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Senior Executive Team
Heather Lee, President and CEO
Appointed to the Board of Directors as President & CEO, Heather has been with Sioux Lookout Meno Ya Win Health Centre since August, 2012, holding the roles of Director of Patient Care, Vice President Health Services & Chief Nursing Executive, and now President and Chief Executive Officer. Heather has been a Registered Nurse since graduating from Sir Sanford Fleming College’s Diploma Nursing Program in 1987. Since that time, she has completed a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from University of Victoria and a Master’s degree in Healthcare Administration from Walden University.
Heather is also a graduate of the 2008 Advanced Health Leadership Program at the University of Toronto, Rotman School of Management where she furthered her knowledge specific to being a leader in today’s health care environment. Heather was nominated for a 2017 Premier’s Award for outstanding Ontario College Graduates.
Heather is dedicated to the provision of high quality, culturally safe care for all residents in SLMHC’s catchment area. Her passion for individualized care that is patient and family focused, integration and innovation align well with the organizations journey to Excellence Every Time.
Douglas Semple, First Nations Advisor to the Board and CEO
Douglas is a member of the Kasabonika Lake First Nation in Northern Ontario but currently lives in Thunder Bay Ontario.
Douglas Semple was on founding senior management group of the Sioux Lookout Meno Ya Win Health Centre as Vice-President of Corporate Services and Communications. He has also held the position of CEO for the organization for a time and continues to be involved with SLMHC as senior advisor to the Board and the CEO.
In other areas of his career focus, Douglas is widely recognized for his collaborative approach in bringing together landmark agreements between First Nations, private industry, and federal and provincial governments. In these diverse interest environments, he has always been able to keep the integrity of the First Nations interests while finding ways to craft successful working relationships.
Douglas is the winner of the Nishnawbe-Aski Nation Emile Nakogee Award for Leadership and the OHA’s Small, Rural and Northern Award of Excellence in 2007.
Dean Osmond, Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer, Chief Nursing Executive
Dean arrived in Sioux Lookout May 1991, and worked for the General hospital. Since then, he has seen numerous changes and advancements in health care in the Sioux Lookout region. Dean has held leadership positions within the Sioux Lookout Meno Ya Win Health Centre, including charge nurse, coordinator and manager.
Dean has participated on local, regional and provincial health care committees. He has worked collaboratively with external partners. Dean brings a wealth of knowledge of health services, experience in program planning and development, and a long history of labour relations to the corporate services.
In 2014, Dean completed the advanced health leadership program at the University of Toronto, Rotman School of Management and completed his Bachelor of Nursing through Athabasca University in November 2017.
As Executive VP and COO at Sioux Lookout Meno Ya Win Health Centre and with a strong background as a Registered Nurse, Dean provides strong leadership to both corporate and health service divisions. His excellent interpersonal and communications skills, coupled with the ability to motivate and mentor others, provide opportunity to influence change where necessary. He also provides liaison between SLMHC and community/regional partners within the Sioux Lookout Zone.
Reporting to the CEO, Dean provides leadership to corporate and health services. He has engaged in performance focused service while assisting in the implementation of LEAN methodology. His regional networking and strong labour relations experience assists in ongoing development in this role.
He maintains his registration with the College of Nurses of Ontario as a registered nurse, and membership with the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario.
Dr. Laurel Laakso, Interim Chief of Staff
Dr. Laurel Laakso is a family physician who has worked in the Sioux Lookout area since 2018. She obtained her undergraduate degree from Western University and doctor of medicine degree from McMaster University. She completed family medicine residency as well as the Supplemental Emergency Medicine Experience fellowship at the University of Toronto. She is also a graduate of the Global Health Education Initiative at the University of Toronto.
Her clinical practice in the region has included work in the emergency department, hospitalist service, specialty clinics, day medicine, long-term care, and First Nations communities. Prior to assuming the position of interim chief of staff, Dr. Laakso served in the role of Chief of ECU/ALC. Dr. Laakso is committed to the mission, vision and values of SLMHC, in particular, the pursuit of excellence in health care for First Nations and northern Ontario communities, in order to see improved wholeness, health and healing for this region.
Kathy Loon, Executive Lead for Indigenous Collaboration & Relations
Kathy Loon, from Slate Falls First Nation, started working for the Sioux Lookout Meno Ya Win Health Centre (SLMHC) on June 2013 as the Traditional Healing, Medicine, Food and Supports Program Coordinator. Her role changed in 2015 to Traditional Programs Manager, and most recently, as of 2021, she is the Executive Lead for Indigenous Collaboration & Relations. She has almost 30 years’ experience working for First Nations and Indigenous organizations/businesses in the areas of economic, business and corporate development.
Kathy has been dedicated to developing and implementing a rich traditional program at SLMHC, which has included the Wiichi’iwewin (patient/client supports), Odabiidamagewin (governance and leadership), Andaaw’iwewin (traditional and ceremonial practices), Mashkiki (traditional medicines) and Miichim (traditional foods). She acts not only as a liaison but is also an advocate of preserving Anishinaabe practices in a health care system serving the diverse population in the Sioux Lookout region. Kathy’s key accomplishments include lifting off and supporting all of the elements of the traditional program here at SLMHC, managing the Cultural Safe Care program, sitting on various hospital committees/working groups, and representing SLMHC at regional and national events & committees.
Her passion for equitable access to quality health care is complemented by her experience in lobbying and negotiations, project management, finance and economic growth, corporate restructuring and strategic planning- all of which guide her day-to-day work with our senior team. Kathy is fluent in Ojibway, and is an avid hunter and loves to net fish.