Steve Nolan M.S.M. CD
Advisor/Veteran/All-Around Great Guy
Originally from Toronto, Steve joined the Royal Canadian Regiment in 1993, following his graduation from Western University. Early in his career, he deployed several times including OP HARMONY in the Former Yugoslav Republic in 1994, OP ASSISTANCE (Winnipeg Flood), Bosnia on OP PALLADIUM (June 1998), and Kosovo OP KINETIC (May 2000). As Officer Commanding Echo Company 1 RCR he saw service in Afghanistan on OP ATHENA with 1 RCR as part of the Operational Mentor Liaison Team in 2008 mentoring an Afghan Battalion. Later returning to Afghanistan with numerous assistance and training visits. Steve was also sent to Nigeria in an advisory role in 2014 as part of an international response to Boko Haram’s abduction of young girls from Chibok.
Steve has a Master of Public Administration from the School of Policy Studies, from Queens University. As well he has graduated from the Canadian Command and Staff College and subsequently received a Master of Defence Studies.
Most recently, he was a Garrison Commanding Officer in Petawawa. His purview there included oversight of the eight senior managers in the delivery of administrative services to Garrison Petawawa, Denison Armoury in Toronto, and another satellite detachment in London Ontario. These services included kitchen facility operations, retail operations, family services, rental property portfolio management, finance, and risk management. Steve also oversaw a renewal of the release process for soldiers transitioning to civilian life. Bringing health services, the Joint Personnel Services Unit (JPSU), administrative release section, Military Family Resource Centres, and Veterans Affairs together to better serve soldiers releasing from the military.
He currently lives in Ottawa with his wife Samantha McDonald and their three children Cairns, Blake, and Amelia. An avid car enthusiast, he can often be found in his garage where he and his children are attempting to rebuild and remodel a 1969 Triumph GT6 in the image of a former Le Mans winner. He volunteers his time helping homeless vets with the Veteran’s Emergency Transition Services (VETS) in Ottawa and helping with exhibits and presentations at the Canadian War Museum.
Terri Legaarden BA, MA, RP-Q
Psychotherapist/Sort of Adept at Other Things
Terri comes from a long line of proud CAF members spanning all the branches. Her Father was Navy, her Mother an Army nurse, one Grandfather was Airforce, while her other Grandfather was Army. She has an understanding of the complexities military life can present and holds a deep respect for all those who serve and who have served.
Terri has served multiple populations in a mental health capacity and brings a wide variety of tools into her practice. She earned her Masters degree in counselling, as well as multiple certifications, some of which are; PTSD treatment, CBT and CPT therapies, Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy and Autism therapy. She is a registered member of the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario. Terri offers one-to-one, couple, family, and group sessions. As well Terri, with Danielle (see below) have built a program utilizing equine therapy that they will be offering through DVA clinic as well.
Terri believes in treating the whole self while looking at symptoms rather than labels, her belief surrounding this is “you don’t always have all the symptoms of a cold, but it’s still called a cold.” Terri takes a client-centered approach and believes in working in partnership with clients to achieve their goals.
Terri owns a rescue hobby farm with her fiancé in the South of Ottawa. She is an avid traveler, and even went so far as to live (and work) on cruise ships for many years, serving as entertainment director, her father joked that this was the closest she got to the Navy, but the food on cruise ships was much better so she made the right choice!
Heather Mac Master, RPN
Administrative Assistant/Happiness Specialist
Heather is the Administrative Assistant at DVA Clinic. After many years of customer service in serving and bartending, she decided to follow her passion for health care and took the practical nursing program at Algonquin College. Heather is registered with the College of Nurses of Ontario. Afterward working as a community visiting nurse, she quickly began to miss the everyday interactions with co-workers and customer service and wanted to work in an environment where it was truly about giving the best possible care. This is when she joined DVA Clinic. Heather ’s biggest hero is her grandfather, a tank man who fought in the D-Day invasion alongside his cousins.
Tamarrah Jacobs, B.Sc.HKin, M.ScPT, PT
Physiotherapist/Registered Joy Purveyor
Tamarrah graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology from Redeemer University College in 2013. She then completed her Master’s in Physiotherapy in 2016 at the University of Ottawa. She is registered with the College of Physiotherapists of Ontario. Tamarrah has worked in private orthopaedics and strongly believes in treating using both manual techniques as well as exercise therapy and education to help clients attain functional rehabilitation and meet their treatment goals. Tamarrah is a certified Compression Stocking Fitter and is certified in Level 1 Adaptive BodyWorks. She wishes to develop her skills further by taking courses in Acupuncture, Dry Needling and manual therapy. Tamarrah had the opportunity to be a university varsity athlete in both track and volleyball as well as participate in basketball, soccer and touch football. In her spare time, she enjoys frequenting the gym, lifting weights, and spending time with her young family. She has strong military ties with both Canada and the USA with one grandfather having served in the CAF in WWII, as well as several great-uncles, and the other grandfather in the US Airforce. Her husband is a current serving member of the CAF and has served a tour in Afghanistan. Tamarrah is fluently bilingual and is pleased to offer services in either language.
Heather Latta, RMT, CLT
Registered Massage Therapist/Certified Smile Distributor
Heather’s experience as a competitive gymnast in her youth sparked her initial interest in how the body moves. After spending eleven years in the Canadian Forces as a member of the Military Police Branch, she finally decided to pursue a career path that allowed her to continue helping people while incorporating her enthusiasm for human kinetics through Massage Therapy. In 2017, Heather graduated with honors from the Massage Therapy Program at Algonquin College. She was the also the recipient of the Algonquin College Massage Therapy Award of Excellence which is awarded to a graduating student who has demonstrated professionalism, communication, and clinical reasoning by incorporating an evidence-based, informed approach to treatment and client care. Heather is thrilled to begin working with DVA as a Registered Massage Therapist (RMT) and a member of the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario. and she looks forward to incorporating her Certified Lymphedema Therapist (CLT) into her practice.
Ingrid Hutton, NP
Nurse Practitioner/Fountain of Knowledge
Ingrid has thirty-three years working in the military and nursing, which has afforded her many life experiences and exposure to diverse cultures. She is fluently bilingual in both official languages. Both her mother and grandmother were nurses as well. Her father and paternal grandfather both served in the RCAF. Her partner is serving at CFB Petawawa and has done multiple tours in his 32 years of service. She herself served in the military reserves for over 9 years as an Admin clerk.
Ingrid returned to school to become an RN in 1992 while continuing with the military reserves and nights at a bakery. She graduated from College with a Nursing Diploma in 1995. While working full-time at the Kingston General Hospital, she pursued her Bachelor’s in Science of Nursing Degree at The University of Ottawa and graduated in 2001 with honours. She pursued further education to become a Nurse Practitioner, obtaining her Nurse Practitioner – Primary Health Care Diploma in 2015, while continuing to work as an RN. Ingrid is registered with the College of Nurses of Ontario. Her RN experience has been varied with acute/intensive care in hospitals, cruise ship nursing, flight (medevac) nursing in Nunavut, & nursing in Remote Northern First Nations Communities for 21 years. She has been working part-time as an NP in Remote Northern First Nations Communities for the past 2 years and continues to do so.
Ingrid believes that mind, body, and soul are all interconnected, which means treating the mind helps heal the body. She has seen this in her work in the north where PTSD, anxiety, and depression are common. She enjoys cycling and traveling. She is excited to be a part of the DVA clinic and looks forward to helping military veterans.
Dr. Stéphane Brassard
With over 27 years of experience with the Canadian Armed Forces, and vast knowledge of Veterans’ health, Dr Brassard is well equipped to be at the forefront of Veterans’ care at DVA Clinic. He has worked as a physician while deployed with the CAF as well as in civilian emergency rooms. He served as both an Infantry Officer and a Physician within the Forces and brings a great deal of practical experience to his role at DVA Clinic. Dr Brassard will be available to provide VAC assessments, as well as prescriptions and referrals, and minor procedures.
Lorena Ruci, PhD
Counsellor/Lovely Human being
Lorena Ruci is a psychology professor and a mental health counselor at the Sports Medicine Clinic at Carleton University. She has a Ph.D. in Psychology from Carleton University and an MA in Counselling Psychology from the University of Ottawa. Lorena is registered with the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association. She specializes in concussion management, sports psychology, anxiety and depression management. She conducts mental health research and is a published author. She is dedicated to helping her clients overcome challenges and improve their mental health and quality of life.
Dr. John Meissner
Psychologist/Calming Presence Aficionado
Dr. John Meissner is a psychologist working in the Ottawa area with extensive experience in assessment and psychotherapy. Over the years he has worked in child and family clinics, the Ottawa School board, private practice with teens and adults at the Delta Psychology group and, for the last 9 years. at Carleton University. He is a registered member of the College of Psychologists of Ontario.
At Carleton, he developed and ran a program, From Intention to Action (FITA) that has successfully helped overwhelmed students to improve their psychological well-being and academic performance. While continuing his work at Carleton he also has a private practice, conducts assessments with a colleague, and works as a supervisor of emerging therapists.
He engages in joint projects with his partner Susan Prosser who is a writer, teacher, and psychotherapist. He views his accessibility and openness as well as his valued commitment to clients as a central component in achieving solutions that support well-being.
Equine/Eco-Therapeutic Facilitator/Dances with Horses
I am a Metis woman and daughter of a WW2 Vet who started in the Grey Simcoe Foresters and eventually served with the 2nd Canadian Armoured Regiment as a tank driver in Italy, Belgium, France, and Germany. I have experienced and witnessed the trauma that my father was never able to work through. In his final 11 years of life, I watched as my father finally came to a place of peace when he passed at the age of 91.
I have made it my lifetime commitment to heal trauma and to find a better way of co-existing in this world post trauma. Nature and horses have been the most effective methods of healing. I have achieved much success through EAGALA and EAL Horse facilitated healing practices in combination with, Traditional Indigenous nature connections and ceremonies and working in co-operation with Mental Health Specialists, like Terri Legaarden from DVA Clinic.
I am a Peoples Pipe Carrier, and Eastern Door Sweat Lodgekeeper as well as a Horse Lodge and eco-therapy facilitator. I have extensive experience with children and youth who have lived with adults who are working through trauma and know the importance of supporting and helping those who are processing what they survived. Healing is a journey, one that cannot be avoided if we are ever to learn to live and love completely. Our office is nature and the therapists are the horses.
“At Davalon Healing Center [Danielle’s ranch] they farm the human spirit and plant the seeds of hope and understanding. Dannielle and her horses till the rich soil of life. They nurture the hearts and souls of people, cultivating their potential as human beings, growing confidence and yielding a bountiful harvest of contentment and happiness. This spiritual, magical woman and the horses of Davalon have tapped into parts of me that lay dormant for far too long. For that, I am eternally grateful. “
Stephen J. Thorne
Clinic Mascot/Therapy Dog/Chief Cuddle Giver
Duke is a six-year-old Black Labrador Retriever who received two years of extensive training
at the Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind centre in Manotick, Ontario. Here is a link to their website http://www.guidedogs.ca/index2.php
It’s a great place that is always looking for people to help with the dogs or to help out financially.
Unfortunately for Duke, he didn’t pass the course and so he has a new career as a therapy/ service dog. He helps in the clinic on most days greeting clients or staying with them during counselling.