Our team

Wendy Katherine
Executive Director

Hiltrud Dawson
Team Lead


Katerina Firlova
Manager Strategic Partnerships and Operations


Sam Hyder
Information Management Lead


Marine Delage de Luget
Bilingual Executive Assistant


Pascal Gagné
Bilingual Health Promotion Consultant

Malou Gabert
Bilingual Senior Administrative Assistant

Léa Plazanet
Bilingual Administrative Assistant

Haleema Siddiqi
Administrative Assistant





Staff bios

Hiltrud Dawson - Health Promotion Consultant, Best Start 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.

Wendy Katherine - Executive Director

Wendy Katherine brings her experience as a clinical care provider in hospitals and community settings, and a broad background in government program accountability, implementation and strategic planning to her role as Interim Executive Director at Health Nexus.  Wendy has spent her career leading collaborations that catalyze unlikely organizations into partnership to improve outcomes and optimize value.  Among Ontario’s first registered midwives, Wendy was a pioneer in delivering community and hospital-based reproductive health care before joining the senior management team at the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to develop population health improvement programs and strategies including the Better Outcomes Registry and Network (BORN), Integrated Cancer Screening, among many others.  A graduate of the Rotman School of Management MBA Program, volunteer Executive Director of the South Central Maternal Newborn Regional Network, Provincial Council for Maternal and Child Health committee member, published author and speaker, Wendy is passionate about evidence-based health care policy and value in publicly funded health systems.  When not at the office, Wendy can be found at French class or at a local rink improving her wrist shot.