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Board of Directors

Chairperson
Meg Sears (PhD)

Meg Sears (PhD) has advanced environmental health for decades, and as Chair of Prevent Cancer Now she works to “make least-toxic the norm.” She was trained in Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry (University of Toronto) and biochemical engineering (PhD, McGill), and has diverse laboratory experience including energy research. With skills in scientific analysis and writing, she later gained associations with medical researchers. Some highlights include: the “Medical Perspective on Environmental Sensitivities” for the Canadian Human Rights Commission, leading to a policy under the Canadian Human Rights Act; a CIHR and SSHRC funded review of environmental, public health and medical approaches for toxic elements; three guidance documents addressing toxicants, indoor environments, and COVID-19 with the Canadian Committee on Indoor Air Quality; and rich collaborations with Canadian environmental health and policy organizations. When she is not working, you’ll probably find Meg roaming the outdoors, or “playing in the mud,” gardening.

Vice Chair
Michelle Meyer (ND)

Michelle Meyer (ND) has practiced naturopathic medicine in Ottawa since 2000, having graduated from the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine. Her practice embraces her belief in food as medicine, and the vital importance of food quality including the need for organically grown crops as essential for optimal health, and reducing the likelihood of cancers and many other health disorders and illnesses. With post-graduate training in counselling, Michelle’s practice is distinct in its integration of naturopathic medicine with psychotherapy techniques to support patients with acute and chronic physical and/or mental health challenges. Michelle is a well-established public speaker, writer and workshop facilitator. She created the radio program The Well Street Journal, pioneering broader media coverage of natural and holistic health care approaches. Michelle is a long-time community activist, having worked with indigenous communities, community health, environment and co-operative organizations. Her passions include canoe tripping, biking and hiking, storytelling and singing.

Treasurer
Nicole Badesh (CPA)

Nicole Badash (CPA) has almost a decade of experience in accounting, having graduated from the University of Stellenbosch in 2013, obtaining her Chartered Accountant qualification in 2017 in South Africa, and converting her licence to CPA BC in 2021. Originally from Cape Town and now residing in Vancouver, Nicole spends her days working in the charitable and not for profit space, hoping to use her skillset to the benefit of the organizations she serves through her employer. Nicole has a personal interest in the mission and vision of Prevent Cancer Now and is hoping to contribute to the movement to solidify prevention as a key approach within the healthcare sector. In her free time, Nicole can be found walking along the Vancouver sea wall, hiking within one of the parks or forests, or playing board games with her husband.

Secretary
Shannon Thomas Ryan

Shannon Thomas Ryan (he, him) has over two decades of experience as a senior leader in Canada’s non-profit sector. His notable roles include serving as the Director of Community Investment at the Canadian Race Relations Foundation and the executive director of two prominent HIV-focused non-profits in Ontario: the Black Coalition for AIDS Prevention (Black CAP) and the Ontario AIDS Network (OAN). He has also held positions at United Way Greater Toronto (UWGT), the City of Toronto, and Toronto Metropolitan University. He has leveraged his lived experience as a Black Queer Canadian by serving on the boards/advisories of numerous organizations dedicated to addressing HIV/AIDS, 2SLGBTQIA+ health, the health of Black Canadians, and the needs of communities affected by cancer. He has garnered recognition as a funded investigator, focusing on program science and implementation, community-based research, and the adaptation of health-related interventions within Canada’s African, Caribbean, and Black communities. In terms of education, Shannon holds a Bachelor of Social Work Degree from Toronto Metropolitan, specializing in Public Administration, a Certificate in Non-Profit Leadership from the University of Toronto, and a Certificate in Public Policy Analysis from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Members
Jay Branch

Julian (Jay) Branch comes from a background in journalism and strategic communications. His interests in these areas led him to take a close look at the millions of kilometres of old asbestos cement (AC) water pipes around the world, and the issue of ingested asbestos. There has been a gradual, grudging acceptance that drinking asbestos from deteriorated water pipes is likely not the best thing for humans. Asbestos is regulated in water in the United States. It is not regulated in water in Canada, and in several other countries around the globe. That needs to change. Jay strongly believes that persistence pays off, and democracy dies in darkness. When he isn’t busy with the asbestos file, he can be found enjoying the great outdoors, and time with his family.

Amir Ramezanpour (MBA, P.Eng., CISSP, LSSBB)

Amir Ramezanpour (MBA, P.Eng., CISSP, LSSBB) is a visionary executive, experienced in strategy, governance and execution. With a strong focus on leadership, risk management and large-scale enterprise technology solutions, he has successfully delivered global programs for multiple Fortune 500 companies across North America, Europe, and Asia. Amir has made significant contributions to various industries, including public and private corporations in Financial Services and Insurance, Healthcare, and Energy & Utilities. Fostering long-term successes, he emphasizes cultivation of cultural agility, continuous improvement, and building adaptive and innovative organizational cultures. Amir’s higher education includes executive program certification in Strategy and Innovation from Harvard Business School at Harvard University, and an MBA in consulting and strategy from the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto. He earned a Bachelors of Nuclear Engineering with a minor in Management from UOIT (now known as Ontario Tech University). His diverse qualifications include being a member of the Professional Engineers of Ontario (PEO), a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt (LSSBB), a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt (LSSGB), and a Professional Certified Coach (PCC). With his broad skills and proficiency in multiple disciplines, Amir is committed to working with PCN to deliver exceptional results.

Dorothy Goldin Rosenberg (PhD, MES)

Dorothy Goldin Rosenberg (PhD, MES) holds a Masters in Environmental Studies (York University) and a PhD (University of Toronto). An education and film consultant, she researches, writes and speaks on environmental health, equality, social, economic and environmental justice, peace and energy issues. She has worked with the National Film Board, school boards, non-governmental organizations, health professional and policy groups on these issues. She was principal research consultant and associate producer of the documentary video, Exposure: Environmental Links to Breast Cancer and researcher/writer of the accompanying guidebook Taking Action for a Healthy Future. She then researched and produced Toxic Trespass, a documentary on children’s health and the environment as a co-production with the National Film Board of Canada, and co-wrote the accompanying educational resource guide, Taking Action on Children’s Health and the Environment. She also teaches Environmental Health at the University of Toronto. As a grandmother, she stresses the importance of our work for future generations on a healthy, peaceful planet.

Ellen Sweeney (PhD)

Ellen Sweeney (PhD) (she/her) is a health researcher who has been working in spaces of environmental health, cancer and primary prevention for more than 20 years. She completed a PhD in the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University and an MA in Social Anthropology at Dalhousie University. Ellen is the Research Director at the Atlantic Partnership for Tomorrow Project (Atlantic PATH) at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She is an active volunteer and represents Prevent Cancer Now on the Environmental Noxiousness, Racial Inequities and Community Health (ENRICH) Project and the Canadian Coalition for Environmental and Climate Justice (CCECJ). She has also worked with the National Network on Environments and Women’s Health, Canadian Women’s Health Network, Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation, Dalhousie University, and on CIHR team grants on environmental contaminants and reproductive health. 

Richard van der Jagt (MD, FRCP)

Richard van der Jagt (MD, FRCP Internal Medicine and Hematology) was a staff hematologist at the General Hospital in Ottawa for 28 years. He achieved a BSc (Hon) majoring in pharmacology and physiology at the University of Toronto, and worked in neuroscience prior to medical school. At McMaster University, Dr. van der Jagt studied Medicine and Internal Medicine, as well as Clinical Epidemiology. Dr. van der Jagt’s education was completed with a hematology fellowship at University of Toronto and a stem cell transplant fellowship in Seattle. Dr. van der Jagt founded and chaired the Canadian Leukemia Studies Group, efficiently completing the largest Canadian clinical trial to date, and which served as the model for today’s Canadian Clinical Trials Coordinating Centre. Since 2002, his clinical practice and research efforts focused largely on lymphoma and myeloma — diseases that have been linked to environmental toxicants. Richard has had a longstanding interest in links between the environment and health and continues to work in this area. He is working with PCN and many others to develop national infrastructure to enable scientific linkage of environmental exposures to adverse health effects.

Our Honourary Directors

Sharon Batt
Dr. Warren Bell, MD
Mae Burrows
Dr. Graham Chance
Michael Gilbertson, PhD
Ruth Grier
Dr. Trevor Hancock
Henry Lickers
Elizabeth May
Ann Phillips, PhD
Larry Stoffman
Dr. David Swann