Kirsten Luomala, CD, MPAS, CCPA
Originally from BC, Kirsten joined the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) in 1987. She served for 26 years with deployments to Alert, Haiti and Afghanistan. She was selected for the CAF PA program in 2007 and graduated in the inaugural BSc PA class in 2009. Kirsten subsequently was then posted to the Canadian Forces Medical School assigned to teach in the CAF PA program. While on her 2nd deployment to Afghanistan in 2013 she completed her Master of PA studies in Education and ER medicine from the University of Nebraska while assisting in developing the Combat PA program for the Afghanistan National Army. Kirsten retired from the CAF in 2014 to accept a position in Alberta’s Demonstration Project in Neurosurgery at University of Alberta where she currently works. She attended the University of Lynchburg, graduating in 2021 with her DMSc in Neurosurgery. Kirsten has been involved in the CAPA in various capacities, and directly involved in the successful regulation of Alberta PAs in Apr 2021. She currently resides in Spruce Grove with her family.
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.
Lisa Stewart, CCPA
Director, British Columbia
Lisa has nine years experience as a physician assistant with a focus in Plastic Surgery; trauma and burn medicine. She has a diverse background, starting her career in commerce before returning to university to study science, yoga and then health care. Lisa’s journey as a PA was inspired from her role as a Medical Technician Reservist with the Canadian Armed Forces. She attended the University of Manitoba to obtain her Master’s degree in PA Studies in 2012. Initially she worked in Critical Care medicine in Winnipeg, and in 2014 she moved to Calgary to work in Critical Care until she transferred to work in Plastic Surgery at the Foothills Medical Center.
Lisa has recently returned to her home province of British Columbia, settling in the Comox Valley with her husband and two young children. She continues to be a strong advocate for the PA profession, while seeking out her next great challenge.
Gabriel DeMone, CCPA
Alternate Director - British Columbia
Gabriel DeMone grew up all over the BC interior, between Kamloops, Merritt, and Prince George. Shortly after graduating from UNBC, he joined the CAF in 2009 as a Medical Technician. He spent much of his time in uniform in Ontario, serving with 2 Field Ambulance in Petawawa, Montfort Clinic in Ottawa, and the CF Health Services Training Centre in Borden. In 2019, he was accepted on the final course of PAs trained by the CAF. Upon completion in 2022, Gabe was posted to Halifax, where he served on the HMCS St Johns.
After 14 years of service, he released to take a position working in the Emergency Department at Red Deer Regional Hospital as the first PA in the department. Gabe and his wife currently live in Penhold, Alberta, but hold BC close in their hearts and look forward to continuing to advocate for PAs within British Columbia.
Lee Spencer, CD, DMSc, MPAS, CCPA
Lee Spencer is a Canadian Certified Physician Assistant with over 16 years of experience. He graduated from Canadian Forces Medical School in 2006. From there Lee went on to complete his Master’s Physician Assistant Studies at the University of Nebraska in 2013. Lee continued his studies through the University of Lynchburg to obtain his Doctor of Medical Science in 2018. For the past 6 years, Lee has been working with Alberta Health Services as a consultant in Geriatric Medicine for south zone. Lee was a part of the Alberta’s Demonstration Project initiative in Alberta. Lee ‘s previous experience consists of 7 years Industrial Medicine, Nationally and 25 years of services with the Canadian Armed Forces globally working in all environments.
Currently, Lee and his wife reside on a lake near Foremost Alberta. They have four grown children and two grandchildren that reside in Alberta as well. Lee has been serving as the Alternate Director for Alberta for the past term. Lee will continue to be a voice for PA’s not only in Alberta but Nationally as well.
Todd Bryden, BSc, CCPA, CD1
Todd Bryden originally from Sydney, Nova Scotia Todd joined the Canadian Armed Forces in September 1995 and over his 22 years in the CAF was posted to numerous locations throughout Canada. He completed his Physician Assistant training in 2010 and practiced as a PA in the CAF onboard HMC Ships and within Health Services clinics until 2017 and final posting to Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan where he retired from the CAF. Todd is married to his lovely wife Melissa and has 2 children, 9-year-old twins RJ and Olivia. Todd is presently employed with the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority with the Department of Surgery in the Section of Urology. He also holds clinical teaching position with the University of Manitoba where he is a preceptor for UofM MPAS and CAF PA students.
Todd has been an active member of CAPA and volunteers on the Physician Assistant Council of Canada Exam Committee. He is an avid supporter of the PA profession and looks forward to being a strong advocate for integration of PAs into health care in Saskatchewan and across Canada.
Ashley Millham, CD, CCPA
Alternate Director - Saskatchewan
Ashley Millham is currently employed as a Physician Assistant at Diavik Diamond mine in the NWT, working for 24/7 Occupational and Emergency Medical Services.
He has recently retired after 35 years of service in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF). Having graduated the CAF PA program in 2010, he worked as a PA in Canadian Special Operation Command for 5 years before taking roles as unit training officer and clinic detachment commander.
He finished his CAF career serving as Officer Commanding of Banting Company, and CAF Physician Assistant Program Director at the Canadian Forces Health Services Training Center (CFHSTC) in Borden, ON.
Ashley Millham has had operational deployments in Cyprus, Bosnia, Afghanistan, Central and South America, Sub-Sahara Africa, and Iraq. Additionally, he deployed to domestic operations: Winnipeg flood in 1997, the Ice Storm in 1998, and as the senior medical authority for Task Force Aurora, providing COVID-19 vaccinations to northern Manitoba communities in 2021.
He has been happily married to his dedicated wife, Suzanne for 26 years. Their daughters, Belana, and Cheyanne, attend University of Ottawa majoring in marketing and studying nursing.
Scott Lawrence, CD, BSc., CCPA
Alternate Director - Manitoba
Born and raised in Western Manitoba, Scott joined the Canadian Armed Forces reserves as a Medical Assistant in 2003. After a deployment to Afghanistan, he transferred to the Regular Force as a Medical Technician in 2012. He was selected for the CAF Physician Assistant program in 2019 and graduated in 2022. Scott is employed in as a Primary Care PA at 23 CF Health Services Center in Winnipeg. He and his wife Jenna are currently living in Winnipeg raising two young daughters. Although a recent entrant into the PA role, Scott is excited about the opportunity to advocate on behalf of the profession and looks forward to supporting his fellow Physician Assistants.
James Dougan, CCPA
James is a Canadian Certified Physician Assistant who has worked in several areas of medicine, including Military, Occupational, Hospitalist Medicine, and Primary Care. He joined the Canadian Armed Forces in 2004 as a Military Medical Technician and graduated from the Canadian Forces Physician Assistant Program in 2021. James is most proud of his time with the Canadian Special Operations Forces Command as both a Special Operation Medical Technician and Physician Assistant. During his career in the military, he has held several roles and responsibilities including instructing medical courses, developing medical courseware, and medical instructor development. James has also deployed in several capacities, including disaster response, COVID-19 relief in Long Term Care Facilities, and for humanitarian efforts in the Middle East.
James retired as a commissioned officer from the military in 2022 and joined the hospitalist team at Pembroke Regional Hospital. Here James was able to assist in medical directive development and worked as a Hospitalist PA in the care of admitted patients. Most recently, he accepted a position with 24/7 Occupational Emergency Medicine Solutions working in the Northwest Territories.
Kevin Kitzul, CCPA
Alternate Director - Ontario
Kevin Kitzul is a Saskatchewan Born Physician Assistant, who started out his career as a military medic, where he gained a wealth of knowledge and experience in healthcare ranging from clinical to operational conditions. He graduated from the Canadian Armed Forces Physician Assistant Program in 2009. He has operational experience in a multitude of nations and environments and fondly looks back at his time in the military as one of great learning experiences. Upon retirement in 2014, he has worked at the Windsor Regional Hospital Emergency, in Primary Care at the Harrow Health Centre FHT and is presently employed as a Sleep Medicine PA at 3 locations throughout southwestern Ontario. Kevin has been a proud member of CAPA since graduation and twice before has held the position of Alternate Director in Ontario from 2010-2014. He stepped back into the role of Alternate Director in 2021 and is looking to complete a 2nd term again as your Alternate Director – Ontario. He is a strong advocate for the profession and is looking forward to working with you the members of Ontario, the incoming Provincial Director and CAPA to ensure the continued growth and strength of the profession.
Jean-Nicolas Chagnon, MPAS, CCPA
Jean-Nicolas Chagnon est né à Grand-Mère dans la province de Québec. Ayant joint les Forces armées canadiennes en 2001, il a été employé en tant que technicien médical jusqu’en 2012. En 2014, il terminera ses études en tant qu’adjoint au médecin via le programme universitaire (Nebraska) de l’École des Services de santé des Forces canadiennes. Il complètera sa maîtrise (Nebraska) en 2017.
Jean-Nicolas a occupé plusieurs postes en tant qu’autorité médicale sénior lors de multiples déploiements sur terre comme sur mer. Il a occupé le poste de Directeur Québec de l’ACAM, poste auquel il a dû renoncer en 2018 pour des raisons professionnelles. Jean-Nicolas exerce présentement à Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, près de ses deux enfants et de sa conjointe.
Guillaume Couture, CCPA
Alternate Director - Quebec
Guillaume is a 2017 graduate of the Canadian Armed Forces PA program. He started with the CAF in the reserves, and in transferred into the regular forces in 2003. As med tech, Guillaume toured in Bosnia, Afghanistan and DART in Nepal. Also did a tour on HMSC Nanaimo and was the station PA at CFS Alert.
Guillaume now works at the 41 H SVC C St-Jean as a PA and is the clinical supervisor. He is also involved in patient safety and quality improvement projects.
Guillaume lives with family in St-Bruno, QC where he enjoys, hiking, kayaking and SUP.
Ryan Bennett, CCPA
Director, New Brunswick
Originally from Hastings, Ontario, Ryan has called New Brunswick home for the past couple of decades—originally Saint John and now Fredericton. After obtaining a BSc from the University of New Brunswick and working for some time in Residence Life, Counselling and Student Services he went on to become a 2014 graduate of the University of Manitoba’s MPAS program. Ryan has worked in both rural emergency medicine in Gimli, Manitoba and most currently in Fredericton, NB in the Emergency Department at the Dr. Everett Chalmers Regional Hospital. He has an interest in orthopedic emergencies, sports and wilderness medicine. Outside of work he likes hiking in the great outdoors, camping, partaking in stories by the campfire and enjoying a brew at one of the many local breweries/pubs around town with friends and family. It is my wish to continue to advocate and help grow the PA profession in New Brunswick, and indeed the Maritimes.
Iain Chiasson, CCPA
Alternate Director, New Brunswick
Born in Wolfville NS, Iain currently calls Oromocto NB home.
Iain joined the Canadian Armed Forces as a Medic in 2002. As a medic he deployed to Afghanistan in 2007, 2009 and 2012. He went on to become an instructor at the Canadian Forces Health Services Training Centre in CFB Borden Ontario in 2013. In 2017 he was accepted to the CAF Physician Assistant program and graduated in 2019. He was then posted to New Brunswick and deployed to Latvia in 2020.
He continues to serve full time with the Navy in Halifax as a primary care and dive medicine Physician Assistant. Iain also works as a Casual Emergency PA at the Dr Everett Chalmers Hospital in Fredericton since 2022. Iain and his wife Meghan are the proud parents of six children who love hiking, camping and exploring this beautiful province they call home.
Peter Thibeault, CCPA
Director, Nova Scotia
I am a proud member of the Canadian Armed Forces and have served in a variety of postings and on multiple deployments across Canada and around the world. I’m a graduate of the inaugural 2009 PA degree class and received my Bachelor of Science from the University of Nebraska. While I was born in Ontario, I’ve called Nova Scotia home since the age of five. I grew up in Barrington, on the province’s beautiful South Shore. I’ve been a certified PA since 2010 and have extensive medical experience, along with teaching and mentoring the next generation of military PAs who are based in Nova Scotia.
Kathleen Abreo, CCPA
Kathleen has always been passionate about the health of Canadians with an interest in health policy. Working as frontline Physician Assistant during the pandemic, in a large Toronto hospital, she experienced first hand what it was like to see our healthcare system significantly stretched and strained. Many gaps and challenges exist in the post-pandemic era, and Kathleen would like to see Physician Assistants as part of the solution in improving access to healthcare in Canada. Kathleen has completed both her undergraduate and post-graduate training at the University of Toronto. Utilizing her professional network, Kathleen was able to co-create a position as a Physician Assistant at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto in the department of Paediatric Medicine. The creation of this position was successful and the department has subsequently added additional Physician Assistant positions. To expand her professional skills, Kathleen shifted to a position in the Department of General Surgery at Brandon Regional Health Center in Brandon Manitoba for the past year. She is currently in the process of exploring what her next steps will be.
Now more than ever improving access to care in Canada truly needs all hands on deck. Physician Assistants are versatile, highly competent clinicians who graduate from Canadian university programs that demand academic rigor. However, they are grossly underutilized. Kathleen has begun preliminary discussions with the province of Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) to introduce Physician Assistants. As this is the home province of Kathleen's spouse, she is passionate about integration of Physicians Assistants into the NL healthcare system. She welcomes anyone with this shared interest to reach out to her for further discussions.
Andrew Carriere, CAF PA-MOSID ADVISOR
Canadian Armed Forces Representative
Andrew joined the military as a Med A reservist in 1990 and transferred to the regular force in 1998. He worked as a Med Tech on multiple domestic and overseas deployments and completed his PA training at the Canadian Armed Forces Training Center in 2010.
He has been a practicing Physician Assistant in the CAF for the past 12 years and is currently employed as the PA MOSID advisor.