As a trusted voice for the children and youth, CICH speaks out on issues to all levels of government, media, parents and caregivers

Governed by a volunteer board of directors and guided by an expert advisory council, the institute plays a key role in working with government and industry to bring attentions to significant children's health care issues and ensuring appropriate policies are developed.

2017 CICH Board of Directors

Lynn McIntyre MD, MHSc, FRCPC, FCAHS
Chair, CICH

Professor Emerita of Community Health Sciences, University of Calgary

Lynn McIntyre worked at the University of Calgary from July 2006 through November 2015 during which she held two sequential CIHR Chairs in Gender and Health and was appointed Associate Scientific Director of the O’Brien Institute for Public Health. From 1992 to 2005, she served as Dean of the Faculty of Health Professions at Dalhousie University, and from 1986 through to 1991, she was Hospital Epidemiologist at the IWK Children’s Hospital, Halifax, Nova Scotia. While in Halifax, Dr. McIntyre worked extensively on behalf of children, particularly those in food insecure households and with Atlantic Canada’s aboriginal peoples. She participated actively in early releases of the Canadian Institute of Child Health’s Profile of Canada’s Children as a member of the expert advisory committees of 1993-1995 and 1998- 2000. In November 2001, she joined the CICH’s Advisory Council and has remained engaged in CICH since then. She has held several voluntary leadership positions including serving as Chair of the Canadian Public Health Association, co-Chair of the Canadian Society for International Health, and founding member of the Board of the Canadian Council on Food and Nutrition. She has published extensively on food insecurity occurring both domestically and globally from a population health and health inequities perspective.

Dr. Melissa Redmond Ph.D., MSW
Advisory Council Chair, CICH

Melissa Redmond is an Assistant Professor at Carleton University’s School of Social Work in Ottawa, Canada. In addition to child protection policy and practice, Dr. Redmond’s research interests include marginalized populations’ social service program access among, children’s human rights and health promotion, poverty reduction strategies, cultural identity and gender concerns. Dr. Redmond’s sole-authored and co-written articles have appeared in Journal of Teaching in Social Work, Race and Social Problems, and Canadian Social Work Review among other publications. Melissa Redmond has worked as a social work practitioner, researcher and advocate in varied academic, community and organizational settings.

Raised in Montreal, Dr. Redmond has worked as a professional social worker and researcher in both French and English. Melissa Redmond holds a B.A. degree in Psychology & Western Civilization and Culture from Concordia University; a B.S.W. from the School of Social Work at McGill University; and Bachelor of Civil Law, Bachelor of Laws and Masters of Social Work degrees from the Faculty of Law and School of Social Work at McGill and a PhD from the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto.

Penny Ross B.A., M.Ed., LLB
Management Committee Chair, CICH

Penny Ross began her career as a grade 4 teacher in Montreal. She later taught high school mathematics, serving as the department head for two of those years. She was actively involved in committee work during her academic career and was on the board of her local union.

A senior lawyer, she practiced in the technology sector in Ottawa. As in-house counsel she provided legal advice on a variety of topics including contract law, human resources, intellectual property, licensing, privacy and regulatory issues. She negotiated contracts and managed litigation. She also trained and managed employees. She most recently served for 15 years as Senior Counsel to EDS Canada which was acquired by Hewlett-Packard (Canada) until her retirement in 2010.

C. Robin Walker MD, ChB, FRCPC, FAAP
Past Chair, CICH

Robin Walker is the Integrated Vice President of Medical Affairs and Medical Education for London Health Sciences Centre and St Joseph’s Health Care London, and Professor of Paediatrics at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, Western University. He previously held the position of Vice-President Medicine at the IWK Health Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia and Professor of Pediatrics at Dalhousie University. His postgraduate work in pediatrics and neonatal-perinatal medicine was at Dalhousie University, Halifax NS and he received his FRCPC (Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada) in pediatrics in 1977, as well as subsequently the designation FAAP (Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics).

With over 25 years’ experience as a neonatologist, Dr. Walker has worked both within the hospital and academic sectors and with non-governmental organizations. His research has included work on artificial intelligence tools in neonatal medicine and evidence-based approaches for the improvement of the practice of neonatal intensive care; he is currently co-leading a national project to develop a comprehensive on-line profile of the health status of Canada’s children and youth. His CV includes over 220 peer reviewed publications and more than 200 invited presentations. Dr. Walker is a past president of the Canadian Paediatric Society and a past Chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Pediatric Education.

Dr. Walker has been an active advocate for the health needs of children and youth for over two decades, receiving several awards for his work including the Commemorative Medal for the Queen’s Golden Jubilee in recognition of work advancing the rights of children & youth. Dr. Walker is past chair of the Canadian Institute of Child Health.

Joanne Roulston Grad Dip Conflict Resolution, MSW, RSW
Secretary, CICH

Joanne Roulston has worked in social services and public health since beginning her career as a child protection social worker in 1988. Joanne worked as federal government executive and leader in research and policy development on poverty and income security, child development, family services, accessibility for people with disabilities, and public health.

Joanne is a recognized expert in these matters and has presented to several Parliamentary Committees on income security, poverty, and children’s programming, and to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development as a national expert on children’s programming, and has provided briefings to senior members of the federal Cabinet and Official Opposition. She has written numerous government and academic reports on poverty, welfare, child development, programs for children and families, pensions, and disability. Joanne was a member of the advisory committee for Canadian Institute of Child Health’s Profile of Canada’s Children in 1992.

Joanne is a trained mediator and an associate member of the Ontario Association of Family Mediators. She is also a registered social worker with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers, and a member of the Ontario Association of Social Workers.

Greg Moore
Treasurer, CICH

Mr. Moore is a Professional and Health Care Specialist with Scotia bank. With over 10 years of banking experience, he brings welcome expertise and judgment from the business world.
In addition to his professional commitments, Mr. Moore is actively involved in his community as a volunteer with the Canadian Liver Foundation and Spinal Cord Injury Ontario.

Janice, Sonnen
Executive Director, CICH

Janice has a 40-year background in organizational development and management and has served at the Canadian Institute of Child Health for 22 years, first as Executive Assistant and as Executive Director since June 2005. As Executive Director, Janice is involved in overseeing all CICH projects. She was previously a member of the founding organizational team for two consulting firms: GPC Government Policy Consultants (now Fleishman-Hillard) and Commonwealth Historic Resource Management Ltd.

She served as a volunteer trainer in board governance in the Volunteer Leadership Development Program (United Way of Ottawa), as Lay Secretary of the Anglican Diocese of Ottawa from 1990 – 1997 as well as a variety of community leadership positions since then, including chair of St. Matthew’s non-profit housing corporation. Her university studies were in Business Administration at the University of Texas.

Dr. Robin Moore-Orr D.Sc., R.D.
Director, CICH

Until her retirement in 1999, Dr. Moore-Orr was an Associate Professor in the Division of Community Health, Faculty of Medicine and the Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Science, Memorial University of Newfoundland. She has authored/co-authored more than 50 articles in referred Journals and professional publications in the area child and family health.

She has served on a number of National Boards and Committees, including The Canadian Public health Association, Breast Feeding Committee for Canada and the Osteoporosis Society of Canada. She has also worked on numerous Provincial and Federal Committees, including the Board of Governors of Cabot College, Provincial Advisory Committee on Midwifery, Nutrition Advisory Committee (Atlantic Provinces), Expert Working Group on Breastfeeding (Health Canada).

Dr. Moore-Orr’s Professional memberships include The American Dietetic Association, Dietitians of Canada, Nutrition Society of Australia, The Canadian Public Health Association (Chair of Family Health Division 1988-92). She was awarded an Honorary Life Membership in the Canadian Public Health Association in 1993.

Mrs. Eleonore Benesch
Director, CICH

Eleonore Benesch has over 40 years of involvement in Early Childhood Education. She served as Executive Director of the Children’s Centre and Greenboro Day Care Centre since their founding in 1979 and 1989 respectively until her retirement in 2004. Under her leadership, the design, construction and management of two purpose-built Early Learning and Care environments were accomplished with the support of government grants, investments and community support. She was instrumental in initiating the Prime Minister’s Awards for Excellence in Early Childhood Education in 2004.

Mrs. Benesch continues to be an active advocate for children’s healthy growth and development and high quality Early Childhood Education.

Hope Beanlands BN, MN, MPA
Director, CICH

Hope Beanlands is a retired senior health consultant and public health practitioner. A registered nurse for over 30 years, she has worked in local and regional health care institutions and organizations, in provincial and federal government policy initiatives, and held academic teaching and research positions. She has managed or contributed to major policy changes in public health programming across the range of public health functions and worked on health system reform projects funded by UNDP, CIDA, Health Canada and PAHO in China, Russia, Cuba, Grenada and Canada.

While working for Health Canada as the National Coordinator of First Nation and Inuit Health Information Systems, she managed a national data base and gained in-depth knowledge of the disparity in health status between aboriginal and non-aboriginal Canadians and experienced first hand, the challenges of providing equitable health services for marginalized populations. Prior to her retirement she was the Scientific Director of the National Collaborating Centre for Determinants of Health, St. Francis Xavier University, with a mandate for knowledge translation. She was responsible for initiatives to provide the latest research evidence on the determinants of health, including early childhood development, in formats designed for public health practitioners working in the field.

Carolyn Harrison
Director, CICH

Carolyn Harrison has over 30 years’ experience working for Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada in the field of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention. Most of that time has been devoted to infant, child and family health, where Ms. Harrison was a key contributor to the development of national programs including the Postpartum Parenting Support Program, Nobody’s Perfect Parenting Program, Community Action Program for Children, and Aboriginal Head Start. She was also a major player in the development and implementation of national policy statements including Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders.

Ms. Harrison is a true collaborator and has worked extensively with a number of NGOs including the Canadian Institute of Child Health, the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, The Canadian Paediatric Society, The Canadian Public Health Association, The Assembly of First Nations, the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami to ensure that the needs of children, youth, families and communities are met with respect to child and family health. She holds a degree in Psychology and Sociology from the University of Toronto.

Wally Speckert MBA
Director, CICH

Wally Speckert has an honours BA in biochemistry from Queen’s University (1983), and a Masters in Business Administration (1987) from Queen’s. He began his career at the Bank of Canada in 1987, and worked in a number of different areas related to funds management and the Bank’s financial markets activities which provided him with a broad range of senior level experiences over 25 years including heading foreign exchange and gold trading, managing the domestic trading room, and foreign reserves portfolio management on behalf of the Government of Canada. Most recently, he was Assistant Director in the Funds Management and Banking Department, where he was responsible for managing the Bank’s role in the Canada Savings Bonds Program.

Wally has been a life-long volunteer for Cystic Fibrosis Canada, as a member of the Board of Directors for ten years, Adult CF committee member, stakeholder for the Medical and Scientific Advisory Committee, Ottawa Chapter treasurer, and a continuous fund raiser through his local CF Chapter. He is currently serving a three year term as a member of the CF Canada Research Advisory Council.

2017 CICH Advisory Council

Dr. Melissa Redmond Ph.D., MSW
Advisory Council Chair, CICH

Assistant Professor, School of Social Work, Carleton University
(Child protection, Social service program access, Poverty reduction, Gender)

Dr. Denise Avard
Council, CICH

Former Research Director, Faculty of Medicine Dept. of Human Genetics, McGill University
(Epidemiology: BioGenetics/Ethics)

Dr. Gina Browne
Council, CICH

Director, Health and Social Service Utilization Research Unit, McMaster University (Nursing)

Mr. Ron Ensom M.S.W., RSW
Council, CICH

Ensom & Associates (Children’s Rights)

Dr. Hazen Gandy MD, FRCPC
Council, CICH

Head, Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa

Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario

Ms. Barbara McElgunn RN
Council, CICH

Health Policy Advisor, Learning Disabilities Association of Canada
(Environment, behavioural toxicology)

Dr. J. David Miller
Council, CICH

College of Natural Sciences, Department of Chemistry, Carleton University
(Environment: Toxicology, Indoor Air Quality)

Dr. Peter Rosenbaum
Council, CICH

Professor of Paediatrics, McMaster University (Disability)

Madam Justice Anne-Marie Trahan
Council, CICH

Quebec (Justice, Rights of the Child)

Miriam Levitt Ph.D.
Council, CICH

(Social Policy, strategic Planning, Children’s Environmental Health)

Dr. Johanne Morel
Council, CICH

Northern and Native Child Health Program, Montreal Children’s Hospital, McGill University (Aboriginal Child Health)

Dr. Sandra Woods
Council, CICH

Paediatrician, Centre Hospitalier de Val-d’Or (Paediatrics)