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.

Dylan Brenneman

Position: Senior Consultant
Categories: Government Relations
Location: Toronto
surname: Brenneman

Role at Santis

Dylan provides government relations, communications and project management support to clients and the Santis team.

Experience

Prior to joining Santis, Dylan completed a Work Integrated Learning placement at the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) in the Communications and Government Affairs division. Dylan has worked on multiple election campaigns at the provincial and federal levels for Mike Schreiner, MPP for Guelph, and Gord Miller, former Environmental Commissioner of Ontario. He worked in Mike Schreiner’s office at the Legislative Assembly of Ontario and helped draft Private Members’ Public Bill 71, Paris Galt Moraine Conservation Act.

Volunteerism and Education

Dylan has a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Development and Political Science from the University of Guelph. He also holds a Post Graduate Certificate in Government Relations from Seneca College. He has previously volunteered for Vote Savvy, a non partisan team which encourages young people to become involved in the political process.

Dylan Brenneman

Senior Consultant

Dylan provides government relations, communications and project

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...

Eden Clark-Campbell

Position: Consultant
Categories: Government Relations
Location: Ottawa
surname: Clark-Campbell

Role at Santis

Eden provides support in project management, stakeholder engagement and communication, policy research and analyses, and event planning to the Santis team and its clients.

Experience

Prior to joining Santis, Eden worked as a research assistant at the University of Ottawa’s Placenta Lab. In this role, she conducted and analyzed scientific research, co-authored a systematic review, analyzed large data sets, reviewed grant submissions, and assisted with ongoing research projects. During her studies and two internships at Santis, Eden has experienced the current and emerging health policy environment.

Volunteerism and Education

Eden holds an Honours Bachelor of Health Sciences from the University of Ottawa with a Minor in Psychology. She currently volunteers with Ausome Ottawa, providing support to children with autism. She has also volunteered with Kids Help Phone, the uOttawa Interprofessional Health Association, and the CARE Lab at the University of Ottawa.

Eden Clark-Campbell

Consultant

Role at Santis Eden provides support in project management, stakeholder...

Peter Cleary

Position: Principal
Categories: Government Relations
Location: Ottawa
surname: Cleary

Role at Santis

Peter spearheads Santis Health’s Ottawa practice, supporting a wide range of federal, provincial and national clients throughout Canada on policy support, advocacy and public affairs.

Experience

Peter joined the firm after serving as Director of Parliamentary Affairs for the Hon. Jane Philpott, Minister of Health in the Government of Canada. During his time on Parliament Hill, Peter maneuvered key initiatives through the legislative process including the government’s landmark assisted dying legislation and the successful negotiation of a 10-year health accord agreement with provinces and territories.

Previously, Peter has held senior roles for both the Dalton McGuinty and Kathleen Wynne governments, as the Chief of Staff to the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and as Issues Manager for the former Minister of Health, Hon. Deb Matthews. Peter also served in several advisory capacities for the Minister of Community and Social Services.

Volunteerism and Education

Peter brings a decade of experience with three different governments to Santis, and also has past board experience on the Northumberland United Way Board of Directors and extensive political volunteer experience.

Peter Cleary

Principal

Role at Santis Peter spearheads Santis Health’s Ottawa practice, supporting...

Chloé Currie

Position: Public Affairs Coordinator
Categories: Government Relations
Location: Toronto
surname: Currie

Role at Santis

Chloé provides government relations, communications and project management support to the Santis team and its clients.

Experience

Prior to joining Santis, Chloé completed the Master of International Public Policy program at the Balsillie School of International Affairs at Wilfrid Laurier University. Through this program, she learned the fundamentals of government relations, political research, and public policy. During her time at the Balsillie School, Chloé worked on various research projects with Global Affairs Canada, the Native Women’s Association of Canada, and professors at Wilfrid Laurier University.

Volunteerism and Education

Chloé has a Scottish Master of Arts degree in history from the University of Edinburgh. She also has a Master of International Public Policy degree, with specializations in international environmental policy and human security. Chloé previously volunteered for Encode Justice Canada, a student-led non-profit dedicated to fighting for justice in the age of artificial intelligence, where she researched the ethical implications of using artificial intelligence in health care.

Chloé Currie

Public Affairs Coordinator

Role at Santis Chloé provides government relations, communications and project...

Danielle Flieler

Position: Senior Consultant
Categories: Government Relations
Location: Ottawa
surname: Flieler

Role at Santis

Danielle provides support to a wide range of federal, provincial and national clients throughout Canada on policy support, advocacy and public affairs.

Experience

Danielle has more than a decade of working experience as a professional in the health and life sciences sector, primarily focusing on business development, stakeholder relations, marketing and advocacy. Danielle has extensive experience successfully enhancing growth in both revenue and impact for organizations and companies in this sector.

Prior to joining Santis, Danielle was the Senior Development Manager at Research Canada, an Alliance dedicated to federal advocacy on behalf of health research and health innovation in Canada. During her time at Research Canada, Danielle managed a portfolio of over 100+ members and stakeholders stemming from a variety of sectors including biopharmaceutical companies, academic health science centres, hospitals, health charities, universities and start-ups.

Danielle has held other roles in health care over the years, including Ottawa Chapter Manager at Cystic Fibrosis Canada and Officer of Program and Sponsorships at the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.

Volunteerism and Education

Danielle completed her Honours B.A. at the University of Ottawa in History with a Minor in Psychology. She also recently completed Cycle 1 of a Mini- MBA at Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill University and will be completing Cycle 11 in the fall of 2023.

Danielle Flieler

Senior Consultant

Role at Santis Danielle provides support to a wide range...

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...

Stephanie Gawur

Position: Principal
Categories: Government Relations
Location: Toronto
surname: Gawur

Role at Santis

With deep roots in politics, Stephanie leads Santis’ government relations team. In her role, Stephanie supports health care organizations as they navigate, influence and respond to changing political landscapes.

Experience

Stephanie specializes in government relations, issues management and municipal affairs. As an experienced consultant, Stephanie has an impressive track record driving change and achieving success for a number of health-sector clients including associations, pharmaceutical companies and innovative health tech companies.

Stephanie has also supported a number of municipal, provincial and federal campaigns over the last decade. She was instrumental in three consecutive and successful Toronto mayoral campaigns and contributed to several Progressive Conservative leadership campaigns in Ontario. Stephanie was also the Executive Assistant to a Member of Parliament, where she managed community outreach and engagement.

In addition to her political experience, Stephanie has held senior leadership positions at the Breast Cancer Society of Canada and the Canadian Association for Community Living. In these roles, she implemented strategic development programs and facilitated media relations as part of multi-faceted communications plans.

Volunteerism and Education

Stephanie currently serves on the Board of Directors for Community Living Toronto (CLTO) and Chair of the CLTO Government Relations Committee. She has previously served on the Board of Directors for the Breast Cancer Society of Canada and her local federal Conservative Party riding association. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Queen’s University and a Master of Science from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Stephanie Gawur

Principal

Role at Santis With deep roots in politics, Stephanie leads...

Mirianna Georges

Position: Ontario Government Relations Intern
Categories: Government Relations
Location: Toronto

ROLE AT SANTIS

Mirianna provides supports the Ontario Government Relations Team.

EXPERIENCE

Mirianna has professional and academic experience working on projects with international and national health organizations such as Plan International Canada and the Public Health Agency Canada (PHAC). Mirianna has also been awarded a grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) for an undergraduate research project – the most prestigious undergraduate award to examine the relationship between resource insecurity and health outcomes in Kenya. Mirianna is also currently completing her Master’s degree in Global Health, where she learned the fundamentals of health governance and leadership, health policy analysis and healthcare management.

VOLUNTEERISM AND EDUCATION

Mirianna holds a Bachelor of Humanities and Biology from Carleton University, a Bachelor of Global Health from York University, and is currently pursuing an MSc in Global Health at McMaster University.

Mirianna Georges

Ontario Government Relations Intern

ROLE AT SANTIS Mirianna provides supports the Ontario Government Relations...

James Mitchell

Position: Senior Consultant, Western Canada
Categories: Government Relations
Location: Vancouver
surname: Mitchell

Role at Santis

James provides government relations, stakeholder relations, project management and communications support to clients and the Santis team.

Experience

Prior to joining Santis, James worked as a consultant, regularly advising government officials and candidates across all three levels of government. As a consultant, James provided advocacy and public policy advice to health stakeholders, including work to support veterans and first responders dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder.

James has extensive experience working on political campaigns across Canada. Most recently, he acted as Deputy Campaign Director on Ken Sim’s successful campaign to become Mayor of the City of Vancouver. James also previously advised the Leader of Canada’s Official Opposition on a number of issues including health care policy.

With over a decade of experience in politics, James has a keen sense determining what elected officials and their staff are looking for when making key decisions. Most notably, James translated this political expertise to support the development of a number of campaigns that advocated for various public benefits including boosting the supply of affordable housing.

Volunteerism and Education

James is a Library Board Trustee in North Vancouver, helping to set strategic direction, develop policies and oversee the library budget. He is also a member of the Rotary Club of North Vancouver.

James holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and political science from Simon Fraser University.

James Mitchell

Senior Consultant, Western Canada

Role at Santis James provides government relations, stakeholder relations, project...

Zachary Morris

Position: Senior Consultant
Categories: Government Relations
Location: Toronto

ROLE AT SANTIS

Zach provides government relations, strategy, communications, and project support to clients in Ontario.

EXPERIENCE

Prior to joining Santis Health, Zach worked as a policy analyst and health systems transformation lead with the Canadian Mental Health Association. Zach has also worked at the Ontario Ministry of Health, supporting an assistant deputy minister in navigating the response and recovery to the COVID-19 pandemic. He worked for the Ministry of Mines and supported the drafting and passing of Bill 71, Building More Mines Act.

VOLUNTEERISM AND EDUCATION

Zach holds a Bachelor of Public Affairs and Policy Management from Carleton University, and a Master of Public Policy from the University of Toronto’s Munk school of Global Affairs and Public Policy.

Zachary Morris

Senior Consultant

ROLE AT SANTIS Zach provides government relations, strategy, communications, and...

Abhinav Nair

Position: Public Affairs Coordinator
Categories: Government Relations
Location: Vancouver

ROLE AT SANTIS

Abhinav provides government relations, communications and project management support to the Santis team and its clients in Western Canada.

EXPERIENCE

Prior to joining Santis, Abhinav was an Officer at the Global Lounge resource centre in the anti-racism committee. In this role he conducted policy research and organised student focused stakeholder sessions. As the Founder of the AMS Malayali Association, Abhinav gained experiences in community organising, event management and communications.

VOLUNTEERISM AND EDUCATION

Abhinav holds a Bachelor of Political Science with Distinction from the University of British Columbia. He has previously volunteered as a part of MP Joyce Murray’s Constituency Youth Council, and continues to assist the AMS Malayali Association.

Abhinav Nair

Public Affairs Coordinator

ROLE AT SANTIS Abhinav provides government relations, communications and project...

Patrick Nelson

Position: Managing Partner
Categories: Communications, Government Relations
Location: Toronto
surname: Nelson

Role at Santis

At Santis, Patrick helps health care organizations adapt to the changing health care environment, influence government policy and improve their engagement with members and stakeholders. Patrick has expertise in strategic communications, government relations, public affairs and board governance.

Experience

Prior to joining Santis, Patrick served as the Executive Director of Public and Corporate Affairs at the Ontario Medical Association (OMA), the voice of the province’s 34,000 physicians. Over almost ten years, he led the OMA through several strategic communications campaigns, a comprehensive governance review, as well as a major rebranding of the organization. Under his tenure, member satisfaction with the OMA doubled to a record high and, over the course of a five-month advocacy campaign, the profession witnessed a remarkable 12 per cent increase in public trust.

Patrick also worked in senior communications roles in the Ontario government, as an aide to Ontario’s Minister of Health and as Director of Communications to the Minister of the Environment and to the Minister of Education.

Volunteerism and Education

Patrick served as Past-Chair of the Board of Directors at ALS Canada, following eight years on the Board of Directors and as Co-Chair of the Client Services Advisory Committee and Chair of the Governance Committee. He also serves on the Board of Directors at the Pine River Institute which helps treat adolescents with addiction and mental health challenges. He has also served for six years on the Board of Trustees at the Hincks-Dellcrest Centre, the largest children’s mental health treatment facility in Toronto. During that time, Hincks-Dellcrest presented him with an Award of Appreciation for his work in receiving additional funding from government to support mental health services for kids. Since 2014, Patrick has also served as the Executive Director of the Canadian Association of Physician Assistants.

Patrick also coaches rep baseball and basketball in West Toronto.

Patrick Nelson

Managing Partner

Role at Santis At Santis, Patrick helps health care organizations...

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...

Vesna Sertić

Position: Senior Consultant
Categories: Government Relations
Location: Calgary

ROLE AT SANTIS

Leveraging a vast Conservative network across Canada in governments and opposition parties from Alberta to Ottawa to Atlantic Canada, Vesna supports clients with government relations, provincial affairs, project management and stakeholder relations.

EXPERIENCE

Prior to joining Santis, Vesna served in the Office of the Honourable Danielle Smith, Premier of Alberta, working as the Manager of Stakeholder Relations and then continuing to lead her tour team as Manager of Tour and Scheduling. Before working in the Premier’s Office, Vesna held various roles in the office of the Honourable Tanya Fir, MLA and Minister of Arts, Culture and Status of Women.

Vesna also has experience in political campaign management and stakeholder relations, most recently in senior roles on the Alberta Provincial election in the spring of 2023 and a provincial leadership campaign in the fall of 2022. Vesna is active with federal Conservative Party of Canada (CPC), most recently working on MP Shuv Majumdar’s general by-election in Calgary, as well as CPC nominations in British Columbia.

VOLUNTEERISM AND EDUCATION

Vesna currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Croatian Heritage Society in Calgary, as well as her local provincial United Conservative Party constituency association. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration, with a major in International Business from Vancouver Island University, while also studying at the University of Zagreb, Shanghai Lixin University of Commerce and Qingdao University of Technology.

Vesna Sertić

Senior Consultant

ROLE AT SANTIS Leveraging a vast Conservative network across Canada...

Meghna Thakur

Position: Consultant
Categories: Government Relations
Location: Ottawa

ROLE AT SANTIS

As a consultant, Meghna supports the federal team in Ottawa on client relations, policy research, communications and project development.

EXPERIENCE

Prior to Santis, Meghna was a policy analyst at the Public Health Agency of Canada, working with a Senior Director of the National Emergency Security Stockpile. Through this position, Meghna organized various stakeholder engagement consultations and reviewed the financial implications of prevention, preparedness, response and recovery of national emergencies. Meghna has over three years of experience in the Federal Health departments, working with Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada as a policy analyst. She has worked on various health sector issues such as building safety emergencies, mental health issues for employment equity-seeking individuals, and national emergency management.

VOLUNTEERISM AND EDUCATION

Meghna completed a Bachelor of Health Sciences at the University of Ottawa and is currently completing a Masters Degree in Public Administration at the University of Saskatchewan.  She has also completed a Masters Certificate in Public Policy Analysis at the University of Saskatchewan.

Meghna Thakur

Consultant

ROLE AT SANTIS As a consultant, Meghna supports the federal...

Steve Vander Wal

Position: Vice President, Western Canada
Categories: Government Relations
Location: Vancouver
surname: Wal

Role at Santis

Steve leads Santis Health’s Western Canada practice. Collaborating with a team of consultants across British Columbia, Steve supports a range of provincial and national health care clients on public affairs and advocacy focused in B.C. and Alberta.

Experience

Prior to joining Santis, Steve spent over 15 years consulting at a senior level. During this time, he provided advice and guidance to numerous health clients including private sector companies, patient advocacy organizations, and regulatory colleges. His advocacy and policy support has helped clients achieve high-impact objectives such as the addition of a lifesaving Parkinson’s drug to B.C.’s formulary, an expansion to B.C. pharmacists’ scope of practice, and a major addition to B.C.’s seasonal influenza vaccine program.

Before joining the world of consulting, Steve spent almost nine years working for both the provincial and federal governments as a senior political advisor to several cabinet ministers. Steve was a senior political advisor in Victoria to three consecutive ministers of health in the British Columbia government, providing strategic policy advice on issues such as pharmacare, the regulation of health professionals and health technology. He was also a senior political advisor to the Deputy Premier and Minister of Advanced Education and Research.

Prior to that, Steve spent five years in Ottawa with the Government of Canada where he held various policy and advisory roles, including advisor to the senior political minister for British Columbia, the Minister of the Environment and the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans.

Steve has been active in politics for close to 30 years and has been a senior campaign strategist for numerous municipal, provincial and federal campaigns.

Volunteerism and Education

Steve is a member of the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade’s Government, Budget and Finance Committee and spent five years on the B.C. Chamber of Commerce’s Policy Committee. He also helped found the Public Affairs Association of Canada’s British Columbia chapter where he spent seven years as a board member.

Steve graduated from the University of Victoria and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science.

Steve Vander Wal

Vice President, Western Canada

Role at Santis Steve leads Santis Health’s Western Canada practice....