Director, Environmental Public Health Science, Alberta Health
Merry is currently the Director of Environmental Public Health Science within Ministry of Health for Alberta. Her knowledge and skills rest in the connection between the natural or man-made environment and humans, and how this intersection point may lead to health impacts for individuals, communities, the province and nation. Her education has focused on all things environmental, risk communication and management and addressing scientific uncertainty and providing opportunities for engagement with all types of stakeholders on how to protect the health of the citizens potentially being impacted. Merry’s portfolio includes participating in the regulatory reviews of industrial developments, working with communities on concerns from industrial development, and leading in assessing environmental risks during emergency events and supporting communities recovering from natural and/or man-made disasters such as Horse River (Fort McMurray) Wildfire and the Obed Mine release.
Trained as a public health inspector she practiced in northwestern Alberta and currently represents Alberta on the National Collaborative Centre for Environmental Health, the national Committee on Health and Environment as well as various other advisory or academic boards in the domain of environmental public health. Her Master’s degree studied how risk communication practices may be able to identify opportunities to engage with the public and other stakeholders when scientific uncertainty exists. She recently completed a Fellowship in Health System Improvement and pursuing certification as a Canadian Health Executive through the Canadian College of Health Leaders.
Outside of the office, she tries to dash off to dive the deep blue sea as often as she can and spending summers and Thanksgiving camping throughout the western provinces.
Public Health Physician, Environmental and Occupational Health
Public Health Ontario
JinHee obtained her B.Sc in kinesiology at Simon Fraser University and MD at the University of British Columbia. She completed her MPH (Epidemiology), residencies in Family Medicine and Public Health and Preventive Medicine at the University of Toronto. Following her training, she worked briefly at Toronto Public Health as an Associate Medical Officer of Health, working in communicable disease control. Since 2014, JinHee has been a Public Health Physician with the Environmental and Occupational Health team at Public Health Ontario. She works on a variety of environmental public health issues and projects on the team spanning environmental burden of disease, food safety, environmental exposures and risk communication. In addition, JinHee (co-)supervises the many residents and students who cycle through the team, and is involved more broadly with educational efforts at Public Health Ontario, including offerings to practising public health professionals and resident rotations. She is also active on the program committee of The Ontario Public Health Convention, an annual conference for public health practitioners.
Chief Medical Officer, Urban Environment and Healthy Lifestyle Division, Santé publique de Montréal
Adjunct Professor, University of Montreal
Dr. Perron is a physician specialized in public health and preventive medicine. He worked at Montreal’s Public health Department from 2007 to 2018, first as a medical consultant and after as the chief medical officer for the urban environment and healthy lifestyle division. In September 2018, he joined the toxicological and radiological unit of the Insititut National de Santé Publique du Québec. He works as a clinician in the Université de Montréal Hospital Center’s occupational and environmental medicine clinic. He is adjunct professor at Université de Montréal’s department of preventive and social medicine and at McGill University’s department of epidemiology and biostatistics. His field of activities focuses on health related outcomes associated with physical and chemical risk factors, emergency preparedness and response, housing, transportation and urban design.
Healthy Housing Manager, Environmental Public Health Division, First Nations and Inuit Health Branch, Indigenous Services Canada
Linda Pillsworth is a manager with Environmental Public Health Division at the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch of Indigenous Services Canada. In her current role, she provides national policy and program leadership and subject matter expertise for environmental public health services delivered in First Nations communities with specific focus on healthy housing, quality management, and pandemic public health response and guidance. She has 20 years of experience as an Environmental Health Officer and manager, ranging from provincial inspection programs, federal workplace health, travelling public, and First Nations environmental public health services.
Her career continues to progressively enrich her understanding of First Nations knowledge of well-being, interconnectedness with the natural and built environment, and their importance to the physical, mental, cultural, and spiritual health of individuals and communities. Through strong collaborations and partnerships with communities and regional, provincial, and federal agencies, her goal is to create opportunities to enhance public health and environment systems to better support the holistic concepts of First Nations well-being, healthy built environments, and overall improvement in the health of First Nations communities.
Linda is grateful to live, work, and play with her two sons, Tristan and Nathan, on unceded Coast Salish Territory, the traditional territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səlil̓wətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations located in North Vancouver British Columbia.
Professor, Conestoga College
Dr. Wendy Pons is a full time professor at Conestoga College in the Bachelor of Environmental Public Health Program in Kitchener, Ontario. She joined Conestoga in 2018. Much of Wendy’s research has been related to small drinking water systems, risk assessment, vector borne disease, climate change and food safety. Previously she worked at the Region of Peel health department in various roles related to environmental health, including food safety, vector borne disease, health hazards and health promotion. Dr. Pons has a PhD in Epidemiology from the University of Guelph, a MASc in Environmental Science and Management, a BASc in Environmental Health from Ryerson University and is a certified public health inspector.
Regional Medical Officer of Health for North Zone, Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness
Cristin Muecke joined the Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness in 2022 as Regional Medical Officer of Health for North Zone. Prior to this she held the position of Deputy Chief Medical Officer of Health for the New Brunswick Department of Health since 2016 (acting since 2106, appointed in 2018). Between 2013 and 2018, she held the position of Medical Officer of Health for Provincial Programs. She was the Regional Medical Officer of Health for Central Region (Fredericton and Upper River Valley) for 8 years (2005-2013). She obtained her medical degree at Dalhousie University and specialized in Public Health and Preventive Medicine (including a Masters degree in Epidemiology and Biostatistics) at McGill University. She has been actively involved with various professional associations and societies including the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, Public Health Physicians of Canada, the New Brunswick Medical Society, and the Public Health Association of New Brunswick and PEI. She is current a member of the Advisory Board for the National Collaborating Center for Environmental Health.
Chief Medical Health Officer
Dr Saqib Shahab is Saskatchewan’s Provincial Chief Medical Health Officer. In the past he has worked as a regional Medical Health Officer, as well as internationally as an internist, faculty at a school of public health, and public health expert with multilateral health agencies. He is a past co chair of the Pan Canadian Public Health Network Council, past chair of the Medical Health Officers Council of Saskatchewan and past president of the Saskatchewan Public Health Association.
Dr Shahab is a Fellow in Public Health and Preventive Medicine of the Royal College of Physicians of Canada, has a Masters of Public Health from Johns Hopkins University, US, and is a Member of the Royal College of Physicians UK.
Director of Population Health, Department of Health and Social Services
Government of Northwest Territories
Peter’s focus has been working in and supporting communities through Environmental and Public Health (EPH) by encouraging practitioners and contributing to improving legislation, systems, resources, and tools by advocating for rural and remote areas of Canada.
With 26 years of experience in EPH, Peter has grown in a variety of EPH roles over the years. He began his career as a Public Health Inspector in Ontario, delivering general EPH programs in both rural and urban areas for 8 years. He then moved North for “the experience” and has enjoyed living and working in Canada’s Arctic ever since. Peter spent 10 years in Iqaluit, Nunavut working for the Department of Health as an EH Officer, an EH Consultant and a Health Emergency Planner. He then spent 8 years in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories (NWT) as Chief Environmental Health Officer in the Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS).
As a territorial representative, Peter has been a member of the Canadian Drinking Water Committee for most of the last 18 years (a Federal/Provincial/Territorial group), as well as a past member of Committee on Health and Environment and other FPT committees.
During the state of public health emergency in the NWT during the COVID-19 pandemic, Peter played a significant role in the response in collaboration with the NWT’s Office of the Chief Public Health Officer. In August 2022, Peter became the Director of Population Health for DHSS. He is eager to fulfill the responsibilities that come with this new leadership role.
National President of the Canadian Institute of Public Health Inspectors
Kevin assumed the position of National President of the Canadian Institute of Public Health Inspectors on January 1, 2020. Kevin has been a valuable, dedicated and outspoken member of the NEC since May 2017. In spring 2007, he obtained his BASc in Environmental Health and Science at the First Nations University of Canada/University of Regina and obtained his CPHI(C) in the fall that same year. Since then, he has worked with the Saskatchewan Health Authority as a Public Health Officer, a Primary Care Manager and is currently a Clinical Integration Manager covering rural Saskatchewan.
Kevin became interested in CIPHI after he attended the Annual Education Conference in Regina in 2006 and the provincial conference in 2007, both organized by the Saskatchewan Branch. Inspired by the dedicated volunteers working hard to put on two great events, Kevin got involved, and was a part of the CIPHI Saskatchewan Branch executive from 2011-2019 and served as branch president from 2017 to 2019.
Kevin currently lives in Saskatoon, SK with his wife Amanda and son Aiden. When he’s not working, he coaches both hockey and baseball, plays recreational hockey and golf, travels, and spends time at the family cabin.