Health Sciences

Presenting

Nominees in the category of Health Sciences

Confederation College

Nicole Anderson

Nurse, Owner and Founder, The Foot Care and Ear Flushing Centre

Practical Nursing, 2006

Nicole Anderson opened an innovative nurse-led clinic to help fill identified gaps in health care, specializing initially in ear flushing and foot care. She was one of the first nurses in Ontario to provide independent ear flushing. She also brought advanced foot care methods to Thunder Bay, including Onyfix (to repair an in-grown toenail) and Podo Expert (to protect and repair cracked feet). She also now provides IV therapy for dehydration. She created a referral network between health-care professionals to help improve patient care. She is a shining example of what one woman with ambition, an idea and an Ontario colleges diploma can accomplish.

Georgian College

Sara Bingham

CEO and Owner, Sara Bingham Business Coaching Inc.
Post-graduate diploma, Communicative Disorders Assistant, 1994

Sara Bingham is a therapist, entrepreneur, author of two books and adviser who is committed to changing the world. Through WeeHands Baby Sign Language, she's taught thousands of families, educators and other caregivers how to use American Sign Language to communicate with their infants and toddlers. Her own entrepreneurial journey led to a second venture – Sara Bingham Business Coaching Inc. She works specifically with clients who are changemakers, starting or growing businesses that make a positive contribution to society. She was one of only 50 people across Canada to receive the 2021 Globe and Mail Report on Business Changemaker Award.

Mohawk College

Phyllis Fehr

Dementia Advocate and Speaker

Nursing, 1991

Concepts in Bereavement Support, 2008

Phyllis Fehr is an inspirational advocate for people living with Alzheimer’s disease. She is a human rights activist, strategist, policy creator, researcher, spokesperson and mentor. It’s her mission to change the way we think about dementia. Fehr, an ICU nurse, learned at 53 she had early-onset Alzheimer’s. When the gerontologist spoke only to her husband, she immediately decided she would speak for those with dementia. She has co-founded organizations, served on national and provincial boards, co-created campaigns and been a key policy adviser to governments. She has even addressed the United Nations and the World Health Organization.

Sheridan College

Dane Griffiths

Director, Gay Men's Sexual Health Alliance (GMSH)
Social Service Worker, 2009

Through his passion for social work and a never-ending drive to help his community, Dane Griffiths creates tangible change to improve the health of 2SLGBTQ+ people in Ontario. Through his role as director of the Gay Men’s Sexual Health Alliance (GMSH), he leads with empathy and a desire to harness the power of the community, producing sexual health resources that inspire and mobilize. Removing the stigma surrounding this health care is vital for proper care at every level, in policy and practice. Under Griffith’s direction, the GMSH leads the way for a healthy, more informed and more inclusive Ontario.

St. Lawrence College

Amber Hultink

Commander, County of Renfrew
Paramedic, 2008

Amber Hultink is a highly respected paramedic, leader and innovator. The first woman Commander of the County of Renfrew Paramedic Service, she’s recognized as a caring and passionate advocate for vulnerable populations – including seniors – who face barriers to accessing health care. This drives Hultink’s pioneering work to expand the role of paramedics to provide patient-centred support in peoples’ homes and neighbourhoods. Her forward-thinking leadership in community paramedicine and palliative care paramedicine was especially vital during the pandemic. She’s known for developing effective, ground-breaking programs in Renfrew County, models that are shaping paramedicine across Ontario, nationally and internationally.

St. Clair College

Christine Knights

Owner and Operator, Registered Dental Hygenist, Bright Smiles Community Dental Hygiene
Dental Hygiene, 2006

Christine Knights is a passionate advocate for dental hygiene and personal health. As the owner and operator of Bright Smiles Community Dental Hygiene, she has built a practice that allows her to provide no-cost dental care to dozens of people every year. She advocates for universal dental care and has travelled worldwide to continue providing dental care to those that need it most. She was recognized by the Chatham-Kent Chamber of Commerce in 2017 as the Young Business Individual of the Year and Alumni of Distinction by her alma mater in 2023.

Conestoga College

Laurie Lafleur

Founder, ReImagine Health IT
Advanced Diploma, Computer Programmer/Analyst - Co-op, 2002

In Canada’s growing medical technology ecosystem, Laurie Lafleur is an evangelist for digital transformation. She has built a career out of enabling health-care innovators to commercialize their ideas and providers to adopt new innovations. Lafleur has helped 40-plus med-tech startups secure millions of dollars in investor funding and 15 Canadian, U.S. and European hospital systems drive digital transformation resulting in improved quality, efficiency and scalability. As a Conestoga College professor and founder of a med-tech program, she works with the National Institutes of Health Informatics Canada and is educating the next generation of health-care innovators and providers.

Algonquin College

Suzanne Madore

Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer, and Chief Nuring Executive, The Ottawa Hospital
Nursing, 1990

Suzanne Madore has spent 33 years in nursing, continually moving up to become executive vice president, chief operating officer and chief nursing executive for The Ottawa Hospital. She maintains her humility and has never lost her bedside manner, respect for the profession or empathy for staff on the front lines. If anything, she is more in touch as she seeks to solve some of health care's biggest problems, like surgical wait times, staff burnout and hospital occupancy. She explores all avenues – including public-private and cross-hospital partnerships – and is willing to take risks to make improvements for staff and patients.

Seneca Polytechnic

Carol Mark

CEO / Founder, Empower T / Truth About Healthy Lives

Nursing, 1980

Carol Mark is the CEO of Empower T, a plant-based, sugarless tea, and was the founder of the 2017 Truth about Healthy Lives, Feeling Better, Feeling Great Health and Wellness Conference. The conference brought together physicians, scientists, chefs, nutritionists, entrepreneurs and the public to be empowered about their own health. A former nurse and breast cancer survivor, she influences others to live a healthy lifestyle by making choices based on research, shared stories and knowledge. Mark also founded the first social enterprise art gallery in Canada and donated profits from the gallery to building the first girls' library in Afghanistan.

Centennial College

Leigh Naturkach

Executive Director, Mosaic Institute
Certificate of Thanatology , 2018
Leigh Naturkach is a values-based non-profit leader, committed community volunteer and social justice advocate, with a focus on feminism, equity and palliative and end-of-life spaces. She currently serves as the executive director of the Mosaic Institute, a national charity with a mission to equip people with the knowledge and skills to dismantle prejudice. She has previously worked with Women’s College Hospital Foundation, the AIDS Committee of Toronto and the Canadian Women’s Foundation and has volunteered extensively with local and national charitable organizations over the past two decades.

Fleming College

Vanessa Raaymakers

Registered Practical Nurse, Peterborough Regional Health Centre
Practical Nursing, 2021

Vanessa Raaymakers is a health-care professional who demonstrated exceptional dedication during the COVID-19 pandemic. Volunteering at a long-term care home in Toronto, she provided critical front-line assistance during a severe outbreak. Amidst the uncertainties of the pandemic, she utilized her skills, experience and empathy to support residents, staff and grieving family members. She played a vital role in implementing essential policies and procedures to ensure the safety of all involved, collaborating with health networks and public health authorities. Raaymakers’ unwavering commitment to serving others highlights her remarkable dedication to the health-care sector and her compassion for those in need.

Humber College

Michael Sanderson

Chief and Director, Hamilton Paramedic Service
Ambulance and Emergency Care, 1977

In his 50th year in emergency medical services, Michael Sanderson has been a paramedic, educator and leader at local, provincial, national and international levels. The chief of Hamilton Paramedic Services since 2013, he oversees 440 staff and ensures a high level of clinical, operational and financial performance within the 10th largest city in Canada. While executive director at B.C. Ambulance, he led all EMS activities for the 2010 Winter Olympics and Paralympics. Continuously giving back to his sector, Sanderson has served on provincial and national boards and is currently the president of the Ontario Association of Paramedic Chiefs.

George Brown College

Amy Symington

Nutrition Professor, Researcher and Chef, George Brown College
Culinary Management Nutrition, 2010

Amy Symington merged her love of the culinary arts with pragmatism and found her calling in the application of her culinary education to supporting people with cancer. Her research relating to proper nutrition for cancer patients led her to write two cookbooks (Community Guide to Cancer Nutrition Companion Cookbook and The Long-Table Cookbook) to act as resources for cancer patients, caretakers and survivors. As a nutrition professor, researcher and chef, she trains and inspires the next generation of chefs to create healthier recipes. She is currently pursuing a PhD in nutritional sciences.

Niagara College

Dorothy Urschel

President and CEO, Columbia Memorial Hospital
Nursing Diploma, 1991
Dorothy Urschel is an award-winning leader in health care, dedicated to advocating for patients’ care. An innovative professional, she skillfully used her nursing diploma as a catalyst to a two-decade long career as a nurse practitioner before becoming a changemaker at the leadership level. She served tirelessly on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic during New York’s state-of-emergency by coordinating overflow beds to treat patients from the New York City region. As president and CEO for Columbia Memorial Health System, she’s currently advancing patient services while simultaneously nurturing the next generation of health-care professionals. She continues to collect numerous outstanding leadership, advocacy and teaching awards.

Fanshawe College

Deborah Wiseman

President, Victoria Hospital, London Health Sciences Centre
Nursing, 1996

Throughout a 25-year nursing career, Deborah Wiseman has used a patient-centred system-transformation approach to implement innovations through integrated care opportunities and partnerships. Pulling together a coalition to advocate, advance and define system strategies, Wiseman has shifted the mental health front line, improved access for vulnerable populations through outreach, increased critical capacity in response to surge pressures and initiated a transformation plan for rural emergency departments to improve the risks of closure. As a health-care system executive and current president of Victoria Hospital, Wiseman’s's multi-sectoral, regional partnered approach and collaborations have proven successful and valuable to the community and regions served.