We’re passionate about improving the health of Canadians. We’re here to inspire you.



ACCELERATION is supported by the generous contributions and leadership from organizations committed to improving the health of Canadians.

Meet the ACCELERATION partners


Our team members are experts in exercise, nutrition and behaviour change and are affiliated with some of the leading hospitals and research institutions across Canada and the world.

Meet the ACCELERATION team


Our team has many years of direct experience leading lifestyle and behaviour change programs. They are located across Canada and were partners in developing the ACCELERATION program. They are now working together again to offer the new online ACCELERATION program.

Dr. Paul Oh, MD, FRCPC, FACP

Principal Investigator 

KITE Research Institute at University Health Network & University of Toronto (Toronto, Ontario)

Dr. Paul Oh is Medical Director and GoodLife Fitness Chair in Cardiovascular Disease Prevention and Rehabilitation at the University Health Network (Toronto Rehab, Peter Munk Cardiac Centre and University of Toronto). His academic focus is on the development, implementation and evaluation of exercise, education and behavioural interventions to prevent and manage chronic conditions including heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer.

Dr. Simon Bacon, PhD, FTOS, FCCS, FABMR

Co-Principal Investigator

Concordia University & CIUSSS-NIM – Hôpital du Sacré-Cœur de Montréal (Montréal, Québec)

Dr. Simon Bacon is the Canadian Institutes of Health Research – SPOR Chair in Innovative, Patient-Oriented, Behavioural Clinical Trials, a faculty member at Concordia University, and a researcher at the CIUSSS-NIM*. He has extensive research experience in the development and testing of behavioural interventions for primary through to tertiary prevention and exploring how health behaviours influence disease progression.

* CIUSSS-NIM: Centre intégré universitaire de santé et de services sociaux du Nord-de-l’Île-du-Montréal

Dr. Nick Giacomantonio, MD, FRCPC

Co-Principal Investigator

Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre & Dalhousie University (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

Dr. Nick Giacomantonio is a cardiologist and director of cardiovascular rehabilitation at Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre as well as faculty at Dalhousie University. He has expertise in remote patient monitoring and technology-based wellness programs; demonstrating a cost-effective mortality advantage in primary prevention cohorts. Nick advocates for community awareness around development of programming through a campaign known as the HeartLand Tour.

Wanda Firth, PDt

Co-Principal Investigator

Nova Scotia Health Authority – Hearts & Health in Motion (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

Wanda Firth is the Program Lead for Hearts & Health in Motion in Nova Scotia, a program for prevention and rehabilitation of cardiovascular disease. She is a clinical dietitian with vast experience in the field of cardiovascular nutrition, risk factor intervention and program management for behaviour change, particularly with patients in cardiology programs and lipid clinics. In collaboration with research teams, she has worked on nutrition interventions, cardiovascular risk factor outcomes of patient populations, and validity and reliability testing of food scores. She has presented nationally and at the annual European Society of Cardiology conferences and American Heart Association conferences.

Dr. Darren Warburton, PhD

Co-Principal Investigator

University of British Columbia (Vancouver, British Columbia)

As a professor, founder, and director of the Cardiovascular Physiology and Rehabilitation Laboratory and the Indigenous Health and Physical Activity Program at the University of British Columbia, Dr. Darren Warburton has a background in the practical delivery of health promotion programs, with research spanning the spectrum of Aboriginal health, elite athletic performance, childhood health, quality of life in the elderly, and the treatment of patients with chronic disease and/or disability.

Dr. Kim Lavoie, PhD


Université du Québec à Montreal & CIUSSS-NIM* – Hôpital du Sacré-Cœur de Montréal (Montréal, Québec)

Dr. Kim Lavoie is internationally recognized for her research on chronic disease prevention and the impact of behavioral interventions, such as motivational communication, on health behaviors and chronic disease outcomes. Her research has led to over 150 peer-reviewed manuscripts published in a variety of journals. She has been invited to present over 219 presentations and workshops with more than 150 focusing on motivational communication. In total, over 10,000 health professionals across North America, Europe, and Australia have attended her workshops.

* CIUSSS-NIM: Centre intégré universitaire de santé et de services sociaux du Nord-de-l’Île-du-Montréal

Dr. Jennifer M. Jones, PhD


University Health Network – Princess Margaret Cancer Centre & University of Toronto (Toronto, Ontario)

Dr. Jennifer Jones is the Director of the Cancer Rehabilitation and Survivorship Program and the Centre for Health Wellness and Cancer Survivorship at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. Dr. Jones’ research has focused primarily on the quality of life and psychosocial issues of individuals and families facing cancer. Her most recent scholarly and professional activities have clustered around the following platforms: translational research to inform clinical survivorship care, and fostering innovative health professional and continuing education that is designed to transform the patient experience.

Dr. Shannon Bredin, PhD


University of British Columbia (Vancouver, British Columbia)

Dr. Shannon Bredin is an Associate Professor at the University of British Columbia’s School of Kinesiology. Dr. Bredin is an expert in health and integrative physiology, and physical education and coaching.

Jessica Nooyen, MHA, MHK

Project Manager

University Health Network – Toronto Rehabilitation Institute (Toronto, Ontario)

Jessica is the Manager of Research Product Development within the Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation Program at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute. She provides oversight and leadership for all programmatic activities and is a strategist for cost-effective ways of delivering care. Jessica’s interests lie in health policies, the evaluation of novel care pathways to increase system efficiencies, and population health planning to bridge gaps in both access to appropriate care and clinical outcomes.

Fanie St-Jean Miron, MSc Kin


CIUSSS-NIM* – Hôpital du Sacré-Cœur de Montréal (Montréal, Québec)

Fanie is a kinesiologist accredited by the Federation of Kinesiologists of Quebec and the Canadian Kinesiology Alliance. Specialized in athletic and occupational performance assessment, she is currently working in health research and has worked for many years as a trainer with clients of all types to help them get more active, maintain good lifestyle habits, and take full advantage of their health. She is happy to be part of the ACCELERATION program and to help people who want to adopt a healthy lifestyle. She looks forward to working with you to help you overcome upcoming challenges and find the way to good habits and healthy behaviours.

Dr. Geneviève Szczepanik, PhD

Project Coordinator

CIUSSS-NIM* – Hôpital du Sacré-Cœur de Montréal (Montréal, Québec)

Geneviève coordinates research projects at the Montréal Behavioural Medicine Centre (MBMC), Centre intégré universitaire de santé et de services sociaux du Nord-de-l’Île-de-Montréal (CIUSSS-NIM), Hôpital du Sacré-Coeur de Montréal. She holds a PhD in Sociology from l’Université du Québec à Montréal.

* CIUSSS-NIM: Centre intégré universitaire de santé et de services sociaux du Nord-de-l’Île-du-Montréal

Anam Tahsinul, MBBS, MPH

Research Analyst

University Health Network – Toronto Rehabilitation Institute (Toronto, Ontario)

Anam has over 15 years of clinical and public health experience in operational research, health promotion, accelerated disease control and program evaluation. While working at the World Health Organization, Anam developed a community-based health promotion and disease prevention intervention. At the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, he supports multiple research projects and has developed competencies in research management, monitoring, and evaluation.


Medavie Health Foundation

Funding agency

Medavie is a not-for-profit health solutions partner that integrates benefits management, health management and health care delivery. Together with more than 6,400 employees, Medavie is committed to providing innovative solutions that improve the wellbeing of Canadians.

Toronto Rehab Foundation

Fundraising partner

TRF raises, grants and stewards funds to support Toronto Rehab’s mission to develop solutions and prevention strategies for people living with the consequences of illness, injury and aging through excellence, innovation and integration of discovery and care.

Toronto Rehabilitation Institute

The Toronto Rehabilitation Institute helps people overcome the challenges of disabling injury, illness or age-related health conditions to live active, healthier and more independent lives..

Centre intégré universitaire de santé et de service sociaux du Nord-de-l’Île-de-Montréal

Affiliated with Université de Montréal in training physicians and health professionals with a focus on biomedical research, social research and youth mental health research.

Concordia University

Powering Montreal and connecting to the world, searching for innovative solutions and making positive contributions towards redefining the 21st-century university.

Nova Scotia Health Authority

Pursuing excellence in health, healing and learning through working together to achieve healthy people, healthy communities – for generations.

University of British Columbia

Global centre for teaching, learning and research committed to attracting and supporting those who have the drive to shape a better world.