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Dr. Karima Velji

Chief of Nursing and Professional Practice (CNPP) and Assistant Deputy Minister (ADM), Province of Ontario

Dr. Velji is a healthcare leader with a proven track record in fostering the engagement of the patient (service user) and system partners to drive innovative models of care, integrating research and care to drive next practice, and creating cultures to unleash the potential of high performing teams to achieve stellar results. She has implemented innovative health human resource solutions within these models of care to ensure optimal scope of practice of all clinicians.

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Dr. Velji is currently the Chief of Nursing & Professional Practice and Assistant Deputy Minister for the Province of Ontario. She has held senior leadership positions in several Academic Health Science Centres and has operated a successful consulting company. Dr. Velji is a sought-after consultant for system level projects and has led external reviews of several organizations. She is a surveyor with Health Standards Organization/Accreditation Canada.

Dr. Velji’s responsibilities extend to provincial and national leadership. She has held the roles of Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of Accreditation Canada and member of Board of Directors or Health Standards Organization (2012-2018), United Way Campaign Chair for London Middlesex (2016) and as President and Chair of the Board of Directors of Canadian Nurses Association (2014-16).

Dr. Velji has cross-appointments to the University of Toronto, University of Western Ontario, University of Ontario Tech University and Nippissing University. She has won several outstanding achievement awards including the Sigma Theta Tau Excellence in Administration award, University of Toronto Distinguished Alumni award, Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) Margaret Comack Award of Excellence in Nursing Leadership, and the Award of Excellence in Teaching (student nominated) from the Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing at University of Toronto.

She has been profiled in the boundless banner campaign as an outstanding alumnus of University of Toronto. At the system/global level, Dr. Velji is a consultant to global sites, including East Africa, the Middle East and Asia, for development of policy, credentialing, training, and academic plans.

Tazim Virani

RN, PhD, Senior Vice President, Social Impact & Global Initiatives, SE Health

Dr. Tazim Virani is a Registered Nurse with a PhD in health policy, management and evaluation. She obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from University of Toronto, Master of Science in Nursing degree from Western University in London, Ontario, and Doctoral degree from the Faculty of Medicine at University of Toronto. Tazim is currently engaged with the School of Cities at University of Toronto, Social Purpose Real Estate accelerator program focused on building capacity among organizations involved in the development of affordable housing.

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Tazim brings close to 40 years of experience working in the health and social development sectors through various roles including: clinician, administrator, educator, researcher, and system leader. She has designed and led national and international programs in strengthening health systems, advancing human rights as well as human resource and organizational capacity building initiatives through design and testing of innovative programs. Some of the results include a 25- year legacy program in establishing evidence-based health care, international networks and knowledge partnerships, global joint ventures, and social impact programs addressing needs of marginalized communities and populations.

Tazim has completed a 6-year term on the governing board of Health Quality Ontario and a six-year term on Kinark Children’s Mental Health Board. She has academic affiliation with McMaster University as a Clinical Associate and sits on several Editorial boards. Tazim has participated in numerous collaborative research projects, provided keynote addresses and other conference presentations globally. She has numerous publications including publications of chapters in three textbooks.

Tazim is currently the Senior Vice President, Social Impact & Global Initiatives at SE Health. In this capacity, she is leading a social impact initiative called Future of Aging. This program focuses on a vision that provides older adults to live with dignity, choice and independence in their home and communities. The program has four key pillars: 1) Human rights and combating ageism; 2) Age friendly and affordable housing options; 3) Innovation in ageing; 4) Social connectedness. Our focused attention in this area is enlarged through partnership development, public engagement and storytelling.

Dana Wagner

Co-Founder and Managing Director, TalentLift Canada

Dana Wagner is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of TalentLift, a non-profit international recruitment agency supporting employers across Canada to recruit and relocate talent from within refugee populations worldwide. She was formerly Canada Director with Talent Beyond Boundaries, a Policy Advisor with Independent Senator Ratna Omidvar, and is the co-author of Flight and Freedom: Stories of Escape to Canada. She was named a 2022 emerging leader in social impact by The Peak. Dana has worked in Toronto, Ottawa, Hanoi, and Nairobi. She holds a Master of Global Affairs from the University of Toronto and a Bachelor of Journalism from Carleton University.

Shakeel Hirji

Global Coordinator, Focus Humanitarian Assistance

Shakeel Hirji has been the Global Coordinator of Focus Humanitarian Assistance for the past 10 years. In this role, he is responsible for the oversight and management of the FOCUS units in Europe and North America, and particularly for their international programmatic activities involving emergency management and refugee resettlement.

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Prior to working with FOCUS, Shakeel was the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Aga Khan Foundation Canada where his responsibilities included finance, communication, resource development and facilities management.

Shakeel’s background is in Oil and Gas where he worked for over 20 years in upstream data management sector. Following his long career in the Oil and Gas industry, Shakeel was a founding partner of a high-tech start-up that developed web conferencing technology.

Peter Faist

Founder, CEO, Staffy

Peter Faist is the Founder and CEO of Staffy, the fastest-growing digital staffing marketplace for healthcare in North America. His mission is to leverage technology so that no open healthcare worker shift goes unfilled, ensuring patients get the quality care they deserve. A highly regarded security architect, Peter ran his own consulting firm for several years, partnering with private and public sector clients to build networks that, amongst other things, powered the 2010 Olympics and built the first digital hospital in Ontario.

Camille Dunbar

Litigation Associate, Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP

Camille is an experienced litigator in employment, human rights and disability matters. She advises employers on all aspects of the employment relationship, from recruitment and contract drafting to discipline, termination and human resources law.

Camille has also significant experience in workplace investigations. She has conducted investigations and equity audits on behalf of school boards, non-profit organizations and large private and publicly traded companies. She has expertise in effectively tackling systemic discrimination and Anti-Black racism in workplaces.

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Camille takes pride in providing practical, cost-efficient advice, while zealously advocating for her client’s rights and interests throughout all stages of litigation. Camille is a skilled negotiator and advocate, appearing before all levels of court in Ontario and administrative Tribunals, including professional regulatory bodies, the Ontario Human Rights Commission, and the Ministry of Labour. She handles a broad range of civil and insurance litigation matters, including defending professional negligence claims as well as regulatory and disciplinary proceedings. She also teaches the Lawyer as Negotiator course at Osgoode Hall Law School.

Camille regularly appears on radio and media programs discussing current issues in Labour and Employment Law. She also serves as an Executive Member of the Ontario Bar Association’s Labour and Employment Group.

Amy Hallaran

PHD, RN, Professor, Fleming College, Trent University 

Dr. Amy Hallaran is a Registered Nurse with over 20 years of nursing experience. Dr. Hallaran’s professional experience has included direct practice experience in emergency departments in eastern Ontario, leadership roles in acute care, nursing regulation, academics, and home and community care. Currently, Dr. Hallaran is a professor with the Trent/Fleming School of Nursing at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario.

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Here, she teaches across the curriculum, including courses focused on Living with Chronic Illness, Research Methods for Health Professionals, supporting students in final clinical practicums, and research at the undergraduate and graduate level.

A component of Dr. Hallaran’s stewardship is focused on food security and community development. Dr. Hallaran is the chair of the Community Development Council of Quinte, a non-profit agency with a mission of promoting food security through community development, service provision and social planning.

Dr. Hallaran’s program of research contributes to the recruitment and retention of healthcare providers and promoting healthy work environments for high-quality provision of care. Dr. Hallaran’s current studies focus on readiness for practice of nursing students, the transition to practice of new nurses, and retention in the workforce.

Carly Ellis

Director, Health Practice, Enterprise Health

 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.

Caroline Ewen

Manager, Policy & Advocacy, World Education Services

Caroline Ewen is Manager, Policy & Advocacy with World Education Services. She leads research and policy advocacy initiatives aimed at addressing the skills underutilization of internationally educated health professionals (IEHPs) in Canada. She recently co-authored two policy briefs focused on expanding pathways to licensure for internationally trained physicians in Ontario and on addressing gaps in data on IEHPs to inform health workforce planning.

Paolo Varias

Associate Director of Clinical & Support Services, Seniors Services Division, Niagara Region

Paolo Varias is the Associate Director of Clinical and Support Services at Seniors Services Division of Niagara Region. He is responsible for directing and defining the quality, standards and clinical needs of Seniors Services Division.

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Before becoming Associate Director, Paolo held several leadership positions in long-term care such as Director of Care and Administrator. He also has a broad knowledge and experience in managing and leading health operations in primary healthcare and public health. He was a former Fellow on Health Policy Development Program (HPDP) and a current surveyor at Canadian Centre for Accreditation (CCA).

Paolo is a Registered Nurse and completed his Master of Science in Aging and Health at Queens University. He is currently completing his Master of Management (International Masters for Health Leadership) at Desautels Faculty of Management – McGill University.

In his spare time, Paolo enjoys hiking, cooking and spending time with his family.

Ernesto Sequera

CHRP, CHRL, Director, Human Resources – Talent Acquisition and Development, VHA Home HealthCare

Ernesto Sequera is a certified Human Resources Leader responsible to all aspects of the Talent Acquisition and Development at VHA Home HealthCare. In his current position, Ernesto oversees all the recruitment, retention, and development initiatives in the many diverse business areas including PSW, Nursing, Rehab, and Corporate. Ernesto leads an amazing HR team with an HR supervisor, HR Business

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Partners, Talent Acquisition Specialists, and HR Assistants who support the day-to-day recruitment and HR strategies across the organization. He enjoys supporting his organization by addressing peoples’ issues and ensure the success of the business. He cares about retention and providing a great employee experience, enabling employees to be as successful as they can be.

Sandra Ketchen

CEO, Spectrum Health


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Biography coming soon…

Pam Stoikopoulos

Founder & CEO, Big Eye Innovation

Pam Stoikopoulos is the Founder and CEO of Big Eye Innovation (BEI), a creative consultancy that helps organizations adapt, adopt and flourish through conscious collaboration, engagement, and the rigour of strategic innovation. 

Prior to launching BEI she blazed a trail at VHA Home HealthCare (VHA) most recently as Head of Innovation Engagement where she developed the organization’s innovation strategy, InnoVHAtion Centre of Excellence program and oversaw the Ideas to Innovation Fund.

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As Sr. Manager of Communications and PR she worked closely with HR to on several organization-wide initiatives including the Client Choice Awards—a program that recognizes spectacular staff—which was named a leading practice by Accreditation Canada.  

For nearly a decade, Pam consulted for Shepell-fgi (now Lifeworks), Canada’s largest Employee and Family Assistance Program Provider (EFAP) on a variety of projects including work for Bell, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Canada Post.

Pam holds a master’s degree in Management, Innovation and Entrepreneurship (MMIE) from Smith School of Business, Queen’s University, and is a PROSCI Certified Change Practitioner.

Margaret McKinnon

Professor, Psychiatry & Behavioural Neurosciences, McMaster University

Dr. Margaret McKinnon is Full Professor and Associate Chair, Research in Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences at McMaster University, where she holds the Homewood Chair in Mental Health and Trauma. She is also the Research Lead for Mental Health and Addictions at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton and a Senior Scientist at Homewood Research Institute.

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Work in Dr. McKinnon’s laboratory focuses on identifying the neural and behavioural correlates of PTSD and trauma-related illnesses and on translating this knowledge to the development and testing of novel treatment interventions aimed at reducing the cognitive and affective sequelae of these conditions. A licensed clinical psychologist and clinical neuropsychologist, Dr. McKinnon has a special interest in military, veteran, and public safety populations (including healthcare workers), and has worked with these groups clinically and in her research program. She has published or in press nearly 150 scientific works. Work in Dr. McKinnon’s lab is supported by federal and provincial funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Canadian Institute for Military and Veterans Health Research, Veterans Affairs Canada, Defence Canada, the PTSD Centre of Excellence, MITACS, and the Workers Safety Insurance Board of Ontario, by a generous donation to Homewood Research Institute from Homewood Health Inc., and by generous gifts from private foundations, including True Patriot Love, the Cowan Foundation, the Military Casualty Support Foundation, the FDC Foundation, and the AllOne Foundation. Dr. McKinnon is a frequent commentator in the media on matters related to PTSD, moral injury, and the impact of trauma on special populations.

Dr. Joseph Pellizzari

Clinical Health Psychologist, St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton
Co-Developer, Coping and Resilience Support Team (CARS)

Dr. Joseph Pellizzari is a clinical health psychologist at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, an academic health centre affiliated with McMaster University.  He has been a hospital-based psychologist for over 20 years working at the interface of medicine and mental health.  He was part of the development of the Coping and Resilience Support Team (CARS), as one part of the hospital’s response to providing mental health and psychosocial supports to staff during the pandemic.  The CARS Team has now travelled many kilometres and logged over a hundred visits to various staff groups and units across the hospital system. 

Erika Haber-Evans

MSc, Reg. Psychotherapist, Assistant Clinical Professor (PT), Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences, McMaster University,
Co-Developer, Coping and Resilience Support Team (CARS)

Erika has 15 years of experience providing specialized care to women with anxiety and depression in and outside of pregnancy and the postpartum period. She is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at McMaster University with prominent leadership roles in their Master’s of Psychotherapy Program and the Anxiety Treatment and Research Centre at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton.

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She is versed in a range of psychotherapeutic approaches to anxiety and depression including cognitive behavioural therapy, interpersonal psychotherapy, and mindfulness-based therapies, among others. She and Dr. Van Lieshout have developed an effective group CBT intervention for perinatal depression that is used in clinical settings around the world and that improves outcomes for mothers and mother-infant dyads. She lives in Halton and is mother to two young sons.

Kaiyan Fu

RN CHE CHRP MHSc​, Vice President, Senior’s Health ​& Chief Clinical Executive​, SE Health, Canada​

Kaiyan is a Registered Nurse, Certified Health Executive and Certified Human Resources Professional. As Vice President, Senior’s Health & Chief Clinical Executive at SE Health, Canada, she provides leadership to leverage best-in-class clinical approaches for defining organizational protocols, standards, and leading practices, monitor quality and safety performance, and implement continuous improvement across all clinical programs with a national scope.

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Kaiyan also provides executive leadership to more than 15 senior’s living facilities in the provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, and Ontario.

Kaiyan’s career path includes Chief Executive Officer at the Yee Hong Centre for Geriatric Care, one of the largest not-for-profit long term and community care organization in Canada, Director of Nursing Innovation and Change Management at St. Michael’s Hospital, an eminent leading academic health sciences centre in Canada, National Health Services Consulting Manager at Deloitte and Provincial Chief Nursing Officer with the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care.

Kaiyan is currently a Board of Governor and a member of the Board’s Quality Committee at North York General Hospital (NYGH), one of Canada’s best academic community hospitals. Prior to NYGH, she has served on the Boards of Accreditation Canada, the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario and the Canadian College of Health Leaders GTA Executive Committee. Kaiyan is fluent in Mandarin and Cantonese.

Alex Harris

RN, CHE, MN/MHSc, Ph.D., Senior Director, Nursing Practice & Education, Unity Health


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Full biography coming soon…

Dr. Andrea Baumann

B.Sc.N., M.Sc.N., Ph.D., FAAN, Associate Vice-President, Global Health

Dr. Andrea Baumann is the Associate Vice-President of Global Health, Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre in Primary Care and Health Human Resources and Fellow in the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. Dr. Baumann is widely recognized for her leadership, research and innovation. She has a history of guiding significant initiatives that have had an impact on health systems. She developed a transnational consortium model of graduate education that has received national and international awards.

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During her tenure as board chair, she amalgamated three large hospitals and created a more effective governance structure.

Dr. Baumann has over 200 peer-reviewed publications, including four books, and she is considered a methodological expert in health systems, human resources and workforce integration. Her work emphasizes the critical link between evidence, policy and practice. Foci include the effect of policy on the employment integration of internationally trained healthcare professionals, emerging trends in infectious disease and potential outcomes for health human resources and the influence of transdisciplinary collaboration on health education.

Angela Wignall

RN, BSN, BA, MA, Director, Professional Practice & Policy Implementation, Nurses and Nurse Practitioners of British Columbia


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Full biography coming soon…

Mary-Lou MacDonald

MSc, President, Inside Health & Business Consulting

A nationally recognized visionary thought leader and innovator, Mary-Lou’s interests and expertise lie where business and health science intersect, with ‘prevention’ being her primary mission. Her career began as a sport scientist working with elite athletes and coaches to help improve their performance. She translated her learnings in this area to the workplace, shifting her focus to improving the health and performance of employees, their leaders, and the organization.

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As a respected pioneering consultant in the field of workplace health and wellness in Canada, and in her role as President of INSIDE Health & Business Consulting, Mary-Lou has spearheaded many ground-breaking projects that have paved the way for leaders to understand and adopt healthy and high-performing workplace practices and strategy.

Her fascinating career encompassed establishing and leading the national Health & Performance practice within the Employee Benefits division of HUB International Canada, including the development of an innovative Digital Health Platform for clients.

Prior to joining HUB International, she led the employee wellness portfolio for Canada Post where she influenced and established a company-wide mental health strategy and initiatives for the 50,000 employees and their families. Serving as the Director of Research in Workplace Health, Wellness and Safety at the Conference Board of Canada she established the first ever benchmarking report on organizational health in Canada. Other career highlights include serving as the founding Chief Executive Officer of the Nova Scotia Health and Community Services Safety Association and Executive Director Atlantic, for Excellence Canada.

Myfanwy Marshall

Vice President, People and Experience, CAMH

Myfanwy Marshall is currently the Acting Vice President, People and Experience at CAMH, Canada’s largest mental health hospital. She joined CAMH in 2016, working in a number of roles and currently has oversight of t human resources and organizational development at CAMH. Prior to CAMH, she has worked in various industries in human resources and labour relations. With experience in both private and public sector, she is known as a collaborative partner and advisor. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends outside.

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