Board of Directors
Helen Cooper - President
Helen is a graduate of Queen's and the London School of Economics. In the interim she joined CUSO, teaching English and Math in Tanzania. Upon her return to Kingston, she was elected to City Council in 1980 and Kingston’s first woman mayor from 1988 to 1993, followed by a three-year term as Chair of the Ontario Municipal Board. In the early ‘90s Helen served as President of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario as well as a member of the Premier’s Council on Health Strategy. In the early 2000s she served on the Board of Cancer Care Ontario and the Advisory Council of the Nuclear Waste Management Organization. In 1998 she began her career with the Ontario Public Service, first as an Early Years Community Coordinator, then as manager for delivery of adult developmental services. Upon her retirement in 2015 she became a Distinguished Fellow at the Queen’s School of Policy Studies and President of Oasis.
Gail Hawley Knowles - Vice President
Gail Hawley Knowles is a dedicated health care professional with fifty years of experience in clinical nursing and leadership roles in diverse hospital and community settings. Gail learned early in her working journey that successful people adapt to new situations, so she decided to pursue two degrees in order to excel in leadership. The years of working full time, raising her family and studying paid off. At the end of her hospital career, Gail retired as Director of the local Cancer Centre. Gail was not successful at retiring, and after moving to the Kingston area began to work as a Program Manager at a Family Health Team until she became the current Manager of the Centre for Studies in Aging and Health at Providence Care.
Judith Mackenzie - Secretary/Treasurer
Judith received her degrees from Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS. Following her move to Kingston, ON, she worked as a psychometrist at KGH. During her time in Kingston she served two terms on Kingston City Council. Provincial appointments have included the Kingston Police Services Board and the regional Consent & Capacity Review Tribunal. She also was employed as a researcher at Queen’s Institute of Local Government. In the 80’s and 90’s she was a Senior Health Planner with the Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington District Health Council. Community volunteer involvement has included chairing a United Way annual fundraising campaign, serving on the Grand Theatre Board, serving as president of the Board of the Community Foundation for Kingston & Area and serving on the Board of the Council on Aging. She currently sits on the Advisory Council for Studies in Primary Care and is Secretary/Treasurer for Oasis Senior Supportive Living Inc.
Catherine Allen is a retired nurse who worked in the Medical Intensive Care Unit at Hôtel Dieu Hospital, a visiting Community Care nurse for the Victorian Order of Nurses and St. Elizabeth Health Care, and a nurse in the St. Elizabeth health Care ambulatory clinic. She is a member of the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario and the Gerontological Nursing Association. A Kingstonian since 1971, Catherine is an active volunteer in the local community! She coordinates a monthly Seniors’ Lunch at St. Mary’s Cathedral and is a team lead for their Hot Meals Program. Catherine volunteers with Loving Spoonful’s Open Kitchen program and she is a member of the Friendship Blooms Intergenerational Program at the Kingston Health Centre, which focuses on seniors interacting meaningfully with younger generations.
Brian Brophy has held an impressive career in the Kingston area, spanning more than 50 years. He has served various roles on a number of boards and councils, including President of the Kingston Catholic Youth Association, longest serving member and trustee of the Kingston District Labour Council, president of the Kingston Council on Aging, VP of the Kingston Chapter for the Council of Canadians, member of the Ontario Area Council, member of the Kingston Dental Coalition, and of course, member of the Oasis board. Spanning his career he has received TMTC (that’s Too Many to Count) awards for the work he has done in the local community, advocating for labour rights, workers’ health and safety, injured workers, education, water rights, women’s rights, seniors’ access to dental services, and more. He played an instrumental role in initiating and sustaining the Oasis program and has been actively involved as a board member since the board was created.
Allen G. Prowse, BA, BSc, DHA, CHE
Allen has broad experience across the spectrum of health care – having managed acute care and children’s hospital services, led mental health services for the Province of Nova Scotia, managed Ontario’s Mental Health Program, served as Executive Director of the Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington Community Care Access Centre, and subsequently as Vice President – Quality, Partnerships and Community Programs at Providence Care. He is currently Director of Executive Search and Coaching with Palmer & Associates, and Administrative Lead for the Rural Kingston Health Link. He is a member of the Canadian College of Health Service Executives and received his CHE designation in 1987. He is a Member of the Board of the United Way of Frontenac Lennox and Addington, Queen’s Family Health Team (QFHT) Advisory Board, Oasis Supportive Living for Seniors and current Board Chair of Hospice Kingston.