Leanne Terry, Administrative Lead
Leanne has a Bachelor of Arts degree, Social Services Diploma and Medical Office Administration and Policy Development Certificates. She had worked primarily in hospital settings and orthopedics in an administrative capacity until joining the WRNPLC team in 2013. Leanne is committed to professional growth and development in areas of Quality Improvement, Human Resources, and Leadership and Management and holds a Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership. She believes strongly in the patient-centered, collaborative model of WRNPLC and its benefits to our communities.
Krysta Cameron, BScN MN-ANP NP-PHC, Clinical Lead
Krysta joined the WRNPLC team in 2017 after graduating with a Master’s Degree in advanced nursing practice from Athabasca University and has most recently completed her certificate in leadership and management from the University of Toronto. Prior to becoming a Nurse Practitioner, Krysta obtained her Bachelors of Science in Nursing from Laurentian University in collaboration with Sault College. Spending most of her RN career in the Emergency departments in Ottawa, Timmins, and Guelph. She has a background in vascular surgery and general surgery and specializes in minor dermatologic procedures. As Clinical Lead, Krysta’s interest and expertise lies in quality improvement and clinical team development. Outside of work she loves to travel and spend time with her family.
Paula Carere, NP-PHC BScN MEd
As the founding lead of Waterloo Region NP Led Clinic, Paula is a recognized advocate for patient centered care and Nurse Practitioner integration into Ontario’s health care system. Having broadened her knowledge through studies at the University of Ottawa and University of Toronto, Paula developed both clinical and leadership expertise through a variety of roles across the health system. In addition to clinical and leadership roles, Paula has consulted with programs such as the Region’s Rapid Access Addiction Medicine Clinics and has volunteered her leadership skills at local and provincial levels, including both the KW4 and Cambridge North Dumfries Ontario Health Teams. Having recently change her practice location to Breslau, Paula is enjoying a renewed focus on primary care clinical work and community development .
Sarah Cleland, NP-PHC MScN BScN
Sarah graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Western Ontario in 2008. She began her career working as a Registered Nurse on the Nursing Resource Team for University Health Network in Toronto. With an interest in cardiac care, she pursued specialized coronary care certificates and transitioned to a position as an RN on a cardiac short stay unit at Toronto General Hospital. While in Toronto, Sarah’s passion for health promotion and disease prevention led her to complete her Diabetes Education Certificate through the Michener Institute. In 2012 she returned to school and completed her Master’s of Nursing and Primary Care Nurse Practitioner program. Prior to coming to the Nurse Practitioner Led Clinic, she gained valuable experience working as a Nurse Practitioner with both the Thames Valley Family Health Team in Woodstock, and with a local Family Health Organization in Kitchener. Sarah joined the team in May 2016, and is excited to be working with such a collaborative group to deliver holistic and responsive primary care services.
Sahar Haji, NP-PHC BScN MScN
Sahar graduated from McMaster University with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2012. She began her career as a Registered Nurse on an Internal Medicine unit at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Hamilton and later, went to pursue a career in Primary care. Her experience as a Registered Nurse with the Hamilton Family Health Team sparked an interest in further expanding her scope of practice in primary care. In 2015, Sahar decided to return to school to pursue her Master’s of Nursing and Primary Healthcare Nurse Practitioner Certificate from McMaster University. She started her career as a Nurse Practitioner at the McMaster Halton Family Health Center and after moving to Kitchener in 2018, she joined the Waterloo Region Nurse Practitioner Led Clinic. She is proud to be a part of this wonderful team which focuses on person-centered, integrated, and accessible primary care. Her experience here has been very rewarding and valuable
Sheryl Tigchelaar, BScN MN-ANP NP-PHC FNP-C
Sheryl graduated from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania in 1993 with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. From 1993 until 2013, she worked in a variety of acute care settings in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Minnesota, and Ontario. These included inpatient respiratory, surgical, surgical ICU, medical ICU, trauma ICU, interventional cardiology, emergency, and maternity. During this time, she obtained and maintained her Critical Care Nursing Certification and worked as both staff nurse, charge nurse and nursing supervisor. In 2013 she graduated from Athabasca University with Master’s in Nursing: Advanced Nursing Practice. After graduating, she obtained certification to practice as a Family NP in Ontario and in the United States. Her experience as an NP has involved working in Family Health Team settings and working privately for several local physicians. Since joining the WRNPLC in May 2019, she has worked in addiction medicine at both Water Street and Pioneer Park locations and primary care at the Pioneer Park. She also precepts NP students from McMaster University, University of Toronto and, Athabasca University and performs minor dermatologic procedures. She is currently working towards certification as a diabetic educator.
Olga Baleca, NP-PHC MScN BScN, Addictions Medicine NP Lead
Olga is a Primary Health Care Nurse Practitioner, with an expertise in addiction medicine. She graduated from York University with her Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2011. She has worked on various units throughout her RN career that sparked her interest in health care accessibility and continuity of care. In 2014, Olga returned to her alma mater and earned her Master of Science in Nursing and Nurse Practitioner Certificate in 2016. Prior to coming to the NPLC in January 2018, Olga worked in East End CHC in Toronto and Chatham-Kent CHC in Chatham where she provided primary care services to patients of all ages and various complexity. Olga has been always passionate about mental health and addictions. In 2018, she became the first NP in our region to take on the role of Nurse Practitioner specializing in addiction medicine. She leads the Cambridge Rapid Access Addiction Medicine Clinic on Wednesdays and Fridays. In January 2021, Olga accepted the role of Regional RAAM Clinical Lead. She is very proud to be part of the NPLC team which focuses on accessible and comprehensive primary care. In her spare time, Olga loves to travel, spend time with her family, friends and pets. She is also fluent in Russian.
Karen Bento, BA BScN MN NP-PHC
Karen has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Guelph and then went on to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from McMaster University. She began her career as a Registered Nurse on a medical/surgical unit at Brantford General Hospital. With an interest in intensive/critical care, she went on to pursue a specialized certificate in critical care nursing and transitioned to working as a RN in the critical care units at Brantford General Hospital and St. Mary’s Hospital. After six years of working as an RN she decided to return to school in 2016 to pursue her Masters of Nursing and Primary Healthcare Nurse Practitioner Certificate from the University of Western Ontario. Prior to working with the WRNPLC, Karen started her career as a new NP with the Guelph Family Health Team where she gained some valuable experience. As a new member of the WRNPLC she is enthusiastic about being a part of a collaborative organization that is continually working to deliver holistic patient centered care.
Janet Okrafka, NP-PHC
Janet graduated from McMaster University in association with Conestoga College with her Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing in 2014. She began her nursing career at the Wilfried Laurier University Health Centre with a specialized focus on sexual health and mental health care. Soon after Janet began specializing in women’s health working as a sexual assault nurse and Coordinator of the Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Care and Treatment Centre within the Brantford General Hospital. Janet completed her Masters of Nursing and Primary Health Care Nurse Practitioner certificate at McMaster University joining the WRNPLC in early 2021. Janet’s medical areas of interest include women’s health, addictions, and trauma specialized care. Outside of work Janet loves to read, hike and spend time with her family.
Claire Hogan, NP-PHC
Katie Sullivan, NP-PHC
Katie graduated from Memorial University of Newfoundland with a Bachelor of Nursing in 2006. She began her career in pediatrics and labour and delivery at the IWK Health Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia, prior to attending Queen’s University for graduate studies. During her time at Queen’s, Katie practiced as a clinical instructor while working as a teaching assistant and faculty advisor. She also spent a summer outpost nursing in Northern Ontario. In 2010, Katie completed the Master of Science in Nursing and Primary Health Care Nurse Practitioner program and was appointed Term Adjunct at Queen’s University. In 2011, Katie joined the Kingston Family Health Team where she practiced until moving to Ottawa in 2015, where she gained experience providing primary care to members of the Canadian Armed Forces and patients in long term care. For the last four years, Katie lived in the United States where she practiced primary care and internal medicine in Maryland and Washington, D.C.
Amaya Sanchez, NP-PHC
Amaya graduated from the University of Waterloo with a Bachelor of Science majoring in Health Studies in 2013. During this program she developed an interest in the social determinants of health and was first introduced to the role of Nurse Practitioner while completing a community project. Amaya was fascinated by this role’s ability to combine health promotion, disease prevention, and community development. This inspired her to pursue a career in nursing and in 2015, she graduated from University of Toronto with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. After completing her Critical Care Certification, she worked in a variety of acute care settings including ICU and PACU. In 2022, she graduated from Athabasca University with a Master of Nursing: Nurse Practitioner. After graduating, she obtained her Family Nurse Practitioner Certification. Amaya is very proud to start her career as a Primary Health Care Nurse Practitioner with the WRNPLC where she feels will make a difference improving access to comprehensive patient centered care in the community. Amaya is fluent in Spanish.
Erin Okanik, NP-PHC
Erin has been living and working in the Waterloo Region since graduating with her BScN in 2009. Her experience as a registered nurse included inpatient surgery and the emergency department, after which she completed her MScN and Primary Health Care Nurse Practitioner certificate in 2014. As an NP, she has enjoyed working in primary care, virtual care, and in health care leadership. She has a special interest in the care of geriatric patients, and loves working with patients toward achieving their best health. When not at work, she can be found spending time with her partner, daughters, and dog exploring our local hiking trails.
Tracey Clark, MSW
Tracey is a graduate of the UW Social Development Studies and Gerontology program. She went on to complete her MSW at Wilfrid Laurier University in the early 90’s gaining valuable placement experience at the Guelph Wellington Counselling Centre and CMHA. Tracey has worked in a variety of health and social service settings. Working part time as a social worker in a hospital ER provided great experience in a fast-paced interdisciplinary environment. Tracey began her work in primary care at the Hamilton Family Health Team before moving to a primary care practice in KW in 2005. Tracey has spent much of her career working alongside other primary care providers to support people in managing their mental, physical, and overall health. Tracey is excited to join the WRNPLC team and has particular interest in mental health, grief, women’s health issues, perinatal mental health, sleep and overall wellness. Outside of work Tracey enjoys running, hiking, travelling, eating good food and spending time with family.
Caleb Redekop, MSW
Caleb has a bachelor’s degree in Peace and Conflict Studies from the University of Waterloo and a Master of Social Work from Wilfred Laurier University. He has worked in the Waterloo Region Community for over 7 years in areas of addiction, harm reduction, housing/homelessness, anti- violence and mental health. Caleb’s counselling practice is client lead that works towards goals together using an eclectic approach which borrows from a variety of different modalities. Caleb deeply believes in WRNPLC collaborative approach to heath care that is plugged in to the community’s needs to better serve our patients. Outside of work Caleb enjoys biking, running and being an engaged member of his community.
Colleen Mott, RPN
Colleen has been an RPN for over 25 yrs since graduating from Conestoga College. She has worked in a variety of hospital and community settings and spent time in a management position in the long term care sector. In 2016, after spending 5 years with a Family Health Team, Colleen joined the WRNPLC team. Primary care is where her heart is and enjoys being a part of an interprofessional collaborative care team. Outside of work she enjoys music, spending time with her friends and family and travelling.
Kathy Hills, RPN
Kristen Hayes, RPN
Kristen graduated from Conestoga College’s Registered Practical Nurse program in 2015. She has worked in a variety of health care settings, with most of her experience being in primary care. She previously worked at a local Family Health Team for 6 years, and recently joined the WRNPLC team in 2022. She has a passion for lifelong learning, advocating for patients and working closely with an interprofessional team to help meet patient needs. In her spare time she enjoys cooking, walking, travelling and spending time with her loved ones.
Evgenia Oreshkin, B.Sc Phm. RPh. Clinical Pharmacist
Evgenia has been a practicing pharmacist for 5 years, and she graduated from the University of Toronto’s Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy. She has had experiences in different settings of pharmacy practice, including retail pharmacy, hospital pharmacy and in a Primary Care setting. Her experience as a clinical pharmacist comes from working at Summerville Family Health Team, the largest Family Health Team in the Mississauga-Halton LHIN. Her interests are in helping patients understand and empower them with knowledge about their conditions and the purpose and use of their medications – specifically, how the medications fit in with their overall health. She is a strong supporter of patient-centered, interprofessional care that delivers the best possible individualized care to patients of different backgrounds and health statuses. She has experience organizing and leading patient education groups such as Heart Health, Arthritis and Diabetes groups. She worked to create partnerships with community programs and ministry-level committees to enhance the patient-centered care at her places of practice. Evgenia works part time at the Waterloo Region Nurse Practitioner Led Clinic, and also works a few shifts a month at a retail pharmacy in Waterloo. She has been living in Kitchener for three years (and really likes it after living in Toronto), and enjoys being involved in community events, discovering nature trails, visiting the Elora Gorge and exploring the forests and lakes around the area with her family.
Diane, Administrative Clinic Coordinator
Diane graduated from Mohawk College’s Medical Office Administration program in 2010. She spent three years as an administrator for a Family Health Team in Hamilton. Following a move to Waterloo Region in 2014, she joined the team at WRNPLC in May 2014. She is proud to be a member of a team with a strong focus on a holistic approach to family medicine. Outside of the clinic, Diane enjoys running, cooking, and exploring the coffee shops of Kitchener-Waterloo.
Susan, Medical Administrative Assistant
Deanna, Medical Office Assistant
Deanna graduated from Fanshawe College in London as a PSW and worked in long-term care for many years. After going back to Fanshawe and completing the Health Care Office Assistant program she moved to the Tri-city area in 2000. She had worked primarily with Gastroenterologists and Family Health Teams before joining the WRNPLC team in 2015. Deanna is proud to be a part of a patient-centered organization with amazing colleagues. In her spare time she enjoys travelling, baking and listening to classical music.
Ashley, Medical Office Assistant
Ashley graduated from Conestoga College with an Ontario College Certificate in General Arts and Science in 2014, she then pursued further education receiving a diploma in Health Office Administration in 2016. She has primarily worked within clinical settings with extensive hands-on experience in providing administrative support to complex medical groups and healthcare facilities. She joined the Waterloo Region Nurse Practitioner Led Clinic in October 2020 and enjoys working with such a collaborative team. Ashley’s passion is working in the healthcare setting providing support to her community. When she is not in the office, she’s exploring the lovely outdoors.
Meghan, Medical Office Assistant
Meghan graduated from Conestoga College with her diploma in Health Office Administration in 2015. She completed her practicum placement with Cambridge Memorial Hospital in Women’s and Children’s Health and was offered a position immediately following graduation in June 2015. Meghan has since gained experience working with Canadian Blood Services in 2017 before finding her love for primary care with a multi-physician family health team. She joined Waterloo Region Nurse Practitioner Clinic in August 2021 and is excited to be a part of such a close-knit team with similar goals and values.
Christine, Medical Office Assistant
Christine graduated from Mohawk College’s Executive Office Administration Program in 1998. After graduation, she worked in the dental field where she learned the value of patient care. She then transitioned to the Primary Care field where she gained valuable experience, working for over 12 years as a Medical Receptionist for a Family Health Team. Christine recently joined the team at WRNPLC where she continues to focus on patient care. Outside of the clinic, Christine enjoys spending time with her family and cooking. She is fluent in Portuguese.