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Together for Tomorrow: Partnering Across Sectors to Make Kids Count

The Children’s Health Coalition came together officially at the beginning of the pandemic to shine a spotlight on the impact of the pandemic on kids and families. Comprised of the five pediatric hospitals, and the associations representing children’s rehabilitation centres and community child and youth mental health, the collective advocated on a range of issues including addressing the longstanding backlogs in care made worse by the pandemic. Hear from a panel of representatives from the Children’s Health Coalition about why a dedicated and integrated voice focused on children is so important, and what they have learned about partnering between sectors to advocate for children’s wellbeing across physical, developmental and mental health.


Jennifer Churchill, CEO, Empowered Kids Ontario-Enfants Avenir Ontario (EKO).
As CEO of Empowered Kids Ontario-Enfants Avenir Ontario (EKO), Jennifer Churchill leads the association through a significant period of growth and change, as the province continues to innovate in its approaches to the delivery of community based health care in child development and rehabilitation. She is respected as a collaborative partner by colleagues in a sector for which Ontario is known across Canada and around the world as a leader in both child disability research and care. During her tenure at EKO the association has modernized its governance, expanded its membership, and developed relationships that ensure EKO’s voice represents a broad range of stakeholders. Jennifer joined EKO after more than 25 years in the health and government sectors. She has a degree in Social Work, a Master’s Certificate in Municipal Management and Executive Leadership Certification.

Tammy DeGiovanni, Senior Vice President of Clinical Services, Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO)
Tammy joined the Executive Team in 2021 in the role of Senior Vice President and Chief Nurse Executive. Tammy started at CHEO in 1995 as a Registered Nurse working on the Inpatient Surgical Unit as well as in the Emergency Department.  She has since served in leadership roles across the organization from Inpatient Medicine to Health Records and e-health.  For many years, Tammy led the Ambulatory Care portfolio and was a leader of our Electronic Health Record implementation as Chief Nurse Information Officer.

As a graduate of the University of Ottawa School of Nursing and Telfer School of Management, Tammy holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and her Master’s of Health Administration.  She also earned her CHE designation through the Canadian College of Health Leaders.   She was also appointed to the Ottawa Board of Health in 2019 and currently serves as their Vice-Chair. As Chief Nurse she is proud to be working with our dynamic and professional nursing team throughout CHEO.

Julia Hanigsberg, President and CEO, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital
Julia Hanigsberg joined Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital as its President and CEO on January 12, 2015. She has spent her career in government, post-secondary education and healthcare as a champion for cultural transformation, innovation, excellence and social justice. Prior to joining Holland Bloorview Julia spent 9 years at Toronto Metropolitan University prior to which she worked in the Ontario government including roles as Counsel to the Deputy Attorney General, Counsel and Special Advisor to two Secretaries of Cabinet and Chief of Staff to the Attorney General of Ontario.

A lawyer by training Julia has law degrees from McGill University and the Columbia Law School and following graduation from law school clerked at the Supreme Court of Canada. Julia is a four-time Women’s Executive Network Most Powerful Women Top 100 honouree and was inducted into the Women’s Executive Network Most Powerful Women Hall of Fame.

Julia has served on numerous volunteer boards and currently chairs the Boards of Directors of Children’s Healthcare Canada and Solutions for Kids in Pain Board of Directors. She is a Vice Chair of the Ontario Hospital Association and sits on the boards of the Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation, the Kids Health Alliance and OECM. In addition, she serves on the CEO Committee of the Toronto Academic Health Sciences Network and she was appointed by the Ontario Ministry of Health to the Governing Council of the Provincial Council for Maternal and Child Health.

Bruce Squires, President, McMaster Children’s Hospital and VP, Women’s and Children’s Health
Bruce is an accomplished leader in Ontario’s and Canada’ healthcare sector and an advocate for child & youth health, patient safety and quality improvement. He serves as President of McMaster Children’s Hospital (MCH) and Vice President of Women’s & Children’s Health at Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS).  At MCH he oversees one of the fastest growing and largest children’s hospitals, which is also home to a busy tertiary care women’s health and obstetrics service. Prior to joining HHS he was VP, People, Strategy & Performance at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario where he led strategy development/deployment and several successful patient safety initiatives, including implementation of the hospital’s continuous quality improvement management system. Formerly, Bruce was VP, Corporate Affairs at the Canadian Medical Association and CEO at the Newfoundland & Labrador Medical Association. Bruce is Chair of the Governing Council of the Provincial Council on Maternal & Child Health, a member of the HIROC Board of Directors and the Ontario College of Family Physicians, and has just completed a two-year term as Chair of the Board of Children’s Healthcare Canada.  Bruce also serves as Co-Chair of the Ontario Neonatal Intensive Care Advisory Committee and participates on a number of other provincial and regional committees and councils.  Bruce holds an MBA from Dalhousie University.

Tatum Wilson, CEO, Children’s Mental Health Ontario (CMHO)
Tatum Wilson is the CEO of Children’s Mental Health Ontario. He has over 20 years of experience in multiple health and social policy environments, including government, academic health science centres, and advocacy organizations. His accomplishments include overseeing the development of Ontario’s first Comprehensive Mental Health and Addictions Strategy and managing the development and implementation of Ontario’s first Poverty Reduction Strategy. Previous roles include Director of the Youth Strategies Branch, Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services; Director of Stakeholder Relations at the Council of Academic Hospitals of Ontario; Director of Community Engagement and Planning at CAMH; and other senior roles in government. Tatum has an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from McMaster University and a Master of Health Science in Health Administration from the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto. He is a passionate promoter of equity and social justice issues and a leader in community engagement, communications and advocacy.

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