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Who We Are

Mission and Vision

Mission: Compassion House Foundation supports women who must leave their homes for cancer care.

Vision: Compassion House Foundation strives to ease the distress of the cancer journey for women.

Values: Compassion, Community, Respect, Sustainability, Understanding, Excellence

At Compassion House Foundation, we have a vision to create a sanctuary of healing support. We make it our mission to support women fighting cancer by providing safe, comfortable and affordable accommodations during their cancer journey and delivering much needed programs and services post-treatment.

History

In 1996, the first Fashion with Compassion hits the runway to raise funds for breast cancer. The event later becomes the catalyst to build Sorrentino’s Compassion House. Community leaders found Compassion House Foundation in 1998 and incorporate as a non-profit society in 1999 with the mission to give sanctuary to breast cancer patients.

In 2001, the Foundation launches the Key to Compassion Campaign to raise funds for the original house, and construction begins until 2002. The original house opens with five guest suites. The house is named Sorrentino’s Compassion House in recognition of the leadership support of the Rago and Saccomanno families and their Sorrentino’s group of companies.

The Foundation launches a new capital campaign, Growing Compassion, to support a much-needed expansion in 2010. The campaign raises an amazing $5 million in two years. In 2012, construction begins to increase capacity to 15 suites, expand the kitchen, renovate common areas and install an elevator. The beautifully redesigned Sorrentino’s Compassion House reopens to guests, including women fighting any type of cancer, in 2013.

In 2015, the Foundation launches the Beyond our Four Walls Campaign to keep former guests connected by broadening our reach and expanding opportunities for guests. Today, the Foundation operates 16 suites at Sorrentino’s Compassion House, as well as offer post-treatment programs and services.

Our Staff

It takes hands; it takes hearts.

Michelle Okere

Chief Executive Officer

Michelle oversees Compassion House Foundation and Sorrentino's Compassion House.

Kerry Mahood

Chief Operations and Financial Officer

Kerry manages the financial aspects of Compassion House Foundation, as well as the operations of Sorrentino’s Compassion House.

Sayler Reins

House and Guest Services Manager

Sayler supervises the House and Guest Services team to support our guests during their stay and ensure the House is well maintained.

Kristine Morris

Program Manager

Kristine manages our volunteer and post-treatment programs, as well as supports guest services at Sorrentino's Compassion House.

Amber Blaszkiewicz

Director, Partnerships and Engagement

Amber leads communications and fund development strategy, manages major gifts and corporate partnerships, and supports third party events.

Brooke MacCallum

Marketing and Communications Coordinator

Brooke is responsible for program and event marketing, social media/digital communications, as well as creating and managing standardized reporting practices.

Tabitha Boyko

Fund Development Coordinator

Tabitha is responsible for coordinating special events and fundraising campaign activities, managing all aspects of the donor database, and grant writing.

Our Board

First, a strong foundation.

Jennifer Kluthe

Founder + Chief Designer, OPENWORK

Bio coming soon.

Michael Chwelos

General Manager of Pipelines, Suncor

Bio coming soon.

Regan Solbak

Corporate Controller, Sentrimax Centrifuges

Bio coming soon.

Karissa Anderson

Founder + CEO, AM/FM Inc.

Like most people, I have unfortunately witnessed and tried to support family and friends with their cancer journey. I am honoured to be able to play an active role as a board member of an organization that I genuinely believe in—utilizing my marketing and communication skills for the Compassion House Foundation as well as getting support from my network of young professionals for volunteering and fundraising.

Kevin Kozak

Vice President + Partner, Connor, Clark and Lunn

Having witnessed family and friends battle cancer I feel that no one should face this challenge alone. When I learned of Sorrentino’s Compassion House a number of years ago, I was pleased to hear they provided a safe and supportive place for women during their cancer journey. As a board member I plan to support and promote this extraordinary organization as it continues to evolve.

Cathy Chichak

Partner, Canadian Strategies Group

Over the years, I’ve lost both family and friends to cancer, including my mother at a young age. It’s a devastating disease, but it’s comforting knowing there are organizations like Compassion House Foundation that make the struggle a little easier, with women and caregivers who understand the innate struggles of cancer and can provide relief when it’s needed most. I want to support the Foundation with my governance, communications, advocacy, and community-building skills. Cancer must and will be beaten, and as women, we must do everything we can to support each other. It’s humbling to be part of an organization striving to build a bridge between diagnosis and recovery.

Greg Mittlesteadt

Retired

Bio coming soon.

Sundas Shamshad

Interim Executive Director, Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta

As a cancer survivor and member of a rural community, I had to experience the limitations and difficulties of treatment, along with the financial, emotional and physical impact of the cancer journey. As a former guest at Sorrentino’s Compassion House, I know how essential the services provided by Compassion House Foundation are. Running a cancer support group in a rural community reinforces my belief of the valuable work Compassion House Foundation provides by not only helping women find a safe place, but also resources to tackle the challenges of the cancer journey. I am excited and humbled to join as a board member. Because of my connection to a cancer support group in a rural community, I bring the ground-level perspective and will be a voice for women who are benefiting from the provided services and resources.

Support Women Battling Cancer

Need to book by phone?
780-425-7224 or 1-888-425-7474