Board of Directors

Saskatoon Council on Aging Board of Directors 2021 -2022

Saskatoon Council on Aging - Dr. Cathy Arnold
Saskatoon Council on Aging – Dr. Cathy Arnold, Member at Large SCOA Board of Directors

Dr. Cathy Arnold is currently the Director of the School of Rehabilitation Science at the University of Saskatchewan. Born and raised in Saskatoon, Cathy raised her two children with her husband here while advancing her career as a physical therapist. She graduated with a B.Sc. in physical therapy in 1984 at the University of Saskatchewan. She worked in both hospital and private practice settings, focusing primarily on programming for older adults with musculoskeletal conditions such as arthritis and osteoporosis. In 1994 she competed a Master’s Degree in Kinesiology, her thesis determined the effect of water fluoridation on bone density in women. In 1997, she started as an Assistant Professor at the School of Physical Therapy, and returned to school to complete her PhD in 2008. Her research has spanned a range of topics related to fall prevention for older adults. Cathy worked closely with organizations and community groups including the Saskatchewan Health Authority, Staying on Your Feet Fall Prevention Programming, Forever in Motion, Saskatoon Council on Aging, and the Saskatoon Chapter of Osteoporosis Canada. She has received two awards from the Saskatchewan Physiotherapy Association and one award from the American Physical Therapy Association for excellence in research, an Osteoporosis Backbone Award in recognition for her volunteer work and a Bravo Award from Saskatoon Health Region for her involvement with a fall prevention team. Her goal is to continue to advance initiatives to improve access and programming for older adults to optimize health and wellness.

Saskatoon Council on Aging - Paul Benson
Saskatoon Council on Aging – Paul Benson, Member at Large SCOA Board of Directors

Paul Benson holds a Master of Social Work Degree 1970) with forty years of experience in medical social work, teaching (sessional Instructor in SW for the U of R), and counselling (Personnel Performance Consultants). While employed at St. Paul’s Hospital for 27 years, Paul served on a variety of community boards and committees. This included ethics committees, the Saskatoon Mobile Service, the Palliative Care Advisory Committee, the District Coordinating Committee on Long-Term Care, the Housing Coalition (mental health), SALGES and the Advisory Committee of the Saskatchewan Abilities Council.

Saskatoon Council on Aging - Sheila Clements
Saskatoon Council on Aging – Sheila Clements, Chair Communication Committee, SCOA Board of Directors

Sheila Clements is a Registered Nurse(Retired) who has lived in Saskatchewan for over forty years. She graduated from Dalhousie University and the University of Manitoba Schools of Nursing and from the University of Saskatchewan College of Arts and Sciences and College of Commerce. Throughout her career, Sheila worked primarily as a nurse educator, including thirty plus years as an Instructor in both the diploma and degree programs at the former SIAST, Kelsey and Wascana Campuses. Sheila was a public member of the Saskatchewan Review Board, Ministry of Justice for 15 years. Sheila is very supportive of SCOA’s mission and vision and has been a volunteer since 2015, participating on the Communication Committee. She believes in making aging a positive and engaged stage of life and in encouraging the greatest diversity of older adults to join SCOA.Sheila enjoys reading, golfing and travelling, especially to visit family members in Halifax, Montreal, Toronto and New York.

Saskatoon Council on Aging - Joan Cochrane, Member at Large SCOA Board of Directors
Saskatoon Council on Aging – Joan Cochrane, Member at Large SCOA Board of Directors

Graduating from the College of Pharmacy in 1984, Joan Cochrane worked at City Hospital in various departments for eight years, including six years in the pharmacy. She has worked in community pharmacy since 1984. Her vision for pharmacy involves providing pharmaceutical care services, not just pills in a bag. The most important thing that the pharmacist does is ensure that the patient is getting the most possible benefits from their prescriptions with the least possible negative effects.
Her leisure activity is mostly running and she has done some triathlons. Her claim to fame is that she won the Saskatchewan Marathon and the Manitoba Marathon and is in the top 10 Huskie Track list for 3000 m.
Joan has two children who are grown up and has been married for 30 years.

Sharon Dixon
Saskatoon Council on Aging – Sharon Dixon, Member at Large SCOA Board of Directors Board of Directors

In 2018 Sharon Dixon retired from a rewarding nursing career that spanned 44 years. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (1974), a Bachelor of Arts (1988) and a Masters in  Nursing (1997), all from the University of Saskatchewan. Sharon began her career in rural community health, worked for nine years in acute care and spent the last 33 years in nursing education at Saskatchewan Polytec, formerly SIAST. During her career, Sharon served on many committees and participated in a number of projects and working groups. She sat on the Saskatchewan Nurses Foundation board for four years, the last year as President. During the last several years of employment Sharon focused on building cultural competence into the curriculum, specifically with indigenous people in the community.She was a founding member of Kindred Spirits,a group committed to indigenizing the Saskatchewan Collaborative Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. In retirement Sharon enjoys travelling,working with stained glass, playing bridge and spending time with family and friends.

Bruce Irvine, Treasurer
Saskatoon Council on Aging – Bruce Irvine, Treasurer,SCOA Board of Directors

Bruce Irvine is a retired Professor of Accounting.  His career at the University of Saskatchewan was devoted particularly to teaching (for which he received many awards) as well as research (he co-authored a leading accounting text and authored various articles) and administration (he was the Department Head for awhile).  Over four decades his volunteer activity was primarily with professional organizations, particularly the Society of Management Accountants of Saskatchewan (where he served on  many committees, as a Council member, and as a President) and the Society of Management Accountants of Canada (as a Board member and member and chair of many national committees).  As a volunteer Bruce also served as a Canadian delegate on the Board of the International Accounting Standards Committee and as a Canadian technical advisor to the International Federation of Accountants Council.   He was on the Board of the Canadian Academic Accounting Association for 10 years, including a term as President.  Outside of professional and academic organizations, Bruce has enjoyed terms on the Boards of Cheshire Homes of Saskatoon,  the Saskatoon Golf and Country Club, the Sutherland Curling Club, and Saskatoon Big Sisters. His past has also included serving SCOA as a Board member and Treasurer for several years.  Bruce and his lovely wife Marilyn have three children and four delightful grandkids.  Beyond family, Bruce’s interests include time at an Emma Lake cabin, golfing, curling, wine making and participating in a fantasy baseball league.

Saskatoon Council on Aging - Jeananne Klein Member at Large ,SCOA Board of Directors
Saskatoon Council on Aging – Jeananne Klein Member at Large ,SCOA Board of Directors

Jeananne Klein holds both a Degree and Masters of Nursing from the University of Saskatchewan. She has recently retired from the Saskatoon Health Region after 35 years of service. She held a variety of nursing management and project positions within health care and the professional association. Retirement has enabled Jeananne to pursue her interest in horticulture. She is associated with the Master Gardener Program and is a Master Composter with Waste Reduction Council.Her current volunteer activities include Team Leader for the gardens at Ronald MacDonald House, Saskatoon, committee member of Saskatoon Council on Aging Neighborhood Hub Club and team captain for SCOA Globe Walk. Jeananne and her husband Kelly have three children and six grandchildren.

Saskatoon Council on Aging - Gail Laing, Member at Large SCOA Board of Directors
Saskatoon Council on Aging – Gail Laing Member at Large, SCOA Board of Directors

Gail Laing was born to a farm family near Cut Knife, Saskatchewan.  Up to grade 11, she attended a rural two room school then left at age 15 for Grade 12 at North Battleford Collegiate Institute. She received her Nursing diploma and Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Saskatchewan. Gail went on to achieve a Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Toronto and a Phd from the University of Calgary. Retired in 2005, Gail worked as a staff nurse at Saskatoon University Hospital, North Battleford Notre Dame Hospital, Toronto Humber Hospital and as clinical instructor and lecturer in the College of Nursing at the University of Saskatchewan. Coordinator of the Graduate Program College of Nursing for 15 years, Gail served on committees in the College of Nursing, College of Graduate Studies and University Administration. Gail is a Probus Club Member and belongs to the writing subgroup. Since retirement Gail enjoys travel, reading and gardening.

Saskatoon Council on Aging - Audrey Lipka, Member at Large SCOA Board of Directors
Saskatoon Council on Aging – Audrey Lipka Member at Large, SCOA Board of Directors

Audrey Lipka completed her Registered Nurse diploma at Regina Grey Nuns School of Nursing. Following that she completed a Post Graduate Psychiatric Nursing course at Saskatchewan Hospital North Battleford, going on to complete a Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University of Saskatchewan. Beginning employment at University Hospital on the Psychiatric unit, she transferred to a Community Psychiatric Nursing position after a year and a half. Audrey remained in this position for over 30 years.  She retired as a Community Mental Health Nurse in 2012.  During employment she was involved with Canadian Union of Public Employees [CUPE] and Saskatchewan Union of Nurses [SUN], serving as Local President for many years.   Throughout her work Audrey had the opportunity to mentor many students and also cared for a number of older adults on her caseload.  A passionate mental health advocate, she volunteered with the Canadian Mental Health Association for many years and currently serves as a member of the Saskatchewan Review Board. 

SCOA Board of Directors, Dr. Brian McSheffrey, Member at Large
Saskatoon Council on Aging – Dr. Brian McSheffery, Member at Large SCOA Board of Directors

Brian McSheffrey is a graduate of the College of Medicine U of S. He practiced as a pediatric hematologist in Saskatoon for 46 years. He was a founder of the Children’s Cancer Clinic and was a Clinical Investigator in the Children’s Cancer Study Group. He was Medical Director of the Saskatoon Center of the Canadian Red Cross Blood Transfusion Service. Since retiring he has volunteered with SCOA in the Bus Buddy Program and various technology programs. He has been an instructor in the iPad and iPhone one on one programs and a leader in the Updates and Photography sessions for Apple technology. He is studying Geragogy, a Theory for Teaching the Elderly. He has been a volunteer at Sherbrooke Community Center with Holy Family Cathedral as well as dog therapy visits.

Saskatoon Council on Aging - Mercedes Montgomery, President, SCOA Board of Directors
Saskatoon Council on Aging – Mercedes Montgomery, President, SCOA Board of Directors

Mercedes Montgomery is a long-time Saskatchewan resident, a Registered Nurse (Retired), graduate of the U. of S. and St. Paul’s Hospital School of Nursing. Her nursing career included 30 years at the (former) SIAST Kelsey Campus as Instructor/Program Head of the Diploma Nursing Program. She is a Past-Chair of St. Paul’s Hospital Foundation Board. Her volunteer journey with SCOA began in 2006 as a member of the Publications Committee and she continues to serve on the Communication Committee, the Age-friendly Community Development Committee, the Evaluation Committee and the Board. Mercedes believes that aging well is a journey that takes courage and persistence as well as support from people and organizations that understand the journey, like SCOA which provides older adults with voice, and that being part of SCOA is a wonderful opportunity to contribute to and engage with the community. Mercedes is an active participant in her church. She enjoys the summer lake environment, golf, writing for children, biographies and histories, and growing orchids. Her family of four children, eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren are a joy and inspiration; she is most proud to be a role model of successful aging for them.

Saskatoon Council on Aging - Shirley Porter, Chair, Finance and Fundraising Committee, SCOA Board of Directors
Shirley Porter, Chair Finance and Fundraising Committee

Shirley Porter is a Registered Psychiatric Nurse, whose career took her to various places and positions in Saskatchewan. Her main passion has been geriatric mental health and education. Some highlights of her career were:  the creation of AMGITS (STIGMA spelled backwards) at Saskatchewan  Hospital, whose focus is to help turn stigma around; the development of modules to assist residents to transit from institution to community;  publishing modules for education of caregivers of people with dementia; and a wide variety of instructor positions in various courses with North West Regional College and Saskatchewan Polytechnic. She is now mostly associated with Sage Seniors ’ Resources, which she calls her “baby” (born in 1998). Sage provides home health and mobility aids, and is located in  Market Mall, Saskatoon. Sages ’ motto “Making the World a Better Place to Grow Old”, reflects Shirley ’s ongoing interest in the potential of aging. Through her role in health, and later with Sage, Shirley has enjoyed supporting SCOA, and sat on the first committee for Spotlight on Seniors. Always a farm girl at heart, she enjoys gardening, and all things animal related. She is enrolled in the University of Saskatchewan Master Gardener program, works casual for Ol ’ McDales Friendly Farm, and is thoroughly enjoying working with her own therapy dog, Lewy, Louis Armstrong. Shirley is honoured to be able to further her work with SCOA.

Saskatoon Council on Aging – Doug Surtees Member at Large, SCOA Board of Directors

Doug Surtees is Associate Dean, Academic and Associate Professor College of Law, University of Saskatchewan. Doug joined the faculty in 2005. Prior to his appointment, he taught at the College of Law as a sessional lecturer beginning in 1994. He held a term appointment to the College from 2002 to 2003. He also taught as a sessional lecturer at the College of Agriculture, the College of Commerce (now Edwards School of Business) and SIAST Institute. Doug was Co-Director of the Public Legal Education Association of Saskatchewan (PLEA) from 1994 to 2005. Doug has acted as a labour adjudicator and an arbitrator. He is a certified mediator and holds a Professional teaching certificate as well as being a member of the Saskatchewan bar. He is a board member and past president of Easter Seals Canada, a board member and former president of the Saskatchewan Abilities Council, a board member and former president of PLEA. Previously Doug was a board member of the Saskatchewan Prevention Institute, and a board member and former chair of the Governance Committee of the Saskatoon Co-op.