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Keynote Speakers

Kate Sellen




PhD, Associate Professor, Faculty of Design OCAD U, Canada Research Chair in Health Design (Tier 2)

Dr. Kate Sellen is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Design at OCAD U and Canada Research Chair in Health Design (Tier 2). She leads the Health Design Studio at OCAD U. She was the inaugural director of the Health Design Master’s Program. Kate spent her early career as an interaction designer leading design research, digital strategy, and interaction design in the private sector. She now works on bringing an inclusive and interdisciplinary design approach to healthcare design challenges. Much of her work focuses on design for patient safety in safety critical and on high sensitivity topics, including the dosing, ordering, tapering, and management of opiates, communication at end of life, and the issuing and delivery of blood units for surgery. She previously held positions at University of Toronto’s Technology for Ageing Gracefully Lab, Knowledge Media Design Institute, and AT&T.

In this talk, Dr. Kate Sellen will illustrate how different types of truth and knowledge inform the work she is engaged in, about how different experiences of health and well-being might come together through participatory and inclusive design research processes, and how designed objects, interactions, and experiences can be personally relevant, community relevant, and evidence based.

Tai Huynh


MDes, MBA, Creative Director at UHN OpenLab, Editor-in-Chief of, Co-Founder of Choosing Wisely Canada

Tai Huynh is Creative Director at OpenLab, a design and innovation studio at the University Health Network. Tai specializes in working with diverse groups of people to co-create products, services and technologies that improve health and wellness. Tai is also editor-in-chief of, an award-winning magazine covering urban health and social issues in Toronto. He is a cofounder of Choosing Wisely Canada, the national voice for reducing unnecessary tests and treatments in health care. Tai has a Master of Design from OCAD University, an MBA from York University and a Bachelor of Science from the University of Toronto.

Those affected by design should have a say in the design process. This was the tenet of participatory design in Scandinavia in the 1960s, which sought to involve workers in the design of workplace information systems previously controlled exclusively by management. In a similar way, but separated by several decades, public services such as healthcare are now acknowledging that for far too long, the design of services has been controlled by providers, with limited involvement from users, particularly those from marginalized groups who, arguably need services the most. Failure to acknowledge the role of power and politics in design often leads to bad experiences and outcomes for users, and perpetuates social inequality.

In this talk, Tai Huynh will discuss the opportunities and challenges for participatory design in the contemporary context. This will be illustrated through several exciting projects undertaken by UHN OpenLab, a multi-disciplinary design and innovation shop located at the University Health Network, Canada’s largest research hospital.

Chris O'Connor




President and Founder of Think Research & Critical Care Physician at Trillium Health Partners, Mississauga.

Dr. O’Connor served as the former director of Medical Informatics at Trillium Health Center for 5 years.  He founded Think Research in 2006, an organization with a vision for creating a connected collaborative ecosystem for the creation, deployment and measurement of knowledge based tools. Starting initially with just acute care order sets, Think Research has expanded to include knowledge based documentation, e-referrals, virtual care and patient facing applications. Now in 3 countries with over 1000 health care facilities, Think Research continues to grow across the health care system.

Julia Novik



LEAN Green Belt, Founder of Canada Health Net

Julia Novik founded Canada Health Net as an innovator and change management advocate for healthcare system transformation seeing the burning platform for change. Current healthcare systems have significant gaps falling short of the growing demands of aging populations and a rapid increase in chronic disease management.

Julia launched innovative health technologies and developed patient access solutions in pursuit of improving patient care and providing innovative solutions for better healthcare delivery. She believes that if every healthcare employee approaches health delivery through the perspective of patients, the system would be designed to address and better meet patient needs.

Charanjit Singh Bawa



LEAN Black Belt, Change Agent of Canada Health Net

Charanjit (CJ) is a passionate, results-driven professional, an enthusiastic public speaker, coach and mentor. He has 23 years of experience in transforming numerous organizations, training and coaching over 3000 individuals (on Lean White, Yellow, Green Belt & Lean Tools).

He supported over 50 project teams and embedded LEAN Six Sigma in organizations varying from 100 to 7000 employees by acting as a motivator, a trainer, a coach, a mentor and a facilitator. He has coached individuals from all the sectors including healthcare, service, public service, manufacturing and construction.

Iris Gorfinkel


Founder and Principal Investigator of PrimeHealth Clinical Research

Iris Gorfinkel, M.D. is a general practitioner and medical researcher. She has an active general practice in Toronto and has participated in over fifty clinical trials in primary care. She is the founder and Principal Investigator of PrimeHealth Clinical Research.

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