The College of Chiropractors of Alberta is governed by a Council of 10 persons:

  • Five chiropractors, regulated members in good standing - Note: Up to 2022, regulated members on Council were elected. 2023 onwards, any regulated members (new or extended) on Council will be appointed by Council. 
  • Five public members appointed by the Government of Alberta.

Public members provide a critically necessary public-oriented perspective and ensure decisions and actions made by Council are in the best interest of Albertans.

The Chair and Vice-Chair are appointed by sitting Council members.

Role of Council

Council governs in a manner that respects and protects the privilege of self-regulation granted to the profession by the Health Professions Act. Council is responsible for making decisions that best serve the public interest and ensure the quality of chiropractic care in Alberta.

Council defines and oversees the implementation of Code of Ethics, Standards of Practice, and Bylaws to ensure Alberta chiropractors provide safe, competent and ethical chiropractic care to Albertans.

Council communications and contact information

Council News, an e-newsletter which is sent out to regulated members on an as-needed basis, reports on special Council news and decisions.

2023:    Council News | December 7     Council News | June 28     Council News | May 29     Council News | May 17    Council News | March 13    Council News | January 23
2022:    Council News | July 21    Council News | July 19     Council News| April 20    Council News| February 1 
2021:    Council News | November 22    Council news | October 1    Council News| July 5   Council News | March 25 

To reach a member of Council, email [email protected] and identify their name in the subject line, e.g., Attention: Dr./Ms. Jane Smith. 


Council members

Dr. Jason Hollingsworth

Dr. Kirsten Baxter
Vice Chair
Chair, Governance Committee 

Dr. Susanne Morris

Dr. Christopher Nutting

Dr. David Opresnik

Dr. Jason Hollingsworth has been in practice for 23 years, having established his wellness clinic with his wife, in Strathmore. They have an adult son studying engineering and a grade 12 daughter who is an accomplished musician. Away from the office, he enjoys time with family and friends, watching sports, movies or spending time outside, including activities such as hiking, biking, golfing or snow shoeing.

Dr. Hollingsworth has had the pleasure of serving on Council for three years and is looking forward to the challenges and opportunities of filling the role of Council Chair. He feels it a distinct honour to make decisions that affect the profession, not only here in Alberta, but also the country.  

Dr. Kirsten Baxter was introduced to chiropractic in high school after a lower back injury. She has a two-year Physical Therapy Assistant diploma from MacEwan University, a Kinesiology degree from the University of Alberta and a Doctor of Chiropractic degree from the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College (CMCC) in Toronto. After attending CMCC, she returned to Alberta to join the Baseline Chiropractic team in August 2010. She is full body certified in Active Release treatments, as well as Graston and Webster techniques.

She is passionate about helping others feel their absolute best through chiropractic adjustments, is an enthusiastic lifelong learner, and spends her spare time kick boxing, weightlifting, and with family and friends. Dr. Baxter is extremely excited to be part of Council, as it allows her to give back to the profession.

Dr. Susanne Morris has been practicing in Calgary since 2001, with a clinic just north of downtown Calgary that includes chiropractic and massage therapy. She is passionate about chiropractic and helping families thrive and is passionate about prenatal and pediatric care.  She has a pediatric certification from the ICPA, Epic pediatric training and is advanced Activator proficiency rated.

Dr. Morris loves being part of Council and its mission to help give back to both the profession, public and community. She keeps active through gardening, exercising and playing soccer.

Dr. Chris Nutting is a chiropractor in North Edmonton and has practiced for 24 years. He owns a multidisciplinary clinic with one associate chiropractor, a TCM acupuncturist, and two massage therapists. He is also passionate about teaching as he holds a position as Dean of Graduate Studies for a small, nutrition-based online university. He is enjoying this next stage of life, being a grandfather, having all adult children, and the ability to spontaneously travel with his wife, Audrey. 

He feels privileged to be accepted as a Council member to assist the CCOA in furthering the profession in the public and being seen as a significant stakeholder with other health professions. He looks forward to giving back to this great profession and would like to see an emphasis on the importance of integrative care. 

Dr. David Opresnik is a chiropractor in Calgary in his 24th year of practice. He runs a chiropractic office in north downtown Calgary now but has spent the bulk of his career working at multi-disciplinary offices located at the University of Calgary and Mount Royal University. Outside the office, he can be found hiking, fly-fishing or experimenting in the kitchen. He is excited to have received an appointment on Council. He truly believes chiropractors provide a vital service to improving the health of the public. He looks forward to the new ways he can serve the public as a Council member. 

Public Council members

Ms. Patricia Pelton
Chair, Finance and Audit Committee

Ms. Ashley Runka Owens

Past Council members

Dr. Brad Kane
Past Chair 

Dr. Zara Brayer

Ms. Alethea Austin


Patricia Pelton has held several senior level roles in the healthcare sector, including as CEO of the Northern Lights Health Authority as well as acting CEO of the Health Quality Council of Alberta. Growing up in small business has provided a mentality which has served her well in her career. Patricia holds a Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy from the University of Saskatchewan.

She has extensive governance experience at local, national and international levels. Patricia is immediate Past President and current Board Member of World YMCA, having served a four-year term as President, ending in July 2022. She was the first female and first Canadian to serve in this capacity in the YMCA’s 175+ year history. Patricia enjoys serving as a public representative on Regulatory Colleges and is currently a Council Member and Chair, Finance and Audit Committee of the College of Chiropractors of Alberta. Patricia is also a Director of Careers, the Next Generation, an organization committed to increasing employment opportunities for young people as well as assisting in mitigating the human resource shortage in the corporate and public sectors.

Ashley Runka Owens has been working in the non-profit sector in Calgary for the past 10 years and has been with United Way of Calgary and Area since March 2017. At United Way, she has worked in different roles and is currently serving as the Manager of Digital Engagement on the Transformation team. In her spare time, she enjoys biking and exploring the outdoors with her husband, two sons and golden retriever. She was born and raised in Kelowna, but now loves calling Calgary home.

She deeply believes in the importance of philanthropy and giving back to the community. She brings this belief to both her work and personal life. She feels privileged to serve as a Council member on the CCOA and looks forward to learning more about the Chiropractic profession.


Dr. Kane was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta, and attended the University of Calgary where he earned his B.Sc. He is a certified Active Release Technique (ART) provider, Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) Medical Professional, and a Level 2 CrossFit Trainer (CF-L2). He was elected to Council in September 2016. He served as a Council member for one year before being elected Vice-President in 2017 and Chair 2018-2023. As Chair, he oversaw a dynamic time for the organization which included several pieces of legislation (Bills 21, 30 and 46) impact the chiropractic profession including the separation of the College and the Association in 2021.

Dr. Kane remains committed to providing chiropractic care to world-class professional, amateur, and armchair athletes, as well as people of all ages in need of better health and function.

Dr. Zara Brayer owns and operates a vibrant multidisciplinary clinic in central Alberta. She has been in practice for 15 years and enjoys bringing her knowledge of Chiropractic care into rural settings, as these communities are often underserved in all aspects of healthcare.

In her free time, she loves to spend time on the family farm and to camp, paddle board and walk her dog.

Dr. Brayer has served on the CCOA council for four years and feels privileged to have learned from and worked alongside such an amazing group of professionals.

Alethea Austin
is a loving wife and mother and an accomplished health professional with extensive experience in pediatric and adult physical therapy, acupuncture and human resources. Her fields of expertise include human relations, training, health and safety, as well as knowledge of current legislation and research.  She excels at working in a fast paced and challenging environment. As a responsible, dedicated, hardworking individual with excellent communication skills, Alethea accrued an extensive amount of post-graduate education courses to become a more well rounded, objective oriented clinician and business leader.

She has experience working closely with other Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Speech Language Pathologists, Psychologists, Kinesiologists, Claim adjusters, Physicians, Teachers, Parents and Employers within her community. Ms. Austin has sat on many boards including the CCOA, the Alberta Community and Social Services Board, the RMWB Subdivision and Appeals Board as well as the Spa Industry Association of Canada.