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Keynote Biographies


Dr. Adalsteinn D. Brown 

Adalsteinn (Steini) Brown is the Director of the Institute for Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto. He also leads the Division of Public Health Policy at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health and is a Scientist at the Keenan Research Centre in the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute at St. Michael’s Hospital. Past roles include the Dalla Lana Chair of Public Health Policy at the University of Toronto, Assistant Deputy Minister for Strategy and Policy at the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-term Care and for Science and Research at the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation, and Principal Investigator for the Hospital Report Project that created scorecards covering more than 95% of hospital care in Ontario.

He received his undergraduate degree in government from Harvard University and his doctorate from the University of Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He
has received several leadership awards including being named one of Canada's "Top 40 Under 40" in recognition for his work on performance measurement in health care. He has held founding roles in consulting, software, and Internet companies and has advised the World Health Organization, banks, software and insurance companies, and health care providers in North America, Europe, and Asia.


Cyndi Desjardins

Cyndi Desjardins started her career in sales support with a well-known consumer healthcare company.  With the desire to move into marketing she took on a new
role as Marketing Communication Specialist at a Canadian manufacturing company.  She was quickly promoted to product management and was given the opportunity to lead Engineering teams in the development of innovative products that enabled the company to move into the consumer market.

Focused on goal setting, Cyndi managed and motivated sales teams across North America. Other areas of expertise include product development, and supply-chain
management.  Cyndi not only expanded the business in Canada but also penetrated the US market just as she was going on maternity leave.

In addition to her success as a businesswoman, Cyndi navigated the Western Hemisphere to build her family, which included adopting a daughter from Florida and
conceiving her son via a specialized IVF procedure in Argentina. On leave with her three month old son and five-year-old daughter, Cyndi went to the hospital with what she thought was the flu and was put into a medically induced coma.  She awoke five weeks later to find in an effort to save her life, her hands and feet had been amputated.

While still in recovery, she launched Cyndisstory.com. Her inspiring attitude attracted media attention and she's been the focus of numerous Canadian and US television and print feature stories highlighting the strength of her spirit. Cyndi is the recipient of the East Gwillimbury character champion award for her contribution to the  community. She was titled a Canadian Original by CTV national.  Striving to share her expertise on the strength of the human spirit, Cyndi has launched an inspirational/motivational speaking career and is currently writing a book.


Danielle Martin, BSc, MD, CCFP

Danielle is a family physician interested in improving health at the system level as well as the individual level. She is Clinical Staff at Women's College Hospital and Lecturer in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Toronto and will be taking on a new role this spring at Women's College Hospital as Vice-President, Medical Affairs and Health Systems Solutions.

Danielle’s clinical work has involved remote northern work as well as a focus on maternity care. She is also a student in the Master of Public Policy program at the School of Public Policy and Governance, University of Toronto.

Danielle’s policy expertise and passion for equity have made her an emerging leader in the debate over the future of Canada’s healthcare system. A recipient of the Canadian Medical Association Award for Young Leaders, Danielle sat two terms on the Health Council of Canada.  In 2006 the Ontario College of Family Physicians recognized her as one of three New Family Doctors of the Year.

In May 2006, Danielle helped launch Canadian Doctors for Medicare, the voice for Canadian physicians who believe in a high quality, equitable, sustainable health system built on the best available evidence as the highest expression of Canadians caring for one another. She continues to chair the board of CDM.


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