Special Advisor, Transformation, to the Minister of Health
Chris has over 20 years of experience in clinical service delivery and health care management. He is a physiotherapist who transitioned from clinical care to clinical administration and corporate leadership after completing his Masters in Health Administration at the University of Toronto. He is currently a Special Advisor to the Minister of Health with the Health System Transformation portfolio. Previously he was a member of the Senior Management Team at the Toronto Central LHIN responsible for Accountability, Quality and Digital Services.
Director of Complex Care and Orthopedics Program, Hamilton Health Sciences
Site Administrator of St. Peter’s Hospital, Hamilton Health Sciences
Assistant Clinical Professor, School of Nursing, McMaster University
Leslie is the Director of the Complex Care and Orthopaedics Program at Hamilton Health Sciences and Site Administrator of St. Peter’s Complex Care Hospital. She serves as an Assistant Clinical Professor at McMaster School of Nursing. Previous clinical and administrative roles included Staff Nurse, Educator, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Clinical Manager, Chief of Nursing and Interprofessional Practice. Her professional background includes acute care, critical care, rehabilitative care, complex care and geriatrics. Leslie serves as the Hamilton Health Sciences Lead for Orthopaedic Bundled Care.
Physiotherapist and Senior Director of Operational Communication & Quality Improvement, pt Health
Paulette has worked as a physiotherapist leader in community practice for more than twenty years. Her background includes providing direct patient care as well as operational oversight to forty Ontario clinics, twenty-five of which are community physiotherapy clinics. Over the last more recent years she has provided support from a quality perspective to pt Health’s clinics nationally. pt Health has provided care through the bundled care pathway since the pilot phase and is now working with more than thirty different bundle holders. She has been involved in various Rehab Care Alliance groups and as of April is the President of the Ontario Physiotherapy Association.
Senior Director, Health System Funding, Analytics and Resourcing, CorHealth Ontario
Mirna is a Senior Director in Health Systems Funding, Analytics and Resourcing at CorHealth Ontario. In her current role, Mirna oversees and guides the development of integrated care models for the cardiac and stroke patient populations.
Prior to joining CorHealth, Mirna had been a senior consultant in health system funding policy, performance measurement, and capacity planning. In her role as a consultant, Mirna had a lead role in large scale and multi-year initiatives for Ontario’s government, LHINs and hospitals, including the costing module of the Health-Based Allocation Model (HBAM), Ontario Renal Network’s Chronic Kidney Disease funding model and Cancer Care Ontario’s Endoscopy funding model.
Mirna holds a Master’s degree in Public Health Administration and has completed PhD level courses at the University of Toronto in statistical methods and health policy.
Physiotherapist and Regional Stroke Rehabilitation Coordinator, Stroke Network of Southeastern Ontario
Shelley is a physiotherapist currently working in the role of Regional Stroke Rehabilitation Coordinator and actively involved in regional and provincial stroke system planning and evaluation. She has completed a Master's of Science in Healthcare Quality and has always been drawn to quality improvement, process and system work. She has worked in a variety of roles including inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation, home care manager and telemedicine program manager prior to joining the stroke network. She has been involved in various Rehab Care Alliance workgroups and is a member of the CorHealth Bundled Funding Advisory Committee.
Angela has been a practicing physiotherapist since 2007, with experience in outpatient orthopedics, and now works within the advanced practice role through Hamilton Health Sciences and the MSK CIAC program. She holds a professional associate position with McMaster University within the PT program and is the facilitator for the Health Quality Ontario online quorum APP group.
Patricia is an Occupational Therapist with over 20 years experience who enjoys a unique role as the Advanced Practice Occupational Therapist within Sunnybrook’s Holland Bone & Joint Program. She completed her BSc in Occupational Therapy in 1997 at Western University and her MSc in rehabilitation Science through McMaster. Patricia holds a status Lecturer appointment at the University of Toronto and is the Chair of The Ontario Rehab Care Alliance Hip Fracture Task group.
Dr. Ravi has a subspecialty practice in total joint arthroplasty at Sunnybrook Health Sciences. He completed his medical degree and his orthopaedic surgical training at the University of Toronto. He also completed a subspecialty fellowship in adult reconstruction at the Mayo Clinic (Arizona). He holds a Doctorate in Clinical Epidemiology and Health Care Research from the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto. He is a member of the Division of Orthopaedic Surgery, and an Associate Scientist at Sunnybrook Research Institute.
Dr. Tomescu is an accomplished arthroplasty surgeon at Sunnybrook Health Sciences. He completed his Orthopaedic Surgery Residency and a subsequent Clinical Fellowship at the University of Toronto. He was part of the distinguished Surgeon-Scientist Training Program (SSTP), and completed his MSc at the Institute of Medical Science, studying the effectiveness of functional knee braces after ACL injuries. His clinical practice focuses on lower extremity mal-alignment, osteotomies, patellar instability, and knee reconstructive surgery.
Amy completed her Kinesiology degree at McMaster and her MSc PT at the University of Toronto. She has worked at the Sunnybrook Holland Orthopaedic & Arthritic Centre for over ten years and is currently the Manager, Rehabilitation & Bone and Joint Program Development at Sunnybrook. Her desire to improve the experience and outcomes of patients undergoing arthroplasty has strongly influenced her research, exploring rehabilitation delivery models and pain management. She has been involved in qualitative research exploring patients’ preferences and information needs along the continuum of care including the development of a mobile app.
Dr. Bayley is Program Medical Director & Physiatrist-in-Chief at UHN-Toronto Rehabilitation Institute. He is a Professor at the University of Toronto in the Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Faculty of Medicine. Mark has held a number of health system leadership roles including Chair of the Stroke Evaluation Committee at Corhealth Ontario, Brain injury committee at Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation, the Canadian Stroke Best Practices committee, and the Vice-Chair of the GTA Rehab Network. His work has help redesign rehabilitation systems in Canada. He has led large randomized controlled trials including the Stroke Canada Optimization of Rehabilitation by evidence (SCORE), Fluoxetine to open the Window of Stroke Recovery (FLOW) study, the Getting on with Life after stroke and the EVREST (Efficacy of Virtual Reality Exercises using Wii gaming technology in STroke Rehabilitation). He has been very interested in implementing evidence at a health system level in the areas of stroke and brain injury initially through development of stroke rehabilitation guidelines then a leadership role in development of Canadian Stroke strategy (www.strokebestpractices.ca), a smartphone app to determine post-stroke arm rehabilitation (www.viatherapy.org) and guidelines for concussion and traumatic brain injury (www.braininjuryguidelines.org). He is also actively involved in research to promote neurological recovery.
Angie is the Safety & Quality Lead at UHN-Toronto Rehabilitation Institute. Her work focuses on supporting innovative strategies for enhancing quality and safety in rehab and complex continuing care. She has a passion for leading microsystem change and meaningful patient and family engagement for organizational learning and improvement. She completed her MSc from the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation in 2009, and is a Lecturer in the Department of Physical Therapy at the University of Toronto. Angie’s roots as a Physical Therapist for almost two decades have been the foundation to her work.
Sarah is a Patient Safety Specialist at UHN and has previously worked as a Registered Nurse within the organization since November 2014, with the last 3 years in the Toronto General Emergency Department. She has also worked as a Clinical Instructor for first-year nursing students at George Brown College since 2018. Sarah holds a Masters of Nursing in the Leadership in Health Care Policy and Education field from Ryerson University (Class of 2019). During her graduate studies, she led the implementation and evaluation of a grassroots quality improvement initiative at The Hospital for Sick Children, and completed her dissertation entitled “Factors Influencing Turnover Intentions of New Graduate Nurses Employed to Float Pools”.
Dr. Snobelen is an experienced rehabilitation professional. Her passion is to impact the rehabilitation system by improving patient experience, and ensuring healthy, respected experts while focusing on Ontario’s health system outcomes. Her research focused on the role of the rehabilitation nursing professionals in the interprofessional team. Nancy is currently an independent consultant. She holds a Doctor of Health Administration, a Master of Business Administration and a Bachelor of Science in Communication Disorders. She was formerly Special Advisor at Hotel Dieu Grace Healthcare, Windsor and Director at Chatham-Kent Health Alliance. She is a registered Speech-Language Pathologist (non-practicing).
Denise is an engaging healthcare leader. Completing a BScN degree from the University of Windsor and MScN degree from York University, Denise draws from experiences in psychogeriatrics, rehabilitation, complex continuing care and community care into imagining new ways of enhancing the patient and staff experiences through knowledge translation. She was most recently Interim Executive Director for Chatham-Kent Hospice and St. Andrew’s Residence. Previously Denise was the Patient Advocate at Bluewater Health leading patients and families to develop the Patient Experience Partner role and council and was also an expert panel member for RNAO’s Person- and Family-Centred Care best practice guideline.
Kim has over 25 years of experience in healthcare as a front-line occupational therapist and a leader of interprofessional teams and collaborative partnerships, with a focus on delivering competent and compassionate care. After graduating from the Master of Health Management program at McMaster University, Kim achieved the Certified Health Executive designation. Kim is dedicated to empowering patients, families and teams, and nurturing evolving leaders. Kim has facilitated creative initiatives to enhance programs and improve the person and family experience in hospital and community settings and is currently the Quality Improvement and Accreditation Lead at the Chatham-Kent Hospice.
Helen is a registered Physiotherapist with experience across most health care sectors. She began her career in intensive care, cardiac, neuro-surgery and rehabilitation, later moving into outpatient rehabilitation, community care, and specialized geriatric outreach services. Here she gained management experience, and knowledge of emergency room, long term care, mental health and comprehensive geriatric assessment. Helen completed a Master's degree in Health and Rehabilitation Science, Health and Aging at Western University (2011), and the Canadian Physiotherapy Association Clinical Specialty Program in Seniors Health (2012). Helen currently is Strategy and Health System Planner and Rehabilitation Lead for the Erie St. Clair LHIN.
Georgi is a Social Worker at Bridgepoint Active Healthcare and a Research Assistant at the University of Toronto. As a Social Worker, Georgi works on a Transitional Care Unit, helping patients with dementia and other cognitive impairments transition into supportive housing and/or long-term care. At the University of Toronto, Georgi is a member of an interdisciplinary research team that works with marginalized gay, bisexual, and two-spirit who are aging with HIV. Georgi’s research interests include dementia, aging and resilience, aging with HIV, and geriatric care.
Leo is currently a Patient Care Manager of the Transitional Care Units and Central Staffing at Bridgepoint Active Healthcare of the Sinai Health System. He has a clinical background in Emergency Nursing, with management/leadership experience in Acute Medicine, Surgical Ambulatory Care, Endoscopy, Cystoscopy and Emergency Medicine at the Toronto Western Hospital part of the University Health Network. Leo is an Instructor at George Brown College and is an Adjunct Lecturer at the University of Toronto.
Meredith is an Occupational Therapist and Clinical Practice Leader for Occupational Therapy at Bridgepoint Hospital. She has over 12 years experience in Transitional Care and Complex Continuing Care. She has also worked and has a variety of experience in Inpatient settings including Palliative Care, Dialysis/Renal Care, ABI, and Seating and Mobility Clinic. She has been involved with numerous quality and patient safety initiatives, practice and education events, and policy development.
Daniela is a Physical Therapist at Bridgepoint Active Healthcare. With 15 years of clinical experience, she has worked in the areas of medical rehabilitation and transitional care. She has been involved in patient safety initiatives, program development and clinical education.
Trish, a Speech-Language Pathologist, has worked at Toronto General Hospital for the past fourteen years. She has worked in General Internal Medicine, Multiple Organ Transplant, Nephrology and Critical Care. She completed a clinical fellowship in 2018, focusing on the application of one-way speaking valves for tracheostomized, ventilated patients. She has an interest in global health, as well, and is the chair of ICDR-Tanzania, a working group within the International Centre for Disability & Rehabilitation at the University of Toronto. Further to this, she provided volunteer SLP services to rural Hondurans during two medical/ dental trips to Honduras with Global Brigades.
Shauna is a Speech-Language Pathologist at Toronto Western Hospital in the Critical Care Unit. She has been practicing since 2012, working in a variety of clinical settings. Her specific areas of interest include tracheostomies, neurogenic communication and swallowing disorders and post-extubation dysphagia.
Jenny is a Speech-Language Pathologist with twenty-two years of experience working with adults with acquired communication and swallowing disorders. Jennifer completed a Master of Health Science in Speech-Language Pathology at the University of Toronto and has worked across the hospital continuum, in acute care and inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation settings. Jennifer currently works in acute care at University Health Network, predominantly in the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, which includes the cardiovascular-surgical and coronary intensive care units. Current research interests include communication with tracheostomy tubes, the impact of swallowing exercises on cardiovascular function and identification and management of post-extubation dysphagia.
Dr. Velikonja completed her graduate studies in the Biological Psychology Program at the University of Waterloo and obtained clinical training as well as conducting research with both pediatric and adult populations. Afterwards, she completed her residency and post-doctoral training at Chedoke-McMaster Hospitals. Her areas of practice involve Neuropsychology, Rehabilitation Psychology and Clinical Psychology across the lifespan. She has worked in a clinical and research capacity at the Acquired Brain Injury Program at Hamilton Health Sciences and in private practice. She actively publishes and is a reviewer for a number of scientific journals. Dr. Velikonja is also on faculty in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences at the DeGroote School of Medicine, McMaster University and holds an adjunct appointment in the Department of Psychology at McMaster University. Dr. Velikonja was the Chief of Psychology Practice at Hamilton Health Sciences between 2004 and 2001. She is past-president of the Hospital Psychology Association of Ontario and Director on the Board of the Hamilton Brain Injury Association and the Ontario Psychological Association. She is currently President Elect of the Ontario Psychological Association and sits on the advisory board for the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation and actively involved in the development of guidelines for concussion management, concussion clinics as well as with moderate to severe traumatic brain injury. Dr. Velikonja has also completed post-doctoral Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychopharmacology.
Join the Network’s E-news mailing list to stay informed about the annual Best Practices Day conference and other Network initiatives.