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UOHS 2021 Speakers

This year's lineup will feature diverse speakers that come from different backgrounds in healthcare. Check out our lineup for UOHS 2021!


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PhD, FRSC; Professor at University of Ottawa; Director and Chair of the Cardiovascular Devices Program at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute, and Chair of the Medical Devices Program at the University of Ottawa.

Tofy Mussivand, PhD, is Chair and Director of the Cardiovascular Devices Research Laboratory at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute. He is also Chair of the Medical Devices Program, Professor of Surgery in the Faculty of Medicine, Professor of Engineering in the School of Information Technology and Engineering, and Professor in the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies at the University of Ottawa and Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Carleton University. He established the Medical Devices Commercialization Centre (Networks of Centres of Excellence of Canada), a collaborative network of medical devices stakeholders, to develop and commercialize viable, safe, reliable, effective and needed medical devices for success in the global clinical market.

He has been actively involved in the medical devices field for over 25 years in Canada and internationally.





Officer, Order of Canada; D.Phil., MD; Endowed Professor at University of Toronto

Dr. Jha is an epidemiologist and health economist working in the field of global health and founding director of the Centre for Global Health Research at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, Canada (University of Toronto). His research focuses primarily on premature mortality resulting from HIV/AIDS, tobacco, alcohol, malaria, maternal and child health, infectious and non-communicable diseases. Jha studied medicine at the University of Manitoba. After earning his MD he attended the University of Oxford in England as a Rhodes Scholar where he was mentored by statistician and epidemiologist Sir Richard Peto. After graduation Jha worked as a team leader at the World Bank, contributing to the development of the Second National HIV/AIDS Control Program in India. He later worked as a senior scientist in health and poverty for the World Health Organization’s Commission on Macroeconomics and Health. In 2002 he founded the Centre for Global Health Research at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, where he has directed a variety of large scale public health studies, most notably the Indian Million Death Study on premature mortality. Jha has been a Senior Fellow of Massey College at the University of Toronto since 2006 and in 2010, he was appointed the inaugural Endowed Chair in Disease Control at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health. Jha is the lead researcher behind the Action to Beat Coronavirus (Ab-C) study, where Unity Health, the University of Toronto and the Angus Reid Forum have teamed up to look at the prevalence of COVID-19 antibodies among 10,000 Canadians.


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PhD, PEng; Associate Professor at University of Toronto; Barbara G. Stymiest Research Chair in Rehab Technology at University of Toronto and Toronto Rehab Institute.

Alex Mihailidis, Ph.D., P.Eng., is the Barbara G. Stymiest Research Chair in Rehabilitation Technology at the University of Toronto and Toronto Rehab Institute. He is also the Graduate Coordinator for the Clinical Engineering Program. He is an Associate Professor in the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy (U of T) and in the Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering (U of T), with a cross appointment in the Department of Computer Science (U of T). He has been conducting research in the field of pervasive computing and intelligent systems in health for the past 15 years, having published over 150 journal papers, conference papers, and abstracts in this field. He has specifically focused on the development of intelligent home systems for elder care and wellness, technology for children with autism, and adaptive tools for nurses and clinical applications.

Alex currently holds several major research grants from internationally recognized funding agencies to support this work (including both the Canadian and American Alzheimer Associations, NSERC, and CIHR). He is also a CIHR New Investigator. His research has been completed through collaborations with other researchers in this field from Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States, and with various industrial partners. Dr. Mihailidis has also co-edited two books: one from CRC Press entitled “Pervasive computing in healthcare”, and the other from IOS Press entitled “Technology and Aging”, which resulted from him being the conference chair for the 2nd International Conference on Technology and Aging. Dr. Mihailidis is also very active in the rehabilitation engineering profession, currently as the President for RESNA (Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America)



Executive Director of Parkdale Queen West Community Health Centre, Board Member of Stephen Lewis Foundation. York University Graduate, holding a Master’s and Honorary Doctorate of Law degree.

Angela Robertson is an activist working with black, women’s and LGBTQ communities. She is currently Executive Director of Queen West - Central Toronto Community Health Centre. She was previously Director of Equity & Community Development at Women’s College Hospital and Executive Director of Sistering – A Woman’s Place. She was an editorial member of Our Lives, Canada’s first Black Women’s newspaper produced by The Black Women’s Collective and also served as managing editor at Women’s Educational Press for five years. Angela has been a board member of Black Coalition for AIDS Prevention and Houselink Community Homes. She is currently a member of the Stephen Lewis Foundation boards. Angela has published works on homelessness, race and women’s issues. She is co-editor of the book Scratching the Surface: Canadian Anti-Racist Feminist Thought (1999) published by Women’s Educational Press, and Coordinator of Sistering’s community-based research report Common Occurrence: The Impact of Homelessness on Women’s Health (2002). Angela has been recognized for her social change and justice work by the YWCA, Fred Victor Centre, Urban Alliance on Race Relations and NOW magazine.


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MD, FRCSC, Medical Director, Assistant Professor at the University of Ottawa

Dr. Kashif Baig is a Cornea, Anterior Segment, and Refractive Surgeon providing tertiary-level care at the University of Ottawa Eye Institute. Dr. Baig is the Medical Director at Herzig Eye Institute Ottawa. He currently serves as the President of the Canadian Cornea, External Disease, and Refractive Surgery Society, and the Executive Director of the Sally Letson Foundation. Dr. Baig is an Assistant Professor at the University of Ottawa, Pediatric Cornea Consultant at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, Clinical Investigator in Regenerative Medicine at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, and Director of Clinical and Research Fellowships in Cornea, Anterior Segment, and Refractive Surgery. He completed his medical and residency training at McGill University, an MBA at McMaster University, and Fellowship training in the United States. Dr. Baig has a strong interest in the development and implementation of surgical innovations in corneal and anterior segment surgery.


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BScN, MSc; McMaster University Alumna

Sarah Walji is a Registered Nurse presently working within an acute mental health setting in Ontario while simultaneously completing her master’s degree in global health, specifically focusing upon child brides and mental health. She currently represents young nurses internationally as a board member with the global campaign Nursing Now. Sarah has been an active voice for youth and early career nurses within global health, advocating for inclusion, engagement and further leadership opportunity. Sarah has presented to audiences in Qatar, Singapore, the UK, the United States etc.. as well as engaged within her local community as a mental health educator, specifically exploring culturally competent mental health care and perceptions. Sarah has also participated in global healthcare service delivery in South America and the Middle East.




Advocating for Inclusion and Diversity in STEM

This panel aims to talk about women and POC in STEM who advocate for inclusivity and diversity in the field. They will share their own experience and host an interactive panel with attendees.



Bsc. MES, PhD; Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Environmental Justice at York University’s Osgoode Hall Law Faculty

Professor Deborah McGregor joined York University’s Osgoode Hall law faculty in 2015 as a cross-appointee with the Faculty of Environmental Studies & Urban Change. Professor McGregor’s research has focused on Indigenous knowledge systems and their various applications in diverse contexts including water and environmental governance, environmental justice, forest policy and management, and sustainable development. Her research has been published in a variety of national and international journals and she has delivered numerous public and academic presentations relating to Indigenous knowledge systems, governance and sustainability. Prior to joining Osgoode, Professor McGregor was an associate professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Toronto and served as Director of the Centre for Aboriginal Initiatives and the Aboriginal Studies program. She has also served as Senior Policy Advisor, Aboriginal Relations at Environment Canada-Ontario Region. In addition to such posts, Professor McGregor remains actively involved in a variety of Indigenous communities, serving as an advisor and continuing to engage in community-based research and initiatives.



BSc, PhD, Immunologist

Dr. Agard earned a B.Sc. (honours) in life sciences from Queen's University and a Ph.D. in immunology from the University of Toronto.  She taught biology at York University and the University of Toronto at Scarborough before joining Ryerson as an Assistant Professor, where she teaches immunology.  Currently, as Director of SciXchange, she is focused on making science accessible, engaging and inclusive of all groups and is mentor to many youth in the community. Dr. Agard regularly facilitates science enrichment activities and mentoring programs for elementary and secondary students. She embraces opportunities to speak about learning and applying science in everyday life and various career paths.  In her spare time, Dr. Agard  also enjoys music, travel, sports and photography. She recently completed a certificate in photography studies through the Chang School at Ryerson.



BA, MA, PhD; Associate Professor at University of Toronto, Western University, and Deakin University in Australia; Senior Director and Scientist with the Institute for Mental Health Policy Research at CAMH

Dr. Samantha Wells is Senior Director and Senior Scientist with the Institute for Mental Health Policy Research at CAMH. She is also an Associate Professor in the Clinical Public Health Division at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. She holds positions as Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Western University, and as Adjunct Associate Professor in the School of Psychology at Deakin University in Australia. Dr. Wells is interested in mental health and wellness in Indigenous communities. Drawing on a strengths-based perspective, she examines how strengths and resilience resources in First Nations communities buffer the effects of stress and trauma on mental health. Central to this research is extensive community engagement, ensuring knowledge uptake and translation of findings into policy and practice. Working in close collaboration with First Nations communities, she is leading a large research program to develop community wellness strategies, using participatory action research informed by local data and lived experiences. 

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