RNFOO Board of Directors

The Registered Nurses' Foundation of Ontario is governed by a Board of Directors that is made up of at least 10, and not more than 20 volunteers.  At least half of the Directors must be Registered Nurses and members of the College of Nurses.  The Foundation, and the nursing community at large, benefit from the contributions made by the board members as they provide oversight and leadership for all activities of the Foundation, including committee work, stewardship of donations, disbursement of funds, and determination of policies.

Here are the current Board Members:


Michelle Connell, RN, BScN, MEd

Named President of the Board in October, 2015, Michelle has been involved with RNFOO since 2007, when she joined the Gala Committee.  In 2012 she was appointed Chair of the Gala committee.  She has also served on the Awards Review Panel since 2009. Michelle joined the Board of Directors in 2013.

Michelle is a Nursing Professor at Centennial College, with a background in Pediatric Cardiology.  She currently serves as the Year 1 Coordinator in the Ryerson, Centennial, George Brown Collaborative Nursing Degree Program.  Her research interests have included journal writing and reflective practice, career planning and development, creative approaches to nursing curriculum teaching strategies and evaluation, and student success strategies.



Pamela Adams, RN, PhD, JD

Pamela is a professor in the University of New Brunswick/Humber College Collaborative Bachelor of Nursing degree program, and serves as Coordinator of  Year 4 students.  New to the RNFOO Board in 2012, Pamela also serves on the Fund Development Committee. Pamela has worked in nursing across the country and is a former Canadian Nursing Foundation Scholar. She has degrees from Dalhousie University and the University of Toronto in nursing, a PhD in medical science from the University of Toronto and a law degree from Queens University. She is also a registered trade mark agent with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office.
In her spare time, Pamela enjoys hiking with her pugs and maintaining her title as a gardener of distinction with the East York Garden Society, supporting local artists and farmer’s markets.

Marija Bojic, RN, BScN, MN

Marija currently works as a clinical Course Director at York University, and is a front-line nurse at Toronto’s Sick Kids Hospital.  A committed Zumba® Instructor and champion-level competitive ballroom dancer, Marija combined all of her passions to raise the funds that have seeded the Sonia Varaschin Memorial Scholarship.  Marija and Sonia Varaschin were colleagues and friends from the time they worked together at  Sick Kids Hospital. Marija hosts annual  Zumba® fundraisers to benefit RNFOO.  A Board member since 2012, Marija also serves on the Marketing Committee




Prior to joining the Hospital for Sick Children in 2002, Zoran held several leadership positions in the aerospace industry and received numerous awards for achieving breakthrough organizational performance improvements. He is currently responsible for the development and implementation of strategic and tactical action plans to achieve and sustain the benchmark quality, safety and risk management programs in multiple clinical areas. Zoran received a Master of Health Science degree from the University of Toronto and Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental and Safety Engineering from the University of Tuzla. His professional qualifications also include Certified Project Management Professional, Certified Six Sigma Black Belt, Certified Lean Agent, Certified Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence, and QMS Lead Auditor.




Charlene Cartujano, CPA, CA

Charlene is a Chartered Professional Accountant and her audit and accounting background includes a focus on governance, risk and control-related matters. She began her involvement with RNFOO in 2013 as a member of the Finance Committee.  In her previous roles in public accounting, she had specialized in financial statement audits of not-for-profit organizations and registered charities.




Leinic Chung-Lee, RN, BScN, MN

First introduced to the foundation as a winner of the graduate Prenatal & Parenthood Education Services Award in 2007 and their Research Award in 2008, Leinic joined the RNFOO Board in 2010, chairing the Infection Control & Prevention Awards Committee. She has experience in the hospital, community, and academic settings. Currently employed at Toronto Public Health as a Quality Improvement Specialist, Leinic is also a Collaborator-Recruitment Coordinator for the New Mothers in a New Country Study in the Mothering Transitions Research Program  at the University of Toronto.


Marianne Cochrane, RN, MHSc(N)

Marianne has been a member of the faculty at Durham College since 2003, teaching full-time in the Collaborative BScN Program with University of Ontario Institute of Technology in Oshawa. Currently she serves as the Year Four Coordinator in the program.  Previously, she has held positions of Clinical/Resource Nurse, Program Leader, and Clinical Leader. In addition to serving on the RNFOO Board of Directors and the Infection Control Awards Review Committee since 2010, she is Interest Group Representative for 2012 – 2016 on the Board of Directors of RNAO.  Marianne’s specific interests are in Maternity and Ethics.  She is committed to mentoring students as they develop themselves as critical thinkers and caring nurses.

Linda Cooper, RN, PhD

Linda recently retired from her position as Professor in the Daphne Cockwell School of Nursing at Ryerson University.  She taught in the undergraduate and graduate programs there, and served as a faculty advisor to graduate students. Linda has held several positions in clinical practice and education.  Currently serving as Interim Vice President, Awards & Scholarships of the RNFOO Board, Linda has been involved with the Foundation since 2006.  In addition to her volunteer work with RNFOO, Linda is also actively involved with Sigma Theta Tau International. 

Sonya Jancar, RN, BScN, M(HL&M), CRA, CCRP

Sonya has been working as a research coordinator in cardiology for the past 6 years at various downtown teaching hospitals in Toronto. Sonya completed her Masters in Healthcare Leadership and Management in Australia in 2015. She has recently moved to Ottawa and is now working as a Research Project Manager in Electrophysiology at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute. Sonya has served two terms as treasurer on the Lambda Pi Chapter. Sonya has been a part of RNFOO since 2013 and has participated in the IEN committee, the Gala committee, and the Awards Review Panel. Sonya continues to serve on the board, co-chairing the Gala committee for 2017, and looks forward to being a part of the RNFOO in the future.   



Dawn Pratt, RN, MN

Dawn has worked in a number of settings and is currently employed in Public Health at the Regional Municipality of York as a manager in the Child and Family Health Division. She is passionate about community nursing, recognizing the importance of working toward the goal of providing optimal health and wellbeing for new mothers, children and families. 
Dawn has been part of RNFOO since 2004, initially participating on the Awards Review Committee.   In 2009, she joined the Board of Directors, and chaired the committee that administered the Royal Bank of Canada’s grant for Internationally Educated Nurses, a specialized fund that supported nurses new to Canada who were upgrading their academic qualifications  for registration in Ontario.  By the time that funding had run out, IENs were eligible for a number of Awards in  RNFOO’s portfolio.  Currently Dawn continues to serve on the board, involved with the Gala and Awards Review Committees, and looks forward to being a part of the RNFOO in future years. 

Janet Rush, RN, PhD

Currently serving as Past-President of the RNFOO Board, and working toward retirement, Janet has been an active consultant in nursing and nursing education.  Janet’s focus in education was on Nursing Research.  Trent University presented Janet with the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Nursing Scholarship, in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the domain of scholarship through ongoing development of students and faculty.  The Canadian Nurses’ Association honoured her with the Jeanne Mance Award for outstanding contribution to Canadian Nursing.

May Tao, RN, MN

May is a Health Promotion Specialist and Project Coordinator for the RNAO Best Practice Spotlight Organization Initiative at Toronto Public Health.  Her interest is in evidence-informed practice, knowledge translation, and guidelines implementation. She has been participated in the RNAO Advanced Clinical Practice Fellowship building on leadership knowledge and skills.  May is an executive member of the RNAO Toronto East Chapter, Board of Director of the Community Health Nurses Initiative Interest Group, and member of the Sigma Theta Tau International Honour Society of Nursing.  Her vision is to empower nurses in reaching their potential, cultivating excellence in nursing knowledge and practice, and shaping healthy public policy.  

Keith Yuen, CPA, CA

Keith is a Manager, Financial Reporting and Analysis at Tarion Warranty Corporation, where he has worked since 2010.  Prior to joining Tarion, he was a Senior Staff Accountant in Assurance Services at Ernst & Young LLP. Keith brings a strong accounting and finance background to his role as Treasurer for the RNFOO Board.


Karen Bertrand, RN (ex-officio)

Karen joined the RNFOO Board in 2012 as representative of the Ontario Nurses’ Association. A graduate of St. Clair College in Windsor, Karen has worked as a registered nurse in the long-term care sector for 38 years. She joined the Board of Directors of ONA in 2009 where she currently serves as Region 5 Vice-President. Karen’s commitment to continuing education for Nurses and her in-depth knowledge of ONA’s education program will be an asset to the ongoing co-operation between the union and the Foundation.

Annette Weeres RN BScN MN (ex-officio)

Annette is Director of Professional Practice at the Registered Practical Nurses Association of Ontario. Annette has over 35 years of nursing experience. A graduate from a diploma RN program in British Columbia, she completed her BScN at Ryerson University and MN at the University of Toronto. Annette’s health care experiences range from acute care to northern outpost nursing with roles in clinical practice, leadership and education. She is strong supporter of professional development, an advocate for nurses’ access to continuing education and incorporating evidence into practice, all important focuses of her role at RPNAO. 



Terms of Reference

To house all the board terms of refence

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