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Our Board

Under the leadership of our committed Directors, the Twin Oaks/Birches Health Care Charitable Foundation strives to provide for the care and comfort of patients and residents of our facilities.


We are grateful for the support and guidance of the current Board Members:


Linda Verlinden - Board Chair

Linda has been the Twin Oaks/Birches Health Care Charitable Foundation’s Chair since 2018 and has been a board member for the past two decades. Linda has worked in healthcare for the past 42 years. After she and her husband, John, moved their family to Nova Scotia in 1986, she volunteered with the Central Regional Health Board, Girl Guides of Canada and Twin Oaks Memorial Hospital. After working the Hospital Supper, Linda joined the Twin Oaks Hospital Auxiliary. Linda’s work career included the tri facilities (Twin Oaks Hospital, Eastern Shore Memorial Hospital and Musquodoboit Valley Hospital), The Birches and finally Northwood. She and John are parents of two daughters and grandparents to two great kiddos.


Nicole Rafuse - Board Treasurer

Nicole joined the Twin Oaks/Birches Health Care Charitable Foundation as Treasurer in October 2021. Nicole has been a resident of the Eastern Shore her whole life. Nicole grew up in Clam Harbour, was a graduate of ESDH and graduated from the NSCC Business Administration program with a concentration in Accounting. She has 15+ years experience in bookkeeping. Nicole resides in Ship Harbour with her husband and three children who all enjoy spending their free time making memories camping. 


Rick Anderson - Member-at-Large

Rick has been a Member-at-Large of Twin Oaks/Birches Health Care Charitable Foundation for several years. He is currently the Chair of the Board of Directors for the Birches Nursing Home and a member of the Board for Ocean View Continuing Care Center. Rick is a ‘come from away’, has married Carol Snow (a Cape Bretoner) and has lived in Head of Chezzetcook since 1993. He is retired after working in the Human Resource and Labour Relations fields with the City of Ottawa, the Nova Scotia Workers Compensation Board and most recently with the Department of Health and Wellness. Rick is also currently appointed as a member of the Nova Scotia Labour Board.

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Ellen T. Crumley - Member-at-Large

Ellen has been a Member-at-Large of Twin Oaks/Birches Health Care Charitable Foundation and managed the Facebook page since 2017. She lives in Porters Lake and is a consultant. Ellen co-managed the website overhaul. She has over two decades of healthcare experience in Alberta, Manitoba and Nova Scotia as a professor, researcher, consultant and volunteer in academia, health authorities and clinically. With Nova Scotia Health, she is an Affiliate Scientist (Research) and on the Medical Assistance in Dying Advisory Committee. She also serves on NS Health’s: Fast Feedback Team, Pharmacy Research Advisory Group and Surgery Strategic Network. Ellen is an Associate Scientist with the Maritime Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research SUPPORT Unit and teaches with HealthCareCAN. Ellen is an avid hiker, kayaker and biker and you will often see her on our local trails.


Lee-Ann Conrod - Member-at-Large

Lee-Ann has been a Member-at-Large of the Twin Oaks/Birches Health Care Charitable Foundation since July 2021 and co-managed the website overhaul. She is originally from the Eastern Shore and now lives in the Porters Lake area. Lee-Ann works full-time as a lawyer in Halifax. She is also appointed to two adjudicative tribunals for the Province of Nova Scotia. In her free time, Lee-Ann volunteers with the Canadian Bar Association, Law Foundation of Nova Scotia and mentors law students through the Schulich School of Law Weldon Mentorship Program.


Ross E. Finlay - Member-at-Large

Ross Finlay was a Co-Founder and Director of Atlantic Canada’s First Angel Network Association. He was also a Founder and Director of the Aurora Angel Network as well as a member of the Investment Committee of the IDEA Venture Fund, both in Puerto Rico. Ross has helped form many angel investment groups in the U.S. and Canada and has developed and taught angel and entrepreneur education programs around the world. He is a recognized international speaker, facilitator, business planner, and strategic change advisor who has an extensive background in public, private and not-for-profit sectors.  


Ross is past-Chair of the National Angel Capital Organization (Canada) and is a past director of the U.S. Angel Capital Association.  He is also Vice-Chair and Lead Instructor of the Angel Resource Institute. He was president of a national business consulting firm. He also worked for PwC and a Halifax tech start-up. Ross has extensive business networks worldwide and has written as a regular columnist for Atlantic Business Magazine and Progress Magazine. He also contributed to the  book “Angels Without Borders – Trends and Policies Shaping Angel Investing Worldwide”


In 2002 Ross was a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Medal for outstanding community service through his efforts in numerous charities including United Way, Heart & Stroke Foundation, Halifax Dance, YMCA and the Twin Oaks/Birches Charitable Foundation.


Linda Gaetz - Member-at-Large

Linda has joined the foundation as of January 2023. She has lived on the Eastern Shore for 50 years now, living in Musquodoboit Harbour. As a teenager, Linda volunteered every summer at the hospital suppers. When she became a mother of two, Linda continued her volunteer service for many years with the Boy Scouts and Girl Guides of Canada. Linda is a licensed personal lines Insurance broker and now (as her children are adults) has 3 granddaughters. 


Marny Warner - Member-at-Large

Marny has been a Member-at-Large of the Twin Oaks/Birches Health Care Charitable Foundation since July 2021. She has 3 decades of experience in long-term care. Marny was an employee at the Birches Nursing home providing hands on care as well as managing the recreation department for 20 plus years. Marny has many years experience with Alzheimer’s care and is also a facilitator for The Alzheimer's and Dementia certificate program with. She has been living on the Eastern Shore for forty years, raising a family of four who also continue to live and work on the Eastern Shore. Since retirement, Marny and her husband Bruce enjoy spending time with their family, including their eight grandchildren. 

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