Integrated Rural Health
The Integrated Rural Health (IRH) portfolio is led by Vice President Karen Earnshaw and Physician Executive Dr. Kevin Wasko. The geography this portfolio covers is vast and includes both the south west and south east areas of the SHA with Senior Leadership for Acute Care, Continuing Care and Primary Health Care. IRH provides rural citizens in the southern part of the province with timely access to high quality, integrated, team delivered health services as close to home as possible throughout their life span. These sustainable services will be delivered with reliability, continuity and consistency and will be accomplished by focusing on health promotion by inter-sectoral, community-designed teams. In total, Executive Leadership and Senior Leadership for Integrated Rural Health is comprised of 10 members, who are geographically located within the southern portion of the province.
Karen Earnshaw - Vice President, Integrated Rural Health
Karen Earnshaw has extensive nursing experience, having held a variety of nursing positions in Alberta prior to moving to Saskatchewan in 1991 where she continued her career in health care.
Karen has a diverse background with both frontline and leadership experience in both urban and rural settings. Recently Karen served as Vice President of Integrated Health Services and Interim CEO of the former Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region.
Karen is committed to continuous improvement and is passionate about delivering high quality health services to patients and families while improving the health outcomes for all people of Saskatchewan.
She holds a Diploma of Nursing, as well as Bachelor of Nursing degree from the University of Saskatchewan.
Dr. Kevin Wasko - Physician Executive
Dr. Kevin Wasko is the Physician Executive for Integrated Rural Health. He is based out of Swift Current and continues to work in the emergency department at the Cypress Regional Hospital. He is a graduate of the University of Calgary's Cumming School of Medicine and completed his residency in Family Medicine through the University of Saskatchewan's rural training site in Swift Current. He has also obtained a certificate of added competence in Emergency Medicine.
Dr. Wasko was the physician co-lead on the Saskatchewan Health System Transition Team in 2017, leading work in the areas of physician engagement, medical governance and the academic mandate. He also previously served as the President of the Cypress Regional Medical Association and as a board member of the Saskatchewan Medical Association. Dr. Wasko continues to be involved in teaching, as a Clinical Assistant Professor with the University of Saskatchewan.
In addition to his medical degree, Dr. Wasko holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Dalhousie University and a Master of Arts in political science from the University of Calgary.
Christina Denysek - Executive Director, Continuing Care
Christina Denysek began her career as Executive Director for Canora Home Care and has held a variety of senior leadership positions through the health system changes and within the boundaries of the former Sunrise Health Region. She was appointed to Interim President and CEO from the position of Vice President of Strategy & Partnerships, effective January 26, 2017 and with the formation of the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA), continued to support system stability and transition as Executive Transition Lead, Strategy & Partnerships.
Christina graduated from the University of Regina with a Bachelor of Administration, a Masters Certificate in Health Systems Management and a Masters of Public Administration. She is a Certified Health Executive and a LEADS Specialist with the Canadian College of Health Leaders, as well as a Certified Lean Leader.
She is a champion of the Saskatchewan Leadership Program and was an inaugural member of the teaching faculty. Through the years, Christina has been actively involved in numerous provincial health system committees. She is excited and energized to continue to contribute to improving our system and the organization’s commitment to providing coordinated quality services that are seamless, safe and patient-centred.
Jacquie Holzmann - Executive Director, Primary Health Care
As an Executive Director of Primary Health Care within the Saskatchewan Health Authority, Jacquie Holzmann will provide leadership for Integrated Rural Health in the areas of Mental Health and Addictions, Primary Health Care, Population and Public Health, Therapies, Home Care and Facility-based Services.
Throughout her career Jacquie has held a number of leadership positions, which include Interim Vice President of Integrated Primary Health Services, Director of Integrated Primary Health Services and Director of Therapies in the former Sunrise Health Region. She has worked in two provinces in a variety of rural and urban settings as a physical therapist prior to moving into formal leadership roles.
Jacquie graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy from the University of Saskatchewan. She received her Masters of Health Management from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. Jacquie is licensed with the Saskatchewan College of Physical Therapists and is a member of the Canadian College of Health Leaders. She also earned her Lean Leader Certification.
Jacquie is committed to supporting the better coordination of health services throughout Saskatchewan, improving access to services, and patient care and experiences in rural Saskatchewan.
Jeannie Munro - Executive Director, Primary Health Care
Jeannie Munro comes to her new role from her position as Vice President of Primary Health & Quality Services in the former Heartland Health Region where she was responsible for Primary Health Care, Public Health, Community Services, and Quality Service programming including strategic planning, quality improvement, patient safety, and risk management.
Throughout her 28 year career, Jeannie progressed from frontline nursing positions in acute care, long term care and public health to leadership roles including Communicable Disease Program Coordinator, Patient Care Supervisor, Manager of Communicable Disease Control – Saskatchewan Health and Director of Public Health Services.
Jeannie graduated with Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree from the University of Saskatchewan and she holds active registration status with the Saskatchewan Registered Nurses Association. She is passionate about rural healthcare and ensuring clients have access to high-quality, patient-centred primary health services.
Jacqui Kennett-Peppler - Executive Director, Primary Health Care
Jacqui Kennett-Peppler comes to her role from her position as Director of Rural Primary Health Care Services where she was responsible for all rural health services including long term care, acute care and primary health care. Jacqui has a diverse health background of 25 years’ experience in various areas in frontline Registered Nurse and leadership roles in urban and rural.
Jacqui holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from the University of Alberta and holds active registration status with the Saskatchewan Registered Nurses Association.
Gayle Riendeau - Executive Director, Acute Care
Gayle Riendeau comes to her new role from her position as Vice President of Health Services in the former Heartland Health Region where she was responsible for Acute Care, Long Term Care, Homecare and Emergency Medical Services. In addition, Riendeau also recently served as the Region’s Interim President and CEO.
Gayle has an extensive nursing background and progressive leadership experience having been employed in rural health care settings in Alberta and Saskatchewan for more than 34 years, as a frontline Registered Nurse, Director of Nursing, Care Team Manager and Director of Acute Care Services.
Gayle graduated with a Diploma of Nursing from Kelsey Institute of Applied Arts and Sciences in Saskatoon and later from the University of Saskatchewan, College of Commerce with a Certificate in Health Care Administration (Acute Care). She holds active registration status with the Saskatchewan Registered Nurses Association.
Gayle is committed to the provision of high quality, patient-first health services. As the new Executive Director of Rural Acute Care she looks forward to working collaboratively, as one, to improve the coordination and delivery of health services and patient care for those we serve.
Brenda Schwan - Executive Director, Primary Health Care
As the Executive Director of Primary Health Care and Rural Continuing Care, Brenda joins the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) from the former Cypress Health Region with a strong executive leadership background. She will be responsible for the leadership of long term care facilities in the Southwest area of the province.
In her previous role of Vice President, Continuing Care at the former Cypress Health Region, she focused her efforts on enhancing the experience of residents in long term care. Her passion for long term care has truly become a vision at The Meadows long term care facility in Swift Current. She was recognized for her efforts in winning the Premier’s Award for Excellence in the Public Service and the National Award from The Canadian Council for Public-Private-Partnerships.
Brenda is excited to work with more long term care facilities in the SHA and create a vision for continuing care throughout the Province.
Roberta Wiwcharuk - Executive Director, Acute Care
Roberta Wiwcharuk has an extensive background in health care, previously holding the position of Vice President of Integrated Health Services in the former Sunrise Health Region. As the Executive Director of Acute Care, Roberta will be accountable for the operational oversight, integration and strategic direction for the delivery of all Acute Care programming in the geographic area. She looks forward to working with and leading the team in Acute Care, as well as helping to support strong engagement and cross functional management throughout the organization.
Roberta has worked as a Medical Laboratory Technologist, X-Ray Assistant and a Registered Nurse. Her management positions include Nurse Administrator, Health Services Manager, Director of Health Services and Vice President of Integrated Health Services in the former Sunrise Health Region. In her previous position she was responsible for all Acute Care services in Regional, District and Community Hospitals, Long Term Care, Diagnostics, Pharmacy, Emergency Medical Services, Emergency Preparedness, Infection Prevention and Control and Interprofessional Practice.
Roberta graduated with a diploma in Medical Laboratory Technology and X-Ray Assistant from the Red River Community College in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She graduated with a nursing diploma from the Brandon General Hospital School of Nursing in Brandon, Manitoba and has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from the University of Saskatchewan. She has completed the Lean Leader Certification and has also completed the Saskatchewan Institute of Health Leadership Program. Roberta holds an active registration with the Saskatchewan Registered Nurses’ Association.
Roberta is dedicated to delivering high quality, safe, patient and family centered care and is committed to meeting the health care needs of the people of Saskatchewan.
Leila McClarty - Executive Director, Clinical Integration
Leila McClarty comes to her new role from her position as the Director of Clinical Integration Continuing Care Southeast and Southwest. Prior to that Leila was the Senior Director of Long Term Care and Integrated Services for the former Sun Country Health Region where she was responsible for the coordination of long term care services, patient and system flow and Telehealth Programming and Services.
Leila, a Registered Nurse, has over 35 years of experience in health care, with the last 23 years in advancing management positions. Leila has diverse project experience and enjoys leading people, projects and programs through development, implementation and change.
Leila believes in working collaboratively to achieve high quality patient directed care. As the Executive Director of Clinical Integration, she looks forward to building a team that supports improved patient experience, better outcomes and an improved clinical experience.