Discovering Resilience Leadership Team Members

Ken Burgess McMaster BSc MD CCFP (EM) FCFP ‘77 - Semi-retired family, occupational, and emergency physician. He has been on faculty since 1980, teaching medical students and residents. He helped found the first free –standing occupational health clinic in Canada in 1981. He was a leader in the Hamilton Family Health Team and the Ontario Association of Family Health teams. He has had a meditation practice for about twenty five years, and has attended numerous meditation retreats and mindfulness courses; Ken teaches mindfulness and, in particular, the neuroscience of mindfulness. He has completed stage one of Unified Mindfulness meditation teacher training. Since 2014 Ken has been a co-chair of the Program for Faculty Development’s Discovering Resilience Leadership Team, which has run mindfulness courses and workshops.

Erika L Caspersen BPE, Reg. Psychotherapist (qualifying), Reg. Kinesiologist, CSEP-Certified Clinical Exercise Physiologist - Dedicated to helping others discover their own capacity for healing, resilience and well-being. She is a Certified Mindfulness Meditation Teacher in awareness and compassion-based practices have received training from her teachers Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach. Erika is also a Unified Mindfulness Lead Coach. She is a Registered Kinesiologist, Certified Clinical Exercise Physiologist and Registered as a Psychotherapist. Erika has recently embarked upon her Master’s Degree in Consciousness, Spirituality and Transpersonal Psychology. She currently develops and implements health, safety and wellness programs and supports for staff at Hamilton Health Sciences.

Savinna Frederiksen MSW, RSW - Has been a social worker for 20 years including working in areas several areas of health care, mental health and addiction. Savinna is an Assistant Professor (PT) for the Department Psychiatry and Neurosciences. She is trained as a facilitator for Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy and Mindful Communication. She serves as an instructor for the McMaster University Clinical Behavioural Sciences Program for the Group Studies Course and Applications of Mindfulness for Healthcare Providers. Savinna is also a Longitudinal Facilitator in the Professional Competencies Program for McMaster University‘s Undergraduate School of Medicine. Savinna has attended, presented and co-led numerous mindfulness courses/retreats. As well she has a long standing personal meditation practice. Her wish is to support others in learning the practice of Mindfulness for the purpose of wellness and self-compassion. 

Andrea Frolic PhD - Currently the Director of the Office of Clinical & Organizational Ethics & Co-Director of MAiD at Hamilton Health Sciences, and Assistant Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at McMaster University. She has a Ph.D. in Anthropology from Rice University in Houston, Texas, including a two-year fellowship in Clinical Ethics at the University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center. Andrea’s areas of research and expertise include: ethics consultation; ethics program development; mindfulness-based interventions to promote workplace resilience; health policy and medical assistance in dying. In 2015 and 16 she was an Erasumus Mundus Visiting Scholar in Ethics at Radboud University Medical Centre in the Netherlands, studying the experiences of Dutch euthanasia practitioners. Andrea is also a freelance choreographer and dancer whose work explores on the unspoken, embodied experiences of healthcare

Barbara Smith MFA, MS Psych, RP - Barbara is a Gestalt Therapist and Registered Psychotherapist in private practice for 3 decades. She is retired from the Hamilton Family Health Team where she worked as a mental health counsellor for 10+ years. Barbara has been involved in contemplative studies for over four decades and has extensive experience in Mindfulness. She has trained in MBSR, DRAM, and Mindful Communication. She is a trained Mindful Self Compassion Teacher through the CMSC and was trained by Kristin Neff and Christopher Germer. She studied with Michael Stone, Pema Chodron, Ron Siegel and Thich Nhat Hanh. Barbara has extensive professional experience as a group leader in several modalities. She presently teaches Mindful Communication and MindfulSelf Compassion courses.

Valerie Spironello MSW RSW  - Valerie is a social worker with over 40 years of experience including working in health care, child welfare, and family violence. She has a private practice offering counselling, presentations, and workshops/ courses to support others in living well (choosewellness.ca). She has a special interest in care-giver fatigue and the impact of working as a helper. Valerie is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Family Medicine. She is a mindfulness teacher trained in: Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction; Mindful Self-Compassion; Mindful Communication; Transformative Mindfulness and Mindfulness Meditation in Clinical Practice. Valerie has attended, as well as co-led, numerous meditation courses/retreats, within a variety of sectors and has a long standing personal meditation practice. Her wish is to support others in learning about this life-changing practice.

Anna Taneburgo BSW, MEd, RSW - Teaching mindfulness to healthcare professionals since 2004.  She trained at the Centre for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care and Society, University of Massachusetts Medical School.  Since 1990, she has studied with numerous teachers from various traditions. Anna has taught several applied courses, including Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, Mindful Communication, Leadership and Teaching.  Along with teaching for the Program for Faculty Development, Anna has taught at Hamilton Health Sciences, St. Joseph’s Hospital, Joseph Brant Memorial Hospital and Halton Healthcare.  She was the Mindfulness Educator for Hamilton Health Sciences from 2013-16.  Anna also has a mindfulness-based private practice.

Diana Tikasz (MSW RSW) - Worked in the teaching and health care sector for the past 28 years.  Her work began as an early childhood educator nurturing children and their families to reach their fullest potential.  This work developed into a desire to do trauma-focused work.  Over the course of her career she has worked in ER department crisis teams, coordinated hospital based sexual assault/domestic violence treatment programs and counselling those who have been traumatized by violence. Diana has also worked in various Employee Assistance Programs where she has specialized in working with individuals who are feeling stressed by their personal and/or work life.  Diana has devoted time to providing numerous workshops to various helping professionals in the area of compassion fatigue/vicarious trauma and occupational stress because a helper’s compassion is not complete if it does not include compassion for oneself.