Mental Health Summit
November 23-24, 2021 | Virtual event
Colleen Adams, manager, health and digital product solutions, Medavie Blue Cross
Colleen Adams oversees strategic partnerships and product management for group and individual businesses at Medavie Blue Cross, a leading health solutions partner. She has championed the creation of some of the industry’s leading solutions for digital health, mental health and chronic conditions. These solutions leverage technology and industry trends to modernize benefits and improve member health while delivering value to plan sponsors. Adams brings more than 15 years of progressive experience in marketing and channel development and holds a bachelor of business administration with distinction from the University of New Brunswick.
Leslie Allan-Reed, director of absence and disability management, Fraser Health Authority
Leslie Allan-Reed is an accomplished public sector disability management leader with demonstrated success in the implementation and management of best practice DM services in the complex, unionized health care industry in Canada. Since the creation of Fraser Health, one of the largest health authorities in Western Canada in 2002, Leslie has led the Absence and DM (ADM) program from its inception through to the comprehensive program it is today. Successfully achieving multi-million dollar disability cost avoidance through the various programs and services offered, the ADM team at Fraser Health are recognized as industry leaders, providing not only comprehensive case management for all work absences related to illness or injury, but attendance support, early intervention recovery services and work accommodation to staff to support recovery and return to work.
Chris Anderson, president, Medaca Heath Group
Chris Anderson is president of Medaca Health Group, Canada's leading psychiatry-based early intervention company. He is responsible for the strategic direction and day-to-day management of the company. Prior to this role, Anderson was the senior advisor to the Global Business and Economic Roundtable on Addiction and Mental Health. He was also co-chairman of the Canada/U.K. Task Force on the mental health of Children. Anderson is a thought leader on workplace mental health, speaking at conferences in Canada and around the world.
Anna Chif, co-founder, chief strategy and product officer, Dialogue
Anna Chif is the co-founder and chief product officer (CPO) of Dialogue, Canada’s leading virtual care company. Launched in 2016, Dialogue offers its service to millions of Canadians and provides care to more patients every day than the largest emergency rooms in the country. Dialogue has received several industry accolades, including The Globe & Mail 2021 Canada’s Top Growing Companies.
In 2018, Chif was honoured by Forbes as part of its annual Top 30 Under 30 list, and her story was featured in the Globe & Mail. Prior to launching Dialogue, Chif was a consultant at McKinsey & Company and graduated with distinction from McGill University.
Simon Coulombe, associate professor, department of industrial relations, faculty of social sciences, Université Laval
Simon Coulombe is an associate professor in the department of industrial relations at Université Laval, where he holds the Relief Research Chair in mental health, self-management and work-powered by Beneva. He is also a regular researcher at VITAM - Centre de recherche en santé durable and a research associate at Relief - The Path of Mental Health. His work lies at the intersection between industrial relations and several fields of psychology (community, positive, environmental and organizational psychology). In the past year, Coulombe led two longitudinal studies on the mental health and well-being of Canadian workers in the context of COVID-19, including those working from home.
Michelle Desnoyers, benefits and human resources information system lead, Fluor Canada
Michelle Desnoyers is the benefits and HRIS lead for Fluor Canada, responsible for the employee wellness strategy, group benefits and retirement, HRIS and data management. With over 10 years of benefits experience in various industries including tech startups, veterinary, oil and gas and engineering, Desnoyers brings an innovative and holistic approach to benefits and wellness.
Desnoyers’ goal is to elevate the employee experience at Fluor by creating conditions in the work environment which will positively contribute to all facets of employee wellness and well-being.
She holds a bachelor of arts with major in sociology and minor in psychology. Certified with the Yoga Alliance since 2007 as a yoga and meditation instructor, Desnoyers has also completed the Canadian Mental Health Association's mental health first aid training.
Harriet Ekperigin, vice-president, mental health, Green Shield Canada
Harriet Ekperigin takes on the day-to-day leadership of GSH’s Mental Health Strategy while supporting the growth of Inkblot and other mental health partners.
Most recently, Ekperigin was the senior lead for Virtual Mental Health at the Ontario Telemedicine Network and Ontario Health, where she was responsible for implementing and driving virtual mental health services. Previously, she held several transformative roles in the private and public sector, including with KPMG and the Ministry of Transportation.
Julie Gaudry, head of group insurance, RBC Insurance
Julie Gaudry leads a team with overall responsibility for the product development and strategic direction for RBC Insurance’s Group Benefit Solutions (GBS). With a focus on innovation and thought-leadership, the team is committed to differentiating RBC Insurance through product and service enhancements that make it easier for clients to lead a healthy lifestyle, manage their benefits programs and return to health if faced with a serious medical condition.
Stéphanie Ipavec-Levasseur, product director, health insurance, Desjardins Insurance
Stéphanie Ipavec-Levasseur is a health insurance product manager with Desjardins Insurance. Her main role consists of developing innovative solutions to improve the health of client organizations and their employees. Ipavec-Levasseur is a healthcare professional with a PhD in medicine specializing in obesity and lifestyle behaviours. Over the last 10 years, she's acquired considerable expertise in the area of workplace health and wellness. She's been a board member of Relief, an organization that helps people dealing with mental health issues, for the last four years.
Sylvana Leclerc, organizational health consultant, Integrated Health Solutions, Sun Life
Integrated Health Solutions (IHS) is a dedicated business area designed to support the workplace health objectives of Canadian organizations. As a consultant, Leclerc is part of a high performing team who delivers strategic consulting and insight to help Sun Life clients with their healthy workplace objectives.
Prior to joining Sun Life in 2017, Leclerc was consultant in absence, Disability and Health Management at Willis Towers Watson. She also spent over 15 years managing benefits and wellness for a large Canadian transportation organization, spearheading innovative wellness programming and earning the organization several provincial and national awards. Over the years, she has also served on several workplace health and wellness advisory boards.
Lisa Maks, diabetes clinical nurse specialist
Lisa is the diabetes clinical nurse specialist for the Juravinski Hospital and St. Peter’s Hospital sites. She has been nursing for 33 years in a variety of areas, with the past 17 years specializing in diabetes healthcare both in and out of hospital settings. Lisa holds a master’s degree in nursing in advanced practice leadership from the University of Victoria, and she has been an assistant professor with the McMaster University Nursing Program since 2008. She is passionate about the management of diabetes in our hospitals and welcomes any discussion on the topic.
Joby McKenzie, managing director, Canada, Teladoc Health
Joby McKenzie is the managing director of Teladoc Health in Canada responsible for all strategy and operations, growing whole person virtual care to empower Canadians to live healthier lives. Dr. McKenzie also volunteers as a board director at Mackenzie Health overseeing their strategic, quality and financial plans and decisions.
Previously, Dr. McKenzie served as the managing director at Babylon Health in Canada, where she led the exponential adoption of virtual primary care across Canada. Prior to that, she held executive roles at LifeLabs (medical diagnostic services) in business development, post-merger integration, government relations and strategy and was a consultant at the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) where she worked with clients in healthcare and financial services and helped them to increase shareholder value. Dr. McKenzie was also an international professional basketball player and Canadian national athlete including qualifying for the 2000 Olympics and receiving a silver medal at the 1999 PanAm Games.
Dr. McKenzie has an MBA from the Ivey School of Business, a doctor of philosophy in molecular and medical genetics from the University of Toronto and a bachelor of science in molecular biology and biochemistry from Simon Fraser University.
Dominique Morisano, chief psychologist, Field Trip Health
Dr. Dominique Morisano is a licensed clinical psychologist (Ontario, New York), researcher and adjunct professor. She completed her undergraduate education at Brown University, her MA/Ph.D. at McGill University, a postdoctoral fellowship at CAMH/University of Toronto in addiction psychiatry/schizophrenia and more recently, a certificate in psychedelic-assisted therapies and research at the California Institute for Integral Studies. She holds academic appointments at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), University of Toronto and Erasmus University Rotterdam (NL).
John Papastergiou, expert pharmacist
John Papastergiou has been described as “Canada’s most famous pharmacist, business leader, educator and pharmacy innovator”. He owns and operates four Shoppers Drug Mart locations in downtown Toronto, where he leads innovative research, including one of the first community pharmacist directed pharmacogenetics clinics in Canada. Papastergiou received an appointment as an adjunct assistant professor at the School of Pharmacy, University of Waterloo. In 2016, he was cross-appointed at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Toronto. He employs his unique background in clinical research and teaching to explore and promote an expanded role for the community pharmacist. Papastergiou strongly believes that the accessibility of the community pharmacist places them in a unique position to actively screen and monitor patients for various chronic diseases. Most recently, he implemented one of the first frontline community pharmacist-directed pharmacogenomics clinics in Canada.
He was awarded both the Ontario Pharmacist’s Association Mentorship Award and the Canadian Pharmacists Association’s Canadian Pharmacist of the Year in 2014. In 2016, he won first prize at the International Pharmaceutical Federation’s 76th World Congress of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences event in Buenos Aires, in addition to the Ontario Pharmacists Association’s “Voice of the Profession Award” and the “Pharmacy Practice Commitment to Care” Award for Overall Patient Care. In 2019, he was named by the International Forum on Advancement in Healthcare as one of the top 100 health care leaders globally. He was also presented with the OPA Award for Excellence in Research and Academia. Papastergiou can be heard regularly on Zoomer Radio and on his top-rated podcast, The Pharmacists Are In.
Georgia Pomaki, leader, mental health specialists, wellness, disability and life, Manulife
Dr. Georgia Pomaki is the leader of mental health specialists at Manulife and an instructor at Pacific Coast University for Workplace Health Sciences. She's a clinical psychologist by training and has a PhD in workplace mental health. She is a certified disability management Professional (CDMP) and member of the board of directors of the Society of Disability Management Professionals. Georgia is also the mental health committee chair at the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association. At Manulife, she leads the development, testing and application of best practices for the management of mental health disability claims.
Lanie Schachter-Snipper, registered psychotherapist and national director of outpatient services, EHN Canada
Lanie Schachter-Snipper is a registered psychotherapist and mental health leader with almost a decade of experience in launching innovative, effective clinical programs — online and in person. She combines her expertise as a clinician and business leader to develop and implement evidence-informed short- and long- term addiction and mental health programming. Through previous leadership roles, including clinical director of Bellwood Health Services, Schachter-Snipper has gained expertise in setting human resource priorities to promote corporate mental health, in addition to developing wellness programs to enhance staff retention, recruitment and performance. She now applies her valuable skill set to enhancing and expanding Edgewood Health Network Canada’s portfolio of outpatient programs nationwide.
Elliot Stone, chief executive officer, co-founder, ALAViDA
Elliot Stone is the chief executive officer and co-founder of ALAViDA, the Canadian market leader in virtual substance use treatment. Early in his career, Elliot saw people he loved prevented from getting the help they needed and noticed that when treatment was offered it was often ineffective or too expensive. Fueled by an empathetic curiosity, Elliot has made it his mission to make evidence-based, non-judgmental care available without barriers to people struggling with substance use. ALAViDA has helped over 79% of clients regain control over an addiction.
Dr. Rob Tanguay, psychiatrist, president of Pain Society of Alberta, chief medical officer, The Newly Institute
Dr. Tanguay is a psychiatrist who completed two fellowships, one in addiction medicine and one in pain medicine. He is a clinical assistant professor with the departments of psychiatry and surgery at the Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary.
Most recently, Dr. Tanguay helped found and is the chief medical officer and vice-president of The Newly Institute, a program dedicated to providing medical and psychological intervention for people living with complex and treatment resistant mental health disorders such as PTSD, depression, anxiety, addiction and chronic pain. He is the former medical lead for the Alberta Addiction Education Sessions for Alberta Health Services (AHS). He is the regional director for Alberta and Northwest Territories for the Canadian Society of Addiction Medicine (CSAM) where he sits as a board member, the president of the Pain Society of Alberta and the co-chair of the internationally recognized Alberta Pain Strategy. He is the founder of the Opioid Deprescribing Program with AHS, the Rapid Access Addiction Medicine (RAAM) Community Clinic with AHS and the Transitional Outpatient Pain Program for Spine (TOPPS) clinic working with spinal surgeons to optimize spinal surgery outcomes.
Academically, he is involved in research in trauma, addiction, chronic pain, opioids, cannabis and psychedelics and is a member of the Hotchkiss Brain Institute and the Mathison Centre for Mental Health Research & Education at the University of Calgary.
Dr. Michael Verbora, medical director, Field Trip Health
Dr. Michael Verbora earned an MBA from the Odette School of Business in 2009 and an M.D. from Schulich School of Medicine at Western University in 2013 before entering family practice residency at the University of Toronto. He has worked as a leading physician in several clinics and is passionate about furthering knowledge on inner healing intelligence.
Dr. Edward S. Yuzda, psychiatrist and psychotherapist
Dr. Edward S. Yuzda is a top workplace psychiatrist and has conducted thousands of independent employees’ assessments during an 18-year career in medicine. He obtained his residency training in psychiatry at both Dalhousie University and the University of Toronto and has been a member of the Royal College of Physicians (Psychiatry) since 2003. Prior to receiving his medical degree, he received a bachelor of science degree in psychology. He is an assistant professor at both Dalhousie University and Memorial University and has also received extensive training in psychodynamic psychotherapy, cognitive behavioural therapy and interpersonal group psychotherapy. He has the unique perspective of assessing employees using both medical and psychotherapeutic modalities of treatment.
Dr. Yuzda is a Certified Independent Medical Examiner (CIME) with the American Board of Independent Medical Examiners (ABIME).