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Executive Officers & Council

Executive Officers

Karen Wasylenko

President & Speech Language Pathologist Saskatchewan Health Authority - Saskatoon Email Term Expires: October 2021

HSAS President & Speech Language Pathologist

Saskatoon – HSAS Union Region 7

Karen has been President of HSAS since 2011. She has actively served HSAS since November 2004 when first elected as the Executive Council representative for Speech-Language Pathologists, Audiologists, Music Therapists and Orthoptists. She served in this role for seven years. As an Executive Council representative, Karen served on a number of HSAS committees, and in addition, held the executive officer position of Treasurer, and Chair of the Finance Committee for six years.

Karen was born in Saskatoon and raised in Yorkton where she completed her high school education at Yorkton Regional High School. She completed her Bachelor of Arts and Masters of Science degrees at Minot State University in Speech/Language Pathology. Before returning to Canada in May 1981, Karen completed a three-month externship at the Primary Children’s Hospital, in Salt Lake City, Utah, which involved working with a wide variety of communication disorders in preschool children (inpatient and outpatient) and also with adults residing in long term care facilities.

Having been employed in Saskatchewan’s health care system since 1981, Karen began her career in Public Health Services, in the Melfort –Tisdale Health Region (now the Saskatchewan Health Authority; formerly the Kelsey Trail Health Region). Since August 1983, she has been employed with the Saskatchewan Health Authority (formerly the Saskatoon Health Region), serving the rural area of Saskatoon (Population and Public Health Services) providing speech and language diagnostic and therapy services to preschool children, 0-5 years. Karen is licensed with the Saskatchewan Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists (SASLPA), and a member of the national professional association, Speech-Language and Audiology Canada (SAC). She has served in a variety of executive positions in SASLPA, such as President, and served on a variety of committees such as Legislation and Bylaws, Professional Conduct and Discipline.

For recognition of her outstanding and visionary leadership to HSAS, Karen was the recipient of the Roberta Ekberg Award in 2010.

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Angela Barsalou

Vice-President & Respiratory Therapist Saskatchewan Health Authority - Saskatoon Email

HSAS Vice President & Respiratory Therapist

Saskatoon – HSAS Union Region 7

Angela was raised in Saint John, New Brunswick where she completed her Bachelor of Science. After that, she attended New Brunswick Community College where she received her diploma in Respiratory Therapy.

Angela moved to Saskatchewan in 2007. She took a full-time position as a Registered Respiratory Therapist with the Saskatchewan Health Authority (formerly the Saskatoon Health Region). In 2015, she became a member of the Saskatchewan Provincial Pediatric Transport Team.

Angela joined HSAS Executive Council in 2014 and currently sits as Secretary of the Union, and is a member of the Negotiating Committee.

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Tara Watts

Treasurer & Pharmacist Saskatchewan Health Authority - Saskatoon Email

HSAS Treasurer & Pharmacist

Saskatoon – HSAS Union Region 7

Tara Watts earned a Pharmacy Technician Certificate from SIAST – Kelsey Campus in 2006, then earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Pharmacy in 2013 from the University of Saskatchewan. She completed her residency in Saskatoon at various sites across the city.

During her time at the University of Saskatchewan, she completed the Prescriptive Authority Level 1 training, along with Saskatchewan Injections Training. She holds Standard First Aid and trained in the PACT program. Tara is also a Toastmasters Speechcraft Graduate.

Tara joined the Saskatchewan Health Authority (formerly the Saskatoon Health Region) as a Clinical Staff Pharmacist at Royal University Hospital in Saskatoon in 2014, where she currently works.

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Crystal Bittman

Secretary & Occupational Therapist Saskatchewan Health Authority - Regina Email

Crystal earned an Occupational/Physical Therapy Assistant Certificate from SIAST – Wascana Campus in 2000, and then earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Occupational Therapy from Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario in 2006. Crystal is proud to be an OT, and feels, because OT’s are experts in occupational performance, OT’s bring a unique perspective to any workplace or labor conversation.

Crystal works as an Occupational therapist on the Complex Diagnosis Assessment Team (CDAT) at Regina Child & Youth Services (CYS). Crystal finds personal and professional satisfaction through continued engagement in her community, workplace, and union.  In her community, Crystal was a foundational board member and board of director’s secretary with Creative Options Regina (COR) from 2009-2016. Additionally, Crystal sat as a board member with the Canadian Mental Health Association Sask. Division (CMHA SK) in 2014-2015.  In her workplace, Crystal has been engaged in numerous committees within CYS (Occupational Health and Safety Committee, Social Committee, Psychological Health and Safety Committee) and engages in committee work with their community partners throughout Regina (Regina FASD Community Network). In her union, Crystal joined HSAS Executive Council in 2019 and currently sits as Secretary of the Union.

Crystal lives in Regina with her husband, Kevin and their two dogs (Dram and Daisy).  They enjoy all this province of Saskatchewan has to offer, even in the winter months. Crystal notes that they find winter goes by faster when you can find a leisure activity to enjoy, especially if it gets us outside.  Together they enjoy cross country skiing, snow shoeing, mountain biking, kayaking, hiking, slo-pitch, camping, and 5 pin bowling.

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Executive Council

Tracy Erickson

Representing: Addictions Counsellors Saskatchewan Health Authority - Melville Email Term Expires: October 2021

Addictions Counsellor 

Yorkton/Melville – HSAS Union Region 8

Tracy Erickson has 22 years of front-line addictions work experience. He holds two bachelor of art degrees: one in Sociology; the other in Psychology. He currently works as the Addictions Team Clinical Lead at Yorkton Mental Health, Alcohol & Drug Services, for the Saskatchewan Health Authority (formerly the Sunrise Health Region).

Throughout his career, Tracy has acquired a broad spectrum of overall addictions specific experiences in group settings, one to one therapy, community involvement, youth, adult and families.  He has observed numerous trends, applications, and practices during his career.

Tracy believes that alcohol and drug addiction services in Saskatchewan need a strong voice to maintain autonomy and independence while functioning and integrating effectively within the larger Mental Health and Addictions Services team framework.

Tracy has years of experience within his profession and the Union, which include:

  • New Member Orientator
  • Respectful Workplace facilitator
  • Past Co-Chair of Sunrise/HSAS Regional Council
  • Delegate at the HSAS Annual Convention
  • Long standing member of HSAS Grievance Committee
  • Previous OHS Workplace representative
  • Current member representative on EFAP Committee
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Colleen Howe

Representing: Assessor Coordinators Saskatchewan Health Authority - Regina Email Term Expires: October 2022

Assessor Coordinator

Regina – HSAS Union Region 11

Colleen Howe received a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Regina in 2010. She worked with the Red Cross Veteran Program at Wascana Rehabilitation Centre in Regina before joining the Saskatchewan Health Authority – HSAS Union Region 7 (formerly Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region) as a Community Assessor Coordinator. She has worked in both rural and urban settings as an Assessor Coordinator since 2012.

 This is Colleen’s second term as an HSAS Executive Council member. She hopes to be a voice for Assessor Coordinators in the province. Colleen works to encourage her fellow HSAS members to become engaged with the Union.

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Shannon Orell-Bast

Representing: Assessor Coordinators Saskatchewan Health Authority - Regina Email Term Expires: October 2021

Assessor Coordinator

Regina – HSAS Union Region 11

Shannon Orell-Bast has a wide variety of work experience and education. After high school, Shannon lived overseas in Australia for one year as a Rotary Exchange Student. Upon her return to Canada, Shannon attended Lethbridge Community College and completed diplomas in Corrections and Policing.

In Alberta, Shannon worked with high-risk youth and in the Young Offenders Centre. Shannon also has a lengthy work history of working with people with disabilities.

In 2005, Shannon relocated back to Regina, SK and completed her Bachelor of Social Work degree from the University of Regina. Shannon then worked in Income Assistance with the Ministry of Social Services. In 2007, she began her career in health care.

Since 2007, Shannon has worked in various positions such as critical care, Healthline, long term care, health promotion, mental health and is currently employed with the Saskatchewan Health Authority (formerly the Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region) as an Assessor Coordinator in Primary Health Care in Regina.

Shannon is passionate about client centered care and has a strong belief in unions and protecting employee’s rights.

Shannon is currently a member of the HSAS Executive Council, representing Assessor Coordinators, and is a member of the HSAS Negotiating Committee.

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Haley Oshowy

Representing: Dietitians, Research Dietitians, Nutritionists & Research Approval Coordinators Saskatchewan Health Authority - Moose Jaw Email Term Expires: October 2022

Dietitian

Moose Jaw –  HSAS Union Region 10

Haley has been a Registered Dietitian with Saskatchewan Dietitian Association since May 2008. She works and lives in Moose Jaw, SK for the Saskatchewan Health Authority (formerly the Five Hills Health Region). Her Dietetic experience has been in acute care, long-term care, private practice, renal dialysis and diabetes education. She has collaborated with dietitians across Canada while working as an Item Writer with the Alliance of Canadian Dietetic Regulatory Bodies (2012-2016).

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Mathieu Leonard

Representing: Emergency Medical Technicians, Emergency Medical Technicians-Advanced, Paramedics, Dispatchers & PAD Coordinator Paramedics Saskatchewan Health Authority - Regina Email Term Expires: October 2021

Advanced Care Paramedic

Regina – HSAS Union Region 11

Since 2006, Mathieu trained as a Primary Care Paramedic, working in the Swift Current area and in the oil and gas sector in remote areas. In 2008, he returned to SIAST (now Saskatchewan Polytechnic) and earn an Advanced Care Paramedic diploma.

Mathieu worked in Moose Jaw prior to joining Regina EMS in 2011. During his time in Moose Jaw, Mathieu was a Field Trainer and was Employee Co-Chair of the OH&S Committee for a number of years.

His career has provided first-hand knowledge of the challenges faced by EMS staff, in both rural and urban centres. Matthieu’s background in Occupational Health and Safety has offered him insight into what he feels are some of the most pressing issues faced by First Responders.

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Travis Bolen

Representing: Emergency Medical Technicians, Emergency Medical Technicians-Advanced, Paramedics, Dispatchers & PAD Coordinator Paramedics Saskatchewan Health Authority - Regina Email Term Expires: October 2021
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Crystal Bittman

Representing: Occupational Therapists Saskatchewan Health Authority - Regina Email Term Expires: October 2022

Crystal earned an Occupational/Physical Therapy Assistant Certificate from SIAST – Wascana Campus in 2000, and then earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Occupational Therapy from Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario in 2006. Crystal is proud to be an OT, and feels, because OT’s are experts in occupational performance, OT’s bring a unique perspective to any workplace or labor conversation.

Crystal works as an Occupational therapist on the Complex Diagnosis Assessment Team (CDAT) at Regina Child & Youth Services (CYS). Crystal finds personal and professional satisfaction through continued engagement in her community, workplace, and union.  In her community, Crystal was a foundational board member and board of director’s secretary with Creative Options Regina (COR) from 2009-2016. Additionally, Crystal sat as a board member with the Canadian Mental Health Association Sask. Division (CMHA SK) in 2014-2015.  In her workplace, Crystal has been engaged in numerous committees within CYS (Occupational Health and Safety Committee, Social Committee, Psychological Health and Safety Committee) and engages in committee work with their community partners throughout Regina (Regina FASD Community Network). In her union, Crystal joined HSAS Executive Council in 2019 and currently sits as Secretary of the Union.

Crystal lives in Regina with her husband, Kevin and their two dogs (Dram and Daisy).  They enjoy all this province of Saskatchewan has to offer, even in the winter months. Crystal notes that they find winter goes by faster when you can find a leisure activity to enjoy, especially if it gets us outside.  Together they enjoy cross country skiing, snow shoeing, mountain biking, kayaking, hiking, slo-pitch, camping, and 5 pin bowling.

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Tara Watts

Representing: Pharmacists, Radio Pharmacists - Nuclear Medicine & Clinical Coordinators (Masters Senior) Saskatchewan Health Authority - Saskatoon Email Term Expires: October 2021

Pharmacist

Saskatoon – HSAS Union Region 7

Tara Watts earned a Pharmacy Technician Certificate from SIAST – Kelsey Campus in 2006, then earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Pharmacy in 2013 from the University of Saskatchewan. She completed her residency in Saskatoon at various sites across the city.

During her time at the University of Saskatchewan, she completed the Prescriptive Authority Level 1 training, along with Saskatchewan Injections Training. She holds Standard First Aid and trained in the PACT program. Tara is also a Toastmasters Speechcraft Graduate.

Tara joined the Saskatchewan Health Authority (formerly the Saskatoon Health Region) as a Clinical Staff Pharmacist at Royal University Hospital in Saskatoon in 2014, where she currently works.

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Krishna Vegunta

Representing: Physical Therapists, Prosthetists, Orthotists, Exercise/Conditioning Therapists & Rehab Program Team Coordinators Saskatchewan Health Authority - Regina Email Term Expires: October 2022

Physical Therapist

Regina – HSAS Union Region 11

Krishna Vegunta is a Physical Therapist with over 18 years’ experience in the field. He trained in Germany as a Physical Therapist before moving to Canada to work for St. Elizabeth Hospital, and now Home Care in Regina for the Saskatchewan Health Authority (formerly the Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region).

Krishna has been a member of the HSAS Executive Council for over three years. During this time, Krishna has been a part of the HSAS Finance Committee and the HSAS OH&S Committee. He is passionate about advocating for safe workplaces and workers’ rights in Saskatchewan, and finds the work of the Union rewarding.  

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Juliana Cook

Representing: Physical Therapists, Prosthetists, Orthotists, Exercise/Conditioning Therapists & Rehab Program Team Coordinators Saskatchewan Health Authority - Saskatoon Email Term Expires: October 2021

Physical Therapist

Saskatoon – HSAS Union Region 7

Juliana graduated from the School of Physical Therapy at the University of Saskatchewan in 2015. She began her career in private practice. After about year, she wanted to pursue her passion for working with the pediatric population and had the opportunity to do so at the Alvin Buckwold Child Development Program with the Saskatchewan Health Authority (former Saskatoon Health Region). She also had the opportunity to work at Saskatoon City Hospital, Royal University Hospital, and is now currently at St. Paul’s Hospital in the Intensive Care Unit.

Juliana joined the Executive Council because having previously worked in private practice, she feels strongly that by being involved with the union, she would have the opportunity to advocate and bring forth any concerns her fellow HSAS professionals may have, and subsequently bring about positive change for its members.

 

 

 

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Ken Cross

Representing: Public Health Inspectors, Genetic Counsellors, Infection Control Practitioners, Health Educators, Dental Therapists, Dental Health Educators, Population Health Promotion Practitioners & Therapy Educators Saskatchewan Health Authority - Weyburn Email Term Expires: October 2022

Public Health Inspector

Weyburn – HSAS Union Region 12

Ken Cross graduated from the British Columbia Institute of Technology in 1989 and became a certified Public Health Inspector. Ken is currently employed in Weyburn as a Public Health Inspector with the Saskatchewan Health Authority (formerly the Sun Country Health Region).

Ken has been actively involved in the Saskatchewan branch of the Canadian Institute of Public Health Inspectors (CIPHI) for the past 30 years, holding the office of the President for 8 years, Past President, Councillor and now Secretary. He has sat of the National Executive Council for CIPHI, the Board Certification and was on the initial committee for the development of the now First Nations University.

This is Ken’s second term with the HSAS Executive Council. Ken has volunteered during past HSAS strikes and currently volunteers as an HSAS Orientator, welcoming new members to the Union. He believes that all HSAS Members voices and concerns should be heard during and after the shift to one provincial model.

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Angela Barsalou

Representing: Respiratory Therapists, Perfusionists, Anaesthesia Assistants, Midwives, Medical Lab Technicians & Biomedical Technologists Saskatchewan Health Authority - Saskatoon Email Term Expires: October 2021

HSAS Secretary & Respiratory Therapist

Saskatoon – HSAS Union Region 7

Angela was raised in Saint John, New Brunswick where she completed her Bachelor of Science. After that, she attended New Brunswick Community College where she received her diploma in Respiratory Therapy.

Angela moved to Saskatchewan in 2007. She took a full-time position as a Registered Respiratory Therapist with the Saskatchewan Health Authority (formerly the Saskatoon Health Region). In 2015, she became a member of the Saskatchewan Provincial Pediatric Transport Team.

Angela joined HSAS Executive Council in 2014 and currently sits as Secretary of the Union, and is a member of the Negotiating Committee.

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Lisa Johnson-Hallberg

Representing: Social Workers, Family Support Workers, Medical Education Coordinators & Vocational Counsellors Saskatchewan Health Authority - Weyburn Term Expires: October 2022

Lisa has been a Social Worker working in Rural Saskatchewan since 1997. Since that time, she worked briefly as a Youth and Family Addictions Counsellor, and a co-facilitator with the Alternatives to Violence and Sex Offender group programs. The majority of her career has been working in Child and Youth Mental Health. For nine years she was in an in-scope Supervisor position and experienced many joys and frustrations in that role. Five years ago, she returned to the front line, to the rewarding work of social work with children, youth and families.

Her education includes a BA in Sociology (1995), an Advanced Certificate in Psychology (1995), a Bachelor of Social Work (1997), and a Masters in Social Work. She completed her MSW in 2004 with a focus in Direct Services. She chose a directed reading course in “Labour in Saskatchewan” and her eyes were opened to the history of unions and the role they played in advocating for the rights of Union Employees. These rights in turn then influenced the labour standards and laws for all employees, unionized or not.

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Karen Zemlak

Representing: Social Workers, Family Support Workers, Medical Education Coordinators & Vocational Counsellors Saskatchewan Health Authority - Regina Email Term Expires: October 2021

Social Worker

Regina – HSAS Union Region 11

Karen Zemlak works in Mental Health Community Recovery as a Social Worker, in Regina, SK.

In 1999, Karen completed a Bachelor of Social Work degree and began her career in Mental Health Child, Youth, and Family Counselor in rural Saskatchewan. She returned in University in 2004, and earned a Master degree in Social Work in 2006.

With experience in urban and rural areas of the province, as well as in community and acute positions, Karen hopes to successfully represent the Social Workers, Family Support Workers, Medical Education Coordinators, and Vocational Counsellors in the governance of HSAS.

Karen has been involved with HSAS in various roles throughout her career, and looks forward to the opportunity of serving as a member of the Executive Council.

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Cori Debert

Representing: Audiologists, Speech Language Pathologists, Music Therapists, Orthoptists, Autism Spectrum Disorder Consultants, Bereavement Coordinators & Child Life Therapists Saskatchewan Health Authority - Saskatoon Email Term Expires: October 2022

Speech Language Pathologist

Saskatoon – HSAS Union Region 7

Cori Debert earned a Master of Science Degree from Minot State University in 2015. She then completed her clinical fellowship in Speech Language Pathology and became certified through the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and Speech-Language & Audiology Canada (SAC).

Cori started her career at at the Alvin Buckwold Child Development Program, then moved to Population and Public Health for the Saskatchewan Health Authority (former Saskatoon Health Region), serving rural communities and primarily working with children.

Through her work with the HSAS Executive Council, Cori plans to become more involved in her profession by acting as a voice for her fellow HSAS professionals.

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Vacant

Representing: Mental Health Therapists & Recreation Therapists Email Term Expires: October 2022
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Vacant

Representing: Psychologists & Psychometricians Term Expires: October 2022
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