Message from the Foundation Vice-Chair 2019-2020

The West Nipissing General Hospital Foundation had another strong year of fundraising in 2019-2020! Over the past year, we have gained strength in our visibility and we have increased the awareness of the Foundation and the good work being done. We continue to work towards our vision: the best possible healthcare for West Nipissing and surrounding areas.

We had great success with our various fundraising activities, including the Run4Health, Moe Mantha Jr. Charity Golf Tournament, Christmas Tree Raffle, sale of Nevada tickets, donations and in memorial donations.

This year also saw the return of our much anticipated Mardi Gras Casino Night. The evening featured close to 100 people in attendance, beautiful decorations, great music, poker and black jack tables, delicious appetizers, a silent auction and fun Mardi Gras outfits! The 2nd annual event raised over $5,000. A special thank you goes out to our Gold sponsors, green sponsors, as well as the West Nipissing Fire Services and the firefighters who generously volunteered their time to be dealers at the casino tables.

New this year, we saw students at École secondaire Publique Nipissing Ouest take on a very important project: raising money for the WNGH’s oncology department. Students in the school’s woodworking class built a beautiful bench deemed the Bench of Hope. Throughout the month of October, the school hosted a raffle for the Bench of Hope with a goal of raising $5,000 to purchase a new IV pump. The raffle successfully raised $6,700. Thank you to Elie Savignac for leading the project!

I would like to recognize the West Nipissing Fire Services for, once again, leading their annual Pink T-shirt Campaign. The WNFS successfully raised $14,296.45 from sponsorships and the sale of t-shirts. In addition, I would like to extend our sincere appreciation to the Caisse Alliance for their generous donation of $5,000, which brought the total to $19,296.45 that was donated to the WNGH CT scanner fund.

As we entered the unchartered waters of COVID-19, we saw incredible support from the community. Including a generous donation of $5,000 from the Caisse Alliance to kickstart an Emergency COVID-19 Fund. The graciously donated funds allowed us to purchase much needed supplies like N95 masks, face shields and other PPE for front line workers and medical staff.

Annually, the WNGH Foundation donates approximately $50,000 to the hospital for equipment. In February 2020, after almost a decade, the WNGH obtained final approval from the North East Local Health Integration Network and Ministry of Health Long-Term Care to purchase and operate a CT scanner.

In September 2019, the WNGH Foundation Board of Directors committed to donating $100,000 to WNGH for the CT scanner by the end of the 2019-2020 fiscal year. I am happy to confirm that in March 2020, we were able to meet this commitment and donated $100,000 to kickstart the CT scanner campaign!

I would like to thank Amylee Laforest, Stacey Cuillerier and Cynthia Desormiers for their work that makes the Foundation a success. I would also like to thank our Board members, Collin Bourgeois, Neil Fox, Michelle Brouillard, Tina Halverson, Diane Jenner, Marcy Lemieux, Mary Willemsen and Robert Pilon, whom generously give their time to the Foundation and support all our events. This year, we welcomed a new board member to our team, Alexandre Laferriere, Commercial Account Manager at the Caisse Alliance.

Lastly, thank you to all our community partners for their generous support of the Foundation; whether monetary or time, large or small. Every gift is very important to us as it helps provide quality healthcare in our community. Again, thank you for helping make us a leader in healthcare in Northern Ontario!

As we look to fundraising in 2020-2021, the Foundation remains committed to raising crucial funds for the CT scanner!

2020 Board of Directors

Cynthia Désormiers (C.E.O & President)

Cynthia Désormiers is the President & CEO of the West Nipissing General Hospital (WNGH) with 28 years of experience in health care. Cynthia joined the senior management team in 2003 as Assistant Executive Director, Patient Care Services and became the President & CEO in 2009. As a board member and CEO of the WNGH, Cynthia is an active member of the Health Care Quality, Ethics and Finance committees, as well as Medical Staff, Medical Advisory Committee, and Credentials committee. Additionally Cynthia is a board member on the WNGH Foundation and Administrator for the Interim LTC beds. Cynthia is currently the chair of the Nipissing East Parry sound Health Links and a member of the OHA Small Rural Hospital committee and the Northern Teaching Hospital Council.

Cynthia is a resident of West Nipissing, holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree and a Master’s in Health Care Administration degree (MHA). From 1988-2003, Cynthia held various front line positions as a Registered Nurse, was an educator in the Diploma Nursing program and developed, implemented and coordinated the hospital’s Telehealth (OTN) and Diabetes Education programs. Cynthia has been an educator, practitioner, and community resource to various constituencies at a local, district, and provincial levels.

Cynthia is married with three children and enjoys downhill skiing, gardening and traveling.

Tina Halvorsen (Member)Michelle Brouillard (Board Chair)

Michelle joined RBC directly after graduating from Laurentian University. Over the last 27 years she has had the pleasure of working throughout North & Central Ontario, in locations ranging from Fort Frances, her hometown of Sault Ste. Marie, to Barrie, Huntsville, North Bay and most recently as the Branch Manager in Sturgeon Falls. Almost as varied as the locations she’s worked at, are the roles she’s worked in.

Michelle has always believed that together we can make a significant difference in the betterment of our communities, through one small act of kindness at a time, coupled with thoughtful action.

Everyone knows that the heart of a community’s well-being is the local Hospital, and the quality of care that is provided. Michelle feels very privileged to be part of such a progressive Foundation whose core vision is to assist our local Hospital in the provision of excellent healthcare to all of our local residents.

Alexandre Laferrière (Vice-Chair)

Alexandre holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) and a Bachelor of Commerce with a specialization in finance both from Laurentian University.

Since 2015, Alexandre has progressed through various roles within the financial service industry. He is currently the Assisted Operations & Transactions Manager at Caisse Alliance for the Nipissing Central Region where he manages a team of frontline professionals. Previously he was a Commercial Account Manager at Caisse Alliance in Sturgeon Falls, where he helped entrepreneurs achieve their objectives by preparing an integrated service offering in order to assist in the growth and development of their businesses.

Alexandre has always been an advocate for the well-being of his community through his passion for helping others.

Neil Fox (Treasurer)

Neil was born and raised in Levack, Ontario and is a graduate of Laurentian University with a degree in Canadian Studies. Over an 11 year career in the private sector, Neil held several marketing roles with Imperial Tobacco Canada Ltd. working in sales, brand management and Strategic Planning.

His family has been summering at their camp near Garden Village on Lake Nipissing since 1972.

Neil currently is the General Manager of Economic Partners Sudbury East/ West Nipissing Inc. with a primary focus on Regional Economic Development. This program is funded through FedNor. Neil and his family enjoy all of Northern Ontario’s outdoor and cultural activities.

Collin Bourgeois (Board of Directors)Collin Bourgeois (Board of Directors)

Collin Bourgeois is well known as much for his volunteer work as for his humanitarian efforts. He holds a diploma in Funeral Services from Humber College of Applied Arts and Technology (1979) and was awarded an honorary diploma in Health Sciences from College Boréal in 2014.

He has served as General Manager of a most successful funeral home in Sudbury for 21 years. He is presently Chair of the Board of Directors of the West Nipissing General Hospital, was the founding Chair of the West Nipissing Community Health Center, and was elected mayor of the Municipality of French River in the fall 2006 elections.

Collin Bourgeois has a strong sense of civic responsibility and feels compelled to help others around him, and he invests this same commitment to others in his work. As a funeral director at Théorêt-Bourgeois Funeral Home in Sturgeon Falls, he works to appease the suffering of families living through a difficult time. According to Collin, when families feel confident their Funeral Director will take care of all the details, that lightens their burden: that’s why a Funeral Director who is reliable and sensitive to people’s needs is so important.

Tina Halvorsen (Member)Tina Halvorsen (Member)

Tina was born and raised in the small town of Warren with generations of her family being in retail, she loves the people atmosphere and volunteering her time. While raising her son she was on the minor hockey as well as the school committees. She also volunteers at many local events.

Tina and her husband donated part of their land and many hours of their time out in Kipling years ago to build a pond for the ministry of natural resources and the West Nipissing Hunters and Anglers, to help raise fingerlings of pickerel to re-stock our local lakes. Her enthusiasm and energy has brought her to join the WNGHF in hopes to help out with many of our local events. Tina is currently the General Manager at the Comfort Inn, from the time it was being built, she dedicated her time to the project and now her staff and guests.

Marcy Lemieux (Member)

Marcy’s experience in working with a cooperative movement for the past 33 year, has certainly allowed her to develop the abilities required to become a member of our foundation board. She moved through the ranks of Caisse Populaire, starting as a teller to become the Regional Manager of Caisse Alliance Centre de services de Sturgeon Falls in 2018.

Her professional experience and knowledge in several of the key areas required for the role of a board member demonstrates her ability to contribute to the success of the West Nipissing General Hospital Foundation. She believes in the importance of this Foundation and her passion and eagerness  to contribute to the board, show her dedication to the community. She believes in the importance of being able to provide excellent healthcare to all of our local residents.


Diane Jenner (Member)


Robert Pilon (Member)


Mary Willemsen (Member)


Christine Lalonde (Member)

Dr. Lalonde recently graduated with her Ph.D. in biomolecular sciences from Laurentian University in 2020.  She currently holds a post-doctoral fellowship that is conducted at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine and lectures weekly at Nipissing University.  Dr. Lalonde was born in rural Newfoundland and obtained a BBA from Memorial University while serving as a municipal town mayor in the southwestern town of Rose Blanche.  In 2010, she relocated to Northern Ontario to Nipissing First Nation where the community culture reminds her of her own roots–invested in helping one another.   Community service has always been a priority in her life–believing that those who can donate their time to planning and executing services have the ability to create real change–and the local hospital provides necessary physical and mental health services that are, without argument, pinnacle to the wellness of West Nipissing region.