Our Team

MEET OUR TEAM

Serena Joseph, Executive Director

Giizhigo Ikwe (Sky Woman), Pizhiw Dodem (Lynx Clan), is a proud Anishinaabekwe with strong roots and connection to her homelands at Iskatewizaagegan 39 Independent First Nation (Shoal Lake 39) where she was raised. Serena’s most rewarding learnings and achievements have come through her role as mom to Callie and Evan who remind her daily of what is truly important in life. Serena is happily married and living her best life with Calvin and their children. She enjoys participating in pow-wows, learning Anishinaabemowin, and sharing new experiences and road trips with her family and friends. Serena credits her mother for role-modeling a strong work ethic, strength, resilience, and living in kindness. Serena holds a diploma in Indigenous Wellness and Addictions Prevention from Confederation College, a Bachelor of Arts in Indigenous Learning from Lakehead University, a Bachelor of Education from Queen’s University, and will receive her Master of Arts in Leadership with a specialization in health from Royal Roads University later this year.
Waasegiizhig practices from a place of cultural safety. It’s a medical home for all. Waasegiizhig is that opportunity to receive care for the Mind, Body, Spirit and Heart all under one roof.
Her journey with Waasegiizhig Nanaandawe’iyewigamig began 21 years ago, when she started as a Community Facilitator/Support Worker engaging with residential school survivors. Through them she became grounded in the huge impact the legacy of trauma has had on overall health and wellbeing. This grounding provided an excellent foundation for her next role as a Health Promoter. Taking on progressively more responsibility, Serena became a Team Lead, Acting Director of Client Services, and Program Manager before moving into the role of Acting Executive Director in 2021. Throughout her years with WNHAC, Serena has demonstrated leadership by example, and gained the respect of everyone she has encountered. She is committed to relationship-based, traditional governance and healing. Her goal is to achieve mino-bimaadiziwin through systems that are rooted in and reflect the resilience and resurgence of Anish.
serena joseph
Melissa Calder

Melissa Calder, Healing Services Manager

Wabaankatok (rising cloud over the east), Migisi dodem (Eagle Clan), my english name is Melissa, and was born and raised in Couchiching First Nations. She is a Registered Psychotherapist and holds a Master's in Counselling Psychology. Currently, she is working towards her PhD in Organizational Leadership! She specializes in trauma work, and dual diagnosis and is a certified EMDR Therapist. Melissa was the first to take this role within Waasegiizhig Nanaandawe'iyewigamig and loves developing programming and implementing new programs.

april

April Preisentanz, Program Services Manager

April is an Indigenous nurse registered to Deer Lake First Nation, born and raised in Kenora, Ontario. She have been working at Waasegiizhig Nanaandawe’Iyewigamig since her graduation from Nursing in 2007. With 13 years of direct nursing experience and 2 years as an Interprofessional Team Coordinator, she is new to the role of Program Services but is excited to embark on this new adventure. With a background in primary care, she is looking forward to shifting her personal perspective to focus on prevention.

Cathy Bowman, Supportive Services Manager

Cathy has 30 years of experience working in the Human Services field and has gained extensive skills and knowledge in areas such as Crisis Prevention Intervention Facilitation, Case Management, Program Development, Management and Supervision, Residential and Supported Independent Living, Supportive Housing, Health and Safety Program Coordination, Core Knowledge-Addictions, Dual Diagnosis Level 1-4 Certificate and multiple certificates and training in Addiction and Trauma.
"I am looking forward to continuing to support individuals to make meaningful changes along their journey, advocate for their rights and assist them through any challenges they may face. It is my hope to continue my own journey and experience life lessons, pursue my learning goals and develop many more meaningful relationships with others along the way."

paul

Paul Derouard, Finance Manager

Paul was born and raised in Kenora, Ontario and holds a Degree of Bachelor of Administration and is a Certified Management Accountant. Paul provides financial management to the organization, as well as infrastructure management and information on the organization's technology. He takes pride in finding new and innovative ways to improve workflow, reduce paper waste, and bridge health care gaps for our clients using technology.

Craig Debbo, Information Services Manager

Craig is the Information Services Manager. He has lived in Kenora since 2009. Before that, he lived in Florida/Georgia, southern Ontario, and South Africa. He holds an undergraduate degree in Science and a Master of Business Administration. Craig is responsible for information technology, security, privacy, and data management. He also works with local healthcare organizations and the government to coordinate digital services. He enjoys woodworking, hockey, and projects around the house and stays active – skating, swimming, and cycling. In his spare time, he coaches sledge hockey and volunteers with the city.

Mary McDonald, Human Resources Manager

“Boozhoo my English name is Mary McDonald, I am the Human Resources Manager here at Waasegiizhig Nanaandawe’iyewigamig.
My Ojibway name is Peetwanamok (I was named by my grandfather), Makwa dotem. I am a member of Washagamis Bay First Nation, where I grew up and still live. As a child I fondly remember going out with my family to set up camp for rice and blueberry picking in the summer months. My grandparents, mom, aunties and uncles would fish, hunt and trap for sustenance. As a youth, my cousin and I would spend hours on the lake fishing and out on the land hunting for partridge. We would also spend hours playing team sports, baseball, sticks and tag.  I am a mother, grandmother, wife, sister, auntie, cousin. I enjoy kayaking, gardening, walks, spending time and sharing good stories and laughs with family and friends.”
Mary has worked for WNHAC since 2010, but her work career includes 30+ years working in different settings, such as Child Welfare, FN management, and more recently Healthcare. She has a variety of work experience that includes accounting, payroll, group benefit and pension management, recruitment, retention, compensation management, onboarding, orientation, policy development, research, complying with labour laws and regulations, occupational health and safety, labour management, collective bargaining, arbitrations, and supervision. Mary’s education is in Aboriginal Economic and Financial Management, along with many years’ professional development certificates. 
“When I entered the workforce, I wanted to make a difference and work for an organization that helped people. I found my work fulfillment here, I enjoy being part of the WNHAC journey, and fully support our mission, vision and values.”

Interested in joining WNHAC's team?
Check our Careers' page and find your new path.

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