Provincial Infectious Diseases Advisory Committee on Infection Prevention and Control (PIDAC-IPC)
PIDAC-IPC is a multidisciplinary committee of health care professionals with expertise and experience in Infection Prevention and Control.
The committee advises PHO on the prevention and control of health care-associated infections, considering the entire health care system, with a focus on clients, patients and residents, as well as health care providers.
PIDAC-IPC produces best practice documents that are evidence-based, to the largest extent possible, to assist health care organizations in improving quality of care, as well as client, patient and resident safety.
To see resources published by the Committee, please scroll to the bottom of the page.
PIDAC Call for Members
PIDAC-IPC is currently seeking a new committee member: an IPAC health care professional in Northern Ontario.
See our Call for Member. (IPAC health care professional in Northern Ontario)
Dr. Dominik Mertz, Chair
Dr. Mertz completed his medical training in internal medicine and infectious diseases in Switzerland prior to moving to Canada to complete a Master of Health Research Methodology at McMaster University. He is currently the Division Director of Infectious Diseases and an associate professor in the Department of Medicine, and is affiliated with the Departments for Health Research Methods, Evidence and Impact, the Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine, the Population Health Research Institute (PHRI), and the Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Diseases Research. He serves as the Medical Director of Infection Prevention and Control at Hamilton Health Sciences and as the chair of the regional Hub and Spoke for congregate settings as well as for the regional infection prevention and control committee. He is an associate editor for JAMMI, and is the first named editor of the book “Evidence-based Infectious Diseases”, and has written numerous book chapters. He teaches at McMaster University, and is a member and working group chair with the Canadian Nosocomial Infection Surveillance Program (CNISP).
Dr. Susy Hota, Co-chair
Susy Hota is a hospital epidemiologist and the Medical Director of Infection Prevention and Control at the University Health Network (UHN), and a clinician in Quality Improvement and Innovation at the University of Toronto. She completed medical school, residency training, and a Master’s of Science in clinical epidemiology and health research at the University of Toronto.
Hota’s clinical and research interests include improving the control and management of Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI), understanding the long-term health effects of fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) and improving health systems response to infectious diseases emergencies
Maria Louise Azzara
Louise Azzara has been working in Public Health for 28 years. She began her career as a public health inspector in 1994 with the Province of Saskatchewan. She worked for the Muskoka Parry Sound Health Unit in 2000 and the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit in 2004, specializing in infection prevention and control (IPAC) , outbreak management, sporadic disease investigations and supported IPAC Programs in Health Care, Community Care and public settings. Louise obtained a Masters in Infectious Diseases in 2009. She joined York Region Public Health in 2019 as an IPAC Specialist supporting IPAC in Community Health Care, and is presently Acting IPAC Supervisor assisting IPAC Programs in long-term care homes, retirement homes and congregate living settings as well as acute care and public settings. She has been certified in Infection Control and Epidemiology (CIC) since 2013.
Anne Augustine Co-Lead
Anne Augustin has worked in the field of Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) for many years with IPAC leadership roles in a variety of health care settings including long term care, a large tertiary care centre, and a small rural community hospital. Her current position is Manager (A) for Health System / Public Health Support and Guidance in the Response and Recovery Structure of Health Protection at Public Health Ontario.
Anne is a registered medical laboratory technologist. She obtained and has held her Certification in Infection Control (CIC®) since 1991. Anne has been very involved with IPAC Canada at both the local and national level and has both led and participated in the development of multiple IPAC Canada position statements and practice recommendations. Anne is a frequent lecturer for IPAC courses through Centennial College.
Michelle Science Co-Lead
Michelle Science is an Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) Physician in Health Protection at Public Health Ontario and a pediatric infectious disease physician at the Hospital for Sick Children, where she has been the medical advisor for IPAC since 2017. She joined the Provincial Infectious Advisory Committee on Infection Prevention and Control (PIDAC-IPC) in 2021 as the Scientific Lead.
Science completed her medical degree at McMaster University and training in pediatrics and infectious diseases at the University of Toronto. She completed an MSc in health research methodology at McMaster University. Her research is focused in the areas of infection prevention and control and antimicrobial stewardship.
Megan is a registered nurse, holding both a bachelors and masters degree in nursing. Megan has spent her career working at SickKids in Toronto, spending her first 8 years working as a RN in the NICU, then in 2010 joining the Infection Prevention and Control department. In 2019 Megan became the co-chair of the IPAC Canada Pediatric and Neonatal Interest Group, and in 2020 became a member of the Certification Board of Infection Control and Epidemiology Test Committee.
Dr. Jennie Johnstone
Dr. Johnstone obtained her medical degree from Dalhousie University. She then moved to Edmonton, Alberta where she completed her Internal Medicine and Infectious Disease training at the University of Alberta. Following her residency she completed a clinical research fellowship in Edmonton and subsequently, completed her PhD in Health Research Methodology (Epidemiology) at McMaster University.
Dr. Johnstone is currently an infectious diseases physician at UHN/Sinai Health and is the Medical Director of Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) at Sinai Health. She is an associate professor in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology at the University of Toronto. Her research interests focus on prevention of healthcare associated infections and she has published more than 100 peer reviewed research articles in the field. In addition to being a member of PIDAC, she is the vice chair of the Public Health Agency of Canada’s National Advisory of IPAC, chair of the Ontario’s Provincial Expert Testing Strategy Panel, and is chair of the Toronto Region IPAC Hub Coordination Table.
Liz McCreight graduated from the University Of Ontario Institute Of Technology where she obtained her HBA in adult education and digital technology. She has been certified in Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) since 2012 and completed a Master of Science in quality improvement and patient safety from the University of Toronto in 2020.
Liz is currently the Director, IPAC & Risk at Sinai Health in Toronto. Her portfolio includes IPAC, risk and human factors including providing IPAC support to long-term care and retirement homes as part of Sinai Health’s role as a Toronto Region IPAC Hub. She began her career in front-line IPAC at Mount Sinai Hospital in 2009 as the Manager for IPAC. She joined Public Health Ontario in 2013 to apply a provincial lens in developing practical tools and resources to support IPAC in health care settings and returned to Sinai Health in the director role in 2015.
Francine is the Director of Infection Prevention and Control at peopleCare Communities. Prior to joining peopleCare, she was the team lead of IPAC West Regional Team of Public Health Ontario. She joined PHO in 2013 as an infection control consultant before becoming a regional IPAC specialist in 2016. Francine began her career 1992 as a public health inspector with the former Oxford County Public Health, specializing in IPAC since 1998. She has maintained her CIC certification since 2007.
Francine recently concluded her term as Past-President of IPAC SWO, a chapter of IPAC Canada after serving on the executive for 6 years.
Dr. Michael Payne
Michael Payne completed his medical microbiology residency training at the University of British Columbia. He is an assistant professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine for the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry at Western University. For the past five years, Dr. Payne has been practicing as a medical microbiologist and the medical director of infection prevention and control at London Health Sciences Centre. He is a member of the Canadian Nosocomial Infection Surveillance Program (CNISP) and Society of Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA). He is actively involved in medical education at Western University.
Erika Vitale is currently Director of Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) and Pandemic Planning for Windsor Regional Hospital. She holds an undergraduate degree in biological sciences from the University of Windsor, and is a medical laboratory technologist with experience in microbiology and pathology. She completed her Master of Public Health in 2014 through the University of Waterloo.
In her 14 years of work in infection control she has implemented IPAC programs at 3 facilities, including the realignment of acute care IPAC services in Windsor, Ontario. She has lead various teams in the control of outbreaks of infectious disease and antibiotic resistant organisms, and has guided staff in the implementation of best practices, which has led to decreased infection rates. She recently served as chair of the IPAC working group involved in Cerner Implementation for the Erie St. Clair region.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Erika has chaired the Regional IPAC table whose responsibility is to advise the Regional Operations and IMS tables of recommendations related to IPAC and COVID-19 management as well as standardize practices across facilities. She supported several local nursing homes and rest homes through “IPAC Swat Team” on-site visits, and outbreak investigations during the first and second waves of COVID-19, and is currently the lead for the Erie St. Clair IPAC Hub that continues to support congregate living settings in refining their IPAC programs.
Laurie is the senior manager of the Infection Prevention and Control program at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids). She has been an ICP at SickKids since 1998 and a registered nurse since 1991. Her experience is in neonatal and pediatric infection prevention and control with a special interest in surgical site infections.
Dr Herveen Sachdeva
Herveen Sachdeva is a public health and preventive medicine physician. She has worked for Toronto Public Health as an associate medical officer of health since completing her fellowship training at the University of Toronto in 2006.
Over these years, she has focused in communicable disease control in the areas of outbreak control and prevention, and infection prevention and control in community settings. She is an adjunct lecturer with the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto.
Vydia Nankoosingh is as a general medical laboratory technologist with 11 years of experience working in microbiology. She started as an Infection Control Professional in 2001 at the North York General Hospital where she worked predominantly in acute care and also gained experience in the rehabilitation and long term care settings.
Nankoosingh moved to the University Health Network in 2004 where she had the opportunity to work on the Infection Control Resource Team (OAHPP), lead UHN’s external consulting and become a team leader. Nankoosingh has been at The Scarborough Hospital since 2010 as a manager of IPAC. She is also an executive member of IPAC-GTA (local chapter of IPAC-Canada) and has been certified by the Certification Board of Infection Control and Epidemiology since March 2004.
Conflict of Interest Rules
Public Health Ontario recognizes that many external advisors may not be completely free of actual, potential or perceived conflict of interest, as they may have affiliations with regulated industries, the scientific community or special interest groups, which receive funding from industry.
In an attempt to avoid or mitigate conflict of interest, we have developed conflict of interest rules that are intended to achieve a reasonable balance of those divergent considerations and the expertise we hope to gain from the external advisors, while avoiding or mitigating conflict of interest. To this end, each candidate will be asked to complete a conflict of interest disclosure form as part of the application process.