Warren (Smokey) Thomas, President, Ontario Public Service Employees Union
Since first elected president of OPSEU in 2007, Warren (Smokey) Thomas has been re-elected on four occasions, most recently in May, 2015. A registered practical nurse, he has been a union activist for more than 30 years and his commitment to social justice and the rights of working people has never wavered.
Often in demand by the media, Thomas doesn’t back down from a challenge, especially when he identifies actions by governments that harm the public interest
Special Guest Speaker
The Honourable Dipika Damerla, Associate Minister of Health and Long-Term Care (Long-Term Care and Wellness)
Dipika Damerla is the Associate Minister of Health and Long-Term Care with responsibility for Long-Term Care and Wellness. She has been a cabinet minister since June 2014. Dipika was first elected to the Ontario legislature in 2011 as the MPP for Mississauga East – Cooksville and was re-elected in 2014. Previously, she served as Parliamentary Assistant in a number of portfolios. Prior to entering politics, Dipika worked in corporate banking and has an MBA in Finance from the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto. Dipika is guided by the ideal that in life “it is not enough to be good, you have to do good.”
Ann Dowsett Johnston, Author
Winner of five gold National Magazine Awards, a Southam Fellowship and the Atkinson Fellowship in Public Policy, Ann Dowsett Johnston is the bestselling author of the international book Drink: The Intimate Relationship Between Women and Alcohol, named one of the top 10 books of 2013 by the Washington Post. A respected advocate in public policy matters, she is co- founder and co-chair of the National Roundtable on Girls, Women and Alcohol, a pan-Canadian advocacy group launched in 2013, and a leader of Faces and Voices of Recovery Canada. Ann has delivered dozens of talks both across Canada and abroad.
Session 1 – What is the current evidence?
Dr. Tim Stockwell, Director, the Centre for Addiction Research of British Columbi
Tim was appointed Director of the Centre for Addiction Research of BC (CARBC) and a Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Victoria in 2004. He has published over 350 research papers, book chapters and monographs, plus several books on prevention and treatment issues. Tim has established CARBC as a research centre which aims to shed light on the social, cultural and psychological determinants of harmful substance use, which applies rigorous measures of patterns of use and related harms, and which advances knowledge of effective policy and practice.
Dr. Robert Mann, Senior Scientist, Institute for Mental Health Policy Research, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
Dr. Robert Mann is a Senior Scientist in the Institute for Mental Health Policy Research at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, where he is the Head of the Population Health and Community Transformation Section. He is an Associate Professor with the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, and Field Director of the Addiction and Mental Health Stream of the MScCH program there. Dr. Mann has studied the epidemiology of alcohol- related problems (e.g., deaths from drunk driving, liver disease, suicide, and homicide) as well as individual, environmental, and social factors that influence them.
Andrew Murie, Chief Executive Officer, MADD Canada
Andrew Murie has been MADD Canada’s Chief Executive Officer since 1997. His responsibilities include managing the National Office and facilitating MADD Canada’s public policy agenda, national programs and victim services to its 100+ volunteer groups across Canada. He has conducted hundreds of presentations on impaired driving to elected members of government, government staff, police enforcement officers, and traffic safety organizations and other community-based impaired driving organizations.
Dr. Lisa Simon, Associate Medical Officer of Health, Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit
Dr. Lisa Simon is a Public Health and Preventive Medicine specialist who has worked with the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit as an Associate Medical Officer of Health (AMOH) since 2011. Her interests and work are in the areas of the social determinants of health, chronic disease and injury prevention, and child and reproductive health. Dr. Simon has a long-standing interest in health equity, both locally and globally, and is actively involved with issues of income and health at the local and provincial level.
Session 2: Why Ontario needs a provincial alcohol strategy
Dr. Robert Strang, Chief Public Health Officer, Nova Scotia
Dr. Robert Strang is Chief Medical Officer of Health in Nova Scotia. He was appointed in August 2007. He received his medical degree from the University of British Columbia and completed Family Practice and Community Medicine residencies at UBC. As CMOH, he has provided leadership around the renewal of the public health system in Nova Scotia and the importance of creating policies and environments that support better health for families and communities. Dr. Strang is currently the Provincial-Territorial co-chair of the Public Health Network Council and represents the Council of Chief Medical Officers of Health on the National Alcohol Strategy Advisory Committee.
Pegeen Walsh, Executive Director, Ontario Public Health Association
Pegeen Walsh has overseen the design and delivery of a wide range of programs, policies, partnerships, and research that have supported health and well being through leadership roles with the Ontario Ministry of Health Promotion, the Public Health Agency of Canada, Health Canada and YMCA Canada and since 2014, as Executive Director with the Ontario Public Health Association.
Dr. Hazel Lynn, Medical Officer of Health, Grey Bruce Health Unit
As a family physician, Dr. Hazel Lynn practiced across Canada and internationally. She has been the Medical Officer of Health for Grey Bruce since 2000. In 2002, she earned a Master’s in community health and epidemiology. Some of the initiatives she has spearheaded as MOH include regional smoke-free by-laws, municipal alcohol policy development, Panorama immunization registry pilot, fetal alcohol exposure, heart health, and smoking cessation studies.
Brenda Stankiewicz, Public Health Nurse, Sudbury & District Health Unit
Brenda Stankiewicz is Public Health Nurse at the Sudbury and District Public Health Unit. Brenda graduated from Laurentian University with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and began her career in pediatric nursing at Laurentian Hospital. She joined the Sudbury & District Health Unit in 1989. In 2004 she was assigned to the portfolio of Substance Misuse prevention, an area that she currently works in, as lead of the Community Drug Strategy.
Session 3: Building an effective, evidence-informed alcohol strategy for Ontario
Dr. Robert Schwartz, Principal Investigator and Executive Director, Ontario Tobacco Research Unit
Robert Schwartz is Executive Director of the Ontario Tobacco Research Unit, Associate Professor in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto, Senior Scientist, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, and Editor-in-Chief at the Canadian Journal of Program Evaluation. He has published widely about tobacco control, accountability, public health policy, policy change and program evaluation.
Ian Loadman, Senior Director, Corporate Affairs, LCBO
Ian Loadman is Senior Director of Corporate Affairs at the LCBO, responsible for providing policy advice to the Board and senior management. Prior to joining the LCBO in 2009, he worked in
the Ontario Public Service on alcohol and gaming policy. Ian holds a Ph.D. from Yale University in political science.
Dr. Lynn Anne Mulrooney, Senior Policy Analyst, Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario
Lynn Anne Mulrooney is Senior Policy Analyst at the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO). She is a registered nurse with a Master of Public Health and a PhD in Political Science. Her work includes public policy research and advocacy on health equity including mental health and addiction issues.
Anne Leonard, Executive Director, Arrive Alive DRIVE SOBER
Anne Leonard became involved in the issue after being personally affected by an impaired driving crash in October 1979. Anne has been involved in the organization of all 28 arrive alive DRIVE SOBER® campaigns since 1989 and currently holds the position of Executive Director. Anne has three grown children and two grandchildren.