Registered Psychiatric Nurses Foundation Inc.

New Board of Directors

The following persons were elected to the board of directors at the May 14, 2015 annual meeting of the RPNF:


Tanya Denys RPN, BScPN

I have been practicing for 17yrs in and around Brandon since my graduation in 1998 from Brandon University (BU). I have worked predominantly in the area of crisis and trauma having moved into education at BU this past August. I have worked casual and or short term in many other areas as well over the past years including Centre for Adult Psychiatry, Child and Adolescent Treatment Center and as a Mental Health Nurse in Killarney. I have been involved with the RPNF in previous years from 2004-2009 and I am looking at becoming involved again. I have been committed over the years to contributing back to the profession in many ways and hope I am able to do so again in this capacity.


Bonita Fanzega RPN, BScPN

Bonita has worked in a variety of acute care settings in mental health for the past 7 years; working as a psychiatric emergency nurse in Selkirk and Health Science Center (HSC) and in the community as the therapeutic groups’ facilitator at the Selkirk Crisis Stabilization Unit.  Currently she is the Nurse Educator for Mental Health at HSC, and most recently is a sessional instructor for the Brandon University Psychiatric Nursing program. Bonita recently presented at The Fourth International Conference on Violence in the Health Sector 2014 in Miami FL. She is also presenting in 3 separate sessions at the upcoming 2015 RPNC World Congress for Psychiatric Nurses, where she will also represent and network about the work and vision of the RPNF.


Darlene Henry RPN, RN

Darlene continues to maintain an active practicing registration with the CRPNM since retiring in 2014 following 35 years of working within the Mental Health Services of Brandon Mental Health Center/ Brandon Regional Health Authority/Prairie Mountain Health Region. Experience includes direct personal nursing care; work with families and allied health care professionals and provision of consultation and education sessions within long term care facilities and hospital staff and more than 25 years in supervisory and management positions. Darlene’s main area of expertise is in the field of psychogeriatrics, working with the elderly in both facility and community based settings in urban and rural settings.


Beverley Hicks PN,BN, MEd, PhD

Beverley has worked in mental health for nearly 50 years: as a post diploma psychiatric nursing student; as an instructor in the diploma program at Brandon Mental Health Center (BMHC) and the first community mental health workers course; as a community mental health educator/ resource developer in psychosocial rehabilitation; and, as a professor of psychiatric nursing at Brandon University. She has been a vigorous advocate for the uniqueness of psychiatric nursing and her research and dissertation on the evolution of psychiatric nursing education in Manitoba was granted a distinguished dissertation award at the University of Manitoba. She has given papers on the uniqueness of psychiatric nursing at National and International nursing history conferences and has published one paper on Manitoba psychiatric nursing in an international nursing history journal.


Dana Human, RPN, BScPN

Dana’s career in health care started as a Health Care Aide. at the Manitoba Developmental Centre. I then moved on to become a Licensed Practical Nurse in 2001. I enjoyed my experience at the MDC, receiving an award for Nursing Leadership during that time. I took a one year lateral transfer to work in the medical clinic at the Women’s Correctional Facility. This is where I found my interest in psychiatry and applied to the Bachelor of Science in Psychiatric Nursing program at Brandon University, graduating, with distinction in 2013. While in the program,  I received eight bursaries/scholarships, one of which was the Kay Armstrong Scholarship from the RPNF.  I am now in Community Mental Health Nursing with Southern Health- Santé Sud where I now work as Regional Manager of Seniors and Mental Health Innovation..


Pamela Kachur, RPN, BScPN, BA

Pamela holds a BA from the U of W in Business Administration and Criminal Justice Studies. Currently she is employed by the Southern Health Region in the role of the ER Mental Health Consultation Nurse at Bethesda Hospital. She also works in a casual capacity at the SBGH on the adult acute care mental health unit. In addition to working full time, she is commencing her Masters Thesis Research on assessing the effectiveness of teaching interventions for police and mental health education. Pamela is working with the RCMP on developing a pilot project in her region that would see a mental health nurse paired with an RCMP officer, responding to all dispatched mental health calls. The joint collaboration would be the first of its kind in Manitoba.


Annette Thorimbert Osted, RPN, LL.D. (Hons)

Annette held the position of Executive Director/Registrar of the College of Registered Psychiatric Nurses of Manitoba for almost 35 years.  During that time, the organization evolved from being an association with the members’ interests to that of a regulatory body that provides supports to its registrants to ensure safety and quality services for the public.  Annette believes in volunteerism and demonstrated that throughout her career; volunteering with several organizations, especially those working for the welfare of persons with a mental illness.  She has presented papers nationally and internationally on mental illness issues, psychiatric nursing and the roles of staff and boards in volunteer-based organizations.


Karen Street  RPN

I graduated from the Brandon School of Psychiatric Nursing in 1991 with honours. I have enjoyed the journey of my psychiatric nursing career. My first job was at the Manitoba Developmental Centre. I then moved to acute mental health on the Winnipeg Mobile Crisis Unit. I enjoyed a northern experience in Churchill as I worked in the local hospital providing care to their long term patients. For the last 15 years, our family has lived in Southern Manitoba where I have worked in an acute admission facility and various community mental health programs. In 2006 I had the opportunity of being one of the first rural Manitoba Mental Health Liaison Nurses in our local Emergency Room.  I remain in the role of Mental Health Liaison Nurse and also work in the Community Mental Health Adult Program.


Richard Stefanyshyn LLB

Richard Stefanyshyn was called to the bar in 1976.  With almost 40 years of experience, Richard has built a thriving practice based on the principles of hard work and integrity.  Our clients appreciate that Richard is approachable and straightforward.  Richard has been involved with the board of the RPNF since its inception. The Foundation is grateful for the many pro-bono services he has provided over the years.”


Pat Viskup  RPN, BscPN

I graduated from the Selkirk School of Psychiatric Nursing in 1991 and completed my BScPN  from Douglas College in 2012. I believe in the furthering of education, have a passion for learning and a love of my profession.  I have worked in various settings, including acute psychiatry, long term care, rural community, the justice system and now in the community as a Geriatric Mental Health Clinician with the WRHA.  I’ve also enjoyed teaching to various audiences including community members, caregivers and other employees.  I have been  fortunate to have developed many key relationships with other psychiatric nurses that have mentored me and encouraged me to pursue my interests; I have learned from them and hope to be that mentor to others.


Bonny Wynnobel  RPN

Bonny is the Redevelopment Coordinator at Selkirk Mental Health Center, where she has worked for 30 years. Bonny has served on many different committees that promote the profession of Registered Psychiatric Nurses. She at one time Co-Chaired the Manitoba Mental Health Foundation. She sat on the Board of Directors of the RPNAM/CRPNM for several years. Additionally, she is involved with numerous community organizations including “paddling”, a group that she travels with to compete internationally. Bonny looks forward to working with the Foundation board to further the profession and ultimately improve mental health services in Manitoba.


President Emerita: Marlene Fitzsimmons, RPN, D.Sc.(h.c.)

Marlene is the founding President of the Registered Psychiatric Nurses Foundation. She has been a leader in the development of community mental health services in the City of Brandon and surrounding area and is considered a leader in Psycho-Social Rehabilitation in Canada. She has been a leader for the profession of Psychiatric Nursing at local, provincial and national levels. She continues to support the Foundation financially as well as through her volunteer activities with the board and especially as an advisory on various areas of responsibilities of the board.