Executive Team

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Executive Team

Cathy Ulrich, President and Chief Executive Officer

Cathy Ulrich

Cathy has held this position since 2007. From 2002 to 2007, Cathy was the Vice President, Clinical Services and Chief Nursing Officer for Northern Health. Before the formation of Northern Health, she worked in a variety of nursing and management positions in Northern British Columbia, Manitoba, and Alberta. 

Most of her career has been in rural and northern communities where she has gained an understanding of the unique health needs of rural communities.Cathy has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from the University of Alberta and a Masters of Science degree in community health sciences from the University of Northern BC (UNBC). 

Mark De Croos, Vice President, Financial and Corporate Services/Chief Financial Officer

Mark De Croos

Mark was appointed to his current position in July 2010, bringing proven success in strengthening and leading organizational finance and decision support. He oversees financial operations for Northern Health and is responsible for planning, implementing and evaluating the organization’s fiscal performance and ensuring its long-term financial sustainability.

Mark joined Northern Health in October 2009 as Executive Director in the finance department, having previously spent 11 years with Peace Country Health in Northern Alberta. During that time, he held progressively more responsible positions, ultimately serving in the role of Executive Director, Finance.

Mark holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Alberta and is a certified general accountant.

David Williams, Vice President, Human Resources

David Williams

David Williams became the Vice President of Human Resources on  April 20, 2015.

David started his Human Resources career in 1985 with the Royal Air Force in the United Kingdom. Upon moving to Canada he has worked as an Human Resources Manager for the eCharge Corporation and subsequently as an Human Resources Advisor for Vancouver Coastal Health. In 2004,

David relocated to Northern Health as the Manager, Human Resources until 2010 when he assumed the role of Regional Director, Human Resources. In 2013, David undertook an interim role as Vice President, Human Resources.

David is a Certified Human Resources Professional and holds a Masters of Business Administration degree from UNBC. David has also taught in the School of Business at UNBC.

Fraser Bell, Vice President, Planning and Quality

Fraser Bell

Fraser is responsible for strategic and operational planning as well as quality monitoring and support of improvement processes, information management and information technology.

Fraser holds an MBA with a focus on health services management from McMaster University. During his more than 22 years in health service management, he has held progressively more senior positions in health management consulting (PricewaterhouseCoopers and IBM), government (Ontario Ministry of Health, Huron Perth District Health Council) and health operations.

Before starting his current role, Fraser was Northern Health’s Health Services Administrator for the community of Quesnel. During his consulting career, Fraser has been exposed to the health systems of New Zealand, Australia, and several Canadian provinces.

Kelly Gunn, Vice President, Primary and Community Care and Clinical Programs

Kelly Gunn

Kelly is a long term resident of northern British Columbia. Kelly is a Registered Nurse and holds a Diploma in Nursing from the College of New Caledonia, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing with distinction from the University of Victoria, and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Northern British Columbia.

Kelly was previously the Regional Director, Medical Affairs and has held this position since April 2006. Kelly also has nursing experience in neonatal intensive care, pediatrics, obstetrics, and nursing leadership experience in public health. She is a part time nursing instructor in the UNBC Collaborative Baccalaureate Nursing Program and has experience working as an interim Health Services Administrator.

Dr. Ronald Chapman, Vice President, Medicine

Dr. Ronald Chapman

Originally from South Africa, Dr. Chapman came to Canada in April 2007 bringing extensive experience in the health and public sectors to his leadership role. Beginning in 2007, Dr. Chapman held the position of Regional Director for the Northern Cancer Control Program, which was a dual appointment to both Northern Health and the BC Cancer Agency. In September 2009, Dr. Chapman shared the role of Chief Medical Health Officer for Northern Health and in July 2011 became the sole holder of the title. In March 2013 Dr. Chapman moved into the role of Vice President, Medicine. Dr. Chapman’s previous work experience includes: Director of Community Health, Director of Planning and Support, Senior Manager for Health programs, Executive Manager for Health Support, and Acting Chief Operating Officer in the Department of Health of the Free State, South Africa.

Dr. Chapman has full registration as a Community Medicine Specialist with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC, and has successfully completed both the Licentiate of Medical Council of Canada (LMCC) and Royal College of Physician and Surgeons of Canada Fellowship exams.

Margo Greenwood, Vice President, Aboriginal Health

Margo Greenwood

Margo is an Indigenous scholar of Cree ancestry whose work has focused on the health and well-being of Indigenous children, families and communities across disciplines and sectors. She accepted the position of Vice President of Aboriginal Health in June 2013. In this role, she provides executive leadership to the Aboriginal Health portfolio, including the development of relationships with the First Nations Health Council, Northern Region Health Caucus and the First Nations Health Authority.

Margo is also the Academic Leader of the National Collaborating Centre for Aboriginal Healthand a Professor in both the First Nations Studies and Education programs at the University of Northern British Columbia. In recognition of her scholarly work she received the Queen's Jubilee medal in 2002 in recognition of her years of work to promote awareness and policy action on the rights and well-being of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal children, youth and families. In 2009, Margo received the Perry Shawana Award from the BC Aboriginal Child Care Society in recognition for her leadership and commitment to creating “quality” child care and early learning services for First Nations / Aboriginal children in British Columbia. Margo was also recognized in 2010 as the ‘Academic of the Year’ by the Confederation of University Faculty Associations of BC for her research contributions to the wider community. Most recently she was honoured with the National Aboriginal Achievement Award for Education in 2011.

Dr. Sandra Allison, Chief Medical Health Officer, Public Health

Dr. Sandra Allison

Dr. Allison joined Northern Health in June 2014 as Chief Medical Health Officer. She leads all public health programs in Northern Health, as well as advising the Executive Team and Board on public health issues.

Sandra and her family relocated to Prince George from Brandon, Manitoba, where she worked as Regional Medical Officer Of Health for Manitoba Health. She is a Fellow of the Royal College in Public Health and Preventive Medicine, and a Certificant of the College of Family Physicians of Canada. Sandra completed a B.Sc. in biochemistry at the University of Calgary, and her medical degree and her master’s degree in public health at University of Manitoba.

Her interests include health promotion, community development and emergency preparedness. In her work as a public health physician, she has remained active in education of medical students and residents and is an associate professor in the departments of Community Health Sciences and Family Medicine at the University of Manitoba.

Steve Raper, Chief Communications and External Relations

Steve Raper

Steve has been an executive in healthcare for nearly 10 years leading communications, external relations, marketing & promotions and other programs during that time. Steve has almost 15 years of experience leading teams and managing the public relations and external relations functions in Prince George. He has lived in Prince George for nearly 35 years and has also worked as a college instructor, teaching marketing and organizational behaviour.

Steve has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Northern British Columbia, and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from Royal Roads University. Steve maintains he is a life-long learner and has taken many other programs including becoming certified in public consultation by the International Association for Public Participation.

In his spare time, Steve volunteers on a number of boards and throughout the community, including Canadian Blood Services and Pacific Sport Northern BC, Steve enjoys camping, spending time with his family, and coaching his children’s soccer teams.

Angela De Smit, Chief Operating Officer, Northeast Health Service Delivery Area

Angela De Smit

Angela has been a resident of the North Peace since 1997.  She worked as the Health Services Administrator for the North Peace and has held this position since January 2009. During this time, Angela also worked as the Operational Lead for acute care planning and transition as we completed the development of the new Fort St. John Hospital and Peace Villa project.

Angela previously held the Director of Patient Care Services and the Inpatient Unit Manger positions at the Fort St John Hospital and Health Centre. She also has experience in various nursing leadership positions in Peace River Community Health Centre, High Level Community Health Centre and University of Alberta Hospitals in Alberta.

Penny Anguish, Chief Operating Officer, Northern Interior Health Service Delivery Area

Penny Anguish

With many years of clinical and management experience across health care sectors in both northern Ontario and British Columbia, Penny returned to the northwest to assume the Chief Operating Officer role in 2012. Before returning to Northern Health, Penny's positions included Decision Support and then Vice President, Complex Care & Physical Rehabilitation and Chief Nursing Officer with St. Joseph’s Care Group in Thunder Bay, Ontario.

Penny holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in nursing from the University of Victoria and a Graduate Diploma in Business Administration from Simon Fraser University. She also completed an Advanced Health Care Leadership Program with University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management. Penny brings a strong quality improvement focus to her team's work as they strive to provide accessible and high quality health services across the northwest that are consistent with the strategic priorities of Northern Health.

Ciro Panessa, Chief Operating Officer, Northwest Health Service Delivery Area

Chris Simms

Ciro relocated to the Northwest with his family in 2014. Ciro has experience in nursing practice and leadership positions at Vancouver General Hospital, Vancouver Coastal Health, the PHSA’s BC Centre for Disease Control, and the Ministry of Health. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a Master of Science in Nursing from the University of British Columbia. In addition, he is a qualified, non-practicing Family Nurse Practitioner.

He is currently appointed as an Adjunct Professor in the UBC School of Nursing. Previous to becoming the North West Chief Operating Officer, Ciro assumed the Regional Director, Chronic Diseases role in Northern Health where he led a team focused on improving NH’s response to communicable and non- communicable chronic diseases within the context of a continuum of services from primary and community care through to specialized and acute care services.

This work has focused in the areas of Kidney, Cardiac, Stroke, Cancer, Chronic Pain, HIV and Hepatitis C Care. He is keenly interested in health equity and designing health services that partner with community to reach and engage people in the best possible way.