Leadership Team

Dr. France Desrosiers

President and CEO

Dr. Desrosiers has more than 22 years of medical and administrative experience, including many within her own private medical clinic in Tracadie. Dr. Desrosiers was born in Montréal. She holds a College Diploma in Health Sciences from the Collège de Maisonneuve, and a Doctor of Medicine from the Université de Montréal.

She is a member of the New Brunswick Medical Society, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of New Brunswick and the Canadian Society of Physician Leaders, and she is also a member and Fellow of the College of Family Physicians of Canada.

Dr. France Desrosiers

  • 2000 to 2004 – Head of Emergency services and Family medicine;
  • 2004 to 2008 – Department head for the Acadian Peninsula;
  • 2008 to 2009 – Chief Doctor, Acadie-Bathurst Zone;
  • 2009 to 2016 – Regional Chief of Staff for Vitalité Health Network.
  • 2016 to 2020 – Vice-President of Medical Services, Training and Research for Vitalité Health Network.


Brigitte Sonier-Ferguson

Senior Vice-President of Performance, University Mission and Strategies

Originally from Neguac, Brigitte Sonier-Ferguson earned a bachelor’s and a master’s in biochemistry from the Université de Moncton in 2001 and 2005, respectively. She also undertook doctoral studies in biochemistry/immunology at the University of Ottawa from 2005 to 2010.

Ms. Sonier-Ferguson joined Vitalité Health Network in 2010, more specifically, the Training and Research Sector, of which she has been the director since 2015. During this period, she was responsible for the development and review of the strategic plan for the Network’s university mission, which is one of the cornerstones of the Network’s new 2020–2023 Strategic Plan.

In addition to her duties within New Brunswick’s Francophone health authority, Ms. Sonier-Ferguson also sits on several boards of directors and national committees related to health research and various university partners.

She has received a number of awards in the course of her career, including “Le Prisme” as graduate of the year of the Faculty of Science of the Université de Moncton in 2018 and the Excellence in Management and Leadership Award of Vitalité Health Network in 2018.

Ms. Sonier-Ferguson is currently a doctoral candidate in Interdisciplinary Studies at the University of New Brunswick.


Sharon Smyth-Okana

Senior Vice-President of Clinical Programs and Nursing

Ms. Smyth-Okana has over 30 years of experience in clinical services management and nursing. She was Director of Surgical Services at the Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont UHC and then Regional Director of the Network’s Surgical Services (32 sectors) and Medical Device Reprocessing Departments for over a decade. She thus has an in-depth understanding of the issues facing the Network.

Over the course of her career, Ms. Smyth-Okana has been heavily involved in the integration and harmonization of clinical services and programs and in the modernization of Surgical Services and Medical Device Reprocessing Departments. Her new role will be dedicated to the management and harmonization of services and to tackling the Network’s current challenges in the areas of staffing and modernization of care.

Ms. Smyth-Okana holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a Certificate in Health Ethics, Human Rights and Moral Philosophy from the Université de Moncton. She has also taken Lean training. She has received a number of awards, including the Award of Excellence for Patient Safety in 2013, the Award of Excellence for Patient Care: Preoperative Clinic Implementation in 2008 and the Award of Excellence for Nursing Management in 1999. She has also served as a member of the Discipline Committee of the Nurses Association of New Brunswick. She likes spending her free time with her family and doing outdoor activities.


Dr. Natalie Banville

Senior Vice-President of Clinical Programs and Medical Affairs

A native of Quebec’s North Shore, Dr. Banville graduated in medicine from Université Laval in 1993. Five years later, she completed a specialization in anesthesia-resuscitation at that same university.

She launched her career in 1998 as an anesthesiologist at the Chaleur Regional Hospital (Bathurst). Since then, she has held various leadership positions within the Network, including Chair of the Credentials Committee, Department Head of the Anesthesia Unit and a medical director of the organization. She also served on the Network’s first Regional Medical Advisory Committee (RMAC) from 2019 to 2012.

In her free time, Dr. Banville jogs, does bike tours and plays golf.


Jacques Duclos

Senior Vice-President of Clinical Programs

Jacques Duclos has extensive management experience in health services. He began his career in 1989 as a clinical psychologist at the Campbellton Community Mental Health Centre and went on to hold a Program Manager position there. He remained with the centre for nearly 15 years, devoting the greater part of his time to children, adolescents, and their families. He spent more than a year as Director of the Provincial Youth Treatment Program.

Mr. Duclos was Regional Director of Public Health for the former Restigouche Health Authority. In September 2008, he was appointed Executive Director of Academic and Medical Affairs with Vitalité Health Network. He was in charge of partnerships between the Network and postsecondary educational institutions offering health education programs and sat on the provincial working group on the development of designation criteria for the future university hospital centre and affiliated university hospital centres. He was also in charge of Research and Administrative Medical Affairs. From 2010, he was Executive Director of the Restigouche Hospital Centre.

In addition to his duties as Chief Operating Officer of the Restigouche Zone, Mr. Duclos is in charge of the following regional files: Addiction and Mental Health Services, Public Health, and Laundry (FacilicorpNB).

Mr. Duclos is a registered psychologist. As a graduate of the Université de Moncton, he earned a Bachelor of Psychology in 1987 and a Master of Arts in Psychology in 1990.


Stéphane Legacy

Senior Vice-President of Outpatient and Professional Services

Stéphane Legacy has held management positions within the New Brunswick health care system for over 17 years. Starting in 1996, he held successive positions with the ACADIE-BATHURST Health Authority as Manager of Accounting, Director of Financial Services and Material Management, and Vice-President, Hospital Services. In 2007, Mr. Legacy was appointed Acting Executive Director of the ACADIE-BATHURST Health Authority and he remained in this position until 2008. He went on to become Vice-President of Professional and Diagnostic Services for Vitalité Health Network and then Executive Vice-President and Chief of Operations for the Network.

In addition to his duties as Chief Operating Officer of the Acadie-Bathurst Zone, Mr. Legacy is in charge of the following regional files: Diagnostic and Therapeutic Services and Information Systems (FacilicorpNB).

After completing studies in business technology at the New Brunswick Community College - Bathurst Campus, Mr. Legacy continued his postsecondary training at the Université de Moncton where he earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in 1994 and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) in 2007.


Gisèle Beaulieu

Vice-President of Information Technologies and Chief Information Officer

Gisèle Beaulieu is a trained dietitian with more than 20 years of experience in health care management and extensive experience in strategic and operational planning, development of corporate policies, as well as management and implementation of organizational projects and programs, including programs related to quality, risk management, and patient safety, information management, decision support, and privacy protection.

Ms. Beaulieu has held several senior management positions, including that of Executive Director of the Chaleur Regional Hospital in Bathurst, Chief Health Renewal Planning Officer, and Vice-President of Planning and Organizational Development for Vitalité Health Network. She also held various management positions within Vitalité Health Network and Regional Health Authority 4 in Edmundston.

Ms. Beaulieu holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) and a graduate certificate in public management (health) from the Université de Moncton. She is a member of the Canadian College of Health Service Executives and holds the professional title of Certified Health Executive (CHE). She also completed the Executive Training for Research Application (EXTRA) Fellowship Program from the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement. She is Improvement Advisor to the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement and sits on the Board of Trustees of the Shared Risk Plan for Certain Bargaining Employees (CBE) of New Brunswick Hospitals.


Ghislaine Arsenault

Vice-President of Communications and Engagement

Ghislaine was Director of Strategic Relations for the District scolaire francophone Sud and communications officer with the Université de Moncton for a number of years. 

In addition to serving as a member of the national jury for the Prix d’excellence de la presse francophone of the Association de la presse francophone, Ghislaine has developed a number of very successful communication campaigns.  She began her career at Radio-Canada Acadie where she spent five years in the newsroom as a host and announcer on both radio and television.


Frederic Finn

Vice-President of Employee Experience

Over the past six years, Frederic has served as Chief Human Resources Officer in the Department of Finance and Treasury Board.  Prior to that, Frederic was Assistant Deputy Minister for over a decade. He brings human resources expertise combined with strong innovation and critical thinking skills.