Building Families Together

MLA Breakfast

April 23, 2024
6:45 am - 8:30 am
Quartz B Room, Matrix Hotel
10640 - 100 Ave, Edmonton

A discussion on the fertility challenges Albertans are facing in their hopeful pursuit to build their families. Learn about the mental health impacts of infertility, the medical challenges (and miracles) to achieve pregnancy, and why increasing access to fertility care is critical for thousands of Albertans.

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Speaker Bios

 

The Strudwicks

Masters of Ceremonies

Schoena and Jason Strudwick’s path to parenthood was anything but traditional. The busy couple shares their love with three kids who all came into their lives in very different ways.

Jason grew up in the west end of Edmonton before being drafted to the NHL. His professional hockey career of nearly 700 games would see him play for the New York Islanders, Vancouver Canucks, Chicago Blackhawks, New York Rangers and his final three seasons would be played at home in Edmonton for the Oilers. While in Chicago, he met Schoena, a nanny from the small town of Elk Mountain, Wyoming. When the couple returned to Alberta, Schoena and her sister-in-law opened Yo Mama Maternity Boutique, a thriving small business in Edmonton. Jason is now the co-host of the Got Yer Back podcast.

When not trying to raise good humans, or laughing together, the couple enjoys giving back to their community, speaking at events, spending time outdoors, and staying grateful for everything they’ve experienced.

IG: @schoenanigans
Website: yomamamaternity.com
IG: @jasonwstrudwick
Website: jasonstrudwick.com

 



Honourable Searle Turton

Minister of Children and Family Services
Member of the Legislative Assembly for Spruce Grove-Stony Plain

Searle Turton was first elected as a Member of the Legislative Assembly for Spruce Grove-Stony Plain on April 16, 2019 and was re-elected on May 29th 20203. He was sworn in as Minister of Children and Family Services on June 9, 2023 and previously served as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Energy.

Prior to his service as an elected official at the provincial level, Mr. Turton was a three-term city councillor for Spruce Grove, and is a lifelong volunteer, but his most important titles might be husband and father to two children.

IG: @searleturton

 



Dr. Ariadne (Ariana) Daniel, MD, FRCSC, GREI

Medical Director of Alberta Reproductive Centre
Associate Professor at University of Alberta

Dr. Daniel was born at the University of Alberta Hospital and raised in Edmonton. She earned her Doctor of Medicine degree with special training in research at the University of Alberta. She also pursued a five-year residency there in Obstetrics and Gynecology becoming a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC).

She completed further training in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (REI) at Mount Sinai Hospital through the University of Toronto. She worked at the public clinic at the Royal Alexandra Hospital until its closure then at the Pacific Center for Reproductive Medicine (PCRM) in Edmonton.

She left her practice, and then drawn to the patient-centered vision of infertility care, she became involved in the realization of Alberta Reproductive Centre (ARC). Dr. Daniel has an active interest in research and medical education. She is an Associate Professor at the University of Alberta and is involved in teaching medical students, residents, and family physicians. She has won numerous distinctions, scholarships and grants. In her free time, you will find her sketching, dancing, or outside exploring nature with her family.

IG: @albertafertility
Website: albertafertility.ca

 



Ellen K. Embury

Fertility Lawyer

Ellen K. Embury is Western Canada’s leading practitioner in the area of surrogacy and fertility law. She has been practicing as a surrogacy and fertility specialist in Canada for over 20 years.

She has helped thousands of couples and individuals of all backgrounds and sexual orientations to become parents. She works with intended parents, surrogates (gestational carriers), egg and sperm donors and also with physicians and clinics across Canada and the United States. Surrogacy agencies from across Canada and internationally refer their clients to Ellen for assistance with surrogacy legal services in Alberta and Canada.

Ellen takes a highly personal approach in dealing with families. She understands that clients have often expended considerable time and resources trying to become pregnant before they turn to surrogacy, and delivers caring, cost-effective services to her clients both domestically and internationally.

IG: @surrogacylaw_emburywest
Website: canadafertility.law

 



Dr. Dawn Kingston, RN, MSc, PhD, MC

Professor of Faculty of Nursing at University of Calgary
Lois Hole Hospital for Women Cross-Provincial Chair in Women’s Mental Health
Associate Certified Coach, Master of Counselling

Dawn and her team’s research have revealed times of mental health vulnerabilities throughout various seasons in a woman’s life beyond pregnancy and postpartum. This led the HOPE team to launch a digital platform to address these vulnerabilities to make support accessible for all women.

Dawn is passionate about improving women’s mental health. She is known across Canada as the leading expert in the mental health of pregnant and postpartum women through her research at the University of Calgary.

FB: @DrDawnKingston

Websites: drdawnmentalhealth4women.com, hopementalhealth4women.com

 



Nicole Victory

Writer, Speaker & Storyteller

Nicole Victory is a communicator, advocate, and recent author of the new children’s book Frankenlove - One monster’s journey to becoming a MOMster through mad science. She wrote FrankenLove to share joy and inclusivity for families affected by infertility, based on her own experiences building her family. When she began writing this story, she had no idea if she would ever have children. In the midst of that hopelessness, she chose to partner with her vulnerability and creativity and build a story – hoping she would one day read it to her child.

With over a decade of professional writing and speaking experience, paired with a lifetime of passionate storytelling, Nicole has a uniquely vulnerable and joyous voice that shines through her artistic abilities. Today, she lives in Leduc with her husband, Christian, and their new baby girl - living thankful each day for science and miracles.

IG: @colievic
Website: nicolevictory.ca

 

Michelle Chidley

Chair, Fertility Alberta Advocacy & Outreach Association

Event planner and communications professional, Michelle has over 10 years of lived experience with infertility. With two beautiful boys created with the assistance of IVF, she became passionate about wanting to help others build their families.

After a number of years volunteering to raise money for patients unable to afford needed fertility treatments, Michelle wanted to do more for the one in six Albertans requiring fertility care to have children. Leveraging entrepreneurial skills amassed from owning a boutique PR firm, complimented by years of experience working in media, government and stakeholder relations, and steeped in lessons learned from her time as communications director of a non-profit industry association, Michelle helped to found Fertility Alberta.

Michelle is passionate about advocating for Albertans and brings tireless energy to her role as Chair of Fertility Alberta. A natural networker, Michelle’s philosophy of bridge-building, collaboration and engagement have propelled Fertility Alberta to make great strides in its first year as a non-profit.

IG: @fertilityab
Website: fertilityab.com