Our Staff

  • Chris Summerville

    Chris Summerville, D.Min, CPRC

    Executive Director

    [email protected]

    As a family member and a recipient of mental health services, Chris has been the executive director of the Manitoba Schizophrenia Society since 1995 and has served also as the CEO of the Schizophrenia Society of Canada since 2007. He served for 6 years as a Board of Directors of the Mental Health Commission of Canada. As a local, regional, provincial, and national leader and advocate for a transformed, recovery-oriented mental health system, he has served on numerous provincial and national boards including the Mood Disorders Society of Canada, The National Network for Mental Health, Psychosocial Rehabilitation Canada, and the South Eastman Regional Health Authority. He is currently Co-Chair of the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health. Chris is committed to addressing the social prejudice and accompanying discrimination associated with mental illness. He has an earned doctorate from Dallas Theological Seminary and an honorary doctorate from Brandon University. He is a passionate supported and promoter of the recovery philosophy and of peer support workers. He is a Certified Psychosocial Rehabilitation Recovery Practitioner (CPRRP). Chris lives in Steinbach, Manitoba with his wife Carolyn.

  • Julia Hoeppner


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    Julia Hoeppner is a family member who started her career as an Outreach Worker for MSS in 2000, delivering family peer support groups and peer outreach groups in what was then called the North and South Eastman Regions. She then moved on to a Program Director position with Eden Health Care Services where she worked in collaboration with surrounding mental health and community organizations to enhance housing and community support options for those with lived experience and families. Julia is now back "home" at MSS. In her role as Director, she has been actively involved in the transformation from self-help to peer support organization, aiding staff in role definition, goal setting, identifying outcomes of peer support, and conducting peer support supervision.

  • Karen Kaplen

    Karen Kaplen

    Peer Program Support Worker

    [email protected]

    Karen's role at the Manitoba Schizophrenia Society is a Peer Program Support Worker. Karen coordinates and facilitates two groups for MSS; the Women's Program and the Peer Support Program.

    Karen has a passion for working with people who live with a mental illness. From the moment she began working for MSS in 1995, Karen found the people she worked with and for, to be warm, accepting and caring, all qualities that she admires and strives to emulate. “One does not find people with these traits in all workplaces,” says Karen. “I think what drew me to this place was that other people had faced similar struggles in life that I didn't recognize at first but that subconsciously I must have been aware of. Now, years later, I recognize the reasons that I can relate to people who live with mental illnesses who may have experienced the fear of rejection, discrimination or stigma, feelings of unworthiness, shame, low self-esteem and anxiety, because I’ve been there myself, due to various life experiences.”

    Karen has several relatives and friends who have lived and are living with bipolar disorder, depression and schizophrenia. She sees all people as people first, rather than labeling people as the disorder they happen to be living with. Her focus is on hope and recovery.

    Karen has graduated with a Certificate in Clerical Bookkeeping and a Certificate in Applied Counseling Skills (Honors), from Red River College. She thoroughly enjoys her role at the Manitoba Schizophrenia Society.

  • Lívia Lôbo

    Lívia Lôbo

    Administrative Assistant

    [email protected]

    Lívia was born and raised in Brazil and moved to Canada at the age of 12. A number of years ago she lost a dear friend to suicide and later found out he had been diagnosed with schizophrenia. His family were unaware of how to deal with this and his friends were kept from knowing. She feels that had she known more about this before his suicide, his family and friends could of provided help and hopefully his life would of been saved. She has been involved in the Autopac & Administrative position for the past 15 years. She hopes this new position working for MSS will open doors to information that she didn’t have years ago, and hopefully help prevent a similar tragedy.

  • Eric Fraser

    Eric Fraser

    Peer Support Worker

    [email protected]

    Eric was diagnosed with Schizophrenia 18 years ago, and is currently married and has a family. He volunteered with MSS for two years prior to becoming our Peer Support Worker in Winnipeg and also provides Peer Support from the Self-Help Office at Selkirk Mental Health Centre. He is our liaison with five Winnipeg hospitals and provides one-on-one peer consultation to those recovering from Schizophrenia and psychosis for 7 years now.

  • Tracy Kosowan

    Tracy Kosowan

    Peer Support Worker

    [email protected]

    Tracy Kosowan began her journey through the realms of mental illness in 2008. In 2012 she was diagnosed with psychosis not otherwise specified (NOS). Tracy is an alumni of the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce's Leadership Winnipeg program, class of 2008-2009. She has also taken courses in Mental Health First Aid and life coaching. In 2015 Tracy began volunteering at the Manitoba Schizophrenia Society and the Mood Disorders Association of Manitoba. During that time she helped to facilitate the Hearing Voices workshops and did peer support out of St. Boniface Hospital. Tracy is a new employee of the Manitoba Schizophrenia Society as of October 2017. Her position is a peer support worker which will include one-on-one support, advocacy work, facilitating workshops and support groups, and public speaking. She is also part of the Winnipeg Recovery Network, an organization of Winnipeg mental health agencies meant to aid in the effort of a recovery oriented model of practice.

    Tracy is excited to be working with the dedicated staff of MSS. She is also very happy to be working in a role where she can use her lived experience to help others.

  • Katrina Tinman

    Katrina Tinman

    Special Events Administrator

    [email protected]

    Katrina comes to us as a volunteer who demonstrated exceptional dedication and service to the society. She earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism and political science from North Dakota State University in 1998 and spent over a decade in sales, marketing and customer service.

    Katrina grew up with her mother’s mental illness and is also herself a person of lived experience who was diagnosed with Schizoaffective Disorder, which is the combination of both Schizophrenia and a mood disorder. She was born in Winnipeg to an American father and has lived on both sides of the American/Canadian border.

    Katrina hopes to make a difference in the lives of those with mental illness.

Regional Outreach Workers

  • Tim Shewchuk

    Tim Shewchuk

    Brandon and Assiniboine Regions

    [email protected]

    Tim joined the MSS Team as Outreach Worker for the Parkland Region, but today he Works out of the Brandon/Assiniboine Region. Tim was raised in Northern Manitoba and has had a wide variety of personal experiences. Having overcome many hurdles in his own life, Tim now thrives at bringing the same hope and joy he has found to the people around him. He earned a Certificate of Theology from Providence College and has spent five years working at the Teen Challenge Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Centre as a mentor and example to those recovering from addictions. Tim brings an eagerness to help people with a diagnosis of schizophrenia and/or co-occurring disorders and their families with the message of recovery and hope.

  • Nancy Shewchuk

    Nancy Shewchuk

    Brandon and Assiniboine Regions

    Nancy Shewchuk will be assisting with Family Support, Education and Promotion in the Brandon / Assiniboine Region. She has 16 years of experience working for the Manitoba Schizophrenia Society both in the Norman Region and in Brandon and has held positions with other Mental Health Agencies and Advisory Boards. She looks forward to rejoining the MSS team.

  • Rhonda Heskin

    Rhonda Heskin

    Burntwood Region

    [email protected]

    Rhonda was born and raised in Thompson and has lived there all of her life. When she was 21 years old she lost her cousin to suicide who was only 19 years old. They grew up together and Rhonda considered him more like a brother than a cousin. Her family knew he was depressed but they did not know the signs of suicide. Rhonda’s own mental health suffered after her cousin died and it took her some time to recover. A few years later she decided that she wanted to help others with a mental illness and help prevent suicide. She enrolled in the Applied Counselling Skills program and graduated with honours and with an applied counselling skills certificate. Shortly after Rhonda graduated she worked part time as a youth support worker at Marymound North for 6 months. She was a single mom at this time looking for full time work and accepted a position with the Families First program where she supported families for 7 years in her role as Home Visitor.

    Recently, Rhonda graduated from the University Of Manitoba with a Bachelor of Social Work Degree. She did two placements while in this program one at an elementary school with a school counsellor where she was able to assist a few youth who were suicidal. She also did a placement at the Canadian Mental Health Association in Thompson where she had the opportunity to learn about the programs and services including the outreach worker position for the Manitoba Schizophrenia Society. Rhonda co-facilitated a hearing voices that are distressing workshop with the previous outreach worker for MSS and a nursing student while she was in her placement. This has helped to give her a better understanding of the challenges that people go through who hear voices that are distressing and the support that they need.

    Rhonda is passionate about helping people with a mental illness and their families to receive the support, education and services they need to be hopeful for the future.

  • Bev King

    Bev King

    Interlake Region

    [email protected]

    A teacher by profession, Bev is an educator who believes that knowledge is the key to living a full life. She enjoys working with the public, providing information about schizophrenia. Using a combination of personal and professional experience, Bev is able to assist those who cope with mental illness and their families by providing support leading to empowerment. In her capacity as an Outreach Worker, Bev is passionate about following a holistic approach to recovery.

  • Kim Heidinger

    Kim Heidinger

    Eastman & Central Regions

    [email protected]

    Kim brings her experience as a teacher, a caregiver and of recovery from a mental health problem to her role as Outreach Worker and Public Educator for the Manitoba Schizophrenia Society. She is compassionate, knowledgeable, understanding, and is passionate about reducing the stigma of living with schizophrenia or any other mental illness. Kim’s office is located in Steinbach.

  • Teresa Roberts

    Leanne Marceniuk

    Parkland and Norman Region

    [email protected]

    Leanne has joined the MSS Team as Outreach Worker for the Parkland Region. She has an extensive background in the health care field. She is looking forward to using her skills, work and personal experience with schizophrenia to help educate and lessen the stigma associated with it.