Board of Directors
The Paramedic Association of Manitoba is governed by an elected Board of Directors. The Board is responsible for the performance of the Association and is accountable to the membership. Members of the Board of Directors are trustees who act on behalf of the Association.
The Board of Directors consists of paramedics from across Manitoba representing all licensed pre-hospital practitioners in the province.
The term of office for each Director is three years with election dates staggered over a two-year period to maintain consistency within the Board. The Chair and two Directors are elected in one tier, and the remaining two Directors in the second tier.
Cameron Ritzer, PCP
Cameron Ritzer is the EMS Regional Manager of Clinical Services for the Northern Health Region, where he focuses on applying the regional values to excellence in patient care, achieving accreditation standards, and improving paramedic scope and function in all communities north of the 53rd parallel.
Born and raised in southern Manitoba, Cameron graduated from the Manitoba Emergency Services College in Brandon in 2000. He has since progressed to the OMD authorized scope for an Intermediate Care Paramedic, and worked as a frontline practitioner and educator prior to becoming as Regional Manager. Cameron was also appointed to the EMS Review Task Force work-teams for Education and Office of the Medical Director.
Cameron served as a Paramedic Association of Manitoba Director for two terms prior to being elected as Chair in 2017.
Leith Saunders, BA, MDiv., PCP
Leith Saunders is currently an instructor in the PCP Program at Red River College, joining the Health Sciences faculty in 2009. She lives and works in Portage la Prairie. She also continues to work casually as an ICP with Southern Health-Santé Sud.
Born and raised in southwestern Ontario, Leith has a BA from the University of Windsor, and an MDiv. From Queen’s University. She started her EMS service as a volunteer in Gilbert Plains Manitoba in 1989 while serving as the United Church minister. She was elected to the PAM Board of Directors in 2009 and has served consecutive terms since.
In addition, Leith serves as the Provincial representative to the Canadian Organization of Paramedic Regulators National Licensing Exam Working group. She recently completed her certification as an R2MR Trainer, and continues to promote and develop resources for paramedic Mental Wellness and Healing.
Leah Braun, ACP
Leah Braun joined the PAM Board of Directors in January 2017.
A small town girl at heart, Leah began her career in Altona working for the community on the ambulance and fire department. A graduate of the Manitoba Emergency Services College in 2000, she continued her education, receiving her certification and licensing as an ACP through WFPS as part of the provincial initiative to have advanced care paramedics in rural Manitoba.
Currently serving as a Superintendent for Southern Health-Santé Sud EMS, Leah also participates as a member of the Clinical Practice Advisory Committee for Manitoba Health, is a member of the exam working group through the Canadian Organization of Paramedic Regulators, and sits on the Canadian Stoke Best Practices Committee.
Jim McKendry, BSc, ACP, CACE
Jim McKendry is an instructor with the Allied Health Sciences faculty at Red River College in Winnipeg. In this role he provides instruction for the Primary Care Paramedic and Advanced Care Paramedic programs. Jim also instructs resuscitation and continuing education programs through the Continuing Education department at the College. Previously, Jim worked for the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service first as a Paramedic and then Training Inspector. Jim retired from the WFPS after 28 years of service.
Jim has been active as a volunteer for prehospital care as a Board Member for the Life Saving Society - Manitoba Branch and Provincial Faculty Member for the Heart and Stroke Foundation - Manitoba Branch. Jim has also supported the paramedic profession through his volunteer work as a Board Member for the Professional Paramedic Association of Winnipeg and President of the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Senior Officers Association. Jim has also volunteered as a Board Member of the Employee Pension Plan for the City of Winnipeg.
Brent Bekiaris, ACP
Brent Bekiaris is a Flight Paramedic for both STARS Air Ambulance and Perimeter Medivac. Brent also serves as the Mobile Education Lead for the STARS Mobile Education Program in Manitoba, focusing on providing specialized critical care skill training for Paramedics, Nurses and Physicians. One of Brent’s passions is to deliver education and training through Human Patient Simulation (HPS), where providers are offered the opportunity to perform critical and complex skills and interventions in a safe, controlled and supportive environment.
Born and raised in southeastern Manitoba, Brent began his EMS career with Southeastern Health following his training as an EMR at Red River College. Brent obtained his EMT certification through the Manitoba Ememergency Services Colege in Brandon, followed by his PCP and ACP certificates as an employee of the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service.
Brent has also served as the Emergency Coordinator for the RM of La Broquerie, working alongside municipal and provincial officials, where the focus was to develop and maintain emergency plans in an effort to keep the municipality prepared in the event of an emergency.
The day to day activities of the Association are handled by our Administrative team, led by the Administrative Director who reports directly to the Association Chair and the Board of Directors.