Elizabeth Taylor, President

Elizabeth believes in hard work, supporting those who need it most and the inevitably of change. Having served on AAROT as it evolved into ACOT and working for members nationally on CAOT, Elizabeth offers perspective. She considers the protection of the public critical, but also believes it’s just as important for the College to be in tune with its members. Elizabeth is an Associate Professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy at the University of Alberta, and focuses her energy on mental health and effective inter-professional care. She even develops and supports programs for those who live with mental illness and women and children leaving abusive situations. To Elizabeth, all is possible with Occupational Therapy: “Its potential is limited only by the barriers we put up ourselves!”

Kerstin Hurd

Spending the last 12 years as a practicing OT (including exciting experience in brain injury and stroke rehabilitation, transplants, orthopaedics and hand therapy), Kerstin was ready to make her voice heard. As a member of her community association, she quickly discovered her passion for the intricacies of board issues, the challenges of overcoming them, working as a group and collaborating with stakeholders. She plans to apply that passion and knowledge within the ACOT council while gaining a better understanding of regulatory issues and how decisions are made. “I enjoy having a voice on council and the challenge of developing new skills while being able to contribute to the profession in a meaningful way,” she says. Kerstin loves that OT is such a broad profession—providing opportunities to work with people of different ages in so many diverse settings. In her words: the possibilities are endless! 

Nancy Bochard, Public Member

Nancy holds the ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors and the Certificate in Tribunal Administrative Justice from the Foundation of Administrative Justice. Sitting on various boards for over 15 years (including a provincial government pension plan board and the Alberta Motor Association Board) she is honoured to now assist ACOT in ensuring the ongoing protection of the public they serve. “I have learned a lot about the breadth and depth of the profession, and the professionals who have chosen Occupational Therapy as their career,” says Nancy. Ready to share her board and governance expertise as a public member on the ACOT board, she’s also excited to continue her own lifelong learning journey.

Susanne Lesniak Walton, Councillor

Susanne is the Lead for Rehabilitation Services for community oncology at Alberta Health Services, and if that doesn’t keep her busy enough, running her own small paediatric private practice does the trick! Describing herself as “such a practical person,” Susanne adores the true functionality of Occupational Therapy. “We address the things that are most meaningful to people,” she says. Being part of the ACOT board provides her with desired governance experience and the perfect opportunity to finally reconnect with the OT world. 

Kent Tsui, Councillor

Kent has dedicated his work ethic to the ACOT board for two reasons: to learn more about the College and the organization he belongs to and to make a meaningful contribution to the OT practice in Alberta. His areas of practice are inpatient surgery and ICU. As a rural practitioner, Kent must also be ready to support the medicine unit, stroke, mental health, and outpatients. “What makes me passionate about Occupational Therapy is the unique lens we have towards healthcare,” says Kent. “It’s this lens that gives us a broad perspective on the person and allows us to practice in many areas not afforded in other disciplines.”

Kurt Paterson, Public Member

Kurt’s area of expertise? The fact that he doesn’t have just one! Besides serving as a public member with ACOT, Kurt is a Director with the Alberta New Home Warranty Group of Companies and has extensive prior board experience. His previous professional practice with provincial, national, and international organizations includes insurance, risk management, finance, government relations, governance, technology and education. A Commerce graduate from the University of Alberta, Kurt attained his CPA, CA designation with PricewaterhouseCoopers, is a Fellow with the Insurance Institute and a member of the Institute of Corporate Directors. His 30-plus years of business management certainly helps ACOT effectively deliver their mandate. But more than that, it’s a personal way to give back to the profession that has provided exceptional care to his family.

Louis Joseph, Councillor

To Louis, OT practice is an opportunity to be creative and innovative in problem solving: “I am able to use my clinical reasoning along with client-centred approach,” he says. What does he find most fascinating about the profession? That Occupational Therapists work with their clients in a holistic manner. This is key, considering Louis covers a broad spectrum of clients in his rural hospital and homecare work, including acute, long-term care, outpatients and early intervention. He also provides capacity assessment services under the Alberta adult guardianship and trusteeship act. While Louis hopes to see the continuous growth of Occupational Therapy as an evidence-based science, for now he is pleased to contribute to such an amazing profession through the improvement of ethical and competent services.