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Canadian Public Health Association


Voting opened at 0:01 (ET) on 8 October 2019 and will close at 23:59 (ET) on 14 November 2019.


In response to an open Call for Nominations sent to all members, CPHA received three (3) nominations for three Director positions. The three Nominees are all current Directors seeking re-election.

The Nominating Committee ensured the candidates met the requirements stated in the call for nominations. In accordance with CPHA’s Election Procedures, the Nominating Committee recommended that all three candidates be acclaimed to their positions. At their September 2019 meeting, the Board of Directors accepted these recommendations. Your three Directors elected by acclamation are:

  • Katie-Sue Derejko (Northwest Territories)
  • Donika Jones (Ontario)
  • Vamini Selvanandan (Alberta)

We look forward to their ongoing contributions on the Board of Directors.

Student Director

Voting for a Student Director is open to ALL CPHA members. Students represent the future of public health and we encourage members to support the candidates who are running for election. Please take a moment to review their statements and cast your vote.

In response to an open Call for Nominations sent to all members, CPHA received five (5) nominations for one Student Director position. Qualified voters are entitled to one vote for Student Director. Click a name to view the candidate’s profile.

Ishita Aggarwal (Ontario)

Ishita Aggarwal

I am excited to put my name forward for CPHA Student Director. I completed my Honors Bachelor of Science in Cell and Molecular Biology, Neuroscience, and Psychology at the University of Toronto. I then obtained my Master of Public Health degree at Western University. I am currently a first-year medical student at Queen's University. During my formal training, I have completed extensive coursework in a variety of health-related fields, including epidemiology, determinants of health, health policy and promotion, and program evaluation. Through classroom discussions, oral and written case analyses, and a 12-week practicum placement at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, I have developed a deep understanding of key topics in public and global health (e.g., poverty and food insecurity, chronic disease management, violence prevention, etc.) and strengthened my critical thinking, communication, and teamwork skills.

I am particularly passionate about women's health and health accessibility/literacy. Most notably, in April 2016, I founded MOM’S THE WORD (MTW), a non-profit organization that hosts free prenatal workshops for impoverished pregnant women. MTW has raised $115,000 and hosted 65+ workshops, teaching 800+ women how to have a healthy pregnancy and connecting 230+ sexual assault and rape victims with OBGYNs and psychologists. In November 2018, MTW launched KitCare, which delivers the world’s first “Maternal Health Self-Aid Kit” to low-SES pregnant women globally. Currently, 335 kits have been distributed. I am also Co-Founder of InforMED Global, a multilingual medical translator platform. It helps healthcare providers make more refined differential diagnoses before physical examination. For my work, I have been named a Top 30 Under 30 Sustainability Leader, Top 25 Canadian Immigrant, Queen's Young Leader, Johnson and Johnson One Young World Scholar, and L’Oréal Paris Woman of Worth, among others.

I am standing for election because I am extremely passionate about and committed to making Canada a healthier and safer place for all. I understand how broad issues (e.g., socio-economic status, housing, race, social support networks, etc.) can affect physical, mental, and emotional health of individuals, families, communities, populations, and societies. This role will give me an opportunity to spearhead/facilitate policies and programs that will have a wide-reaching impact, prioritizing preventive measures and prolonging life of Canadians while also reducing healthcare costs. My enthusiasm and commitment to lifelong learning are backed by a strong knowledge base, a key set of transferable skills, and diverse and accomplished experiences. Hence, I truly believe I will be able to surpass expectations for the position of Student Director.

As Student Director, I hope to work alongside the Student and Early Career Committee to develop a mentorship program, which will connect post-secondary students to working public health professionals, facilitating sharing of experiences, exploration of careers, and expansion of networks. Additionally, alongside the Editorial Group, I hope to oversee creation of an online student resource centre, which will feature public health topics of special interest to adolescents and young adults (e.g., vaping). Finally, I hope to organize focus groups, panel discussions, and/or symposiums, giving students an opportunity to meet others, generate new ideas, and provide feedback.

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Monica Emode (British Columbia)

Monica Emode

I am humbled and excited to have been nominated for 2020-2021 Student Director. I am an MSc candidate in the School of Population and Public Health (SPPH) at the University of British Columbia. I am passionate about health equity and social justice and support CPHA’s commitment to evidence-informed decision-making. My research has focused on understanding how we can create high-performing healthcare systems that are committed to improving population health and reducing health inequities for marginalized youth who experience mental health concerns. Given that mental health is a critical determinant for physical health, my career goal is to work at the intersection of mental health and public health.

I currently work as a Junior Epidemiologist at Health Canada and have previously held research positions in various healthcare settings and research institutions (i.e., The Hospital for Sick Children, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Centre for Health Evaluation and Outcome Sciences) following the completion of my BA in Psychology from York University in 2015.

I have held undergraduate positions as Student Ambassador and Peer Advisor where I served as a representative of York University. These experiences have allowed me to further understand students’ desires and work directly with students to strategize opportunities for them to stay engaged with the University. At UBC, I have had the opportunity to facilitate connections with current/future public health students through my involvement in the SPPH mentorship program. As Student Director, I would be devoted to strengthening the public health community and representation of students and early-career members at CPHA.

As both a student and early-career professional, I have firsthand experience transitioning from full-time education to the workforce. Throughout my tenure at CPHA, I have noticed that many individuals join the organization when they are going through a major transition (i.e., entering/leaving a degree program, or shifting careers). While CPHA has done a spectacular job of curating a wealth of resources for students, I believe that the Association could be better equipped to help our early-career members navigate these transitions. As Student Director, I would build collaborative relationships with provincial public health associations and various academic/community institutions to cultivate strong municipal and regional networks for early-career public health professionals across Canada.

I currently am a CPHA Student Ambassador at UBC, a member of the Student and Early Career Committee and I also sit on the Early Career Subcommittee where I am working closely with the lead to develop online resources for our early-career members. I am also a member of the Health Canada/Public Health Agency of Canada Young Professionals Network. As a former Executive Assistant to the Board of Directors at Black Physicians Association of Ontario, I bring with me a wealth of expertise in board governance, strategic planning and conference/symposium planning.

I believe that meaningful engagement of diverse students and early-career professionals is integral to the future of public health. If elected, I pledge to continue to champion the voice of our members and build on the important work that we’ve done.

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Andrew Terence Lam (Ontario)

Andrew Terence Lam

Throughout my training in UofT's MPH program and two years of working as an epidemiologist at Peel Public Health, I gained appreciation for the importance of early career exploration and development. I mirrored my understanding through active engagement in mentorship programs through both UofT's Public Health Alumni Association program and the Young Public Health Professionals' Network in the Greater Toronto Area. I see many benefits in paying forward the knowledge and perspective I gained from my mentors to strengthen the future generations of public health leaders in Canada.
Over the past several years, I have worked with public health organizations at all levels of Canadian government and across four provinces and territories (Ontario, Saskatchewan, Northwest Territories, Nunavut). Having witnessed the significant impact that public health policy, programs, and services could have on population health through upstream measures, such as immunization programs, infant feeding programs, and others, I wanted to have a better understanding of how clinicians were involved in such interventions and how they could be better supported to encourage preventive medicine. I have since pursued more training as a future physician to complement my public health understanding with a medical background. Now in my third year as a student at UofT, I am extensively involved in the school's public health student group and also sit on the Public Health Education Advisory Committee to inform and update the curriculum. Since my participation on the committee, numerous recommendations have been brought forward, including notably additional collaborative opportunities between different disciplines of medicine to integrate and promote public health content to more students. I believe part of my role is to continue advocating for a public health approach to improving health, and I hope to leverage the work I have done in my own school to apply to other institutions across Canada.

I also observe numerous disconnects in student training between public health and clinical professions. These are two domains of health that are natural partners to advance primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention in maintaining health in our population. As a medical student, there have been countless times I have turned to my colleagues in allied health professions seeking for resources to help patients integrate better in the community; resources that are initiated and often implemented by public health. In the role of Student Director, I hope to further advance and promote allyship between future public health and clinical leaders with the experience I have demonstrated. By voting for me, you are voting for a student leader who values supporting the next generation of public health leaders through early career mentorship, professional development opportunities, and early exposure to future colleagues in allied health and public health professions in health training programs, so we can all work towards strengthening the health of Canadians.

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Ahmed Rana (Alberta)

Ahmed Rana

Hello! My name is Ahmed Rana and I am honoured to be running for the Student Director position. I have grown up in Fort McMurray, Alberta with a Pakistani heritage that I am deeply proud of. I have a Kinesiology background and am currently completing a Masters of Public Health in Health Policy and Management from the University of Alberta while concurrently working with the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch of Indigenous Services Canada as a Junior Policy Analyst.

My Kinesiology background has allowed me to work in primary care as an Exercise Specialist, with municipal government in health promotion and community programming, with multiple social service organizations and fostering a healthy lifestyle through mentoring, coaching and the creation of a non-profit basketball club.

Currently residing in Edmonton, I am serving the student body as Vice President of the School of Public Health Students' Association. In addition, I sit on a number of committees that are aimed at enriching the public health student experience. In this capacity, I see first hand the challenges students and young professionals are facing with navigating the academic system in search of meaningful opportunities to advance public health. I am passionate about improving this navigation and showcasing all that public health has to offer.

I have a passion for enhancing the health of all Canadians while combatting the inequities that continue to be present within our society. I thrive to work with underrepresented populations, as can be seen through my experience with the Indigenous population, immigrants, Muslims, as well as individuals living with disabilities.

I am confident that the Canadian Public Health Association is an essential avenue not only to advance the health status of Canadians but also to advance the opportunities available to students and young professionals. I hope that through my time as the Student Director, I can reach students from coast to coast to coast through innovative modes of engagement. This will be achieved through increasing the capacity to get involved, providing relevant professional development opportunities and displaying the numerous careers within public health. Students must have a voice that stands for them and ensures their needs are being addressed. I am dedicated to the student experience and would be honoured to serve as the Student Director.

You can find further detail about my  education, work experience and volunteerism at my Linkedin profile. I would appreciate your support and am ecstatic for the opportunity to work with each of you in advancing our shared goal of improving the health status of all Canadians.

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Shaminder Singh (Alberta)

Shaminder Singh

I have a strong background in community engagement through research and practice. I worked as a School Psychologist in India (2000-2006), Special Educator in South Carolina, USA (2006-2009), and Registered Nurse and Nurse Researcher in Canada (2012-present). In India, I worked in a team of professionals, parents, and students to utilize information and technology as an opportunity, instead of a challenge, for the growth and learning of all. One example was a short movie that my students created focusing on peer pressure. I co-developed the script and helped students lead the project. The movie was shown on Indian national television and was part of an international festival of educational movies in Japan. The community engagement experiences in the school environment encouraged me to learn to appreciate diversity and explore the world in order to take up leadership in the public health sector.

In South Carolina, I experienced a successful process of adapting to the new environment with the help of mentors. I realized the potential of mentorship as an enabler to help people succeed. I received a formal mentorship training and utilized it to mentor new teachers in South Carolina and co-students in Canada. I think mentorship can be a useful tool to engage students in the Canadian Public Health Association (CPHA). As a special educator, I was an important member of each of my students’ Individual Education Program team.

The diverse viewpoints that emerged through my interactions with students, parents, and teachers helped enhance my cultural sensitivity in South Carolina, yet my Nursing education and experience in Canada exposed me to vulnerability and resilience of patients and their families. I realized the importance of Public Health as I observed distinct needs of diverse populations and communities. My doctoral education in Nursing broadened my conceptual and critical thinking with an appreciation of the diversity of opinions.

As a postdoctoral researcher, I am co-developing an indoor community walking health promotion program to reduce physical inactivity that may help decrease the burden of chronic illnesses and associated mortality at the population level. In order to develop a meaningful health promotion program, I am networking with potential stakeholders. Recently, I landed on the CPHA website. I was surprised by the ignorance about CPHA among students and early career professionals, including myself. CPHA offers opportunities that fit well with my interests, skills, and endeavours. After my initial surprise, I took immediate action to became a member of CPHA. I also realized a need for student engagement in CPHA, which led me to decide to commit my time and energy for this volunteer opportunity of Student Director leadership role.

I engaged in several faculty and student committees and non-profit organizations. I peer-review scientific journal articles and grant proposals. I serve as a member of the board of directors of a new not-for-profit organization aimed to help improve quality of life of immigrants. Networking, team building, project planning, and multitasking are my strengths. I offer skills developed through multicultural and interprofessional experiences that stimulated my professional interests in local and global public health issues.

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ALL CPHA members in good standing as of 30 September 2019 and not in arrears to the Association for any fee or levy, is qualified to vote. You do not have to be a student to vote for the Student Director position.

Everybody Matters, Every Vote Counts

Vote Now!

Voting is easy and will only take a few minutes of your time.


All candidates have provided a statement, a photo and link to a professional profile/video to help you make your choices.

By reading the candidates’ profiles, you will be able to make an informed decision. You can vote for any of the candidates—whether or not you know them, whether or not they are from your region, or whether or not you are a student.

As engaged members of the Association, it is important that you have your say and vote before the close of elections at 23:59 (ET) on 14 November 2019.

What makes an ideal student director candidate for CPHA’s Board of Directors?

The Student Director is a full Director position. In addition to general Board duties, the Student Director will:

  • engage students and early career professionals
  • bring various student and early career perspectives to the table
  • spearhead student and early career activities
  • have an interest in pan-Canadian, regional, local and global public health issues
  • be an effective team player with connections to networks with relevant public health student groups
  • commit to the principles, values and mission of CPHA