Aurora Team: Addiction Treatment Staff

Our interdisciplinary team of professionals, dedicated support staff and consultants all bring their expertise to treatment at Aurora. Whether it’s a clinical staff providing evidence-based modalities, a chef practicing their artistry with food or a maintenance staff tending the facility with care, we all share one goal, to provide you with a respectful, therapeutic and nourishing environment.

Many of our staff are in sustained recovery and understand the challenges that you are facing. We bring empathy, expertise and encouragement to each individual in our care. Each person on the Aurora team has been trained in best practices for effective, confidential treatment protocol.

This wonderful group of people have dedicated themselves to helping others find their way out of the darkness of addiction and into the light of recovery. Everyone at Aurora is treated with compassion and respect and we are deeply grateful to have such highly skilled, enthusiastic and kind people in all levels of our organization.

Leadership Team

Paul Melnuk: Chairman & CEO

Paul has been in many leadership positions, guiding a variety of public and private companies throughout his career. For the past 18 years, he’s been an active and successful principal investor in a number of private companies in a wide range of industries. Serving as Chairman of a 126-bed addiction treatment center in the midwest introduced him to recovery centres. Paul’s personal dedication to addiction recovery began many years ago with his own journey from the destruction of alcohol dependence to the liberation of recovery. He is committed to helping individuals and their families experience the miracle of their own personal recovery. We are so grateful for his dedication to Aurora.

Steve Low CCAC, CCS-AC: President & COO

Steve’s 30-plus years of experience is vast and spans across overlapping fields within the addiction recovery realm. His ability to connect with people has brought him lifelong relationships with treatment professionals, referral sources across all disciplines, and alumni. With a wise and collaborative leadership style, Steve has supervised and mentored clinicians and clinical teams for most of his career. His steadfast commitment to Recovery Oriented Systems of Care demonstrates his dedication to healing individuals, families and workplaces from the negative effects of addiction. We are so grateful to have such a highly respected expert leading us.

Donna Low, CCAC, Certified Satir Family Systems Transformational Therapy: Family Program Director

Donna has designed and facilitated several of Canada’s premier family programs. Her ability to bring genuine compassion to each individual she works with offers the perfect environment for healing. Donna’s dedication to bringing healing and recovery tools to families has allowed her to impact the lives of countless individuals. Those individuals  have in turn impacted their families, communities and workplaces. In addition to her education in addictions and family systems, she has also studied child and youth care. Donna has been mentored by renowned expert in addictions, Neal Berger. We are grateful to have her gifts and abilities dedicated to leading our team.

Dr. Ian S. Burron, BMR(PT), MD, CCFP (EM), Dip. ABOM, Dip. Addiction Medicine: Medical Director

Dr. Burron is certified through the Canadian College of Family Physicians in both Family Medicine, and Emergency Medicine CCFP (EM). He sits on the Shared Health Manitoba Provincial Committee on Emergency Medicine and Critical Care, The Province of Manitoba Emergency Medicine Credentialing Committee, and the workplace head injury and concussion evaluation team at WCB Manitoba. He is certified by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba in Opioid Replacement Therapy. In addition to his work at Aurora he provides his addiction medicine services to the Selkirk RAAM clinic (Rapid Access Addiction Medicine). Dr. Burron’s commitment to providing comprehensive, quality care to his patients keeps him engaged in ongoing education and devoted to achieving the best outcomes. We are grateful to have his enthusiasm, expertise and dedication at Aurora.

Dr. Adrian Hynes, M.B., FRCPC, Co-occurring Program HSC: Psychiatrist

Dr. Hynes has committed his expertise in the area of dual diagnosis of mental health and addictions to the individuals in our care at Aurora. His work at the Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg includes training Residents about co-occurring disorders and Dialectic Behavioural Therapy. He’s been described as kind, dedicated, thorough, knowledgeable and patient by the individuals he’s worked with. We are honored to have his expertise on our medical team.

Piper Deggan: Admissions Team Lead

Working in a variety of premier treatment centers, over the past 25 years, has allowed Piper to hone her ability to educate, mentor and team build. A natural leader and gifted communicator she brings expertise, integrity and compassion to her work in addiction recovery. With an emphasis on recovery oriented systems of care she has been instrumental in changing the lives of many individuals and their families. Because of her collaborative nature, Piper is able to connect people and build networks that bridge organizations and clients, creating healthy systems in the process. We are grateful to have her expertise and dedication to collaboration leading our team.

Kevin Koroscil: Spiritual Advisor

Kevin brings his dedication to wellness and supporting people on their personal journey of spiritual discovery to Aurora. His extensive work history with at risk youth honed his ability to see people’s gifts and identify where they’re out of balance. His presence is woven throughout the fabric of the centre. Whether he’s working one on one helping someone discover their own spirituality, lecturing, leading a ceremony, or tending to the sacred land, his commitment is to help all people be well. We are so grateful for the wisdom, open heart and steadfast service he provides to everyone at Aurora.

Shirley Finnbogason-Yaremus, BBA, Human Resources Management & Accounting: Finance Director/Human Resources Manager

Shirley brings years of experience managing complex systems, a commitment to excellence and a multifaceted skill set to Aurora. Born and raised here in Gimli, Manitoba, she has a deep empathy for all people and an understanding that together we rise. Her strong work ethic and loyalty have led her to leadership positions in all her endeavours. Previous work as a general manager, in human resources and financial management have honed her ability to see the big picture as well as be detail oriented. We are so grateful for the excellence, empathy and leadership she brings to Aurora.

Senior Consultants

Neal Berger: Executive Consultant, Staff Development & Training

Neal, an internationally recognized Addiction Specialist with over 25 years of experience working with hospitals, treatment facilities and professionals in the U.S. and Canada brings his expertise to Aurora. He has developed workplace and community intervention strategies to prevent or reduce the many risks associated with undiagnosed or untreated substance use disorders and mental health problems. His engaging lectures have earned him recognition for his exceptional teaching abilities. We are honoured to have him working with us.

Johanna O’Flaherty: PhD, LADAC, CEAP, Psychologist, Author of The Correlation Between Trauma and Addiction, Consultant and Keynote Speaker, Former CEO of Central Recovery Treatment (CRT), Former Vice President of Treatment Services at the Betty Ford Center, Former Clinical Director at Sierra Tucson, and Critical Incident Response trainer for airline employees, first responders, including the FBI. Johanna also works with last responders, e.g. coroners in the aftermath of mass fatalities due to gun violence.

Johanna’s work with individuals, organizations and first and last responders has informed her passion for trauma-informed therapy. Trained in depth psychology, commonly referred to as the psychology of the soul, she sees the role of a counsellor as a spiritual guide. She considers it an honour to be able to walk with people as they become integrated. Johanna specializes in working with first and last responders, with healing ancestral trauma and addiction, with critical incident stress management, with spirituality in recovery and with trauma, grief and recovery. We are so honoured to have her expertise and forward- thinking approach to treatment on our team.


We’re fortunate to have world class experts in their field provide training for our staff, as well as lectures and counselling for our patients. Here are some of the professionals who are working with us:

Allen Berger, Ph.D. Author and Clinical Director of The Institute for Optimal Recovery and Emotional Sobriety. Allen trained with two brilliant psychiatrists, Drs. William C. Rader and Walter Kempler and has dedicated his career to working with individuals struggling with addiction. His books 12 Stupid Things that Mess Up Recovery, 12 Smart Things to do When the Booze and Drugs are Gone, 12 Hidden Rewards of Making Amends, and 12 More Stupid Things that Mess Up Recovery are very popular in the recovery community.

As a nationally recognized expert in the science of addiction and recovery he’s best known for his work on integrating modern psychotherapy with the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous and for his insights into emotional sobriety. He’s also recognized for his exceptional teaching abilities working with clinicians and staff in the field of addiction recovery.

His own personal journey in recovery started in 1971, a high school dropout, he returned to school and eventually was awarded a doctorate in clinical psychology. He has presented at IDAA Annual Meetings, The Betty Ford Awareness Hours, a multitude of treatment centres and several national events including the U.S. Journal Conferences, The Foundation Conferences, FACES Conferences, the Western Regional Conference on Addictions, Cape Cod Symposium on Drug Addiction, and at several of the California Conferences on Alcohol Problems. We are honored to have him working with us.

Dr. Suzie Le Brocq: PhD, Master of Philosophy, Clinical Sexologist, Board Certified Sex Therapist, Board Certified Transgender Care Therapist, Sex Addiction Therapist, Master Practitioner Clinical Counselling, Internationally Certified Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor.

Trained in the UK, the US, and Canada, Suzie’s dedication to providing high quality care to the people she works with has led her on a lifelong journey of learning. She has devoted her career to improving the lives of the people who seek her expertise, working in Europe, North America, and the South Pacific.

Her work in other countries provided her with exposure to diverse populations, cultures, and treatment philosophies. Incorporating her life experiences, studies and countless hours working one on one has created a priceless skill set. Suzi regularly lectures speaking to a diverse group of integrative health professionals and lay people.

She is renowned for her ability to use a trauma-informed cognitive-behavioral model of therapy that focuses on the relationship between a person’s thinking, emotions, and behaviors. Over the past two decades she has witnessed remarkable changes in her clients. We are incredibly grateful to her experience, expertise and wisdom on our team.

Bryn Meadows: Master of Arts in Leadership-specialization in Health Care,
Registered Professional Counsellor, Master Practitioner of Clinical Counselling, Canadian Certified Addictions Counsellor, International Certified Alcohol and Drug Counsellor, Canadian Certified Clinical Supervisor, Canadian Addictions Certification Federation, Certified Daring Way™ Facilitator-Clinician, Certified Dare To Lead™ Facilitator, Addiction Medicine Diploma.

Despite being highly educated, Bryn identifies her greatest source of knowledge as her interactions with her clients. She practices a compassionate, humanistic and person-centered approach in her work. This allows her to respect each of her clients unique challenges, gifts and perspectives.

Bryn is a passionate and dynamic educator and consultant for several private and non-profit treatment facilities. She has shared her expertise in schools, workplaces, radio stations and A&E’s television program Intervention. Described as charming, authentic and well read, people appreciate her ability to explain complex information in an inspirational and receivable way.

Bryn’s work has taken her all over the world and provided the opportunity to work alongside leading specialists in the treatment of eating and addiction disorders. She is proud to be a Certified Daring Way™ Facilitator-Clinician and Certified Dare To Lead™ Facilitator. The work, based on the research of Dr. Brené Brown, addresses issues related to shame, perfectionism, self-worth and vulnerability. We are thrilled to have her expertise, wisdom and compassion on our team.


Cindy Bergen ~ Admissions Coordinator

Piper Deggan ~ Admissions Team Lead

Heather Hale ~ Admissions Coordinator

Candace Vey ~ Admissions Coordinator


Dr. Ian Burron,  BMR(PT), MD, CCFP (EM). Dip. ABOM. Dip. Addiction Medicine ~Medical Director

Dr. Adrian Hynes, M.B, FRCPC ~ Psychiatrist, Co-occurring Program HSC

Patty Medd, RN, BSn, BA, MSN ~ Nurse Practitioner

Sara Magnusson RPN~ Nurse

Rhonda Anderson ~ Detox Unit Supervisor

Lisa Demas, RN ~ Nurse

Vineeth Nair, RN – Nurse

Kellee Reid, RN, BN ~ Nurse

Chelsea Wall, RN ~ Nurse

Kyla Johnson, LPN ~ Nurse

Corinna Poole, LPN – Nurse


Amanda Chalmers, B.A., Professional Addiction Studies Certificate ~ Counsellor

Nicole Corriveau ~ Counsellor

Jessica Fletcher, Applied Counselling Certificate ~ Counsellor

Sarah Foster ~ Counsellor

Jennifer Hearn, BSW, ADS ~ Medical Withdrawal Management Unit Clinical Counsellor

Kevin Koroscil ~Spiritual Advisor

Grayling Malaterre, RSW ~ Counsellor

Darryl Mills ~ Counsellor

Nicole Penwarden ~ Clinical Associate

Joe Petriccione, M.Ed, LPC ~ Counsellor

Gavin Pringle ~ Clinical Associate

Aimee Schwager, BA Honours Psychology, BSW~ Counsellor

Sabrina Semrock ~ Clinical Associate

Kimberly Shaw, BA Adv Sociology, MBA, MEd Counselling Psychology, CCC ~ Counsellor

Gerry Verrier, CHR Practitioner ~ Counsellor

New Dawn Family Program

Geri Laurence ~ Somatic Experiencing Practitioner, Complex Trauma Level 2 Clinical Counsellor, Certified Mental Health and Addictions Counsellor, Compassionate Inquiry with  Dr. Gabor Mate. International Association of Trauma Professionals Masters Level.

Donna Low ~ New Dawn Program Director, CCAC, Certified Satir Family Systems Transformational Therapy.

Joe Petriccione ~ M.Ed, LPC, Addictions Counsellor, Group Therapy Facilitator.

Sonja Riddle ~ Masters of Counselling Psychology, BSW, Invitational Interventionist, Compassionate Inquiry with Dr. Gabor Mate.

Extended and Continuing Care

Steve Low, CCAC ~ Extended Care/Continuing Care

Patient Care Specialists

Patricia Fines ~ Patient Care Advocate

Johanna Johnsen ~ Patient Care Lead Support

John  Atchison ~ PCS

Tyrone Bean ~ PCS

Tara Campbell ~ PCS, Cultural Teachings

Gerry Lynne Cox ~ PCS

Sherry Gauthier ~ PCS

Edward Grant ~ PCS

Silvia Harder, BA ~ PCS

Johanna Johnsen, BA Psychology ~ PCS

Thomas Kowalchuk ~ PCS

Brianne Labossiere ~ PCS

Dave Nokinsky ~ PCS

Mark Shepit ~ PCS

Fathye Thrun ~ PCS

Reeshema Williams ~ PCS

Bailee Woods ~ PCS

Charlene Mulholland ~ Driver


Athabasca Catering ~ 100% First Nations Owned


Ashley Boychuk ~ Reception

Piper Deggan ~ Marketing / Copywriting / Content

Lisa Hancharek ~ Reception

Bernadette Koroscil ~ Accounting Assistant

Nadine Lagasse ~ Reception

Nicole Levesque ~ Reception

Anessa Wintink ~ Ward Clerk


Athabasca Housekeeping ~ 100% First Nations Owned

Larry Monforton ~ Maintenance Supervisor

Jason Nilsson ~ Maintenance