Meet the Board
Chair : Lynne Kaiser
Lynne Kaiser is the Administrative Assistant at SAFFRON Centre (Strathcona Sexual Assault Centre) as a paid position and a prolific volunteer with many organizations in the Edmonton region (altView, Alberta School Councils Association, Edmonton Pride Festival Society, Basset Rescue Edmonton, and more). Lynne has a passion for helping people, giving back to her community, and lifelong learning; therefore becoming a Psychology student seemed like the right direction for her to go. Through Lynne’s involvement with Alberta Education she has been an advocate for wrap around services in Alberta schools, and greater education around social and health issues. Lynne is also a Lion’s Club member and lives their motto “We Serve”.
Why Lynne is a Hero for Zero: “I volunteer with HIV Edmonton to show the community how much I value this organization, how important the work is. Knowing that HIV Edmonton started as an idea around a kitchen table and grew into this supportive and educational organization is inspiring, I want to be involved and inspire others.”
Vice Chair: Jose Tovillo
Jose is a Registered Nurse with years of experience in different settings including Emergency Medicine, Psychiatry, and Geriatrics. He began his Ph.D in Nursing in 2018 and is working as an Emergency RN at the Royal Alexandra Hospital as well as a faculty member at MacEwan University-Department of Nursing Science and a Graduate Research Assistant at the University of Alberta. Additionally, he continues to be involved in community and health as a member of the Alberta Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) Research and Evaluation Operations Committee, which looks at examining the effectiveness of the PrEP Program in the Province of Alberta. My research interests are on PrEP uptake among men who have sex with men (MSM) in Canada.His desire for volunteerism and community involvement, as well as his passion for health education and promotion, led to his interest in joining the HIV Edmonton Board.
Why Jose is a Hero for Zero: “As a frontline health care provider, I work closely with patients and families who are affected by HIV. I am a Hero for Zero as I can use my voice, knowledge, and experience to help promote HIV awareness, education, and prevention- not only to individuals affected by HIV but to the Edmonton community at large. I believe all of these can help achieve the organization’s goal of “Zero new HIV infections, Zero stigma and discrimination, Zero AIDS-related deaths.”.
Treasurer: CJ De Jong
CJ is a Librarian at the University of Alberta, coordinating a number of centralized services for the U of A Libraries. Prior to and during his thirteen years as a librarian CJ has been extensively involved in association work including; founder of Pride on Campus at Red Deer College, president of the Manitoba Library Association, and most recently, chair of the Alberta Association of Academic Libraries. CJ has also been a passionate volunteer for HIV Edmonton for the past four years, volunteering at many events and helping organize the AIDS Walk, Light Up the City Red for World AIDS Day, and A Taste For Life.
Why CJ is a Hero for Zero: “I strongly believe that the disproportionate impact of HIV on different communities signals that our society continues to not support all equally. It is important to me that HIV Edmonton continues to help build those much-needed supports by breaking down barriers and uplifting their clients”.
Secretary: Morgan Wadams
Morgan is a registered nurse with a background in the penal system in Canada and currently works at the Edmonton Remand Centre. Morgan obtained his Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2015 and is now pursuing his Ph.D. in Nursing at the University of Alberta. Morgan has always enjoyed educating others, which is why he serves as a teaching assistant within the Faculty of Nursing. Morgan has received numerous scholarships such as the Alberta Registered Nurses Education Trust and the Don Mazankowski Graduate Scholarship in Nursing. Morgan’s research interests explore the lived realities of people living with HIV who have previously been incarcerated and are transitioning into and out of correctional facilities. Currently, Morgan is a fellow with Universities Without Walls, a cohort of HIV researchers that seeks to move HIV-related evidence into practice with a focus on community-based research. Morgan has served as a volunteer at HIV Edmonton and at the Nursing Graduate Students Association (U of A). Morgan’s drive for working alongside individuals living on the margin of society led him to join the HIV Edmonton team.
Why Morgan is a Hero for Zero: “A lot of people living with HIV are invisible in society – they are often neglected, stigmatized, and discriminated against because of their various labels and social positioning. As a board member, I wish to attend to these issues by working alongside HIV Edmonton and the incredible people this organization serves”.
Director : David Campbell
David describes himself as a “passionate, enthusiastic learner with an affinity for the life sciences helping others, and performance art.” David is currently a Bachelor of Science student with a specialization in Biochemistry and obtained a certificate in biomedical research. In 2016, David was part of Outreach, the queer and ally student association at the U of A and was part of planning their annual Pride Week Amateur Drag Show, one of the largest in Western Canada. David is an active member of the Imperial Sovereign Court of the Wild Rose Social Association, where he does drag performances to raise funds for local queer and allied charities.
Why David is a Hero for Zero: “Our understanding of HIV is better than ever, and with this we have an increased ability and responsibility to work toward our Vision of Zero. The programming offered by HIV Edmonton can be a game changer for people among many different communities. Educating, increasing awareness, and supporting those living with HIV regardless of the journey they have walked gives just a taste of the incredibly important work HIV Edmonton does”.
Director : Luiz Costa
Luiz is an Oral Pathologist with over 20 years of in-depth experience in Brazil’s Unified health system. He was the first dentist to assist patients, and families in ambulatory and home-care HIV and AIDS services which resulted in ultimately training teams and establishing a thorough oral healthcare public network for systemically compromised patients. He has been engaged in health, education and wellness organizations both while living in Brazil and in Montreal. Since arriving in Edmonton he began to volunteer at HIV Edmonton to contribute and provide his best knowledge and goodwill to those living with or affected by HIV in his new home community.
Why Luiz is a Hero for Zero: “I am determined to demystify misconceptions by using new approaches and preventing prejudices through education, a mission I have committed to for decades. I believe that by collaborating with HIV Edmonton I can continue my role in cooperative social labor”.
Director : Ryan Fung
Ryan recently completed a Masters of Public Health in Health Policy and Management at the University of Alberta where he previously obtained a Certificate in Interdisciplinary Leadership Studies through Peter Lougheed Leadership College. Ryan has a passion for the life sciences and contributing to healthcare. His previous research experiences include the Department of Medical Genetics at the University of Alberta and the United States Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health. His interest centers around how the use of sound evidence can help inform policy decisions to generate the best population health outcomes. Ryan who takes pride in serving members of his community, has in turn, received scholarships through both the Laurence Decore Award for Student Leadership and the Dr. Gary McPherson Leadership Scholarship for his dedication to those he serves. His other interests include being an In-School Mentor with Boys & Girls Club Big Brothers Big Sisters of Edmonton & Area, serving on the executive committee of Taking Strides Edmonton, and as a Member at Large on the Friends of University Hospitals Board of Directors.
Why Ryan is a Hero for Zero: “Individuals living with or affected by HIV and AIDS are often stigmatized and marginalized in society. HIV Edmonton’s work in providing support, development of educational resources, and frontline advocacy make me incredibly proud to serve with this organization to address the issues facing the population we serve”.
Director: Thomas Kuperus
Thomas is currently working as an experienced probation officer with the Government of Alberta. Thomas comes to HIV Edmonton with over nine years of leadership experience as a director, co-founder, and board member of Sunrise of Life, an international organization working with street involved youth in Tanzania. Tom has been an integral part of administering rehabilitative initiatives to vulnerable children in Tanzania in an effort to provide sustainable behavior change. Working within the Canadian criminal justice system, he is passionate about working with those affected by and at risk of acquiring HIV, both locally and internationally. Tom has been the recipient of the Paul Harris Fellowship through Rotary International, and the Government of Alberta Community Leadership Award.
Why Thomas is a Hero for Zero: “Working in the Justice System I recognize that reaching Zero can only be achieved through the combined efforts of many. I believe the collaborative approach of HIV Edmonton will be influential in achieving Zero”.
Director : Deborah Norris
Deborah has been a volunteer with HIV Edmonton since 1992, soon after her diagnosis with HIV in 1991. She has represented a voice of people living with HIV on local, provincial, national and international Boards whose primary focus has been support to people living with HIV. She has worked in the HIV sector as a frontline support worker, an outreach worker and an Executive Director. She brings her years of lived experience of being an HIV positive mom to two kids and an activist and advocate for people living with HIV. She believes that the voice of people with lived experience of HIV is essential to the work of all Boards of HIV service organizations. She is very excited to see the work of the agency unfold and be a part of that.
Why Deborah is a Hero for Zero: “I know first hand the importance of the work that HIV Edmonton provides. I know we will not achieve zero new infections, zero stigma and zero deaths unless organizations like HIV Edmonton are there to ensure the work continues. As a woman living with HIV, I have worked to reduce stigma in the lives of people living with HIV and to ensure they have the supports they need to live a long and healthy life. I continue to do HIV community education with HIV Edmonton and have provided education to thousands of people to ensure that everyone has access to the information they need about HIV. My mission in life is to see HIV eradicated, stigma stopped and people living with HIV to have healthy, happy lives. “
Director : Conar O'Neil
Conar is a physician and Assistant Clinical Professor with the University of Alberta’s Division of Infectious Diseases. He has a specific interest in HIV (including PrEP) and viral hepatitis and practices primarily out of the Misericordia Community Hospital and Kaye Edmonton Clinic. He studied Biology and International Development Studies and then Medicine in Winnipeg before completing residency training in Calgary (Internal Medicine) and Edmonton (Infectious Diseases). Conar is currently pursuing his Master’s of Science in Healthcare Quality and Patient Safety through Queens University. Conar volunteered for Nine Circles, a community-based HIV organization while in Winnipeg.
Why Conar is a Hero for Zero: “The privilege of caring for patients with HIV is one of the reasons I went in to medicine and I am looking forward to contributing my experience at the broader community level. I strongly believe that through these efforts we can improve the lives of people living with HIV”.