Re-imagining Health Symposium Speakers

The Re-imaging Health Symposium organizing committee has brought together over 30 award-winning speakers with expertise in diverse topics areas. This event promises to be a must-attend opportunity for those invested in the future of health for individuals and communities.

Meet the keynotes

Andrew Best

Andrew Best

Senior Director, Healthcare RBC

Andrew Best is Senior Director of Healthcare at RBC where he oversees the strategic direction for RBC’s Healthcare segment. Andrew manages a team that is responsible for the design and implementation of the value proposition for the segment and works closely with partners across the bank to develop product solutions, marketing, sales and distribution strategies in support of delivering a superior client experience to RBC clients in the healthcare profession.

Previously, Andrew was National Director, Commercial Financial Services Client Strategy where he developed strategies and managed client segments in Healthcare and Business & Professional Services. He was also Director, Segment Integration & Portfolio Analytics where he managed a commercial banking team responsible for analyzing large amounts of data to generate insights about client segments, conducting in depth market research, and crafting compelling strategic communications.

Prior to joining RBC in 2014, Andrew worked in Shanghai, China in various marketing roles in the real estate and media industries before returning back to Toronto to complete his Masters of Business Administration (MBA) at the University of Toronto Rotman School of Management. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in English Literature and Economics from McGill University in Montreal.

Andrew is an avid skier, basketball player and overall sports enthusiast.

Dr. Mustafa Hirji

Acting Medical Officer of Health and Commissioner Public Health Niagara Region

Dr. M. Mustafa Hirji is the Acting Medical Officer of Health for Niagara region, appointed to the position in January 2018. In this capacity he is responsible for protecting the health of Niagara’s 450,000 residents and 15 million visitors through Public Health programs such as vaccination, stopping outbreaks, preventing chronic diseases, health inspections, enabling children to get the best start to life, as well as Land Ambulance and ambulance dispatch services, and emergency planning.

Dr. Hirji has a particular focus on the social determinants of health—the socioeconomic conditions in which people live, which determines half of health outcomes.

Dr. Zayna khayat

Future Strategist, SE Health

Dr. Zayna Khayat is the Future Strategist with SE Health (formerly, Saint Elizabeth Health Care). Zayna is on the Faculty of Singularity University’ Exponential Medicine stream since 2016.

In 2017 she was seconded from MaRS Discovery District, an innovation hub in Toronto, Canada to the REshape Health Innovation Centre at Radboud university medical centre in Nijmegan, Netherlands. At MaRS in Toronto, Zayna lead the Health System Innovation platform from 2014 to 2017.


Chief, Hurvitz Brain Sciences Program; Medical Director, Family Navigation Project; Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Psychiatry Department

Dr Levitt graduated from the University of Western Australia and then completed his specialty training in Psychiatry at the University of Toronto in 1989. From 1992-2002 was the head of Mood Disorders Programs first at the Centre for Addictions and Mental Health in Toronto, then McMaster University in Hamilton, and eventually at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto.

In 2002 he became the Chief of the Department of Psychiatry at Sunnybrook and at Women’s College Hospital, and in 2014 became the Chief of the Brain Sciences Program at Sunnybrook. He has published over 160 peer reviewed manuscripts and has served for 4 years as the Chair of the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (formerly MRC) Randomized Controlled Trails committee.

His research has centered on treatment resistant mood disorders with a focus on clinical trials. His clinical work has focused on the treatment of highly treatment resistant mood and anxiety disorders, and also facilitating patient and family access to care in complex mental health and addictions systems. To this end, he recently became the Medical Director of the newly created Family Navigation Project, a not-for-profit program that helps to locate mental health and addictions resources for families with youth 13-26.

Meet the speakers

Adekunle Ajiboye

Adekunle Ajiboye is a Software Architect whose educational and professional background gives him a broad range of domain expertise in the entire eHealthsphere, ICT Tools & Applications for Commerce, IoT + Big Data and Entrepreneurial Consulting. Aside from his leadership roles @ AAJIMATICS and other firms, he serves as a SME @ the GEIA among other institutions.

He is honored with the Nation Builder Award on behalf of the Parliament of Canada. He is a celebrated alumnus of McMaster University Hamilton, Ontario Canada with graduate degrees in Engineering and eHealth and also recognized as one of McMaster University’s 150 outstanding Engineering graduates.

Adekunle is a frequent speaker on eTechnologies to academic and international conference audiences.

Dr. Norm Archer

Dr. Archer is a Professor Emeritus in Information Systems in the DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University.

Along with two colleagues, he initiated, developed and implemented a Master’s program in eHealth, which began operations in 2008. The program is a collaborative effort of three McMaster faculties: Health Sciences, Business and Engineering, and admits over 40 highly qualified students each year.

Dr. Archer continues to be very active in  in eHealth research. At the present time he is directing a two-year research project in health self-management with online support for out-patients with peripheral arterial disease. The project has been implemented and is being tested for efficacy in a randomized controlled trial with 200 outpatients, in collaboration with the vascular surgery team at Hamilton Health Sciences.

Dr. Faisal Beg

Dr. Beg is currently a Professor at the School of Engineering Science at Simon Fraser University.

His main interest is in designing computational algorithms using novel signal processing tools for medical image processing, specifically the quantitative understanding of human brain structure and function. He has focused on developing novel computational biomarkers for the early and reliable diagnosis of dementias such as Alzheimer’s, FTD and Parkinson’s disease from brain MRI images.

He has contributed to designing novel algorithms optical coherence technology (OCT) imaging of the retina, optical imaging of cardiac electrical activity and novel AI algorithms for CT imaging in cancer and aging.

Patrick Clifford

Patrick Clifford is currently the Director of Research and Innovation, at the Research Institute of Southlake Regional Health Centre in Newmarket Ontario and CreateIT Now the Southlake owned and operated on campus health innovation centre.

Patrick’s responsibilities include 1/oversight of research operations and infrastructure (including the REB) and 2/ advancing innovation and commercialization activities along with culture building, through strategic collaborations with industry, academia, funders and other key partners. Currently Patrick is charged with leading the development and implementation of Southlake’s research agenda and advancing the innovation and commercialization strategy which includes growing partnerships and collaborations with private sector ventures wishing to test and/or validate wide ranging health focused technologies with Southlake clinicians in an acute care, large community hospital environment.

Patrick is also engaged in Southlake’s health sector leadership role in innovative, outcome based, procurement practices. Patrick brings 32 years of health care experience in acute care to his current role. He holds an MSW, a BA, BSW and BEd. and continues to practice as a clinician on a periodic basis in an emergency mental health setting.

Dr. Ivo D. Dinov

Dr. Dinov is a professor of Health Behavior and Biological Sciences and Computational Medicine and Bioinformatics at the University of Michigan.

He directs the Statistics Online Computational Resource, the Integrative Biostatistics and Informatics Core of the Michigan Nutrition and Obesity Research Center, and the Udall Parkinson’s Disease Biostatistics and Data Management Core. He co-directs the Center for Complexity and Self-management of Chronic Disease (CSCD Center) and the multi-institutional Probability Distributome Project.

Sandy Dupuis

Sandy Dupuis has more than 10 years experience in the public sector driving data driven decision-making, evaluating programs and services, and developing performance measurement frameworks.

After many years as an Epidemiologist in Public Health, Sandy Dupuis is currently supporting departments across the Niagara Region organization to drive continuous improvement as the Corporate Performance Specialist.

Sandy is passionate about community impact and ensuring decisions are made based on evidence. She will never shy away from a conversation about data!

Dr. Brent E. Faught

Dr. Faught is a Professor of Epidemiology in the Department of Health Sciences and Graduate Program Director for the Master of Public Health degree program at Brock University.

His research expertise is in physical activity epidemiology. Physical activity and relational risk research examines an individual’s decision to adopt a regular physically active lifestyle as a health preventative measure.

Dr. Faught examines this relationship in young children and pediatric populations with respect to a variety of health conditions.

rick ferron

Rick Ferron

Rick Ferron started his career as a Paramedic in Niagara after graduating from Niagara College in 1991, and has worked as a Primary Care Paramedic, Advanced Care Paramedic, and in various management level positions leading to his current position as Deputy Chief, System Performance with Niagara Emergency Medical Services.

Rick received his Bachelors of Education (Adult Education) degree from Brock University in 2009 and his Masters of Health Management from McMaster University in 2015. In his current portfolio, Rick is responsible for overseeing quality assurance, quality improvement, training, research and decision support as well as Mobile Integrated Healthcare for Niagara EMS. Rick is currently co-chair of the Clinical Key Performance Indicators Working Group for the Paramedic Chiefs of Canada, and was previously a member of the ad-hoc committee for operational stress injury. Rick’s research interests include EMS system design (including call triage, response prioritization and resource deployment processes), quality assurance, performance measurement, EMS provider education, and EMS leadership. In addition to membership in a number of professional organizations, Rick is a Certified Health Executive with the College of Health Leaders.

cisco grajales

Cisco Grajales

Cisco is a Senior Delivery Manager (Contractor) in Deloitte’s Digital Care Consulting practice. He holds over a decade of experience in the strategic implementation of disruptive innovation in the health and financial sectors. Cisco earned a BHK with a thesis in information systems engineering (algorithm scoring performance), an MS in eHealth knowledge management, and is currently reading for a DPhil on the economics of patient data on social networking sites. Cisco is recognized as an eHealth expert across four continents. Some of his notable international clients include the World Bank (Washington, DC), the Asian Development Bank (Manila), the World Health Organization (Switzerland), Hospital Clinic de Barcelona (Spain), RadboudUMC (Netherlands), the Northern Research Institute (Norway), and the Tallinn Technical University (Estonia).

Cisco is known for his pracademic approach to telemedicine, mHealth, health innovation implementation, and mobile payment systems. His work with Scotiabank was recognized by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Time Magazine after the 2010 Haiti Earthquake. From a clinical perspective, he has served for over 16 years with the Royal Canadian Medical Services in three domestic operations and across care settings ranging from pharmacy management, pre-hospital care, OR, and virtual clinics, to name a few…

In his spare time, Cisco can be found giving back to his community by volunteering. He also loves to read about user experience design, machine learning, and best practices for teaching elementary students about global warming and how to conduct fun STEM experiments (His wife is a teacher). Cisco unplugs by climbing the Niagara escarpment on rock and ice.

Simon Hagens

Simon Hagens is Group Director, Performance Analytics at Canada Health Infoway. In fourteen years with Infoway, Simon’s largest contributions have been the development and implementation of the Benefits Evaluation strategy and the establishment adoption requirements to drive adoption.

Simon is currently Board Chair at Four Villages Community Health Centre in west Toronto. In prior roles, Simon has been a manager in a primary care and community health organization, and a market researcher in the pharmaceutical industry. Simon holds a B.Sc from the University of Guelph and an MBA from McGill University, and has been working healthcare for 20 years.

Dr. Joanna Henderson

Dr. Henderson is Director of the Margaret and Wallace McCain Centre for Child, Youth & Family Mental Health at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Executive Director of Youth Wellness Hubs Ontario, and Associate Director of Frayme.

Dr. Henderson’s research aims to improve youth access to high quality mental health and substance use services and supporting youth engagement in system and service planning.

Kevin Hobbs

Kevin Hobbs is an actor and writer, and is currently a Masters candidate at Brock University in Social Justice and Equity. For over twenty years he has employed various narrative and artistic methodologies to improve the communication skills of healthcare students and professionals.

Leanne Hughes

Leanne has 23 years of experience in Recreation Therapy at Sunnybrook Health Sciences, located in Toronto, ON; working on various patient care areas. She truly values her experience at Sunnybrook and considers Person Centred Care and Staff Wellness a priority.  In her current position, Leanne is the Professional and Education Leader of Recreation Therapy.

She is registered with Therapeutic Recreation Ontario (R/TRO) and is a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS). Leanne has been involved on the Therapeutic Recreation Ontario Board for the past 14 years and currently holds the position of Past-President.

jamal instrum

Jamal Instrum

Jamal Instrum is a seasoned international businessman with three decades of innovation, management and finance experience supporting governments and the private sector. A working career spanning both sides of the Atlantic and the Middle East in healthcare, communications, renewable energy, advanced recycling and other disciplines has allowed Jamal to work closely with world renowned companies such as Merck, Siemens, Toshiba, Bosch, British Aerospace and governments in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Ethiopia, Britain and Canada. Always able to see the opportunity, a broad knowledge on many subjects and a serial problem solver, Jamal supports the management team to ensure visions and ideas become reality.

For over a decade, he has been integrating drama, improv, and play specifically within health sciences pedagogy. He is also a clown nose enthusiast.

Hartley Jafine

Hartley Jafine is an instructor in the Bachelor of Health Sciences (Honours) program and Arts & Science program at McMaster University, where he facilitates theatre and arts-based courses. He is also a lecturer (part-time) with the Department of Family Medicine.

When not on the McMaster campus, Hartley works as a freelance applied drama and improv practitioner, communication coach with the University of Toronto’s Postgraduate Medical Education program and an arts educator at Baycrest Health Sciences.

For over a decade, he has been integrating drama, improv, and play specifically within health sciences pedagogy. He is also a clown nose enthusiast.

peter jones

Peter Jones

As Healthcare Industry Lead for Microsoft Canada, Peter Jones is responsible for developing the strategy vision of modern healthcare for the Canadian marketplace. Working closely with the Microsoft Worldwide Healthcare team, Peter is deeply enriched in the best practices of healthcare digital transformation that is being practiced by healthcare industry leaders around the globe. Peter’s mandate is to help clients improve their clinical and operational performance by leveraging Microsoft solutions for healthcare data and records management, advanced analytics, and big data, while remaining compliant. Peter joined Microsoft nearly 20 years ago and has been focused on the healthcare industry for over 10 years. He is actively involved in a number Health Informatics groups such as COACH, CHIEF (Advisor), and is an active ITAC Health board member.

karen lutz-graul

Karen Lutz-Graul has been a Paramedic in Niagara for 28 years and for the last 5 years has held the position of Commander of Quality Assurance and System Performance for Niagara Emergency Medical Services and is currently the Project Lead for Niagara EMS’s System Transformation Project aimed at Transforming Niagara EMS into an Evidence Based Clinical Service Model.

In addition to her role as the Project Lead for the Niagara EMS Community Paramedic Program, Karen was the lead in the Omega Phase 2 Feasibility Study and has previously worked in the roles of Training Superintendent, and is still a practicing Advanced Care Paramedic.

Karen is a graduate of Ambulance and Emergency Care Program at Niagara College, the Advanced Care Paramedic Program at the Michener Institute and also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Clinical Paramedicine from Charles Sturt University, New South Wales, Australia.

Dr. Rebecca MacPherson

Dr. MacPherson’s research program strives to understand the relationship between disturbances in cellular homeostasis and metabolic diseases such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease.

The aims of her research program is two pronged: 1) to understand the role of lipid metabolism in maintaining cellular homeostasis with a focus on the role of adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL) in the regulation of fat metabolism in adipose tissue, skeletal muscle, and liver in health and disease; 2) to understand the cellular mechanisms and pathology that contribute to neurodegeneration in metabolic disease.

Joe Mayer

Joe Mayer is Chief Revenue Officer at IDENTOS. He is responsible for global revenue and leading commercial activities for the North American Healthcare market. Joe has over 15 years of digital health experience including a decade in leadership roles across TELUS Health. Joe has built, delivered and operated digital innovation for governments, military, hospitals and many other healthcare providers domestically and internationally.

In addition to his MBA, Joe has an Honors Health Science Degree from the University of Western Ontario and is PMP, ITIL and CPHIMS certified. He has also completed ICD NFP Governance program at Rotman School of Management and proudly serves as a member of the Board of Directors for VHA Home Healthcare.

Neil McFarlane

As a solutions architect, Neil McFarlane works with Canadian healthcare providers, regional health authorities, government health institutions, and life science organizations on all aspects of cloud adoption and transformation.  His work spans technical fields such as storage, hybrid architectures, disaster recovery, and data lakes; as well as broader enterprise concerns such as migration, security & compliance, and DevOps adoption.

Neil’s background prior to his work in healthcare with AWS includes leading large programs such as utility regulatory reform, grid modernization, and smart cities.

Dr. Helia Mohammadi

Dr. Mohammadi is the National Healthcare Chief Data Scientist for Microsoft Canada. With over 10 years of experience in research and applied Artificial Intelligence, she leverages and extends Machine Learning and cloud solutions to help process data into actionable insight, and to aid with digital transformation in the healthcare domain from predictive analytics to genomics research and precision medicine.

Dr. Mohammadi is an inventor and extended her research into patents and journal publications in biomedical Machine Learning at University of Toronto, where she received a Doctorate in Electrical and Computer Engineering.

She was named as “Top 30 Influential Women Advancing AI in Canada” in 2018.

Dr. Farouk Nathoo

Farouk Salim Nathoo was born in Nairobi Kenya in 1975 and grew up in Vancouver Canada. He is an Associate Professor and Tier 2 Canada Research Chair (2013-2023) in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Victoria, and an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science at Simon Fraser University.

His primary areas of research are the analysis of neuroimaging data, imaging genetics, statistical modelling, and Bayesian methods.

Recent career contributions are to the development of methods for the analysis of neuroimaging data motivated by the electromagnetic inverse problem, spatial modeling and computation for fMRI data, brain connectivity studies and the joint analysis of neuroimaging and genetic data.

Dr. Joe Norris

Dr. Norris, Chair of the Department of Dramatic Arts at Brock University has focused his career to support community and educational organizations through the use of social issues theatre to address topic that concern them.

Norris and casts of Mirror Theatre have devised over 70 live and video participatory performance/workshops that are designed to raise awareness and evoke meaningful conversations.

clement ng

Clement NG

Clement is the VP Sales and Marketing for Smile CDR, helping organizations like governments, regional health exchanges, researchers, health systems, providers, payers and app developers build connected health solutions and products.

With over 20 years of international business experience, Clem was most recently at GCI Ventures, a Toronto based venture capital firm that actively invested in more than 20 technology start ups over 4 years.

Dr. Joe Pelino

Dr. JOSEPH Pelino

Dr. Joe Pelino is a sports medicine chiropractor since 1989 graduating from CMCC, Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College earning the Research Award for Radiological Excellence.With a Bachelor’s degree in Science & Exercise Physiology from Brock University, combined with course work from the University of Toronto, Dr. Pelino played defence on the Varsity Hockey Teams at both schools and at CMCC earning the MVP defenceman award.

Dr. Pelino is the first Canadian to earn a Diplomate of the American Chiropractic Board of Sports Physicians. Dr. Pelino was the first Canadian and first lead instructor of advanced soft tissue methods from 1991 to 2010. Trained in other physical manual methods, Dr. Pelino uses untwisting positional protocols to reverse the physical torque of mental, emotional and chemical stress to target skull and spinal issues with adjustive techniques used in the correction of frozen shoulder syndrome and other enigmatic disorders of the brain stem.

Mark Rajack

Mark Rajack is the Project Director, Partnerships and Innovation for Niagara Health.

Mark is focused on driving a forward-thinking strategy that will not only connect Niagara Health’s strategic priorities with new and innovative technologies but will also work on building strong and lasting partnerships with community partners and stakeholders, placing an emphasis on technology in support of the patient experience and transitions to care.

Mark has over 15 years of experience in the e-health/healthcare IT sectors and is extremely passionate about improving the healthcare experience for Canadians.

Brent Rowan

Brent Rowan is a professional community musician. He has performed and recorded across Canada, the UK and Germany with 2009 & 2015 Juno Nominated Eccodek, Jason Raso Funktet and has released three of his own albums; “It’s About Time” 2006, “IZ” 2012 & “Where is Local” 2016.

Brent is the founding director of the Guelph Youth Jazz Ensemble and the New Horizons Band for Guelph, teaches in the Community Music Program at Wilfrid Laurier University and at his private music studio.

Brent is a candidate for MA/PHD in Critical Studies in Improvisation University of Guelph.

matthew trennum

Matthew Trennum

Matthew Trennum has been with Niagara Region’s Office of the Regional Clerk for eight years and worked in a number of roles responsible for privacy, access to information, corporate policies and procedures, and records management. In his current role as Deputy Regional Clerk, Matthew manages the privacy office at Niagara Region responsible for corporate access and privacy. He has a B.Sc. in Biomedical Neuroscience from the University of Guelph and is a certified clinical research coordinator. In 2013 he was recognized as a Privacy by Design ambassador by the Information and Privacy Commissioner/Ontario.

ben saisbury

Ben Sainsbury

Ben Sainsbury is a PhD Computer Science candidate from UOIT and the CEO of Marion Surgical Inc – a Toronto based startup that is in the market with a virtual reality surgical simulation platform with haptics that is connected to big data. The Marion platform allows surgeons to ‘Do tomorrows, surgery today’.

The workshop will be about: ‘From Surgical Simulation to Surgical Rehearsal ‘- a paradigm shift in surgical training

hannah seo

Hannah Seo

Hannah is a seasoned Consultant and Registered Occupational Therapist, drawing on 14+ years of experience across Canada and in Australia. She leads Deloitte’s Smart Hospitals offering to help clients transform care delivery and technology to influence hospital design and the patient experience. She is passionate about social impact and oversees ~20 active projects as chair of Deloitte Canada’s largest pro bono consulting team. 

Prior to her work at Deloitte, she worked at the GTA Rehab Network and Toronto Rehab (University Health Network). Hannah holds a Master of Business Administration from INSEAD international business school and a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy from the University of Alberta.

For the last two years, he has appeared on CTV’s Canadian and U.S. federal election coverage as a commentator on voter demographics in key races.

Rupen Seoni

Senior Vice President and Practice Leader at Environics Analytics, Rupen Seoni leads a practice area that includes the public sector, health care, energy and not-for-profits. He brings to his position over twenty years of experience in marketing analytics, working with organizations of all sizes to unlock the value of information in decision-making and business strategy. He specializes in helping organizations understand population trends, segmentation and performance benchmarking.

Rupen earned a master’s degree in urban planning and held positions with Nielsen, Compusearch, Campbell Soup and CIBC prior to joining Environics Analytics.

For the last two years, he has appeared on CTV’s Canadian and U.S. federal election coverage as a commentator on voter demographics in key races.

Dr. Jennifer Tsang

Jennifer Tsang is an intensivist and researcher with an academic interest in building research capacity in community hospitals. She completed her MD degree at the University of Ottawa, internal medicine residency, and critical care fellowship at the University of Toronto in 2008. In December 2013, she completed a PhD in molecular biology and Royal College Clinician Investigator Program at the University of Toronto.

She is the Research Lead of Niagara Health and Niagara Regional Campus of Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine and an Assistant Professor of Medicine at McMaster University.

Dr. Tsang has built a robust research program, and developed a peer-reviewed grant funded Quality Improvement Program with the aim to improve pain, agitation and delirium management in a community ICU. She has also developed an organizational-wide research program in a community hospital.

She is currently working on creating a Canadian Community ICU Research Network to facilitate research building in community ICUs across Canada.

Ryan Waterhouse

Dr. Colleen Whyte

Colleen Whyte is an Associate Professor in the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies at Brock University. Her research focuses on aging within Canadian society, and the contributions of recreation and leisure to quality of living for older adults. She is particularly interested in examining the experiences of older adults within long-term care (LTC) homes and working to foster a cultural shift away from societal discrimination based on age.