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Canadian Public Health Association


Voting opened at 0:01 (ET) on 5 October 2021 and will close at 23:59 (ET) on 10 November 2021.

Every member in good standing as of 30 September 2021 and not in arrears to the Association for any fee or levy, is qualified to vote.

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In response to an open Call for Nominations sent to all members, CPHA received four (4) nominations for two (2) Director positions. Click a name to view the candidate’s profile.

Nashreen Dhalla (British Columbia)

Nashreen Dhalla

Please accept this statement as my intent to apply for the position of Director on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Public Health Association. My name is Nash Dhalla and I was born in Uganda, East Africa. My family arrived in Canada in 1972 and I have been raised with the belief that Canada is a pluralistic, ethical and open society. As a new immigrant I experienced racism and have had experiences of being otherized and socially ostracized. It is with this lens that I started my work in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside as an outreach worker and then moved on to obtain a nursing degree. It has been my life’s work to advocate for and support those who do not have a voice. As a program coordinator at BC Centre for Disease Control, I worked with and for First Nations communities to identify opportunities for engagement and provide space for communities to direct their own care within the context of tuberculosis (TB) care. We created videos and educational resources by and for communities with elders’ voices about the experiences in TB sanatoriums in British Columbia. Our team at the TB Services for Aboriginal Communities created workshops for layworkers, community health nurses and community health workers for directly observed therapy for TB medication management. In 2015, the First Nations Health Authority took over the program and we went full circle as the programming and TB care for First Nation communities is run by a First Nations organization! 

Currently, I am the Clinical Coordinator for the Intensive Housing Outreach Team at the Fraser Health Authority. 

Housing and health are deeply connected. For some people, coming indoors is an important moment to address health needs. Improved connections to health care can help people stay housed. IHOT is that bridge between housing and health care for individuals, housing operators, and health care teams. IHOT assists newly or precariously housed individuals, using a person-centered approach to care, to develop relationships with and connections to health services. Our team promotes health stabilization and improved well-being by assisting people to access and become attached to healthcare and retain their housing.


Monica Emode (Ontario)

Monica Emode

I am humbled to have been nominated to the CPHA Board for a second term in 2022-2023. I currently serve on the CPHA Board as Student Director (2019-2021) and as Chair of the Finance Committee. I have a keen interest in structural and social determinants of health, and I am committed to strengthening public health capacity for health equity action. I have gained experience working in various healthcare settings, where I led a number of research projects, focused on enhancing pathways and understanding barriers to mental healthcare for First Nations, Inuit, and homeless newcomer youth. Most recently, I worked as a Junior Epidemiologist at Health Canada. I am an MSc candidate (Population and Public Health) at the University of British Columbia and hold a BA degree in Psychology. I am passionate about public health research and education, and support CPHA’s commitment to health and social justice. In my research, I utilize epidemiological methods to examine treatment disparities and gaps in access to primary care services for mental health concerns among migrant and non-migrant children living in British Columbia. Integral to this research is the development of clinical and policy recommendations on how to improve the quality of mental health services for migrant youth. This work is aligned with CPHA’s commitment to support the renewal of public health systems and practice in Canada, and advocate for healthy public policy on current and emerging public health issues. I am proud to have been able to work closely with other Board members and contribute to the development of a policy statement to ensure the collection and responsible use of race-based and socio-demographic data during COVID-19. I am committed to anti-oppression and anti-racism and look forward to making recommendations as to how CPHA can incorporate these practices into its work, while advocating for the removal of systemic and structural barriers in our communities. It has been an honour to work toward enhancing engagement and organizational sustainability. As Student Director, I spearheaded the launch of our inaugural CPHA-CJPH Public Health Virtual Journal Club Series, a student-led initiative focused on providing a supportive learning environment for attendees to keep abreast of the current public health literature, learn methodological and analytical approaches, and develop skills/competencies in critical appraisal. Along with my Student Leadership Committee, I developed new strategies to purposefully engage students, early-career professionals, and post-doctoral fellow trainees within the organization. In the early stages of the pandemic, I led the development of several COVID-19 student working groups, focused on combatting COVID-19 misinformation and sharing strategies to cope with pandemic-related stress. I am committed to meaningful engagement of public health professionals from diverse backgrounds. Community engagement is fundamental to identifying equitable solutions to key public health challenges, and is a central component of achieving accountability and health equity. There is still more work ahead to achieve our vision for public health, and I am eager to lend my time and expertise to advance CPHA’s strategic plan as a Director. If ratified by the membership, I pledge to continue to champion the voice of our members and build on the important work that we’ve done.



Caitlin Johnston (British Columbia)

Caitlin Johnston

I am a Manager at Vancouver Coastal Health supporting mental health and substance-using clients to attain and retain housing. Our program recognizes that housing and health are deeply connected. When viewed from this perspective, housing is a clinical intervention which results in positive health and social outcomes. I have a MSc in Population and Public Health. Previously I was a Manager at BC Women's Hospital and Health Centre and focused on providing access to gynecology and sexual and reproductive health services to marginalized populations (BIPOC, newcomer, sexual assault survivors, HIV+, and substance-using women) and was a Senior Research Coordinator at the BC Centre for HIV/AIDS' Urban Health Initiative. I believe CPHA is an important partner in furthering public health in Canada and as such have been a member for a number of years and was a Board Director in 2019-2020. I also volunteer with global public health projects in Kenya and Guatemala. 



Vivian Tsang (British Columbia)

Vivian Tsang

I am a Resident Physician at the University of British Columbia's psychiatry research track with an interest in substance use and harm reduction. I am also currently enrolled in the MPH at the Harvard Chan School of Public Health. In terms of previous governance experience, I previously represented the Faculty of Medicine on the Senate, the university's highest academic governing body and served on the Budget and Research committees. Along with UBC faculty members, I led the evaluation of the organization and management of over 60 university-affiliated research institutions. My involvement with Senate adds to my previous political involvement such as roles on Vancouver City Council's Children, Youth, and Families Advisory Committee, and Co-Chair of the Medical Undergraduate Society's Political Development Committee to advocate for improved mental health resources with the Minister of Health in BC. I have had numerous board experiences and am currently enrolled at the University of Toronto Rotman School of Management to improve my business acumen when I am on finance committees in the future. In my spare time, I also serve as the CEO and founder of a 3000-person national charity, The HOPE Initiative Foundation, which works to improve physical, mental, and sexual health as well as educational opportunities for youth and marginalized communities in Canada. I am standing for election for the CPHA because I would like to use my previous public health experiences to give back through public health governance in Canada. During the height of COVID-19, I co-founded the BC COVID-19 Medical Student Response Team, mobilizing thousands of students in Canada, the US, and Australia. I also helped launch Vancouver Coastal Health's Physician Occupational Safety and Health program to track physician exposures and positive tests for COVID. I have also spent past summers in South Africa and Zimbabwe implementing the WHO HealthWISE toolkit to prevent infectious disease transmission for workers in low-resource settings and worked at the WHO Headquarters in Geneva in the Special Programme for Tropical Diseases Research. I believe that my past experience in public health as well as my experience on finance and audit committees in non-profit and for-profit boards will be an asset to the team. My specific interests for my term include forming networks that can support new and ongoing collaborative research for trainees. I am also interested in building external partnerships with other public health organizations in Canada. During the annual CPHA Public Health conference, I hope to work on inviting more partners and community patient collaborators into the conference. I think my experience with patient partners through my role chairing a National Patient Advisory Group will be helpful context for this work. I am currently enrolled in the Institute of Corporate Directors Course, National Director's Program and hope to bring in some of my expertise to review and revamp governance metrics and feedback mechanisms on the CPHA board. 






Voting for a Student Director is open to ALL CPHA members. Students represent the future of public health and we encourage members to support the candidates who are running for election. Please take a moment to review their statements and cast your vote. 

In response to an open Call for Nominations sent to all members, CPHA received two nominations for one Student Director position. Click a name to view the candidate’s profile.

Jeremy Vladimir Kalicum (British Columbia)

Jeremy Kalicum

My name is Jeremy Kalicum and I am running for the Student Director position on the CPHA Board of Directors. I am situated in my personal and professional life to bring a unique and bold perspective to the CPHA Board. My undergraduate background is in Molecular Biology and Green Chemistry, which I was able to put to use in public health as one of Canada's first community-based Drug Checking Technicians in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. In this position, using FTIR spectroscopy I identified contaminants and life-threatening substances in Vancouver’s illicit drug supply. Currently, I am pursuing a MPH at the University of Victoria, specializing in Public Policy. My public health interest and passions are asset-based community development, patient-oriented research and drug policy. Over the past few years I have had the privilege of working as the Director of Operations for the BC Provincial Peer Network, a project funded by the BC Government at $1M/year to better engage people who use drugs in the provincial overdose response. In this position, I learned the importance and value of meaningfully engaging communities affected by policies and problems. I also learned the value of direct action and civil disobedience in creating tangible and community-led policy change. Along the lines of community-led change, I have co-founded multiple innovative public health/harm reduction initiatives while learning as a student, including an overdose prevention site in Nanaimo, BC, and the Drug User Liberation Front which is committed to providing a safe supply of drugs to people in need. I am standing for the Student Director position because I want the CPHA and its actions to align with the priorities of the communities that stand to be directly affected. I want to ensure that as public health practitioners and experts we are not leaving out the people and populations we strive to serve and protect. It has become more clear over the past years that change is coming from the youth of the world and I want to be part of this movement to fiercely advocate for much-needed change.



Video presentation

Camisha Rahmatian (British Columbia)

Camisha Rahmatian

I am a McGill University psychology graduate, and a current public health student at Ryerson University. My career goal is to work in health promotion, with a focus on enhancing population mental health and wellness. Throughout my post-secondary education, I gained experience working with national non-profit organizations,such as the Canadian Cancer Society, and Families Canada, and supported mental health initiatives at McGill University dedicated to mobilizing knowledge and connecting individuals with relevant resources, through the McGill Arts Undergraduate Mental Health Committee. I credit these early experiences as instrumental to shaping my passion for connecting people with community, with the shared goal of solving health and social problems. I have been an active student member of the Canadian Public Health Association since 2019, where I currently serve as Student Ambassador Lead. In this role, I manage the Student Ambassador Program, a group of students who represent CPHA at their educational institution through presentations and word of mouth. I am passionate about engaging students with diverse backgrounds to get involved with CPHA and make an impact on the broader public health community at large. My involvement with CPHA has also given me the opportunity to participate in the student-led COVID-19 Population Mental Wellness Working Group, where I spent several months researching and developing infographics related to the COVID-19 pandemic. A key focus of this work was to explore the pandemic’s impact on Black and Indigenous peoples and People of Colour. I am committed to social justice and health equity and this is reflected through my work experiences. As a Ryerson public health student, I am looking forward to developing core competencies in public health, and further exploring my interests in the field. As Student Director, I hope to create a vibrant community for fellow trainees, in hopes that they will view CPHA as a place to access resources, make connections, and seek advice on starting their career in public health. I am committed to advancing CPHA’s strategic plan in my role as Student Director; I have a keen interest in building a diverse, engaged membership and renewing public health systems and practice, through outreach, collaboration, and advocacy work. My 3-point plan as Student Director consists of: 1. To enhance the public health skillset in students a. Creating opportunities for trainees to contribute to public health work outside of the classroom (i.e., development of blog posts, infographics and other public health knowledge translation) b. Developing workshops/seminars to aid the development of critical public health skills such as knowledge translation, research and evaluation, and presentation skills 2. To engage public health trainees from diverse backgrounds a. Recruit members from an array of educational backgrounds b. Foster an interdisciplinary approach to studying and working in public health 3. To create a central public health community for students across the country a. Facilitate networking and mentorship opportunities among public health students and professionals b. Create opportunities to share public health resources across the country Thank you for considering my nomination.


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Voting is easy and will only take a few minutes of your time.


All candidates have provided a statement and were encouraged to submit a photo, video, and link to a professional profile to help you make your choices.

While you may not know every candidate, by reading their profiles you will be able to compare the candidates and make an informed decision. You can vote for any of the candidates—whether or not you know them or whether or not they are from your region.

As engaged members of the Association, it is important that you have your say and vote before the close of elections at 23:59 (ET) on 10 November 2021.

What makes an ideal candidate for CPHA’s Board of Directors?

When reviewing the candidates’ profiles, keep in mind that CPHA’s Board of Directors is a policy governance board that requires a balance of pre-identified skills. Governance excellence requires members who can think conceptually and with a long-term perspective, and who are able to welcome a diversity of opinions.

To ensure CPHA is governed with vision and strength, the CPHA Board of Directors should include Directors who are working in a range of roles and public health disciplines and who indicate:

  • Commitment to the vision and mission of CPHA;
  • Ability to commit time and resources to serve on the Board and its committees, participating in the annual conference, and represent CPHA, as requested;
  • Facility as a team player with effective connections to networks and organizations working on public health issues; and
  • Demonstrated leadership (at their respective career stage) in the public health sector.

Board members also require:

  • Governance experience, including some familiarity with financial systems and risk management issues;
  • Interest in local, regional, pan-Canadian and global public health issues; and
  • Knowledge of the distinct needs of diverse populations and communities.

Valuable skills include:

  • High‐level understanding of organizational development and effectiveness; and
  • Advocacy experience on public health issues, with an understanding of policy development and political systems that impact implementation.

For 2022-2023, CPHA is seeking particular expertise in:

  • Advocacy and policy development;
  • Financial systems and risk management;
  • Fundraising and/or corporate spponsorship;
  • Membership engagement;or
  • Public health disciplines such as nutrition, inspection, biostatistics and epidemiology, medicine, public health dentistry, health promotion, nursing, veterinary sciences.