The North Western Toronto Ontario Health Team is led by an executive team providing expertise across the continuum of care. In partnership with working group and committee chair, the Secretariat provides project management and coordination for all aspects of OHT work.

Senior Executive Team

The NWT OHT Senior Executive Committee (SEC) is comprised of the executive leads of our partner organizations, patient/client family advisor and a physician advisor. In alignment with the Ministry of Health and Ontario Health, the SEC provides direction and guidance for the OHT.

Members of the Senior Executive Committee include:

Anne-Marie Malek is President and Chief Executive Officer of West Park Healthcare Centre, a position she has held since 2005. Prior to that, she served as the Vice President Programs and Chief Nursing Executive at the Centre. She has provided executive leadership to numerous transformational changes at the Centre including the capital renewal of the campus. Under her leadership West Park received several awards, achieved Accreditation with Exemplary Standing and has been designated a Centre of Excellence in Long Term Ventilation by the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care.

Ms Malek has a Masters in Health Services Administration, and holds certification with the Canadian College of Health Leaders and the Institute of Corporate Directors. She is an Adjunct Lecturer in department of Health Policy, Management & Evaluation at the University of Toronto.

Dr. Kushner is a seasoned primary care doctor who has been serving the community for years. As one of the 36 family physicians of the Humber River Family Health Team, he plays an integral role in the care of client/patients within our community. Being an expert in primary care in Ontario, Dr. Kushner brings extensive knowledge and a unique point-of-view to the North Western Toronto Ontario Health Team.
Representing family medicine providers in our OHT provides the opportunity for primary care to have a leadership role in health system change.

Aseefa Sarang is the Executive Director of Across Boundaries: A Mental Health Centre that has been providing mental health and addictions services to members of racialized communities across Toronto for 28 years. These services have been and continue to be centred in holistic, equitable, anti-racism, anti-oppression and resisting Anti-Black racism frameworks, for people who face multiple barriers to care. Aseefa loves what she does. Her interests are in ensuring relevant and appropriate programming for adults, youth, and families particularly at the intersection of the criminal justice system, homelessness, immigration and other social determinants of health.

Aseefa is committed to systemic change through various channels, including work done through the North Western Toronto Ontario Health Team. She has served on various boards and committees, at the local, provincial, and national levels. They include but are not limited to; Connex Ontario, Expert Advisory Committee on Justice and Mental Health for the Mental Health Commission of Canada, member of the Health System Advisory Council of Ontario Health and chairs and co-chairs a number of equity focused tables at the provincial level.

Barb Collins, CEO of Humber River Hospital as of 2016, is a Registered Nurse with an MBA from Queens University, and has over 40 years of progressive leadership experience in all major clinical and support areas of long term care and acute care. She joined HRH in 1999 and prior to becoming CEO as Humber River Hospitals’ COO, she served as the Senior Executive Lead for our redevelopment project, and oversaw the design, construction and activation of the Wilson site. She is an integral part of the North Western Toronto Ontario Health Team Senior Executive Committee. Barb is passionate about high reliability and compassionate patient care. She is committed to meeting the needs of our North West Toronto Community and is excited to see our North Western Toronto OHT successfully implement strategies to improve equity and community services in our community.

Barry Lerman was born in Toronto and grew up in Downsview. He attended local public schools in Downsview and went to University of Waterloo where he obtained a Bachelor of Mathematics degree. Barry is married his wife Joy and together they raised a son and daughter in Thornhill, where the couple still live. Barry has worked in the corporate world as a business systems analyst for numerous large Canadian corporations. In 1992 he started an I.T. consulting firm servicing the SMB marketplace which he continues to own and operate.
Barry serves on the Board of Directors of two not-for-profit organizations. His other volunteer work revolves around Humber River Hospital and the NWT OHT. He is a founding member of the NWT OHT Patient/Client and Family Advisory Committee and a proud member of the NWT OHT SEC.

Beatrise Edelstein is a Vice President, Post-Acute Care and Health System Partnerships at Humber River Hospital. In her role, she is responsible for planning, developing, leading and evaluating health system transformation initiatives within Reactivation Care Centres, North West Toronto Ontario Health Team, and Family Practice with the focus on stakeholder engagement and partnerships.
Beatrise has over 17 years of progressive leadership experience in healthcare and has worked in a variety of positions including staff physiotherapist, clinical team manager, senior consultant, program director, and vice president. She is a Certified Health Executive, Certified in Change Management with Prosci®, and received her Master of Health Science in Health Administration from the University of Toronto.

Cheryl Prescod is a highly skilled healthcare and social services administrator who is dedicated to ensuring individuals in our community have equitable access to healthcare services. An integral part of the North Western Toronto Ontario Health Team, Cheryl has been a dedicated community leader for over 25 years, championing diversity, equity and social justice. A coalition builder known for bringing together diverse stakeholders in responding to community needs, she facilitates several academic partnerships in hopes of building evidence that informs innovative approaches to complex problems such as youth violence in urban neighbourhoods. Throughout her professional and personal interactions, Cheryl continuously works to influence health and equity policies that affect marginalized groups.

Cheryl was a key partner in the initial development of the NWT OHT and later became one of the co-chairs of the executive committee. Her leadership within the OHT supports the contribution of Black Creek CHC on several committees and initiatives such as Health Equity, Digital Health, COPD, and BPSO. Black Creek CHC’s participation is instrumental in ensuring the diverse needs of the community are embedded in the design and implementation of the NWT OHT.

Heather McDonald is the Chief Executive Officer at LOFT Community Services. LOFT provides support to people with mental health, behavioural , substance use challenges. LOFT’s innovative teams for people who are homeless and supportive housing programs are award winning provincially and nationally. Before she was at LOFT, Heather was the Director, Opiate Addiction Services at Breakaway Addiction Services and also held positions at Davenport Perth Neighbourhood and Community Health Centre, AIDS Committee of London, and the London Family Law Information Centre.

Heather McDonald was recently recognized by the Globe and Mail for her visionary leadership in expanding community health programs. With the NWT OHT, Heather has provided guidance in launching this website and continues to provide support as we move through the next phase of digital development.

Karimah is a Chief Nursing Executive at Runnymede Healthcare Centre. She is a dynamic leader with values of shared vision, collaboration and a strong appreciation for diversity, integrity and leading change. Karimah’s extensive experience in patient/client care along with her experience in strategy and operational leadership has allowed her to analyze problems, simplify procedures, find innovative solutions, and “connect the dots”. Karimah’s experience has allowed her to break down the silos and appreciate the impact of decision-making from a system-level perspective. Her curiosity and inclination to promote collaborative practice offer valuable insight to the North Western Toronto Ontario Health Team.

Kim is a seasoned Clinical Director of Health Care Solutions at SE Health. Her 24 plus years of clinical experience within North Western Toronto has allowed her to understand the unique challenges within our community, making her a valuable resource within the North Western Toronto Ontario Health Team.

Liveleen (Lynn) Singh is the CEO of Lumacare and she is an innovative and highly skilled health leader with comprehensive knowledge of the healthcare system. She is passionate about improving patient care, and brings over 30 years of healthcare experience. Lynn has a strong clinical background, academic qualifications and experience in planning and implementing various strategic initiatives at the operational and system levels. Being a health care professional and also a consumer of the health care services, she is excited to be part of OHT. The vision of OHTs is close to her heart as it aims to put patients, families and caregivers at the centre of the health care system. It is her privilege to be part of NWT OHT and working with such an amazing team of professionals across the sector to improve the coordination of care and services for patients and their families/caregivers in our sub region.

Michael has worked in the non-profit sector for over 20 years. He spent eight years as Executive Director of the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Vancouver-Fraser Branch before entering his role as CEO of CMHA Toronto in November 2020.

Alongside the work he does for the North Western Toronto Ontario Health Team SEC and Planning and Operations Committee, Michael serves on the Board of Directors of FindHelp 211. Previously he has served on the Board of Directors for several not-for-profit organizations, and he was one of the founding Directors of two of them: one focused on preserving the spiritual practices of Indigenous peoples, and the other a community service organization for the LGBTQ2S+ communities.

Michelle Joseph, has over twenty- five years experience leading community health organizations. Her work has concentrated on working with equity deserving communities and those facing barriers to service due to the social determinates of health. She is currently the CEO of Unison Health and Community Services, serving five high priority neighbourhoods in North West Toronto. She has extensive non -profit Board experience and works as a consultant for a number of non-profits in organizational development.

Paul brings over 30 years of experience working within the health and social services sectors to his role as Chief Executive Director at Cota. He has spent over 20 of those years at Cota providing direct leadership to many different programs and initiatives and assumed the CEO role in 2009. He has emerged as a recognized leader within the mental health, acquired brain injury, developmental services and homelessness sectors in Toronto and has actively participated in NWT OHT since it inception.

Paul looks forward to continuing to contribute his experience and to working collaboratively with our OHT partners, as we strive to provide the best possible health care to our community.

Penny Marrett, Executive Director of Addiction Services Central Ontario, has been in the not-for-profit sector for over 40 years. She has held a number of leadership positions in the sector and is a strong believer in the importance of the role that the not-for-profit sector can play in responding to community needs and public policy development. Through Penny’s volunteering, she has gained the trust of the community and plays an integral role in the North Western Toronto Ontario Health Team and the work we do.

Toni Dell’Aquila is the Executive Director at Villa Colombo Toronto (VCT), an Italian (ethno-specific), 391 bed long term care home with community service programs in Toronto, since December 2020. Toni has over 39 years of experience in long term care and community services, most of which was gained working n a variety of leadership and management roles at Villa Colombo Toronto. Toni is a passionate and experienced leader in senior’s care with experience in significant and strategic quality change initiatives, including the implementation and growth of Community Services programs at Villa Colombo Toronto, such as supportive housing, adult day programs, meals on wheels and participation in two major long-term care bed expansions. Toni imparts her passionate, vast and comprehensive experience and knowledge to grow, continually improve and enhance, the care and services required for all communities with all partner agencies in the North Western Toronto Ontario Health Team.

OHT Secretariat

The North Western Toronto Ontario Health Team has a secretariat, a team of Health System Planners, Program Assistant, and Director that provide support and leadership in advancing OHT priority areas.

The secretariat supports our working groups/committees through project management, meeting facilitation, relationship management and engagement.

Photos and bios coming soon