The Advocacy Working Group is responsible for determining the best methods and means to enhance awareness about women’s cardiovascular health in multiple communities across Canada and to stimulate new interest in the field of women’s cardiovascular health.

Projects and Initiatives

Wear Red Canada

On February 13, 2021, raise awareness about women’s heart health in Canada! Wear Red, share key messages on Women's Heart Health with colleagues and friends, and let them know where they can get more information by sending them to

Take pictures of yourselves, your groups, and/or organizations wearing red and share them on social media using #HerHeartMatters on Facebook and Twitter.


Helen Robert

Helen Robert, B.Comm, CCP
Patient Advocate Co-Chair, Advocacy Working Group
Woman with Lived Experience
Ottawa, ON | @HelenLRobert

Dr. Judy Luu

Judy Luu, MD/PhD, FRCPC
Healthcare Professional Co-Chair, Advocacy Working Group
Clinical Fellow, Barbra Streisand Women’s Heart Disease Fellowship
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Los Angeles, CA | @JudyMLuu

Dr. Lorraine Avery

Lorraine Avery, RN, PhD, CNCC(C)
Clinical Nurse Specialist, Cardiac Sciences
Winnipeg Regional Health Authority
Winnipeg, MB

Dr. Sandi Dumanski

Sandi Dumanski, MD, MSc, FRCPC
Clinical Assistant Professor
University of Calgary
Calgary, AB | @DrSandiDumanski

Nadine Elias

Nadine Elias, BSc, Kin
Lead, Women @ Heart Program
Canadian Women’s Heart Health Centre
University of Ottawa Heart Institute
Ottawa, ON

Charlotte Girard

Charlotte Girard
Woman with Lived Experience
Otterburn Park, QC

Image coming soon

Catherine Goodenough, Retired RN, CGN(C)
Woman with Lived Experience
Mississauga, ON

Amy Johnston Amy Johnston, MSc, MBT, CPH
PhD Candidate, University of Ottawa / University of Ottawa Heart Institute
Ottawa, ON | @amydjohn
Dr. Donna May Kimmaliardjuk Donna May Kimmaliardjuk, MD, FRCSC
Cardiac Surgery Fellow
The Cleveland Clinic 
Cleveland, OH | @Dkimmaliardjuk
Marion Martell Marion Martell
Woman with Lived Experience
Women @ Heart Program Ambassador and Support Leader
Canadian Women’s Heart Health Centre
Board of Directors, University of Ottawa Heart Institute Patient Alumni
Manotick, ON | @marion_martell

Dr. Kelsey McLaughlin

Kelsey McLaughlin, PhD
Research Associate
Sinai Health System
Toronto, ON | @helloconpreg

Brianne McVeigh

Brianne McVeigh, MSc, RD, PMP
Manager, Lived Experience Engagement and Support | Heart & Stroke Pickering, ON | @BrianneMcV

Dr. Rajni Nijhawan

Rajni Nijhawan, MD
Program Staff Physician, Lead Medical Education for Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation Program
University Health Network / Toronto Rehabilitation Institute
Assistant Professor, Department of Family and Community Medicine
University of Toronto
Co-Chair, Women’s Cardiovascular and Cerebrovascular Health Committee
The Federation of Medical Women of Canada
Toronto, ON

Robin Pohl


Robin Pohl, BPE, and ACSM-CEP
Cardiac Rehab Exercise Therapist, Halton Healthcare - Milton District Hospital
Burlington, ON | @Robinannesnest

Jackie Ratz Jackie Ratz, BA Hons
Past Co-Chair, Patient Advisory Committee
Woman with Lived Experience
Winnipeg, MB | @jackie_ratz
Dr. Jo-Ann Sawatzky Jo-Ann V. Sawatzky, RN, PhD
Editor, Canadian Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing
Senior Scholar, College of Nursing
Rady Faculty of Health Sciences
University of Manitoba
Winnipeg, MB

Dr. Tara Sedlak

Tara Sedlak, MD, FRCPC
Past Chair, Advocacy Working Group
Cardiologist and Medical Director, Leslie Diamond Women’s Health Clinic
Vancouver General and UBC Hospitals
Clinical Associate Professor
University of British Columbia
Vancouver, BC | @Women__Heart

Jeanette Smith

Jeanette Smith
Woman with Lived Experience
Chatham, ON | @JnothingSmith

Moira Teed

Moira Teed, MSc, MSW, RSW
Senior Advisor, Public and Patient Engagement
Canadian Medical Association
Ottawa, ON | @KetchyMoira

Sol Vidal Almela

Sol Vidal Almela, MSc
PhD Candidate, Exercise Physiology and Cardiovascular Health Lab, Cardiac Prevention and Rehabilitation, University of Ottawa Heart Institute
Ottawa, ON | @sol_vidalalmela

Wendy Wray Wendy Wray, RN, BScN, MScN
Director, Women's Healthy Heart Initiative
McGill University Health Centre 
Montreal, QC