New Brunswick


Nova Scotia


Prince Edward Island



central and atlantic canada


dr. brian steeves

Brian has a medical practise which is now into the fifth generation of many families. His work caring for people in a sizable regional hospital includes ER shifts. He has an office in a nearby aboriginal community, runs a methadone clinic for narcotic addicts, and serves as the Medical Director of a large local long term care home. Brian is also the District Medical Director of Continuing Care for Guysborough Antigonish Strait Health District. He currently chairs a group that is developing guidelines to assist doctors in appropriate prescribing for the frail Elderly. The emphasis is on reducing the poly-pharmacy subjected to Elders and is being done in conjunction with the Department of Geriatrics at Dalhousie University in Halifax. He is also working with Geriatricians to development assessment tools to improve the assessment of Elders by physicians and staff in Long Term Care homes.


Brian resides in the Antigonish, Nova Scotia area on an organic farm with his wife Stacey. They grow most of their own food, harvesting year round from their garden, orchard, cold frames and green house. Brian interests include baking, biking, ocean kayaking and music. He is a drummer for a rhythm and blues group call “Working Class Band”. (




Debra is an occupational therapist who has worked in acute care, home care, government and currently long term care. She is the administrator of Tideview Terrace Nursing Home in Digby, Nova Scotia, the first registered Eden Alternative facility in Atlantic Canada. Debra’s interest in Eden started 20 years ago as a clinician working in dementia care. When she returned to LTC in 2005, she was excited to discover the evolution that the Eden philosophy of care had undergone, and was quick to bring this culture change to her organization.


Most recently, Debra led the rebuilding of a new facility and the introduction of a cross functional team model of care and is delighted to share her experience with others. She is currently involved in a research project looking at the effectiveness of various models of care on the quality of life of people living in LTC. In her spare time, Debra is a yoga enthusiast and enjoys teaching the occasional yoga class.


Lorna crocker

Lorna is currently the CEO of a large long term care community where 136 elders who live there call it home.  She has a Masters of Health Services Administration and a Bachelor of Business Administration with a Major in Health Care.  Lorna has worked in both acute and long term care however her educational and career focus has always been long term care and developing a loving community where elders can live, learn, and play.  Lorna has held the positions of  Provincial Senior Continuing Care Policy Analyst and  Regional Planning Coordinator for the  Department of Health and Wellness.

Lorna grew up in a small fishing village and the elders who lived there were an integral part of her childhood.  It was this love and respect for elders that has always influenced both her career and personal life.  Lorna also had the opportunity early on in her career to attend one of Bill and Judy Thomas’s first sessions to introduce the eden philosophy.


Lorna has three beautiful children, three cats and a dog. She loves gardening, fishing, reading, hiking, camping, whale watching, travelling, and home renovations.  Most of all she enjoys returning to the small fishing community where she grew up to assist with caring for her Mother who still lives there.  So this beautiful eden journey does truly span both her career and personal life.


Judy Lane is the Chief Executive Officer of the Kings Way LifeCare Alliance. The Alliance is an outreach of Kings Way Assembly Church and provides leadership and governance over Kennebec Manor and Kings Way Care Centre, both nursing homes in the greater Saint John area in New Brunswick. The Alliance is currently expanding its services by developing the first Green House in the province. Judy is also the Executive Director of the Kings Way LifeCare Alliance Foundation which raises funds to provide financial support to the homes.

Judy is both a registered nurse as well as a business person. She has spent half of her career working at the New Brunswick Heart Centre in various clinical and management positions and the latter half in long term care.  At the age of 18, she worked at a local nursing home, making tea and toast for the residents. This experience provided her with admiration and devotion to senior care and is one of the many reasons she works at Kings Way today.  Her passion is helping those living in long term care achieve quality of life.  Judy participated in the planning of a new facility as well as develop a new staffing model that included the Eden philosophy. Today, all of LifeCare Alliance homes are at various stages of the culture change journey.


Away from work, Judy enjoys spending quality time with her family and reading a good book. She believes if we work together as a team, community and family, that we can make the world a better place.

“Be the change you wish to see in the world” – Gandhi 


Kim is currently the Leader of Life, Leisure and Volunteer Services at R. K. MacDonald nursing home. She has a Bachelor of Education degree from St. Francis Xavier University. Kim worked with the Strait Regional School Board in North, Eastern Nova Scotia before moving from the classroom into Long Term Care. Kim's career at the R. K. has spanned twenty-two years and her love for the people who live and work there continues.

Kim grew up in the small town of Antigonich, Nova Scotia and the elders who lived there were a very important aspect of her childhood. It was this love and respect for elders that has always influenced both her career and personal life. Kim has been on the Eden journey her whole life, without being aware of the name. The philosophy she already practiced has simply been given some fine-tuning through the Eden Alternative. Kim's initial introduction to this philosophy was in the early 1990's and she is keen to continue her own growth as well as promoting growth in the R. K. famiiy. 

Kim has two beautiful children, one long-suffering husband, two fat cats, a lonesome horse, one chubby chicken and a shaggy dog.  She loves gardening, reading, beach-combing, spending time with family and friends and her second home -  The R. K. MacDonald Nursing home.

Betty Matheson

Betty Matheson has been changing the face of Elder Care for over 30 years as Director of Care at Willow Lodge.  In 1997 Betty bravely threw out the "Sacred Kardex" and replaced it with a computerized resident information system.  She later became the Nova Scotia provincial educator for this program.  

In 2000, she was first in the Province of Nova Scotia to implement MDS2.0 Assessment Tool, to provide valid and reliable assessment information.  This resulted in "the best care plans in the the country" and presented this at national conferences. 

In 2004 the one nursing "unit" at Willow Lodge was split creating two neighbourhoods.  The nursing station was removed and replaced with a "porch".  The neighbourhoods are staffed with non rotating care partners so that Elders have consistent staff caring for them.  In 2010, a ten bedroom house was built, Eden education began in earnest and continues to evolve. 

Betty's ultimate goal is to transform Willow Lodge into a place she will want to call Home - in a few years!

Douglas Cunningham (RETIRED)

Doug Cunningham has lived in the village of Tatamagouche his whole life.  He grew up in a nursing home and worked there as a teenager.  His passion for improving the quality of life for elders has lead him into a 34 year career as the Administrator of Willow Lodge and at the same time as a site Manager of a Hospital for 12 years.  

Doug has been on many committees and boards some of which are the following:

Doug has worked with seniors all of his life and has seen many changes in the type of care given to them.  He has a proactive approach for caring for seniors and support staff with those changes by providing an abundance of education.      


‘"It is not genius, nor glory, nor love that reflects the greatness of the human soul, it is kindness''


Janine is the Administrator at Willow Lodge in Tatamagouche Nova Scotia, where 61 Elders call home. Her educational training in Health Services Management was obtained through Ryerson University in Toronto and her Administrator Leadership certification from OANHSS. Being aware of the Eden philosophy since the late nineties, her goal has been to Lead in a home that is registered and practicing the Eden Alternative. This goal is what has brought her to the Maritimes.  Janine brings experience obtained through diverse senior leadership roles; Community Living, L ’Arche, Retirement Care and Long Term Care communities.

Janine is passionate about the care and support given to our Elders;  “We must challenge ourselves on a daily basis to find opportunities for growth not only for ourselves but also for the Elders we serve” It is her belief that through constant reflection, we can have great influence on the Culture Change necessary to eliminate Boredom, Isolation and Loneliness.

Willow Lodge has created a positive reputation in the community for the work it has done as they grow in their Eden journey. Currently, the Willow Lodge community is working towards milestone 3.  Janine resides in the Tatamagouche area and commutes between her family home in Ontario. She travels with her canine companion Asia, a teacup Shiatzu who is an elder of 12 years.     

Welcome to the Eden Alternative central and atlantic canada



The Eden Alternative™ helps us to see aging as a life worth living and focus on wellness.

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