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Board of Directors

Providing Strategic Direction
Vibhas Bapat

Vibhas Bapat

Chair

Vibhas is the current Chair of the Board. Vibhas is a technology marketing consultant with over 25 years experience in sales and marketing, marketing communications, writing, and consulting. Working with a variety of businesses from large publicly traded multi-national companies to local startups, Vibhas continues to work and consult with some of Canada’s most interesting and exciting organizations, including Asthma Canada. After moving to Toronto after completing university in Atlantic Canada, his asthma returned in adulthood and, along with his two children with asthma, he is acutely aware of how challenging it can be to live with this disease. He is proud to volunteer with Asthma Canada to further their efforts in research, advocacy, education and support.

 

Kristi MacKenzie

Kristi MacKenzie

Vice-Chair

Kristi MacKenzie is the Executive Director of the Canadian Association of Provincial Cancer Agencies where she works with national health leaders to collaboratively address issues that affect the delivery of cancer care in Canada. She has her Honours Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Toronto, and Masters of Health Administration from the University of British Columbia. She is also a Certified Health Executive with the Canadian College of Health Leaders. Throughout her career, Kristi has been recognized for her abilities to engage with partners and oversee the implementation of health systems strategies to improve the quality and performance of healthcare delivery. She is a health promotion advocate with a passion to enhance community health and equitable access to care.

 

Dr. Susan Waserman, MSc, MD, FRCPC

Dr. Susan Waserman, MSc, MD, FRCPC

Chair, Medical and Scientific Commitee

Dr. Waserman obtained her MSc and medical degree from McGill University in Montreal. She specialized in Internal Medicine, followed by subspecialty training in Allergy/Clinical Immunology. She then completed a fellowship in Pulmonary Immunology at the Meakins Christie Laboratories at McGill University. She is currently a Professor of Medicine in the Division of Allergy/Clinical Immunology at McMaster University in Hamilton. She is the Director of the Adverse Reactions Clinic at the Firestone Institute of Respiratory Health, St Joseph’s Hospital in Hamilton, Ontario. She is the past President of the Ontario and Canadian Societies of Allergy and Clinical Immunology where activities included CME for physicians, allied health professionals and the community, as well as practice guidelines in areas such as anaphylaxis, rhinitis and immunotherapy.
Karen Slezak

Karen Slezak

Treasurer, Chair of Finance Committee

Karen’s vast knowledge allows her to work with clients on most topics pertaining to their finances, including tax minimization, real estate, tax planning, charitable-gift planning, corporate and partnership restructurings, effective use of family trusts and planning relating to estates, succession and insurance. Both of Karen’s children struggled with asthma and she volunteers with Asthma Canada because she supports its initiatives to help families understand and control this disease.

 

Firdos Somji

Firdos Somji

Secretary & Chair of Governance and Nominating Committee

Firdos is an accomplished global financial services executive & change champion with expertise in driving value through M&A integrations, business transformations, customer experience management, organizational design and efficiency. He previously served as SVP International Banking at Scotiabank, from which he retired following a distinguished career of over 40 years. Firdos is a Fellow of the Institute of Canadian Bankers, holds an MBA & ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors. Firdos was diagnosed with asthma in his teens and has been able to control it through an effective management program. He would like to see a future without asthma! 

 

Dag Enhorning

Dag Enhorning

Director

Dag Enhorning is the President of Siltech Corporation, a manufacturer of specialty silicones. Prior to joining Siltech, Dag worked as a CPA in the Calgary office of Ernst & Young, specializing in American and Canadian personal tax. Dag lives in Toronto with his wife and two children and enjoys golf, biking and family vacations. Dag’s interest in Asthma Canada stems from his father’s extensive research to help premature babies afflicted with Respiratory Distress Syndrome survive, and his subsequent research to find a cure for asthma.

 

Heidi Forman

Heidi Forman

Director

Heidi is a seasoned marketing leader with over 30 years of North American and Global healthcare advertising and communications experience. The original inspiration for Heidi’s focus within the healthcare sector is her clinical background as a Respiratory Therapist. Heidi has worked with major pharmaceutical clients over the years where she helped support the launch of several asthma therapies. This included the development of promotional and educational materials targeting both healthcare providers and patients, respectively, to help optimize the product’s therapeutic benefit and ease of use. Heidi is genuinely passionate about creating compelling strategies and communications that can effectively help anyone with asthma better control their symptoms and live life to the fullest. 

David Goluboff

David Goluboff

Director

David Goluboff is General Counsel at Telehouse Canada Inc., a data centre provider based in Toronto. David has spent the last 14 years as an in-house lawyer in the technology and telecommunications sectors. Prior to studying law, David completed his MBA and worked in the health and beauty industry. He lives in Toronto with his wife and two sons. David has been coping with asthma for 40 years and one of his sons also has asthma. David looks forward to supporting Asthma Canada in its mandate to fund Canadian research, advocacy, and education. 

Denise Mak, PhD

Denise Mak, PhD

Director

Dr. Denise Mak is the Director, Data Science & Innovation for GEMINI, Canada’s largest hospital data sharing network for research and analytics, based at St. Michael’s Hospital (a site of Unity Health Toronto). She has a background in Computer Science including a PhD in Bioinformatics. As a data-driven decision-maker, she has extensive experience leading and establishing major digital transformation projects. She was previously the Director, Data & Analytics for the Registry program at Cystic Fibrosis Canada. Denise has a sister living with asthma and is proud to volunteer with Asthma Canada. 

Thish Rajapakshe

Thish Rajapakshe

Director

Thish joins Asthma Canada through the FORA: Rise on Boards program, paring young leaders with non-profit boards. She is deeply passionate about the intersections of ethics, policy, healthcare, and patient partnership. She obtained an undergraduate degree at the University of British Columbia in Philosophy and Medical & Molecular Biochemistry and is pursuing BCIT’s Health Leadership advanced certificate. A multi-disciplinary approach has influenced her outlook on problem-solving and collaboration. She hopes to contribute to improving equitable access to care and advocating for community health. Supporting family members living with asthma, she feels strongly about the immense value of effective knowledge translation and accessible evidence-based educational resources. She is excited to work towards meaningful strategies to address the health needs and challenges of those who live with or are affected by asthma. 

Todd Warnell

Todd Warnell

Director

Todd is an energetic, curious, and inspiring risk, security, technology, and business transformation leader, currently leading Bruce Power’s Cyber & Information Security Division. He creates a collaborative environment that encourages team members to share ideas and act on decisions. Todd enables digital transformation and harnesses the power of data while ensuring effective and robust cyber and information security programs. With a background in senior leadership roles across various industries, he has a proven track record of innovating processes, fostering a data-centric culture, and delivering complex enterprise transformation programs. Todd understands the impact and challenges that asthma presents to millions of Canadians, as he has experienced it himself since early childhood, and he hopes for a future without asthma. 

John Healy

John Healy

Chair Emeritus

John is past Chair of the Board, a position he held from 2016-2020. John is also an integral part of “Team Asthma”. He is a senior lawyer in Toronto, and has, with the exception of when he lived in New York teaching law, been a resident of Toronto. He has a Bachelors Degree (Honours) as well as his J.D./LL.B from the University of Western Ontario, and is completing a Masters of Law at the University of London (England). John is very passionate about his role on the Board because like millions of other Canadians, he also has asthma—which was diagnosed later in life.

 

Medical and Scientific Advisory Committee

Meet Our Certified Respiratory Educators