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Philip De Souza

Director, Communications and Marketing, HIROC

Philip De Souza has always been passionate about connecting with people on a deeper level – listening to their stories and learning from them. From storytelling to experiential marketing campaigns to internal engagement touchpoints (to name a few) – Philip is constantly seeking new ways to push boundaries. The result – award winning initiatives that start a dialogue, change minds and drive action.

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Philip has been fortunate enough to have experienced a wide variety of roles. Starting as a student scanner at his current organization, he knows what it takes to put in the hard work, build trust and move up.

Today, as Director of Communications and Marketing at HIROC Philip is proud to have had a hand in building such a strong and unique brand. And together, with his dedicated team, he is excited to see how they can continue to evolve it.

Jennifer Schipper

Founder and President, Arc Communications

For years, Jennifer Schipper has worked side-by-side with innovative leaders helping them shape their organization’s voice and designing multi-faceted communications strategies that manage complex issues and foster positive change.

Jennifer is the Founder and President of Arc Communications, a healthcare communications consultancy.

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Recently, she was the communications leader at Ontario Health, the provincial government’s super health agency, tasked with building their communications strategy from scratch during a time of planned organizational establishment concurrent with the unplanned, global pandemic. Previously, she was a Senior Vice President at a North American communications agency serving a multitude of healthcare and life sciences clients.

Throughout her career, she has worked in the public and private sectors with hospitals and other direct care organizations, patient groups, medical and health-related associations, non-profit groups, government agencies, and pharmaceutical and medical device companies.

Jennifer loves the power of communications and all that it can achieve – from sharing vital information to inspiring meaningful engagement and action.

Tyler Chalk

Vice President, Strategy, Analytics and Communications,
Southlake Regional Health Centre

Prior to joining Southlake in 2018, Tyler was Director, Strategy and Optimization at SickKids. He has also served as Senior Manager, Quality and Performance at Mount Sinai Hospital and in a number of roles at the Ontario Ministry of Health.

He has an undergraduate degree in economics from McMaster University and did his masters at the London School of Economics in the UK.

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He has completed the Advanced Health Leadership Program at the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto and the IDEAS Advanced Learning Program in quality improvement.

He has contributed to published research on the impact of hospital funding reform in Ontario and has spoken at national and international conferences on data-driven outcomes improvement, healthcare strategy, and the shift to value-based care.

Jacqueline Zonneville

Executive Communications Lead, Medavie

Jacqueline Zonneville is the Executive Communications Lead for Medavie, a health solutions partner that oversees Medavie Blue Cross and Medavie Health Services. She is responsible for leading the organization’s thought leadership strategy and presence, as well as providing senior-level strategic counsel and communications support to business partners (internal and external) and executive on a multitude of matters.

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As an agile and accomplished healthcare communicator with more than 15 years’ experience, Jacqueline transitioned from the agency environment to corporate setting in 2017. In her previous roles, she was a trusted advisor to a range of pharmaceutical, not-for-profit and other healthcare-focused clients, including (but not limited to): Pfizer, Roche, Bristol-Myers Squibb, GlaxoSmithKline, Novo Nordisk, Diabetes Canada, Obesity Canada, the Canadian Lung Association, etc.

Jacqueline is formerly a Director on the Board of the Canadian Cerebral Palsy Sports Association and the former Public Member Trustee of the Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists. She is also past president of an Ontario-based Australian Football Rules Club. Jacqueline has a background in media studies, graduating from Western University with a Bachelor of Arts. She also has a certificate in Corporate Communications from Seneca College.

Rebecca Mackenzie

Chief Communications Officer, Oak Valley Health

Rebecca is a proud mum to two toddlers and lives with her husband in Toronto’s East end. Rebecca is also a creative, high-energy senior communications professional with more than 15 years of experience. Prior to a move to healthcare, Rebecca held progressively senior leadership positions with the Government of Ontario including serving for four years as the Executive Director of Communications to the Premier of Ontario.

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In that role, leading a large and talented team, Rebecca was responsible for the development and implementation of all internal and external communication strategies for major government initiatives. She advised the Premier and Cabinet Ministers on strategic positioning, media relations and issues management and was responsible for the government’s marketing, brand management and digital media presence. She always maintained a special interest in healthcare policy and patient experience.

Rebecca joined Oak Valley Health in 2018 as Chief, Communications and Public Affairs. In addition to her communications and public affairs work she helped lead the organization’s pandemic response and is currently providing interim leadership for the Quality and Safety and Professional Practice portfolios.

Allison Trenholm

VP Public Affairs, Stakeholder Relations and Chief Communications Officer, Mackenzie Health

Allison Trenholm is the Vice President, Public Affairs, Stakeholder Relations and Chief Communications Officer accountable for strategic internal and external communications across Mackenzie Health and Mackenzie Health Foundation including brand, crisis and issues management; government, stakeholder and media relations; social media and integrated marketing.

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Allison brings passion and experience in strategic communications, government relations and stakeholder engagement while fostering a proactive, team-focused service delivery on both strategic and operational initiatives.

Allison first joined Mackenzie Health in early 2018 as Director, Communications, Marketing and Stewardship before taking on her current role in November 2019. Prior to joining Mackenzie Health, Allison was responsible for developing and managing internal and external communications programs for the Electrical Safety Authority. Allison also worked at Trillium Health Partners Foundation where she held increasingly progressive leadership positions and led the communications efforts supporting the merger of Trillium Health Centre Foundation and Credit Valley Hospital Foundation.

Allison holds an Honors Bachelor of Arts degree from Western University’s Faculty of Information and Media Studies, a Certificate in Writing also from Western University and is certified in change management.

Kevin Parent

Public Health Program & Project Management Officer,
Ottawa Public Health (OPH)

Kevin is a Program and Project Management Officer with Ottawa Public Health (OPH). He has been the social media lead at OPH since 2018. He graduated from Carleton University with a major in Communications and a minor in Sociology and is perpetually tired due to working in health communications during a pandemic whilst also having 3 kids at home (including a newborn). Kevin is a ginger.

Amanda Higginson

Public Health Project Officer, Ottawa Public Health (OPH)

Amanda is a Project Officer with Ottawa Public Health. Joining the social media team in 2020, she specializes in youth and young adult content and Instagram! Amanda graduated from Carleton University in Health Sciences with a concentration in Global Health.

Ashleigh Saith

VP Strategy and Public Engagement, Holland Bloorview Hospital

Ashleigh Saith is a fundraiser and nonprofit leader with over a decade of experience working in small- and mid-sized nonprofits. She’s passionate about nonprofit marketing, leadership, and organizational strategy. Ashleigh is currently the Vice President, Strategy and Public Engagement at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation. She was formerly the Director of Development and Partnerships at Interval House, and is a graduate of the Humber Fundraising Management Program.

Daryll Mathers

Communications Specialist, Communications and Public Affairs, Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Services

A one-time journalist, Darryl has spent more than 15 years as a communicator in the mental health field developing a passion for telling stories and sharing experiences related to recovery from mental illness. At Ontario Shores, Darryl plays an active role in bringing patients and families together to create compelling content for the hospital’s online platforms to both educate and inspire.

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Since 2016, Darryl has served as a founding producer and host of the #MindVine Mental Health Podcast, which is presented by Ontario Shores and is available on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and Spotify. The #MindVine Mental Health Podcast releases a new episode every other Tuesday as it shares patient stories and expert opinions on topics impacting mental health and healthcare.

In addition to his work on the podcast, Darryl is co-host of the #MindVine Mental Health Show on Rogers TV Durham while also leading co-designed communications projects featuring both patients and staff.

Away from the office Darryl can often be found watching his children playing ringette and hockey at an ice rink somewhere in Durham Region. He lives in Oshawa with his wife and their three children.

Stephanie Ryan-Coe

Director, Corporate Communications, Ontario Health

Stephanie Ryan-Coe is the Director of Corporate Communications at Ontario Health – the provincial organization established to connect and coordinate the health system with partners and patients. Within her current role is accountable for organization’s internal communications team that is focused on the creation of a unified culture across 22 legacy organizations, as well as leading a team of professionals providing best-in-class strategic communications advice and support to all provincial initiatives.

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As an experienced communications leader Stephanie has a 15+ years track record of building teams, developing partnerships, and driving brand awareness through strong storytelling narratives. She has spent the majority of her career in health care in Canada and the UK. While working for the National Health Service in the UK she managed the communications team for one of the top-rated primary care trusts (PCT) and was Head of Social Marketing for a collaborative representing 14 CEOs. She established a network of trained marketers focussed on procuring and building health services influencing positive behaviour change in the largest region in England. She did have a stint in business development in the construction industry.

Stephanie is a mom to three young boys, doesn’t do it all, and relies heavily on caffeine and chocolate to fuel her days.

Ana Fernandes

Senior Public Affairs Advisor, University Health Network

Ana has been part of UHN’s Public Affairs team for almost five years, providing communications support for the Ajmera Transplant Centre, Schroeder Arthritis Institute, Nephrology, Hepatology, and other programs at Toronto General Hospital. She designs and implements communications strategies that profile UHN as a leading medical research and healthcare institution. She also supports team UHN on internal communications projects, social media, and issues management.

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With a background in Journalism, Ana is an expert storyteller and has a strategic approach to corporate communications.

Ana holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communications with a major in Journalism from the University of Sao Paulo in her home country, Brazil. She is also a graduate of the Corporate Communications and Public Relations program at Centennial College. Before moving to Canada and joining UHN, she worked for over seven years as a journalist for different media outlets, including radio, television, print, online & news agency.

Marek Kubow

Manager, Client Counsel Communications and Public Engagement,
London Health Sciences Centre

An award-winning communicator, Marek Kubow is a Manager of Communications and Public Engagement at London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC). Currently responsible for internal communications and client counsel, Marek is the communicator who smiles (appropriately) when confronted with major crisis or an incident management team meeting. Most recently, he led LHSC’s pandemic response.

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Marek has worked in London’s healthcare industry throughout his career at LHSC, St. Joseph’s Health Care London, and Lawson Health Research Institute. He is also a Past-President of IABC London, and current chair of the London Cross Cultural Learner Centre, a settlement agency who welcomes newcomers to London.

Marek holds an honours specialization BA in English Language and Literature from the University of Western Ontario, and a postgraduate certificate in Public Relations from Humber College. He also holds a Project Management Certificate from Fanshawe College.

Katie Heelis

Vice President, EnterpriseHealth

Public Policy, Advocacy, Mental Health and Addictions, Regulatory Affairs, Issues Management and Medical Technologies and Innovations

Katie Heelis is a recognized health care expert, political strategist, and issues manager with a successful track record of running some of Canada’s largest health advocacy campaigns.

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Katie started her career as an Issues Manager and Policy Advisor in the Office of the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care in Ontario, where she honed her policy skills and political acuity, becoming a key advisor on health policy, and working on a variety of political campaigns at the municipal, provincial, and national level.

Since joining Enterprise, Katie has led national public affairs, government relations and public relations campaigns for clients in all areas of health care from mental health to hospitals and long-term care. Today, she is sought after by many of Canada’s leading health executives and organizations to solve complex problems and support the development of winning strategies.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Katie was asked to serve as the Interim CEO for Addictions and Mental Health Ontario representing nearly 200 frontline community health organizations during the height of the pandemic. Katie also provided critical expertise, strategic direction and issues management to many health care organizations as they navigated the pandemic.

Katie is a graduate of the Balsillie School of International Affairs, holding a master’s degree in International Public Policy with a focus on Global Public Health. She is the founder of the Women in Media Fellowship and a Board Member at Margaret’s Housing and Community Support Services in Toronto.

Carly Ellis

Director, EnterpriseHealth

Strategic Planning, Hospitals, Facilitation, Ontario Health Teams, Redevelopment and Health System Transformation

Carly Ellis is sought after strategic advisor leveraging her deep expertise of the health sector having spent her early career working directly in a hospital and health authority in Ontario.

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Prior to joining EnterpriseHealth, Carly facilitated partnerships across multiple sectors, including community mental health, primary care and housing at the Waterloo- Wellington Local Health Integration Network. Carly also led and supported key strategic projects including on government relations and communications for the largest hospital capital project in the country while at Trillium Health Partners.

At EnterpriseHealth, Carly leads our strategic planning processes from inception to implementation to ensure our clients are always ahead of ever-evolving health system. Carly specializes in in supporting senior leaders and boards work through complex problems and engage their communities while also bridging the gap between operations, communications and government advocacy.

Carly holds a Master of Public Administration degree from Queen’s University’s School of Public Policy and an Honours degree in Health Sciences from the University of Western Ontario. Carly is passionate about city building and is a 2020 CivicAction DiverseCity Fellow as well as a TEDxToronto speaker coach.

Paris Semansky

Director of Communications and Public Affairs, CAMH

Paris Semansky is the Director of Communications and Public Affairs at CAMH – Canada’s largest mental health hospital and world leading mental health research centre. She has almost 15 years of experience in issues management, strategic communications, and public policy.

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Before coming to CAMH, Paris served as a senior policy advisor to former Premier Kathleen Wynne on education, community hubs and Indigenous relations files, and also as chief of staff to Ontario’s Deputy Premier and Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development. In addition, Paris advised corporate clients at FleishmanHillard and also held senior advisor roles working for Ministers of Education, Health, and Children and Youth Services in Ontario.

A born and raised Londoner (Ontario), Paris studied social justice and peace at King’s University College at Western University and is working toward her Masters of Communications Management through McMaster University.

Her biggest accomplishment is as mother to her daughters, Anna (who just started JK) and Mira (who was born at the start of the pandemic). Paris, her girls, and her husband, Mike, live in Toronto’s east end.

Lori Marshall

President & Chief Executive Officer, Chatham-Kent Health Alliance

Lori Marshall is President & Chief Executive Officer of Chatham-Kent Health Alliance. Lori brings to the organization over 20 years of progressive leadership experience in Ontario’s acute and community care sectors.  She has a reputation as a patient-centred strategist with a track record of addressing complex issues through a shared vision and knowledge of the community and region.

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Lori’s previous experience as a CEO includes the Erie St. Clair Community Care Access Centre and Nipigon District Memorial Hospital. She has served as Vice President at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre and Oshawa General Hospital. Lori is a Registered Pharmacist with the Ontario College of Pharmacists and a Certified Health Executive with the Canadian College of Health Leaders. She holds a Health Leadership Certificate from the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management and a Masters in Health Administration from the University of Ottawa. Lori has a rich history of community service and has been active on many boards and committees at the provincial and local levels.

Anne-Marie Pham

CEO, Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion

Anne-Marie Pham has worked with diverse communities and workplaces for over 25 years. She has a deep understanding of issues and opportunities related to diversity and inclusion, and specializes in mobilizing, educating and sharing the latest research and promising practices on equity, diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Anne-Marie brings a unique set of skills and perspectives having worked as a diversity and inclusion lead for Spectra Energy and the City of Calgary, and as a trainer and facilitator for Human Resources and Skills Development Canada. She has provided dynamic presentations, training and consulting services to clients from a wide range of industries in the business, public and non-profit sectors.

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Anne-Marie has a master’s degree in public administration (MPA), a BA in Sociology and a senior HR Professional certification with the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM). She is also a certified administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory (Tool).

Anne-Marie is a wife and mother of two, as well as an avid community leader, supporting civic participation, mentoring and leadership development especially among immigrants, visible minorities, women and youth. In 2013, she received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee award for her community service. Anne-Marie is a member of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Race Relations Foundation (CRRF), a Crown Corporation dedicated to working towards the elimination of racism and all forms of racial discrimination. As of October 2020, Anne-Marie is a member of the City of Calgary’s Anti-Racism Action Committee.

Erica Di Maio

Director, Corporate Communications and Community Engagement, Michael Garron Hospital

Erica Di Maio is a collaborative, thoughtful and purposeful healthcare communications leader and public relations strategist. With more than a decade of experience working in large academic healthcare institutions, she is committed to helping clients find creative solutions to complex problems that put people first. As the Director of Corporate Communications and Community Engagement at Toronto’s Michael Garron Hospital, Erica leads a team of skilled professionals in the delivery of strategic communications programs designed to build trust, enhance reputation and foster meaningful relationships with hospital and community partners.

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Erica co-chairs the East Toronto Health Partners (ETHP) Communications Committee; ETHP is the Ontario Health Team (OHT) serving East Toronto. In 2021, Erica earned a Master’s Degree in Communications Management (MCM) from McMaster University and successfully defended her thesis, which demonstrated the power of the public relations function in OHTs.

Amy Tran Cassell

Digital Media Specialist, Michael Garron Hospital

Amy Tran Cassell is the Digital Media Specialist at Michael Garron Hospital (MGH), where she oversees MGH’s web and social media presence. Amy started her communications career in the community mental health and addiction sector with experience ranging from fundraising communications to system-level provincial advocacy. Prior to joining MGH, Amy led Humber River Hospital Foundation’s social media and web assets. Amy graduated from the University of Toronto, St. George Campus and also holds a certificate in Digital Strategy and Communications Management.

Angela Murphy

Vice President, Campaign, SickKids Foundation

Angela Murphy returned to SickKids Foundation in 2016 as Campaign Director—she previously worked at the Foundation from 2005 to 2011, holding progressively senior roles in individual giving. In her current position, Angela leads the strategy and implementation for the SickKids VS Limits Campaign—the largest campaign in Canadian health-care history

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This role includes working closely with hospital leadership, our 74-member campaign cabinet, the capital redevelopment committee, and fundraising professionals across all giving channels to achieve the Campaign’s ambitious $1.5 billion goal.

Prior to SickKids, Angela was the Director, Campaign & Major Gifts at North York General Foundation where she was responsible for formalizing and growing their Major Gifts Program and launching their $150 million Campaign, the largest in the organization’s history.

In her previous time at SickKids, Angela launched the Foundation’s Donor Advised Fund Program and helped secure the largest single philanthropic gift the Foundation had ever received at the time.
Angela holds a Bachelor of Arts Honours Degree from McMaster University. She is an avid runner and tennis player and the proud mother of two daughters.

Kate Torrance

VP Brand Strategy & Communications, SickKids Foundation

Kate Torrance joined SickKids Foundation in 2015, originally serving as Director of Integrated Brand Marketing. Now, as Vice President, Brand Strategy & Communications, Kate is responsible for ensuring SickKids remains the number one charity brand (and continues to be one of the top overall brands) in the country. Kate was an integral part of the team that launched the globally recognised and award-winning VS brand platform for SickKids.

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In addition, Kate collaborates with all the fundraising portfolios at the Foundation to provide communications strategies that drive business results, while ensuring alignment to the brand platform.

Prior to joining the Foundation, Kate spent 20 years working for top-tier advertising agencies, and led national integrated advertising campaigns for top brands including Bell, Budweiser, Corona, Starbucks, Coca Cola, and Quaker. Kate holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Toronto. An active volunteer, Kate currently sits as Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors for nabs/bec Canada, a not-for-profit that exists to support the health & wellbeing of the people of the marketing and communications industry, as well as sitting on the board of Until the Last Child, a not-for-profit focused on finding permanent, loving homes for children in foster care.

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