The transitional Council of the College of Naturopaths of Ontario was appointed in September 2009. Members were chosen from individuals who responded to a public call for members advertised across Ontario. As well, in accordance with the Naturopathy Act, 2007, all the members of the Board of Directors of Drugless Therapy, which currently regulates the profession under the Drugless Practitioners Act, have been appointed to the transitional Council.
The appointment of the 17-member transitional Council marks a major step toward the regulation of naturopathy under the legislative framework of the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991.
The transitional Council joins Sharon Saberton, who is the Interim Officer supporting the transitional Council in its activities.
The transitional Council held its inaugural meeting on November 5, 2009, during which it elected its President, Vice-President and Executive Committee. They are:
Mary-Ellen McKenna, President
Holly Nimmons, Vice-President
Patricia J. Rennie, Executive Committee Member
Heidi Kussmann-Armstrong, Executive Committee Member
Dianne Delany, Executive Committee Member
Biographies of all transitional Council members are provided below.
Transitional Council meetings are open to the public to observe. Future meeting dates are:
Unless otherwise noted above, all meetings will be held at the transitional Council’s office at 163 Queen Street East in Toronto.
As space is limited, members of the public who would like to observe a transitional Council meeting should provide advance notice of their interest in attending.
Sharon Saberton can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by telephone at 416-862-4782.
Correspondence for the President may be sent to:
Mary-Ellen McKenna, President
Transitional Council of the College of Naturopaths of Ontario
4th floor, 163 Queen Street, East
Toronto, ON M5A 1S1
Sharon Behrendt graduated from the University of Guelph with a Bachelor of Science honours degree in Human Kinetics in 1995. She studied naturopathic medicine at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine in Toronto. Sharon has been practicing naturopathic medicine in Ottawa since 2001. In 2005 she opened the Orleans Wellness Clinic in Ottawa where she is currently working full-time. Over the years, Sharon has presented various seminars and workshops, including the annual Orleans Women’s Conference.
Fay Booker is Managing Partner of the consulting firm, Booker & Associates with experience in corporate governance, strategic planning, risk management and finance. Her career has included partnership positions with two national accounting and audit firms as well as experience at major financial institutions and cooperatives. Fay has been named a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario and she holds the Chartered Director designation. She has contributed to her community by volunteering with organizations in the health and art sectors. Fay was awarded the Canada Volunteer Award from Health Canada for her contributions to the community. She became a member of the Board of Directors of Drugless Therapists in 2009.
Thalia Charney is an established naturopath in Toronto. She has written numerous health articles on naturopathic medicine and is the founder and author of Naturopathic Milestones, a monthly newsletter. Thalia is an avid lecturer on health and wellness with many large business clients. She has contributed to the profession as a volunteer for the Ontario Association of Naturopathic Doctors and as a secondary examiner for student board exams at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine.
Belinda Clarke runs a naturopathic practice in Cobourg, Ontario. She studied naturopathic medicine at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine and graduated in 2000 with the Reiner Grabreck Award. Belinda has served on the Board of Directors of Drugless Therapists since 2004, chairing the Continuing Education and Government Affairs Committees, and co-chairing the Parenteral Therapy Committee. Prior to becoming a naturopath, she also served on the Lebel Midwifery Care Organization and various committees of the College of Midwives of Ontario. Belinda has also worked with a multitude of health and other civic boards and committees and holds an Honours Bachelor of Science degree.
Nicholas De Groot
Nicholas De Groot is the Dean at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine. In addition to his role at the College, he serves on an international working group (a subcommittee of the Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges) looking at enhancing standards of naturopathic medical education. Nicholas received his undergraduate degree from the University of Toronto and graduated with a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine from the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine.
Dianne Delany has worked for the Government of Canada and the Province of Ontario at various ministries including the Transportation and Education ministries. Her government career includes serving as Legislative Assistant to provincial Cabinet ministers, senior policy advisor for the Special Education Project and recently as assistant to the federal Member of Parliament for Oakville. She also contributes to her community as a volunteer for the CNIB and the Arthritis Society.
Bojana Djokic was born in Serbia and is a graduate of the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Belgrade. She immigrated to Canada in 1990; and in 1992, she became registered with the Ontario College of Pharmacists. Bojana currently manages York Downs Chemists compounding pharmacy in Toronto. Her main interests lie in compounding, environmental toxicology and the integration of natural medicine with the mainstream. Bojana was a founding member of the Ontario Association of Compounding Pharmacists, and consults in this area.
Kelly Dobbin, M.A. is a community health activist with expertise in midwifery and community health education. She became a Registered Midwife in Ontario in 1996. Since then she has been a Board member of the Association of Ontario Midwives, President of the College of Midwives of Ontario, and founder of a Toronto-based health and education centre. A recent visit to southern Africa directed her attention to international health projects in maternal and newborn care. She is currently on leave from practice to pursue a Master’s in Public Health.
Robert graduated from the University of Waterloo in 1972 with a B.A.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering. In 1977, Robert left engineering and graduated from the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College in 1981. In 1983, he enrolled with the Ontario College of Naturopathic Medicine and graduated in 1986. In 1986 Robert established the London West Health Centre of which he is the sole proprietor. Approximately 80 percent of his practice is naturopathic and the other 20 percent is chiropractic. Robert is currently serving in his eighth year on the Board of Directors of Drugless Therapy and is the Secretary-Treasurer. He chairs the Complaints Resolution Committee, the Parenteral Therapy Committee and the Manipulation Committee.
Thomas Ellis is a naturopath. He completed his Honours BSc. in psycho-pharmacology at the University of Toronto. Tom briefly continued his research at the Addiction Research Foundation of Ontario. He then graduated from the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine, where he was chosen class valedictorian. Tom currently owns and practices in clinics in Orangeville and Alliston, and also practices one day per week in Shelburne. He is a member of the Ontario Association of Naturopathic Doctors, the Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors and the Association of Perinatal Naturopathic Doctors.
Allan Gotlib is the Editor of the Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association, the Director, Research Programs at the Canadian Chiropractic Association, and the Assistant Secretary to the Canadian Chiropractic Research Foundation. He is a past full professor at the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College and a past President of the College of Chiropractors of Ontario. Allan has held appointments to the Executive Committee for the Canadian Cochrane Network and Center, the Deputy Judges Council in Ontario, the Law Society of Upper Canada and the CIHR President’s Voluntary Sector Committee.
Heidi Kussmann - Armstrong
Heidi Kussmann - Armstrong graduated from the University of Victoria, BC in 1997, completing her B.Sc. in Co-operative Exercise Kinesiology. Upon graduating from the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine she was awarded two President’s Awards: the Merit Achievement Award and the Vitality Award. Heidi received the, “Naturopathic Doctor of the Year” award from the Ontario Association of Naturopathic Doctors in 2006. She has an interest in women’s health and detoxification.
Mary-Ellen McKenna graduated from the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine in 1994. For the past 3 and a half years she has been a professional member on the Board of Directors Drugless Therapy and served on the Complaints Resolution Committee for the Board of Directors of Drugless Therapy. As a naturopath, Mary-Ellen has worked in her own clinic, taught at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine and supervised the fourth year interns at the College’s clinic. Before her naturopathic career, Mary-Ellen received a B.Sc. in Pharmacology and Toxicology from the University of Western Ontario and worked for a pharmaceutical company.
Holly Nimmons has many years of experience with Ontario’s regulatory system. She was Executive Director for the College of Midwives of Ontario during its formative years, and supported the work of the Transitional and Interim Regulatory Councils prior to regulation of the midwifery profession. Other experience includes YWCA Canada, and consultation projects with provincial and local organizations, including health regulatory colleges. Holly also provides management services to non-profit organizations. She focuses on leadership, governance and transition management and strengthening organizational excellence.
Michael Prytula has been a naturopath since 1988. He has taught at naturopathic colleges in both the clinical and academic settings. Michael is an accredited instructor of chelation, ozone and emergency procedures in clinical settings with courses approved by governments and associations from British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Nova Scotia and Arizona. He also supports four bursaries at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (Toronto) and four at Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine (Vancouver). Michael’s practice is in St. Catharines.
Patricia J. Rennie
Patricia J. Rennie, Bsc(HK), graduated from the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine in 1992. Her private practice includes a special focus on pediatric care, treating children from infancy to adolescence with a wide range of health concerns. Patricia has been a faculty member at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine since 1992 where she currently supervises a pediatric focus shift at the College outpatient clinic. She became a member of the Board of Directors of Drugless Therapy in 2005 and currently serves as Chair.
Barry SullivanBarry graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Psychology and Sociology from Laurentian University and has a Masters Degree in Applied Criminology from the University of Ottawa. He retired from the Ontario Public Service after 33.5 years of service, the last 26 years as a senior administrator of both community and institutional programs in Adult Correctional and Youth Justice Services, respectively. Barry is currently a member of the North American Association of Prison Wardens and Superintendents, a Retired Associate member of the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police, and Executive Board member of the Child and Family Centre, a childrens’ mental health treatment agency serving Sudbury/ Manitoulin districts. He is currently self-employed as a management consultant.
If you are a reporter with a question for a story, or with comments about how this News Room section could serve you better, send us an e-mail at: email@example.com
In Toronto: 416-314-6197
Call ServiceOntario, Infoline
In Toronto, TTY 416-327-4282
Hours of operation : 8:30am - 5:00pm