MORNING PLENARY SPEAKERS
Simone McWatt - Moderator
Simone has been involved with the HIV/AIDS movement for over 25 years. She currently works at Toronto Public Health as a Sexual Health Promoter and has also held the roles of HIV/AIDS Grants Project Officer, AIDS Educator and Needle Exchange Worker. Simone also worked as a Research Coordinator with Casey House and Support Worker at the AIDS Network (Hamilton). Simone volunteered on the Board of PHAN for the past 4 years, most recently as vice-chair. She holds a Master of Public Health degree in Health Promotion and Community Development specializing in the social determinants of health and health equity
Aqua Nibii Waawaaskone
Aqua Nibii Waawaaskone, the singer, hand-drummer and songwriter also known as Nibii Waawaaskone (Water Flower), crafts music reflecting her deep respect for Indigenous traditions, and determination to thrive as a Métis woman of Ojibwe descent, two-spirit artist, and cultural activist in a contemporary context. In addition to her passion for music, Nibii Waawaaskone works to empower youth and women. She is a longstanding facilitator of community drum circles, a partner with several Indigenous organizations, regularly collaborates with like minded artists, and facilitates cultural workshops across Canada.
Donna Kern is the Manager of the Healthy Sexuality Program at Peel Public Health. She has been a Registered Nurse for over 30 years. Donna began her career working at the Wellesley Hospital in downtown Toronto, which included providing nursing care to hospitalized persons living with AIDS. She then moved to community health care and was the Senior Nurse at Planned Parenthood of Toronto’s Community Health Centre “The House” providing sexual health services for youth and young adults aged 13-25. For the last 20 years, Donna has worked at Peel Public Health where she has managed multiple portfolios including tobacco, oral health, school health and most recently sexual health. Donna just completed a Master of Health Management degree from McMaster University.
Alex McKay, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Sex Information and Education Council of Canada (SIECCAN) and Managing Editor of The Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality. Since joining SIECCAN in the early 1990s, he has conducted studies on sexual health behaviours of Canadians, the training of health professionals to deliver effective sexual health education, and parental attitudes towards sexual health education in the schools. Alex participated in the development of previous editions of The Canadian Guidelines for Sexual Health Education and SIECCAN will lead the development of a new 2018 edition of the Guidelines.
Notisha Massaquoi is originally from Sierra Leone and has been an enthusiastic advocate for advancements in Black women's healthcare globally for the past 25 years. She is currently the Executive Director of Women’s Health in Women’s Hands Community Health Centre – the only Community Health Centre in Canada, which specifically provides primary healthcare for racialized women. Her research and numerous publications have focused on the impact of racism on the health and wellbeing of Black women in Canada and includes the anthology Theorizing Empowerment: Canadian Perspectives on Black Feminist Thought. She is also a lecturer at the Ryerson Faculty of Social Work.
Brittany is the Health Information Officer at Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights, Brittany Neron is responsible for overseeing the Access Line (Action Canada's 24-hour sexual health and pregnancy options phone line), developing sexual health information products and resources, and working in partnership with local, national and grassroots organizations on a variety of campaigns including Sexual and Reproductive Health Awareness Week.
AFTERNOON PLENARY SPEAKERS
Logan Kennedy is currently the Research Manager/Associate at the Women and HIV Research Program (WHRP) at Women’s College Hospital in Toronto and a Clinical Nurse Specialist with Dr. Mona Loutfy and Maple Leaf Medical Clinic. She has her Master’s in Nursing – having completed thesis research focusing on the pregnancy experiences of newcomer women to Canada living with HIV. She has over a decade of clinical experience in the areas of women’s health, sexual and reproductive health, and HIV. Her clinical and research interests are focused in the health and wellness of young people, with a special interest in sexual and reproductive health, HIV, relationships, and community-based research.
Angela Underhill is currently a PhD student studying Family Relations and Human Development at the University of Guelph. Her work focuses on sexual and reproductive differences and how these differences impact intimate relationships. Angela is also the Research Coordinator for the Women and HIV Research Program (WHRP) and co-coordinator of the Canadian HIV Women’s Sexual and Reproductive Health Cohort Study (CHIWOS). Her work at WHRP focuses on women and HIV, social justice, equity, and community-based research approaches to advance healthcare.
Mona Loutfy is an Associate Professor, Infectious Diseases Specialist and Clinician Scientist at Women’s College Hospital and the University of Toronto. She launched the Women and HIV Research Program at the Women’s College Research Institute in 2006 to carry out research focusing on reproductive health, women’s health, stigma, quality of care and HIV. Her main clinical practice is at the Maple Leaf Medical Clinic, which cares for 2,700 HIV-positive patients in inner city Toronto. Mona works from a community-based research model involving the people that her research will affect at all stages.
afternoon breakout speakers
Alisa Grigorovich, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Toronto, is an interdisciplinary researcher whose research focuses on sexuality, gender and aging in the context of long-term care services. In her research, she explores how the lived experiences of vulnerable older adults and their caregivers are shaped by public policies, organizational practices, and cultural norms. Currently, she is an Ontario Women’s Health Postdoctoral fellow in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto.
Analyst Research and Policy, Healthy Sexuality, The Region of Peel, Public Health, Jessica Smith holds a Master of Science degree in Health Promotion, and an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in Kinesiology. She has been a Project Manager, Strategic Planning and Services, in the City of Hamilton, Public Health department.
louisa melchiori, RN, BScN
Louisa Melchiori has worked as a public health nurse with York Region Public Health for over 16 years. She has worked in a variety of program areas, including school services, vaccination program, and with the sexual health program. She is the coordinator for shelter outreach.
A Public Health Nurse, Healthy Sexuality – Health Promotion, The Region of Peel, Public Health, Kim Lee has both Master of Public Health degree and a Bachelor of Nursing Science degree. She was previously with the Region of Peel Healthy Sexuality (clinics and case management) and Immunization Program.
Sarah Hodges, RN, BScN, MN
Sarah Hodges is the clinical nurse specialist with the sexual health program in York Region Public Health. Sarah has worked in public health for thirteen years in a variety of program areas, including school services, nursing practice, harm reduction, child and family health.
Adam Busch is the Gay Men’s Sexual Health and Harm Reduction Coordinator at ACT. He coordinates safer sex and harm reduction outreach among Toronto’s gay, bi, queer men’s party scenes. He facilitates Spunk, a support group for gay, bi, queer men In reduce drug and alcohol-related harms. He has a MSW from York University.