Skip to content

About the Knowledge Institute

Share This Page

Our purpose

Improve patient care and experience by embedding research into clinical practice. 

Our Mission

Transform healthcare through leading community hospital-based research

Our Values

Equity ● Collaboration ● Continuous Learning ● Innovation ● Empowerment

Our Team

Advisory Committee

The NHKI Advisory Committee provides strategic oversight and support of knowledge generation and knowledge mobilization initiatives of the Niagara Health Knowledge Institute. The Committee supports the Executive Director and Chief Scientist in optimizing collaboration and communication among interested and affected parties. The NHKI Advisory Committee will ensure strategic alignment of all activities against the vision, purpose and values of Niagara Health, and will monitor progress on implementation of the deliverables.


  • Harpreet Bassi, Executive Vice-President, Strategy and Communications, and Interim Executive Sponsor
  • Dr. Jennifer Tsang, Co-Chair, Executive Director and Chief Scientist, Niagara Health
  • Linda Boich, Executive Vice-President, Patient Experience and Integrated Care, Niagara Health
  • Harpreet Bassi, Executive Vice-President, Strategy and Communications, Niagara Health
  • Sonali Kohli, Executive Vice-President, Digital Transformation and Chief Information Officer, Niagara Health
  • Charity Beland, Manager, Indigenous Health Services and Reconciliation, Niagara Health
  • Hedy McGarrell, Patient Partner, Niagara Health
  • Denise Kennedy, Patient Partner, Niagara Health
  • Dr. Jonathan Bramson, Vice-Dean, Research, McMaster University
  • Dr. Amanda Bell, Regional Assistant Dean, Niagara Regional Campus, Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine
  • Tim Kenyon, Vice-President, Research, Brock University
  • Marc Nantel, Vice-President, Research, Innovations & Strategic Enterprises
  • Dr. Linda Lee, Co-chair, NHKI Research Committee

Harpreet Bassi - Executive Vice-President, Communications and Strategy, and NHKI Interim Executive Sponsor

Harpreet Bassi headshotHarpreet Bassi is the Executive Vice-President, Strategy and Communications. Prior to joining Niagara Health, she served as the Director of Policy for Ontario’s Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. With more than 20 years experience in the health sector, Harpreet has also held key leadership positions at Health Quality Ontario, Cancer Care Ontario, The Centre for Effective Practice and The Change Foundation. She has a PhD in Health and Rehabilitation Science (Western University), a Masters of Public Administration (Queens) and an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science (University of Toronto). She also holds an Adjunct Faculty position with the School of Health Sciences at Western University and has taught courses on health policy and leadership. Harpreet also sits on the Board of Public Health Ontario.

Dr. Jennifer Tsang (she/her), MD, PhD, FRCPC, ABOM - NHKI Executive Director and Chief Scientist

Dr. Jennifer Tsang (she/her), MD, PhD, FRCPC, ABOMDr. Jennifer Tsang (she/her), MD, PhD, FRCPC, ABOM, obtained her Bachelor of Science Degree with the highest GPA (Gold Medalist) of her class from the University of Toronto in 1999. She then completed her Doctorate of Medicine Degree (Cum Laude) at the University of Ottawa in 2003. She returned to Toronto where she completed her residency training in Internal Medicine in 2006 followed by fellowship training in Adult Critical Care Medicine in 2008. While working as an adult critical care physician at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto, she completed her PhD study at the University of Toronto in the field of molecular biology to understand the biology of sepsis. In 2013, she joined Niagara Health as an adult critical care physician and in 2015, she was appointed as the Physician Research Lead. In 2020, she received designation as an American Board of Obesity Medicine Diplomate for the provision of specialized care to patients with obesity in Southern Ontario. She is currently the Executive Director and Chief Scientist of the Niagara Health Knowledge Institute; an Associated Professor in the Department of Medicine, McMaster University; and the Regional Deputy Research Director, Internal Medicine Residency Program, McMaster University. She founded the Critical Care Research Program at Niagara Health, a program that was recognized by Health Standards Organization as a Leading Practice and ranked #3 in Canada in patient enrollment. She has over 45 peer-reviewed research publications and over $50 million in competitive Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) grant funding as Principal Applicant and Co-Applicant. She received the McMaster University Department of Medicine Early Career Research Award in 2015, Canadian Critical Care Trials Group Early Career Research Award in 2018 and the McMaster University Department of Medicine Mid-Career Research Award in 2020.

Her academic work focuses on health research transformation in Canada by increasing research capacity in community hospitals across Canada. She is active in expanding clinical trials to Niagara Health and other community hospitals across Canada and is co-investigator of over 20 multicentre clinical trials. She is heavily involved at the provincial level and national level. At the provincial level, she sits on the planning committee of the Critical Care Services Ontario’s Critical Care Clinical Practice Rounds. She also sits on the Ontario Hospital Association’s Hospital-Based Coordination Working Group with a vision to develop a fully integrated health research and healthcare delivery system across Ontario. At the national level, she is the co-founder and co-chair of the Canadian Community ICU Research Network and the co-chair of the COVID-19 Network of Clinical Trials Networks Community Acute and Critical Care Working Group with the mandate to provide financial support and mentorship to community hospitals in developing research programs. She is also active in educating and equipping health and research professionals in a broad range of research methodologies through supervising graduate students and through her involvement as a steering committee member and mentor of the innovative CIHR-funded Life-Threatening Illness National Group (LifTING) Research Training Platform with the mandate to address the lack of translation of new scientific knowledge into improved healthcare practices and the ongoing health inequities despite significant advances in health sciences. Outside of her clinical and academic work, she serves as the Vice Chair of the Board of Directors at Quest Community Health Centre in Niagara.

Administrative Team

Elaina Orlando, MPH PhD is the Research Manager at Niagara HealthElaina Orlando, MPH PhD is the Research Manager at Niagara Health and Adjunct Professor in the Department of Health Sciences at Brock University. Elaina holds a PhD in Health Services Research from the University of Toronto and a Master of Public Health degree from the University of Waterloo. Elaina started her career as a public health epidemiologist before transitioning to acute care where she has worked in quality improvement and patient safety as well leading the integrated home and community care and discharge planning teams. As the Research Manager, Elaina oversees the day-to-day operations of the research portfolio, collaborating with internal and external stakeholders to expand the breadth and depth of research at Niagara Health. Elaina is passionate about creating meaningful organizational change through the engagement of teams and the application of a health systems research lens.

Jessica Thompson - Research Administrative Assistant

Research Team

Kian Rego - NHKI Research Co-ordinator

Kelly Pilato - NHKI Research Co-ordinator

Niagara Health Knowledge Institute Organizational Chart

See an accessible PDF of the NHKI organizational chart

Organizational flow chart. Roles are: Board of directors, President and CEO, Executive Committee, NHKI Executive Sponsor, NHKI Executive Director and Chief Scientist, Research Manager and Physician leads/clinical research programs; Research admin assistant, NHKI Research co-ordinators, clinical research co-ordinators

Niagara Health System