E-QIP Staff

Debbie Bang

Co-Lead Excellence through Quality Improvement Project, Addictions and Mental Health Ontario (AMHO)

Debbie has worked in the addiction and mental health sector for over 30 years. She was a public health nurse and a mental health nurse working with youth in high schools. She developed a first of a kind consumer information centre in a Canadian Hospital and has been involved in qualitative and quantative research about health decision-making, cancer clusters, the impact of yoga with people with substance use issues and hearing from Canadians about the connection between mental health and an HIV diagnosis. Data and demonstrating value and outcomes has been a career long interest. During the last 18 years, Debbie has managed Womankind Addiction Service and Men’s Addiction Service Hamilton (MASH) at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, project leading the amalgamation creating Womankind, the transfer and expansion of MASH from one hospital to another, managing the Eating Disorder program and was the management chair of the health and safety committee. Her credentials include a degree in nursing, graduate degree in Health Promotion, a number of leadership and management diplomas and a green belt in LEAN. Debbie holds faculty appointments at McMaster University in the School of Nursing and Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences, teaches motivational interviewing and trauma-informed care. Her interest in quality improvement is long standing and Debbie learned early the value of data to provide perspective on how services are being delivered and what tweaks/ changes are needed to improve the quality of the services provide to the people we serve.

Naushaba Degani

Co-Lead Excellence through Quality Improvement Project, CMHA Ontario Division

Naushaba Degani joined CMHA Ontario on November 18th, 2019. She has worked in health system performance and evaluation for more than 20 years and has a PhD and an MHSc from the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto as well as a BScH from Queen’s University (Cha Gheill!).  She comes to us from Health Quality Ontario (now part of Ontario Health) where she worked as the Manager, Performance Measurement supporting public reporting, quality standards and measurement for quality improvement.  In addition to strong skills in data and measurement, Naushaba has a background in harm reduction, evaluation and equity assessment.

Ash Koster

Program Manager, Excellence through Quality Improvement Project, CMHA Ontario Division

Ash joined the E-QIP team in December 2018 as Program Coordinator where she supported the team in several key functions including administrative support, financial management, event coordination and booking travel. Since joining the E-QIP team, Ash has developed a keen interest in Quality Improvement and has gained valuable QI knowledge which she enjoys applying when facilitating E-QIP’s Foundations to QI Program (IDEAS.)  In addition to overseeing the continued development of the IDEAS program, Ash acts as E-QIP’s communications and social media lead where she enjoys fostering knowledge exchange and spread of QI concepts and tools across the Province through webinars, E-QIP’s online Community of Practice and presenting at conferences. As Program Manager, Ash has enjoyed seeing the evolution of QI in the community mental health and addiction sector and looks forward to supporting agencies as they further develop their own QI capacity and achieve better outcomes for the individuals we are honoured to serve. Ash graduated from the University of Guelph with an honours degree in psychology and holds a certificate in human resources management from George Brown College. She is currently pursuing her project management professional (PMP) professional certification. Ash lives in downtown Toronto with her wife and two dogs, Kevin and Homer. In her free time she enjoys cooking and spending quality time with friends and family, particularly at the cottage!

Amy Patel

Program Manager, Excellence through Quality Improvement Project, Addictions and Mental Health Ontario (AMHO)

Amy is a Program Manager for the Excellence through Quality Improvement Project (E-QIP), seconded from the Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario, and joined the team in July 2019 with a keen interest in the mental health and addiction sector. She has over 5 years of experience in the public health and hospital sector, managing research and evaluation projects for a number of health organizations including St. Michael’s Hospital and the Provincial Council for Maternal and Child Health at the Hospital for Sick Children, and has volunteered as a Crisis Responder for Kids Help Phone.

Amy holds an Honours Bachelors of Science and Business, Biology specialization from the University of Waterloo and a Masters of Science in Health and Rehabilitation Sciences from Western University.  She also has a LEAN Six Sigma Yellow Belt and Project Management Professional (PMP) certification.

As a Program Manager for E-QIP, Amy is looking forward to further developing her knowledge in quality improvement and change management within the community mental health and addiction sector.

E-QIP Coaches

Laura Daly-Trottier

E-QIP Quality Improvement Coach

Laura Daly-Trottier, delivers Quality Improvement Coaching through the Excellence through Quality Improvement Project (E-QIP).  Since October 2016 Laura has delivered coaching to member organizations in the Mental Health and Addictions sector throughout the province of Ontario to increase the capacity for Quality Improvement.  Laura knows firsthand the importance of using a structured approach to Quality Improvement as well as recognizing that each initiative is unique with its own set of values and purpose.

Prior to working with E-QIP, Laura Daly-Trottier worked as a Quality Coordinator at CMHA Nipissing where her focus was to ensure that service standards were met as well as overseeing the development and maintenance of the agencies quality assurance and improvement systems, including the continual monitoring of the agency’s client data management system.  Laura was responsible for coordinating and implementing staff orientation and training events and was a contributing member of the Governing Health and Safety Committee.

Laura served on the NE LHIN Implementation Team in 2016 for the Ontario Perception of Care Tool acting as the Agency Lead at CMHA Nipissing.

Laura thoroughly enjoys providing coaching supports through the offerings of E-QIP and is passionate about improving care in a meaningful way for service recipients, friends, families and service providers.

Abel Gebreyesus

Data Coach, Excellence through Quality Improvement Project

Abel Gebreyesus is a Data Coach for the Excellence through Quality Improvement Project (E-QIP) since the project’s first phase in October 2016. He worked with many mental health and community based organizations in coaching and facilitating their data needs related with the project. Additionally, he is also Data Management Coordinator (DMC) at TAIBU Community Health Centre since 2009; and was also involved from 2009 – 2011 at LAMP Community Health Centre; and from 2011-2013 in Flemingdon Health Centre – both in a DMC position.

Other than in CHC sector, Abel was also involved in Family Health Team (FHT) sector; and worked for four Peel Region FHTs as Quality Improvement Decision Support Specialist (QIDSS) in 2013-2016.

Abel also involved at different capacities, such as Project Manager for Nightingale on Demand Transition Project and Coordinator for Business Intelligence Reporting Tool coordinator in those organizations mentioned above. He also worked briefly for Cancer Care Ontario (CCO) as a Business Analyst. For many years, Abel contributed in different teams involving data, quality improvement, reporting and business Intelligence (BI) areas.

Abel holds a Masters of Health Informatics (MHI) from Dalhousie University; and he is Certified Lean Six Sigma Green Belt (CLSSGB) professional.

Linda Saunders

QI Coach, Excellence through Quality Improvement Project

Linda Saunders is seconded part-time from the Canadian Mental Health Association, Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge Branch (CMHA HKPR) in the Central East LHIN. Linda supports the Excellence through Quality Improvement Project (E-QIP) as a Quality Improvement (QI) Coach. Since its inception Linda has supported many mental health and addiction organizations in Ontario with their quality improvement projects in an effort to improve the quality of services offered to clients and families.

In addition to her work with EQIP, Linda is also the Director of Corporate Services for CMHA HKPR and she also worked in a similar role at a children’s mental health centre in Windsor. For more than thirty years, Linda has gained experience in both the public and private sectors. She is responsible for the human resources, financial, property, information technology, administration, privacy, community engagement, and quality improvement systems of the Canadian Mental Health Association. She works closely with all programs within CMAH HKPR to integrate key principles that ensure the delivery of safe, effective and efficient care and services to the community while maintaining a culture of continuous quality improvement. She is also an active member in her community.

Linda thoroughly enjoys her work providing quality improvement supports to mental health and addiction organizations in the province as they work towards strengthening the sector in quality improvement and supports to clients.

Melanie McGregor

QI Coach, Excellence through Quality Improvement Project 

Melanie is seconded to the EQIP team from the Canadian Mental Health Association Halton Region Branch. She has worked in the mental health and addictions field for 12 years with experience in health promotion, communications, advancement, and quality improvement. Melanie is a certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, a Mental Health First Aid Canada Master Trainer, an Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) Facilitator, and a certified CMHA Psychological Health and Safety Advisor. She also writes a bi-weekly wellness column for local Halton newspapers.

Melanie has participated in a variety of quality improvement projects that have brought together diverse teams of organization staff, clients, and stakeholders to collaborate and make a difference for the people they support. She has been affectionately referred to as a “QI geek”, which she takes as a compliment!

A passionate learner who loves reading, baking, and playing tennis, Melanie has been blessed with great life teachers, the greatest of all being her amazing son.

Hrishikesh Navare

QI/Data Coach, Excellence through Quality Improvement Project

Hrishikesh Navare is a Quality Improvement (QI) / Data coach for the Excellence through Quality Improvement Project (E-QIP). He joined E-QIP team in May 2020 and brings over 10 years of experience in QI and data measurement in primary care, long term care and the community service sectors. Person centred care and using client voice in designing programs and services are core values for him. He has a great interest in the social determinants of health and the effect on the Community Mental Health and Addiction sector. He holds Masters Degrees in Science in Pharmacy from the University of Florida and Technology in Pharmaceuticals from the University of Mumbai, certified Lean Healthcare Green Belt and has published his collaborative work in peer review journals.

As a QI/data coach for E-QIP, Hrishikesh is keen in supporting the Community Mental Health and Addiction sector through various E-QIP’s services and help the organizations improve their programs and services for their clients.