About Us

Health and Wellness Friendly Communities

Is a formal program of research and social innovation living laboratory of the Health and Wellness Friendly Community Research Consortium (formerly known as the HPCO Community Research Network). The Consortium has been established for this purpose through an agreement between sponsoring and supporting researchers. All projects, activities, technologies and tools outlined on this site fall under the governance and leadership of the Consortium.

Key People

Michelle Howard
Associate Professor in the Department of Family Medicine, McMaster

Expertise Brings expertise in epidemiology and health services research. Leading the Policy Research for Health System Transformation project examining macro level options for integrated health and social care. Conducted studies evaluating the Windsor Essex Compassion Care Community pilot; tools for patients and primary care providers to support end-of-life; and examining the impacts of different primary care models, including population-based research with health administrative data.

Role Sits on the Leadership Table for the HWFC Consortium.

Kathy Pfaff
Associate Professor,Faculty of Nursing, University of Windsor

Expertise A registered nurse, her research program is focused on the design and delivery of compassionate models of health care. She is the Research Lead for the Windsor-Essex Compassion Care Community .  Kathy led the development of Ontario’s CCC framework and has published/presented nationally and internationally on the outcomes of CCC approaches for vulnerable populations (palliative, aging, homelessness, addictions).

Role Sits on the Leadership Table for the HWFC Consortium.

Lisa Dolovich
Professor and Dean, Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Toronto

Expertise: Evaluates interventions and collaborative practices that can improve health care delivery, medication management and pharmacy practice. Expertise in designing and evaluating integrated community based / linked primary health care interventions including Health TAPESTRY, the Cardiovascular Health Awareness Program and pharmacy-based interventions for improving medication management. Expertise in translating evidence into health policy options.

Role:  Sits on the Leadership Table for the HWFC Consortium.

Deborah Sattler
Lead, Compassionate Communities, Hospice Palliative Care Ontario

Expertise Policy maker and community developer who collaborates with citizens, innovators, experts and stakeholders to discover, build and spread new approaches to drive change. Currently an advisor with Hospice Palliative Care Ontario to advance Ontario’s compassionate community provincial strategy. Principle architect of the Windsor Essex Compassion Care Community.  She specializes in “Big Collaboration” and co-design projects involving citizens and multi-level partnerships. Previously, as a senior policy analyst, was involved in multiple health care transformation initiatives.

Role Sits on the Leadership Table and HPCO representative in the Champions Network

Carol Bennett
Senior Clinical Research Associate at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute

Expertise: Research interests include development of population risk assessment tools and health impact assessment, evaluating the effectiveness of knowledge translation interventions for patients and strategies to enhance patient engagement. She is an experienced qualitative researcher who has led the development and conduct of focus groups and qualitative analysis for implementation of the risk algorithms in the community setting.

Role: Research contributor

Christopher Klinger
Assistant Professor (Part-Time) with the Dr. Joshua Shadd – Pallium Canada Research Hub at McMaster University, Research Scientist with Pallium Canada

Expertise Chairs the National Initiative for the Care of the Elderly’s End-of-Life Issues Theme Team. He brings a strong background in health services research/implementation science focused on older populations, healthy aging (in place), and hospice palliative care. He regularly teaches graduate courses on knowledge translation within the Translational Research Program at the University of Toronto and is a committee member for the Annual NICE Knowledge Exchange, dedicated to improving care of older adults. He regularly teaches courses on aging, health systems/policy research methods and public administration.

Role Policy and research contributor

Suzanne McMurphy
Associate Professor Department of Sociology University of Windsor

Expertise: Her research focuses on trust and trustworthiness in health care and governmental settings. She also has expertise in research ethics, having served on institutional ethics review committees for over 20 years, including serving as the chair of the socio-behavioral board and biomedical boards at the University of Windsor and 5 years as the Director of the Office of Research Ethics. Consultant to the World Health Organization Secretariat for Research Ethics. She has published and presented nationally and internationally on trust and disclosure, trust and regulations as well as research ethics. She brings expertise in program evaluation, policy analysis, research ethics and integrity, as well as mixed methods research.

Role: Research contributor

Merrick Zwarenstein
Professor, Centre for Studies in Family Medicine, and Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, Western University, London, Ontario

Expertise: Medical degree with MSc in Community Health, and PhD in Epidemiology.

Research focus on primary care, interprofessional collaboration and health care teams working with community health workers. He has an interest in knowledge translation, research methods, and randomized trials of complex service delivery interventions.

Role: Research contributor

Pooya Moradian Zadeh
Assistant Professor, School of Computer Science University of Windsor

Expertise: Expertise in data analytics and the modeling and optimization of complex social systems using artificial intelligence and social network analysis techniques. He has successfully led several research projects on social isolation detection and prediction, as well as palliative and value-based healthcare system modeling and optimization. He was the program co-chair of the 2021 Canadian AI conference and is the recipient of the 2020 Faculty of Science Roger Thibert Teaching Excellence Award and the 2019 Student Engagement Award for excellence in teaching achievements and educational leadership. Special Expertise: “Application development, AI and data analytics for social good”; technology and platform development; social enterprise application

Role: Sits on Tech Table

Doug Manuel
Senior Scientist at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Family Medicine and the School of Epidemiology and Public Health at the University of Ottawa.  


Expertise: Currently holds a Tier 1 Clinical Research Chair in Precision Medicine for Chronic Disease Prevention from the Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa. His research combines his interests in public health, health care systems, and primary care. Dr. Manuel has helped to lead the development and integration of the risk prognostication tool RESPECT (predicting life expectancy) in different health care settings. (https://www.projectbiglife.ca/) . Leads Personalized Medicine Implementation Science Project Grant (2021 to 2024) – opportunity to combine and share learning and for shared implementation sites 

 Role: Research contributor 

Amy Hsu
Investigator, Bruyère Research Institute and Lecturer, Department of Family Medicine, University of Ottawa


Expertise Dr. Hsu holds the University of Ottawa Brain and Mind-Bruyère Research Institute Chair in Primary Health Care in Dementia. Her research uses population-level health administrative data at ICES (formerly known as the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences) to examine older adults’ health and health care needs, especially in those living with Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia. 

Role: Research contributor 

Peter Tanuseputro
Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, University of Ottawa 


Expertise: Public health and palliative care physician with appointments at Ottawa Health Research Institute, Bruyère Research Institute, Division of Palliative Care, University of Ottawa, and ICES. He has built a program of health services research for aging and end-of-life populations, including predictive analytics for identifying high risk patients. He regularly collaborates with the Ministry of Health, Ontario Palliative Care Network (OPCN), and Ontario Health. He sits on committees that reform and improve care for the aging (e.g., OPCN, CIHI, Ontario Health Teams).  

Role: Research contributor 

Denise Marshall
Professor, Department of Family Medicine, Division of Palliative Care, McMaster University 


Expertise Family Medicine based Palliative Care Physician. In 2003 Dr Marshall helped create the Division of Palliative Care at McMaster and was its founding Director. She was clinical co-lead of Ontario Palliative Care Network, which leads provincial palliative care services delivery framework, competency framework and practice tools for clinicians. She examined Palliative Care as Public Health during her sabbatical in 2013 and since then, has focused much of her academic work on Public Health Palliative Care and teaches a workshop series on this in McMaster’s Global Health graduate program. 

Role: Research contributor