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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.

Jay Innes

Director, Communications, Perley Health

Jay Innes is an experienced communications professional with journalism and marketing experience. In 2014, he established the communications department at Perley Health, a leading long-term care residence and independent living facility for more than 650 Seniors and Veterans. Jay’s initiatives included co-creating and launching the Perley Health Active Seniors website, transforming annual reports to video and helping to launch and promote the Perley Health Centre of Excellence in Frailty-Informed Care™.

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He led communication strategies during the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in high staff and resident vaccination rates and media recognition. Jay’s expertise in video communication and innovative approaches to Perley Health’s growth, attracted features on CBC’s The National, CBC’s As It Happens and The New York Times. He holds a Master of Journalism degree from Carleton University and a degree from Dalhousie University.

Patricia Hoffer

VP, External Relations, Chief Communications Officer, St. Joseph’s Health Care London

Patricia Hoffer is the Vice President, External Relations and Chief Communications Officer at St. Joseph’s Health Care London accountable for developing and executing internal and external communication and key stakeholder engagement strategies reflective of the hospital’s mission, vision and values and strategic priorities. This includes brand reputation, media relations and issues management across all programs, services and sites.

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In addition, Patricia is responsible for driving the organizational approach to community engagement, government relations and corporate partnerships.

Patricia also leads the Volunteer Services Department and the Care Partnership Office. This includes the ongoing design and delivery of strategies to recruit volunteers in order to meet the diverse needs of the organization and ensure a positive and meaningful volunteer experience through education and training. Through leadership of the Care Partnership Office, Patricia ensures the ongoing execution of strategies to embed and sustain patient and family partner engagement across our organization. This includes the inclusion of the voices and lived experiences of our patients and caregivers in the design and delivery of programs and services including quality improvement initiatives, leader recruitment and research projects.

As a former business journalist with more than 25 years of diverse experience in communication, marketing and public affairs, Patricia applies a deep knowledge of strategic planning, stakeholder relations and community development to her leadership role. Prior to St. Joseph’s, Patricia held senior roles at Lashbrook Marketing and Public Relations, the London Economic Development Corporation, St. Joseph’s Health Care Foundation and Western University. Her work has been recognized by the International Association of Business Communicators through both Excellence and Best of the Best Awards.

Patricia is a committed community volunteer and currently sits on the Board of Directors for Goodwill Industries, Ontario Great Lakes and on the Campaign Cabinet for Indwell in London. In addition, she has served on the Fanshawe College Board of Governors including as Chair, the United Way London For All Leadership Table, Junior Achievement of London and District Board and Advisory Council of Trustees, as well as the Boards of Ronald McDonald House Southwestern Ontario, London Arts Council and Hutton House. With a passion for helping the next generation of leaders, Patricia is a regular guest lecturer at Fanshawe College and Western University and is often called upon as a mentor and connector within our community

James Scarfone

Senior Communications Advisor, Hamilton Health Sciences

James Scarfone leads strategic communications for some of the most complex projects at one of Canada’s largest hospital systems. He always looks for new ways to reach a large, on-the-go workforce to unite them towards a common goal.

Noel Gruber

Director of Communications and Public Relations, Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging (RIA)


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Biography coming soon…

Tracey Turriff

Director of Communications, VHA Home HealthCare

Tracey Turriff is a collaborative and strategic communications leader with a wide range of experience in internal and external communications, stakeholder relations, content creation, thought leadership and brand strategy. As the Director of Communications for VHA Home HealthCare, a large not-for-profit home care organization in Ontario, Tracey leads a dynamic, skilled team in delivering a broad range of internal, client and partner communications focused on building trust and fostering engagement and connection.

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Tracey is currently pursuing a Masters in Health Communications at the University of Ottawa and is Co-Chair for Communications, Engagement and Navigation for East Toronto Health Partners Ontario Health Team and Communications Co-Chair for Scarborough Ontario Health Team.

Kendelle LaBella

Project Manager, WoodGreen Community Services


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Biography coming soon…

Jill Robinson

Caregiver, ETHP Caregiver Advisory Group


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Biography coming soon…

Cathy Cowan

Senior Director, Communications, Canadian Mental Health Association York Region South Simcoe

Building on her 20+ year career creating innovative marketing communications campaigns for leading brands across Canada, Cathy is excited to now focus her expertise helping nonprofit organizations amplify their social impact.

As Senior Director, Communications for the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) York Region South Simcoe, Cathy heads internal and external marketing communications for one of the largest and fastest growing branches of CMHA with 350 staff and 18,000+ clients.

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Over the past three years, Cathy has applied her award-winning, big brand marketing communications strategies, leading a team in transforming the organization’s marketing communications and smashing KPI targets.

Before joining CMHA, Cathy was President of Cowan & Company, a boutique PR agency that specialized in providing integrated marketing communications to premium lifestyle brands including L’Oreal, Jamieson Vitamins, Philips Lifeline and Kraft. Cowan & Company was named Boutique/Small Agency of the Year by IABC Toronto in 2007, 2008, 2014 and 2017 and recognized with 15+ awards for excellence and innovation in marketing communications, events, media relations, social media and social responsibility. Cathy was recognized as PR Professional of the Year in 2013 by Canadian Public Relations Society Toronto.

Cathy taught and created the curriculum for the ‘Storytelling, Strategic Messaging & Content Creation’ course for York University’s Post-Graduate Program in Public Relations that launched in 2019.

She holds an MBA from the University of Leicester and is a keen volunteer and Board Member for the Canadian Center for Women’s Empowerment.

Steph Ouellet

Principal, Sailing Stone Solutions

Steph Ouellet is the Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at the Middlesex Hospital Alliance. He is an experienced leader with over 20 years of experience in areas of strategic planning, project/change management, financial/HR operations, communications & social media, and governance. Through increasingly challenging leadership roles in financial services, healthcare, and information technology sectors, he has built a reputation of delivering results and building trust.

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Steph holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree with Honours in Management Information Systems from the University of Ottawa, and a Masters of Business Administration from the Richard Ivey School of Business at Western University.  He also holds the Certified Health Executive (CHE) designation from the Canadian College of Health Leaders.

Steph has also been involved in numerous volunteer/board activities, more recently as board chair of the London Regional Children’s Museum and a regional cabinet member of the Elgin-Middlesex United Way.

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.

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.

Carly Bergamini

Director, EnterpriseHealth

Carly Bergamini is a communications and public affairs expert with over a decade of experience in Ontario’s health care system through both political and private sector roles.   

Prior to joining EnterpriseHealth, Carly was Director of Communications to Ontario’s Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. In this role,she led the planning and execution of the government’s COVID-19 communications strategy, including the province’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout, and worked closely with a variety of stakeholders throughout Ontario’s health care system.

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Carly’s experience also includes senior communications roles with the Ontario PC Leader and caucus, where she served as chief speechwriter and led media training for Ontario PC Party candidates.  

Previously, Carly worked at a boutique consulting firm where she led winning communications and public affairs campaigns for health care clients including hospitals, long-term care, mental health and addictions, pharmaceuticals, community-based care, and sector associations.   

At EnterpriseHealth, Carly provides guidance and counsel to clients on how to communicate with government, media, patients, communities and other stakeholders, successfully telling an organization’s story and promoting and protecting their brand.  

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