PHO is accountable to the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care through the Chair of the Board of Directors. According to its enabling legislation, PHO operates as a separate entity from the government but within a broader accountability framework set in government directives and procedures.
The Board is responsible for strategic planning and oversight of the organization. The Board ensures that PHO’s strategic, business and operational plans, policies and activities are consistent with the MOHLTC’s policy directions as communicated by the Minister. PHO has the ability to communicate findings based on scientific and technical research and knowledge. The Board is composed of up to 13 members, recruited and appointed through the Public Appointments Secretariat.
Effective July 1, 2017, Dr. Robert Kyle has been elected as the new Chair, succeeding Pierre Richard, who served with distinction as Chair for the past three years. Linda Rothstein has been elected as Vice-chair.
Dr. Robert Kyle (M.D. University of Toronto) is the commissioner and medical officer of health for the Regional Municipality of Durham. He is also an adjunct professor, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto. Kyle is an active member of many provincial and regional health organizations and has sat on many provincial planning tables. He previously served as vice-chair of Public Health Ontario’s Board of Directors. He holds a certificate in the specialty of Community Medicine (Public Health and Preventive Medicine) from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, is a fellow of the Royal College, holds a certificate in Family Medicine from the College of Family Physicians of Canada, and is a fellow of the American College of Preventive Medicine.
Kyle is a former medical officer of health for the Peterborough County-City Health Unit and associate medical officer of health for the Borough of East York Health Unit.
Linda Rothstein (LL.B. University of Toronto) is partner of Paliare Roland Barristers, a law practice with expertise in class actions, commercial litigation, professional liability, public law and appeals. In addition to serving as vice-chair of Public Health Ontario (PHO)’s Board of Directors, Rothstein serves as chair of PHO’s Governance Standing Committee (GSC). She is also the chair of the Law Foundation of Ontario.
She was lead commission counsel to the Goudge Inquiry into Pediatric Forensic Pathology and counsel to the Motherisk Independent Review. She previously served as a Toronto Regional Bencher of The Law Society of Upper Canada and was the recipient of the prestigious Law Society Medal and the “Award of Distinction” presented by the Toronto Lawyers’ Association.
Dr. John Garcia (Ph.D. University of Waterloo) is a professor of practice and associate director of Professional Graduate Programs at the School of Public Health and Health Systems, University of Waterloo.
Garcia has many years of experience working with government, private sector, voluntary health, and academic organizations to advance public health, health promotion, chronic disease prevention, and tobacco control initiatives. He has served previously in the Ontario Public Service, with senior management responsibility for health promotion and chronic disease prevention initiatives.
Dr. Praseedha Janakiram is a family physician at Women's College Hospital Crossroads Refugee Clinic, with special interests in women's health, HIV primary care, and global health. She is faculty at the University of Toronto, Department of Family and Community Medicine and currently leads the post-graduate enhanced skills training in Global Health and Vulnerable Populations in family medicine. She has served as co-lead of the Toronto Addis Ababa Academic Collaboration supporting the development of a family medicine specialty in Ethiopia.
Sandra Laclé (M.Sc.N. University of Western Ontario) is a member of the Sudbury and District Health Unit’s senior leadership team where she is the director of the health promotion division and the chief nursing officer. Laclé is also a lecturer in public health at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine.
Laclé has more than 30 years of senior leadership experience working in the public health sector, advancing chronic disease prevention, injury prevention, child health promotion, mental wellness, control of communicable diseases and health equity programming. Prior to joining the Sudbury and District Health Unit, Laclé worked in acute and long term care with the Bonavista Peninsula Health Care Complex in Newfoundland. She began her career as a nurse at St. Clare’s Mercy Hospital in Newfoundland and as a public health nurse in rural Newfoundland.
Warren Law (LL.B, LL.M. Osgoode Hall Law School) is a lawyer who has had a keen interest in health care-related issues for many years. He serves as chair of Public Health Ontario’s Audit and Finance Standing Committee (AFSC). An executive in the financial services sector throughout most of his career, Law also serves as the chair of the West Park Healthcare Centre Board of Directors. He also served on the Scarborough Hospital Board of Directors for six years (retiring as vice-chair) and the Finance, Investment and Audit Committee of Canada Health Infoway for eight years. He completed the Directors Education Program accreditation of the Institute of Corporate Directors.
Suresh Madan is the president and CEO of MyHealth Centre, which is a chain of 25 multi-specialty healthcare facilities across Ontario. He is also a financial analyst, portfolio manager and compliance manager for Excalibur Capital Management, an investment fund investing in North American companies. Madan has over 30 years of international experience in wide ranging businesses and geographies as manager, investor and entrepreneur.
Madan is active in various community organizations including the TiE Global Board of Trustees, the American College of Healthcare Executives and the Toronto CFA Society. He completed his MBA with a gold medal at the Indian Institutes of Management (IIM) Ahmedabad. He also holds a Chartered Financial Analyst designation, a Canadian Investment Manager designation and graduation in Industrial Engineering.
Ford Ralph (M.B.A. York University) is a retired vice-president of Petro-Canada, where he was responsible for retail and wholesale operations across Canada. In a previous role as vice-president refining and supply, Ralph initiated the development of Petro-Canada’s Corporate National Emergency Response Team and Corporate Crisis Management Team and acted as National Incident Commander for the Team. He holds the professional engineer (P. Eng.) designation and the professional ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors.
Ralph recently served on the Hydro Ottawa Holding Inc. Board of Directors and was a member of the Audit Committee, the Investment Review Committee and the Strategic Investments Oversight Committee. He is a past governor on the Shaw Festival Board of Governors and was a member of the Finance and Audit Committee, Governance Committee, and Strategic Planning Committee.
Pierre Richard (LL.M. Harvard) is a retired corporate lawyer. As a senior partner and counsel with Lang Michener, his practice focused mainly on business law, acquisitions, advocacy and regulatory matters. He holds the professional ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors.
Richard has more than 30 years of governance experience in health, post-secondary education and the generation and distribution of electricity. In addition to serving as the immediate past chair of Public Health Ontario’s Board of Directors, he previously served as the chair of the board for Hydro Ottawa Holdings, La Cité Collégiale, the Association of Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology of Ontario (now Colleges Ontario), and the Ottawa General Hospital. He has also been a director of the National Capital Commission and the Ottawa Congress Centre, and as a member of the College Compensation and Appointments Council (Ontario).
Janet Hatcher Roberts (M.Sc. Queen’s University) leads the WHO Collaborating Centre on Knowledge Translation, Technology Assessment for Health Equity with the Centre for Global Health, Bruyère Research Institute in her position as co-director. She is also an adjunct assistant professor in the Faculty of Medicine, School of Public Health at the University of Ottawa and an adjunct assistant professor at Dalhousie University in the Department of Community Medicine and Epidemiology and the Office of Global Health.
From 1997 to 2013 Roberts was the executive director of the Canadian Society for International Health, where she oversaw the design and implementation of global health systems strengthening projects. Over the past three decades, she has been involved in global health and development and research capacity development with the Canadian government, UN Agencies, World Bank and Asian Development Bank. She has also served as director of the Migration Health Department with the International Organization for Migration in Geneva.
Dr. Ronald St. John (M.P.H. Harvard) is a long-time leader in public health and infectious diseases with 35 years of expertise in the management of medical science for public health programs, legislation and policy development. He currently consults extensively with the World Health Organization on emergency responses to epidemics and national compliance with the International Health Regulations. He serves as the chair of Public Health Ontario’s Strategic Planning Standing Committee (SPSC).
He previously served as director-general at Health Canada where he was responsible for developing Canada’s first Centre for Emergency Preparedness and Response for public health crises and disasters. While at Health Canada and subsequently the Public Health Agency of Canada, St. John managed the federal health response to the SARS epidemic in Canada, rebuilt the Canadian Quarantine Service and co-founded the Global Public Health Intelligence Network. He is a well-known publisher of scientific articles that have received numerous awards.
St. John sat on a number of Canadian and international scientific committees including serving as chair of the World Health Organization’s Global Outbreak and Response Network. Earlier in his career he worked for the United States Public Health Service at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Carole Weir (M.Ed. Queen’s University) is an education executive who retired as the director of education for the Superior North Catholic District School Board and devoted many years to the administration of education in the Frontenac, Lennox and Addington Catholic Board of Education. This experience has given her expertise in strengthening public health through policy development and systematic and organizational change. Presently Weir is the President of the Queen’s University Women's Association. She was a member of the Council of the Faculty of Education at Queen’s University and Vice-Chairperson of the Foundation Board of the Algonquin Lakeshore Catholic District School Board.
Weir has more than 30 years of experience in education and has fulfilled a wide range of administrative and governance roles in this sector, including co-coordinator, principal, consultant, superintendent and director of education for district school boards in Kingston and northern Ontario.
In the health sector she was previously the chairperson of the Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington Community Care Access Centre, chairperson of the Southeastern Ontario Infection Control Network , president of the Ontario Physical and Health Education Association, and served on the Advisory Council for the Kingston General Hospital.
Dr. Catherine Whiting (M.D. University of Western Ontario) is a retired medical officer of health / executive officer who worked for the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit for three years and for the North Bay and District Health Unit for 17 years. Prior to entering public health, she had a solo family practice for 8 years. Since her retirement, Whiting has focused on improvement of inequities in health through poverty reduction with links to Social Planning Network of Ontario, Poverty Free Ontario and local poverty reduction workgroup.
During her career, Whiting’s involvement in heath planning included the formation and chairship of a local District Health Council (now LHIN) and serving as a member of the provincial association. She was a founding member of the former Northern Information Partnership, the former Northern Diabetes Health Network and Northern Regional Genetics Steering Committee. She served as a director and president in the Rotary Club of North Bay.