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Senior Executive Team
Dean Osmond, President and CEO
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, manager, Vice President of Corporate Services, Chief Operating Officer, and Executive Vice President.
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 President and CEO 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.
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, 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 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.
Ramona Quequish, Vice President of Corporate Services & Chief Operating Officer (COO)
Ramona Quequish, an oji-cree band member of North Caribou Lake First Nation (Weagamow/Round Lake) started working at the Sioux Lookout Meno Ya Win Health Centre in 2006 in administration within the then, Health Services Department & the Traditional Programs Department until 2012 when Ramona departed to attain further education and other employment opportunities.
Ramona returned in 2018 holding a position within the Human Resources Department, transitioning from Human Resources Manager to now the Vice President of Corporate Services & Chief Operating Officer.
Over the years, Ramona has had experience in Project/Program Management, Advocating, Liaising & Supporting the local First Nation community, Research and Human Resource Management which included Labour Relations.
Ramona’s educational experience includes Masters of Public Administration (Management) through Dalhousie University, Graduate Diploma in Public Administration through Dalhousie University, Bachelor of Professional Arts in Governance, Law and Management through Athabasca University, and a Law Clerk Diploma through Seneca College of Applied Arts & Technology.
Ramona enjoys spending time with family and friends and carrying and sharing her culture and traditions which includes hunting, fishing and traditional craft making
Kathy Loon, Vice President of Indigenous Services, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
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 in 2021 as 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.
Cynthia Dwyer, Vice President of Health Services & Chief Nursing Executive (CNE)
Cynthia Dwyer began her career at Sioux Lookout Meno Ya Health Centre as a Registered Practical Nurse in 2007. After receiving her Bachelor of Nursing in 2010, she continued her time at SLMHC as a Registered Nurse.
Cynthia left SLMHC in 2017 to pursue a leadership opportunity as the Regional Director of Home Care for Paramed, and returned to SLMHC in 2019 as the Administrator for the William A. George Extended Care Unit. She assumed the position of Director of Care in 2021 and received the privilege of the position of Vice President of Health Services in 2023.
Cynthia’s life experiences include serving in the United States Army and working as a wildland fire fighter. Her nursing experience includes Medical/Surgical unit, Emergency Department, Diabetes Education, foot care and wound care nurse.
Cynthia has co-authored several papers related to wound care and lower limb preservation. She is a member of the Registered Nursing Association, and she has participated as a reviewer for several Best Practice Guideline documents.
Cynthia enjoys baking, collecting Smokey Bear memorabilia, reading, and spending time with family.
Kevin Holder, Chief Financial Officer
Kevin Holder joined the senior executive team in the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) position in the fall of 2021. Reporting to the President and Chief Executive Officer as a member of the senior leadership team, the CFO is responsible for the financial direction and planning of hospital operations.
Kevin graduated from Brock University with a Bachelor of Accounting and holds a Chartered Accountant (CA, CPA) designation. He started in public accounting, obtaining invaluable work experience, mentoring and core financial training at BDO Dunwoody, which built the foundation of his professional career. Kevin then transitioned to the social services sector in a senior financial management role before entering the health care administration field. He spent five years in senior administrative capacities in the home care sector with the Community Care Access Centre, growing and learning about health care provision in the Kenora and Rainy River Districts. With a growing interest in the quality of health services in northwestern Ontario, Kevin joined the Local Health Integration Network shortly after its inception, continuing to learn and also allowing him to contribute to early stages of the development of local health system planning, integration, quality and performance improvement.
Being born and raised in the region, Kevin has a great understanding and appreciation of the challenges and benefits of working and living in northwestern Ontario. Throughout the years in the health care sector, he has had the opportunity to serve on many local and provincial committees to develop strategies to enhance the system and build invaluable relationships with hospitals, governments, and other community-based health service providers. Kevin has a solid understanding of both health care services and government operations, combined with analytical skills and a strong desire for system accountability and sustainable financial operations.