Debbie Dunwell – Founder/Executive Director

  • Fourteen years experience developing volunteer programs/ recreation programs for elders, persons who were palliative and long-term residents/patients in Hospice, Hospital and a Senior Care Facility.
  • Nine years of mentoring and conducting personalized training for volunteers to give them the best tools to carry out the work they would be required to do.
  • Volunteered for over a year as a patient advocate with a non-profit advocacy society before accepting the position of contract Executive Director.
  • Presently volunteers with a local senior facility as a visitor and volunteers with Dementia Friendly Okotoks.
  • Organized entertainment and volunteers for four successful Gala’s and many fund-raising events while at hospice.

Training and Certificates:

  • CCVA (Volunteer Management Accreditation)
  • Palliative Care Certification through AHS
  • Spiritual and Bereavement Care Certification
  • Elder Care and Dementia Care Certification through Mount Royal University,
  • Best Friends Dementia Certification through Alzheimer’s Society.
  • Best Friends Train the Trainer Certification.
  • First Aid / CPR Certification
  • Feed Assist/ Wheelchair Safety Training
  • Patient Advocacy Training
  • Patient and Family Centered Care Training
  • Leadership Training through hospice and AHS.

Past Committee Work:

  • South Health Campus Community of Practice for Palliative Care
  • COACT – Quality Council
  • South Health Campus Staff Advisory Team/Leadership Council
  • Foothills Country Hospice Committees (Ethics, Accreditation and Gala, Fund development)       

Simply Compassion Advocacy Society Board

Cayley Cooper – Board Chair/President

Medical Clinical Manger who brings 12 years of experience with training in (Health Team Effectiveness, Access Improvement Measures, and was involved in Privacy Impact Assessments). Personal and professional experiences with palliative care and health care issues that her family and patients have faced.  

Deb Brown – Marketing Chair

Entrepreneur with many years of experience of marketing, operating a successful business and personal experiences with family members experiencing dementia.

Teresa Taylor – Advocacy Chair

“I love volunteering for SCAS. My seniors have taught me so much about life. They are resilient, funny, kind people who are so willing to share their story with me. I feel so incredibly lucky to be part of this organization.”

Colinda Selby – Secretary

21 years experience in Customer Service, Project Management, and business/ Administrative experience. Extensive experience in expediting outcomes, delivering outstanding customer service and building relationships with internal and external partners.  

Tammy Mcgovern – Treasurer

Entrepreneur – Many years of experience with bookkeeping and marketing. Extensive personal experiences caring for friends and families who were palliative. 

Laurie Michaelson – Member at Large

LPN/ paramedic with 21 years of work experience in Palliative Care with expertise in Elder Care. Has personal and professional experience in dementia and palliative issues. 

Thelma Morton – Member at Large

Many years experience in business and currently works for the police service. Training and experience in palliative care, bereavement and many years of volunteer experience in hospice. 

Meet our Volunteer Senior Phone Companions!

Carrie-I love to make a difference in the lives of others.  I feel that seniors are such an important part of our world.  They have so much life experience and wisdom to offer to others.  I consider it a privilege to visit with seniors that live within my community.  I cherish our time together.”

Katy – I started volunteering for Simply Compassion because the thought of anyone, especially seniors, alone with no one to talk to or to visit them, was heartbreaking. It has turned out to be one of the most rewarding things I have done.  My hope is that all seniors know that there are people out there that want to help them and that they don’t have to be alone. I truly hope I have made a difference in these seniors’ life’s, as I know they have in mine.

Krista – I have found that people throughout covid especially love to interact and sometimes have no one to interact with. I no longer have my grandparents; I use to love listening to their stories. So, having a senior to call gives them company and me great stories to listen to. I find that I connect very well with seniors and it feels like I am doing something great for our community.

Abby – Volunteering with SCAS has been extremely rewarding. It has been amazing to connect with a senior who has so much to share, I feel as though I have learnt so much through my time with my senior.

Kathryn – I have always enjoyed the company of seniors and have many positive memories as a very young girl visiting seniors and spending time with them.  Now having the opportunity to meet my new senior friends over the phone has been a very rewarding experience. I hope they enjoy our calls as much as I do!   I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to volunteer with Simply Compassion.