PEGASUS Board

Board of Directors

Photo of Neil Arya

Neil AryaPresident- Dr. Neil Arya is a family physician in Kitchener Ontario. He is the Chair of the PEGASUS Institute and PEGASUS Global Health Conference. He is a Fellow at the Balsillie School for International Affairs and at the International Migration Research Centre. He is an Adjunct Professor in Health Sciences at Wilfrid Laurier University where he was and Scholar in Residence from 2018-2020. He remains Assistant Clinical Professor in Family Medicine at McMaster University (part-time) and Adjunct Professor in Environment and Resource Studies at the University of Waterloo. He is a past Vice-President of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW). He was the president of the Canadian Physicians for Research and Education in Peace (CPREP), which is now IPPNW Canada and has written and lectured around the world about Peace through Health. He was the founding Director of the Global Health Office at Western University and has conducted research around international experiences as well as the impact of overseas electives on host communities and students. Dr. Arya continues as Founding Director of the Kitchener/Waterloo Refugee Health Clinic in collaboration with the Waterloo Region Reception House. He was the lead physician developing the Psychiatric Outreach Project, providing mental health for those homeless or at risk in St. John’s Kitchen in Kitchener. In 2011 Dr. Arya received a D. Litt. (Honorary) from Wilfrid Laurier University and the mid-Career Award in International Health from the American Public Health Association.

Gertrude Omoro- Secretary/ Treasurer-Gertrude is a Public Health Specialist with over 5 years of experience in Maternal Newborn, Child Health and Nutrition programming, and health care delivery centered across Eastern and Southern Africa. She is currently a consultant at World Health Organization working on a joint program that promotes assistive technologies and rehabilitation services for people living with non-communicable disease. Prior to this role, Gertrude worked at Cuso International, World Vision Canada, and at the Indigenous and Global Health Research Group (IGHRG) at the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry at University of Alberta. Through her affiliations with the Canadian Coalition of Global Health Research (CCGHR), Ontario Council of International Cooperation (OCIC) and Canadian Society of International Health (CSIH), Gertrude has promoted equitable global health research across Canadian institutions, championed the inclusion of marginalized voices in development, and contributed to CSIH’s policy position on Canada’s sustainability development goals (SDGs) unveiled during the 25th annual Canadian Conference on Global Health. In her role as PEGAUS Institute Board Member, Gertrude hopes to contribute to the creation of a world whereby all people have the opportunity to lead healthy fulfilled lives.

Charles Palmer Larson– Dr. Larson completed his medical degree and subsequent specializations in Pediatrics and Preventive Medicine & Public Health at McGill University. As a medical student he was a co-founder of the Pointe St Charles Community Health Centre, precursor to Quebec’s local community clinic system of primary care. In many ways this was his introduction to global health and his eventual career path. His actual global health career began in 1987 when he joined the McGill-Ethiopia Strengthening Community Health Project, which he directed from 1989 to 1992. Dr. Larson then returned to McGill as an Associate Professor in the Departments of Pediatrics and Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health (EBOH). He also headed the McGill Global Health Office within the Faculty of Medicine and led a five year McGill population child health project in Chelyabinsk Russia. In 2002 Dr. Larson moved to Bangladesh where, on secondment from McGill, he directed the Health Systems and Infectious Diseases Division at the International Centre for Diarrheal Diseases Research, Bangladesh. In 2008 Dr. Larson returned to Canada, joining the Department of Pediatrics at the University of British Columbia as Professor and Director of the UBC-BC Children’s Hospital Centre for International Child Health (CICH). In 2015 Dr. Larson returned to Montreal at which time he assumed his current role as National Coordinator of the Canadian Coalition for Global Health Research (CCGHR) and as an adjunct professor has been teaching in McGill Global Health Program. Dr. Larson’s interests focus on capacity building and in development or delivery research in support of the scale up of life saving interventions in under-five children.

Dorothy Larkman-Dorothy is from the Matachewan First Nation in Northern Ontario. She has picked up and followed her Indigenous Ways of knowing through both Post Secondary (Native Human Services BSW, Masters – Indigenous Stream) and Elders from her community and across Canada. She currently teaches at Nipissing University while completing her PhD. Her work has focused on providing services that focus on Indigenous ways of providing help. She is a Mother, Grandmother and Auntie as well as being a Niece.

Erika Richter– Erika is the co-founder of Common Ground: Conflict Resolution Services.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts and Science with a double major in Peace and Conflict Studies from McMaster University and a Masters of Arts in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from Carleton University. Erika has developed and facilitated conflict transformation programs for youth from conflict-affected regions. She is currently pursuing her accreditation as a Qualified Mediator (QR) with the ADR Institute of Ontario.

Vinay Jindal– Dr. Vinay Jindal is chair of Toronto’s Hiroshima Nagasaki Day Coalition (HNDC) and Acting President with International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War Canada (IPPNWC). In 2006, Dr. Jindal worked in Myanmar with Médecins Sans Frontières and witnessed the effects of an underfunded, inequitable healthcare system in one of the world’s “least developed countries”—a country that was contemplating funding a nuclear weapons program. On his return, through IPPNWC and the HNDC, Dr. Jindal prioritized local and national education on the dangers of nuclear weapons and action on nuclear disarmament.

Sanket Ullal- (he/him) is a civil litigation lawyer practising in Hamilton, Ontario. He developed a keen interest in the field of Peace through Health while completing his undergraduate degree in Biology and Peace studies at McMaster University. He then went on to complete his graduate degree (MPH) from University of Saskatchewan, and a law degree (JD) from University of Ottawa. Much of Sanket’s work has focused on the intersectionality between advocacy, community health, and community development through his experiences at Health Canada – First Nations and Inuit Health Branch (Regina), Canadian Health Coalition (Ottawa), Innocence Canada (Toronto), Centre for Public Health and Equity (Bengaluru, India), and McMaster University (Hamilton). He is currently also serving on the Board of Directors for Hand over Hand (Toronto).In his spare time, Sanket enjoys biking, dancing, and playing the Tabla. 

Alexandra Giorgis-Audrain- Student and Young Professionals Representative- Alexandra Giorgis-Audrain recently completed her Master of Arts in Global Governance at the Balsillie School of International Affairs (BSIA) in affiliation with the University of Waterloo. Her main interests are in providing equitable and quality social services such as health and education in the aim of improving equality of opportunity and reducing income inequity. Moreover, she is a strong advocate of intersectional gender equality. Alexandra currently works as a Curriculum Developer and Program Coordinator in providing training to frontline shelter workers in Montreal that primarily serve indigenous populations.

Advisory (Honorary) Board

Janet Hatcher Roberts-Janet Hatcher Roberts has over 30 years experience in bridging communities, evidence and policy both nationally and internationally. Currently, Janet is the Co-Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre on Technology Assessment, Knowledge Translation and Health Equity (currently undergoing redesignation) at Bruyere Research Institute, University of Ottawa. She is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Medicine, School of Epidemiology and Public Health, at the University of Ottawa, teaching and conducting research in global health. From 1998-2013, she was the Executive Director of the Canadian Society for International Health ) where she oversaw the design and implementation of global health systems strengthening projects in Africa, Asia, Latin and Central America and Eastern Europe. She spent 2007-2008 in Geneva where she was Director of the Migration Health Department with the International Organization for Migration. In her volunteer time, Janet was the Chair of the Board for Action Canada for Population Development and was a Board member and Past Treasurer of the Canadian Coalition for Global Health Research. She was a Board member of the US-based Council of Graduate Foreign Nurses (CGFNS)from 2007- 2016 . From 2009-2019, she was appointed by an Order in Council as Board member to Public Heath Ontario (PHO) where she also sat on the Strategic Planning Committee and Governance Committee. From 2018, she has served as an ex-officio member of the Ottawa Centre Liberal EDA. She also served for four years on the National Board of Make Poverty History.

Donald Sutherland-has had a very full and interesting career in international public health research, initiating and supporting community programs and national initiatives around the world. He began with a medical degree from the University of British Columbia, completing his thesis research on the links between Vitamin A, diet and mental retardation. After 8 years of medical practice in North Vancouver, Don was drawn to work in international health and his first experience was 2 years working as a District Medical Officer with CUSO in a rural hospital in Malawi. The Malawi experience inspired him to apply for and receive a scholarship from IDRC to attend the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine to obtain a Masters in Community Health. His thesis research was conducted in India where he studied the use of traditional medicine practitioners in 4 rural Health Centers to assess their impact and other co-factors in their role in delivering primary health care. On his return to Canada, Don settled on Pender Island in BC, working as the sole GP and to apply what he had learned in Liverpool. The island provided him with the opportunity to develop a community clinic with the support and political involvement of the residents. In 1981, Dr. Sutherland returned to international health by working as the medical officer for OXFAM in a refugee camp in North Somalia. This work led to Dr. Sutherland being asked by WHO to return to Somalia to assess all 35 camps and then to be senior advisor to the whole National Refugee Unit in the Ministry of Health. Don moved to Geneva in 1984, to work as the senior technical advisor to the International Red Cross Child Alive Program focused on diarrhea prevention and treatment projects in Latin America, Africa, and Asia. In 1988, he joined the World Health Organization’s newly formed Global Program on AIDS. He worked in Uganda for 2 years as team leader/epidemiologist just when the enormity of the epidemic was becoming apparent. Dr. Sutherland then went to the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine to do a master’s degree in Epidemiology including his thesis work studying the risk of HIV transmission in pediatric settings in 4 countries in Africa by following for 3 months the HIV status of hundreds of patients admitted to pediatric wards. In 1991 he returned to Canada to become Chief of the HIV/AIDS Division and then Director of the Bureau of HIV/AIDS, STD and TB at Health Canada’s Bureau of Communicable Disease. Dr. Sutherland then became Senior Advisor on Scientific Affairs in the Center for Infectious Disease Prevention and Control at Health Canada. In 2003 Dr. Sutherland returned to WHO in Geneva for four years, to coordinate the HIV Department’s Strategic Information including HIV/AIDS Surveillance, Monitoring and Evaluation, Operational Research and the WHO HIV Drug Resistance Global Strategy. In 2007 Dr. Sutherland returned to Canada to become Executive Director of International Public Health of the Public Health Agency of Canada based in Ottawa. Don has now retired and volunteers in various ways such as Senior Advisor on Public Health to the Canadian Society for International Health and sitting on the Board of the Rural and Remote Chapter of the Doctors of B.C.

Janis Alton- Janis Alton is the Past Co-Chair of the Canadian Voice of Women for Peace, which focuses on the delegitimization of war, demilitarization, and inclusion of women in all decision-making processes of peacebuilding. She has conducted over 30 + study tours for women to UN sites and has initiated and coordinated national and international peace conferences and workshops.
Janis serves/served on related NGOs Board of Directors, including International Peace Bureau, Canadian Pugwash Group, Science for Peace, and IPPNWC. In May 2015, with 30 international feminist women, Janis crossed the Korean demilitarized zone linking with women in the North and South.

Richard Denton-Richard Denton was born in Northern Ontario, graduated from McMaster Medical School in 1974, worked as a family physician doing anesthesia for 10 years, obstetrics for 18 years, emergency for 28 years, hospitalist for 36 years and involved in long term care and working with people with developmental disabilities for 38 years.  He is fully retired from general medicine. He is married to his beautiful wife of 44 years. They have four grown married working children and have seven grandchildren. They lived on a farm in Kirkland Lake and they have now moved to Sudbury to be closer to nine of the grandchildren.  He has been involved in his community, in Rotary and was Mayor of Kirkland Lake and helped prevent Toronto’s garbage going to Adam’s open-pit iron ore mine, now a lake. He has done volunteer medical work in Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, and India. He has traveled extensively around the world. He has been president of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, and Physicians for Global Survival and Co-Chair for North America with International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War. He has been on the board of the Ontario College of Family Physicians and Chaired their Environmental Health Committee. He has also been on the Ontario Medical Association council and some of its committees. He is an Associate Professor of Clinical Science of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine. Now involved in Rotary as District Peace Chair and chair of Rotarians4Nuclear Ban.

Michelle Amri- Michelle’s career has largely been centred in health promotion, health policy, and global health; for example, through her work with the World Health Organization (WHO), she discussed smoke-free cities with mayors of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, evaluated the Healthy Cities initiative in the Western Pacific Region, designed a multi-sectoral national policy in Lao PDR, among other experiences. Michelle has also worked in several policy capacities for the Ontario Public Service, both at the Ministry of Health and Long-term Care and Ministry of Community and Social Services. Currently, Michelle is a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto in social and behavioural health sciences with a collaborative specialization in global health. Her research is focused on global health, public health policy and governance, health equity, and urban health. Working under the co-supervision of Dr. Pat O’Campo and Dr. Theresa Enright, and committee members Dr. Erica Di Ruggiero and Dr. Arjumand Siddiqi, she is investigating discourses of equity employed by the WHO. Michelle is a passionate instructor, teaching courses at both the University of Victoria and University of Toronto, and is a Steering Committee member for MentorNet, a volunteer-run global health mentorship program offered through the Canadian Society for International Health. She holds the degrees of Master of Public Administration and a Bachelor of Health Sciences with an Honors Specialization in Health Promotion.

Dr. Michael Clarke

Shawna O’Hearn-Shawna O’Hearn is the Director of Global Health at Dalhousie University, past Chair of the Canadian Society for International Health (CSIH), and incoming President of the Physiotherapy Education Accreditation Committee (PEAC). Shawna is an Occupational Therapist with additional graduate training in International Development and Corporate Social Responsibility. She is a PhD candidate in Health Geography at the University of Waterloo focusing her research on the experience of aging in the workplace. Over the last decade, she has provided leadership to the expansion of global health at Dalhousie University to integrate social accountability, diversity and inclusion, service learning and Indigenous Health into curriculum, research, and faculty development for local and international programs across the health faculties. Shawna has been involved with MicroResearch since 2012 as a coach and mentor with teams in Tanzania, Uganda and Nova Scotia. She has also been a conference planning member with Pegasus contributing to content development, workshop facilitation and ensuring that representatives from Canada’s east coast join the conference. Shawna has held leadership positions in government, university and non-government organizations in Canada and abroad. She has worked and lived in the West Indies, India, West and East Africa as well as Nunavut. Her research focuses include MNCH, gender equity, social accountability, community engagement and diversity with an emphasis on qualitative research methodologies.

Simron Singh– Simron Singh is Professor in the Faculty of Environment, University of Waterloo, Canada. His research focuses on society-nature interactions in the context of sustainability, analyzing the systemic links between material and energy stocks and flows, and human wellbeing. Focussing on small islands, his research seeks to inform science and policy on ways island economies can achieve resource security, meet social and economic goals while building system resilience against the impacts of climate change. He is founder and lead of the research program “Metabolism of Islands”, Chairs the inaugural board of “Island Industrial Ecology”, and is Lead of the working group “Metabolic Risk on Islands” for Risk-KAN, a joint initiative of Future Earth, Integrated Research on Disaster Risk (IRDR), and the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP). \

Yipeng Ge– 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. He received his MD from the University of Ottawa Faculty of Medicine. He is a resident physician in Public Health and Preventive Medicine (including family medicine) in Ottawa. He is also a member of the Board of Directors for the Canadian Public Health Association. Currently, in his first year of residency training (postgraduate year 1, PGY1) in public health and preventive medicine, he is also an elected PARO (Professional Association of Residents of Ontario) General Council representative from Ottawa and sits on the CFPC SoR (College of Family Physicians of Canada Section of Residents) as an elected PGY1 representative and as Chair-Elect. Yipeng is passionate and interested in tackling health and social inequities through addressing the social and broader determinants of health. Much of his academic and medical career has been guided by these values. Yipeng has worked for various global health organizations including the World Health Organization (Headquarters) in Geneva, Switzerland and the Population Health Research Institute in Hamilton, Ontario. He has also been involved in various student-led initiatives including, co-founding the McMaster Indigenous Health Conference in 2016 and chairing the Canadian Global Health Students and Young Professionals Summit in 2018. He was the first student/young professional co-chair for the 25th annual Canadian Conference on Global Health in 2019. In 2020, he was Canada’s official youth delegate to the 73rd World Health Assembly and the 58th Pan American Health Organization Directing Council.  He is was previously the Director/Vice-President of Government Affairs for the Canadian Federation of Medical Students (CFMS), leading national advocacy efforts with medical students between 2017-2019. He previously served on the board for the Canadian Coalition for Global Health Research (CCGHR) and as a student representative for the Medical Council of Canada (MCC). He currently serves on the board of directors for the Canadian Society for International Health (CSIH) and Canadian Medical Foundation (CMF). Yipeng has artwork featured in Murmurs: the Journal of Art and Healing, on the cover of an issue of Canadian Family Physician (CFP), and Chrysalis: a collection of art by University of Ottawa medical students.

Mary Louise McAllister– Mary Louise researches and writes about healthy and sustainable communities.  She is an associate professor emerita and serves on graduate advisory committees in the Faculty of Environment, University of Waterloo. Her academic background is multi-disciplinary, with a focus on public administration, local governance, and environmental policy.  She has long held an interest in how public health might be fostered through effective governance, and social-ecological sustainability. Hobbies include cross-country skiing, backcountry camping and canoeing, photography, and gardening. For the past 15 years, she also has been conscientiously trying to learn Greek. The outcome of this latter endeavour has been modest at best.

Francophone Events and Planning Coordinator– Chloé chose a career path in Public Health after discovering and studying the numerous cross relationships between both the built and natural environment, social and economic inequities, and a population’s state of health. What really hit home and pushed her to continue her work in peace, global health, and sustainability, was learning the political complexities and inequities that exist within the practice of Sustainable Development in places where a good state of health and access to healthcare is a privilege. Chloé’s work with the Pegasus Institute is to coordinate Francophone events and help build its Francophone network. The goal is to build a larger network of francophone individuals and organizations interested in discussing issues of peace, global health and sustainability through a francophone lens (i.e., taking into account the challenges faced by francophone populations in West Africa, Central Africa, Europe, the Caribbean, and Quebec; as well as refugees living in an anglophone environment). Chloé completed her Honors Bachelor of Arts (HBA) at the University of Toronto: Specialist in Environmental Geography, and a double minor in Diaspora and Transnational Studies and French Studies (with language citation). Chloé completed her Master of Public Health (MPH) with the Schulich Interfaculty Program for Public Health within the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry at Western University in London, Ontario. Chloé is currently working as a Health Planner for Entité4 (a health planning Entity for French-Language health services for central-southern Ontario).

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