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Board of Directors
Jennifer currently works at the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technology in Health as Manager, Implementation Support (Central) where she supports evidence informed decisions in healthcare. As a Registered Dietitian with a Master’s in Public Health from Simon Fraser University, she has worked in clinical, community, and public health settings across Canada and internationally before calling Ottawa home. She is passionate about food security, harm reduction and health equity.
Iman is a health policy and advocacy professional with expertise in policy analysis, government relations and strategic planning. She currently works as Director of Health Policy at BIOTECanada and holds Master's degree in International Public Policy from the Balsillie School of International Affairs at Wilfrid Laurier University, a Graduate Certificate in Public Management and Governance from the
University of Ottawa and a BA (Honours) in Political Science from Carleton University. Iman has been a resident of the Somerset West community for over
30 years, and is a long-standing client of Centre's Primary Care Services. As Chair of the Centre’s Advocacy committee, Iman has developed a deep appreciation of the role and impact SWCHC plays in our community. Iman is most passionate about building a strong sense of community engagement, improving access to affordable housing, and maintaining diversity and inclusion in the community.
Chad Meda has lived in Ottawa for over 25 years and works as a Rental Officer for Centretown Citizens Ottawa Corporation. He is passionate about community development and urban design and believes that affordable housing is a fundamental element of a healthy community. Previously, Chad has volunteered on the Board of Directors of Alex Laidlaw Housing Co-operative as the Communications Director and Treasurer. He lives with his partner Lisa and their daughter Ariana a few blocks away from Somerset West Community Health Centre.
Ryan was born and raised in Vancouver and moved to Ottawa in 2009 to work for Health Canada. He has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and a master’s degree in Adult Education focusing on Organizational Learning, Evaluation, and Performance Improvement. Ryan has a diverse professional and volunteer background, with experience in disability advocacy, LGBTQ health and wellness, strategic planning, and project management. He is especially interested in supporting the Centre in building a vibrant, inclusive, and healthy community.
In his personal life, Ryan enjoys staying active, indulging his curious and adventurous spirit, and traveling around the world.
Nimao Ali is the principal of Abraar Secondary School, a full-time private located in Ottawa.
Principal Ms. Ali has been working as an educator for both adults and children for the past 15 years in Ottawa. In her spare time, Ms. Ali has initiated several community projects including a long running youth mentorship program, which saw some of the participants meet with the Prime Mini
ster and a Nobel Laureate Malala Yousaf in 2017.
Ms. Ali also served the Minister of Children and Youth Services of Ontario as an external advisor and the Ottawa Carleton Immigrant Board as a member. Ms. Ali is a mother of three whose greatest joy is teaching and mentoring youth.
Hanaa holds a master of Gynecology and Obstetrics from Alexandria University, Egypt. She specialized in the area of preventive medicine with a focus on child and maternal health. She worked in different health promotion programs in Egypt. She was chosen to travel to Niger, West Africa, to work on developing programs to decrease maternal and child mortality in 1997. She succeeded with a dedicated team of health professional and community representatives to establish a school where children can receive quality education, scheduled nutritional meals and operate as a venue for health information workshops designed to empower families towards better health practices. The school initiative was widely successful, leading to two additional schools in the region which continue to operate today. In addition, as of 2018, Hanaa is also a certified Early Childhood educator. Her passion is helping newcomers integrate better in Canada. In 2014, Hanaa established Building Bridges, a Canadian Muslim and family friendly club to help new comers’ families to integrate smoothly in the Canadian society. In 2019 the club’s first generation established the Building Bridges Youth organization to direct their efforts towards immigrant youth. Hanaa has directed her attention to focus on the pre-school education because she believes in the importance of the role of early childhood education in developing personal and psychological skills. For this reason, Hanaa is now working on establishing a daycare that will serve as a transition to newcomer children before they emerge in the Canadian public education.
Arlo is a lawyer with the Department of Justice (DOJ), where he has been counsel for over 15 years. He possesses significant experience in Constitutional law, human rights and privacy law. Arlo has volunteered representing refugees before the Immigration and Refugee Board and was a member of the Governance Committee of the HIV and AIDS Legal Clinic of Ontario. His interest in the Board of Directors stems from a desire for increased community involvement and a recognition of the importance of CHCs in serving underprivileged communities.
Drew works with Indigenous partners interested in self-determination for early learning programs and is a proud resident of the West Centretown neighbourhood. Presently serving on the Centre’s Advocacy and Community Liaison Committees, he is a strong believer in relationship building as part of community development and health equity. Drew holds a Masters of Public Policy from the University of Ottawa and enjoys paddling open lakes, stickhandling on frozen ponds and listening to the stories of others.
Mai T.B. Nguyen
Born in Vietnam, Mai Nguyen arrived in Montreal in 1975. She moved to Ottawa in 1990 and has lived in the SWCHC catchment area since then. She has degrees in nursing and community health from Universite de Montreal. She is fluently trilingual (English, French, Vietnamese). After eight years working at the local community health service and community health department in Montreal, Mai joined the Public Health Agency of Canada in 1992. For the next 22 years, she occupied a variety of positions there, including senior research analyst and nurse epidemiologist. The portfolio includes epidemiology, infection control, needlestick injuries among health care workers, HIV, Hepatitis C, Hepatitis B, and pandemic influenza.
Sammy is a strategic thinker and community advocate with extensive experience in diversity and inclusion management. Sammy has worked in public service for more than 10 years, is a designated Qualified Mediator, and recently undertook a PhD at the University of Ottawa where his thesis delves into Sense of Belonging, Marginalization and Mental Health in the National Capital Region. Sammy is looking forward to bringing his lived experience, expertise in the government & private sector, and equally important passion for helping others to the Board.
Alexa is the owner of the Terra20 in Ottawa’s Hintonburg neighbourhood. She is a strategic thinker and entrepreneur that is committed to engaging with the community. Alexa is passionate about newcomer services, affordable housing, and sustainability. She is a resident of the service area, and holds a diploma in Administration from Fanshawe College.
Francis has been a resident of the Somerset West neighbourhood for over 5 years, and is a Senior Policy Analyst with Employment and Social Development Canada. Francis brings expertise in government relations, policy planning, and research and evaluation. He has been a volunteer of Rideau-Rockliffe Community Resource Centre and Broadening the Base. Francis is passionate about social justice, diversity and inclusivity, and looks forward to supporting the Centre to make our community a healthier, fairer and more inclusive space for everyone.
Stacy is an active community advocate and organizer that has been involved with grass-roots initiatives in both Ottawa and Toronto. She is a former Transportation Planner with the City of Toronto, and has a history as an anti-poverty community organizer. Currently, Stacy is an Associate Professor of Law and Legal Studies at Carleton University, where she specializes in public and constitutional law. She is a resident of the neighbourhood, and is passionate about children’s services, affordable housing, and anti-racism anti-oppression advocacy.
Non-Voting Staff Representatives
Nimo Farah joined Somerset West in 2015 as the Program Administration for the Ottawa Language Access program. Under her leadership, what began as a modestly sized service offering free interpretation services for healthcare providers has grown exponentially. Nimo has a background of international development and specializes in refuge development, education and health. She is passionate about community based projects designed to increase access for marginalized individuals advocating for health equality, poverty reduction and increased service provision for newcomer and immigrant populations.