Read on to learn more about our 2021 GHSYPS speakers!
Ahmad Firas Khalid
Ahmad Firas Khalid is a medical doctor, a health policy and system researcher and lecturer, and a knowledge translation professional. Firas completed his medical degree at St. George’s University School of Medicine and his PhD in Health Policy at McMaster University. Currently, Firas works as a Senior Research Manager at Evidence Aid working on creating a World Health Organization (WHO) Knowledge Hub on emergency disasters research management and with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) on the creation of Resilient Health Systems collection to advise member states. He was recently awarded a CIHR Health System Impact Fellowship and a Mitacs Elevate Training Fellowship to complete a two-year fellowship with the Canadian Red Cross and Ottawa Hospital Institute (OHRI) on Implementation of efforts to support real-time evidence use in humanitarian practice at The Canadian Red Cross. Firas was elected a Board Member for Doctors Without Borders where his responsibility is to set the strategic direction for the entire Canadian branch of the organization.
Dr. Helen Scott holds an Assistant Professor appointment at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. She is a global health leader with a track record of building and leading initiatives and partnerships in women and children’s health and rights. As an epidemiologist, Helen is passionate about analyzing, integrating, and sharing data to advance the solutions to complex challenges in community health. As a collaborator, she cultivates partnerships that empower organizations to deepen their impact, reach, and relevance in order to drive progress and mobilize for collective action.
Jennifer received her MPH in 2021 from the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry at Western University, and completed an internship in child health at the Pan-American Health Organization. She joined the Prosserman Centre for Population Health Research, Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute of Sinai Health System as a Research Assistant in 2018 to recruit and follow-up with children in the Ontario Birth Study – Kids. Jennifer’s primary research interests are in early child development, global health, and public health policy. She is currently investigating the relationship between perinatal factors and early child development in the Ontario Birth Study cohort.
Hayley Mundeva is the Founder and Chief Executive & Communications Officer of ThriveHire, an online career platform for the global health industry. Before this, Hayley worked on Global Health projects in Tanzania, Malawi, Ethiopia and Rwanda and earned 2 degrees in Global Health. During this time, Hayley was surprised to find little information on ways to launch and develop a Global Health career. This is what sparked her interest in founding ThriveHire. Since then, Hayley and her team have formed partnerships with universities and global health organizations including the Red Cross, the Clinton Health Access Initiative, and the World Bank’s Global Financing Facility, and have been awarded the National Innovation Award by the United Nations Association in Canada.
Surabhi Sivaratnam is a Sri Lankan-Canadian, first-generation immigrant, woman of colour, child of refugees, and most importantly, an unrelenting advocate for equity. While working with Toronto District School Board Officials and Indigenous Elders in high school to create decolonizing policies, she learned about the health disparities faced by Indigenous peoples. She also saw inequities impact her low SES community, where many faced food insecurity and could not afford non-covered healthcare expenses. Hoping to mitigate health inequity, she pursued and completed her undergraduate studies at McMaster University in Health Sciences. She is currently completing her M.D. at McMaster University’s Undergraduate Medical Program, and is concurrently taking open global health courses at Yale University. Surabhi is also humbled to be working on various international research projects, as a clinical research project assistant at SickKids Hospital. She is also grateful to have co-chaired the 2020-2021 TEDxMcMasterU Conference.
Yipeng Ge is a Chinese-Canadian, first-generation immigrant, and a humble and grateful guest of this land. He grew up in Waterloo, Ontario and completed his undergraduate studies at McMaster University in Health Sciences (Honours) with a specialization in Global Health. Yipeng Ge is a resident physician in Public Health and Preventive Medicine (including family medicine) in Ottawa, where he also received his MD degree. Yipeng is a member of the Board of Directors for the Canadian Public Health Association. Yipeng is passionate about tackling health and social inequities through addressing the social and broader determinants of health, including anti-racism work and practice in medical education. He most recently joined as a member of the CIHR (Canadian Institutes of Health Research) Anti-Racism Advisory Committee, tasked with helping to shape and develop CIHR’s anti-racism action plan.
Dr. McKinley is a medical anthropologist who specializes in the social determinants of adolescent mental health and suicide prevention in Ontario, Canada. Dr. McKinley is an Assistant Professor in the Schulich Interfaculty Program in Public Health where he teaches Social and Cultural Determinants of Health and Sustaining Environmental Health. Dr. McKinley utilizes narrative, ethnographic, and archival research methodologies while working in his research. His current research focuses on integrating social prescription programming into substance misuse prevention programs. He is also heading a team of researchers at Western University which is exploring the relationship between non-suicidal self-injury behaviours and social media use. He is an active member of the Indigenous Youth Futures Partnership Program in partnership with the Sioux Lookout First Nations Health Authority. Dr. McKinley is a member of the Walpole Island First Nation/Western University Ecosystem Health Research Team which is studying the long-term health effects of environmental stress on the community. Dr. McKinley is a Scholar in the University of Michigan’s Integrative Well-Being and Inequality Program.
Iona is passionate about all things health and climate change related, and loves having discussions about them. About a year ago she co-founded ClimateScience Explore, a program for young people to meet frontline scientists, work on projects and connect with like-minded individuals across the globe. Iona is also a medical student based in Scotland and helps care for people living with advanced dementia. She strives to be open minded and compassionate, but in between Iona also like books and chocolate.
Marie Jobin-Gélinas is the Gender Equality and Human Rights Advisor at the International Health Unit (USI) of the University of Montreal. She holds a bachelor’s degree in law from Université Laval as well as an advanced master’s degree in international human rights law from the Universiteit Leiden, the Netherlands where she specialized in harmful cultural practices affecting sexual and reproductive health and rights of adolescent girls. Marie has worked with several Canadian non-governmental organizations and was a volunteer legal advisor in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Throughout her experiences, she has developed a sensitivity to taking into account the needs of vulnerable communities in international development projects and now uses her knowledge and skills in global health projects implemented by the USI. Young graduate herself, she understands the reality faced by young professionals wishing to break into the world of international development.
Olivier Ferlatte holds a PhD in Public Health from Simon Fraser University in British Columbia and is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Social and Preventive Medicine at the School of Public Health of the Université de Montréal. His research focuses on the relationship between stigma, marginalization, violence and health among sexual and gender minorities. He is a recognized expert on syndromes and the intersectional approach, and his research findings have influenced policy and program development aimed at improving the sexual and mental health of sexual and gender minorities. Mr. Ferlatte’s scientific work is based on several methodologies (qualitative, quantitative, artistic method, and mixed methods) and is driven by a particular interest in community engagement and the participation of people affected by health inequalities as research partners.
The Photovoice technique is a method in participative research-action that is growing in popularity in public and global health. It consists in using photography to shed light on lived experiences and important issues for the concerned persons and communities. This session will discuss of the benefits of this approach as well as its ethical and methodological dilemmas while using example of research within LGBTQIA2S+ communities.
“Skaydu.û yu xhút duwáasakw Łingít xhanaxh, Autum Jules dlet ka xhanaxh. Axh léelk’w du tláa Skaydu.û yu duwáasagóon Łingít xhanaxh,ka Graffie Jules dlet ka xhanaxh yóo xhat uwasáa. Dakh’laa shaax I yá xhát. Deisleen Łingít khwán I yá xhát. Dzántik’i Héeni-x’ áyá yei xhat yatee yidat.
[My Tlingit name is Skaydu.û, and Autum Jules in English. I’m named after my grandma’s mom Skaydu.û in Tlingit and Graffie Jules in English. I am a woman of the eagle clan. I am of the Teslin Tlingit people. I’m living in Juneau right now.]…My dad’s people are Tlingit, Ta’an Kwach’an, Scottish and Irish. My mom’s people are Tlingit, Kaska, Mountain Slavey, Plains Cree, and Scottish. I use the pronouns she/her.”
Skaydu.û is currently attending the University of Alaska Southeast majoring in Alaska native languages, with a minor in outdoor leadership and adventure studies. She also attends Simon Fraser University, working towards a language proficiency program certificate. Outside of school, she works with the Genuine Progress Index Atlantic(GPI) with their overseas partners such as the Cambodian Volunteers for Society. She also works with the Children of the Taku Society(COTS) developing and researching Tlingit stories, in order to record them with fluent Tlingit language speakers. She also is a fellow of the Yukon First Nation Climate Action fellowship (The Children of Tomorrow). She also currently sits on the STFX International Coady Institute, Circle of Abundance advisory committee.
Marleigh Austin is a health development professional who is passionate about advancing the right to health in low- and middle-income countries. In her current role as Senior Manager, Programs & Development at Partners In Health Canada, she oversees projects focused on child malnutrition and gender-based violence in Haiti. Previously, she consulted for CARE International on a novel intervention aiming to delay the timing of first birth among child brides in Niger and Bangladesh; and worked for a member association of the International Planned Parenthood Federation in Eswatini (formerly Swaziland), where, among other responsibilities, she provided technical support to the Swazi government throughout the development and costing of a 10-year national action plan to end all forms of violence.
Tina is currently the Policy and Advocacy Officer for the Canadian Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases (CNNTD), but has worked within the non-profit sector for more than 20 years, with nearly 10 years of proposal development & design experience including with international agencies such as Plan International Canada, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the International Development and Relief Foundation (IDRF), among others. She has worked in Kenya and Zambia, conducted training in Djibouti and Uganda and has visited many other countries in South America, Africa and Europe. She has experience developing multi-country programs, primarily in health and education in Sub-Saharan Africa. Tina loves the intersection between gender, health and human rights; knowledge translation in health; and learning from others in the global health community. Tina holds an Honours B.A in Political Science and Human Rights from Carleton University, a post-graduate degree in International Project Management from Humber College, and a MSc in Global Public Health from Queen Mary University London.
Sara Marshall is currently the International Programs Manager at Effect Hope, managing global health projects and programs focusing on health systems strengthening, community health, and equity, gender equality and social inclusion for people affected by Neglected Tropical Diseases. She is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) with over 10 years of professional experience in the health and international development sectors, managing and leading projects in Canada, Sub-Saharan Africa and southern Asia.
Prior to joining Effect Hope, Sara worked for NGOs and academia managing projects in areas of health services and research, health promotion, community development, sport for development and youth development. Equity, inclusion and gender equality have been key themes throughout her work and she continues to promote the right to health along with community-led development and local ways of knowing and doing.
Having started her international development career in South Africa and Namibia where the concept of ubuntu (common humanity, interconnectedness) is rooted, Sara advocates for collaboration between practice, policy and research and between different sectors/disciplines to address social inequalities and improve health and well-being. In her aim to facilitate collaboration, she draws on her multidisciplinary academic experience including Kinesiology and Psychology, Management and Implementation of Development Projects, and Global Health Policy.
Katrina is a recent graduate from McMaster University’s MSc. Global Health Program, and has a background in microbiology, immunology and infectious diseases research. She is currently the Canadian Student and Young Professional Ambassador for the 2020-21 Canadian Network for NTDs. Since embarking on her global health studies, Katrina has been involved in various global health research projects. She is particularly interested in infectious disease care, global health policy, health equity and the social determinants of health. She is passionate about engaging students and young professionals to tackle global health challenges.
Maëla is a Registered Nurse based in Ontario and currently working in Public Health. She began her Master’s of Science in Global Health and Infectious Diseases with the University of Edinburgh in September 2021. She is also a Student and Young Professional Ambassador for the Canadian Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases.