The Prince George Hospice Team
Donna has been a nurse for 36 years and had an opportunity to nurse in various countries around the world. Her most memorable and life-changing experience was her work in Calcutta, where she worked in Mother Teresa’s Hospice and instructed her nuns on nursing practice. This developed her passion for providing care in a different way. Focusing on the individual and understanding that care and compassion are key elements in supporting all people with serious illness. Donna is currently the Executive Director of the Prince George Hospice Society. She has been in that position since January 2015. Donna is the current president of the BC Hospice Palliative Care Association and is a Director on the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Board.
Donna and her husband Frank have enjoyed living in Prince George with their two teenage children Mary and Liam
Shawn Smith has served as the Program Director for the Prince George Hospice Society since May of 2019. As such, he oversees the operations of Rotary Hospice House, Hospice’s Grief Support Programs, and its Volunteer Programs. This position also provides leadership for building expanded community outreach, including engaging partners, enhancing programs, and serving communities.
Shawn has worked for the past 33 years in a variety of community service organizations across Canada for municipalities and provincial agencies. Prior to joining Hospice, he worked for several health care organizations, most recently as the Regional Manager of Risk & Compliance for Northern Health. Among his other professional roles, Shawn has held leadership positions in systems development and improvement, community protection and planning, program development and as a specialized technical expert.
Shawn’s educational background includes a Bachelor of Arts from Western University, a Masters of Education from Yorkville University, a Certificate in Risk Management from the University of Toronto, Certification from the Global Risk Management Institute, Certified Municipal Manager from Ontario Municipal Management Institute and a number of other certifications related to Lean and safety.
In his professional life, Shawn is committed to ensuring the best possible care and services are provided to Hospice guests and their families at their time of transition and grief. Away from work, he takes as many opportunities as he can to get outdoors and active with his family, regardless of the season.
Anika grew up in Williams Lake and moved to Prince George to attend UNBC where she completed a degree in Anthropology. She then decided to pursue her accounting designation and completed the Certified Management Accountant program in 2015. Her career started as an Accountant in public accounting and then moved into the forestry sector as the Financial Controller for a local company. She has a broad range of experience in business and accounting and strives to lead her team with integrity, collaboration and encouragement.
Anika has friends and family members who have been touched by Hospice and has seen the positive impact it can make in a difficult time. She is very proud to join the team and support the initiatives set out by the Prince George Hospice Society.
In her spare time, Anika enjoys reading, baking, painting, or spending time outside gardening and relaxing with her pets.
Volunteer Coordinator / Project Manager
Britney started as a volunteer Rainbows Facilitator in 2016 and is currently the Volunteer Coordinator/Project Manager for the PGHS. She facilitates Volunteer Recruitment and Retention and manages Community Projects. Britney is compassion-focused and driven to positively impact her community and enhance the lives of those around her. She has extensive experience working and volunteering with children and youth in Prince George. Various roles included assisting with youth program enhancement and delivery at the YMCA of Northern BC, Behavioural Intervention with children on the Autism Spectrum, and currently a Mentor and Board Member with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northern BC.
By attending one of Canada’s best small universities, Britney has earned her Bachelors of Health Sciences and Certificate of Occupational Health and Safety from UNBC. Growing up in Prince George, she enjoys exploring Northern BC by hiking, canoeing, skiing, biking, and snowshoeing. She recently discovered what makes PG unique is its community, its people’s remarkable support for those in need.
Special Events & Dream Home Lottery Coordinator
Sandra is part of the Fund Development Team and has been with the Prince George Hospice Society since April 2019. With over half of our annual operating budget coming from fundraising, there are many areas this team works to raise those funds. Sandra is part of many of those fundraising areas but concentrates primarily on the Hospice Dream Home, which is the Hospice’s biggest fundraiser of the year. Sandra is immensely compassionate and it shows through in everything she does. Her drive and passion for her work have grown the Dream Home Lottery to what it is today.
Sandra has joined us with a background in customer service, event planning, fundraising, and media relations. Sandra is a dedicated community volunteer focusing on events and groups that advocate and enhance the lives of others. Sandra is currently a member of the Prince George Road Runners, where she is the organizer of Beat the Bugs Trail Race as well as a part of Wheelin’ Warriors of the North that supports the Ride to Conquer Cancer. Beyond volunteering, at all moments possible, she loved getting out exploring Prince George by hiking, snowshoeing, and biking!
In her many years of involvement with Hospice, Denise has had hundreds (probably thousands) of conversations about death, dying, loss and grief. She says that people that she has been in conversation with have been her teachers. She is honoured that she has been entrusted with their stories.
Denise works in RHH supporting the guests and their families, she works in the community, connecting with caregivers and people with life-limiting illnesses – bringing support and comfort to our community members. She is a facilitator of our support groups – Coffee for the Caregiver, Tea Time for the Soul, Grief and Grub for Guys and our newest group, grieving the loss of someone from an opioid overdose.
She is passionate about creating spaces for people to grieve and to feel safe while going through the experience.
In her off time, Denise is a mother and wife, an author, a coach and a workshop facilitator for women based on the book that she has written.
Grief Support Coordinator
In 2013 I watched my mom die – quite unexpectedly – suffering a stroke after a simple surgery to repair a broken leg. We had lived through a tumultuous relationship our entire lives and yet the depth of grief I experienced afterwards was both unexpected, and to be honest, surprising. It was only after I had attended training in the Grief Recovery Method that I experienced true peace of spirit; it was also when I fell in love with grievers.
I’m passionate about coaching and guiding, men, women, children, and families through the issues of grief and the complexities of life’s transitions. Here at the Prince George Hospice Society I have found an environment where both reverence and laughter is found and where every single person – guest, family, or friend – is welcomed warmly and kindly and treated with both dignity and respect.
And I am thrilled to be a part of it.