Marissa Lennox is the Chief Policy Officer at C.A.R.P. (Canadian Association of Retired Persons). For over four years, Marissa has worked to serve C.A.R.P.’s membership in each of its three key pillars of Advocacy, Benefits, and Community. She is a frequent commentator in the media, and also host of theZoomer, a current affairs roundtable discussion show on ZoomerMedia’s VisionTV, focusing on issues that matter most to Canadians 45+. Marissa is a member of the Canada Post Accessibility Advisory Panel, the Retiree Advisory Panel for the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA), and the Consumer Medication Incident Reporting Advisory Committee for ISMP Canada. Marissa holds an Honours degree in Political Science from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Public Policy degree from the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School at New York University.
Natasha Raey is a serial entrepreneur and consultant whose current work is focused on the health care, cannabis, and wellness industries. Natasha has managed the planning and development of large-scale health centers in both Vancouver and Toronto. Her work currently includes strategizing with her regional Health Authority in B.C., at the local community level, to implement a number of COVID-19-related initiatives. In 2017, she opened Cadence Health Centre, a team-based multidisciplinary health centre and pharmacy in downtown Toronto. In 2014, she co-founded SheTalks Global, an annual speaker series and conference showcasing influential women in diverse fields. In 2020, Natasha founded Skye Cannabis Co., a retail cannabis store based in British Columbia. Most recently, in 2019, Natasha founded Bloom & Elix, an enterprise developing wellness and brain health supplements for women. She also serves as an independent business, marketing, and public relations consultant for a number of social enterprises, public institutions, and non-government organizations. Ms. Raey holds a Masters of health administration from The University of British Columbia, and a BSc, molecular biology and biochemistry (honours), from Simon Fraser University.
Chief Policy Officer & Chief Operating Officer for C.A.R.P.
Bill VanGorder is Chief Policy Officer and Chief Operating Officer for C.A.R.P -A New Vision of Aging for Canada and was the Founding Chair of (2007) of the C.A.R.P. Nova Scotia Chapter. He is the immediate Past Chair of the Nova Scotia Advisory Committee on Seniors’ Issues to the Provincial Government (The Group of Nine) on which he has served for the past 12 years; Chair of the Serving Seniors Alliance Cooperative and longtime Board Member of the Theatre Arts Guild.
From 1991 to 2007, Bill was the President and CEO of The Lung Association of Nova Scotia. Previously he spent 28 years with the YMCA, for the final 12 years as the Atlantic Area Director for the YMCA.
Bill is a graduate of Sir Wilfred Laurier University with a degree in Politics & Public Administration and is both a Certified Association Executive (CAE) and a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE ).
Bill and his wife Esther live in Halifax Nova Scotia. They have two daughters and two grandchildren. And they have two cats Calli and Skye who run the house.
Professor of Health Law & Science Policy, Author of Is Gwyneth Paltrow Wrong About Everything?
Professor Timothy Caulfield is an unrivalled communicator who debunks myths and assumptions about innovation in the health sector — from research on stem cells to diets to alternative medicine — for the benefit of the public and decision-makers. He is a Canada Research Chair in health law and policy, a professor in the Faculty of Law and the School of Public Health, and a research director of the Health Law Institute at the University of Alberta.
Over the past several years, Caulfield has been involved in a variety of interdisciplinary research endeavours that have allowed him to publish more than 350 articles and book chapters. His research focuses on topics like stem cells, genetics, research ethics, and the public representations of science and health policy issues. The recipient of numerous academic and writing awards, Caulfield is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences.
Caulfield also writes frequently for the popular press on a range of health and science policy issues and is the author of several bestselling books, including: The Cure for Everything: Untangling the Twisted Messages about Health, Fitness and Happiness; Is Gwyneth Paltrow Wrong About Everything?: When Celebrity Culture and Science Clash; and, most recently, Relax, Dammit!: A User’s Guide to the Age of Anxiety. He is also the host and co-producer of the award-winning documentary TV show, A User’s Guide to Cheating Death, which aired in over 60 countries, including streaming on Netflix in North America.
Pharmacist Owner, Assistant Professor, Internationally Recognized Speaker, Author & Researcher
John Papastergiou graduated from the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Toronto in 2002. After graduation he was employed as a staff pharmacist at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center. In 2005, John joined Shoppers Drug Mart and acquired his first store at Pape and Danforth.
He now owns and operates four locations in downtown Toronto. In 2014, John 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.
In addition to managing a large business, John employs his unique background in clinical research to explore an expanded role for the community pharmacist. John 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. His work in this area won first prize at the 76th FIP World Congress of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences in Buenos Aires, Argentina. John can be heard regularly on the Libby Fights Back Show on AM740 Zoomer Radio and on his top-rated podcast The Pharmacists Are In.
In 2012, John was named the Shoppers Drug Mart Associate of the Year. In 2014, he received the OPA Mentorship Award and was named CPhA Canadian Pharmacist of the Year. In 2016, he was the recipient of the OPA Voice of the Profession Award and was awarded the Pharmacy Practice Commitment to Care Award for Overall Patient Care.
In 2019, John was named by the International Forum on Advancement in Healthcare as one of the top 100 healthcare leaders globally. He was also presented with the OPA Award for Excellence in Research and Academia. In 2020 he was the recipient of the inaugural Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Toronto Alumni Leadership Award.
Vice President of Scientific & Medical Affairs, Medicago Inc.
Nathalie Landry is a dynamic biotech leader with more than 25 years of experience leading teams and programs to successful milestones. At Medicago, she oversees a multidisciplinary team in charge of research and development (R&D), product development, analytical development, process development, preclinical and clinical development, as well as scientific and medical affairs.
Nathalie represents Medicago at numerous international conferences and meetings, and is the co-author of several scientific publications and patents. She joined Medicago in 2000 as Director of Strategic Development and later became Senior Director of Product Development. In 2007, she was named Vice President of Scientific & Medical Affairs.
Prior to joining Medicago she worked for a start-up biotech company developing and producing anticancer compounds. Nathalie earned a Master’s degree in microbiology-immunology in 1989 and an MBA in 1997, both from Laval University.
DR. JIA HU
19-Zero CEO, Co-Chair & Co-Founder
Jia Hu, MD, is a Primary Care Physician, co-chair, co-founder of 19 To Zero, and member of Cleveland Clinic Canada’s Medical Director Program. Dr. Hu obtained his Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Harvard University before going on to obtain his Doctor of Medicine from the University of Alberta. He completed his residency at the University of Toronto and St. Mike’s Hospital.
His strong interest in Health Policy and Planning led him to London, UK, where he completed a Masters at the London School of Economics & London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. Most recently, Dr. Hu completed training in Public Health and Preventive Medicine at the University of Toronto.
Following his residency, Jia worked in management consulting at McKinsey, with a focus on the healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors. He is currently a Medical Officer of Health with Alberta Health Services, where he has played an important role in many aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic, including scaling-up of testing and contact tracing, development of the mobile contact tracing app, assisting organizations with COVID-19 preparedness and re-opening, and engaging in risk communications. He works part-time as a family physician at a clinic and a long-term care that serves patients with complex medical, mental health, and substance abuse issues.
He is a Board member for Partners in Health (PIH) Canada, where he works to diversify funding and develop a strategic plan to increase PIH Canada activities both internationally and with Indigenous populations domestically. He is also the Treasurer and Executive Member for Public Health Physicians of Canada (PHPC). In this role, Dr. Hu provides financial oversight to PHPC, the national specialist society for public health physicians.
When he is not practicing medicine, Dr. Hu stays active by jogging and playing squash. He is conversant in Mandarin Chinese.
DR. ANGEL CHU
Vice-Chair of Immunize Canada
Dr. Angel Chu is an Infectious Diseases consultant at the Foothills Medical Center and Clinical Assistant Professor at the Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary. Dr. Chu has a special interest in vaccine-preventable diseases with a focus on adult immunizations, and currently serves as Vice-Chair of Immunize Canada.
DR. SHELLY MCNEIL
Chief, Division of Infectious Diseases, Dalhousie University; Deputy Head, Department of Medicine, Dalhousie University; Deputy Director, Canadian Center for Vaccinology
Dr. McNeil completed her medical education and internal medicine residency at Dalhousie University followed by a three-year fellowship in Infectious Diseases at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
Dr. McNeil returned to Dalhousie in 2000 and is currently Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics and Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at the Nova Scotia Health Authority. Dr. McNeil is a Clinician Scientist and Deputy Director of the Canadian Center for Vaccinology where her research focuses on immunization policy and program evaluation, the evaluation of the epidemiology of vaccine-preventable diseases in adults with a focus on the elderly, assessment of the effectiveness of vaccines in the prevention of serious outcomes in adults and clinical trials of new vaccines targeted at adolescent and adult populations. She is the Principal Investigator of the Serious Outcomes Surveillance Network of the Canadian Immunization Research Network (CIRN), past Chair of Immunize Canada and a past member of the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI). Dr. McNeil is currently the Senior Medical Director of COVID Planning and Implementation for Nova Scotia Health.