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2023 Fellows

Angela Freeman
Grey Bruce OHT

Diedron Lewis
Connected Care Halton OHT

Donya Razavi
Eastern York Region North Durham OHT

Jennifer Bertoni
Kiiwetinoong Healing Waters OHT

Lauren Ridge
Western York Region OHT

Nusrat Farhana
Hills of Headwaters Collaborative OHT

Razan Amoud
Oxford OHT

Razan Amoud, PhD (c)

Host OHT: Oxford OHT

OHT Location: Oxford and Area

Razan is a trained pharmacist who pursued her passion in pharmacoepidemiology by achieving a Master’s degree in Pharmacy. She then went on to achieve her PhD in the same field from the School of Pharmacy, University of Waterloo. 

Razan will be joining Oxford OHT as a Post-Doctoral fellow where she will be a key contributor to the evolution and maturity of the Oxford OHT. Razan will also support the development of specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound key performance indicators. 

“I am excited about the program's emphasis on mentorship and professional development. As a lifelong learner, I am committed to continuously improving my skills and knowledge to better serve the patients and communities I aspire to work with. I believe that the OHTs Impact Fellowship Program would provide me with the support and resources necessary to grow as a healthcare professional and make a lasting impact in my field.”

Dr. Nusrat Farhana, MPA, Ph.D.

Host OHT: Hills of Headwaters Collaborative Ontario Health Team

OHT Location: Dufferin-Caledon

Dr. Nusrat Farhana completed her Master's training in Public Administration (MPA) at Queen's University, followed by a Ph.D. in Health Services Research at the University of Toronto, focusing on Health Economics, Policy, and Evaluation.

Most recently, she has served at the Ministry of Health and the Ontario Medical Association, implementing the provincial integrated care transformation, specifically by expanding OHT coverage in the Northern part of the province and enabling physician involvement in OHTs, respectively. Previously, she worked at the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit, contributing to their five-year strategic priority development and over twenty program evaluation projects. Her academic and vocational expertise includes health system performance management, including core elements of health systems, critical stakeholder behavior, and how these features translate into practice. She brings a multidisciplinary lens to studying and improving health systems by combining expertise in neuroscience, psychology, health economics, organizational strategy, and health system governance.

In her next endeavor as the OHT Impact Fellow at the Hills of Headwaters Collaborative OHT, Nusrat will be working on a series of interrelated deliverables working towards the primary goal of creating an integrated care model that will support frail/complex older adults to receive the right care in the right place.

Nusrat Farhana, MPA PhD | LinkedIn

NAO Newsletter / May 2021 / Dr. Nusrat Farhana 

Lauren Ridge, MPH 

Host OHT: Western York Region OHT

OHT Location: Richmond Hill, Vaughan, King

Lauren is a recent graduate of the Master of Public Health program at the University of Guelph. During her MPH Lauren worked with the Guelph Wellington OHT examining how priority populations within the community access health care. Lauren also worked as a graduate student epidemiologist with the Public Health Agency of Canada within the Foodborne Disease and Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance Division. Over the last four years, Lauren has worked with both provincial and federal public health organizations as well as various community based non-profits, ultimately sparking her interest in innovating and evaluating programs that contribute to strong and equitable health systems across Ontario. 

Lauren is thrilled to be joining the Western York OHT as an impact fellow to help facilitate an evaluation using a mixed model design to assess the impact and effectiveness of the Palliative Care Training and Support for Long-Term Care Homes project. This project will aid in understanding the effectiveness of current training programs to increase capacity and support palliative care within the community. 

LinkedIn: http://linkedin.com/in/laurenridge

Jennifer Bertoni, MPH, PhD (c)

Host OHT: Kiiwetinoong Healing Waters OHT

OHT Location: Northwest Ontario, Red Lake Office

Born and raised on the traditional lands of the Fort William First Nation, in a city now known as Thunder Bay, Jen Bertoni is an Indigenous clinician and scholar that is passionate about improving health systems in the north. Jen is excited to be working with Kiiwetinoong Healing Waters OHT located within northwestern Ontario. She will be assisting with local and regional priorities related to mental health and addictions while acknowledging, respecting, and combining Western knowledge and Indigenous Ways of Knowing.

Jen is a registered occupational therapist, holds an MPH, and is currently completing her Doctor of Science in Rehabilitation and Health Leadership at Queen’s University. Her research focus is on mental wellness through culture, equity, and justice and how professional practice competencies can help improve youth mental health. Jen is an advocate for implementing trauma-informed and culturally safe philosophies as actionable steps towards social justice goals. Her curiosity and ‘big picture’ thinking looks for opportunities for innovation and quality improvement.  Aside from clinical practice, Jen has also worked in systems-level planning and implementation within mental health and addictions and has assisted in the development of multi-sectoral initiatives aimed at improving health outcomes for people in northwestern Ontario.

Donya Razavi, PhD

Host OHT: Eastern York Region North Durham OHT 

OHT Location: Thornhill, Markham, Stouffville, Unionville, Uxbridge 

Donya is a health policy and systems researcher, with a background in global health. Her research interests center around health equity and vulnerable populations. She has conducted research on a range of topics including health sector priority setting and resource allocation, stakeholder engagement in health system decision-making, primary health care and interprofessional collaboration, and sexual and reproductive health. Her PhD research focused on public and vulnerable populations’ participation in health system priority setting Uganda. Most recently, she completed a Mitacs postdoctoral fellowship focused menstrual hygiene management program implementation in humanitarian contexts, namely South Sudan.  

At the EYRND OHT, Donya will support the OHT aim to improve access to care for the thousands of individuals and families who do not currently have a primary health-care provider. She will focus on access to primary care, specifically populations who are unattached, and expansion of nurse practitioner-led models of primary care delivery to support unattached populations.    

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/donya-razavi-b0218580/

ResearchGate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Shaghayegh-Razavi 

Diedron Lewis, PhD, MSc, BSc Economics

Host OHT: Halton Connected Care OHT

OHT location: Oakville

Diedron is an economist and university lecturer. He has worked at several tertiary level institutions over the past 15 years, including the University of the West Indies - St Augustine, the University of New Brunswick, and the University of Waterloo.

His work in health economics includes research on the migration of nurses, the relationship between population health and economic growth, travel-related illnesses, maternal health, and more recently, the cost-effectiveness of adopting multi-cancer early screening tests in Ontario, Canada.

Diedron is looking forward to working with the team at Halton Connected Care to develop its performance evaluation framework for care interventions that target diabetes, mental health and addiction, and palliative care. He brings his years of experience and training in academic research, economics and statistics to the Fellowship program and is hopeful that his placement at Connected Care would help build the capacity of the OHT and contribute to achieving its project goals.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/diedron-lewis-087175164/

Angela Freeman RM, MSc (she/her)

Host OHT: Grey Bruce OHT

Location: Grey and Bruce Counties, Ontario

Angela is a health system researcher and registered midwife with almost two decades of clinical experience. She recently completed her MSc in Public Health Sciences at the University of Waterloo, where she explored the experiences of midwifery clients accessing and receiving care for early pregnancy loss (EPL), and the experiences of midwives providing EPL care within a broader health system context.

Angela is looking forward to applying her clinical and research backgrounds as an embedded researcher within the Grey Bruce OHT. During her fellowship, she will be supporting evaluation and research projects aimed at creating a data strategy for the OHT’s priority populations, further understanding the health needs of this evolving community, and developing indicators and reporting tools that capture the successes of program implementation and reflect the OHT’s unique rural context.

Angela is passionate about improving patient experiences along their healthcare journey, improving provider experiences, novel approaches to rural healthcare delivery, and the integration and sustainability of the midwifery model of care. When she is not working, you can find her with her family, in the garden, on the Bruce Trail, or in the cold waters of Georgian Bay.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/angela-freeman/

Margaret G. French, MPH

Host OHT: All Nations Health Partners and Rainy River OHTs
OHT Location: Northwestern Ontario (inclusive of All Nations Health Partners - Kenora, Rainy River District and two emerging OHTs - Thunder Bay)

Margaret considers herself a transplant Northerner. While her formative years were spent in the warmth and humidity of the Great Lakes, for the past 20 years, her ballast has been the Sudbury Basin. More specifically, anchored to north by the connections she has made within the health research community, first as a community-based researcher at the Centre for Rural and Northern Health Research – Laurentian University and more recently with NOSM University as an Analyst.

Margaret’s program of work with All Nations and Rainy River OHTs will involve health human resource planning, specifically examining what education programs are required and how the local educational institutions can use this information to plan what programs should be offered to meet the needs of the Northwest health care system. She looks forward to building capacity with the local OHTs and broader system partners including academic networks to support ongoing research, quality improvement, evaluation and interprofessional education.

Margaret has degrees in Sociology, Law & Justice and Public Health. She lives in Sudbury with her husband and daughter. She is actively involved in the rare disease community and passionate about patient and family representation in research.

Twitter: @MGFrenchMPH

Grace Spiro, PhD, MSc

Host OHT: Northumberland County
OHT Location: Northumberland

Grace is a health researcher and university lecturer with extensive training in rural and northern health, health equity, and the social determinants of health with additional experience in Indigenous health, medical education, and clinical health research. Grace completed her PhD in Rural and Northern Health at Laurentian University, where she explored mechanisms for measuring rurality and health equity in the context of Northern Ontario. Grace is passionate about community-driven intersectoral approaches to complex health and social challenges.

As an OHT Fellow with Northumberland County, Grace will aid in developing a population health strategy for the rural and vulnerable residents of Northumberland. She hopes to apply her understanding of geography as a determinant of health to this area.

During the pandemic, Grace married her now husband, became a stepmom to two children and grew her family with an additional baby boy. She enjoys spending time with her family, particularly on outdoor adventures.

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/grace-spiro-51772a10a

Brianna Orava NP, PhD

Host OHT: Barrie and Area OHT
OHT Location: Barrie, Ontario

Brianna is a nurse practitioner and educator who completed her doctoral studies in health services research at the Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto. Her PhD research examined the retention of primary health care nurse practitioners in Ontario. Brianna is passionate about research related to health human resources that directly impacts population health and access to care.

Brianna is excited to be working with the Barrie and Area OHT to help develop research databases that will enable providers and collaborating organizations to build research capacity and develop a connected system of care that can measure and evaluate health outcomes, organizational access to services, health human resources, and patient population health.

Brianna is looking forward to the opportunity to engage in this embedded research fellowship within the OHT organizational structure and conduct significant research projects that will have an impact at the patient, provider, and health systems level in Ontario.

Sophia Myles, PhD

Host OHT: Algoma OHT
OHT Location: Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario

Sophia holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Toronto, a Master of Arts in Political Science from the University of Windsor, and an Interdisciplinary PhD in Rural and Northern Health from Laurentian University. She completed her Postdoctoral Fellowship in Social Accountability in Education and Health Systems at NOSM University in the Medical Education Research Lab in the North.

Since 2012, Sophia has been immersed in education and training experiences in Northern Ontario. Her host mentor has described her as “a passionate academic that is focused on northern and rural health, qualitative evaluation and health equity.” She will be joining Algoma OHT to support their program of work focusing on complex chronic disease management and care model co-ordination, population health and care transitions, and building evaluative capacity to contribute to segmentation of identified subpopulations, support best practices, and to engage caregivers, clinicians, and patients on care model redesign.

Sophia looks forward to nurture and continue to develop relationships to build capacity across Northern Ontario. During this fellowship, she hopes to develop competencies and strengthen her professional skills across the Canadian Health Services and Policy Research Alliance identified attributes, to receive advanced training in evaluation and implementation science, and to receive experiential training to enhance and compliment her knowledge of Ontario’s health policy and system landscape.

Research Gate: researchgate.net/profile/Sophia-Myles
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/sophia-myles-75044a62

Jennifer Miller, RN, BScN, MBA

Host OHT: Brantford Brant Ontario Health Team
OHT Location:   Brantford, Brant County

As a Registered Nurse, Jennifer’s passion for helping others has always been at the forefront. Jennifer has worked throughout the continuum of healthcare from community, hospital and long-term care and has seen the changes that evidence informed practice can make. Her Masters work in healthcare leadership and research on evaluating how process change affects clinical outcomes allowed her to see first-hand how creating effective pathways of care in an integrated way improves population health.

This spring, Jennifer will be joining the Brantford Brant Ontario Health Team as an OHT Impact Fellow and is excited to continue this important work. Through the Dementia Committee she will be focused on evaluating the impact of a tool to help primary care physicians diagnose and support patients with dementia and assessing the effect of a pilot program which has embedded an Integrated Team in the Emergency Department at the local hospital to avoid admission for those presenting with dementia who are not in need of acute care. Ontario Health Teams inspire collaboration and a forging of cooperation from diverse groups to transform the Health System. As an OHT Impact Fellow, Jennifer is excited to be an integral part of this process.

Stacey Hatch, PhD, RP

Host OHT: Hastings Prince Edward OHT
OHT Location: Hastings Prince Edward County

Before beginning health services research, Stacey completed a PhD in Aging and Health at Queen’s University. Her doctoral work focused on mindfulness-based meditation interventions for late-life anxiety and is contributing to an emerging body of international research. Her research interests are mental health in older adults, rural healthcare, and evidence-based health system program development, implementation and evaluation.

Stacey is also a registered psychotherapist, and spent ten years delivering primary care with the Prince Edward Family Health Team as a mental health counsellor and Mint Memory Clinic mental health lead/coordinator. She maintains a small practice in Prince Edward County.

Stacey is embedded with the HPE OHT as a post-doctoral research fellow to support the cohort 3 OHT on its journey to maturity.  She is evaluating the experiences of partners, stakeholders and constellations, and exploring the implementation of urgent virtual care delivery solutions for health care providers and patients.

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/stacey-hatch-phdcrp
Research Gate: researchgate.net/profile/Stacey-Hatch
Twitter: twitter.com/PECStaceyHatch

Sophiya Garasia, BSc, MPH, PhD candidate

Host OHT: Central West OHT
OHT Location:  Brampton, Bramalea, Malton, North Etobicoke, West Woodbridge

Sophiya is an interdisciplinary researcher with interests and background in health economics, health equity, and public health. Her PhD research in the Health Policy program at McMaster University focused on the health, health care, and economic experiences of migrants in Canada, and covered various health care areas including mental health services, home care, and long-term care.  Prior to her PhD, Sophiya obtained her Master’s of Public Health from the University of Guelph, her Bachelors of Science from McMaster University, and obtained training from the Public Health Agency of Canada and the World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe. 

The Central West OHT is working on multiple initiatives including strategic planning, co-designing a home-based care program for older adults experiencing frailty, implementing equity principles, and designing a navigation tool. Sophiya is supporting these initiatives through different tasks such as summarizing population data, conducting an environmental scan, engaging multiple stakeholders, and providing her academic expertise where needed. Sophiya will soon manage the mental health working group as well. Sophiya spent her adolescent years living in North Etobicoke, witnessing the challenges the local population faced in navigating health care. She is extremely grateful that she is now able apply her skills, knowledge, and lived experiences to help Central West OHT improve health and health care in the neighbourhoods that she grew up in.

Website: sophiyagarasia.com

Shawna Cronin, MScOT, PhD candidate

Host OHT: Ottawa Valley OHT
OHT Location: Renfrew County (less the Arnprior area), and South Algonquin Township

Shawna is an occupational therapist with clinical experience in long term care and primary care settings. Her work in quality improvement and developing programs for seniors eventually led her to pursue her doctoral studies in Health Services Research at the University of Toronto’s Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, where she examined access to primary care for persons with dementia using health administrative data for her thesis.

Shawna is looking forward to joining the team at the Ottawa Valley OHT, where she will support the development and implementation of work to improve attachment and access to comprehensive primary care, and contribute to detailed evaluation of existing programs, including clinical and economic impact analyses.  

Shawna is excited to begin this comprehensive training opportunity and is hoping to contribute to health system improvement during this important transformation. “I’m looking forward to applying the research and evaluation skills honed during my PhD work and bringing experiences in continuous quality improvement to this work.”

Nishanthikka Benny, MSc OT, OT Reg. (Ont.), MPH

Host OHT: Durham OHT
OHT Location: Durham Region

Nishanthikka Benny is a registered occupational therapist with the College of Occupational Therapists of Ontario. She has worked as an occupational therapist and mental health clinician at Mount Sinai Hospital - Assertive Community Treatment Team where she had received the Joel Sadavoy Community Mental Health Award in 2017. She has also worked on the BRIDGE day treatment program at Markham Stouffville Hospital to serve clients living with mental health issues. Besides her clinical work, Nishanthikka has been strongly involved in addressing the mental health and addiction needs of South Asian communities in Ontario through her ongoing work with non-profit organizations.

Nishanthikka has recently completed a Master of Public Health degree in Epidemiology from the Dalla Lana School of Public Health. She has been working with the Durham OHT on a Leading Project that focuses on home and community care modernization. She enjoys steering the developmental evaluation of the Leading Project using tools from her clinical experience and studies in epidemiology. She is delighted to have this unique opportunity to participate in building an equitable, sustainable, and innovative health care system in Ontario. 

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/nishabenny

Charlotte Anderson, MSc. PT, PhD

Host OHT: Scarborough OHT
OHT Location: Scarborough

Charlotte Anderson is a registered physiotherapist with the College of Physiotherapists of Ontario and the Physiotherapy Association of the Yukon. She graduated from the University of Toronto with a Masters in Physiotherapy and then went onto receive her PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences in the Faculty of Medicine.

She completed her Post Doctoral Fellowship at McMaster University in the School of Rehabilitation Sciences. Charlotte is a clinician, an educator, a researcher and an entrepreneur. She has won several awards for her clinical work, has been the recipient of many research grants and has been recognized for her positive impact on healthcare in Toronto.

Charlotte is excited to expand her research skills as an OHT impact fellow, and use her clinical expertise, research background, and Ontario health system knowledge to continue to develop, grow and positively effect Ontario Health Teams.

Robert Barnett, CHE

Host OHT: Muskoka and Area OHT
OHT Location: Muskoka and Area

Robert is affiliated with the Centre for Rural and Northern Health Research at Laurentian University and the Northern Ontario School of Medicine. His long career as a data scientist is rooted in the Ontario Health Intelligence Unit program, Home and Community Care services, and Health Sciences education in Northern Ontario and he is proud to have supported a number of start-up and strategic integration initiatives in these settings. He is currently seconded Public Health Sudbury and Districts where he is managing pandemic response data efforts. His research includes the use of geospatial data mining on large administrative health datasets to create northern health delivery models and the translation of existing evidence to support care delivery in rural and northern contexts.

He is very excited to be part of the Muskoka and Area OHT Team and help drive their population health management and analytics strategy and hospital to home modelling efforts, with a focus on using large scale data repositories to inform and develop predictive algorithms.

Robert has degrees in Philosophy & Comparative Religion, and Psychology and is a Certified Health Executive with the Canadian College of Health Leaders. He lives in Sudbury with his wife and two pre-teen sons.

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/robert-barnett-7513197

Mulugeta Bayisa Chala, PhD

Host OHT: Western OHT
OHT Location: London and Middlesex County, Ontario

Mulugeta is a physiotherapist by training who has over eight years of teaching, patient care, and research at the University of Gondar in Ethiopia. He completed his PhD in Rehabilitation Science at Queen’s University School of Rehabilitation Therapy where his doctoral research focuses on building foundations for research on chronic low back pain self-management in the Ethiopian context.

Mulugeta will work with the Western Ontario Health Team to design an evidence-based evaluation plan to optimize health system performance that aligns with the quadruple aim: improve patient and provider experience, better outcomes, and lower costs. Mulugeta believes that improving health system performance at the local level contributes to building a resilient and evidence-based health system in Ontario.

“The Ontario Health Team impact fellowship is an exciting opportunity for me as I will gain the knowledge and skills needed to build a robust and adaptive health system that is responsive to the health needs of individuals and society in the local context. This fellowship also provides a significant opportunity for me to develop transferable skills and knowledge to contribute to designing an evidence-based health system in Ethiopia. I look forward to contributing to Ontario’s health system and also gaining experience in implementation and evaluation of local priority projects.”

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/mulugeta-bayisa-chala-0b53a719

Adora Chui, MScOT, PhD

Host OHT: North York Toronto Health Partners
OHT Location: North York

Adora is excited to be an OHT Impact Fellow with North York Toronto Health Partners (NYTHP). She brings her academic training in basic science, clinical training in occupational therapy, and doctoral training in knowledge translation to help co-design population health. Her PhD research improved understanding of how comorbidities are considered in evidence-based practice, specifically for adults with traumatic brain injury and comorbid depression.

The NYTHP has many innovative projects underway and Adora is excited to focus on North York Community Access to Resources Enabling Supports (NY CARES), a collaborative and multidisciplinary program that helps clients in alternate levels of care transition home with supports.

“As someone who cares deeply about health equity and health outcomes for all Canadians, I am eager to apply my expertise in knowledge translation and systems perspectives to improve program delivery for priority populations. By joining the OHT, I will have continuous opportunities to develop implementation skills and a greater understanding of integrating research and practice within a learning health system. I look forward to contributing to program evaluation and evidence-based decision-making so that innovative, equitable, and effective care can be shared and accessed.”

ResearchGate: researchgate.net/profile/Adora-Chui

Élizabeth Côté-Boileau, MSc, PhD

Host OHT: KW4 OHT
OHT Location: Grand River Hospital (Kitchener, Ontario)

Élizabeth is excited to join the first cohort of Ontario Health Team (OHT) Impact Fellows! Coming from an interdisciplinary background (psychology, public health), Élizabeth recently completed her PhD in health sciences research (2016-2021) at the University of Sherbrooke (Québec). As an awarded fellow from the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé (FRQS), Élizabeth studied how integrated performance management tools used as health policy reform instruments can bring about practice change in value-based management and governance in health care.

Alongside her research training and interests in health system policy, transformation, governance and improvement, she has embedded consulting experience with national and pan Canadian organizations (e.g., Healthcare Excellence Canada, 2016-2018; Health Standards Organization, 2019-today), supporting theoretically-informed strategic decision-making, capacity building and program development, as well as student engagement roles in Canadian and UK-based research associations (e.g., CAHSPR, SHOC).

Élizabeth will be joining the KW4 OHT team, working aside Ontarian health system leaders and partners to co-design a five-year strategic plan that is people-centred, data-driven and health equity focussed. “I am eager to bring together both evidence- and experience-based knowledge into health system design best practice implementation. I expect this yearly fellowship to be an outstanding opportunity to set the foundations for a high-functioning strategic capacity within the KW4 OHT, and truly engage with the people in Kitchener-Waterloo for better, safer and more inclusive care.”

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/%C3%A9lizabeth-c%C3%B4t%C3%A9-boileau-b65a0754
Google Scholar: scholar.google.com/citations?user=VCQQIhMAAAAJ&hl=fr&oi=ao
ResearchGate: researchgate.net/profile/Elizabeth-Cote-Boileau
Society for Studies in Organizing Healthcare (SHOC) – Early Career Hub (ECR) Representatives

Jennifer Lake, PharmD, PhD

Host OHT: North Toronto Ontario Health Team
OHT Location: Toronto

Jennifer is a pharmacist and educator who recently completed a PhD in Health Services Research at IHPME, University of Toronto. Jennifer’s PhD explored how healthcare professional’s roles are negotiated in primary care teams.

The projects Jennifer will focus on at North Toronto OHT will explore how to assess patients’ needs for interprofessional care and how teams of healthcare professionals can maximize both the patient experiences and outcomes in primary care through collaboration.

Jennifer is interested in how individuals and organizations interact to improve the patient experience and equity of the healthcare system and looks forward to networking with other OHT Fellows during this year on new research opportunities and learning.

During the pandemic, Jennifer embarked on a cooking adventure to make one dish from every country in the world. She was on country 164 when she found out about her acceptance as an OHT Impact Fellow.

“While doing my PhD, I have been teaching both medicine and pharmacy students how to care for patients by improving medication management and collaboration. The ability to link research, clinical practice, and education is an exciting aspect of embedded research.”

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/jendlake

Shinjini Mondal, MPH, PhD

Host OHT: Mississauga Ontario Health Team
OHT Location: Mississauga

Shinjini is a public health professional with a medical background and extensive training in conducting health systems and policy research. She brings a decade of experience and a deep understanding of global public health issues working with complex health systems worldwide in India, South Africa, and countries in the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region. Shinjini completed her Ph.D. in Family Medicine and Primary Care, examining and improving governance, accountability and coordination in multi-sectoral policy implementation using the tobacco control program.

The focus of Shinjini’s work with the Mississauga Ontario Health Team will be to create and engage in the development and implementation of strategies and approaches to promote partnership for an effectively integrated team setup.

“This fellowship provides an excellent opportunity to contribute towards developing integrated care in a complex, rapidly changing healthcare landscape in Ontario. This unique opportunity enables me to apply my research knowledge and skills and engage in meaningful, collaborative research with implementers while also developing professional skills and experience invaluable for my future career.”

Dr. Natalie Dimitra Montgomery, PhD

Host OHT: Lanark, Leeds and Grenville OHT
OHT Location: Lanark, Leeds and Grenville Counties

Natalie is a researcher, award winning educator and communication practitioner who holds a Master’s degree in Health Communication and a PhD in Population Health both from the University of Ottawa. Her dissertation focused on how IVF patients carry out disclosure to build peer relationships.

Throughout her career, Natalie has used multi-methods to carry-out research with vulnerable populations (new immigrants, women, refugees, patients, youth in recovery, and students) on issues related to health inequities, social supports, and mental health.

As a Board Director at Conceivable Dreams, Natalie advocates for equitable access and public funding for fertility-care. She also served as a Public Member for the College of Nurses of Ontario.

The OHT fellowship is a natural progression to Natalie’s background in communication, patient-care research, and community engagement. She is passionate about serving more at-risk groups by ensuring that their needs become part of a new model of integrated care.

At the Lanark Leeds Grenville OHT, Natalie plans to use participatory research to align data in primary and acute care clinical systems towards a digital transformation strategy. She looks forward to engaging residents, patients, others diagnosed with MHA disorder(s), and healthcare/ social service providers and working with a multi-disciplinary team to standardize the patient experience across six local hospitals.

Lauren Tessier, PhD

Host OHT: Chatham-Kent OHT
OHT Location: Chatham

Lauren has a background in neuroscience and bioethics which together, precipitated her interest in dementia research which carried through to her doctoral work, where she focused on furthering the understanding of the relationship between multimorbidity and dementia using health administrative data.

Professionally, Lauren has gained a diverse array of experience while pursuing her graduate studies. Most recently, and most relevant to the OHT Impact fellowship, acting as an implementation support consultant with The Center for Implementation, to help organizations and teams build capacity in implementation and knowledge translation and embed implementation science in their organizational processes.

The identified priority population of the CKOHT are adults aged 55 or older living with heart failure, angina, COPD, diabetes, dementia and/or are complex. As the CKOHT returns its attention towards its priority population following the COVID-19 pandemic, as a fellow, Lauren will be responsible for leading a series of initiatives that contribute to the maturation of the CKOHT decision support and performance evaluation framework. Lauren brings to this role expertise in evaluation, implementation science, and the strategies required for OHT maturation and sustainability.

“I am excited about the opportunity to be embedded in the health system and exposed to its inner workings, as well as for the abundant learning and mentorship opportunities the fellowship has to offer. Ultimately, I am hoping to gain a wealth of knowledge and experience that I can use to inform my understanding of the role I can play in improving the health and health system experiences of Ontarians.”

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/lauren-tessier-064357150

Sarah Xiao, RN, PhD

Host OHT: Downtown East Toronto Ontario Health Team
OHT Location: Unity Health Toronto

Sarah is a Registered Nurse with a PhD in Health Services Research from the Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing at the University of Toronto. For her doctoral thesis, she developed an instrument to measure and evaluate the quality of discharge planning processes in mental healthcare settings. Her professional nursing career includes experience in pediatrics and mental health, as well as developing clinical and healthy work environment best practice guidelines, managing an international nursing quality improvement data system, and supporting healthcare organizations to monitor and evaluate the impact of best practice guidelines on patient outcomes.

Sarah’s program of work with the Downtown East Toronto OHT involves supporting the evaluation efforts of their local projects and initiatives for their priority populations, people experiencing homelessness (PEH) and mental health and addictions (MHA). Guided by a community-based participatory approach, Sarah will collaborate with work groups, community members, and other key stakeholders to facilitate seamless, equitable, and responsive care for the Downtown East Toronto community.

Aside from her academic and professional endeavours, Sarah finds the most joy and fulfillment in serving and giving back to the local community. She is passionate about senior care, youth mentorship and development, and improving the delivery and quality of healthcare services for individuals with substance use disorders in the community.

“Through the OHT Impact Fellows program, I look forward to applying my skills and experience in healthcare evaluation, quality improvement, and mental health care to address critical, real-world challenges faced by OHTs, broadening my knowledge of how performance data can be used to drive system improvements and effect meaningful change, but more importantly, contributing to building an integrated, sustainable healthcare system that will improve patient care and clinical outcomes for all.”

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/sarahxiao

Rosanra (Rosie) Yoon, PhD, MN, NP (She/Her Pronouns)

Host OHT: Mid-West Toronto
OHT Location: Toronto, Ontario

Born and raised in Toronto to immigrant parents, Rosanra feels rooted working together with the many diverse neighborhoods and communities that she calls home. Bridging between community-based grass roots programs and formal services to better meet the needs of people and communities has guided her clinical and research work and continues to do so.

For almost 20 years, her clinical and research experience has been in the implementation and evaluation of substance use and mental health programs across a variety of settings. Her evaluation work has focused on organizational capability in trauma-informed practice and its association with client and staff experiences.

Rosie is excited to spend the next year as an OHT impact fellow with the Mid-West Toronto OHT to work on the development and delivery of a Collaborative Quality Improvement Plan that is rooted in collaboration and engagement of people with living experience, families, community partners, and stakeholders. Her firm belief is that health is achieved through our communities where we all work, live, play, and belong.

Reham Abdelhalim, MD, MSc, PhD, CPHQ

Host OHT: Burlington OHT
OHT Location: Burlington

Before embarking on Health Services Research as her field of choice to pursue her PhD, Reham was a medical doctor (specialized in emergency medicine), a healthcare quality professional and a lecturer of Medical Toxicology. Her passion for evaluation, integrated healthcare networks and assessing care experiences led her to evaluating Health Links Ontario as her PhD project at the University of Toronto, Institute of Health Policy Management and Evaluation. Over the last six years, she has utilized multi-method approaches to evaluate various interventions that aim at integrating care or enhancing primary care services in Canada.

This fall, Reham will be joining Burlington OHT as a post-doctoral fellow where she will evaluate the experiences of providers and individuals enrolled with the OHT and facilitate the co-design of new services and care delivery models. Additionally, she will be exploring and testing the potential of virtual solutions to accelerate system navigation for persons living with complex needs.

“OHTs are a massive transformation towards integrating care for Ontarians. The embedded fellowship will be a great opportunity where I can live the impact of all my cumulative learnings first-hand every day for the duration of the fellowship and hopefully beyond.”

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/reham-abdelhalim
ResearchGate: researchgate.net/profile/Reham-Abdelhalim