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Meet the Mills Memorial Hospital replacement project leadership team


A group of people standing for a photo.
The Mills Memorial Hospital Replacement Project leadership team (L-R): Paul Rudecki, George Desjardins, Peter Sickert, Chris Simms, Andrea Palmer, Nathan Riley, Deb Taylor, Shirley Nichol, Nicole Demedeiros.

On January 23, the core leadership team supporting the Project Management of the Mills Memorial Hospital replacement met for the first time. Members came together from across the province to meet in Terrace.

Moving forward through the current phase of procurement, this team represents the core departments necessary for project development. Supporting roles will also be in place to support the great work in building a new facility, with some of those roles to be filled over the next few months.

I’m pleased to introduce the managing team!

Paul Rudecki – Project Director

The project director is Paul Rudecki, M. Sc., P. Eng. As his credentials show, Paul is a Professional Engineer and Project Director with Northern Health. His expertise stems from a strong history managing projects in the hospital and healthcare industry as well as past experience in process control, inspection, gas and petroleum. Part of Paul’s work will also include any requirements in conflict resolution and negotiations. Paul has been with Northern Health for more than seven years and looks forward to helping build you a new hospital!

Deb Taylor – Project Finance Lead

Deb is responsible for the project’s financial budgeting and reporting and will review anything with financial impacts, including scope changes. All of our financial needs and wants will be analyzed by Deb. She holds her CPA, CGA designation, and has been in the accounting field for over 20 years, with 11 years at Northern Health supporting various areas such as Home and Community Care, Program Councils, and currently, Capital Projects. Along with spending time with her family, Deb enjoys coaching and playing volleyball, and is an accomplished pianist who once participated in an award-winning piano quartet.

Nathan Riley – Project IMIT Lead

Nathan is the Information Management Information Technology Lead, which puts him in front of the design and construction of IT and BioMed design and construction. He’ll make sure that the hospital is built to and exceeding (in anticipation of future needs and technological upgrades) the many IT needs specific to a modern health care environment. Nathan has been responsible for the UHNBC 2nd floor PCMU renovation and the first two Urgent Primary Care Centres in Quesnel and Prince George. He also enjoys playing hockey year round and golf in the summer.

Peter Sickert – Project Design & Construction Lead

Peter has a complex job – he’ll be overseeing the architectural/civil/mechanical and electrical design and construction of the new facility, and making sure that these are progressing according to the project schedule, and remain within scope. Peter is an Architect with 30 years experience. His focus is health care design, with a special interest in facility planning and project delivery. Peter is also an artist and has recently completed his Masters of Fine Art at Emily Carr University (while working full time). Peter enjoys hiking, camping, and field hockey. He has also been hosting a radio show on CiTR (out of UBC in Vancouver) for the past 32 years.

Shirley Nichol – Clinical Lead

In additional to continuing her sporty explorations of the gorgeous backcountry of the Northwest, Shirley will spend the next few years using her front-country skills as a clinical lead heading up user group management, infection control, clinical planning, and ultimately leading the relocation to the new facility, along with the requisite staff training.

George Desjardins – Project Facilities Maintenance Lead

George has been involved in planning and adding new services to Mills Memorial Hospital, such as the MRI, CT, Spec CT, and a host of other changes to keep the existing Mills Memorial Hospital current and provide staff with the equipment and space they need to keep our clients close to home in time of need. As a 40-year employee, he has seen the health care industry develop into what it is today and embraces the future technology trends while celebrating and honouring the past in his home life. From spinning vinyl records from a collection that began in the sixties, making noise through Vintage Guitar amps, to massaging the property with a farm tractor four years older than him, he also credits himself as bringing back the peace sign and the term “feeling groovy.” Five children, six grandchildren, and a loving wife keep him smiling, and when asked about a problem, his retort is always, “There are no problems, just solutions.”

Nicole Demedeiros – MMH Administrative Assistant

Nicole’s role may very well be the glue that keeps this team together. She’ll be handling external and internal correspondence, email management, and all project group scheduling and meetings. Nicole will be tracking action items as well as providing administrative support with bilateral negotiations.

Andrea Palmer – Communication Lead

Andrea Palmer will be leading the planning and implementation of internal and external communications processes supporting the project. This includes public engagement, stakeholder and government relations, media relations, special events, online (social media and web) communications, and emergency communications. Marking project milestones will be high priority in this work. Andrea is based in Prince George and will be on-site in Terrace frequently. A communications professional for more than a decade, Andrea has held key positions supporting public affairs, media relations, issues management, government communications, and public engagement. Andrea spends her off-time cooking delicious things, running to burn some of it off, and has been known to DJ/MC for varied and sundry events.

Chris Simms – Operational Lead

As Operational Lead, Chris is integral in coordinating the many support services required within the scope of the project. He will also help lead us through relocation management. When he’s not helping his kids test out the snow on local Northwest mountains, Chris can be found coordinating Health Services as the Health Services Administrator for the Northwest communities of Terrace and Stewart.  

Bonnie Tapanila – Equipment/Procurement Lead

You can’t just go to IKEA to furnish a new hospital with all its needs… Bonnie’s work will ensure that we procure the best equipment we can get, within budget, and also that there are people and processes in place to keep everything up and running (AKA, service contract agreements). Bonnie has been a buyer for Northern Health for 19 years – working on several hospital projects including those in Fort St. John, Burns Lake and on Haida Gwaii. Bonnie grew up in Prince George and loves camping in Northern BC as well as escaping to hot, sunny places from time to time.


The Project Office for the MMH replacement will be located in Terrace (address TBD) and recruitment is underway for dedicated roles. Additional roles are being added to the Northern Health Careers website over the next few weeks.

Please note that project updates and information on the project can be found on the Northern Health website at https://www.northernhealth.ca/about-us/capital-projects.