Overview | Program | Speakers | Venue and Accommodations | Registration | Exhibitors

Pre-Conference Presenters

Janet Fox
Life Skills Coach and Trainer

Janet Fox is a life skills coach and trainer and a mother of 4 and a proud grandmother of 8. Janet shares her journey about the lack of parenting skills in her family system which stems from colonization and lack of identity as she attended residential school. She understands the effects from the years and speaks about the lack of bonding and attachment. Janet has been on a mission to end generational cycles in her family and has pursued the knowledge of how our Ancestors raised their children, which today is called by the western world 'the most profound child psychology'. She has taken training with the Native American Fatherhood Association, National Indian Child Welfare Association and the Native Wellness Institute.

Louise Legault, Ph.D., E.A. / C.E.
Chercheure associée, Société de recherche sociale appliquée / Research Fellow, Social Research and Demonstration Corporation

Depuis 25 ans, Dre Legault a géré ou collaboré à plusieurs études et évaluations dans les domaines de l’éducation (du préscolaire au postsecondaire), du développement des enfants/jeunes et des minorités linguistiques francophones. Elle est une évaluatrice accréditée par la Société canadienne d’évaluation.

Keynote Speakers

Dr. Cindy-Lee Dennis
Professor, Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing and the Faculty of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto; Canada Research Chair, Perinatal Community Health; Women’s Health Research Chair, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, St. Michael’s Hospital

Dr. Cindy-Lee Dennis is a Professor in the Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing and the Faculty of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto. She holds a Canada Research Chair in Perinatal Community Health and was recently appointed the Women’s Health Research Chair at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute at St. Michael’s Hospital. She is currently the principal investigator of six large, multi-site studies and is a co-investigator on twenty-four other research projects concerning maternal, paternal, and infant health outcomes with a focus on breastfeeding, perinatal mental health, and preconception health.

Dr. Helen Scott, PhD
Executive Director, the Canadian Partnership for Women and Children’s Health (CanWaCH).

Dr. Helen Scott is Executive Director of the Canadian Partnership for Women and Children’s Health (CanWaCH). Under her leadership, CanWaCH has catalyzed collaboration among 100+ members working to improve women and children’s health worldwide. Previously, Helen managed and collaborated on health policy and health care delivery projects, including: WHO projects on childhood injury prevention across 49 countries; a national program for food fortification with folic acid; and, community-wide preterm birth prevention programs. Helen has a doctorate in epidemiology and she holds an assistant professor appointment in the Epidemiology Department, Dalla Lana School of Public Health at University of Toronto.

Barry Zuckerman, M.D., F.A.A.P.
Professor of Pediatrics, Boston University School of Medicine/Boston Medical Center

Dr. Zuckerman and colleagues have transformed pediatric care for low income children through Reach Out and Read, Medical-Legal Partnership for Children, Health Leads and Healthy Steps. He has published over 250  scientific articles and co-edited 8 books including Behavioral and Developmental Pediatrics: Handbook for Primary Care. Dr. Zuckerman was awarded the Joseph St Geme Pediatric Leadership Award, AAP  Child Development Award, APA Policy Award, Sesame Street Sunny Days Award among others.

Concurrent Session Speakers

Heather Fredin, B.A., D.A.T., B.Ed., M.Ed.
Registered Psychotherapist, Workshop Facilitator/Trainer/Student Placement Coordinator/Counsellor for the London Family Court Clinic

Heather holds a M.Ed in Counselling Psychology. She is a registered psychotherapist with the London Family Court Clinic. Heather’s approach to counselling is intimately linked with social justice, feminism and a vision for a healthier community. Many of her clients have been challenged by adverse childhood experiences, poverty, mental health issues, addictions, childhood sexual abuse, neglect, and isolation. Building trust with clients is an ever present challenge. She encourages other service providers to practice from a trauma-informed perspective. She continues to believe that all behaviour has meaning and that we must continue to employ compassion and a non-judgmental approach when working with vulnerable individuals and groups.

Ruth Gayle
Program Supervisor, Community and Prevention Services, Macaulay Child Development Centre
Maria Velasquez
Program Supervisor, Special Needs and Early Literacy Specialists, Macaulay Child Development Centre
Sherri Ernst
Program Director, Macaulay Child Development Centre

Ruth, Maria and Sherri are part of the management team at Macaulay Child Development Centre, a not for profit agency that offers a full continuum of programs and services that nurture healthy child development and build strong families and communities. In 2016, Macaulay served over 7,000 children, 11,000 parents and caregivers and 1,500 professionals.  Their programs and services include Licensed Child Care, After School Programs, Early Years Programs, Healthy Babies Healthy Children Home Visiting, Early Abilities Preschool Speech and Language Services,  Specialized Parenting Supports, Early Literacy Specialists and Every Child Belongs Consultation Services.

Andrew Howlett, MD FRCPC
Assistant Professor & Psychiatrist, SJHC & SHS, University of Toronto and fathersmentalhealth.com

Dr. Andrew Howlett is a father, psychiatrist, researcher and co-founder of the Fathers' Mental Health Network. He is an Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto and his innovative clinical program for expectant and new fathers has expanded to include St. Joseph's Health Centre, Mount Sinai and Women's College Hospitals. He is interested in health policy, early intervention and short-term therapeutic interventions that ensure healthy fathers lead to healthy families.

Angela Mashford-Pringle, PhD
Senior Research Associate, Waakebiness-Bryce Institute for Indigenous Health, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto

Dr. Angela Mashford-Pringle is an urban Algonquin woman from Timiskaming First Nation in northern Quebec whose research is at the intersection of Indigenous health and education. She completed her PhD at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto. Angela was a post-doctoral fellow at St. Michael’s Hospital, worked for many years at Health Canada and Public Health Agency of Canada managing social programs like Aboriginal Head Start Urban and Northern Communities. Angela is the Senior Research Associate at the Waakebiness-Bryce Institute for Indigenous Health at the University of Toronto.

Alice Ordean, MD, CCFP, MHSc, FCFP, DABAM
Medical Director, Toronto Centre for Substance Use in Pregnancy (T-CUP), St. Joseph’s Health Centre; Associate Professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Toronto

Dr. Alice Ordean is the Medical Director of the Toronto Centre for Substance Use in Pregnancy (T-CUP) at St. Joseph’s Health Centre and Associate Professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Toronto. She has been a principal investigator in numerous research projects including the development of a comprehensive reference guide for health care providers and national data collection relating to methadone maintenance during pregnancy. She has also contributed to international, national and provincial guidelines on the management of problematic substance use in pregnancy, perinatal opioid dependence and smoking cessation during pregnancy.

Deanna Stirling, PHN
Public Health Nurse & Prenatal Educator, Middlesex-London Health Unit

Deanna Stirling is a Public Health Nurse and Prenatal Educator who is an advocate for human rights in childbirth. She believes that equitable prenatal access to credible information, as well as support for informed decision-making plays an important role in reducing unnecessary intervention during labour and birth, thereby optimizing the long-term health of mothers and babies. Deanna is co-founder (2010) and past chair of the Ontario Public Health Association (OPHA) Reproductive Health Workgroup. Her work with OPHA continues as Lead of the Labour & Birth Taskgroup and co-author of the Informed Decision-Making for Labour & Birth position paper. After an initial 10-year acute care career in maternal-child, and labour and birth nursing, Deanna accepted a public health nurse position with the Middlesex-London Health Unit, where, for the last 17 years, she has supported new mothers through the transition from pregnancy to motherhood in various roles; including a 10-year term as coordinator of the Prenatal Education Program. She continues to share her knowledge and passion for prenatal education by providing knowledge translation support for the prenatal program curriculum and prenatal educators, and through development of prenatal online web resources for the public.

Anne van Kleeck, PhD
Professor & Callier Research Scholar, Callier Center for Communication Disorders, School of Behavioral & Brain Sciences, University of Texas at Dallas

For decades, Prof. Anne van Kleeck’s scholarship has made groundbreaking contributions to our understanding of preschoolers’ specific oral language skills that provide critical foundations for their later reading comprehension and more general academic success. In a pioneering and national award-winning paper published in 2014, she discussed the necessity of considering “academic talk” beginning in the preschool years, and created a conceptual framework for the sub-skills involved. This paper won a national award and the framework became the basis for a preschool language and literacy classroom intervention she has developed called Talking About Books Builds Big Brains Intervention or TAB4I.

Linda Young, MScN, EdD
Director, Maternal Newborn Child Mental Health, Interprofessional Practice and Organizational Learning

Linda Young developed her knowledge and expertise with breastfeeding as a clinical nurse specialist at Women’s College where she focused on enhancing breastfeeding and family-centered care.  Linda has worked in Director roles across the GTA for over 20 years and has been the Director of Maternal Newborn Child, Mental Health, Interprofessional Practice and Organizational Learning at Michael Garron Hospital for the past six years, during which MGH became re-designated as a Baby Friendly Hospital.