Case Advisors

Charlotte Lombardo is a health promotion practitioner and educator. Her main area of focus is youth health promotion, with a particular emphasis on the role of arts-based approaches for the engagement and empowerment of young people living on the margins. Her work is rooted in community engaged scholarship, drawing from the traditions of community development and community-based participatory research. Currently she is working with the Toronto NGO Sketch Working Arts for Street Youth, exploring the social impacts of community arts programs. Charlotte is also the Program Director of the MPH in Health Promotion and the Master’s Graduate Coordinator at UofT’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health.


Dr. Ananya Tina Banerjee is Assistant Professor and Co-Director for the Masters of Public Health –Health Promotion (MPH-HP) program at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health (DLPSH), University of Toronto. Dr. Banerjee is also a Registered Kinesiologist at Women’s College Hospital in the Department of Cardiology. She received her PhD in Health Research Methodology from McMaster University. Her program of research develops and evaluates community-based prevention programming for South Asian adults and adolescents living in Canada and India at risk for cardiovascular disease using mixed-methods designs from a socio-ecological perspective.  Her work has been published in high-impact journals, such as The American Journal of Health Promotion and The Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health. She launched and offers the first course on “Race, Ethnicity, Culture and Health Promotion” at the DLSPH for graduate students. Dr. Banerjee has received multiple research awards and grants including the CIHR postdoctoral fellowship and Lawson Foundation Child & Youth Strategy’s Funding that has recognized the novelty and value of her research. Aside from her academic portfolio Ananya is also trained in Indian Classical Music and loves travelling rural areas of Ontario.


Leslie Sorensen is a Senior Healthcare Leader with over 25 years’ experience in executive and consulting roles spanning public and private sectors. She has expertise in strategic planning and implementation; project management and team leadership; employee engagement and change management; community and stakeholder engagement; as well as business development and relationship management. Leslie continuously demonstrates effective completion of challenging projects and initiatives. Currently as Managing Quality, Risk and Outcomes for Spectrum Health Care, Leslie leads Spectrum’s integrated approach to strategy and quality management through the development and execution of strategic and corporate-wide initiatives. She is responsible for establishing a system of performance measures and expectations, and measuring achievements against expected outcomes to drive the development and adoption of Spectrum’s integrated Quality, Risk and Safety Framework. Inclusive in this portfolio are the roles of Privacy Officer and Ethics Lead. A Certified Healthcare Executive and Registered Occupational Therapist, Leslie has extensive expertise managing and consulting with a broad range of community and institutional health services spanning the public and private sectors including, National Research Corporation Canada (NRCC), the University of Toronto’s Department of Family and Community Medicine, Med-Emerg Inc., Ontario’s Family Health Teams, the Ontario Medical Association, the Etobicoke and York Community Care Access Centres, Providence Healthcare, COTA Health, and the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.


Yianni Soumalias is a change leader who is focused on building a sustainable healthcare system in Ontario and across Canada. With an extensive background in sales, marketing, customer relationship and project management, he has demonstrated an ability to find unique solutions to problems within our health system. Yianni currently works for Closing the Gap Healthcare (CTG) as the Director of Business Development. His current portfolio oversees the organization’s sales, marketing, project management and corporate health departments. He has experience developing innovative service delivery models that create better value for the funder and better outcomes for the patient. Yianni has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Wilfrid Laurier University.  


Kiruba Krishnaswamy’s prime research interest is to address global challenges of food security through sustainable approach. Her postdoctoral research at University of Toronto involves multiple fortification of salt with micronutrients like iron, iodine, folic acid, vitamin B12 and zinc. She was instrumental in development and optimization of micronutrient fortified salt technologies that resulted in three pilot scale production in India. Currently the Double Fortified Salt containing iron and iodine is reaching 60 million people in three Indian states. Kiruba holds a B.Tech. Food Process Engineering degree from Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, where she was involved in the “Consolidation of Food Security in South India” project in collaboration with McGill University and Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). She received the Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship (2010) to conduct her Master’s research at McGill University and continued her PhD in Bioresource Engineering (2015) on green synthesis of gold nanoparticles from agricultural waste. She received the Best PhD Thesis Award from the Canadian Society for Bioengineers.   


Leslie Boehm is an adjunct professor at Trinity College and the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Research (IHPME) at the University of Toronto. He has worked in a senior administrative capacity in both hospital and research administration. Through his career he has been involved in academia, teaching at the graduate and undergraduate levels. At Sunnybrook Research Institute he started and was board chair of two venture capital funds. Two spin-offs were sold to major US firms. He started other new activities at Sunnybrook, including an academic-industry partnership with Sanofi Aventis that saw them locate the world headquarters of their cancer vaccine project at the Hospital. At TGH he began Telemedicine Canada, which offered continuing health education via teleconferencing. He launched Telemedicine U.S.A. to serve the U.S. He put TGH into a partnership with a major U.S. teleconferencing firm to serve Canada. He launched a national magazine Health Research & Innovation with Rogers Media. He has been published in Harvard Business Review and the Wall Street Journal.


Mireille Gomes completed her PhD in Computational Biology at the University of Oxford. She has worked in Canada and abroad on health information systems for organizations such as the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and the World Health Organization. Mireille is currently working on developing Artificial Intelligence techniques for predicting causes of death, and expanding cause of death surveillance efforts to sub-Saharan Africa.


Dr. Kristin Bright is a medical anthropologist in the Department of Anthropology at University of Toronto and affiliated faculty with the Collaborative Specialization in Global Health at Dalla Lana. She has helped to design and lead several international studies in cancer and mental health; and her anthropological research is focused on people’s uses of culturally particular understandings of kinship, migration, social capital, corporeality, risk, and technology to navigate and interact with cancer care. Her current projects include a film about cancer patients’ experiences with treatment and immigration networks in New York and Detroit and a study of the ethical life of immunotherapies in Canadian medicine. To involve students in these projects, Dr. Bright founded a digital anthropology lab in 2017 called The Body Online, dedicated to student learning and innovation in online health settings and applications.


Anita C. Benoit, MSc, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto and an Adjunct Scientist at Women’s College Research Institute, Women’s College Hospital. Her research interests include Indigenous women’s health, Indigenous methodologies, research ethics, HIV pathogenesis, health services and intervention research, mental health and life stressors such as racism and other determinants of health.


Mr. Eugene Woo serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Venngage inc. Mr. Woo is a Serial entrepreneur, on his 3rd startup. He has over 10 years of software experience in both consumer and enterprise spaces. He is a developer by nature and a jack of all trades. He is a data visualization and analytics fanatic, customer development practitioner and product innovator.


Prof. Xiaolin Wei is the Associate Professor in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health in the University of Toronto.  He is qualified as a medical doctor and earned his Ph.D. from the University of Toronto in 2005. He is a Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health of UK. He has been an assistant professor in the School of Public Health and Primary Care in the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and a senior research fellow in the Nuffield Centre of International Health and Development at the University of Leeds, UK. His major research interests include primary care reforms and policy evaluation, and health service delivery studies in tuberculosis and cardiovascular disease control, mostly in primary care settings. He has led the Communicable Disease and Health Service Delivery consortium in China, 2006-2016. Prof Wei has been a consultant to a number of international and national bodies, including the WHO, World Bank, the China’s Committee for Health and Family Planning and the National Development and Planning Commission, on topics of primary care, tuberculosis and influenza. He serves as board member and the Secretary General for The International Union of Lung Disease.


Dr. Erin Hobin (PhD) is a Scientist at Public Health Ontario and a Status-Only Adjunct Professor in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health and the Department of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Toronto. Her research focuses on developing and evaluating population level interventions for chronic disease prevention, specifically in the areas of healthy weights, healthy eating, physical activity, and alcohol control. In 2017, Erin was awarded funding from Health Canada to examine the effectiveness of alcohol warning labels as a tool to support consumers in making more informed and safer alcohol consumption choices. The purpose of Erin’s work is to impact decisions and to produce solution-oriented research. Her ultimate motivation is seeing the results of her research influence policy and practice.


Christopher Liu is an Assistant Professor of Strategy at Rotman. His research explores spatial networks: how geography shapes the ability of individuals and firms to enter into some (but not other) relationships and networks. Empirical settings for his work have ranged from scientists working within a biotechnology firm to the US Senate Chamber. Chris also has a long-standing interest on scientists, innovation and productivity, and continues to actively conduct research in this area. He received a PhD in biochemistry from MIT and a DBA in management from Harvard.


Ashley Clerici is a health care enthusiast with a wide variety of experience in the fields of project and change management, strategy, operations, and business development. Ashley works for Roche Canada as an internal consultant where she is responsible for the design and implementation of large transformational initiatives that ultimately improve the corporate operations of the organization. Ashley has an Honours Bachelor of Science (HBSc.) degree, majoring in Biology and minoring in Chemistry from Wilfrid Laurier University and a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from the Ivey Business School at Western University. Ashley is a certified Change Management Practitioner (PROSCI – ADKAR), a Certified Health Executive (CHE) with the Canadian College of Health Leaders, and a certified Project Management Professional with the Project Management Institute. In her spare time, Ashley enjoys spending time with her family, taking on new culinary challenges, and getting lost in new places.


Patrick Feng has been working in the field of innovation studies for over 15 years. His research examines the social, legal, and ethical dimensions of emerging technologies, with a focus on policy issues and public engagement. A two-time Fulbright award winner, Patrick has led projects in many domains including health, energy, information technology, and sustainability. His areas of expertise include health policy, technology assessment, science communications, and design methods. At the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, Patrick manages IHPME’s community-engaged research partnerships. These partnerships involve health care providers, policy-makers, researchers, public health, patients and community members, working together to improve health and transform health systems. He also teaches in the Strategic Foresight and Innovation Program at OCAD University, where he is an Adjunct Professor. Patrick is excited to participate in this year’s Toronto Thinks Global Health Case Competition.

Dr. Suzanne Jackson is Professor Emerita at DLSPH. However, she is still very active in the field of health promotion, public health and global health. She co-leads the WHO Collaborating Centre in Health Promotion at U of T and from 2001 to 2009, she was the Director of the Centre for Health Promotion at U of T. She has been Editor-in-Chief of Global Health Promotion since 2010 and she is currently Chair of the Canadian Public Health Association Board of Directors. She still teaches one course “Interdisciplinary Approaches to Global Challenges” and is involved in some evaluation projects connected to First Nations in the Yukon and Ontario and has worked in Toronto on community-based research with SKETCH (a community arts organization) and is currently involved in an evaluation project called Healthy By Design with the Healthier Cities Hub at DLSPH. For the Healthy By Design and Yukon projects, she has been working on intervention research protocols for healthy lifestyle outcomes using participatory community engaged research and recognizing the role of culture and context. She has been an invited speaker in many countries, including Germany, Taiwan, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Brazil, and Jamaica.


Dr. Rob Fowler is a critical care physician at Sunnybrook Hospital and Director of Clinical Epidemiology and Health Care Research at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health – Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation. Rob’s academic interests include access and outcomes of care for critically ill patients and those near the end of life – in a global context.  He has had clinical and academic roles in various outbreaks leading to critical illness – the 2003 Toronto SARS crisis, the 2009 influenza pandemic, the recent Middle East Respiratory Syndrome outbreak – and he was a clinical lead for the World Health Organization during the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

Carles Muntaner is a Professor of Nursing, Public Health and Psychiatry and member of the Collaborative PhD Program in Global Health at the University of Toronto. He is Adjunct Professor with the Mental Health Department at Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health in Baltimore. He has been Principal Investigator on primary data collection grants financed by NIDA, NIMH, NIOSH, and CDC in the US and CIHR in Canada. He has served as consultant for PAHO and several governments in Latin America. He co-chaired the Employment Conditions Network (EMCONET) of the WHO Commission on Social Determinants of Health and received the Wade Hampton Frost Award of the American Public Health Association.