Chair, Dr. Yogesh Thakker  MBBS, MD(Psychiatry), MRC Psych(UK), CCT(Psychiatry of Developmental Disability -UK) 

Consultant Psychiatrist, Alberta Health Services, Edmonton & Stony Plain, AB

Clinical Lecturer, Department of Psychiatry, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB 

Lead Psychiatrist for the Community Outreach Assessment and Support Team (COAST), Edmonton, AB

Co-Chair, Dr. Pierre Chue   MBBCh, FRCPsych, LMCC, FRCPC, DABPN, MSc, CCST

Professor of Psychiatry, and Program Lead Complex Psychosis and Clinical Trials and Research Programs, University of Alberta Edmonton Zone Senior Medical Advisor Strategic Mental Health Initiatives and Program Lead Intensive Community Transition Services, Addiction & Mental Health, AHS Mental Health Lead, Continuing Care, AHS Consultant Psychiatrist, Telemental Health, and North and Edmonton Mental Health Review Panels

Dr. Keith Goulden MD FRCPC Developmental Pediatrics

Dr. Keith Goulden MD FRCPC Developmental Pediatrics (Teaching -  Associate Professor, University  of Alberta) has been practicing Developmental Pediatrics with a focus on Autism Spectrum Disorder for 30 years.  During that time, he has participated in a number of outreach clinics to schools.  He continues to work closely with the families of persons with Autism Spectrum Disorder.  

Mr. Scott Phillips, MBA, CPA, CMA, PMP, BBA   

Assistant Chair - Department of Psychiatry University of Alberta


Mr Scott Phillips is the Assistant Chair, Administration in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Alberta. He holds a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) degree from Cornell University. He is also a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA), a Certified Management Accountant (CMA) and an accredited Project Management Professional (PMP).

​Since joining the Department in 2015, Mr. Phillips has been working on initiatives including: the introduction of the AMHSP, an alternative funding model to ensure protected academic hours for practicing psychiatrists; the CASA Research Chair in Child and Adolescent Mental Health which includes $5 million in operating funds; and assisting in the development of the first Gender Program in Alberta.

Mrs. Jennifer Sadowski – COAST - Addiction & Mental Health, AHS - Edmonton Region

Jennifer Sadowski has a clinical background as an Occupational Therapist and has worked in a number of settings with Alberta Health Services over the last 15 years, including acute inpatient psychiatry, children and adult rehabilitation, long-term care, and community. She is currently the Clinical Supervisor for the Community Outreach, Assessment, and Support Team (COAST) and has been a member of COAST since its inception five years ago. Jennifer is passionate about working with those diagnosed with an intellectual and/or developmental disability and complex service needs and looking forward to the continued partnerships with community to empower people to live a life of meaning and purpose.

Ms. Donna Brothers-Palfrey – COAST – Disability Services Edmonton Region

Donna Brothers-Palfrey has a passion for assisting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities as well as their families and supports improve their overall wellness on their journey toward living a meaningful life.  Donna has over 15 years of experience working in the field, including as a youth crisis intervention worker, family support worker, teaching assistant, support staff, team leader, and currently as a Behavioural Consultant for the Community Outreach Assessment and Support Team (COAST).  She has a Masters of Arts (MA) in Political Science from Dalhousie University and a Bachelor of Arts (BA Honours) in Criminology and Political Science from the University of Windsor.

Mr. Clayton Kleparchuk – Alberta Health Services

Clayton is currently the Program Manager for Tertiary & Residential Services at Alberta Hospital Edmonton.  This involves overseeing the management of three inpatients units at the hospital as well as COAST and ASPIRE Homes.  Clayton's background includes behavioural management, front line work and helping to develop the COAST team here in the Edmonton Zone.   He is very dedicated to the developmental disability population and is passionate about improving and training those who work with this population.  

Mrs. Crystal Grunling – Conference Coordinator

Crystal enjoys organizing and planning events and is back coordinating our conference for this second year.   Her uncle who was diagnosed with an intellectual disability experienced bullying, public reprimands, addiction as well as employment issues.   She has experienced first-hand the road blocks, gaps in services and lack of appropriate supports that many families encounter.   She sincerely hopes these conferences will bring awareness to developmental and intellectual disabilities as well as an overall better understanding of our population's mental health issues.