Team Members

Jackie Bender, BSc, MSc, PhD
PhD Student

Jackie Bender is a social and behavioural scientist at the Centre for Global eHealth Innovation at the University of Toronto.  Her research is focused on issues related to health informatics, knowledge translation, and patient-health professional communication in the management of chronic illness. She is involved in several studies examining the use and impact of social media and collaborative technologies among cancer patients and health professionals. She specializes in quantitative and qualitative methodologies, knowledge synthesis and usability testing, and has worked in various health care settings including acute care hospitals, research institutes and community support agencies. For her PhD in Public Health at the University of Toronto, Jackie examined the role of online communities as a source of supportive care for breast cancer survivors, supported by CIHR doctoral fellowships in Health Care, Technology and Place, and Cell Signaling in Mucosal Inflammation and Pain. Her MSc, also from the University of Toronto examined the information needs of breast cancer patients in pain and led to the development of an Internet-based patient education and coaching tool. Jackie obtained a BSc in Physiology and Neuroscience from McGill University.

Andrea Cortinois MPH, PhD
Lead, Multiculturalism & Health

Andrea completed a PhD in the Department of Health Policy, Management, and Evaluation at the University of Toronto. His doctoral dissertation explored the role of information and communication technologies in support of recent immigrants from non-dominant ethno-linguistic backgrounds. Over the past several years, Andrea has been involved in research projects focusing on the application of new information and communication technologies to reach underserved population groups. In 2002, he received a three-year Doctoral Research Award from the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR) to analyze the role of new technologies in improving equity in health. Between 2003 and 2005, he has been a Doctoral Fellow in the CIHR Strategic Training Program in Health Care, Technology, and Place, at the University of Toronto. In addition, he works as a consultant in international health, is former Chair of the Canadian Society for International Health and Board Member of the Canadian Coalition for Global Health Research.

Alex Jadad, MD DPhil FRCPC FCAHS
PHI Group Convener
Chief Innovator and Founder, Centre for Global eHealth Innovation
Canada Research Chair in eHealth Innovation
Rose Family Chair in Supportive Care
Professor, Departments of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation; and Anesthesia; and Dalla Lana School of Public Health
University Health Network and University of Toronto

Dr. Jadad’s mission is to help improve health and wellness for all, thorough information and communication technologies (ICTs).

His research and innovation work focuses on virtual tools to support the encounter between the public and the health system (with emphasis on self-management of chronic conditions); interactive tools to promote knowledge translation and mentorship of health professionals and the public; and online resources to support social networks, to respond to major public health threats (e.g., chronic conditions, pandemics), to support international collaboration, and to enable the public (particularly young people) to shape the health system and society.

Carolina Jimenez MD
MSc Student

Carolina is a student in the Health Policy, Management and Evaluation Department at the University of Toronto. She is pursuing a master’s degree in Health Services Research under the supervision of Dr. Alex Jadad. For her thesis, Carolina is conducting a systematic review of National ICT and eHealth policies in Latin America and the Caribbean and is doing content analysis of the existing eHealth policies. She is also supporting the development of the project eSAC, which will promote and aid the design, implementation and evaluation of highly innovative, highly effective, and low-cost Public eHealth solutions in the Latin American and Caribbean region.

Svjetlana Kovacevic
Administrative Coordinator

Svjetlana is the Assistant to Dr. Alex Jadad and the Administrative Coordinator for the People Health equity and Innovation (PHI) group. Svjetlana has been with the Centre for Global eHealth Innovation since 2007 and has contributed to a number of research projects, including Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s Youth/Community Health System Support Network Project; Engaging Survivors to Improve Patient Experiences Throughout the Cancer Journey, and Public eHealth Innovation and Equity in Latin America and Caribbean (eSac) project.

Svjetlana has a bachelor degree in science from University of Natural Sciences (PMF), Banja Luka, BiH and a certificate in Financial Accounting from University of Toronto.

Charlotte Lombardo, MHSc

Charlotte has been involved in community-based research for over ten years, with a focus on youth engagement through the use of creative and arts-based approaches. She is a founding member of the team that created the Youth Voices process for expression and action, which she has implemented with diverse youth groups in Toronto, rural Ontario, and internationally in Israel, Palestine, Serbia, Romania and Bosnia Herzegovina. Charlotte has authored numerous peer reviewed journal articles and community guide books, and has also served as a consultant for the UNESCO associated schools project, the Arts Network for Children and Youth, the Ontario Ministry of Health Promotion and the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Cameron Norman, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Toronto

Cameron Norman is an Assistant Professor in the School of Public Health at the University of Toronto and is the Director of Evaluation with the Peter A. Silverman Global eHealth Program. Cameron is investigating how information technologies aid learning and collaboration across time, physical space, and culture to improve health and wellbeing for everyone. Much of this research is done as the principal investigator of Youth Voices Research (, an initiative exploring the use of media arts and technology to support youth. The Youth Voices team supports new media initiatives, technology and tools aimed at building new knowledge about youth engagement, professional development and education and studying the networks and communities where this knowledge is translated into public health value.

Laura O’Grady, PhD
Assistant professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine
Dalla Lana School of Public Health
Health Policy, Management and Evaluation
Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto
Scientific Associate for the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research

Laura’s research focuses on three main areas: knowledge translation, cancer health services research and networks to support these activities. Some of these efforts include the use of collaborative learning theories and Web 2.0 applications such as wikis and other social networking tools. Other areas of expertise involve means of depicting credibility in web-based health content. She specializes in a variety of techniques designed to improve quality and performance of knowledge translation networks including both quantitative and qualitative measures as well as usability testing.

Carlos David Penaranda, MD
Research Assistant

Carlos was born on Bogota, Colombia. He has worked at the Emergency room for more than 8 years. In 2008 he decided to move to Canada looking for an opportunity to expand his knowledge in the research field. He joined the PHI team and He has been working on the eSAC project (eSalud Publica y Equidad en América Latina y el Caribe), under the supervision of Andrea Cortinois. The project involves the use of Public eHealth tools to contribute to the development of a more equity health system in marginalized countries of Latino-America and the Caribbean. His areas of interest are Systematic Reviews of the literature, Public eHealth and use of ICTs (Information and communications technologies) as tools of public health.

Arun Radhakrishnan, MD
MSc Student

Arun is currently a student in the faculty of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto. He is pursuing an MSc in Health Administration focusing on eHealth Innovation. His current research interests revolve around the management of chronic pain and how it can be improved through the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). For his thesis Arun is looking at how the concept of optimizing a stakeholder’s role in pain management can be supported by an ICT based application. The development of such an application is part of the proposed thesis as well.

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