Atlas Institute for Veterans and Families Board of Directors Expands

The Council has been expanded to increase representation from across Canada as well as to include other perspectives from Veterans and their families

Our Board of Directors is made up of dedicated individuals who are committed to providing strength, stability and well-being to Canadian Military and RCMP Veterans and their families.

—Fardous Hosseiny

OTTAWA, ONTARIO, CANADA, Aug. 12, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ — The Atlas Institute for Veterans and Their Families is pleased to announce the expansion of its Board of Directors with the appointment of Dr. Alice Aiken, Craig Dalton , Inspector (Ret’d) Baltej Dhillon and James MacRae.

The Atlas Institute was designed to have a small Board of Directors from a governance and oversight perspective, while ensuring contribution to its day-to-day operations from the community of expertise experienced through the use of groups reference.

Additionally, Scott McLean, founding Chairman of the Board, has announced his retirement. Cal Crocker will assume the role of President and Joanne Bezzubetz will continue in her role as a board member. This brings the new board of the Atlas Institute for Veterans and Families to six.

“Our board of directors at the Atlas Institute is made up of dedicated individuals from across Canada who are committed to providing strength, stability and well-being to Canadian military and RCMP veterans and their families,” Fardous said. Hosseiny, President and CEO, adding that the increased talent, expertise and energy as well as everyone having a direct connection to the community itself in various capacities will help advance the mission of the Atlas Institute.

“I would like to thank Scott for the instrumental role he has played in building this organization and his commitment to the community as the first Chairman of the Board of Directors,” Hosseiny said, adding, “I also want the Welcome to this new Board of Directors as together they will provide the governance that continues to guide our work in this sector.

The initial board of the Atlas Institute consisted of three members who brought different skills and perspectives from the mental health sector. With today’s announcement, the Board has been expanded to provide representation from across Canada as well as an additional perspective from Veterans and their families.

Professor Alice B. Aiken, CD, PhD, MSc, BScPT, BSc, ICD.D
Dr. Alice Aiken is Vice President, Research and Innovation at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada. She is a full professor in the Faculty of Health whose research focuses on health systems transformation and evidence-based policymaking, with a focus on military and veteran health. Dr. Aiken is currently Acting Chair of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Governing Council. She was elected to the College of New Scholars of the Royal Society of Canada. She holds her ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors (IAS).

She was previously Dean of the Faculty of Health at Dalhousie. She began her academic career at Queen’s University where she founded and served as the first Scientific Director of the Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research, a unique consortium of over 48 Canadian universities and 13 organizations dedicated to research on the health needs of military personnel, veterans and their families.

She received her PhD and Masters from Queen’s University, Canada, her degree in Physiotherapy from Dalhousie University and a Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology from the University of Ottawa. She also proudly served in the Canadian Armed Forces for 14 years, first as a ship’s navigator in the Royal Canadian Navy and later as a physiotherapist.

In recognition of her leadership in military health research, she is currently Honorary Captain (Navy) of Canadian Forces Health Services Atlantic and Dame of the Order of St. George. She also received a Distinguished Alumni Award from Queen’s University, the Minister of Veterans Affairs Commendation, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, and the Chapel of the Four Chaplains Legion of Honor Bronze Medallion (USA).

Craig Dalton
Craig Dalton was commissioned into The Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery in 1990 and over a 25 year career in the Army had the pleasure of serving alongside Canadian soldiers, sailors, airmen and airwomen, as well as whole-of-government partners. , both here in Canada and abroad on operations in Cyprus, Bosnia-Herzegovina and, most recently, Afghanistan. During his time in uniform, Craig served in a wide variety of staff positions and had the privilege of leading teams from troop to formation level, including commanding the 2nd Royal Canadian Horse Regiment Artillery and 5th Canadian Division/Canadian Forces Base Support Group Command. Gagetown.

Since his release in 2014, Craig has had the opportunity to serve at all three levels of government, initially joining the Government of New Brunswick where he had the privilege of serving as Deputy Minister of Public Safety and then as as Deputy Minister of Social Services. Craig then joined the government of Prince Edward Island where he served as Deputy Minister of Family and Social Services before being appointed as Canada’s Veterans Ombudsman. Most recently, Craig has worked at the local government level as City Manager for the City of Lethbridge and in his current position as Chief Administrative Officer for the Regional District of Squamish – Lillooet.

Craig holds a BA from the Royal Military College of Canada and an MA from Central Michigan University (Strategic Leadership), United States Army Command and General Staff College (Strategy) and Deakin University, Australia (Policy) .

Inspector (retired) Baltej Dhillon, Hon. LLD., C.Dir.
Raised in Malaysia, Baltej and his family moved to British Columbia in 1983, after which they settled in Surrey. He studied criminology and, although initially interested in practicing law, he volunteered for the RCMP and acted as an interpreter so that the RCMP could communicate with recent Asian immigrants.

In 1988, Baltej decided to officially apply to join the RCMP. Although he meets all the entry requirements, he encounters a significant problem: the dress code prohibits beards and the wearing of a turban in place of the uniform hat. In 1989, Baltej appealed to the Commissioner of the RCMP, who recommended new RCMP uniform regulations that would include an RCMP turban and the ability for members of the Sikh community to keep their hair uncropped. After months of debate, the federal government announced new changes to the RCMP dress code in March 1990, including the freedom for observant Sikhs to wear beards and turbans. As a result, Baltej was able to join the RCMP, train in Regina, and then transition to active duty in 1991.

Inspector Dhillon’s career with the RCMP began in Quesnel, BC where he started out as a community service constable. He then went on to serve in other units including the Air India Task Force, the Pickton Serial Killer Investigation, the Polygraph Unit, established the first Provincial Intelligence Center in British Columbia, served as the NCO in Charge of the Intelligence Section, RCMP – Federal Organized Crime. and retired in 2019 after serving as Officer in Charge, RCMP – Operational Preparedness and Response and Technical Protective Services Section.

Inspector Dhillon received two Honorary Doctor of Laws degrees from Kwantlen Polytech University in May 2014 and McMaster University in 2021, as well as the Distinguished Alumni Award from Kwantlen Polytechnic University. Inspector Dhillon is also a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and received a Commander’s Commendation for Excellence in Policing for his working on the Pickton serial killer investigation.

He is Director of WorkSafeBC, Dan’s Legacy, Coast Mental Health BC and President of the Canada India Education Society and continues to serve in law enforcement as a member of the Organized Crime Agency of BC in the role of Manager of program – Crime Guns Intelligence and Investigations Group for the Combined Forces Special Law Enforcement Unit in British Columbia.

James MacRae
James MacRae is President and CEO of verTerra Corp., an Ottawa-based real estate development and infrastructure management company. Incorporated in 2009 by James and his late partner Judy Klenik, verTerra Corp. provides management and advisory services to public and private sector clients in the investment and delivery of real estate and infrastructure assets, specializing in public-private partnerships. Since its incorporation, verTerra has successfully managed over $1 billion in real estate projects in Canada and the United States.

Prior to establishing verTerra, James held leadership positions with national and international design and construction companies. James is an Architectural Technologist, Project Management Professional, LEED Accredited Professional and Certified Risk Management Analyst.

James is a passionate and dedicated advocate for the advancement of mental health care in Canada. James’ father, two of his uncles and both of his grandfathers were veterans and James’ sister suffered from mental illness from childhood until her death in 2018. James respects and understands the impact of mental illness about those affected by their families and the systemic challenges facing mental health care organizations. James has been an independent director on the board of the Royal Ottawa Hospital Group (ROHGC) since 2018 and served on the board of the Royal Ottawa Volunteer Association from 2009 to 2018, including a term as chair of the advice.

ABOUT THE ATLAS INSTITUTE: The Atlas Institute for Veterans and their Families was originally established as a Center of Excellence on PTSD by the Minister of Veterans Affairs Mandate Letter dated November 12, 2015 , with funding and budget announced in the March 2017 federal budget.

Fardous Hosseiny
Atlas Institute for Veterans and Families
+1 647-280-4145
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