Executive Director Sessions2019-03-25T12:54:35-04:00

Executive Director Sessions

Go to Day One Sessions        Go to Day Two Sessions

April 1st, 2019

ED1: Private Meeting of the Executive Director Network with Deputy Minister of Health and Long-Term Care – Helen Angus

11:00am – 12:00pm


Helen Angus

ED2: Every Experience Matters: Mental Health Data from the Patient Ombudsman

1:00pm – 2:00pm


Ontario’s Patient Ombudsman receives a significant amount of mental health and addictions related complaints from patients, former patients and their caregivers about negative interactions or experiences in our healthcare system. In this presentation, staff from the Patient Ombudsman will highlight key data and trends from our second year of operations. Our learning objective is to shine a light on some of the themes we are seeing, connecting those themes to systems-level issues, and illustrate how they are experienced from those (people living with mental illness and addictions concerns) who share their concerns with Patient Ombudsman.

Our presentation will also include anecdotal highlights from members of our front-line, early resolution specialists, who will discuss their experiences working with complainants living with complex mental health and substance-use issues.

Sharing our data allows the Patient Ombudsman to amplify the voice of patients and caregivers – whose narratives can often get lost along the way.


Craig Thompson, Dominic Thompson, Patti Clayton and Trish Lospinuso
Patient Ombudsman


Craig Thompson, Executive Director, is a healthcare leader with more than 25 years of experience working for public and private organizations in the healthcare, design sciences and communications sectors. Professional highlights include past Co-chair of the Patient Experience Steering Committee at Cancer Care Ontario (CCO), and past Chair and current board member of Progress Place – a community mental health organization.

Patti Clayton, Early Resolution Specialist, applies her years of healthcare experience to facilitate complaint resolutions. Key professional highlights include; pharmacy auditor serving First Nations and Inuit communities for Health Canada; former investigator and current writer/reviewer for the Ontario College of Pharmacists; educator for the International Pharmacy Graduate Program at the University of Toronto as well as the Pharmacy Technician Program in the college sector.

Dominic Thompson, Early Resolution Specialist, holds a Bachelor of Laws degree from Lancaster University, and moved to Ontario in 2018. Dominic has vast experience in the public sector, working as an Aide to a Member of Parliament, representing the Home Secretary at appeal hearings, and 2 years working in investigations with the UK Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman.

Patricia (Trish) Lospinuso is an Early Resolution Specialist with Patient Ombudsman and a 20-year veteran in the field of healthcare consumer complaints management at multiple health organizations.  Trish is trained in clinical ethics, alternative dispute resolution, investigations, and is an experienced public speaker. She has significant experience conducting complaints proceedings for clientele with mental health issues.

April 2nd, 2019

ED3: Change Management: The Successes and Challenges of Expanding Addictions Care Delivery

8:00am – 9:00am


An Expert in change management will use the Simcoe County Branch Mental Health and Addictions integration as a case study.

Executive Directors will learn about the successes and challenges of expanding addictions care delivery in their organizations.


John Toogood
– Turning Point Strategies


John Toogood is a Toronto-based experienced management consultant, primarily serving public and private sector health care organizations in Ontario and globally. His background includes advising a broad range of Canadian and global health care organizations, including hospitals and regional health systems, pharmaceutical and device manufacturers, and public and private payers.

John worked for 13 years with Monitor Group and Boston Consulting Group, and since 2012 as an independent consultant through his firm Turning Point Strategies, focusing on corporate strategy, operational effectiveness, mergers and acquisitions and growth, stakeholder engagement, and public policy for a broad range of health care clients.

John has also served in temporary roles as an executive with two leading academic hospital systems in Ontario, and between 1995 and 2000 served in senior political staff roles in the government of Ontario, including as deputy chief of staff and director of policy for Premier Mike Harris.

ED4: The Use of Guiding Principles to Support Clients through the Intake Process

9:00am – 10:00am


Come and explore the concept of using Guiding Principles to determine service delivery. It is now possible for a client to speak with the same staff person as the client transitions from initiating contact, to screening, to assessment, to program service. The client can now transition from an initial contact to a functional program within one day. We want you to leave our session with an appreciation for listening to clients’ voice when establishing Guiding Principles; understanding how Guiding Principles can frame service delivery and give you an explanation of how we plan and provide our service delivery based on Guiding Principles.


Kathy King and Deb Pultz
CMHA Cochrane Timiskaming


Kathy King, RN, CCHN(C), PhD (c) is a facilitator/consultant of process and documentation, an E-QIP Project Lead and her research focuses on priority populations.

Deb Pultz, Program Manager at CMHA-CT, E-QIP & Cohort 13 MDD Project Team Lead.

ED5: Impairment Policies for the Workplace: Impact of Cannabis Legalization

10:30am – 12:00pm


Given the recent legalization and regulation of cannabis in Canada, many employers are in the process of reviewing their internal policies related to substance use, medication and impairment. The Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario Division, has developed a comprehensive resource that provides information for organizations in the process of developing or updating their impairment policies to ensure that they reflect current laws and outline rights for both employers and employees. In addition, this resource aims to support branches to ensure that impairment policies are non-stigmatizing and reflect the values of the addictions sector. This session will provide information about this resource, as well as perspectives from the Ontario Human Rights Commission, a lawyer specializing in labour law, and perspectives from CMHA.


James LeNoury, LeNoury Law

Jeff Poirier, Senior Policy Analyst, Ontario Human Rights Commission

Steven Weisman, In-house Council, International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 793

Uppala Chandrasekera, Director of Public Policy, Canadian Mental Health Association Ontario


James LeNoury represents a wide range of private and public sector employers and individual employees with respect to employment and labour employment and labour relations legal matters. James was called to the Bar of Ontario in 1992 and has specialized in employment and labour law since that time.

Prior to attending law school James completed a Masters of Counselling Psychology Degree and worked as a crisis counsellor, and child and family therapist at childrens’ mental health centres in Ontario.

In recognition of his accomplishments in the Supreme Court case Wilson v AECL landmark ruling which affects 10,000 federally regulated employers and 500,000 employees, James was awarded the National HR Employment Lawyer of the Year for 2016.

Jeff Poirier is a Senior Policy Analyst at the Ontario Human Rights Commission. His functions include legislative monitoring, preparing public submissions, and policy development, on various issues including gender identity, competing rights, disability accommodation and implications of the new cannabis laws. He has also managed communications and public education, and worked in other areas including international human rights and francophone affairs.

Steven Weisman currently works at the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 793 as in-house counsel. He earned a J.D. in 2016 from the Faculty of Law at Western University and was called to the bar in 2017.  He articled at a prominent union-side labour law boutique and has worked exclusively in union-side labour law for his entire legal career. His work includes frequent attendance at the Ontario Labour Relations Board and at private arbitrations. When he is not busy working as a lawyer, he spends his time boxing, playing hockey and studying Japanese to speak with his three-year old nephew.

Uppala Chandrasekera, M.S.W., RSW, is a social worker with over 15 years of work experience in the health sector, ranging from frontline work assisting individuals and families with mental health and addictions issues, to supporting mental health programming province-wide, and implementing the national strategy to address mental health across Canada.

Currently, Uppala is the Director of Public Policy at the Canadian Mental Health Association Ontario, where she provides leadership for public policy work in six program areas. Uppala currently serves on the Toronto Police Services Board, and from 2012-2018, she also served on the Board of Directors of the Mental Health Commission of Canada.

ED6: Fostering One-on-One Goal Coaching with Quality Improvement

2:30am – 3:30pm


A meaningful goal gives us a purpose in our lives which leads us to focus our time and resources to reach our desired objective. Despite the importance of setting and achieving goals, it was noticed that Mainstay tenant’s engagement in goal coaching with their supportive housing workers (SHW) were very low (<2% a month). With the aim of increasing tenants’ engagement in goal coaching, Mainstay initiated a Quality Improvement (QI) project in early 2018. The project was supported by the Excellence through Quality Improvement (E-QIP) team where there was training, and coaching support provided on the QI model for improvement. (Staying true with the model for improvement i.e. diagnostic journey, change idea generation, measures creation, Plan, Do, Study, Act (PDSA) testing were the primary drivers for the project.) The project also utilized EBD (experienced based co-design) methodology to better understand and solve the problem from the tenants’ perspectives. The project is currently in the implementation phase, however, PDSA testing thus far shows the project is on the right track and is capable of producing some amazing results to address the problem.


Azad Pervez and Volletta Peters
Mainstay Housing


Azad Pervez is the Manager of Quality and Performance Analytics at Mainstay Housing. He has a decade-long experience in quality improvement, performance measurement, decision support, analytics, qualitative and quantitative research, data interpretation and data visualization. Azad designed and implemented several innovative information management systems and tools which contributed greatly in improving organizational efficiency. As a business graduate Azad holds an MBA with an additional degree in information systems management, he is trained in quality improvements and a certified LEAN Green Belt professional.

Volletta Peters is the Director of Tenant and Member Services at Mainstay Housing. Volletta has over 16 years of experience in using innovative methods to assist individuals living with complex mental health and addiction issues to maintain stable housing. Volletta was instrumental in securing new funding, development and implementation of the Addictions Rent Supplement, Veterans Housing and Support, and Homeless to Home programs. Volletta is overseeing the quality improvement initiative for the past three years. She has led several multi-organizational initiatives including the Early-Onset Illness and Mortality Working Group and Aging in Place. Volletta has presented at local, national and international conferences including ONPHA, PSR and the International Foundation for Integrated Care. Volletta holds a BA and BSW from York University and a Masters in Social Work degree from the University of Toronto.