Board of Directors

Transparency and community. These are at the heart of everything we do at Open Arms, and our Directors are no exception. We invite you to explore the talent and expertise behind our organization. Simply click on the name or picture of the Director you would like to learn more about below.

Tianna Melnyk

Angelica Martin

Matt Morris

Dr. Fareed Kamar

Tianna Melnyk

Tianna Melnyk

Chair of the Board

Having experienced the limitations of the existing health care system first hand, Tianna came to Open Arms to learn about gaps and potential areas of improvement from the direct experiences of clients. Tianna hopes the shared testimony and dialogue with fellow patients will lead to changes that will prevent errors, and enhance the health of the community.

Angelica Martin

Angelica Martin

Media Director

Angelica Martin began working with Open Arms as a Patient Advocate in January 2015, and has since transitioned to the Board, as Media Director.

Angelica is a graduate of the University of Calgary’s Bachelor of Health Sciences program, with a concentration in Health and Society. She has published and collaborated on a number of articles, gaining great insight on the many challenges we face in the delivery and quality of healthcare in Canada, and remote communities. Since then, she has been passionate about improving access, timeliness and delivery of health services with an emphasis on learning from community-based research and the experiences of a wide variety of sources.

Angelica wants to work with Open Arms to create a strong doctor-patient relationship by empowering the community through health promotion and health self-advocacy. Utilizing a multidisciplinary approach, she encourages realistic solutions encompassing awareness and complete consideration of the various challenges to a particular aim. She engages patients in taking on an active role in managing their health, and educating them as responsible consumers of health-related information.

Matt Morris

Matt Morris

Volunteer Coordinator

A passionate piano teacher and music composer with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music, Matt came to Open Arms in 2016 to continue his service with marginalized groups in society.  Guided by a general interest in medicine and a strong commitment to serving vulnerable groups in the community, Matt serves as our Volunteer Coordinator, assisting new volunteers to find the best fit for their interests and skills within the Open Arms community.

Dr. Fareed Kamar

Dr. Fareed Kamar

Membership Director

A proud, active member since 2012, Fareed began his work with Open Arms in an open role during his time as a Biochemistry Honors student. Following his graduation and obtaining his Honors Degree, Fareed later became the Membership Director, and is currently a Resident Physician at the University of Calgary’s Cumming School of Medicine.

In addition to managing and overseeing communication with our members and networks, Fareed offers medical expertise to the Board of Directors, as well as lending his unique perspective to patient advocacy. While providing insight into the various responsibilities and viewpoints of health care providers, Fareed emphasizes the importance of collaboration and partnership with health care professionals to achieve meaningful outcomes for our clients.

As an Open Arms member, Fareed continues to sharpen his skills to enhance the delivery and quality of care to his patients, and to promote compassion as a cornerstone of medical education.

Kenneth Fong

Ali Waissi

Farwa Naqvi

Ruth Krone

Kenneth Fong

Kenneth Fong

Treasurer

Ken is an accomplished accounting professional with extensive credentials and comprehensive professional background, and began as Open Arms Treasurer in 2016. Ken holds a BSc in Biological Sciences from the University of Alberta in addition to CPA, CMA and CET professional designations, and experience as a member of the Discipline Committee for ASET – the Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta.

Attracted by the opportunity serve his community, Ken brings his strong integrity and drive to Open Arms to help people navigate the difficulties they often experience within the health care system.

Ali Waissi

Ali Waissi

Fundraising Director

A proud Calgarian, Ali has worked with Open Arms as Fundraising Director since 2014. Ali is an active community advocate and volunteer for a number of charitable organizations with diverse needs and goals in our local community.

Ali completed Justice Studies at the University of Regina, and then earned a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Calgary. Combined with his experience in a number of organizations and a strong passion to build a better, more inclusive community for all, Ali has been essential to our public engagement, and to building partnerships between Open Arms and the community.

Farwa Naqvi

Farwa Naqvi

Advocacy Committee Chair

Farwa joined Open Arms in early 2014, and is currently the Advocacy Committee Chair, and an active Patient Advocate. As a University student deeply interested in health and medicine, Farwa brings passion and grassroots-level involvement with Open Arms through her relationship to advocates and clients.

Farwa believes in leading by example, and working with patients to seek clear answers to their concerns when navigating what can often be a very complex and confusing system. Her passion for medical processes and systems led her to advocacy, where she has applied her skills to a wide variety of cases.

Farwa believes that clients and patients should be navigated through to positive and fair outcomes in regards to their health. Her goal is to help all those seeking assistance from Open Arms to have a positive experience.

Ruth Krone

Ruth Krone

Executive Committee Member

Ruth began working with Open Arms Patient Advocacy Society in 2013 after learning about the organization and its work in addressing some of the challenges she had witnessed during her 20+ years of experience as a Registered Nurse.

Ruth offers an extensive wealth of knowledge over a wide number of health care areas of expertise to the Board of Directors and advocates as well as a unique perspective to patient advocacy.

As a healthcare provider, Ruth saw an opportunity to work with Open Arms to share her knowledge and enhance collaboration and dialogue between all stakeholders in patient health care outcomes.

Aron Quezada

Aron Quezada

Aron Quezada

IM & AT Director

Aron holds two Bachelor’s Degrees in Economics and Political Science at the University of Calgary. Driven by a desire to improve the delivery and quality of health care, Aron joined Open Arms in 2016.

Aron oversees the design of surveys and tools for Open Arms to identify opportunities for improvement utilizing statistical analysis and by quantifying complex, hard-to-define measurements of the health care system and internal affairs.

Aron is passionate about working with a variety of data sources and types to identify blind spots and opportunities for improvement and increased efficiency. As a Director, Aron hopes to bridge existing knowledge gaps, and to facilitate collaboration between stakeholders by identifying and reporting on relevant and actionable metrics and trends for Open Arms using both qualitative and quantitative data.