OPA Board of Directors
- Alexandre Corsi Caya, Technology
- Genevieve Jobin, Social Media
OPA Office Staff
- Julie Kricorissian, Admin Assistant
- Ciana Canci, Financial Controller
Darryl Wilton, President
Darryl was first drawn to paramedicine because it was a noble and respected profession where one could achieve many things and always help others. It was clearly a growing vocation with altruistic and clear foundational elements. Putting all the complexities of clinical assessments, invasive medical procedures and impressive medication calculations aside, at its most simplest form, the role of a paramedic was to take someone's bad day and make it better. Whether a patient was a man from the mission or the Minister of Health, paramedics have always been entrusted with giving them all the same high level of care.
Darryl is a progressive thinker, loves to innovate and he enjoys propelling the profession forward through networking, collaboration and meticulously planning calculated risks. Darryl has an immense amount of respect for paramedics who demonstrate visionary talents, natural leadership abilities and who are confident enough to take a stand in order to advocate for patients. Darryl is also a staunch supporter of professional advancement, PCP's, ACP's, CCP's, Paramedic Baccalaureate, Paramedic Self- Regulation and building associations that are 100% operated by paramedics so they can effectively advocate for patients.
Darryl graduated from the Algonquin College Primary Care Paramedic (PCP) program in 1996. He also has a background in Business Administration, holds diplomas for Air Traffic Control (which he jokes was a lot like dispatching but with altitude also considered). Darryl graduated from the Durham College Advanced Care Paramedic (ACP) program in 2003. He also holds an Executive Diploma in Municipal Management along with a number of other emergency management certifications. Darryl enjoys coordinating strike teams and task forces in order to put the diverse education, skills and talents of his colleagues to work helping our profession. Darryl wants the OPA to take the concept of "patient advocacy" and turn it into a flourishing business model that is representative of paramedics as professionals. He is also working on lobbying the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities so that the ACP program is properly subsidized as it currently requires an $18,000 investment by paramedics with little-to-no financial support nor compensation, even though ACP's improve patient outcomes and save lives.
Darryl began his work with paramedic associations after recognizing that most unions in Ontario were not directed by paramedics and therefore could not effectively advocate for patients nor engage in government relations that could effectively stand up to police or fire at the municipal, provincial and federal level. When engaging politicians, they unfortunately tend to regard unions as "self-serving" whereas they more positively recognize associations as being "community-serving". That being said, Darryl has an immense amount of respect for the six unions representing paramedics in Ontario (CIPP, CUPE, OPSEU, SEIU, UFCW and Unifor) and strongly supports their legislated responsibilities of protecting paramedics, Communications Officers, Logistics staff and support staff through collective bargaining and labour representation.
Darryl has a broad spectrum of front-line experience and has worked under various forms of paramedic practice in Ontario. He started with standby pay ($2.10/hr and $30/call). He continuously worked to progress through part-time casual positions, relief positions, temporary assignments, full time positions, education coordinator roles and acting assignments. Darryl has worked for transfer companies, event medical companies, Volunteer Ambulance Services, Rural Paramedic Services, Urban Paramedic Services and even a regional Base Hospital. Darryl is now a Superintendent of Operations with Ottawa Paramedic Service where he supports front-line paramedics. Darryl developed an understanding that although all paramedics own their college diplomas, hundreds of paramedics do not work under municipal paramedic services and therefore do not fall under any form of true medical oversight, regulation, representation or patient protection in Ontario. As we have already witnessed in other provinces, although Darryl believes that self-regulation will open the doors to opportunity and enable paramedics to work in many new occupations and environments. He also believes strongly that every paramedic should have an opportunity to educate themselves and add their voice to the dialogue.
Recognizing that associations, as registered Not For Profit Corporations, were an important facet of medical vocations, Darryl first started as a Director with the Professional Paramedic Association of Ottawa. He later became the elected president and was re-elected for more than 10 years due to his advocacy and tenacity. While in this role, Darryl spent much time strategically promoting our profession through newsprint, radio, television, film, internet, social media and a number of lobbying initiatives that advocate for patients and paramedics.
Also being a strong supporter of paramedic labour, since 2014, Darryl has been on the Board of Directors for one of the six unions representing paramedics in Ontario. The Civic Institute of Professional Personnel represents paramedics, public health nurses, accountants and other professional occupations. As part of this Directorship, Darryl also oversees the city-wide Occupational Health and Safety Committee where he advocates for 1875 members. As it is not uncommon for healthcare groups to be represented by unions and associations, Darryl has ratified provincial Bylaws to add clarity and ensure there is never any overlap in responsibilities. It is important that the OPA adheres to their mandate of "patient advocacy" so the unions can focus on their legislated responsibilities of labour representation and collective bargaining.
Darryl was also elected to the Ontario Paramedic Association Board of Directors in 2014 where he first fulfilled the portfolio of "Director of Technology & Innovation" for one year. In this role, he worked with international technology and website development experts from Canada to Asia in order to design and implement a website matrix that would bring all chapters together. The goal was to better unify members across Ontario under the vision "Paramedics: one title - one team".
Darryl subsequently became the OPA Vice-President in 2015 and began overseeing an enormous 5-year project to introduce effective communication, improved training, Policy & Governance, Business Processes, Outcome Based Management, online infrastructure, Social Media Impacts, membership increases and some massive Healthcare Campaigns. During this time, Darryl worked with his team of directors to introduce the Political Action Fund, Paramedic Legal Protection, national media campaigns and a number of new collaborations with stakeholder groups. The measurable outputs, outcomes and impacts demonstrated that the OPA was able to significantly increase memberships, sponsorships and revenue while forging new and improved relationships with decision-makers. As a result, the OPA quickly became the second-largest paramedic corporation in Ontario.
Finally, Darryl became OPA President in July of 2018 where he is continuing to work with a team of talented officers and directors to improve their corporate business model. In an effort to grow the organization, he has attracted new staff that meet our prerequisite qualifiers while encouraging our team of officers and directors to be visionary and innovative. He also wants to inspire our members, chapters and committees to actively pursue goals, meet timelines and achieve results that will mutually benefit patients and paramedics.
As we move forward, the OPA will continue to focus on being a member-centric organization. The OPA will build corporate partnerships, establishing business continuity and developing new and innovative healthcare campaigns that benefit patients. Darryl is excited to announce that the OPA remains on-schedule to complete this enormous 5-year project by 2020. The OPA is looking forward to making a number of announcements as we continue to diligently support our members, our chapters and grow not just as a Professional Association but also as a successful Not For Profit Corporation that is reflective of the diverse communities we serve.
Steve Annett, Vice-President
Helping others has always been the true vector which guided Steve to train and serve community as a Paramedic and then further his career as an Advanced Care Paramedic. Steve is honoured to admit he has been able to learn much throughout his career from the many great Paramedics he has been surrounded by.
Steve is an avid supporter of the Professional development of Paramedicine and is excited about the amazing opportunities open to the advancement of Paramedicine.
Steve brings over two decades of experience as a Paramedic and a decade serving on the Toronto Paramedic Association Board of Directors which he hopes will bring benefit to his role serving on the Ontario Paramedic Association Board of Directors.
Robert Kennedy, Secretary-Treasurer
A long-time member of the OPA, Robert comes to the Board of Directors where he has been appointed as the Interim Secretary-Treasurer.
Robert graduated from Humber College in 2004 and has accumulated a breadth of experience in both land and air ambulance environments. Currently, Robert oversees the leadership team of a NGO Paramedic Service contractor and is an active flight paramedic in Ontario's Air Ambulance System.
As an outspoken advocate and supporter, he is excited to contribute and forward the ongoing important work of our association in promoting and protecting the paramedic profession and our patients.
Vacant, Executive Secretary
Candace Brandauer, Director of Membership Services
Candace is an Advanced Care Paramedic with the City of Ottawa where she has practiced paramedicine in the Nation's Capital for more than a decade
Her interest for paramedicine dates back to her teenage years where she was involved in a severe motor vehicle collision and treated by men and women in uniform who saved her life. This event left her with a great sense of gratefulness toward fellow paramedics and made her the compassionate professional she is now, promoting and advancing the vocation that now partially defines her.
The human side of the profession led her to join the Ottawa Paramedic Service Peer Support Team where she advocates to help decrease the stigma associated with Mental Health and foster awareness of PTSI in an effort to create awareness, assist her colleagues and bring awareness to real issues faced by paramedics.
Greg Kung, Director of Policy & Government Relations
Greg brings an extensive background in politics and public policy. With over 8 years in senior positions within federal and provincial governments and over 13 years and counting on election campaigns, advocacy work and politics at the grassroots level, Greg is committed to applying his knowledge and expansive network to furthering Paramedicine in Ontario.
With his insight and proven results, Greg is determined to work with all members to ensure that the Ontario Paramedic Association has effective strategy, communications and advocacy when it comes to being heard as a critical player in communities across Ontario.
Greg is currently a paramedic in Lanark County.
Walter Tavares, Director of Research
Dr Walter Tavares has been involved in Paramedicine since the mid 1990's and has worked in practice, education and base hospital roles.
Walter is currently an Assistant Professor and Scientist in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Toronto.
He is also an Advanced Care Paramedic with York Region Paramedic Service.
Walter is also co-chair of the Canadian EMS Research Network (CERN) where his research explores education, continuing professional development and clinical practice in medical education and Paramedicine.
Mary Osinga, Director of Education
Mary was elected back to the Board of the OPA in 2014.
Being a past Director and President, Mary brings with her extensive experience and knowledge of the OPA.
Mary is currently a CCP (F) with a Master's Degree and a Professor of the Paramedic Program at Fleming College in Peterborough, Ontario.
Mary will be heading up the research and education portfolios with the OPA bringing unique educational opportunities to Association members during her tenure.
Scott Stephens, Director of Conferences
Scott Stephens has been a Paramedic in the Ottawa area for the last 20 years. He has been involved in the PPAO for the past 15 years, having served as President, Vice President, and currently advises the board as an Honourary Officer. He is also involved in the HELP Fund.
Scott is a strong supporter of peer support and mental health initiatives in particular providing a family support system.
Scott has been involved in multiple OPA Paramedicine Expo and Conferences. He looks forward to improving, expanding and creating a financially viable future for the conference to facilitate Paramedics from across Ontario to gather and exchange ideas and information.
Alex Sapone, Director of Corporate Development
Alex has been serving the city of Cornwall SD&G as an Advanced Care Paramedic since 2014. Alex is also cross-trained in the province of Quebec where he has also been serving the population of Montreal / Laval since 2009.
Alex has always been devoted to patient advocacy and patient care. As such, he has participated in helping to educate new Advanced Care Paramedics at the college level and in a clinical setting where he volunteers to be a preceptor.
Alex is looking to use his bilingualism and dedication as an asset where he can maintain and create new sponsors so that the OPA is able to fulfill its mission and vision.