Our leadership team provides executive leadership to PHO’s
- science and public health functions: communicable diseases, laboratory science, infection prevention and control, applied immunization research and evaluation, environmental and occupational health, health promotion, chronic disease and injury prevention, and emergency preparedness and response
- laboratory operations
- research, information and knowledge services
- corporate functions: finance, procurement, human resources, facilities and legal and privacy
Dr. Peter Donnelly
President and Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Peter Donnelly leads PHO, the provincial agency which provides evidence for policy formulation and undertakes public health capacity building, as well as providing integrated public health laboratory and surveillance systems.
He is an accomplished leader with extensive experience in government and public health policy and program development and delivery at the local, national and international levels.
Prior to joining PHO, Peter was the Professor of Public Health Medicine at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, where he established and led public health medicine research and teaching. From 2004 to 2008 he was the Deputy Chief Medical Officer to the Scottish Government, providing senior leadership and coordination at a national level. His experience includes national planning for communicable disease control and pandemic and emergency preparedness, as well as a range of public health promotion initiatives. As the Director of Public Health in two jurisdictions, he was responsible for the delivery of local public health services and programs.
Peter received his medical degree from the University of Edinburgh Medical School, and has earned multiple degrees and credentials, including masters in both business administration and public health. He is an active researcher and lecturer in many areas of public health, with a focus on health systems governance and on violence reduction. He is involved with numerous national and international associations.
Dr. Brian Schwartz
Brian Schwartz provides executive leadership for PHO’s science and public health functions including: communicable diseases; laboratory science, infection prevention and control, applied immunization research and evaluation, environmental and occupational health, health promotion, chronic disease and injury prevention, and emergency preparedness and response.
Brian has served as Scientific Advisor to the Emergency Management branch of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) and held the position of Vice-Chair of Ontario’s SARS Scientific Advisory Committee. He also chaired the MOHLTC’s Scientific Response Team during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic. Brian practiced emergency medicine for over 30 years in both community and academic settings, as well as held the position of Director of Sunnybrook Osler Centre for PreHospital Care from 1996-2009. He has been published extensively and has received many awards for clinical and academic excellence in emergency and family medicine; he currently holds an Associate Professor position at the University of Toronto in the Department of Family and Community Medicine and the Dalla Lana School of Public Health.
Brian received his medical degree from the University of Toronto where he also received his Master of Science in Community Health. He received his certification in emergency medicine from and is a Fellow of the College of Family Physicians of Canada.
Chief, Strategy and Stakeholder Relations, Research, Information and Knowledge
Colleen Geiger provides executive leadership for Public Health Ontario’s strategic, business and operational planning, organizational performance measurement, process improvement, stakeholder relations and issues management, as well as PHO’s research, knowledge and information areas including: research and ethics services, knowledge services and information technology and informatics.
Prior to joining PHO, Colleen has held senior management positions both the public and private sector in academic health science settings, community hospitals, local health integration networks, as well as in international health care consulting. She also has extensive experience in not-for-profit governance.
Colleen holds a Master of Business Administration (health services management) from McMaster University and is a Certified Health Executive.
Chief Financial Officer
Cathy Campos provides executive leadership for PHO’s finance, procurement, facilities and enterprise risk management functions.
Cathy is a seasoned executive with extensive senior leadership experience in the health care sector. She was previously the Vice-President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer for Rouge Valley Health System, where she was responsible for the finance, supply chain, capital planning and risk functions at the hospital and acted in the role as the key financial advisor for the business. Prior to Rouge Valley, Campos served as the Director of Finance at Baycrest Centre.
Cathy is a Chartered Accountant and holds a Master of Healthcare Administration from the University of Toronto.
Chief Laboratory Operations Officer
Eva Proctor provides executive leadership for Public Health Ontario's laboratory operations. She has over 25 years of progressive management experience in all disciplines of laboratory medicine in both the private and hospital sectors.
Eva is a strategically focused leader with management experience in complex and fast paced environments. She is recognized not only for building relationships but also for her contributions to system wide improvements, fostered through collaboration with leaders across all programs. She has a keen interest in quality and process improvement in clinical laboratory operations.
Eva is an active member of the College of Medical Laboratory Technologists of Ontario as a Medical Laboratory Technologist and holds a Graduate Diploma in Management and a Masters of Business Administration from Athabasca University. She has also completed the Rotman School of Business Executive Leadership Program.
Dr. Shelley Deeks
Chief Health Protection Officer
Shelley Deeks leads and is responsible for the scientific and operational activities in communicable diseases and emergency preparedness and response, involving the development of PHO’s strategy and activities related to protection against communicable diseases, as well as in preparation and response to health emergencies and exigent circumstances including hazardous materials, catastrophic events and outbreaks.
Shelley has approximately 20 years of experience in communicable disease control, especially focused on outbreak management, vaccine safety and vaccine program evaluation. She is an Associate Professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto, and a member of Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization.
Shelley received her medical degree from the University of Toronto, where she also received her Master of Health Science. She is a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and the Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine and has also completed the Canadian Field Epidemiology Program.
Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary
As Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary, Alwin Kong provides direction and advice on a wide range of legal and privacy issues arising from PHO’s day to day business. He also provides support for the Board of Directors as the Corporate Secretary.
Prior to joining PHO, Alwin served as the Assistant General Counsel and Director, Legal & Privacy at Cancer Care Ontario where he provided advice on information technology, privacy, public procurement, healthcare management, funding, policy and general commercial matters. Alwin began his legal career at a leading national law firm. Alwin is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada. Alwin received his MHSc. (Health Administration) from the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto and his LL.B. from the University of Windsor.
As Director of Procurement, Irene Medcof leads procurement and related functions and is charged with developing and implementing leading procurement processes for PHO.
Irene comes from the Ontario government where she held a number of leadership positions at Supply Chain Ontario (SCO) and the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC).
At SCO, Irene was responsible for the procurement planning, implementation and contract management for a wide range of commodities including laboratory supplies and courier services. She was also involved in numerous quality improvement activities. At MOHLTC, Irene had roles in the Ontario Public Drug Programs, Health System Accountability and Performance, and Home Care and Community Support Divisions.
Prior to government, Irene’s career was in the home care and community support sector where she also held leadership positions, primarily in strategic planning and quality management.
Irene holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing Education, a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, a Master of Arts in Organizational Development and is a Certified Health Executive.
Chris Pickard brings over 30 years of experience in project development and facilities management at a variety of scales and organizations in health care, education and consulting industries. Chris joined PHO to manage the RICN2Lab projects in Orillia, Hamilton, Kingston, Ottawa and Sault Ste. Marie. In his role as Director of Facilities, Chris leads the facilities team and supports a number of key projects, including the, new London Hub Project, the Operational Support Facility and Bio-Repository Centre Project, and the new Thunder Bay Hub Project.
Prior to joining PHO, Chris practiced architecture for a number of years in a large multidisciplinary firm. He then joined the University of Guelph as Director of Planning, Design and Construction where significant projects included the new Science Complex, the East Residence complex and the first Biodiversity Building. He subsequently held roles as Director, Capital Planning and Project Management for Toronto Rehabilitation Institute during the construction phase of their Redevelopment, and Executive Director, Facilities for Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.
Director, Human Resources
Michelle Kazimirek is a senior HR leader with progressive management experience in hospital, public service and private sectors for the last 20 years. In her current role as Director, Human Resources, Michelle provides strategic direction and management oversight to the Human Resources and Payroll department. Michelle has diverse and well-rounded expertise in all areas of human resources administration and is an established leader in inspiring, implementing and maintaining effective programs, processes and systems that directly contribute to organizational success.
In her previous leadership roles, Michelle led large-scale employee engagement and development programs, implemented reward and talent management strategies and negotiated complex collective bargaining and labour negotiations.
Director, Financial Planning, Reporting and Compliance
Tony Ho is a senior finance leader with progressive experience in both the hospital and private sectors. In his current role at PHO as director, financial planning, reporting and compliance, Tony provides leadership for the accounts payable, accounting and financial planning and analysis functions.
In his previous role at Rouge Valley Health System, he worked as the Program Business Manager, which focused on budget planning, business case development and customer centred analytics and reporting. Tony also worked at IBM gaining progressive experience in various roles there.
Tony holds a Chartered Professional Accounting (CPA) designation and a Business Degree from the Schulich School of Business at York University.
Deputy Chief/Operations Director, Regional Public Health Laboratories
Marjorie Allen provides strategic and operational leadership for the ten regional public health laboratories in Ontario. Marjorie joined PHO in 2005 as Quality Assurance Coordinator for the laboratory. In 2009, she moved to the Laboratory Renewal Team to implement high volume test area before taking on the role of senior manager, virology and molecular services.
Prior to joining PHO, Marjorie was a partner in a consulting company that provided quality, food safety and risk management services to a variety of industries. She previously worked in the community laboratories and her educational background is as a medical laboratory technologist. Marjorie holds a Masters Certificate in Operational Risk Management from Shulich School of Business, a Management Certificate from the Rotman School of Business, and a Certificate in Food Science and Safety from the University of Guelph.
Aurel Tamburri oversees logistics operations, laboratory infrastructure, laboratory health and safety, and biological resource centre. Aurel also oversees pre-analytics and HVT at PHO’s Toronto laboratory. He has over 25 years of progressive experience in laboratory operations, safety and support services. Since 2000, Aurel has held a number of key leadership roles with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and PHO. His area of expertise includes occupational health, safety and biorisk management, laboratory operations, process design, program management and regulatory compliance.
Over the years, Tamburri has managed a number of clinical and service related program areas, led a number of initiatives in process and quality improvements, transition plans and continues to strive to build efficiencies within PHO Laboratory operations.
Tamburri is a member of the College of Medical Laboratory Technologists of Ontario as a MLT. He holds a Master of Health Management from Mc Master University, a graduate diploma in Occupational Health, Safety & Environmental Medicine from Mc Master University and received board certification as a Canadian Registered Safety Professional (CRSP).
Laboratory Director, Information and Research Operations
Kirandeep Bains provides strategic, operational and business leadership for the planning, implementation and direction of bioinformatics and the biocomputing centre, laboratory information systems (LIS), laboratory data and surveillance, and research operations sections of PHO’s laboratories.
Kirandeep brings over twelve years of senior management experience in the healthcare industry. His primary focus was the laboratory and information services, but he also has expertise in leading organizational change and quality improvements. He comes to PHO from Dynacare where he was the Director of Informatics. He also held progressively senior positions at Dynacare within the information and technology solutions and services portfolio and laboratory services portfolio.
Kirandeep graduated with his Honours Bachelors of Science from the University of Toronto and holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix. He has also completed the Evanta Professional Development Academy’s Frontline IT Leadership program, Leaders Beyond Inc.’s IT Leaders Beyond program and Peoplecert’s ITIL’s Foundation Certification for IT Service Management.
Public Health Sciences
Deputy Chief, Health Protection
Emily Karas leads the department responsible for the management, prevention and control of communicable diseases and emergency preparedness and incident response. She provides provincial leadership in communicable diseases as well as preparedness and response to both infectious and non-infectious disease emergencies and issues. Emily previously served as PHO’s Director, Knowledge Exchange and Communications and as PHO’s Manager of Communicable Diseases.
Emily has considerable experience at the local and provincial public health levels. She was previously a Nurse Consultant and Team Lead for the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, and worked as a Public Health Nurse at both the Niagara Region and Peel Region public health units. She has almost 15 years of combined public health and nursing experience. Emily holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Queen’s University, a Masters of Nursing from the University of Toronto and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Westminster.
Dr. Gary Garber
Medical Director, Infection Prevention and Control
Gary Garber is an infectious disease specialist who provides medical leadership to the Infection Prevention and Control Department and medical and scientific advice on infection prevention and control to PHO.
Gary brings over 20 years of experience working in infection control in Ontario and was formerly the Medical Director of the Ottawa Hospital’s Antimicrobial Stewardship Program. Notably, Gary played an instrumental role in developing the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada’s program in Adult Infectious Diseases at the University of Ottawa and served as President of the Canadian Infectious Diseases Society (now AMMI Canada). Gary also served as a founding treasurer with the Canadian Association for HIV Research, was a past President of the Ontario Medical Association section for Infectious Diseases and has been member of the Provincial Infectious Diseases Advisory Committee since it began. Garber has a professorship appointment in the Department of Medicine at the University of Toronto and the University of Ottawa. He is an active infectious diseases physician at the Ottawa Hospital.
Gary received his Medical Degree from the University of Calgary and received his Bachelor of Science from McGill University. He trained in internal medicine at the University of Toronto and infectious diseases at the University of British Columbia. He is a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, the American College of Physicians and the Infectious Disease Society of America.
Director, Infection Prevention and Control
Sandra Callery brings extensive experience from the field of infection prevention and control. Her other work experiences include clinical research and occupational health and safety. She has worked in a variety of health care settings, including: public health, small community hospitals and large tertiary care centres. Her most recent position was Director of Infection Prevention and Control at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto Canada.
Sandra is a registered nurse and holds a Master of Health Sciences where her research focused on HIV infection, counseling and testing. She has been involved in research and publications regarding disease transmission and management of patients with antibiotic resistant organisms.
She is a past National President of the Canadian Infection Prevention and Control association (IPAC Canada). She is on the editorial board for the Canadian Journal of Infection Control (CJIC). Other previous IPAC Canada appointments include the National Pandemic Influenza Planning committee as a working group chairperson, and the National Advisory Committee on Immunization.
Sandra has been a member of the Ontario Provincial Infectious Diseases Advisory Committee (PIDAC) and chaired the previous PIDAC Surveillance Advisory Committee from its inception.
She is an Assistant Clinical Professor at McMaster University’s Faculty of Health Sciences and lecturer for IPAC courses through Centennial College and Queens University.
Dr. Vanessa Allen
Chief, Medical Microbiology
Vanessa Allen has been with PHO since 2008 as a Medical Microbiologist and Infectious Disease Specialist, working primarily in the areas of bacterial sexually transmitted infections and food- and water-borne bacterial testing. She is co-chair of the Canadian Public Health Laboratory Network Water Food Safety and Enterics group, as well as the Provincial Multidrug Resistant Gonorrhea Working Group. Vanessa is a Clinical Infectious Diseases specialist at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, where she is also the Infectious Diseases Lead for the Obstetrical Medicine Program. She is also an Assistant Professor in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology at the University of Toronto.
Vanesa received her Medical Degree from McGill University and her Master of Public Health from Johns Hopkins University. She completed her internal medicine residency with the University of Toronto. Vanessa completed further postgraduate medical training at the University of Toronto in infectious diseases and medical microbiology. She is a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in all three disciplines.
Dr. Ray Copes
Chief, Environmental and Occupational Health
Ray Copes is responsible for leading the Environmental and Occupational Health team as well as developing and implementing of PHO's strategies, policies, services and other initiatives in environmental and occupational health. He also works in collaboration with the Knowledge Services team, ensuring the integrity of research results and the proper dissemination of that information to practitioners throughout the province.
Ray has over 25 years of experience working in environmental and occupational health in Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario, and has consulted for Health Canada and the governments of Newfoundland and Labrador, Nunavut and Saskatchewan. Ray worked extensively with front-line environmental professionals, policy makers and practitioners on provincial and federal levels. He has delivered occupational health services in the private and public sectors and in occupational health and safety regulations. Notably, Ray was the founding Scientific Director of the National Collaboration Centre for Environmental Health, and also served as the Director of Environmental Health Services at the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control. Ray has an extensive teaching background holding Associate and Clinical Professor positions at the University of Toronto and University of British Columbia.
Ray received his Medical Degree from McGill University, where he also received his Master of Science in Epidemiology. Ray received his Diploma in Industrial Health from the University of Toronto and is a fellow of the Canadian Board of Occupational Medicine.
Dr. Samir Patel
Deputy Chief, Microbiology
Samir Patel has been a Clinical Microbiologist at PHO since 2009, and has been the clinical lead of many important programs at the laboratory, including vector-borne and zoonotic infections such as Lyme and West Nile, antimicrobial resistance, and a novel pathogen discovery program. He is responsible for the detection of novel or rare pathogens using deep sequencing technologies.
Samir is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology at the University of Toronto. He has actively contributed to many interdepartmental committees both within PHO and beyond, including the ethics committee, and provincial groups, including the Institute of Quality Management Microbiology Committee, and the Canadian Public Health Laboratory Network's Antimicrobial Resistance and Lyme Working groups.
Samir received his doctor of philosophy in tropical diseases from the University of Toronto, where he also received his fellowship in clinical microbiology. He successfully completed his Canadian Society of Microbiology board exam in 2011.
Research, Information and Knowledge
Dr. Nancy Ondrusek
Director, Research and Ethics
Nancy Ondrusek oversees the Research and Ethics Services team, providing leadership for the development, implementation, evaluation and management of evidence-based research and ethics policies, practices, products and services, to ensure that appropriate infrastructure is in place to enable and promote public health research across the organization. She leads the ethics team in providing ethics review services and capacity building support to public health units across Ontario.
Nancy began her career with PHO in 2010 as a research ethics officer, where she played a key role in the development of PHO’s ethics framework and service program, transitioning to manager, research and ethics services in 2014. She has over 25 years of experience in research ethics as an administrator, ethics board member and researcher, and is an adjunct lecturer at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto. Nancy obtained a doctorate through the Institute of Medical Sciences and the Joint Center for Bioethics at the University of Toronto and a masters in genetics at Brock University.
Director, Technology Services
As the Director of Technology Services, Cary Luner provides strategic oversight and management to the information technology and information management department. He plans, develops and oversees the technology infrastructure and systems of the organization. With more than 20 years of experience as a strategic IT leader, Cary brings extensive knowledge of project management within the ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) methodology framework to his role, along with a passion for client service and partnership.
Cary has been involved with PHO since its inception, assuming progressively more senior leadership roles. His expertise extends to security, privacy, system architecture and importantly, the role that technology plays enabling the organization to achieve its objectives.
Director, Knowledge Exchange and Communications
Tina Badiani oversees Library services, the Sheela Basrur Centre and events, communications and knowledge mobilization. Prior to her role as Director, Knowledge Exchange and Communications, Tina served as PHO’s Manager of Enteric, Zoonotic and Vector-Borne Diseases.
Badiani has 15 years of experience in public health at the provincial level. She was previously an Epidemiologist and Team Lead for the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, and Manager of the former Surveillance team at PHO. Badiani holds a Master of Health Sciences in Community Health and Epidemiology from the University of Toronto.