Our team

Barb Willet
Executive Director
416-408-2249 /
1-800-397-9567 Ext. 2240

Wendy McAllister
Manager
416-408-2249 /
1-800-397-9567 Ext. 2279

Sonya Boersma
Health Promotion Consultant,
BFI Implementation for Ontario
416-408-2249 /
1-800-397-9567 Ext. 2251

Meghan Boston-McCracken
Bilingual Information Specialist
416-408-2249 /
1-800-397-9567 Ext. 2345

Magali Bouhours
Bilingual Resource Distribution Coordinator
416-408-2249 / 1-800-397-9567 Ext. 2260

Marie Brisson
Bilingual Health Promotion Consultant
416-408-2249 / 1-800-397-9567 Ext. 2255

Louise Choquette
Bilingual Health Promotion Consultant
416-408-2249 / 1-800-397-9567 Ext. 2276

Hiltrud Dawson
Health Promotion Consultant, Breastfeeding Project Lead
416-408-2249 /
1-800-397-9567 Ext. 2250

Yolande Lawson
Health Promotion Consultant, BFI Implementation for Ontario
416-408-2249 /
1-800-397-9567 Ext. 2256

Click here for a complete list of Health Nexus staff.

Staff bios

Barb Willet - Executive Director

Barb draws upon her extensive leadership experience to lead Health Nexus where she manages a staff of 20 people located in Toronto and across the province. During her more than 20 years with the organization, she has contributed to many successful inter-agency collaborative initiatives and strategic partnerships, and has led the effective planning and delivery of a range of programs and services. Barb has a Master’s degree in Health Sciences with a specialty in Health Promotion.

Wendy McAllister - Manager

Wendy manages the diverse, bilingual services of the Best Start Resource Centre. She has worked extensively on teen pregnancy, advanced maternal age, reproductive health risks in the workplace, health before pregnancy and the effects of tobacco smoke and alcohol during pregnancy. Wendy has presented at many conferences on preconception, prenatal health and healthy childhood development topics in Canada and the United States.

Sonya Boersma - Health Promotion Consultant, BFI Implementation for Ontario

Sonya has extensive experience as a lactation consultant in numerous settings, particularly breastfeeding clinics and independently. As a registered nurse she has worked in public health for 12 years and has taught nursing students clinical in postpartum. She recently completed her Master’s of Science in Nursing and has presented at multiple conferences. Sonya drafted the BFI Implementation Toolkit and was one of the researchers for the BFI Evidence Informed Key Messages and Resources Manual. She is passionate to support best practice in working with families, front line staff and service providers.

Meghan Boston-McCracken - Bilingual Information Specialist

Meghan oversees the Best Start Resource Centre’s five online networks and writes the Maternal Newborn and Child Health Promotion bulletin. She conducts research and organizes the Best Start Annual Conference. Meghan has a Master’s degree in Social Work and has worked in many areas of health promotion, including family support, child welfare and child development.

Magali Bouhours - Bilingual Resource Distribution Coordinator

Magali joined the Best Start Resource Centre in 2011 where she coordinates the processing and distribution of Best Start resources. Originally from Chartres, France, she has lived in Toronto since 2005. Magali has a strong background in science and worked in scientific and clinical research for many years.

Marie Brisson - Bilingual Health Promotion Consultant

Marie has extensive experience in training development and delivery, and facilitation to respond to the needs of individuals, families or communities. She worked in numerous public health programs as well as in the private sector. Marie has a degree in Nursing and diplomas in adult education and workplace health and safety.

Louise Choquette - Bilingual Health Promotion Consultant

Louise has guided a range of Best Start outreach and social marketing initiatives including newcomer reproductive and child health, physical activity, prenatal education and tobacco control. She has also led projects to engage francophones across Ontario.

Hiltrud Dawson - Health Promotion Consultant, Breastfeeding Project Lead

Hiltrud has extensive experience in the maternal newborn field as a nurse, midwife, and lactation consultant. Before joining the Best Start team, she led a multidisciplinary team at Hamilton’s St. Joseph’s Healthcare that implemented the Baby-Friendly Initiative and became Ontario's first Baby-Friendly Hospital. Hiltrud has led many of Best Start’s healthy child development initiatives, including the On Track Guide.

Yolande Lawson - Health Promotion Consultant, BFI Implementation for Ontario

Yolande, who is a Métis woman, is a Registered Nurse and Lactation Consultant has worked many years in maternal-child health and public health in the north. Yolande is committed to providing support and resources to women, children and families as well as to service providers. Yolande has an Honours Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology, an Honours Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing and a Master’s of Public Health Degree (Nursing Specialization).