We employ professionals from a wide variety of backgrounds including health sciences, evaluation, research, knowledge exchange, communications, administration and more.


Our executive sets our entire team up for success. These individuals set direction, seek out emerging trends and work to inform practice and policy initiatives across the sector. 

Executive Director

Email Purnima
ext. 3769

Purnima's bio

Purnima Sundar (PhD) is the executive director at the Ontario Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health (the Centre). Along with the leadership team, she sets the vision and strategy for the Centre. Purnima has over 20 years of experience doing community-based, participatory action research, evaluation, implementation and knowledge mobilization in the areas of child and youth mental health and race/equity. Purnima’s training has been in the fields of psychology and social work, with a focus on community development and social planning. Since joining the Centre in 2008, she has worked with government partners across ministries, agency leaders and young people and their families to ensure high-quality, evidence-based mental health service delivery for Ontario’s children and youth.

Director, Special Projects and Operations

Email Melissa
ext. 3720

Melissa's bio

Melissa Jennings (she/her) is the director of special projects and operations at the Ontario Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health.

Melissa holds a master’s degree in child studies and a bachelor’s degree in psychology. Early in her career, she was involved in a range of program evaluation and community-based research initiatives in the areas of school-age child care, early years, social-emotional learning, violence against women and programming for seniors. Melissa joined the Centre’s leadership team eight years ago and has led the evaluation support program, the knowledge broker team and most recently key internal planning- and performance-related activities.

Melissa oversees the Centre’s operations.

Director of Knowledge Mobilization

Email Jaime
ext. 3317

Jaime's bio

Jaime Brown (PhD) is the director of knowledge mobilization at the Ontario Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health (the Centre). Jaime’s systemic and outcomes-focused approach to knowledge mobilization has helped her to build strong relationships with national, provincial and local partners to advance the important work of improving child and youth mental health in Ontario and beyond.

Jaime holds a PhD in Applied Social Psychology. She has 15 years of experience leading research, evaluation and knowledge mobilization initiatives related to health, mental health and addictions services, child and youth development, disability supports, collective impact and cross-sectoral community interventions.

Since joining the Centre in 2017, Jaime has played an instrumental role in growing the Centre’s Innovation Initiatives research funding program and in supporting key provincial initiatives and groups, such the Lead Agency Community of Practice. Recently, Jaime has led the Centre’s COVID-19 product development efforts, to ensure we are meeting the knowledge needs of the sector throughout the pandemic.

The Centre team


This team is the backbone of the Centre. Team members make sure we pay our bills, spend wisely and demonstrate our impact.

Portrait of Alison McAfeeAlison McAfee
Senior Administrative Assistant
ext. 3328


Portrait of Allanna Dagley

Allanna Dagley
Senior Administrative Assistant


Portrait of Émilie St-Jean Savoie

Émilie St-Jean Savoie
Administrative Assistant
ext. 3316


Portrait of Pamela WangkhangPamela Wangkhang
Contracts Officer
ext. 3732


Portrait of Mageya Castedo

Mageya Castedo
Finance Clerk
ext. 3324


Our communications team works strategically across the organization and with each of our project teams to ensure that we are effectively communicating what we do.

Portrait of Geneviève C.GagnonGeneviève C.Gagnon
Manager, Communications
ext. 3388


Portrait of Brooke EbouleBrooke Eboule
Communications Specialist
ext. 3494


Portrait of Heather ParsonsHeather Parsons
Communications Specialist (on leave)


Portrait of Therese MujembereTherese Mujembere
Communications Specialist


Portrait of Ray HeathRay Heath
Multimedia Specialist
ext. 3315


Portrait of Georgina DunnGeorgina Dunn
Social Media Specialist


Portrait of Eric WellmanEric Wellman
Website Administrator
ext. 3326

 Data and quality improvement

This team uses its expertise to support others working in child and youth mental health to evaluate their work and make sure they are being the best they can be. Team members also do the same for the Centre, holding us accountable in our pursuit of excellence.

Portrait of Blake DaveyBlake Davey
Manager, Planning and Performance
ext. 3313


Portrait of Sandra Huang Del Frari

Sandra Huang Del Frari
Manager, Quality
ext. 3327


Portrait of Christine PolihronisChristine Polihronis
Senior Data Analyst


Portrait of Ann BarberAnn Barber
Quality Improvement Consultant
ext. 3483


Portrait of Kristina Rohde

Kristina Rohde
Quality Improvement Consultant


Portrait of Kelsey Binkley

Kelsey Binkley
Quality Improvement Specialist
ext. 3359


Portrait of Lamia Moheb AlmorsyLamia Moheb Almorsy
Quality Improvement Specialist


Portrait of Mehmet BaharMehmet Bahar
Quality Improvement Specialist


Portrait of Laura ZiebellLaura Ziebell
Research Coordinator

 Knowledge mobilization

Our knowledge mobilization team makes information accessible, understandable and usable for those who need it most. Team members’ expertise helps align research, policy and practice to improve outcomes for children, youth and families.

Portrait of Nicole SummersNicole Summers
Manager, Knowledge Mobilization (on leave)


Portrait of Mario CappelliMario Cappelli
Senior Child and Youth Mental Health Clinician-Scientist
ext. 3321


Portrait of Evangeline DansecoEvangeline Danseco
Senior Researcher
ext. 3319


Portrait of Hana SaabHana Saab
Senior Researcher


Portrait of Sarah PinderSarah Pinder
Knowledge Broker


Portrait of Alice HuttonAlice Hutton
Research Coordinator


Portrait of Helen ValkanasHelen Valkanas
Research Coordinator


Portrait of Julia KurzawaJulia Kurzawa
Research Coordinator


Portrait of Marta Krygier-BartzMarta Krygier-Bartz
Research Coordinator (on leave)


Portrait of Gabrielle LucenteGabrielle Lucente
Research Assistant


Portrait of Madison ErbachMadison Erbach
Research Assistant

 Youth and family engagement and quality standards

This team supports our sector partners and others across the child and youth mental health system to meaningfully engage youth and families in Ontario. Team members also help us to fulfill our commitment to do so in our own work.


Portrait of Jana KocourekJana Kocourek
Manager, Engagement and Standards
ext. 3310


Portrait of Kelli DilworthKelli Dilworth
Knowledge Broker
ext. 3320


Portrait of Renée NossalRenée Nossal
Knowledge Broker
ext. 3458


Portrait of Melissa Edwards

Melissa Edwards
Research Coordinator
ext. 3736


Portrait of Natalie Markoff

Natalie Markoff
Family Engagement Specialist


Portrait of Patricia Silva Roy

Patricia Silva Roy
Youth Advisor