About ONA
Meet the Board of Directors

Our Board of Directors comprises the Provincial President, First Vice-President and five Regional Vice-Presidents. ONA’s Chief Executive Officer serves as the Board Secretary.

Each Vice-President oversees one region which is geographically broken down by provincial districts. As an ONA member, you elect your Board of Directors, President and First Vice-President. Select your Region from the list below or scroll down to see your region’s current vice-president.

Region 1 Districts of Kenora, Rainy River, Thunder Bay, Algoma, Temiskaming, Nipissing, Cochrane, Manitoulin, Regional Municipality of Sudbury.
Region 2 Counties of Prescott, Russell, Glengarry, Renfrew, Lanark, Grenville, Leeds, Dundas, Stormont, Frontenac, Hastings, Prince Edward, Lennox, Addington, Haliburton, Victoria, Peterborough, Northumberland, Regional Municipalities of Ottawa Carlton and Kingston.
Region 3 Regional Municipality of Durham, Municipalities of York, Peel, and Toronto.
Region 4 Counties of Simcoe, Brant, Wellington, Dufferin, Haldimand, Norfolk, Regional Municipalities of Waterloo, Halton, Hamilton-Wentworth, Niagara, District Municipality of Muskoka and District of Parry Sound.
Region 5 Counties of Bruce, Grey, Huron, Perth, Oxford, Middlesex, Lambton, Elgin, Kent and Essex.

Cathryn Hoy
President/Interim CEO

Angela Preocanin
First Vice-President

Dawn Armstrong
Vice-President, Region 1

Bernie Robinson
Vice-President, Region 2

DJ Sanderson
Vice-President, Region 3

Erin Ariss
Vice-President, Region 4

Alan Warrington
Vice-President, Region 5

Andrea Kay
Chief Administrative Officer

Cathryn Hoy, RN

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President/Interim CEO
Portfolio: Communications and Government Relations / Student Liaison

Email: cathrynh@ona.org
Phone: 416-963-6991
Provincial Office, 1-800-387-5580 (toll-free) or 416-964-1979 ext. 7755

Cathryn Hoy, RN, was elected Provincial President of the Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA) in November 2021, after serving two full terms as First Vice-President. Previously, she held the position of Region 2 Vice-President on ONA’s Board of Directors, representing nurses in eastern Ontario communities.

An RN for more than 20 years, Hoy has extensive experience working in many units as a staff nurse at Kingston General Hospital, including neonatal intensive care, pediatrics, women’s health, emergency, medicine, oncology and surgery. She has also been a clinical educator.

Hoy was also formerly Local Coordinator for Local 99 at Kingston General for six years, where she gained valuable leadership experience.

Additionally, she served as Chair of ONA’s provincial Hospital Central Negotiating Team for four years, has nine years of experience negotiating grievance settlements at Kingston General, and served through four rounds of Local negotiations on behalf of her Local 99 members. She has also been a member of several Local and provincial committees, including labour-management, negotiations, return-to-work, pay equity and professional practice.

Hoy says her priority for ONA’s members is to “ensure they have a safe and quality work environment that enables these professionals to uphold practice standards in caring for Ontarians, and that they are treated with respect by government and their employers.”

As ONA President, Hoy says she is committed to helping the provincial government understand the risks nurses and health-care providers face every day in their workplaces, as well as the best practices and solutions to mitigate those risks.

Angela Preocanin, RN

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First Vice-President
Portfolio: Political Action / Professional Issues

Email: angelap@ona.org
Provincial Office, 1-800-387-5580 (toll-free) or 416-964-1979 ext. 7707

Angela Preocanin, RN, is a 31-year nurse and 20-year executive member at Local 75, St. Joseph’s Healthcare in Hamilton. Her roles included Executive Vice-President, First Vice-President and Grievance Chair.

She has served for the last two years on the ONA provincial Board of Directors as the Region 4 Representative before being acclaimed in 2021 as First Vice-President.

She hopes to leverage her leadership experience to continue advocating on behalf of ONA members provincially and within her region as a Board member.

Preocanin has worked in surgical thoracics, head and neck, urgent care and home hemodialysis.

“I’m a passionate advocate for my Bargaining Unit members and am committed to providing leadership and support for the Professional Responsibility Workload Complaint form and process to uphold the Standards of Practice,” she says.

She is also passionate about fighting for a workplace free of violence, and to that end, has served as the Joint Health and Safety Committee worker co-chair.

“I’ve had the unique opportunity to truly understand the challenges our members face as they try to provide quality care under difficult conditions,” she says.

Prior to becoming the Region 4 Vice-President, she served as the First Vice-President and Grievance Chair for Local 75. As Grievance Chair, she has received extensive experience negotiating grievance settlements through the mediation and arbitration stages.

She was also an active member of Local negotiations for 20 years on behalf of 1,600 ONA members.

Her committee experience includes occupational health and safety, hospital-association/labour-management, professional development, return to work/joint work accommodation and scheduling. She also has been the Region 4 rep on the Hospital Central Negotiating Team for several rounds.

She was the ONA nominee for an Independent Assessment Committee investigating issues in the hemodialysis unit at Humber River Hospital, was a panelist at the Joint Sector Meeting plenary session on grievance preparation and was a member of the ONA Provincial Elections Committee.

Preocanin’s education and skills in labour relations has enabled her to provide solid leadership in advocating on behalf of ONA members.

“With more than two decades of leadership experience with ONA, I am well positioned to bring my skills and unique capabilities to serve as Region 4 Vice President. I look forward to successfully representing our members with the passion and leadership they deserve,” she says.

Dawn Armstrong, RN

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Vice-President, Region 1 (Districts of Kenora, Rainy River, Thunder Bay, Algoma, Temiskaming, Nipissing, Cochrane, Manitoulin, Regional Municipality of Sudbury)
Portfolio: Human Rights and Equity

Email: dawna@ona.org
Provincial Office, 1-800-387-5580 (toll-free) or 416-964-1979 ext.7706

Dawn Armstrong, RN, is a 31-year nurse who worked in the emergency room (ER) at Dryden Regional Health Centre, Local 81, prior to joining the ONA Board of Directors in 2020.

Armstrong says working in the ER prepared her for the challenges that lay ahead in serving as a Board member.

“Organization is crucial to ensure the flow of the ER. As a regional Vice-President, there are many duties and obligations that need to be balanced daily, and that’s where being organized comes in handy. Plus, in the ER, you have to be ready for anything. In my work, I will come up against new issues and challenges every day that need to be dealt with in a timely and efficient manner,” she says.

As Armstrong begins her second term on the Board, she reflects back on her first term.

“No truer words were spoken when I said I would need to rely on my experience as a triage nurse,” she says. “When the pandemic hit, our role as Board members took on a whole different look. We went from being able to service our members in person to a virtual world that no one had experienced before. We all missed being able to connect with the membership that elected us.”

Despite the challenges, Armstrong is proud of the work accomplished with her portfolio of Human Rights and Equity in the digital format, and the recent addition of the Anti Racism, Anti Oppression initiative ONA will be taking on as an organization.

“I look forward to seeing the progression of this work and my role on the Board in ensuring its success,” says Armstrong.

“The next three years will continue to be both challenging and rewarding at the same time. As always, I am honoured to represent the members of Region 1.”

Bernadette (Bernie) Robinson, RN

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Vice-President, Region 2 (Counties of Prescott, Russell, Glengarry, Renfrew, Lanark, Grenville, Leeds, Dundas, Stormont, Frontenac, Hastings, Prince Edward, Lennox, Addington, Haliburton, Victoria, Peterborough, Northumberland, Regional Municipalities of Ottawa Carlton and Kingston)
Portfolio: Education

Email: bernier@ona.org
Provincial Office, 1-800-387-5580 (toll-free) or 416-964-1979 ext.7756

Bernadette (Bernie) Robinson, RN, is serving her third term as Region 2 Vice-President on the Ontario Nurses’ Association’s (ONA) Board of Directors. In this capacity, Robinson represents thousands of RNs and health-care professionals working in eastern Ontario.

An RN at St. Francis Memorial Hospital, Local 49, for more than 30 years, Robinson has extensive experience working full-time and part-time in all facets of this small, busy rural hospital setting, including emergency and acute care, complex continuing care, dialysis, telemedicine and the LHIN nursing clinic. Robinson also worked part-time concurrently as a community visiting nurse for several years.

She has the background to understand the challenges that face ONA members. An ONA activist since 1987, Robinson continues to be a strong advocate for her members and for the nursing profession. She has served in almost every Bargaining Unit position, including long term on the Bargaining Unit negotiating team, as a Unit Rep and as a Fiscal Advisory Committee member.

Prior to becoming the Region 2 Vice-President, Robinson served for nine years as Local 49 Coordinator and 10 years as Local Secretary-Treasurer. She also served provincially on the 2016 Hospital Central Negotiating Team, Complaints Panel, Election Panel and the 2013-14 Provincial Coordinators Meeting (PCM) Design team.

Robinson currently holds the education portfolio. In this capacity, she promotes and supports education initiatives for ONA members, and supports ONA’s Education Officers in the delivery of workshops within the region.

Robinson is also currently a Board member with the Registered Nurses’ Foundation of Ontario (RNFOO), a charitable organization that supports nursing education and research in the form of monetary awards, and she serves as the ONA Board Member on the Ontario Federation of Labour Indigenous committee.

Donald (DJ) Sanderson, RN

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Vice-President, Region 3 (Regional Municipality of Durham, Municipalities of York, Peel and Toronto)
Portfolio: Labour Relations

Email: djs@ona.org
Provincial Office, 1-800-387-5580 (toll-free) or 416-964-1979 ext.7704

With more than 17 years of ONA leadership experience, Region 3 Vice-President DJ Sanderson says he has met countless “amazing ONA front-line members” and health-care providers.

“I have witnessed the level of dedication and relentless efforts made by members to provide the best possible health care to the vast demographics they serve. Unfortunately, between employer constraints and government funding, this is not an easy task for our members,” he says.

DJ’s passion for nursing and issues impacting ONA members comes from over 20 years in health care. He started his career as an ONA activist at Southlake Regional Health Centre, ONA Local 124, by serving as a Unit Rep, then gained experience as a Grievance Officer, Health and Safety Chair, Professional Responsibility Workload Chair and Vice-Coordinator.

He was elected as the Region 3 member for ONA’s Hospital Central Negotiating Team, and has been serving as the Bargaining Unit President and Local 124 Coordinator for Southlake.

As the Local 124 Coordinator, he was in regular contact with the Ministry of Labour and assisted in three labour relations board appeals. Working with front-line members, he championed a vigorous Professional Responsibility Workload campaign in Southlake’s emergency department, which led to an Independent Assessment Committee review that resulted in nearly 30 recommendations.

In 2017, he collaborated with Southlake’s Respiratory Therapists to unionize their work force.

He has also worked with other public sector health care unions through the Ontario Public Services Health and Safety Association’s Workplace Violence Prevention in Health Care leadership working group. This group, facilitated by the Ministry of Labour and the formerly united Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (now separated into two ministries), resulted in several recommendations to prevent workplace violence.

He also contributed to the 2018 CFNU Health Care Unions’ Roundtable, and represented ONA members and presented at the International Conference on Violence in Health Care in Dublin, Ireland and Toronto.

“In my years as an ONA activist, I have come to understand the struggles members face on every shift. Nurses facing excessive workloads and practice concerns are worse than ever. ONA members exposed to physical violence and unnecessary vicious verbal assaults are a daily concern. Poor scheduling practices and excessive overtime demands place a level of stress on our membership, that few other professions would understand or experience,” he says.

“I respect and value ONA’s Vision. I am committed to members who care for people. ONA has always been a leader and driving force among Canada’s health care unions. Strong leadership is needed, now more than ever, to advocate on behalf of the members we serve.”

Erin Ariss, RN

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Vice-President, Region 4 (Counties of Simcoe, Brant, Wellington, Dufferin, Haldimand, Norfolk, Regional Municipalities of Waterloo, Halton, Hamilton-Wentworth, Niagara, District Municipality of Muskoka and District of Parry Sound)
Portfolio: Local Finance

Email: erina@ona.org
Provincial Office, 1-800-387-5580 (toll-free) or 416-964-1979 ext.7709

With 19 years of clinical experience as a registered nurse, and a lengthy history of union activism, Erin Ariss says she was never more humbled by the courage and dedication demonstrated every single day by her members throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I have been in the thick of it, shoulder-to-shoulder at the bedside during the most challenging time most of us have ever experienced in our careers. When COVID hit, I took action on behalf of my members. Their safety is my top priority,” says Ariss.

The Local 55 Coordinator and Bargaining Unit President at St. Mary’s Hospital in Kitchener, Ariss says she has organized and participated in many political action rallies in Region 4.  In June 2021, Ariss was instrumental in lead her St. Mary’s Emergency Department (ED) members in an Independent Assessment Committee investigation, where 79 recommendations were issued by the panel of experts to improve the ED.

As a Board member, Ariss says she will continue to work on behalf of the nurses and health-care professionals in her region.

“They need someone to care for their well-being just as they care for their patients, residents and clients. Quality work environments translate to great patient care,” she says.

Ariss has served in many roles as a union activist at the Bargaining Unit and Local level, including Local bargaining, grievance process and hearings, return-to-work, human rights and equity and health and safety.

At the provincial level, Ariss has been on the Central Hospital Negotiating Team and served on the Board’s Governance Committee.

Alan Warrington, RN BScN

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Vice-President, Region 5 (Counties of Bruce, Grey, Huron, Perth, Oxford, Middlesex, Lambton, Elgin, Kent and Essex)
Portfolio: Occupational Health and Safety

Email: alanw@ona.org
Provincial Office, 1-800-387-5580 (toll-free) or 416-964-1979 ext. 7708

Alan Warrington, RN BScN, begins a new level of union activism, having been acclaimed to the ONA Board of Directors as Vice-President for Region 5. His message to members is that despite unbearable workloads, inadequate resources, and immeasurable barriers, “you maintain an incredibly high level of professionalism, and this does not go unnoticed. Thank you for all you do!”

The site rep at London Health Sciences Centre, University Hospital (UH), Warrington also has served as Local 100 Coordinator, representing over 3,400 RNs and health-care professionals. As well, he was Vice-President, Occupational Health and Safety UH and was on the Local Negotiations Team for a first collective agreement at the University site.

Chair of the provincial Hospital Central Negotiating Team (2021), he has received a front-row seat to what occurs when hospital nurses and health-care professionals are underappreciated and undervalued by the Ontario government and their employers, represented by the Ontario Hospital Association (OHA).

Says Warrington, “Nurses have been hailed as heroes, but actions speak louder than words. Suppressing our collective agreement rights, offering wages that further exacerbate gender wage inequity and lead to the loss of nurses, is deplorable. We must continue to fight against regressive legislation like Bills 124 and 195, and ensure strong voices are advocating throughout our association, from front-line members, to elected ONA Local and provincial representatives, to ONA staff. I am committed to ensuring the dissatisfaction and anger of nurses are heard.”

A 2000 BScN graduate of the University of Alberta, Warrington was a member of the United Nurses of Alberta before moving to Ontario. He has worked at LHSC-University Hospitalsince 2007 and has been a proud ONA member since the unit’s certification in 2012, when they merged with Victoria Hospital RNs.

A Critical Care RN (Medical Surgical ICU and Cardiac Surgical Recovery Unit), he has also worked in mental health, cardiology, cardiac surgery and transplants, Warrington continues to be a dedicated member of the RN Local Negotiating Committee, and has been involved in every subsequent round since their merger with the Victoria Hospital RNs as a multi-site Bargaining Unit.

Warrington says that as a member of his employer’s Hospital-Association Committee (HAC), he has seen first hand how difficult it has become for ONA members to deliver ethical, high-quality patient care in view of understaffing and lack of resources.

“Professional practice and workload issues are always rated at, or near, the top of concerns for our members. It is vital that we continue to support our members, be it on the front lines with the professional responsibility process or when they are called upon for College of Nurses (CNO) investigations,” he says.

“In a rapidly changing work environment, it is paramount that our collective bargaining rights be maintained and improved upon: no concessions! With continued provincial government restraints placed on all sectors by the creation of various patient care models that put our clients, patients and communities at risk, I will advocate for the necessary budgetary supports from ONA to help our Local leaders and front-line members continue the fight for our rights.”

Andrea Kay, RN

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Chief Administrative Officer

Email: andreak@ona.org
Provincial Office, 1-800-387-5580 (toll-free) or 416-964-1979 ext. 2256

Andrea Kay, RN, a 10-year employee who came out of the ranks of ONA’s front-line leadership, has assumed the position of ONA’s Chief Administrative Officer (CAO).

As CAO, Kay leads ONA’s day-to-day staff operations, working in partnership with ONA President Cathryn Hoy, RN, who is serving as interim Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

Kay has extensive experience in health care as a front-line nurse/leader and advocate for the nursing profession, having served as Bargaining Unit President at Ross Memorial Hospital and the Local 105 Coordinator in Region 2. An RN for 26 years and a 35-year resident of Brock Township in Durham Region, Kay began her nursing career in the long-term care sector before moving to the hospital sector, where she worked for over 10 years in Medical and Emergency units at Markham Stouffville Hospital, Uxbridge site, and also for over 10 years at Ross Memorial in Emergency.

In 2012, Kay joined ONA as a Labour Relations Officer, was a staff member for the Hospital Central Negotiating Team when in the Labour Relations Officer role. She was subsequently promoted to Manager-Team Lead, Professional Practice, and then Manager, Labour Relations, for ONA’s East District Service Team. In 2021, she became ONA’s Senior Executive, Labour Relations.

Kay has been the staff lead for ONA’s strategic plan process and implementation, and staff lead for the Board of Directors’ Quality of Services to Members Committee. She also served as an Expert Panel Member for the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) End of Life and Vascular Access Best Practice Guidelines committees.

Kay represented ONA on the Nursing Homes and Related Industries Pension Plan (NHRIPP) Board of Directors, and most recently has been appointed as ONA’s observer representative on the Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP) Board of Directors.

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