Marianne Walker is changing the future of health care in Ontario. In leadership roles spanning more than 30 years, including her current role as president and CEO of Guelph General Hospital, Marianne has worked to refocus health care on the patient. She has led several region- and province-wide initiatives that have dramatically improved patient outcomes after stroke, and her elder care strategy is recognized as one of the best practice model province-wide. As a surveyor with Accreditation Canada, Marianne is also helping to improve health care quality and patient safety across the country and internationally in countries including Brazil.
Marianne holds a Master of Health Sciences from the University of Toronto, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from McMaster University and Nursing Diploma from Conestoga College. Marianne is the recipient of the 2015 Premier’s Award for Outstanding Ontario College Graduates in Health Sciences and of the 2016 Women of Distinction Lifetime Achievement Award for Health, Wellness and Recreation. She is a Board member of the Change Foundation and past Ontario Hospital Association Board member.
Jennifer Caspers is a physician who continues to actively practice with a Family Medicine practice in Guelph – serving patients in both the community and at the Guelph General Hospital and Homewood Health Center. She has filled many positions within the Guelph hospital sector including Chief of Family Practice for GGH and St. Joseph’s Hospitals, Secretary, Vice-President and President of the Joint Medical Staff, Deputy Chief of Staff and, for the past nine years, Chief of Staff.Jennifer has sat on the GGH Board in her administrative capacities for 12 years.
At GGH, Jennifer is Chair of the Medical Advisory Committee and the Credentials Committee and, regionally, sits at the Chief of Staff table and the Mental Health tables. Board experience was gained in the GGH forum and on the Boards of Guelph Big Sisters, the Edward Johnson Music Foundation and the Programming Committee of the River Run Center. Jennifer has been the Lead Physician for the Phoenix Family Health Organization, a sub-group of the Guelph Family Health Team, for 14 years.
Jennifer has always lived in a medical milieu with a Physician father, a Midwife mother, a Veterinary husband and daughter.
Melissa Skinner, RN, MN, MHSC, is a Registered Nurse who completed her undergraduate degree from the University of Western Ontario. Her nursing career includes roles within Long-Term Care and Acute Care. Melissa spent 12 years as a Nurse at SickKids hospital where she assumed a number of front-line and leadership roles. Melissa joined Guelph General Hospital in 2009 and spent almost 10 years in the role of Director of Quality and Professional Practice. In 2019, Melissa became Vice President of Patient Services and Chief Nursing Executive.
Melissa is passionate about building a culture of patient and family engagement and supporting staff to provided the safest and highest quality of care.
Biography coming soon
Karen Suk-Patrick, MSW, RSW is a registered Social Worker. She completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Western Ontario and her Master’s degree of Social Work at the University of Calgary. In addition, she has completed post graduate certificates in both Organizational Development and Human Resources at Queen’s University, IRC. Karen’s early career included roles as a therapist in community counselling agencies and program design and development, with expertise in the provision of services to survivors of sexual abuse and domestic violence.
Since 2001, Karen has held various leadership roles at Guelph General Hospital including Organizational Development, Employee Health Services, Patient Relations and Human Resources. In 2020, Karen was the successful candidate to replace Rod Carroll as the Vice President of People and Support Services.
Karen’s early career as a therapist led to deep appreciation and understanding of the importance a strong organizational culture of support that enables people to do their best when caring for others as well as the need to break down barriers for those who require physical and mental health services. This includes ensuring the hospital is strategic about how it recruits, recognizes and develops staff so they can provide the highest and safest quality of care to patients and families.
Julie Byczynski joined The Foundation of Guelph General Hospital as CEO in April, 2022. A proud graduate of the University of Guelph, Julie has a BA in Canadian Studies and MA in Drama.
Throughout her 20+ year career, Julie has been committed to ongoing professional and personal development, and to leading best practices in fundraising through active involvement in the Association of Fundraising Professionals, the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, the Association of Veterinary Advancement Professionals, among others. Julie honed in her skills in major gift fundraising on a national level through her work at the National Arts Centre Foundation in Ottawa, and has experience internationally leading major campaigns for the Royal Shakespeare Company in the UK and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in the US.
Most recently, Julie led the advancement team at the Ontario Veterinary College, and was a member of the senior leadership team at the University of Guelph’s Alumni Affairs and Development department. Passionate about the role that philanthropy plays in social justice, Julie is driven by her interest in fostering inclusion, building community, and improving accessibility – whether to the arts, education, veterinary care, or human healthcare.