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Bernard Derible

Deputy Minister and Commissioner of Emergency Management, Treasury Board Secretariat, Ontario Public Service Leadership

Bernie Derible is the Deputy Minister and Commissioner of Emergency Management Ontario. He has 35+ years of service as a nation builder in conflict zones and a senior military officer for UN and NATO peace support operations. He led the strategic review and flood management planning following the devastating Thailand floods in 2009 and authored pandemic and emergency preparedness plans for international organizations and governments in Thailand, Afghanistan, Laos, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Pakistan and Mongolia.

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His nation building work led him back to Afghanistan, where he became Chief of Staff to the President and delivered a strategy for governance, infrastructure, agriculture and education. In Canada, he was responsible for the federal government emergency response to the Ontario Ice storm – Ottawa Region (1998) and was seconded to the City of Winnipeg as the Chief of Staff to coordinate federal emergency resources and personnel during the Winnipeg Floods (1997). While serving as the acting Base Commander of Canadian Forces Base Petawawa, he led the successful response for Ottawa Valley Region Y2K planning and preparedness. Additionally, he was responsible for emergency, crisis and mass casualty preparedness exercises at Atomic Canada Chalk River Laboratories and the Pembroke General Hospital. 

In 2015, Bernie returned to Canada to design and implement the Syria refugee program, where he was responsible for safely welcoming 67,000 Syrian refugees and 1500 Yazidi women and children fleeing violence. His Cape-Breton roots uniquely placed him to author the Atlantic immigration pilot, heralded by the Wall Street Journal and the Economist for generating $250 million annually in GDP Growth, a critical pillar for Canada’s ascension into the top 10 global economies in 2020.  Most recently, while in East Timor conducting leadership training and executive coaching, Bernie answered the call to return to Ontario as a Senior Advisor on the COVID-19 vaccine distribution task force, which coordinated the successful roll-out of over 30 million vaccinations across Ontario, now rated top three in the world.

Helen Feng

Emergency Preparedness & Risk Specialist, Integrated Risk Management, Oak Valley Health


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Full biography coming soon…

Siobhan Pickering

Emergency Preparedness Specialist, Michael Garron Hospital, Toronto East Health Network

Siobhan Pickering is the Emergency Preparedness Specialist at Michael Garron Hospital. Siobhan gained her masters in Emergency Preparedness in 2020, and plays an integral part in helping the organization achieve its goals in preparing and responding to Emergency codes. Siobhan leads the Emergency Preparedness committee at MGH working with interdisciplinary team members to plan, coordinate, and standardize work around their emergency codes.

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 The emergency code work includes revising policies to ensure the current situation is accounted for, and training on the codes for all staff is completed. She is responsible for three types of training currently, unit level scenarios, leadership tabletops and scenarios, and yearly code testing for code Red.

Siobhan is dedicated to furthering the emergency preparedness work at MGH, by working with different in-patient areas to develop Business Continuity, hospital wide emergency simulations, and by promoting the importance of downtime preparations.

Cheryl Nelson

Manager of Operational Readiness, Michael Garron Hospital, Toronto East Health Network

Cheryl Nelson has 15+ years of healthcare experience, most recently as Manager of Operational Readiness in Redevelopment. Prior to this role, she has served the previous 8 year as the Educator of the Emergency Department (ED) and Medical Short Stay Unit (MSSU). She has diverse experience in public health, clinical education, coaching, and organizational operations. Cheryl has utilized her expertise to lead process improvement initiatives such as simulated interviews that have positively impacted talent retention at her hospital of employment.

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Cheryl holds a Bachelor of Nursing degree from York University, a Master of Nursing degree from Toronto Metropolitan University and has successfully completed her certification in Simulation Instructor Training and Advance Critical Event Debriefing from Harvard University’s Center for Medical Simulation. Cheryl is passionate about change management, quality and safety, and continuing education. In 2016, Cheryl was the recipient of the Nelson Mandela Humanitarian award, as recognition for her dedication to clinical excellence and change management within the community. Cheryl shares her expertise with the East Toronto community by volunteering with a variety of charitable and non for profit organizations.

Simon Bridgland

RN, Emergency Management Specialist, Risk, Niagara Health

Simon Bridgland is an Emergency Management Specialist at Niagara Health, a multi-site hospital, comprised of five sites and multiple satellite locations serving over 450,000 residents across the 12 municipalities making up Niagara Region. Niagara Health is one of Ontario’s largest hospital systems, with 7,300 employees, physicians and volunteers.

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Simon has been a Registered Nurse since 1995 and joined Niagara Health in October 2020. He has been instrumental in the roll out of new and refreshed emergency preparedness policies and procedures; the update of the Emergency Code system and the Code of the Month training program; standardization of Fire Life Safety training across the organization; as well as facilitating successful emergency drills, and full scale exercises.

Prior to his current role, Simon worked in Pre-hospital care as a Primary Care Paramedic, a Staff Nurse and Clinical Leader in the Emergency Department, and various roles in Occupational Health and Safety. Simon holds an Honours Diploma in Nursing from Seneca College as well as an Honours Graduate Certificate in Occupational Health Nursing from Mohawk College. He is currently working towards a Bachelor’s Degree in Adult Education at Brock University.

Simon is passionate about health and safety and believes that every employee, patient, and visitor deserves to go home to their family. When not working, Simon spends his time with his beautiful wife, three children and his dog in Burlington, Ontario.

Phil Jewell

Founder, Impact Leadership

Phil is a graduate of the British Army’s Royal Military Academy of Sandhurst, arguably the world’s best leadership school. He has served with the British, Canadian, and US Army. By his midtwenties he was leading soldiers in overseas combat, going on to serve as a senior leader working alongside nations and cultures from around the world. His subsequent journey led him to becoming an executive in both the provincial and federal governments, as well as an academic leadership instructor, before launching his own boutique leadership development business.

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He is a certified executive coach, has held the project
management professional (PMP) designation, and has an MA in Disaster and Emergency Management. He is a lifelong learner trying to show up every day. A human, with many flaws and failures that have made him who he is today.

Some of his career highlights include:

  • Leading a highly diverse, 40-person combat team in Afghanistan, involving numerous high-risk operations.
  • Working in the US Army Headquarters that was responsible for all operations in the Middle East, including Syria and Iraq.
  • Leading the training and deployment of a 350-person immediate response organization that provided military assistance to the Atlantic Provinces.
  • Planning and leading an intensive assessment course to select the future leaders of the British Army who would deploy on operations.
  • Leading the training of newly commissioned officers into the Canadian Armed Forces.
  • Leading a multi-disciplinary team responsible for the safety and security of all marine transportation in the Arctic Waters, importantly including the Northwest Passage.

Fardous Hosseiny

President and CEO, The Atlas Institute for Veterans and Families

Fardous Hosseiny (he/him) is the President and CEO at the Atlas Institute for Veterans and Families, located at the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre in Ottawa.

Before coming to Atlas, Fardous was most recently the interim National Chief Executive Officer and the National Director of Research and Public Policy, at the Canadian Mental Health Association.

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His research focuses on strategic policy issues related to mental health system transformation, parity legislation, Veteran and their Families mental health, substance use and addiction and mental health for newcomers and underrepresented groups. Fardous is also a frequent commentator on these issues for Global News, CBC, CTV News, The Globe and Mail, The Toronto Star, among others.

Fardous was a part of the Canadian delegation to the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly and played a role in the development of the first ever United Nations event dedicated to mental health.

Fardous also serves on many national and international committees, including as an executive advisor on the Global Alliance for Mental Health Advocates (GAMHA), co-chair of the Research Reference Group at the Centre of Excellence on PTSD and past co-chair for the Canadian Alliance for Mental Illness and Mental Health (CAMIMH) and Canadians for Equitable Access to Depression Medication (CEADM).

Fardous completed a Master of Science with a focus on the neuroscience of addiction and a BSc Honours, both at the University of Toronto. He also holds a Certified Health Executive (CHE) designation from the Canadian College of Health Leaders.

Fardous is on the Board of Directors – Canadian Juries Commission.

Anthony Fong

MD CCFP (EM), Clinical Assistant Professor, Faculty of Medicine, UBC, Journalism Fellow, Dalla Lana School of Public Health

Anthony Fong is an emergency and family physician based in Vancouver. He serves as the Director of Communications for Canadian Medical Assistance Teams (CMAT) and has responded to disaster deployments in Honduras, Poland and Ukraine, and as a clinical health specialist for the Canadian Red Cross domestically.

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He holds an Associate Certificate in Emergency Management from the Justice Institute of BC, a Fellowship in Global Journalism from the University of Toronto and is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Disaster Medicine at the Center for Research and Training in Disaster Medicine, Humanitarian Aid and Global Health. He is currently a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at UBC, where he teaches residents and medical students. Fong has written articles on healthcare and disaster management in publications such as CBC, the Canadian Journal of Emergency Medicine and The Conversation.

Phil Porter

Emergency Preparedness Coordinator, IWK Health Centre

Phil Porter is the Emergency Preparedness Coordinator at IWK Health, the Maritimes’ tertiary care pediatric hospital in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Phil spent twenty-nine years as a practicing paramedic, communications officer, and supervisor. He has accumulated more than forty years of experience in the hospital, ambulance and healthcare industries including emergency preparedness, quality assurance, staff and patient care, training, policy, and best practice development and implementation.

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As part of his responsibilities at the IWK, Phil is involved in leading, training, and exercising the Hospital Based Reception of Contaminated Patients program.

Phil was part of the project team that successfully developed and implemented an enhanced provincial ambulance service for the province of Prince Edward Island (Island EMS) and was principal co-writer of the plan for an enhanced ambulance service for the province of New Brunswick (Ambulance New Brunswick).

Phil is married to Judy (his personal patient) and when not working, is a featured soloist in Nova Scotia’s Provincial Men’s Choir, Nova Voce. He’s also released two CDs of his own music, and considers his happy place sitting at the piano…

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