Alumni Program for Early Career Leaders

Program Design 

A unique 9 month program, the Vernissage Health Program for Early Career Leaders integrates 1:1 coaching by mentors and faculty within a Health Leaders Dialogue Series. 

The experience is offered to IHPME alumni, 2 to 5 years post graduation working full or part time in health leadership.  (Leadership is broadly defined to include leadership positions or roles in health organizations as well as leadership in health advocacy or community development.)  Sessions are Mondays, 5:30 to 8 p.m.  Dates for the 2022 dialogue series are:

  • January 17 and 31;

  • February 14,

  • March 7 and 28;

  • April 11 

  • May 2

  • October 17 (Summation session)

  • 1:1 coaching sessions scheduled separately

Given that dialogue and relationship builds over time, participants are expected to commit to attend all sessions.

The program is designed to provide a positive learning experience that includes the following:

  • Evidence based leadership self assessment related to the capacities of effective leaders in early career stages;

  • Readings, reflection and authentic conversation about contemporary leadership in health;

  • One to one coaching and support to progress on leadership development goals. 

At successful completion of the program, participants will be issued proof of enrolment and expense receipts for continuing education and tax purposes.  Participants may be eligible for continuing education credits from Professional Colleges.


Leadership Mentors and Program Faculty

Here are the mid to late career health leaders who are participating in 
the Vernissage Health Program for Early Career Leaders in 2022.

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Wolf Klassen

Vice President, Michael Garron Hospital
Mentor, Certificate Program for Early Career Leaders

Wolf is currently Vice President of Clinical Support at the Michael Garron Hospital in Toronto and has over 25 years of healthcare leadership experience. Wolf has a master of health science in health administration from the University of Toronto. He is a certified health executive with the Canadian College of Health Service Executive and has completed the Rotman School of Management executive program in understanding the new world of health care.Wolf has an adjunct appointment at IHPME and is a volunteer board member of several community organizations.  He is passionate about leadership development.

Dr. Jocelyn Charles

Family Physician and Medical Director, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
Mentor, Certificate Program for Early Career Leaders

Jocelyn is currently a family physician in the Sunnybrook Academic Family Health Team, the Primary Care Clinical Co-Lead for North Toronto, and the Medical Director of the Veterans Program at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. Her previous leadership roles included Chair of the Medical Advisory Committee and Chief of the Department of Family & Community Medicine at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre.
Her work has focused on developing patient-centred models of care to meet the needs of patients with complex needs.  She was recently recognized by the College of Family Physicians of Canada as the Family Physician of the Year for Ontario in 2019.

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Mark Rochon

Senior Executive Advisor, KPMG
Senior Fellow, IHPME
Mentor, Certificate Program for Early Career Leaders

Mark has been in leadership roles in health care for over 30 years with senior experience in government, a range of health care providers, organizations at arms-length from government and advisory services.  Mark has been appointed on many occasions to assist and advise governments with health care related issues including policy and statutory frameworks, health care system and provider performance and physician negotiations.  Mark has served as Interim President & CEO of Health Quality Ontario and Ontario Hospital Association; Founding President and CEO of the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute and Founding CEO of the Health Services Restructuring Commission.

Simone Atungo

Executive Director, Vibrant Health
Mentor, Certificate Program for Early Career Leaders

As a highly renowned and award-winning community leader, Simone possesses over 30 years’ experience in community-based not-for-profit and public sector organizations. She is currently the Chief Executive Officer at Vibrant Healthcare Alliance.  Prior to joining Vibrant Healthcare Alliance, she previously held positions such as Vice-President, Resident and Community Services at Toronto Community Housing; Director, Community Development and Integration at Mount Sinai Hospital; and Executive Director at the Parkdale Community Health Centre.

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Joy Richards

Vice-President Patient Experience and Chief of Health Professions, University Health Network

Mentor, Certificate Program for Early Career Leaders 

In addition to her role at UHN, Dr. Richards is a Past-President of the Academy of Canadian Executive Nurses (ACEN) and holds academic appointments at the University of Toronto, Faculty of Nursing, and York University Faculty of Nursing. Dr. Richards graduated from the University of Toronto with a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Nursing. She went on to complete a Master of Arts in Human and Organizational Systems from Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara California. Her dissertation focused on exploring and understanding the development and practice of feminine courage in leadership. Dr. Richards has received numerous awards and honours.  Most recently, in 2019, Dr. Richards was inducted as a Fellow into the American Academy of Nursing as a Fellow (FAAN).

Dr. Dan Cass

Vice President and Chief Medical Executive
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
Mentor, Certificate Program for Early Career Leaders

Dan joined Sunnybrook as Chief Medical Executive in 2018. He is a graduate of the University of Toronto, receiving his MD before completing the Royal College Residency Program in Emergency Medicine in Toronto. Dan began his career as a staff Emergency Physician at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto including serving 10 years as the Chief of Emergency Medicine. He held a number of leadership positions including Deputy Chief Coroner in Ontario and Vice President, Medical at St. Joseph’s Health Centre, Toronto. Dan also continues to practice clinically, providing care to homeless men through the Inner City Family Health Team. Dan is Associate Professor (Emergency Medicine), Department of Medicine at the University of Toronto.

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Catherine Wang

Vice President, Clinical at University Health Network

Mentor, Certificate Program for Early Career Leaders

At UHN, Catherine provides  executive leadership to UHN’s Laboratory Medicine Program and the Joint Department of Medical Imaging, Canada’s largest academic medical imaging program. In addition, Catherine serves as UHN’s Outpatient and Virtual Care strategy lead, as well as executive co-sponsor for UHNWomen. Catherine is appointed as Assistant Professor to the Department of Medical Imaging, Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto.  
Earlier in her career, Catherine  served the McGuinty government as the Senior Policy Advisor for Cabinet Office.
She is a passionate advocate for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in health.  This includes her Board work as Vice-Chair at Massey Centre in Toronto.

Wendy Nelson

Founder and Project Lead, Vernissage Health
Senior Fellow, IHPME

As a experienced executive and mentor, Wendy is founder of Vernissage Health - a leadership development initiative based at IHPME that connects emerging and established leaders together in dialogue about leadership in health. The aim is to develop emerging leaders with the skills and insights to successfully lead positive change in Canada's health system. As a Senior Fellow within IHPME, Wendy's work with Vernissage Health garnered her receipt of the Arbor Award in 2018 for outstanding service to the University of Toronto.

Bringing deep experience, Wendy has served as a senior executive in a broad range of settings in the private and public sectors including North York General Hospital in Toronto, Trillium Health Centre in Mississauga, St. Joseph's Hospital in Hamilton, Rx Canada and the Ontario Public Service.

Wendy is one of a handful of Canadians who are alumni of the Leadership Academy offered through Parker Palmer's Centre for Courage and Renewal in Washington. She is also a graduate of McGill University's International Masters of Health Leadership, a global leadership development initiative.

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Malcolm Moffat

Vernissage Health Co-Lead
Senior Fellow, IHPME
Executive in Residence, MHSc Program, IHPME

Malcolm is a seasoned administrator, with over 30 years experience in health care. He has a Masters of Health Science in Health Administration, from the University of Toronto.

Malcolm has held various positions in health care starting his leadership career at  Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and the Toronto Bayview Regional Cancer Centre.  Malcolm was the Vice President, Planning/Facilities & Chief Planning Officer at St. Michael’s Hospital where he completed an $80 Million addition to the Hospital to accommodate the programs and services of the Wellesley Central Hospital.

Malcolm was President and Chief Executive Officer of St. John’s Rehabilitation Hospital, a Regional Rehabilitation Teaching Hospital, from 2003-2012. He spearheaded the Hospital’s development into a premier rehabilitation facility for complex patients and led the merger of St. John’s Rehabilitation Hospital with Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. Malcolm served Executive Vice President, Programs, at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre from 2012 until his retirement in 2018.

Malcolm is the Vice Chair of the SPRINT Seniors Care Board of Directors, and a member of the Board of Directors of CorHealth.


How to Apply

To apply for the program, please complete the following:​

For more information about this initiative, please contact Wendy Nelson, Project Lead at  To attend an online information session about the program, please complete the registration below.


Register for an Information Session

To learn more, join the Project Team for an online information session:

  • November 24 5:30 to 6:15 p.m.

  • November 26 from Noon to 12:45 p.m. 

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