Lisaard House / Innisfree House

Meet our Team

Andrea Binkle, RN, MA
Executive Director

Andrea is a Registered Nurse with over three decades of experience and holds a Masters of Arts (Leadership) from University of Guelph.  Andrea has worked in the areas of acute care, home & community care and long-term care.  She has been instrumental in the development of the Waterloo Wellington Hospice Palliative Care Program and has supported provincial hospice palliative care system design and development with the Ontario Palliative Care Network.  Andrea has held leadership positions with Victorian Order of Nurses and Community Care Access Center in the Waterloo & Wellington Counties.  Andrea also is a an Associate Professor at Conestoga College in a nursing program.  Andrea is currently a Director on the HPCO Board of Directors and the co-chair for the HPCO Annual Conference. 

519 208 5055 ext. 266


Jo Ann Barber
Director of Operations

Jo Ann has over 35 years of administration experience. Jo Ann’s family experienced the amazing care and compassion provided by the staff and volunteers during her father-in-law’s final weeks at Lisaard House; prior to joining our team in 2012. Her portfolio includes operations management, payroll, kitchen staff and volunteer program. One of her favourite quotes: “I can do what you cannot do and you can do what I cannot do. Together, we can do great things.” – Mother Theresa

519-208-5055 ext 254

Maria Empringham, RN, CHPCN(c)
Director of Care

Maria has dedicated the past 12 years to providing and promoting exemplary end of life care as a Registered Nurse and Clinical Resource Nurse at Lisaard and Innisfree Hospice.  Serving now as the Director of Care, Maria oversees the Frontline Clincial Staff, Clinical Resource, and Psychosocial programs. Maria works with our community partners and is the lead for the accreditation process through Hospice Palliative Care Ontario.

519-208-5055 ext 216

Gillian Shane, RN, BA, CHPCN(c), CVAA(c)
Clinical Resource Manager

Gillian is a Registered Nurse with over 25 years experience in practice both in Canada and the USA. She has worked in the hospital and community setting providing Palliative Care. Gillian oversees the Resource Nurses, Staff Education, Clinical Student Placements, Hiring and Orientation.

519-208-5055 ext 265

Heather MacCuaig, B.S.W, R.S.W : Social Worker

Heather MacCuaig, B.S.W, R.S.W, APHSW-C
Social Worker

Heather MacCuaig is a Registered Social Worker and previously worked in the Oncology and Palliative Care Program at Cambridge Memorial Hospital for 20 years. Heather has taught in the Palliative Care Certificate Program at Conestoga College and is currently an Associate Clinical Professor at the Michael DeGroote School of Medicine, McMaster University.

519-208-5055 ext 257

Gord Alton, MDiv RP Supervisor-Educator (CASC)
Spiritual Care Provider

Gord is a certified Supervisor-Educator within Canadian Association of Spiritual Care (CASC), a certified member of the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario, and an experienced trained spiritual director and Mennonite pastor for over 20 years.    Gord is a founding member of the AIDS Committee of York Region where he led an AIDS Support Group in his church and worked as a psychospiritual therapist to palliative care and mental health clients for the Community Care Acess Centre of York Region for nine years.  During the past three years, as part of his training to be a certified CASC Supervisor-Educator, Gord has supervised and trained Master students in psychospiritual therapy in settings such as long term care homes, hospitals, churches, correctional centres, etc.  He has and continues to facilitate a faith-based mental health peer support group for 6 years and in the past year leads monthly small groups on personal spiritual growth and development.  Gord knows personally the path of intense grief  from saying goodbye to both of his hemophiliac brothers who died in the 1990’s from HIV/AIDS.

519-208-5055 Ext 264

Greg Cressman : Bereavement Coordinator

Greg Cressman RN, BScN, MSc, CHPCN(c)
Bereavement Coordinator

Greg is a registered nurse whose main focus for over 20 years has been the provision of palliative care. He has worked as a Visiting Nurse, and as a Clinical Nurse Specialist at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Hamilton. Greg has a Master’s degree for which he published narrative research on Alternate Level of Care. In 2015, he and his family moved from Hamilton and he is pleased to serve this community in his role as Bereavement Coordinator.

519-650-1121 ext 214

Debbie Martins
Operations Assistant

Debbie has been part of the  Lisaard and Innisfree Hospice team for 11 years.  Beginning as a Personal Support Worker in 2009 she worked closely with residents and their families through their end of life journey.  Debbie has now transitioned into an administrative role as our Operations Assistant.  Debbie manages Payroll, Clinical Schedules, Maintenance and day to day operations of both houses.

519-208-5055 ext 219

Cara Duncan
Volunteer Coordinator

Cara came into the Volunteer Coordinator position in October of 2018 after graduating from McMaster University with a Bachelor of Arts in Health Studies and Gerontology. She has been an active volunteer since childhood and wanted to combine her passion for hospice and palliative care with her appreciation for volunteerism. In her role, Cara oversees our “House Volunteers” at reception, in the kitchen, in facilities maintenance, laundry, gardening, and more.

519-208-5055 ext. 258

Sarah Ainsworth
Finance Assistant

Sarah began her journey with Lisaard and Innisfree Hospice as a Volunteer for 7 years.  With her background in the banking industry, Sarah volunteered with the finance department processing tax receipts and bank deposits.  In her role as Finance Assistant, Sarah processes donations, income tax receipts and banking.  Sarah also works with the Development and Operation departments.

519-208-5055 ext. 256


Susan Harvey, RN, CON(c)           Susan Flemming, RN, CHPCN(c)              Christina Kropf, RN, BScN

Clinical Resource Nurse Team

This team is made up of experienced palliative nurses who demonstrate clinical expertise, knowledge and professionalism to help coach and mentor our clinical staff. Under the direction of the Clinical Resource Manager, the resource nurse team facilitate resident intake, placement, and works to ensure a smooth transition of residents to the hospice. This team facilitates strong working relationships between our residents, families, inter-professional team members and community partners.

519-208-5055 ext. 253

Meghan MacMillan, MMT, BMus, BA
Music Therapist

Meghan is an accredited music therapist with over 5 years experience supporting those experiencing end-of-life, trauma, and mental health needs in the region. Meghan has a masters in music therapy from Wilfrid Laurier University and is a supervisor for their undergraduate music therapy program. In her role, Meghan provides physical, emotional and spiritual support to residents and their families through music based practices.

Michelle McKinnon, BA, MSW, RSW, CH
Family Time Group Therapist

Michelle McKinnon has a Master of Social Work degree and also completed a comprehensive Grief and Bereavement Certificate as well as an advanced certificate in Clinical Hypnosis. For over 23 years, she has worked in a variety of settings with a focus on mental health and grief and bereavement.  She founded and operates The McKinnon Centre, a private practice, for the past 13 years.  She has been the Family Time group therapist at Lisaard and Innisfree for 13 years, since its inception.  Her passion for grief and bereavement rose out of significant personal losses both as a child and adult which resulted in a keen interest to assist others.