Public Health Agency of Canada

Type 2 Diabetes Prevention Challenge

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The Judges

Doug Roth Co-Chair

CEO of Heart & Stroke Canada

  • Full bio

    Doug Roth is the CEO of Heart & Stroke Canada. For over a decade Doug has been an integral part of the Heart & Stroke family, holding a variety of senior leadership roles throughout the organization. He leads Heart & Stroke’s fight against heart disease, stroke and related conditions. His work is driven by collaboration – with their volunteers and donors, researchers, people who have lived experience, health care professionals, governments and others – and everything they do is aimed at improving the health of people in Canada by decreasing risk factors, complications, and death from heart disease, stroke and related conditions.

    Prior to joining Heart & Stroke, Doug spent 10+ years with Bain & Company, a global management consulting firm, where he worked with clients in Canada, the United States and Europe.

    Doug has an honours business administration degree from the Richard Ivey School of Business and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. He is a board member of the Health Charity Coalitions of Canada, Stratford Summer Music Festival and the STAR Family Health Team.

Dr. Jasmine Pawa Co-Chair

Past President, Public Health Physicians of Canada | Public Health and Preventive Medicine Physician

  • Full bio

    Dr. Jasmine Pawa is a Public Health and Preventive Medicine specialist physician. She works as a public health physician consultant to a range of public sector organizations and is the President of the national specialty society, Public Health Physicians of Canada. She has provided coverage in the north of Canada, with public health services as a Deputy Chief Public Health Officer and with health care teams as Senior Medical Advisor. Her professional focus is on health policy and health systems, and she has additional experience in qualitative methods. She’s committed to working with teams on integrating population health and medical expertise with the insights of community members – and shifting decision-making accordingly.

Dr. Jia Hu

CEO, 19 To Zero | Public Health and Preventive Medicine Physician

  • Full bio

    Jia Hu is a public health and preventive medicine physician and a family doctor. He is the CEO of 19 To Zero, a not-for-profit coalition aimed at promoting healthy behaviors such as vaccination and screening. He is also a physician with Cleveland Clinic Canada where he advises large companies on health and wellness issues such as COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses, mental health, and chronic diseases. He was previously a Medical Officer of Health with Alberta Health Services where he helped lead different aspects of the COVID-19 response including the use of novel technologies, vaccine rollout, and population-level behaviour change campaigns.

Dr. Zayna Khayat

In House Health Futurist, Deloitte Canada, Life Sciences & Healthcare Practice | Growth Advisor, Telad

  • Full bio

    Zayna Khayat is adjunct faculty in the Health Sector Strategy stream at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto where she instructs a course in healthcare innovation in the health MBA program. Zayna the in-house health futurist with Deloitte Canada's Life Sciences & Healthcare practice. And an advisor to Teladoc Health in Canada, the world’s largest virtual care company. Zayna previously led the Futures team with national home healthcare and aging social enterprise, SE Health, as their Future Strategist. Dr. Khayat was previously the lead of health system innovation at MaRS Discovery District, a health innovation hub in Toronto, Canada. In 2017 she was seconded to the REshape Innovation Centre at Radboud university medical centre in the Netherlands. Zayna completed her Ph.D. in diabetes research from the University of Toronto (2001), followed by a career in strategy consulting, including as a Principal in the healthcare practice of The Boston Consulting Group (BCG). She currently resides in Toronto with her husband and three children and is proficient in French and Arabic languages (and a bit of Dutch!).

Dr. Leia Michelle Minaker

Director, Future Cities Initiative & Associate Professor, School of Planning, University of Waterloo

  • Full bio

    Leia Michelle Minaker is an Associate Professor in the School of Planning at the University of Waterloo. She received a PhD in public health from the University of Alberta in 2013 and held a Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute Career Development Award in Cancer Prevention from 2016-2019, focusing on youth health and policies and environments that support cancer prevention. At the University of Waterloo, she currently serves as Director of the Future Cities Initiative as well as the Director of the Survey Research Institute. Her research broadly focuses on urban planning and public health, with a particular focus on food systems, youth mental and physical health, and health equity. She has worked with both Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada to design environmental assessment tools for Canadian communities to measure the healthfulness of their food environments for chronic disease prevention and has expertise in population health intervention research methods. Outside of her research, Leia keeps busy raising three teenage daughters and gardening. She also serves as a Board member for the Kitchener Downtown Community Health Centre/Sanctuary Refugee Health Centre.

Sophia Ikura

Founder and Executive Director, Health Commons Solutions Lab

  • Full bio

    Sophia Ikura is the founder and executive director of Health Commons Solutions Lab, a not-for-profit health and social innovation lab at Sinai Health in Toronto. She launched the lab to dedicate space to building practical solutions that address health disparities experienced by people living in Canada. The mission and vision for the Lab is aligned to her own and is the culmination of 18+ years of learning in health and social policy. Prior to this, Sophia was the Senior Director of Strategy and Community Engagement for health services planning in Toronto. She served as Senior Policy Advisor to three Ministers of Health and as Senior Health Advisor to the Premier of Ontario.

Celeste Theriault

Executive Director, National Indigenous Diabetes Association

  • Full bio

    Celeste Theriault is a community leader, advocate, and forever learner. She grounds her work in doing what is best for the greater good of the community. Through her work, she found a true passion for working in the health-related field and always wanted to connect her work to her roots. While she is not a lived experience person with diabetes, diabetes affects many of her family members and it is close to her heart. Celeste wants to inspire hope for the future for many First Nation, Inuit, and Métis communities on their pathway to wellness through self-advocacy and empowerment. She currently serves as the Executive Director of the National Indigenous Diabetes Association.

    Celeste is a member of the Red River Métis Nation. She grew up, lives, and works in Winnipeg, Manitoba on Treaty 1 Territory. Her pronouns are she/her. Outside of work, Celeste can be found adventuring with her dog, Ollie, connecting with her family and friends, and practicing her beadwork. Celeste holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Winnipeg and is currently working towards a Project Management Certificate from RRC Polytech.

Rita Koutsodimos

Executive Director, BC Alliance for Healthy Living

  • Full bio

    Rita Koutsodimos is the Executive Director of the BC Alliance for Healthy Living. For the past twenty-four years, she has worked in the non-profit sector to make our communities healthier for all. She specializes in health promotion, chronic disease prevention, social determinants of health, health inequities and healthy built environments.

    In her leadership role at the Alliance, Rita works to build consensus on collaborative action among a wide variety of partners, including NGOs, health authorities, government and researchers. Rita has been successful in bringing about numerous health-promoting policies which she happily credits to good research, persuasive communications, collaboration and persistence. An enthusiastic communicator, Rita enjoys getting people together to discuss pressing issues, proven or promising solutions and new ideas. She has authored many policy papers, organized dialogues, webinars and campaigns on policies and practices to prevent disease and improve health equity.

Andrew Robertson

Associate Director of External Affairs, Novo Nordisk

  • Full bio

    Andrew Robertson is the Associate Director of External Affairs at Novo Nordisk Canada Inc. He joined Novo Nordisk's Canadian affiliate in October 2019 with a focus on public private partnerships including NOVAD, chronic disease prevention and reduction with Indigenous partners, and is the Canadian lead for the global Cities Changing Diabetes programme. His previous work includes 7-years in Ontario's provincial government in a variety of strategic roles including time with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, the Ministry of Economic Development, Employment and Innovation, and in the Office of the Premier. He also spent 3 years at Ontario Centres of Excellence on the Communications team, assisting with the launch and promotion of innovative health, climate and autonomous vehicle-related initiatives.

Dr. Bukola Salami

Professor, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary

  • Full bio

    Dr. Bukola Salami is currently Professor at the Faculty of Nursing, University of Alberta. She will become a Professor at the Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary in June 2023. She received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Windsor and her Master of Nursing and PhD in Nursing from the University of Toronto. Her research program focuses on policies and practices shaping migrants health as well as Black peoples health. She founded and leads an African Child and Youth Migration Network, a network of 42 scholars from 4 continent. In 2020, she founded the Black Youth Mentorship and Leadership Program at the University of Alberta. She is a member of the Public Health Agency of Canada Working Group on the Mental Health of Black Canadian, Board member of Black Opportunities Fund, Board member of the Canadian Nurses Association, and advisory board member of the CIHR Institute for Human Development, Child and Youth Health. She is also an Editor for the Canadian Journal of Nursing Research, Associate Editor of the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) and on the Editorial Board of Nursing Inquiry and Qualitative Health Research Journal. Dr. Salami has published more than 100 peer reviewed journal articles and book chapters and has been awarded involved in more than $200 million in funded projects.

Sylvie Lauzon

President & CEO, Diabetes Quebec

  • Full bio

    Sylvie Lauzon is the President and CEO of Diabetes Quebec. She is a seasoned professional with a diverse background in education, management, sales, and philanthropy. Prior to assuming the role of CEO, she served as the Philanthropy Director at Diabetes Quebec, where she played a critical role in fundraising and developing strategic partnerships.

    Her educational background includes a degree in education and in management, which has equipped her with the skills and knowledge necessary to lead an organization like Diabetes Quebec. She has also gained over 20 years of experience in sales of software for different major companies, which has provided her with valuable expertise in business development and customer relations.

    In addition to her professional accomplishments, she has also been a mentor for new charity managers, sharing her insights and experiences to help others in the non-profit sector succeed. With her extensive experience and expertise, she is well-equipped to lead Diabetes Quebec and make a positive impact on the lives of those affected by diabetes in the province of Quebec.

Challenge details

Who can apply?

  • Not-for-profit organizations;
  • Businesses or other for-profit organizations;
  • Indigenous organizations and groups located in Canada;
  • Post-secondary/academic institutions;
  • Individuals, groups, societies, or coalitions (non-incorporated); and
  • Municipalities or local/regional governments located in Canada.

In order to receive funding, applicants are required to be a Canadian legal entity (such as a company or a corporation or a not-for-profit organization) capable of entering into binding agreements in Canada or establish one. International organizations may submit an application provided that these requirements are met.

Key Dates

Stage 1: Proposed Concept

  • Application Deadline - March 1, 2023
  • Semi-Finalists Announced - Summer 2023

Stage 2: Concept Development

  • Deadline - Fall 2023
  • Finalists Announced - Winter 2024

Stage 3: Implementation and Evidence Generation

  • Deadline - Winter 2026
  • Grand Prize Winners Announced - Winter 2026


  • Up to 21 prizes of CAD $35,000 open to all eligible applicants who submit a stage 1 proposed concept application.
  • Up to 7 prizes of CAD $600,000 open to all semi-finalists participating in stage 2.
  • Up to 2 grand prizes of CAD $1.25M open to all finalists participating in stage 3.

Note: The number of winners and prize amounts may vary depending on the applications received. For each phase, prize amounts will not be less than the amount per winner indicated above.