CHIRP International’s board is made up of medical experts from Prince Edward Island and the Maritime region. Their efforts are supported by able volunteers from the educational and digital media fields to provide medical experts and the general public with easy access to information about upcoming congresses and the latest medical research.



Eric Payne – Past-President

Eric is a twenty-three year veteran of the Canadian Armed Forces. Since leaving the Canadian Forces he has become very active in Healthcare and related service delivery. He has sat on numerous boards and committees, and now sits on a Provincial board relating to issues surrounding Persons with Disabilities while also managing the Provincial Sledge Hockey Team. Eric is a sought after speaker, presenter for the Smart Risk program and entertainer.


Marie Burge – President

As holder of a BA degree (History), a BEd degree (Psychology) and an MA degree (Sociology), Marie brings 43 years experience in volunteer co-ordination, popular education, community development, and participatory action research to her work with CHIRPINTL. Her current work with Cooper Institute Collective involves organizing and implementing specific community development and citizen-empowerment programs. She is also actively involved in programs on local and global poverty, social and economic inclusion, equality of women, protection of children, peace, democracy, visible minorities, and ecological issues.


Rachael Roy – Co-Chair

Rachael was employed with Child and Family Services and Community Mental Health over a period of thirty three and a half years. She has also been in Private practice for the past nine years. She practices Energy Therapy Modalities encompassing the Mind, Body and Spirit to achieve Optimum Health. Rachael has also used EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) to treat PTSDs (Post Trauma Stress Disorders) successfully for the past ten years.


Murray Rusk – Founder / Secretary / Treasurer / Membership

Murray Rusk, founder of CHIRPINTL is a Behavioural Optometrist. In practice for thirty seven years, Murray received his Fellowship in the College of Optometrists in Visual Development in 1991. Interested in vision’s relation to learning problems — those with the autism spectrum disorders and brain and emotional issues — Murray practices visual rehabilitation for these and many other information processing problems.


Chris Vessey – Communications

Chris started his career almost 23 years ago, having graduated in 1990 with a BSc in Mathematics with Computer Science from the University of Prince Edward Island.  He has worked as a User Support technician at the University, held IT project and operations management roles in Provincial Government, managed two Y2K preparatory efforts, and has spent the last thirteen years instructing laboratories and courses in Computer Science at the University of Prince Edward Island.  As a programmer and digital systems specialist, he brings skills that will play a fundamental role in CHIRP outreach efforts.




Mary Hughes

Mary Hughes, registered nurse, has been doing Therapeutic Touch for 20 years especially with people suffering from a terminal illness. She also includes Reiki as part of her therapeutic expertise.


Denise Arsenault


Pat MacKinnon




Pradeepa Gunasena

Pradeepa worked as a medical doctor in the premier neurosurgical department of the National Hospital of Sri Lanka for 10 years. While there, she provided comprehensive care for patients of all ages from paediatric to geriatric with wide array of neurosurgical presentations such as spinal, cranial, neuroendocrine, neurotrauma, and neuromuscular. She has also worked as a family physician. She successfully completed the Medical Evaluation Examination and Qualifying Examination conducted by the Medical Council of Canada in 2012, and is an active volunteer and community educator with such organizations as the Brain Injury Association of Prince Edward Island, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and the Canadian Diabetes Association.


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