Public Health Ontario
Pamela Leece, Public Health Physician and COM-CAP Lead
Pamela Leece (she/her) is a Public Health Physician with the Health Promotion, Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention department at PHO. She is an Assistant Professor cross-appointed with the Department of Family and Community Medicine and Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. Pam also practices part-time as a Courtesy Staff in the Substance Use Service at Women’s College Hospital. Her current research focuses on public health approaches to substance use.
Caroline Bennett Abuayyash, Knowledge Exchange Specialist
Caroline (she/her) is a Knowledge Exchange Specialist with the Health Promotion, Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention department at PHO. She brings a diverse set of experiences in health equity and community collaborations. In the past she has led training and facilitation on various health equity conversations, led knowledge sharing in areas of equity and data, and consulted on building measurement and accountability around equity. Caroline’s education is in the area of social psychology.
Meron Mengistu, Research Coordinator
Meron (she/her) is a Research Coordinator with the Health Promotion, Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention department at PHO. Meron has led and collaborated on research in the area of implementation sciences, where she investigates the factors influencing implementation of vaccine programs and services in underserved communities. She is an enthusiastic advocate for the implementation of evidence-based policies and practices that promote health and equity.
Kate Sellen, Director and Principal Investigator at the Health Design Studio
Kate Sellen (she/her) is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Design at OCAD University and a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Health Design. She is also the Director of the Health Design Studio at OCAD. While at OCAD Kate has served on several program committees as well as university-wide committees and initiatives and several hiring committees. Kate was the Inaugural Director of the Health Design Master's Program.
Maryam Mallakin, Research Assistant
Maryam Mallakin (she/her) is a design researcher and health designer focusing on both medical and health domains. Her cross-disciplinary experience in health science and design includes academic degrees and professional practice in anesthesiology, microbiology, environmental design, and health design. Maryam holds a Master of Design in Design for Health Her primary field of research and design interest lies at the intersection of mental and physical health and the intervention design of healthcare systems, services, products, and processes, particularly in the context of public health. Maryam is also a Research Associate at the Health Design Studio, OCAD University.
Christina Dery, Research Assistant
Christina Dery (she/her) is a Senior Service Designer with the Public Service and holds a Research Assistant position with the Health Design Studio at OCAD University. She holds a Bachelor of Design (BDes) in Graphic Design and a Masters of Design (MDes) in Design for Health. She believes design has the power to help solve complex problems through human-centered, participatory design methods, and the power of storytelling to uplift the voices of those impacted by complex issues. Her focus on the human-centred design of experiences, processes, services, and products focus primarily in health-related domains and healthcare settings.
Robert Schwartz, Lead at the Strategy Design and Evaluation Initiative
Robert Schwartz (he/him) leads the Strategy Design and Evaluation Initiative at the University of. He is a Professor at the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto. He is also the Executive Director of the Ontario Tobacco Research Unit. Rob has made important contributions to the literature on evaluating complex strategies and has applied this knowledge in evaluating the Smoke-Free Ontario Strategy. His formal training is in political science specializing in public policy and administration.
Sumedha Kushwaha, Evaluator
Sumedha Kushwaha (she/her) is a PhD Student at the Temerty Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto. She is also associated with the Center for Mental Health and Addiction. Her key focus areas of interest includes substance use and population health sciences.
Our Advisory Committee provides community-focused expertise and direction on how to centre the needs and experiences of impacted communities. Membership includes:
Brandon Bailey, Windsor Overdose Prevention Society
Rob Boyd, Ottawa Inner City Health
Wayne Bishop, Eastern Health Newfoundland and Labrador
Jeanette Bowles, Centre on Drug Policy Evaluation, MAP Centre for Urban Health Solutions
Jennifer Levy, Toronto Public Health
Joshua Nokonagos,Peel Drug User’s Network
Iye Sanneh, Canadian Association of People who Use Drugs
Ashley Smoke, Nat Kaminski, Ontario Network of People who Use Drugs
Darryl Souliere-Lamb, Nicole Blackman, Indigenous Primary Health Care Council
Lorie Steer, The Neighborhood Group
Our Scientific Team provides ongoing consultations and expertise from community and academic partners. Membership includes:
Daniel Buchman, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
Kim Corace, The Royal (Ottawa) & University of Ottawa
Alison Govier, Community Drug and Alcohol Strategy Grey-Bruce
Michael Hamilton, Institute for Safe Medication Practices Canada
Meldon Kahan, Women’s College Hospital
Karen Ng, Toronto Academic Pain Medicine Institute – Women’s College Hospital
Cynthia Olsen, City of Thunder Bay, Thunder Bay Drug Strategy
Bernie Pauly, Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research, University of Victoria
Greg Penney, Canadian Public Health Association
Carol Strike, Dalla Lana School of Public Health (University of Toronto)
Kate Sellen, OCAD University
Sheena Taha, Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction