Project team

Research team

The ECHO PSP research team is led by Dr. Andrea Furlan from the Institute for Work & Health and Dr. Nadia Aleem from Trillium Health Partners. Drs. Aleem and Furlan are the study’s principal investigators. The research team’s role is to develop, implement and evaluate the effectiveness of the ECHO PSP pilot project. Learn more about the ECHO PSP pilot project and research.

Photo of Andrea Furlan

Andrea Furlan, MD, PhD, Institute for Work & Health

Dr. Andrea Furlan is a scientist at the Institute for Work & Health and a physician and senior scientist at the KITE Research Institute at University Health Network. She is also an associate professor in the Department of Medicine’s Division of Physiatry at the University of Toronto.

Furlan is an expert in rehabilitation medicine, chronic pain, systematic reviews, clinical practice guidelines, opioid treatments, cannabis and cannabinoids, and the implementation and evaluation of ECHO projects. Furlan was the first person to bring an ECHO project to Canada in 2014, on chronic pain and opioid stewardship. She has since helped many groups in Ontario start ECHO projects for conditions such as rheumatology, liver disease, epilepsy, mental health, children’s health, care of the elderly and wounds.

Furlan completed her residency in physiatry at the University of São Paulo in Brazil and obtained a PhD in clinical epidemiology from the University of Toronto. She completed a two-year clinical fellowship in physiatry at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute. Furlan received the Canadian Pain Society’s Excellence in Pain Mentorship Award in 2021 and the Pain Excellence Award from the Pain Society of Alberta in 2020.

Dr. Nadia Aleem

Nadia Aleem, MD, MSc, FRCP, Trillium Health Partners

Dr. Nadia Aleem initially worked as a Family medicine Doctor and Addictions Physician prior to retraining and starting her work as a Psychiatrist. She is currently the Mental Health Lead Physician at Insight Solutions, Trillium Health Partners and was formerly the Medical Head at the Work Stress and Health Program at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.

Aleem works exclusively in the field of Occupational Psychiatry, specializing in disability management and providing consultation and education on workplace mental health policies. She is an Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto and provides education seminars to organizations and medical training programs across Canada.

Pam Cardwell

Pam Cardwell is a knowledge transfer and exchange (KTE) associate at the Institute for Work & Health, working with the KTE team and Institute scientists to engage stakeholders in research projects.  

Before joining IWH in 2023, Cardwell managed the federally funded, multi-sectoral stakeholder program, the Toronto West Local Immigration Partnership, coordinating programs and services and building the capacity of newcomer-serving organizations to improve the outcomes for newcomers settling in Toronto. Cardwell has a master's degree in Critical Disability Studies from York University. 

Dr. Elizabeth Donnelly

Elizabeth Donnelly, PhD, MPH, LICSW, NREMT, FAEMS, University of Windsor

Dr. Elizabeth Donnelly is an Associate Professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Windsor. She holds a PhD in Social Work as well as a Master of Social Work (MSW) and Master of Public Health (MPH). Donnelly is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW) and a Fellow of the Academy of EMS (FAEMS) with the National Association of EMS Physicians.

Donnelly’s primary research interest is in workforce health issues, with a focus on mental health, in paramedicine. Donnelly has maintained certification as Nationally Registered Emergency Medical Technician (NREMT) since 1999 and has worked in both advanced and basic life support (ALS/BLS) capacities.

Megan Edgelow

Megan Edgelow, BScOT, MScRHBS, EdD, Queen's University

Dr. Megan Edgelow is an occupational therapist who works as a clinician, researcher, and educator. She is an Assistant Professor at Queen's University in the Faculty of Health Sciences, where she teaches and supervises students in the Occupational Therapy, Rehabilitation and Health Leadership, and Health Professions Education Programs.

She has two decades of clinical experience in mental health practice and maintains a small private practice in the Kingston, ON region. She also has research expertise with occupational therapy mental health interventions. In her current research, she focuses on return to work for populations with work-related psychological injuries, including first responders and public safety personnel.

Shireen Harbin, RN, BScN, Institute for Work & Health

Shireen Harbin is the administrative assistant for the ECHO OEM project. Harbin is a research associate and project coordinator at the Institute for Work & Health. For four years she was the managing editor of Cochrane Back and Neck where she also gained experience developing searches for systematic reviews and participating on review teams. Harbin is also a co-author on three Cochrane reviews related to back pain.

Harbin is a registered nurse with clinical experience in cardiovascular surgery and occupational health, and her research interests include systematic review methodology and knowledge translation in clinical practice and public health.

Photo of Emma Irvin

Emma Irvin, Institute for Work & Health

Emma Irvin is the director of research operations at the Institute for Work & Health (IWH), where she oversees research planning, research operations, information systems and the internal library. She also has an adjunct appointment with the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Toronto.

Irvin also oversees the Systematic Review Program at IWH, one of the Institute's key research programs. Her research focuses on the methodology and conduct of literature reviews, from scoping to systematic. She teaches systematic review methods in a number of forums. Irvin has a BA from the University of Toronto.

Photo of Sara Macdonald

Sara Macdonald, Institute for Work & Health

Sara Macdonald is the manager of knowledge transfer and exchange at the Institute for Work & Health (IWH) and the KTE specialist on the ECHO OEM project.  She and her team engage stakeholders in research projects, from concept development to the dissemination of research results. She also oversees stakeholder knowledge exchange networks representing workplace parties (employers, labour, and occupational health, safety and disability management professionals) and health practitioners.

Macdonald earned an occupational health and safety certificate at Ryerson University to complement her earlier education in science at the University of Waterloo and in business systems management from Askengren College in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Megan McElheran

Megan McElheran, R.Psych., Wayfound Mental Health Group

Dr. Megan McElheran is a Clinical Psychologist and the Chief Executive Officer of Wayfound, a national organization that provides mental health services across Canada.  McElheran’s research over the last 20 years has been focused on the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of operational stress injuries in active-duty military, veterans, and public safety personnel. McElheran’s passion and interest in proactively preventing operational stress led her to develop the Before Operational Stress (BOS) program as a way to address gaps in proactive mental health training for public safety personnel and frontline workers.

McElheran completed graduate training at the Stanford University clinical psychology consortium, during which she obtained specialized training in the treatment of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) through the National Center for PTSD in Menlo Park, CA. McElheran routinely engages in teaching and supervisory activity to ensure sound dissemination of empirically-grounded interventions for trauma, providing a range of empirically-supported treatments for PTSD, including Prolonged Exposure, which is a therapy for which she also provides supervision; Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR); Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) and Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ARTS).

McElheran is a TEDx alumni and has participated in a number of panels and speaking engagements across Canada and the United States about proactive mental health training for first responders. McElheran also received the Queen’s Jubilee in 2013 for her pioneering work in mental health research.

Colette Severin, MHSc, Institute for Work & Health

Colette Severin is the research operations manager responsible for data, information, privacy and ethics at the Institute for Work & Health (IWH). She is the project coordinator of the ECHO OEM project. Severin has coordinated projects related to disability prevention, leading indicators of health and safety, and long-term injury outcomes.

Severin holds a master’s of health science in community health and epidemiology from the University of Toronto, and a CPHI(C) certification in public health inspection from the School of Occupational and Public Health at Ryerson University.

Dr. Dwayne Van Eerd

Dwayne Van Eerd, PhD

Dr. Dwayne Van Eerd is a scientist at the Institute for Work & Health, where he has been a researcher since 1997. He has an MSc and BSc in kinesiology from the University of Waterloo, an MSc in health research methodology from McMaster University, and a PhD in work and health from the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences at the University of Waterloo.

Upon getting his MSc in kinesiology, Van Eerd got his start in occupational health and safety research in a clinical setting, studying musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) of the upper body in musicians, painters, writers and other artists. Now a scientist with the Institute for Work & Health, he focuses primarily on the prevention of work-related injuries, as well as on the implementation of programs and practices to prevent work injury and disability related to physical and mental health.

Advisory committee

The ECHO PSP advisory committee provides overall guidance on the pilot project, including guidance on its development, promotion, implementation and evaluation, as well as related research. The following individuals comprise the committee.

  • Joanna Anderson, Executive Director, Bellwood Health Services and Gateway Recovery Centre
  • Dr. Sanjeev Arora, Founder and Director, ECHO Institute, University of New Mexico
  • Dr. R. Nicholas Carleton, Professor of Psychology, Department of Psychology, University of Regina
  • Dr. Allison Crawford, Co-Chair, ECHO Ontario Superhub and Ontario Mental Health
  • Dr. Donna Ferguson, Clinical Psychologist, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
  • Dr. John Flannery, Co-Chair, ECHO Ontario Superhub and Medical Director, Musculoskeletal and Multisystem Rehab Program, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute
  • Dr. Katy Kamkar, Clinical Psychologist, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
  • Moira Hunter-Kenyon, Director of Occupational Therapy, Gowan Consulting
  • Dr. Noah Levine, Occupational Medicine Physician, Levine Medicine Professional Corporation
  • Marnie Lofsky, Executive Director, Ontario Society of Occupational Therapists
  • Vikki Madden, Occupational Therapist, FunctionAbility Rehabilitation Services
  • Scott Maxwell, Executive Director, Wounded Warriors
  • Vanessa Mooney, Education Manager, Nurse Practitioners Association of Ontario
  • Tanya Morose, Manager, Occupational Health Safety and Wellness, Waterloo Regional Police Service, Waterloo Regional Police Service
  • Richard Morrison, Chief Executive Officer , Ontario Psychology Association
  • Dr. Vivian Sapirman, Mental Health Physician Lead, Workplace Safety and Insurance Board
  • Taylor Sayers, Director of Corporate Services, United Chiefs and Councils of Manitoulin Anishnaabe Police
  • Josée Séguin, Director of Knowledge Translation, Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists