About Us


Friends of African Nursing (Canada) was started as a charitable organization after inspiration from the results of FoAN (UK). It was apparent to Kate Woodhead and Lesley Fudge, two English nurses, that the current health systems in African countries did not provide continuing education, access to professional journals, specialty perioperative education or a professional association. By gathering support and funds, FoAN (UK) delivered its first program to nurses in Uganda in 2001. FoAN (UK) gained charitable status in 2006 and has, since its inception, provided education to over 1200 nurses in 9 African countries.

A group of nurses who became familiar with the work and success of FoAN (UK) started FoAN (Canada) in 2010 and received charitable status in 2012.

The Team

Mary Knight RN, MN - Chair
Mary is a Past President and Past Board Member of the Operating Room Nurses Association of Canada (ORNAC), and past Treasurer of the International Federation of Perioperative Nurses (IFPN). In 1999, Mary became aware of the need to support perioperative nursing education in Africa after seeing a presentation in England at the National Association of Theatre Nurses (NATN, now AfPP) Congress. As Program Co-Chair, Mary invited Kate Woodhead to present the keynote address at the 2003 ORNAC Conference, where Canadian nurses were captivated by her presentation depicting the realities of perioperative nursing practice in Africa. Recently retired, Mary worked in perioperative nursing for over thirty years, as a staff nurse, an educator and manager / director.
Linda Whyte RN, CPN(C) - Vice Chair
Linda is currently a member of the Operating Room Nurses Association of Canada (ORNAC), and a Past Board / Executive member of the regional, the provincial and the national associations. Linda has been a member of both ORNAC and the Operating Room Nurses Association of Ontario (ORNAO) Biennial Conference Planning Committees. One of Linda's many passions is medical/surgical mission work. Linda has participated in a number of missions, with No Boundaries (Sick Kids) and International Children's Awareness (ICA). Linda has worked in nursing for over 36 years; at a paediatric trauma/teaching hospital, the Ministry of Health, Cancer Care Ontario and at a large trauma/teaching hospital.
Marilyn Flynn RN, MEd - Treasurer
Marilyn is a retired Nurse Educator, living in Toronto, Ontario who became inspired to be involved in starting FoAN (Canada) after meeting Kate Woodhead and hearing about the wonderful work of FoAN (UK). Marilyn's teaching and clinical experience primarily focused on Community Nursing with an emphasis on Primary Health Care as defined by the WHO.
Kathy Bruce RN, BHScN, CPN(C) Secretary
Margaret Farley ORT, RN, BSN, CPN(C) Member-at-Large
Margaret is a founding, active, and past executive / board member of both the Saskatchewan periOperative Registered Nurses Group (SORNG) and the Operating Room Nurses Association of Canada (ORNAC). Margaret is Past President of ORNAC. Margaret was a member of the Saskatchewan Surgical Initiative committee, the ORNAC Standards committee, and the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA), Certification Exam Committee. Margaret is presently an ORNAC Journal reviewer.
Margaret worked in the surgical suites at Regina Grey Nuns General Hospital, (RGNH), Regina Plains Health Centre (PHC), and the Regina General Hospital (RGH), as part of the cardiac OR teams. Margaret has also worked as a nurse educator at both the RGH & PHC ORs, while employed by the Regina Qu'Appelle Health Region (RQHR). At present, Margaret is employed as part time faculty, at the Saskatchewan Polytechnic School of Nursing, Perioperative Program.