Teresa Evans, RN, MN – Chair
Teresa is an instructor at the Grande Prairie Regional College in the nursing department. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Keyano College in Fort McMurray. In 2004, she completed her Masters in Nursing through distance learning with the University of Southern Queensland in Australia.
As a nursing instructor, Teresa’s passion is working in medical nursing and with chronic conditions. To enhance student learning in the medical area, she realized she needed to further her own education about palliative care and how to care for someone who is dying.
In 2012, she completed a Post-Basic Certificate in Palliative Care from MacEwan University. It was then that she became involved with the Grande Prairie Hospice Palliative Care Society as a way to increase supports for end-of-life care in the community.
As Board Chair, she is excited about the opportunity to develop partnerships with other groups and organizations in the community, and to build more capacity for palliative and end-of-life care.
Teresa has spent time living in several communities across northern Alberta and has been a member of the Grande Prairie community since 1999. She and her husband, Mark, have two children.
Kristen Yaceyko – Vice Chair
Kristen Yaceyko is a Financial Consultant with Discovery Financial Group Inc., specializing in life, living, and health benefits and insurance. She has 14 years of experience in the financial field and is currently working towards earning her Canadian Financial Planners license.
After seeing her father pass away from cancer, she became aware of the need in the community to support hospice and palliative care and families who are grieving. She joined the Grande Prairie Hospice Palliative Care Society Board in 2012 and was appointed Chair from 2014-2015, and Vice Chair in 2016. As part of her role with the society, Kristen leads the successful Swinging with the Stars Gala, which raised over $200,000 in three years.
Kristen was raised in the nearby community of Spirit River and has called Grande Prairie home for the past fourteen years. She lives here with husband, Brad, and son, Nash. Kristen enjoys volunteering at community events and with local organizations. She has sat on several local boards in the past, including the Executive Women’s Institue and Advocis. She hopes to bring more awareness about end-of-life care to Grande Prairie and the surrounding communities, to ensure loved ones are well taken care of in their last moments.
Tamara Van Tassell – Secretary Treasurer
Tamara Van Tassell is a Registered Nurse. She is currently employed as a Nursing Instructor in the University of Alberta’s Collaborative Bachelor of Science in Nursing program at Grande Prairie Regional College.
Tamara graduated from the University of Alberta in Edmonton in 1996 with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Nursing. She did her final practicum in oncology and it was during that time that she discovered a passion for palliative care. She has further developed her knowledge on this topic during her nursing career and drew upon her varied clinical experiences to complete her Masters of Nursing Degree in 2009. She earned her Masters through distance learning with the University of Southern Queensland in Australia.
Tamara’s nursing career has included home care, oncology, medical/ surgical, trauma, emergency, neuro-intensive care nursing, and education.
She moved to Grande Prairie in 2001, where she has since put down her roots and is raising her family. She is an active volunteer and community member who understands the importance of capacity building for a healthier and stronger community.
Tamara joined the Society’s Board of Directors in 2012 and shares the goal of ensuring accessible high-quality end-of-life care for the Grande Prairie region.
Cate joined the Grande Prairie Hospice Palliative Care Society in 2016 after retiring from a successful forty-year-career in the health and education fields.
Growing up in the Calgary region, Cate graduated from the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology with an Honours Diploma in Medical Laboratory Technology. She spent ten years in this field, gaining a broad understanding of health care. In 1975, she accepted a position with the Grande Prairie Municipal Hospital – and Grande Prairie has been her home ever since.
After the birth of her two sons and after three years as a regional manager for the Canadian Red Cross, she accepted a position with the Academic Upgrading Department at the Grande Prairie Regional College in 1988. This lead to a fulfilling 27-year-career working with adult students returning to school to complete the academic, high-school equivalent courses needed to pursue post-secondary programs. Through this experience, she developed a passion for advocacy, a knowledge of organizational structure and policy development, and a proficiency in the development of written materials to support learning.
She has personal experience in family-centered end-of-life care with her parents and parents-in-law, as well as with other family members and friends. Through her involvement with the Grande Prairie Hospice Palliative Care Society, she hopes to assist the society in expanding the scope of education and services available to the community.
Erik Compton practices law in the areas of Civil Litigation and Surface Rights with KMSC Law. He also teaches a Business Law course at the Grande Prairie Regional College.
Erik holds a Business Degree from the University of Alberta and a Law Degree from the University of Kent (England). He was accredited by the Federation of Law Societies of Canada in 2015 and called to the Alberta Bar on July 15, 2016.
Born and raised in Edmonton, Erik moved with his fiancé, Alissa, to the Peace County in May of 2015. He has a passion for the community and is involved in a variety of different ways. He currently volunteers with the Grande Prairie Bar Association and has given lectures to the Grande Prairie Centre for Lifelong Learning, the Northern YMCA, Accredited Supportive Living Services and others. He has experience presenting on topics such as surface rights, estate planning, and employment law.
Lisa Laferriere is a Public Relations professional who has worked at Alberta Health Services (AHS) as a Senior Communications Advisor since 2010.
She graduated in 2009 from Mount Royal University in Calgary with a Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Communications, with a major in Public Relations and a minor in French. In addition to her work at AHS she has gained communication experience in the corporate, government and non-profit sectors, including work with ATCO Pipelines, Devon Canada, Alberta Environment and the Calgary Exhibition & Stampede.
Her work with AHS has helped her to develop a passion for helping others and learning about their care needs and options for care. She believes that dying with dignity is one of them and should be accessible to all Albertans.
As a board member for the Grande Prairie Hospice Palliative Care Society and a born-and-raised Grande Prairie community member, Lisa hopes to raise awareness about the importance of palliative care and help make it accessible to everyone.