Nicole Mihajlovic, Board President/Chair
Nicole believes in the mission and mandate of Parkdale Queen West Community Health Centre because the Centre is community focused and provides strong support and advocacy for quality, accessible and equitable healthcare and works from a holistic approach. Nicole is a lawyer currently employed in-house at a federal sector Association in the role of Director of Labour Relations. She holds a law degree from Osgoode Hall Law School and a Bachelor of Arts degree from York University. While in law school, Nicole worked as a caseworker at Parkdale Community Legal Services in the Workers’ Rights division. Nicole also has experience working in a public sector union and private law firm. She is an advocate of diversity.
Shahilaa Davaraja, Vice President/Vice Chair
Shahilaa has a nursing background and is currently pursuing a graduate degree in public health. She is passionate about meaningfully engaging and working with folks to create sustainable and resilient communities. Growing up and currently residing in a marginalized community, she has been experiencing and witnessing how barriers to health are ingrained in colonial, economic, political, and social factors. She is motivated to help drive social justice initiatives in a way that serves all individuals through a culturally safe, intersectional, and community-responsive approach. She is interested in making a long-term contribution to Parkdale Queen West Community Health Centre by helping the organization achieve the vision of “Inclusive Communities, Responsive Healthcare, Healthier Lives”.
Lo Fine, CPA, CGA, Treasurer
Lo has over 30 years of accounting experience in the non-profit and charitable sector. She is the Director of Finance and Information Technology at YWCA Toronto and has consulted widely in the sector, serving agencies, private and public foundations, as well as government funding bodies. Lo has taught financial workshops for the Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association, the Maytree Foundation, United Way of Greater Toronto, and York Region and for the Emerging Leaders Program at the Schulich School of Business. She has served on several boards and financial advisory committees and has been the Treasurer of the Ontario Non-Profit Network. Lo is committed to issues of social justice and building strong social movements and community services.
Leigh Walters , Secretary
Leigh is passionate about promoting access and equity in health care, particularly as it relates to mental health and addiction. As a corporate lawyer in downtown Toronto since 2003, Leigh realized it is important to live a balanced life, so staying connected with the community and advocating for people who may not be able to advocate for themselves is of the utmost importance. Leigh recently completed the academic requirements for a post-degree certificate in Mental Health and Addictions at Humber College and is looking forward to completing the program with an in-person placement soon. Leigh has also completed the meditation course at the Centre for Mindfulness Studies and has a great appreciation for the benefits of mindfulness and meditation as a daily practice.
John LeFave, Director
As a member of the board, I believe that being an advocate for those like myself who’ve availed themselves of the services of Queen West Health Center over the years and who are on ODSP with physical/mental barriers to “everyday” life is an important thing. I am committed to that ideal, and to help ensure to the best of my ability that the integrated Parkdale/Queen West Health Center continues to provide the same kind of empowering, life-building, and social structural support to this community as it has given to me. In my mind, that is how I can return the gift I was given by this dynamic, core resource. To pass it on, and aid in passing its torch to blaze with hope as bright in others’ hearts. I intend to continue to support these stated ideals, in whatever way I can even after my service is done. With gratitude to the Board for its boundless positivity as a welcoming space for newcomers, and deepest thanks to those who pushed me to believe in myself as a ‘disabled’ individual. The process of healing is one ongoing, and so is our need to best serve the community. With help from talented individuals from many storied walks of life, we can.
Bernard King, Director
Bernard works as senior staff at OPSEU/SEFPO, a major Ontario public sector union. A labour activist, Bernard is skilled in facilitating the collaboration between employees and management in the complex task of cultivating an inclusive, productive, and responsive workplace culture. Bernard has over twenty years of industrial relations, conflict resolution, and mediation experience in the private and public sectors. With a Master’s degree in Philosophy and a Certificate in Project Management, he has worked at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in its Knowledge Transfer and IT departments. Bernard is a sought-after trainer, facilitator, and public speaker on labour relations, organized labour as a value proposition, and complex accommodation (including for mental health issues) as navigable terrain. Bernard is a proud resident of Parkdale.
Stanley Ing, Director
Stanley is a Senior Strategy and Planning Advisor at the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health with the Ontario Ministry of Health. As an epidemiologist, policy strategist, and member of the 2SLGBTQ+ community, he actively contributes to broad community efforts to address the factors that generate and sustain health inequities among equity-deserving groups. Stanley currently participates as a reviewer with the Canadian Centre for Accreditation. He previously served as a board member for the Association of Public Health Epidemiologists in Ontario, Chatham-Kent Children’s Services, Chatham-Kent Community Health Centre’s, and the AIDS Committee of Windsor. Stanley holds a Master of Public Administration (Local Government) from Western University, Master of Public Health (Epidemiology) from the University of Toronto, and a Bachelor of Applied Science (Public Health and Safety) from Toronto Metropolitan University.
Rozita Razavi, PHD, MPH, Director
Rozita has been a Parkdale resident for the past seven years. She is a biology researcher at the University of Toronto with training in public health. Her work and interests encompass macroscale (social, political, and environmental) as well as microscopic determinants of Human health. Trauma, oppression, immigration as well as the healing power of nature and human connections are her life experiences that have shaped her interests. She believes the ecosystem of a community needs constant tending and attending to remain healthy. In the beautifully colorful Parkdale community, where many of her experiences are shared by most residents, she feels at home and compelled to make a difference.
Afroza Begum, Director
Afroza Begum is a Social Worker who has experience working in the mental health sector, harm reduction services and program coordination. She has in-depth knowledge on the Social Determinants of Health and local issues of the East and West parts of Toronto. To address those issues, Afroza has facilitated community engagement activities for equity-seeking people and referred them to action groups to advocate for health equity, housing, poverty reduction, etc. Afroza has a Bachelor of Social Work from York University, Master of Social Welfare from Dhaka University and Master of Public Health from Independent University, Bangladesh. In the recent past, she has worked as a Pandemic Response Case Worker at TNO-The Neighborhood Organization, Scarborough Support Line and Harm Reduction Worker at Warden Woods Community Centre, Settlement and Health Educator/Specialist at Sherbourne Health and Community Animator at Social Planning Toronto
Lindsay Jones , Director
Lindsay Jones is the Director of Social Assistance Strategy and Transformation at the Ontario Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services. She is responsible for working with internal and external partners to drive system-level transformation. Over the past 10 years, Lindsay has held progressively senior strategy and transformation roles in the Ontario government. Lindsay has developed a deep respect for the role of local service providers in shaping neighbourhoods, improving the lives of marginalized individuals, and making social and economic systems work. She has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Jane and Finch Centre since 2017, where she has had the opportunity to support the critical work of the Centre and learn from the vibrant neighbourhood and its residents. She is excited to learn about and contribute to community services closer to home.
Morris DC Komakech BSc. BSc. MPH/GH, PhD , Director
Morris has over a decade of experience in the public health sector and is currently a Health Promotion Specialist at Toronto Public Health’s COVID-19 Response Team. Morris is a health policy and health equity researcher with a passion for strengthening health care systems to make it people friendly and accessible. Morris has co-authored several book chapters and journal articles on health equity in Canada and overseas. Morris is focused on health issues associated with homelessness, under housing, transient populations, refugees and immigrants, food insecurity, urban and inner-city health, mental health and addictions, chronic disease and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) prevention in the communities. Morris serves on the administration team for the Society for the Advancement of Science in Africa (SASA) to help make African science/research globally visible. Morris brings skills in critical policy analysis and people-friendly program design/implementation.
Lana Majid , Director
Lana is on a mission to reduce health inequities, improve healthcare access, and make Canada the healthiest place to live, grow, work, and play. She is currently a Senior Manager at Maple (getmaple.ca), making health care more connected through virtual medicine. Prior to Maple, Lana was a management consultant at Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and also spent five rewarding years as a Senior Advisor for the Ontario Ministry of Health. Driven by a sense of civic responsibility, Lana has also pursued leadership initiatives in regional and international arenas. She was selected for the CivicAction DiverseCity fellowship and participated in the world’s largest global innovation lab (UNLEASH) in Singapore. Lana completed her Master of Public Health graduate degree at Queen’s University and Honours Bachelor of Science Kinesiology degree (minor in Health, Aging and Society) at McMaster University.
Angela Robertson, Executive Director
Angela joined the Queen West Centre as Executive Director in 2013 and continued as the Executive Director for the merged PQWCHC. Angela brings with her over 20 years of leadership experience fostering partnerships with CHCs, social services organizations and hospitals to improve access and delivery of better primary care and community services to homeless and low-income communities. Grounded in broad determinants of health analysis and anti-discrimination frameworks, the work she has led in the health and social services sectors has been recognized and modeled by other organizations. Angela is also a committed social justice advocate working to increase equity for a range of marginalized populations.
Prior to joining Queen West, Angela was the Director, Equity and Community Engagement at Women’s College Hospital. Angela provided strategic leadership in the development on health equity initiatives and partnerships to increase health care access and service responsiveness, including providing leadership for development of clinical programs targeted to support under-served populations, notably the creation of the Crossroads Refugee Clinic. Prior to Women’s College, Angela was the Executive Director at Sistering — A Woman’s Place for over 11 years, an organization focused on providing basic needs, housing and counselling service to low-income, homeless and at-risk women. Angela has also worked in government at the Ontario Women’s Directorate, in the supportive housing sector and in feminist publishing.
Angela is also an organizer and activist in the black, women’s and LGBTQ communities and a past Board member for Houselink Community Homes and current member of the Stephen Lewis Foundation. She is co-editor with Ena Dua of the book Scratching the Surface: Canadian Anti-Racist Feminist Thought, published by Women’s Educational Press. In 2017, Angela was the recipient of an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from York University for her social justice activism for women’s and low-income people’s rights.