Board of Directors

Current as of 2019

Tanya Denys RPN, BScPN
Tanya graduated from Brandon University in 1998 and has been practicing in and around Brandon ever since. She has worked predominantly in the area of crisis and trauma having worked for Westman Crisis Services since 1998 and for The Department of National Defense as The Mental Health Nurse from 2008-2014, having moved into Academia at Brandon University in The Department of Psychiatric Nursing in 2014. Tanya has 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. Tanya has been involved with the RPNF in previous years from 2004-2009 as Chair of Scholarships and for the past 4 years as Chair of Awards of Excellence.

Doreen Fey RPN, BA, MSA
Since retiring from the Interlake Eastern Health Authority in 2015, Doreen has become a health management consultant and continues to lead Accreditation surveys. Consulting work includes organisational design, primary health care, strategic, operational and capital planning as well as working with Aboriginal health centres. Doreen joined the Interlake region in 1997 as the V-P Planning, when regionalization was beginning. In 2012 she assumed a new portfolio when two regions amalgamated, including mental health, public health, community wellness, chronic disease prevention, nurse practitioners and First Nations and Metis Health. Doreen was V-P of Primary Health Care and CAO (West) for the Interlake Eastern Region in 1997. Doreen’s career began as a Registered Psychiatric Nurse in clinical settings with geriatrics, adults, and children. Leadership positions at Seven Oaks General Hospital,Manitoba Adolescent Treatment Centre (MATC) and the Interlake Regional Health Authority. Doreen has been involved with the Registered Psychiatric Nurses Association of Manitoba as Board Member, Treasurer, and Advisory Council Member. She has also volunteered on quality committees and was a Board member of the Canadian Cancer Society for many years.

Bev Gradidge RPN, BScMH 

Bev graduated from BMHC in 1982, and completed her BScMH (post diploma degree) in 2004.  Bev worked as an RPN in inpatient acute services at BMHC, as an Adult Community Mental Health Worker in Central Region, and then as a Manager in Southern Health, and the Crisis Response Centre prior to her retirement in 2018.   Bev was gold medalist (BScMH) as well as recipient of the Kay Armstrong Scholarship (BScMH), RPNF Award of Excellence (Leadership), Mental Health Hero Award (Central Region), and Quality Service Award (Southern Health).  Areas of interest have included Recovery-Oriented practice, Dialectic Behaviour Therapy, Peer Support and Offender Treatment.  Bev believes that the RPNF’s support of the profession through scholarships and awards promotes psychiatric nurses as front-runners in achieving best-practice mental health service across Manitoba and Canada. 
Darlene Henry PN (retired)

Darlene Henry graduated from Brandon Mental Health Center in 1978 and retired in 2014 following 35 years of working within the Mental Health Services of BMHC/Brandon RHA/Prairie Mountain Health Region. Darlene’s main area of expertise is 25 years in the field of psychogeriatrics, with experience working with the elderly in urban and rural settings. Involvements have included development of the Psycho-Geriatric Assessment unit (1986) and transition of the Unit from BMHC to the Brandon Regional Health Center (1988); evolution of community based Seniors Mental Health services for assessment and treatment, psychogeriatric day program and initiation of the Mental Health Resource Nurse positions in rural facilities. She was also involved with conferences and initiatives through the Manitoba Network of Psychogeriatric Program Specialists, Canadian Coalition for Seniors Mental Health, and the steering committee for the development of the National Seniors Mental Health Policy Lens and Service Providers Guide. In 2015 Darlene and her family initiated the national McCormick /Henry Scholarship for Seniors Mental Health for graduate students. The first scholarship was granted in 2016. Darlene has been an RPNF board member since 2015 and is currently secretary/ treasurer and has assumed responsibility for the RPNF Facebook page, the RPNF newsletter and the Communications Committee.

Dr. Beverley Hicks PN(retired), BN, MEd, PhD
Dr. Beverley Hicks graduated as a psychiatric nurse in New Zealand immigrating to Manitoba in 1967. The majority of Beverley’s practice was as an educator at Brandon Mental Health Center. She completed her career as faculty at Brandon University in the Department of Psychiatric Nursing. In 2008, Beverley earned her PhD with her research entitled “From Barnyards to Books and Beyond” on the history of psychiatric nursing in Manitoba. She is currently writing a second book on the history of psychiatric nursing from 1980 on.. Beverley is very supportive of the RPNF having served on the board since 2009, and as chair of the Scholarship Committee since 2010. In this position she has worked with RPN’s in Manitoba and nationally to annually receive, evaluate and recommend the seven Manitoba and National scholarship recipients to the board. Beverley continues to support the evolution of psychiatric nursing in Canada through her writing and sharing her knowledge and expertise with the RPNF board.

Amy Martyniuk RPN, BScPN, MHS

Amy Martyniuk has been working with the Correctional Service Canada’s Community Mental Health program since May 2007. She graduated from Brandon University in 2002, with a Bachelor of Science in Psychiatric Nursing; and in 2017 she graduated from Athabasca University with a Masters in Health Studies. Amy’s experience includes: working in the field of community mental health; addiction, including methadone maintenance; crisis stabilization; and working on inpatient psychiatry units. She is currently responsible for the coordination of mental health services and supports for offenders with mental disorders on conditional release from federal institutions and for facilitating continuity of care in community. Amy also provides training to parole officers, police officers and other professional and non-professional groups in the areas of mental health, FASD, addictions, employment and intervention strategies. In 2016 Amy received the Alf Barnett and John Crawford Scholarships for her master’s work related to “Effective intervention strategies for working with adults with FASD and co-occurring mental health challenges”.  Amy enjoys volunteering and public education in the areas of mental health, Women’s issues and FASD, and hopes to continue in this capacity in part through my role as a board member.

Dana Naismith, RPN, BScPN, MHS
Dana graduated from the BScPN program at Brandon University in 2003, part of the first class to complete the whole four-year program at the Winnipeg campus. She had her first son after graduation so started her career working part-time at the Manitoba Adolescent Treatment Centre. Eventually she moved into a full time position and after about 5 years began working at the Addiction Foundation of Manitoba’s Methadone and Suboxone Program. It was during that time that she began and completed her Master’s degree in Health Studies through Athabasca University. When she completed her MHS in 2015 she went to work at Brandon University in the Psychiatric Nursing program, Winnipeg campus. She is currently on a tenure track as Assistant Professor.

Mallory Schmitz RPN BScPN

Mallory completed her B.Sc.P.N. from Brandon University in 2005. Since that time she has worked at Selkirk Mental Health Centre as an RPN in both the Geriatric and Rehabilitation Programs. In 2007 she became a Psychosocial Rehabilitation (PSR) Resource Nurse facilitating education sessions for patients, staff, family members and community partners and supporting SMHC in its ongoing redevelopment. Mallory currently works with Education Services as a Mental Health Nurse Educator supporting the 230 nurses at SMHC in their professional development. She coordinates the placement of student nurses completing their mental health clinical rotations, is a Mental Health First Aid trainer and facilitates the Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) program.

Karen Street RPN
Karen graduated in 1991 from the Brandon Psychiatric Nursing Program. Since graduation she has worked various areas as an RPN including at the Manitoba Developmental Center, the Mobile Crisis Unit in Winnipeg, and Eden Mental Health Center; as an Intensive Case Manager and Child and Adolescent CMHW. For 13 years, she worked two part time jobs as the Mental Health Liaison Nurse in the Emergency Department at Boundary Trails Health Center, Winkler and at Pathways Community Mental Health as an Assessment Clinician for the Adult Program. In late 2018, she began work in Community Mental Health with the Seniors Consultation Team. In this role she provides assessment, recommendations, referrals, support and education to clients and families. She works collaboratively with other community organizations to promote mental health and health initiatives to the broader community. Karen has been an RPNF board member since 2015. In this role she appreciates working with RPN’s to promote the overall goals and objectives of the Foundation.

Marg Synyshyn RPN BHS (Psych. Nsg.), MA.
Marg Synyshyn has been working in the area of child and adolescent mental health as a clinician, manager and director for over 30 years. Marg is currently the CEO of the Manitoba Adolescent Treatment Centre (MATC), a position that she has held since 2014 and Director, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, WRHA Mental Health Program. Marg has done many presentations, locally, nationally and internationally, on the topics of child and adolescent mental health, mental health service delivery and gender issues in the area of mental health. From 2007 to 2012, Marg had an appointment to the Child and Youth Advisory Committee for the Mental Health Commission of Canada. As well, Marg is a knowledge user on a number of CIHR funded research projects provincially. She is sought out by for commentary and advice on the topic of child and youth mental health by other service providers, government departments and the media. Marg has held the position of President of the College of Registered Psychiatric Nurses of Manitoba, as well as National President of the Registered Psychiatric Nurses of Canada. She was the 2008 Manitoba recipient of the Registered Psychiatric Nurses of Canada award for Professional Leadership. Marg currently serves as a member of the RPNF Scholarship Committee. In 2010, Marg received the Marlene Fitzsimmons Scholarship for her presentation overseas.

Kim Toews, RPN, ADPN, BScPN, MPN
Kim is currently the Manager of a Primary Health Care Centre in Ste. Rose du Lac. She also provides leadership to the Health Promotion Program and is responsible for collaborative service at the Ste Rose Primary Health Care Centre. Her previous experience includes as a Community Mental Health Worker in Parklands and in Central Regions; working at the MATC; Project Manager , Crisis Worker, Mental Health Promotion Facilitator and Mental Health Clinician in Southern Region; and, Liaison Nurse for Westman Crisis Services. Her Master’s thesis project (in the Leadership stream) studied the unique experiences of psychiatric nurses in rural and isolated areas.

Bonny Wynnobel, PN (retired)
Bonny is a retired registered psychiatric nurse with 39 years of experience in the field of mental health. The majority of her career was leading the Selkirk Mental Health Centre (SMHC) through major initiatives, such as the redevelopment of SMHC. This included:

  • Construction of the Tyndall Building, and Acquired Brain Injury Residence;
  • Development of the acquired brain injury program;
  • Evaluation of the Psychosocial Program;
  • Implementation of a new pharmacy medication dispensing system;
  • Computerization of SMHC. This included all components of an electronic clinical record including the implementation of the Resident Assessment Instrument for Mental Health (RAI-MH), National Rehabilitation Reporting System (NRS) and participation in the Mental Health & Addictions Quality Initiative; and
  • Completed the 2015 Selkirk Mental Health Centre’s Consultation Strategy and Environmental Scan to assist SMHC in setting direction.

In 2017 Bonny was selected as one of the “150 CMHA Difference Makers.” She has thoroughly enjoyed her work as a registered psychiatric nurse! She has been a RPNF Director since 2015 and just finished a term as President.