Santis is a team of doers, drivers and trusted advisors for the most significant policy shifts in health care over the last decade. Our team provides clear insights, an unmatched network of relationships and years of direct experience implementing the health system changes that matter to our clients.

Catherine Brown

Position: Senior Associate
Categories: Associates
Location: Toronto

ROLE AT SANTIS

Catherine is pivotal in steering Santis’ strategy, policy development, and public affairs engagement.

EXPERIENCE

Catherine brings a wealth of experience to Santis Health, with over 25 years in public sector management. Her extensive background includes serving as Ontario Health’s Executive Vice-President for pandemic response, CEO of Health Shared Services Ontario (HSSO), and several strategic roles within the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.

During her time as the inaugural CEO of Health Shared Services Ontario (HSSO), she was instrumental in the organizational amalgamations leading to the formation of Ontario Health. Catherine’s career is marked by her leadership in various roles, driving health care innovation and integration across Ontario. Her expertise in managing complex policy agendas and reform mandates has led to significant advancements in the health care sector.

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT

Catherine is an active volunteer, notably in long-term care and mental health-focused boards. She is currently a board member at Humber Meadows long-term care home.

Catherine Brown

Senior Associate

ROLE AT SANTIS Catherine is pivotal in steering Santis’ strategy,...

Hayley Butler

Position: Associate Video Producer
Categories: Associates, Communications
Location: Toronto

Role at Santis

Hayley leads Santis Health’s video production team and produces all video content for our clients.

EXPERIENCE

Hayley has produced/directed commercials and video content for companies worldwide. She works with a senior filming team, using state of the art cinema equipment to capture the highest quality results to showcase your story on screen.

Her production resume includes videos for: Volkswagen, Honda, Mitsubishi, Audi, Microsoft, HP, Canadian Tire, BDO, TD Bank, BMO, PartyCity, and the Government of Ontario. She has directed medical ads through Canada and America, including a Pharma campaign that aired on CNN in 2022. Her team’s health care work includes production for Women’s College Hospital, Mount Sinai, Wounded Warriors Canada, Niagara Health and The College of Family Physicians of Canada among others.

EDUCATION

Hayley holds a Bachelor of Arts (with honours) in media production from Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson University).

Hayley Butler

Associate Video Producer

Role at Santis Hayley leads Santis Health’s video production team...

Ian Chesney

Ian Chesney

Position: Associate
Categories: Associates, Government Relations
Location: Ottawa
surname: Chesney

Role at Santis

Based in Ottawa, Ian provides strategic support and advice on policy development to provincial and national clients, as well as expertise in government relations, communications, stakeholder engagement and project management.

Experience

Ian brings a wealth of experience in government working for both political offices as well as the civil service. Prior to joining Santis, Ian served as Senior Policy Advisor to former Ontario Ministers of Health, Dr. Eric Hoskins and Dr. Helena Jaczek where he led a number of files related to long-term care, health workforce planning, health profession regulatory affairs and health promotion.

During his time in the Minister’s office Ian developed and implemented key health care policy including Ontario’s Aging with Confidence Strategy for Seniors and the allocation of over 5,000 new long-term care beds, as well as new legislation and regulation to expand the scope of practice of health care professionals. He has extensive knowledge of the complex labour relations and regulatory environment of health care professions, as well as the long-term care sector.

Volunteerism and Education

Ian holds a master’s degree in public service from the University of Waterloo, and a B.A. (Honours) majoring in History from Queen’s University.

Ian Chesney

Associate

Role at Santis Based in Ottawa, Ian provides strategic support...

Avis Favaro

Position: Senior Advisor
Categories: Associates, Communications
Location: Toronto

ROLE AT SANTIS

Avis Favaro is an acclaimed, and award winning medical journalist with 4 decades of experience, and brings to Santis Health a unique blend of expertise in health communications and journalism. As a Senior Advisor, Avis leverages her extensive background in interviewing doctors, nurses, scientists and other health professionals to help bolster Santis’ media training program.

EXPERIENCE

As the former Medical Correspondent for CTV News, she continues to contribute stories and also hosts a podcast for the Canadian Institute for Health Information.

She is a graduate of Western University where she studied History, and obtained a Masters Degree in the Arts-Journalism program. She was granted an honorary PhD from McMaster University. Her goal is to help health professionals learn to ‘talk to Canadians’ with comfort, ease, accuracy and clarity.

Avis Favaro

Senior Advisor

ROLE AT SANTIS Avis Favaro is an acclaimed, and award...

Daniel Fontaine

Position: Associate, Western Canada
Categories: Associates, Government Relations
Location: Vancouver
surname: Fontaine

Role at Santis

With vast experience in the private and not-for-profit sectors, as well as government, Daniel provides strategic advice to help organizations break through the noise and have their message heard — by government and by the public.

Experience

In his 25-year career, Daniel has served in senior-level roles that have seen him set strategic priorities, manage a variety of relationships with stakeholders and implement policy directives. Alongside his work at Santis, Daniel currently serves as an elected City Councillor in New Westminster, British Columbia.

He previously served as Deputy Minister and Chief Executive Officer for Métis Nation BC, CEO for the BC Care Providers Association and Chief of Staff to the Mayor of Vancouver.

Daniel is intimately familiar with the challenges the health care system faces, especially the challenges impacting Canadian seniors, having served as Chair of the Board for the Canadian Association for Long Term Care. He was also appointed by the federal government to serve on the federal Ministerial Advisory Board on Dementia. The board worked to support the development and implementation of Canada’s National Dementia Strategy. In addition, Daniel has advocated to break down barriers that Indigenous people face in accessing equitable health care.

With his expertise, Daniel has also built a prominent media presence co-hosting #BCPoliTalk, a podcast focused on politics in British Columbia. He also wrote a monthly political column for The Orca online and a weekly civic affairs column for 24 Hours Newspaper, in addition he was a political commentator on Global TV and Global BC1 news channels.

Volunteerism & Education

Daniel was appointed to the Board of Directors for Douglas College and served on the board of the College of Psychologists BC. In 2022, Daniel was inducted into Canada’s Marketing, PR, Advertising and Communications Hall of Fame. In 2012, he was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for public service and in 2016 the New Westminster Minor Hockey Association presented him with the Volunteer of the Year award.

Daniel earned his political science degree from the University of Manitoba and has completed a Media Writing and Public Relations certificate program at Langara College.

Daniel Fontaine

Associate, Western Canada

Role at Santis With vast experience in the private and...

Jonathan Guss

Position: Senior Advisor
Categories: Associates, Strategy and Policy
Location: Toronto
surname: Guss

Role at Santis

Jonathan brings senior strategic counsel and decades of executive and advisory experience to Santis.

Experience

For seven years, Jonathan served as the CEO of the Ontario Medical Association, gaining significant exposure to all facets of the health care system. Upon his arrival, he worked with the board to initiate and implement a Strategic Plan designed to cover the fundamental issues facing the OMA. Based on the plan, the board implemented a major governance realignment, and a communications and public affairs strategy (implemented by Patrick Nelson), which guided the Association’s approach in two rounds of negotiations. Jonathan was also responsible for the turnaround of the OMA subsidiary, OntarioMD, which placed Electronic Medical Record (EMR) technology in the hands of over 11,000 Ontario physicians.

Prior to his tenure at the OMA, Jonathan ran the Credit Union Central of Ontario for over twelve years, where he envisioned and engineered the merger with BC Central Credit Union to create the pan-Canadian Central1. Prior to that he served as a lawyer and diplomat in the foreign service.

Volunteerism and Education

Jonathan has also served on numerous boards, including the University of Guelph, the Harvard Alumni Association, Credit Union Central of Canada, OntarioMD, the Institute for Quality Management in Healthcare, a trust company and two insurance companies. He was Chair of the University of Guelph’s Health for Life initiative and is chair of Board of the Pine River Institute. Jonathan has a law degree from the University of Toronto and a degree in economics from Harvard University.

Jonathan Guss

Senior Advisor

Role at Santis Jonathan brings senior strategic counsel and decades...

Yvan Marston

Position: Corporate Communications Writer
Categories: Associates, Communications
Location: Toronto
surname: Marston

Role at Santis

At Santis, Yvan serves as a writing lead and has worked on multiple projects for member associations and hospitals. Much of his work involves collaborating with senior managers, subject matter experts and marketing teams to help build the essential written elements of their communications projects.

Experience

For over 15 years, Yvan’s work has focused on health care writing projects. As a consultant for the Ontario Hospital Association, he has written and assisted with the development of more than 20 OHA publications including a 400-page guide for perioperative supply chain management that became the seminal resource for Ontario hospitals, as well as a number of guides and toolkits related to health human resources.

As a corporate communications writer, he plans and develops complex messaging projects including annual reports for eHealth Ontario, work that grew from his experience with a Fortune 500 company producing annual reports, web content and speeches. He also serves as a technical writing consultant for a medical device manufacturer where he organizes information and learning, and helps to devise and implement content marketing strategies.

Volunteerism and Education

Yvan has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications and English Literature from the University of Ottawa and a diploma in journalism from Sheridan College.

Yvan Marston

Corporate Communications Writer

Role at Santis At Santis, Yvan serves as a writing...

Marcel Saulnier

Position: Associate
Categories: Associates, Government Relations, Strategy and Policy
Location: Ottawa
surname: Saulnier

Role at Santis

As an Associate, Marcel serves as an advisor to the Santis team and its clients on key health initiatives and supports them in achieving their strategic policy, health care policy and government relations objectives.

Experience

Marcel joined Santis after 30+ years of experience in the federal government focusing on strategic policy, health care policy, and intergovernmental relations. After holding several positions as a Policy Analyst, Marcel became a Policy Advisor for the Director of Policy in the Prime Minister’s Office, where he provided advice on key issues in the Health, Justice and Human Resources Development Portfolios.

Marcel has since held various leadership positions as the Director of Policy Research for the Canadian Medical Association, Director General of Policy Coordination and Director General of Health Care Strategies for Health Canada. Most notably, Marcel worked as the Executive Director, Secretariat for the Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare for Health Canada. In this role he oversaw the work of the Advisory Council, provided leadership for the Council’s cross-country consultations, and collaborated with senior officials at Finance Canada, the Privy Council Office and Health Canada.

Prior to joining Santis, Marcel served as an Associate Assistant Deputy Minister for the Strategic Policy Branch of Health Canada. In his role he advised the Minister and Deputy Minister on health care policy and led Federal-Provincial-Territorial negotiations on bilateral agreements for mental health, home care and virtual care.

Volunteerism and Education

Marcel holds a Bachelor of Social Sciences in Economics from the University of Ottawa, along with a Master of Science in Economics from the University of Montreal. Marcel is fluently bilingual in English and French and has significant experience as a member of the Board of Directors of several pan-Canadian health organizations.

Marcel Saulnier

Associate

Role at Santis As an Associate, Marcel serves as an...

John Wellner

Position: Associate
Categories: Associates
Location: Toronto

ROLE AT SANTIS

John brings over 20 years of experience in the healthcare sector to his role at Santis Health, and is pivotal in shaping Santis’ strategy, policy development, and public affairs engagement. John is instrumental in managing client relationships, conducting in-depth policy and environmental research, and providing valuable support in project management.

EXPERIENCE

Before joining Santis, John held various impactful roles that enriched his understanding of healthcare policy and advocacy.

With over 13 years at the Ontario Medical Association (OMA) John served in several capacities, starting as Director of Health Policy on Public Health files. He subsequently transitioned to leading the Health Promotion program and eventually became Director of Health Promotion, Research, and Emerging Issues.

As CEO of the Ontario Association of Naturopathic Doctors (OAND) for seven years, John led the organization through significant milestones, including ushering them through the early days of their RHPA regulation, membership and budgetary growth, and then the successful negotiation of the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic.

ADVOCACY

Before his healthcare career, John dedicated six years to advocating for environmental policies at municipal, provincial, and federal levels.

John Wellner

Associate

ROLE AT SANTIS John brings over 20 years of experience...

Dr. James (Jim) Wright

Position: Associate
Categories: Associates
Location: Toronto

ROLE AT SANTIS

Dr. Wright, an esteemed physician recognized worldwide, brings with him an unparalleled depth of experience from leadership roles in health care institutions both in Ontario and globally. At Santis, he will offer strategic counsel to executives grappling with the intricacies of navigating the ever-evolving health care landscape. His role is grounded in his decades of experience as a changemaker in both the public and private sectors, aimed at fostering meaningful organizational transformations.

EXPERIENCE

In 2018 Dr. Wright joined the Ontario Medical Association (OMA). There, in addition to the crucial advocacy of a professional organization he engaged stakeholders, and through thought leadership, the OMA became a credible, trusted, and valuable voice within the health system. Specifically, he advanced the role of physicians in transforming the health care system to serve as a model for Canada and beyond, including policy papers on mental health, primary and integrated care.

The pandemic brought unprecedented challenges where the health policy unit under Dr. Wrights’ leadership played a critical role not just in preparing the profession but more profoundly by guiding and influencing the system.

Previously, as Chief of Perioperative Services at SickKids, arguably one of the most preeminent children’s hospitals, Dr. Wright oversaw one of the busiest and most advanced paediatric surgery departments in the world ensuring a high level of engagement in complex clinical care, basic and clinical research, undergraduate and postgraduate education.Dr. Wright has been involved in many international and national organizations, held many leadership roles, and is an Adjunct Professor at the Universities of Toronto and Oxford.

VOLUNTEERISM AND EDUCATION

Dr. Wright was appointed as a Member of the Order of Canada in 2016 largely based on his National contributions to Children’s Surgery, specifically the Canadian Pediatric Surgical Wait time project. He is the recipient of the highest research awards from the American Academy of Orthopedics Surgeons, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, The Pediatric Orthopaedic Association of North America and the Canadian Orthopaedic Association. He was awarded an ad hominem fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh. He is a distinguished scientist with more than 250 publications.

Dr. James (Jim) Wright

Associate

ROLE AT SANTIS Dr. Wright, an esteemed physician recognized worldwide,...