As a RN in palliative and community care, Laura has worked alongside PSWs in addition to her 20 years experience as a PSW educator. Her unique and extensive knowledge of the unregulated health care provider sector in Canada has resulted in her being invited to consult on a multitude of provincial and national committees including most recently Health Canada’s Human Health Resource Symposium.
Based out of Ontario, Laura has been advocating for the advancement of the unregulated care provider profession including regulation, title protection and the need for a national Centre for UCP Excellence. As a well known PSW Knowledge Broker, Laura has consulted on the Ontario PSW Program Educational Standards, the National Occupational Standards for PCPs (PSWs), spoken to the legislative assembly on Bill 283 (PSW oversight in Ontario), developed PSW curriculum, served as a contributing editor for several editions of the national PSW textbook and is the co-founder of the PSW Champions – an Ontario alliance with a mandate to advocate for PSWs in the province.
Edward Cruz, PhD.
Edward Cruz is an internationally educated nurse from the Philippines, and currently an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Windsor in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. He is currently a co-chair of the Partners in Integration and Education of Internationally Educated Nurses, as well as Chair of the International Nursing Interest Group of the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario, as well as member of the Philippine Nurses Association of Canada and the Integrated Filipino Canadian Nurses Association.
His areas of interest are in nursing education, human resources for health, immigrant and refugee health, and community and mental health. At UWindsor, he teaches undergraduate courses in community nursing and mental health nursing, as well as human resource management in nursing and advanced perspectives in qualitative research in the masters and doctoral programs, respectively.
Simon Berge, PhD.
Dr. Simon Berge completed his Doctorate at the University of Guelph studying co-operatives as an alternative distribution system for local food and community development. Simon also holds a Master of Business Administration from McMaster University majoring in finance. Prior to focusing on co-operative business practices, Simon studied Biology at the University of Prince Edward Island and Medical Laboratory Technology at Mohawk College in Hamilton, Ontario.
In 2015, Simon took the position of Assistant Professor and Business Chair of Co-operative Enterprises at the University of Winnipeg, later transitioning to the role of Director of the Research Centre of Co-operative Enterprises (RCCE). As the Director of the RCCE, Simon took a collaborative approach to the position including students from all areas of the university to advance the awareness of co-operatives in community development. As a new Associate Professor at Dalhousie University’s Rowe School of Business, Simon seeks to teach new business leaders a social mission approach to business: changing the focus of business from profit driven to community development.
Danielle Turpin is the founder and president of Home Care Workers Cooperative Inc. Danielle has worked in various sectors of the care economy for her entire career. Beginning work in childcare in a number of contexts after attending MacEwan University in Edmonton, she moved towards elder care after the passing of her grandmother. She completed her PSW Education at Sir Sandford Fleming College in Peterborough, Ontario.
Danielle’s work experience in elder care includes working in retirement homes, long-term care homes and home care. While working in each of these environments, she noticed similar issues and initial areas of concern exacerbated since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. After leaving LTC, Danielle founded Home Care Workers Cooperative in 2021, a not for profit, women-owned and operated social enterprise to address these concerns, and bring the benefits of a cooperative model to the home care field.
Linda Garcia, PhD.
Linda Garcia, PhD. is Full Professor in the Interdisciplinary School of Health Sciences, and Founding Director of the Life Research Institute (LRI) at the University of Ottawa. The LIFE Research Institute assembles researchers and partners with diverse perspectives who work collaboratively to understand how we are guided along the unexpected trajectories of life. Linda Garcia’s personal research interests focus on the impact of physical, social, technological and clinical environments on the quality of life of individuals with neurological disorders, especially dementia. She is interested in developing interventions that include approaches based on human interactions, especially in long-term living environments.
She has been a member of the Steering committee for the Champlain Dementia Network for over 15 years, represents the University of Ottawa at the Council of Ontario Universities’ Ontario Interdisciplinary Council for Aging and Health and more recently is working with long-term care in Ottawa’s publicly funded homes.
Jie Yu, PhD.
Dr. Jie Yu obtained her PhD in geography at Queen’s University and held her postdoc fellow at Toronto Metropolitan University. Dr. Yu is interested in how the evolving institutional structures and socio-cultural frameworks matter for people’s everyday health practices and aging experience in different places.
Her research to date has covered the following themes: 1) aging, place and space, 2) geographies of care and care ethics, 3) gender, migration and well-being, 4) changing health practices under pandemic conditions. Her research has been published in Health & Place, Urban Geography, Health & Social Care in the Community, Progress in Geography, Administrative Sciences and Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.
Nel Coloma-Moya is primarily an educator. The Master’s Degree in Adult Education from OISE/University of Toronto provided the opportunity to research the inequities facing a diverse nursing workforce. Her second Master’s degree in Geography from York University brought her in touch with her Filipino heritage. Being Filipina was the impetus to continue with her PhD to research the learning and work experiences of Filipinos in the cruise ship industry. In all her work, whether as a graduate student or a teacher, the challenges facing Filipinos and people of colour are problems that she has clearly identified.
As a former nurse working in the healthcare sector, her solution to the problems of an entrenched human resource shortage due to inequities in the system resulted in her founding QuickRN – designed to prepare workers for the health care industry at different levels, whether as RNs, RPNs, PSWs or RSAs. Her insight, deep knowledge and passion has created innovative learning tools for workers to learn the basics and work in health care. Navigating the career ladder and moving up in the industry is necessary, through ongoing professionalism and continuous learning.