CONTACT USGET INVOLVED
CHNIG is committed to act as a voice for community health nurses and the public we serve. As representatives of Ontario CHNs, we would like you to learn more about us.
Susan Tam RN, BScN, MScN, CCHN(C)
Susan has a diverse background in public health with experience in immunizations, infectious diseases, chronic diseases, and reproductive and child health programs. She currently teaches at the undergraduate level for the Ryerson, Centennial, George Brown Collaborative Nursing Program and the University of New Brunswick/Humber College Collaborative Nursing Program.
She has been involved on the Board of the Community Health Nurses’ Initiatives Group (CHNIG) since 2010. She was previously a Co-Lead of the Research, Education, and Professional Development Committee, as well as the Communications Officer on both CHNIG and the Community Health Nurses of Canada (CHNC).
Susan graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN) degree from McMaster University and holds a Master of Science in Nursing (MScN) degree from D’Youville College. She is also certified in Community Health Nursing with the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) and acts as a mentor to help nurses prepare for the exam and complete their continuous learning hours.
Her professional interests include immunizations, breastfeeding, vulnerable/at-risk populations, implementation of evidence-informed practice, community health nursing, and innovative teaching-learning strategies.
Susan is looking forward to continuing her involvement on CHNIG as the President!
Mathew McGuigan RN, BHSc, BScN, MScN (Candidate)
Mathew is a public health nurse at Chatham-Kent Public Health. Mathew has a diverse background in many public health related fields such as tobacco cessation, harm reduction, healthy growth and development, and has supported initiatives pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mathew has previously completed a Bachelor of Health Science through UWO, a BScN through University of Windsor, and is currently an MScN candidate at UWO. Mathew is also a graduate fellow with Dr. Cheryl Forchuk’s Mental Health Nurses Research Alliance through the Lawson Health Research Institute.
Mathew is excited to be apart of such a diverse and passionate team.
May Tao RN, BScN, MSN, CCHN(C)
May is a Health Promotion Specialist at Toronto Public Health, currently coordinating for the RNAO Best Practice initiative to implement and evaluate best practice guidelines in her organization. May has a Bachelor degree in Nursing and a Master of Science in Nursing. She is also a certified in Community Health Nursing with the Canadian Nurses Association. She has a strong interest in evidence-informed practice, knowledge translation, and effective strategies for guideline implementation.
May has been participating in the RNAO Advanced Clinical Practice Fellowship building on leadership and youth engagement practice. May has also volunteered as an executive member of the Registered Nurses’ Foundation of Ontario and an active member of the CHNC Leadership Standing Committee. She has coordinated medical teams to work with local communities in several countries, such as Belize, Greece, Ghana and Uganda. Her vision is to empower others to reach their potential, strive for excellence in public health practice and inspire organizations toward continuous quality improvement.
Cindy Baker-Barill RN, BScN
Cindy is a Program Manager of the Smoke-Free Program, which includes the Central East Tobacco Control Area Network at Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit. Key areas of focus include promoting smoke-free college and university campuses, preventing youth and young adults from starting to smoke and vape via grassroots and online promotion, and improving the number of quit attempts for people who smoke. Currently, Cindy also supports various communication roles related to COVID-19. She has worked in Public Health for 34 years in a variety of roles ranging from a generalist PHN to focused programs by age; such as Healthy Child Adolescence and by issue; Substance Abuse and Injury Prevention. Cindy has previously participated on the CHNIG Board as Communications, President, and OPHA representatives.
Cindy has been active on many provincial committees related to tobacco control and participated in the development of the RNAO best practice guideline; Enhancing Healthy Adolescent Development. Cindy is very excited to be able to support the CHNIG board in finalizing all of the governance policies over the next 2 years.
Suzana Tavares RN, BN, MN, CCHN(C), CCRA
Suzana has a bachelor’s degree in nursing and a master’s in nursing. She is also a certified in Community Health Nursing with the Canadian Nurses Association.
She is currently a Public Health Nurse working at Toronto Public Health for the Incident Management System as a Communicable Disease Investigator. In the past, she worked in the community as a visiting nurse at VON (Victoria Order of Nurses). Then, she achieved a Certificate of Clinical Research Associate (CCRA) and worked as a Clinical Research coordinator for almost 10 years first at St. Michaels Hospital and then at UHN (University Health Network). She worked in research for a few years in the cardiology field and then in endocrinology with focus on diabetes and obesity. She developed various skills over the years and has a commitment to health promotion. She is very involved in the community in many aspects with the new-comers, especially immigrants from South America, developing ways to accommodate them in Canada in the best and healthy way.
She showed her interest to help and be involved with the Community Health Nurses’ Initiative Group (CHNIG) for a while, and in 2019 she accepted the position to be a treasurer of the Board of the Community Health Nurses’ Initiatives Group (CHNIG). She holds an enthusiastic attitude and is willing to collaborate in a positive and responsible way.
Felicia Kontopidis RN, BScN
Policy and Political Action
Felicia Kontopidis is a Registered Nurse with SE Health, formerly known as Saint Elizabeth. Felicia has worked in Toronto as a visiting nurse where she practiced direct patient care for over six years. Throughout the years, Felicia has supported and continues to support different roles where her nursing experience in Home and Community care continue to flourish. Working in different capacities, Felicia has demonstrated nursing leadership in roles such as Clinical Intake Nurse, Clinical Practice Coach, and Respiratory Nurse Champion. Felicia has been involved in new innovative supporting virtual care.
Recently, Felicia supported nurses nationally throughout the organization as a Clinical Practice Resource Nurse. In 2017, Felicia completed an RNAO AMS fellowship involving a self-directed learning project themed ‘Building Cultural Competence in Nursing to Enhance Patient Centred Care Amongst the Underserved and Disenfranchised’.
Today, Felicia works with the organization as a Clinical Solutions Consultant, where she contributes her clinical experience in home and community care to support different teams in the planning, design, and implementation of new and innovative health care programs. Recently, Felicia and SE Health CEO, Shirlee Sharkey, were guests on the RBC series, “RBC Disruptors.” Together they were interviewed by award winning scholar John Stackhouse, where they shared, from the home health perspective, their experiences with technology, skills development, and how innovation is changing health care.
Mariquilange (Mary) Aubin Cadet, RN BScN, MHM, CHCPN, CCNE
Professional Practice Home Health
I have worked in the health care system for about 24 years, which 21 of those years are in the community. After receiving my diploma in nursing, I worked with the First Nation Population in Northern Ontario for about two years. My career has taken a path of teaching, staff nursing and nursing supervision. I have been working with VHA Home HealthCare for 17 years as a Best Practice Nursing Supervisor in the Durham Region. I am an avid learner. I am always looking for courses or workshops to help advance my practice and career.
I received my nursing diploma from Cambrian/ College Boreal, my Bachelor of Nursing Science from Laurentian University, and a Master’s in Health Management from McMaster University. I am certified as a Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Nurse (CHPCN) with the Canadian Nurse Association and Canadian Certified Nurse Educator (CCNE). I have attended numerous conferences in Palliative Care and Community Health Care. I co-presented in two conferences, one in wound care and the other in palliative care. I have taken countless workshops and short courses in wound care, palliative care, Ontario Core Indigenous Cultural Safety (ICS) Health, to name a few.
I had been a member of the Registered Nurse Association of Ontario (RNAO) since 2005 and a member of Community Health Nurses’ Initiatives Group (CHNIG), Durham Northumberland Chapter and Ontario Health Informatics Group (ONIG).
I have volunteered with Hospice Durham since 2013, where I provide support to clients and families in their homes and Long-Term Care.
Kathryn Cuthbertson, RN, MN, BScN, BKin, IBCLC (she/her)
Professional Practice Public Health
Kathryn is a Public Health Nurse and International Board Certified Lactation Consultant with more than 12 years experience in public health practice. In that time, Kathryn has worked in the areas of Infectious Diseases, Immunizations and Reproductive and Child Health, with a particular focus on infant feeding and perinatal mood disorders. Currently, she works in an Acting Assistant Manager role, leading COVID 19 immunization clinics in Durham Region.
After obtaining a Bachelor of Kinesiology degree at Acadia University, Kathryn attended the University of Toronto and completed her Bachelor of Science in Nursing. In 2020, she graduated from Athabasca University with a Masters of Nursing degree, having focused primarily on the application of critical theory in infant feeding initiatives.
Professionally, Kathryn’s interests include the intersection of infant feeding and perinatal mood disorders, social determinants of health and health equity, social justice, knowledge translation, and the application of critical theory in public health practice.
Emily Belita, PhD, RN
Research, Education & Professional Development Co-Lead
Emily Belita is an Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing at McMaster University. The overall goal of Emily’s program of research is to strengthen public health systems and decision-making through the generation, dissemination, and integration of research evidence. Her research spans three key themes: 1) public health workforce and system planning; 2)knowledge translation in youth health research; and 3) evidence-informed decision-making (EIDM) in the context of public health policy and practice.
Emily has taught at both the undergraduate and graduate levels in relation to community health nursing, critical appraisal, evidence-informed decision-making, and knowledge translation.
Professionally, Emily has over a decade of experience working as a public health nurse in various public health units. Her portfolio has included a focus on chronic disease prevention and school health. Emily has worked in partnership with geographically and demographically diverse communities to promote health and well-being across the lifespan.
Emily has been a member on the CHNIG Board of Directors since 2019. She looks forward to applying her growing knowledge and skill set in research and education, as well as her frontline experience as a public health nurse in her role as co-lead for Research, Education, and Professional Development.
This could be YOU!
Research, Education and Professional Development Co-Lead
For more information, please contact Communications@chnig.org.
Kerrianne Thompson RN, BScN, MN, CHNC (C)
Kerrianne brings her knowledge as a patient, previous family caregiver, and a Public Health Nurse to this role. She has practiced as a Registered Nurse for over 14 years and is certified in Community Health Nursing through the Canadian Nurses Association.
She has a nursing diploma from Durham College, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from Ryerson University, and a Master of Nursing degree (with Teaching Focus) from Athabasca University. Her nursing experience includes both hospital (Medicine and Telemetry) and public health nursing (Infectious Disease Prevention and Control, Chronic Disease Prevention, and Substance Use Prevention). Kerrianne recently gained experience with Trent University as a marker for their Critical Perspectives on Aging course. She is currently employed as a Public Health Nurse working in School Health and Youth Engagement, and is a Youth Engagement Coordinator for the Regional Municipality of Durham.
Kerrianne currently volunteers as a workplace liaison for the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario, a Patient and Family Experience Advisor for Lakeridge Health, and a Patient and Family Advisory Committee member for the Central East Local Health Integration Network (LHIN). In addition, she volunteers with the Program Advisory Committee for Practical Nursing, Personal Support Worker and Critical Care at Durham College, is a mentor for the Canadian Public Health Association, a Bargaining Unit Representative for ONA Local 51, Association Management Committee and a mentee in the Community Health Nurses Leadership Mentoring Program. Kerrianne has held previous volunteer roles at Hearth Place Cancer Support Centre, and as a nursing preceptor assisting various post-secondary institutions. Kerrianne is a Whitby resident, and has resided there for the last 14 years.
This could be YOU!
Christine is entering into second-year BScN at Nipissing University in their Scholar Practitioner Program. She completed her undergraduate degree in Public Health at the University of Waterloo which is what incited her passion for Public Health. Christine has been very active in knowledge translation activities within her program as the Leader of the RNAO Best Practice Guidelines (BPG) Group for her cohort. This involves taking the information in the BPG’s and translating it in a way to make it actionable for nursing students. Christine has also been active in health promotion activities with various volunteer organizations. Christine is excited to build on her Public Health knowledge and skills as a student representative for CHNIG and hopes to ultimately pursue a career in Public Health.
I am entering my third year of the BScN program at Ryerson University and have been an active member of the RNAO since 2019. I have a passion for community health nursing, the provision of patient centered compassionate care and student advocacy. I have worked as a Special Education teacher for the past three years and hope to pursue a career as a School or Mental Health Nurse. I am excited to be a CHNIG Student Representative and to work with the board to champion community health related projects as well as to support fellow nursing students and CHNIG members.
Poonam Sharma RN, BScN, MN
Communications – Social Media
Poonam comes from a diverse background in public health with experience in Family Health, Child Health, Communicable Diseases and most currently working in the COVID-19 response as an acting manager for Contact and Case Management. Poonam has been involved with the development of RNAO best practice guidelines for Oral Health and Substance Use. Her other passion for community health nursing is centered in women’s health and to this day she is a child birthing and breastfeeding educator.
Poonam has been actively involved in the RNAO and on the Peel Chapter executive team in many leadership positions since 2007. Poonam graduated from the University of New Brunswick/Humber College Collaborative Nursing Program with a Bachelor of Nursing degree. She is the past-president of the Nursing Students of Ontario – RNAO Interest Group. In 2013, she was recognized for her work with nursing students through the RNAO Provincial Leadership Award in Student Mentorship. Poonam has a Masters in Nursing from Ryerson University.
Poonam is excited to be a part of the CHING Board of Directors team.
Janet Leung BASc, BScN
Communications – Website
Janet Leung is a new graduate nurse from the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN) program at York University. She received a Bachelor of Applied Science (BASc) in Occupational and Public Health with a major in Public Health and Safety from Ryerson University.
She is passionate in caring and supporting individuals and diverse communities to promote health and well-being, and to enhance health protection and safety. She strives to improve the health of vulnerable populations with the aim of advancing health access and equity.
She collaborated with her clinical practicum team and community stakeholders to conduct thorough assessments and develop an accepted proposal to support LGBTQ2+ individuals (residents and staff) at a long-term care organization. She and her team presented Strengthening Community Ties: Supporting LGBTQ2+ Client Centred Care for Older Adults, including strategies to support and protect LGBTQ2+ staff in the workplace, at the National Community Health Nursing Conference: Caring, Connecting and Leading for a Healthy Canada in June 2018, Regina, SK. As a member of the Community Health Nurses of Canada (CHNC), she collaborated with the LGBTQ2+ workgroup to develop a policy brief to inform the House of Commons Standing Committee on Health (HESA) report, The Health of LGBTQIA2 Communities in Canada.
Recently, she completed her consolidation at the Toronto Public Health Communicable Diseases Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) Program.