor to the design, organization, and delivery of continuing medical education. He was also a clinical coordinator and held portfolios in public and private sector community programs.

Robert is a graduate of the University of Toronto – Faculty of Medicine, Department of Family and Community Medicine where he earned his BSc.PA – Physician Assistant Degree in the inaugural class of 2011. He is also a graduate from the University of Ottawa where he earned an Honours Baccalaureate of Health Sciences (Minor in Gerontology) as well as his Master’s Degree in Education (MEd.) at the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. His concentration is in Health Professions Education, focusing on simulation in competency-based training and evaluation.   Robert worked as a Physician Assistant in the Emergency Department of the Hawkesbury and District General Hospital from 2011 to 2014, and has since moved to assume a role in Family Medicine and Complex Continuing Care. He is the 2013 recipient of the hospital’s Award for Clinical Excellence – voted by the hospital’s Board of Directors and Physician Group.

Past President

Chris Rhule, MHS, PA-C, CCPA

Chris began his career in the Winnipeg Reserves before joining the US Navy. In the navy he was exposed to PAs and upon accepting an honorable discharge embarked on a journey to become a PA. In 1999, Chris obtained a Master’s degree from the Quinnipiac University PA Program in Hamden, Connecticut. Chris practiced in the US in cardiac surgery prior to moving back to Winnipeg. He has played a key role in the growth of the PA profession. He contributed to the creation of the first Master’s Degree PA program at the University of Manitoba and played a consultative role in the development of both Ontario’s PA educational programs. He co-authored the Ontario PA Scope of Practice Statement and Competency Profile. From 2005 to 2014 Chris was the Director for the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority PA Program. For the last 2 years Chris has been traveling abroad working in developing countries providing care for under privileged communities.

 Provincial Director, New Brunswick

Kevin Dickson MMM, CD, MPAS, BHSc, BA, CCPA

Originally from Burlington, Ontario Kevin joined the Canadian Armed Forces in 1995.  After 14 years as a Medical Technician he was selected for the Physician Assistant program and graduated in 2011.  He practiced in Primary Care in Ottawa for four years until he was posted to Fredericton New Brunswick.  He retired from the Forces in 2015 and has been working in the Emergency Department of the Dr Everett Chalmers Hospital since.  He and his wife, Kelly, are happy to raising two young sons in beautiful central New Brunswick.  In addition to his Physician Assistant degree, Kevin has received an undergraduate degree in Geography from McMaster University and has completed his Masters in Physician Assistant Studies from the University of Nebraska.

Interim Provincial Director, Quebec

Louis-François Robichaud, CD, CCPA

Louis-François is the Interim Provincial Director, Québec for the Canadian Association of Physician Assistants. He was born and raised in Quebec City. Upon completing secondary school, Louis-François enrolled in the Canadian Armed Forces as a medical technician. After having served almost 20 years, he was selected for admission in the Canadian Armed Forces Physician Assistant Education program at the Canadian Forces Health Services Training Centre in Borden, Ontario. In 2007 he graduated and was posted to Canadian Forces Base (CFB) in Esquimalt, British Columbia and then subsequently to CFB Borden, Ontario, CFB Bagotville, Québec and CFB Valcartier Québec. Over the past 30 years Louis-François has served in Croatia, Bosnia and Sierra-Leone. He also had the opportunity to work on board Royal Canadian navy ships, in remote locations in Northern Canada and on many military bases across the country. He is presently working at the CFB St-Jean, Quebec.


Provincial Director, Ontario

Deniece O'Leary

Deniece O’Leary, MPAS, PA-C

Deniece is an American trained physician assistant (PA) with a Master’s Degree in Physician Assistant Studies.  After graduating, she worked in a Southern California low-income family practice specializing in pediatrics and women’s health.  Deniece moved her family from California to Ontario in 2009 to accept a position as an assistant professor at McMaster University’s newly established Physician Assistant Education Program. At McMaster, she taught clinical skills and problem based learning for 5 years. Now, Deniece is currently a faculty member at the University of Toronto Campus for the Consortium of Physician Assistant Education Program. She is also working as a clinical PA part time with a family physician in Hamilton and an Orthopedic Surgeon in Burlington. Deniece has proudly served as both the President and Vice President of the Canadian Physician Assistant Education Association (CPAEA) and is a member of the PA Integration Committee through the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. Throughout her career, she has been fortunate to teach and mentor many PA students and clinicians. Having spent over 10 years in clinical practice, 8 years as an educator, she has valuable knowledge concerning the struggles facing Ontario PAs. She is committed to working hard to build a better future for PAs in the province.  Deniece enjoys advising physicians and physician assistants on effectively integrating PAs into both practices and hospitals in Ontario. She is grateful to serve the PAs in Ontario for another 2-year term as their Provincial Director.


Provincial Director, Manitoba

Lisa Moore, CCPA

I was born and raised in a small town in northern Alberta. I obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Comparative Literature and English from the University of Alberta before moving to Winnipeg, Manitoba. My professional background includes nearly a decade as a policy advisor/issue manager for the Premier of Manitoba and project manager working in the Premier’s Policy and Planning Committee of Cabinet. During my time with government I gained experience in strategic communications, policy development and issues management. I also have a background in the performing and literary arts as a musician and published author and member of the Board of Directors of Prairie Fire literary magazine.

We have come a long way as health care practitioners in provinces like Manitoba during the past decade, but there is more work to be done in terms of public education and relationship-building with elected representatives and policy makers at provincial and federal levels of government. I am excited about the future of the profession and our limitless potential to help sustain and improve patient care in all areas of medicine.

Provincial Director, British Columbia

Sean Kurtz, MPAS, CCPA 
Sean was born in Vancouver and raised in Revelstoke, British Columbia. He originally completed a Bachelor of Arts in Human and Social Development, specifically Child and Youth Care Counselling. As a counsellor Sean worked in a variety of settings working with ‘troubled youth’ and their families. After working seven years in counselling Sean had a desire to expand his knowledge base and became interested in the medical aspects of healthcare. Sean returned to school completing an Accelerated Registered Nursing Baccalaureate Degree from the University of British Columbia. Sean worked as an emergency nurse in both rural and urban settings before becoming a Physician Assistant (PA). Sean completed his Masters of Physician Assistant Studies from the University of Manitoba in 2011. Upon completion, Sean worked for two years at the Grace Emergency in Winnipeg before taking a job in Occupational Medicine. Presently Sean works for Dominion Diamonds and is one of many PAs who run the Ekati medical clinic caring for the employees of the mine.

Sean is very much a family man. He currently lives in his hometown of Revelstoke, British Columbia where he and his wife are raising their three children. Sean is very passionate about the utilization of PAs in Canada; especially hoping to see future employment opportunities in his home province of British Columbia.

Canadian Armed Forces Representative

Danyal Beale, CCPA, MPAS, CD

I entered the military in the summer of 1985 as an Artilleryman. After completing basic training in Cornwallis, NS, I volunteered for service with the Special Service Force (SSF) based at Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Petawawa, ON.  In 1990 I re-mustered to medical assistant (MED-A) where upon completion of training I was posted back to Petawawa where I spent time with both, 2 Field Ambulance (2 FD AMB), and the Canadian Airborne Regiment (CAR). Throughout my career I have been posted to Esquimalt B.C. (twice) where I worked for the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) in clinics and on ships (which include Her Majesties Canadian Ship (HMCS) PROTECTEUR until her fire in 2014), the Canadian Special Operations Forces Command (CANSOFCOM) 1 Canadian Field Hospital, and finally to the Canadian Forces Health Services Headquarters Group in Ottawa, ON where I currently serve as your National Practice Leader and PA classification Advisor (NPL/MOSID Advisor).

Student Representative

Stephanie Shenassa

Stephanie is from Ottawa, Ontario and is a Physician Assistant student in the Consortium of PA Education at the University of Toronto. She will be graduating in August of 2018 and looks forward to commencing work as a Physician Assistant. She was the program’s CAPA student representative in her first and second year of the program prior to becoming a member of the Board of Directors.

Before Stephanie started the Physician Assistant Program, she completed a Bachelor of Science (Honours) Degree in Biology at Queen’s University. She also worked as a research assistant in the Hematology Department at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, as well as in the Radiation Oncology Department at the Cancer Centre at The Ottawa Hospital. Stephanie is excited for the opportunity to act as a liaison between CAPA and the Canadian Physician Assistant Students.

For more information on their roles and responsibilities, we encourage you to consult our bylaws.