Board of Directors 2

Board of


Molly Varga

President & Treasurer

Molly started her career in EMS in 2006, working in rural Alberta, and settled in Edmonton in 2007. She continued working as a Primary Care Paramedic (PCP) in a Metro environment in 2008 and gained her Advanced Care Paramedic (ACP) diploma in 2009. Her passion for peer support and mental health advocacy grew through her career on the fast-paced Metro frontlines. Molly’s career transitioned from responding on the frontline to researching, developing and coordinating a very successful Peer Support team. From 2015 to 2022 Molly and Mark took the team from 10 members with very little training, to over 140 members at their peak, settling in 2021 at just over 120 active members. Functioning as an effective and efficient team offering support to their peers of over 1500. Molly believes that peer support programs are essential in organizations and that a holistic approach to health and wellness is very much needed to offer adequate support. This is where many wellness programs were incorporated into her work while developing the overall program. Molly’s interest in neuroscience, trauma and resilience has helped facilitate innovative ways to increase psychological safety within the workplace. She has sat on several boards focused around first responders’ and psychological safety. In 2015, Molly was nominated by her peers and sat as one of seven members on the Mental Health Task Force Team, which was created within AHSEMS Edmonton Zone. In 2018, she was awarded the President’s Excellence Award for Outstanding Achievements in People Excellence for her work on the Provincial Psychological Health and Safety Committee. She continues to advocate for her peers today and feels strongly about bringing awareness to the psychological stressors of the profession and the much-needed support for the first responders. Molly has instructor training in The Working Minds-First Responder (TWM-FR), AHS Suicide Prevention Education Awareness Knowledge Skills (SPEAKS) training, and HeartMath. Previous volunteer experience includes the following: Feed the Hungry (Calgary), Children’s Hospital (Calgary) 2004/2005 and relief work in Haiti through Global Volunteer Network in April 2010 after the Haiti Earthquake.

Mark Carson

Vice President

Mark Carson was born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Mark started his career in EMS in 1982 and has witnessed an insurmountable amount of change over the many years. He has spent numerous years in his career as an active peer support member and has first-hand witnessed the impact an effective peer team can have. He has experience as an Advance Care Paramedic (ACP) and the Edmonton Zone Peer Support Coordinator. His knowledge and expertise in the profession bring invaluable richness to the work. Mark has a reputation “beyond reputations” for having the biggest heart. Mark is known for the unwavering love and support he gives to others and for having a direct tell-it-like-it-is approach. Mark has a labradoodle Sonny is a Certified Therapy dog, which proves to be an extension of the work he does by creating meaningful connections with those around him. Mark and Sonny volunteer their time at extended nursing homes, visiting the residents and putting smiles on their faces. As volunteerism is so important to Mark, he has spent over 30 years coaching the Special Olympics for swimming. He is an active member in his community, whether it is volunteering with the Knights of Columbus or completing 26 years of riding in the Multiple Sclerosis (MS) bike ride from Leduc to Camrose. Mark dabbles in his woodwork, from turning pens on the lathe to creating beautiful willow benches. Mark also was nominated by his peers in 2015 to sit as a member of the AHS EMS Mental Health Task Force Team responsible for researching best practices for psychologically safe workplaces and is an instructor in TWM-FR, AHS SPEAKS, and Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM).

Bill Hilton


Bill was born and raised in Ottawa, Ontario. From 1987-1995 he was a member in the Canadian Armed Forces (Reserves) trained as a Medical Assistant, where he achieved the rank of Master Corporal. Bill moved to Edmonton and began his EMS career in 1990 and in Edmonton as an Advanced Care Paramedic for Alberta Health Services since 2001. He has been actively involved in Peer Support as a Team Lead for over 10 years, managing a team of peer support members under him.

Over this time Bill has completed several courses dealing with psychological health and suicide prevention. Bill’s provides invaluable insight with his experience to EMS Peer Support & Wellness Solutions. His steadfast support and awareness of frontline stressors and requirements allows him to bring a close up perspective that is indispensable.

Katie Lehane

Grant Administrator

Katie was born and raised in central Alberta; she then moved to Calgary to pursue her Bachelor of Arts Degree from Mount Royal University and then completed her education at the University of Calgary. Katie knew from an early age that she wanted a career focusing on helping others. After volunteering in Haiti at multiple orphanages and then again after the devastating Earthquake in 2010, she was even more determined to return to Canada and choose a career that would support vulnerable families.

For the next decade, she worked in Calgary with at-risk families, connecting them with basic needs and essential resources. Katie educated families on healthy child development, effective parenting skills, and screening for postpartum depression. Through strength-based home visitations, she witnessed families becoming more confident, secure and knowledgeable with their children and their surroundings. More recently, Katie was allowed to help source funding for peer support programs that help first responders. Nearly two years later Katie thrives on being able to contribute to a cause that is so desperately needed and undervalued. In addition to researching and grant writing, Katie enjoys gardening, camping, and travelling with her family.

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