Board of Directors
PHO is accountable to the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care through the Chair of the Board of Directors. PHO operates organizationally as a separate entity from the government but is a part of government within a broader accountability framework set in government agreements, directives and procedures.
The Board is responsible for strategic planning and oversight of PHO. The Board ensures that PHO’s strategic, business and operational plans, policies and activities are consistent with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s (MOHLTC) policy directions as communicated by the Minister. The Board is composed of up to 13 members, recruited and appointed through the Public Appointments Secretariat.
On July 1, 2017, Dr. Robert Kyle became the Board Chair, succeeding Pierre Richard, who served with distinction as Board Chair for the past three years. Linda Rothstein became Vice-Chair of the Board on the same day.
Dr. Robert Kyle
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. Robert 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 PHO’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.
Robert is a former Medical Officer of Health for the Peterborough Public Health 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 PHO’s Board of Directors, Linda 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
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.
John 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
Dr. Praseedha Janakiram (M.D. McMaster University) 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 an Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto, Department of Family and Community Medicine (DFCM). She is Program Co-Director of the enhanced skills program in global health and vulnerable populations for family medicine residents at the DFCM. Praseedha is also the 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. Sandra is also a lecturer in public health at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine.
Sandra 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, Sandra 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.
Dr. Ronald St. John
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 PHO’s Strategic Planning Standing Committee (SPSC).
Dr. Catherine Whiting
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, Catherine 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, Catherine’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.