Amelie McFadyen is HPV Awareness’ new Executive Director. She is in charge of overseeing all the personnel and projects, as well as organizing fundraising events, and developing a marketing strategy. Ms. McFadyen has a bachelor’s degree in Sexology, as well as a master’s degree in Sexology: Research and intervention from Université du Québec à Montréal, making her an expert on sexual health. Her thesis focused on identifying the risk reduction strategies used by HIV-negative gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men in Montreal. She has presented on her thesis in five different conferences both nationally and internationally
Ms. McFadyen has five years of experience in the research field, working on various sexual health projects. She also coordinated two projects with the aim of culturally adapting a Montreal sexual health program for Toronto in Canada, as well as for Burkina Faso in Africa. Following an internship at a community organization working with people living with HIV/AIDS, she volunteered to give a sexual health program for three years.
Keven Joyal-Desmarais reviews and assesses presentation and intervention materials, and provides feedback based on current scientific knowledge in the areas of sexual health, education, and psychological interventions. He is also involved in the design and analytical steps of our evaluative research into the effectiveness of our work.
In 2013, he graduated from McGill University with a First Class Honors Degree in Psychology. As part of his degree, he was involved in research on mental health and well-being, with a particular focus on depression and self-compassion. In 2012-13, he held an internship at the Counselling Center of Vanier College in Montreal, where he worked on developing and providing an intervention to reduce the prevalence of sexual assaults on campus. From 2013-14, he worked as a research assistant at the Jewish General Hospital’s Psychosocial Oncology Lab, conducting research on decision-making for the HPV vaccine.
Keven Joyal-Desmarais is currently pursuing a PhD in Social Psychology at the University of Minnesota, with supporting programs in quantitative analyses and in health communication. His areas of research deal with motivation and communication, and how these play a role in promoting health and prosocial behaviors. He is also an administrative assistant for the Center for the Study of the Individual and Society (CSIS) at the University of Minnesota, and acts as a board member of the University’s Council of International Graduate Students.
Midori Nishioka conducts literature searches, finding reputable resources to base our workshop and presentations. She also reviews and evaluates our projects on multiple criteria such as effectiveness of communication and inclusiveness of diverse populations. She is an integral part of our research project that evaluates the effectiveness of our work.
Midori graduated from McGill University’s Honours Psychology program in 2013, having written two theses on cultural identity and mental health. She worked as a research lab coordinator for two years at McGill, during which she managed multiple research projects investigating relationship issues. She is currently enrolled in a doctoral program at the University of Waterloo, conducting research in the area of motivation and ethics.
Eva Villalba is the Development Director of the Palliative Home-Care Society Foundation, and has been involved in cancer patient advocacy and nonprofits since 2008. She was Vice-President of the Coalition Priorité Cancer from 2012-2016, and is currently the President of the Regroupement au service des organismes et groupes d'entraide communautaire en oncologie du Québec (RPOGECO). She specializes in fundraising and philantropy and is an active member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP).
She graduated from McGill University in 2004 with a double major in Psychology and Applied Linguistics, then completed an MBA from HEC Montréal in 2012 with the objective to apply best business practices to the non-profit sector.
Eva is passionate about good governance, philanthropy and community impact, and social innovation. She is fluent in French, English, and Spanish, and has basic knowledge of Italian.
Marie-Elaine Gervais, a cervical cancer survivor, was 27 years old when her terrible diagnosis was announced to her on April 23, 2010.A date that will remain forever engraved in her mind and those of the people close to her.
She could not imagine all of the events she would have to overcome to find the path to healing. If only she had been informed earlier...
She is not the only one to have this reflection, especially if we consider that 80% of sexually active people will contract HPV in their life. An alarming statistic to say the least! Faced with the fact that people are so poorly informed about HPV, yet so widely spread, she has the will to make a difference, one person at a time.
Today, at age 33, she is in remission. Now that she has found the energy and necessary force to involve herself socially, she wishes to use her experience to benefit those who are closely affected by HPV (that, ultimately, can cause cervical cancer).
It is said that “there are no accidents, only meetings”. Therefore, at the National conference against cancer in April 2016, Marie-Elaine met Amelie, the executive director of HPV Awareness, then of Teresa, president and founder of the charity. During a discussion, emerges the idea of a collaboration with the objective of prevention and awareness of the ravages caused by HPV.
It is definitely for her, the beginning of a great adventure!
"Already, when I was hospitalized, I was saying that I wanted to find a way to give back, to be useful, to make a difference with people living with HPV. I find it unfathomable that, today, youth be so poorly informed on the topic of HPV, its transmission methods, and the risk associated with it. Yet, it is a very real condition that can have serious consequences for those affected. I know something about it! I now want to raise public awareness about sexual health, especially about HPV."
Jane was President and Board Chair of Canada’s first Ronald McDonald House in Toronto in the 80’s, when the house only offered accommodation and solace to children with terminal cancer, and their families. This sparked her passion to work to better the experiences of the dying through decades of palliative care, hospice work, and palliative counselling. Her MA in Counselling Psychology paper addressed her internship in the palliative care unit of a downtown Toronto hospital, counselling, psycho-socially and spiritually, individuals in the EOL (end-of-life) stage of dying. She saw and felt great burdens lifted from individuals on their verge of death, by their choosing to share with an educated stranger what cannot often be shared with family and friends. Jane has practiced as a Psychotherapist for individuals, couples and families since 2000, and in recent years, has focused on psychotherapy for individuals in their EOL stage of dying and their families and friends.
Jane started her career as a businesswoman at IBM, moving from branch management there to personnel management at Molson’s. In 1990 she started university and acquired Honours BA and Honours BEd by 1993. She taught teens who could not attend or succeed in mass education classrooms (Tourette’s, congenital birth defects, tutoring). In 1998, she obtained her Honours MA, Counselling Psychology. During these years, she counselled at hospices and palliative care hospital units; in the Vanier Prison for Woman at Maplehurst Correctional Institution in Milton; at Ontario Provincial Courts, counselling inmates awaiting remand in cell blocks at the court houses; at the Newmarket Provincial Court, volunteering for the Salvation Army to help teens apply for the court diversion program; and at CAMH, counselling female inmates with mental illnesses and housed in CAMH’s prison facility.
As a result of a personal experience with a PAP test returned ‘false positive’, thank goodness!, Jane learned about HPV, called HPV Awareness to find out about HPV, met Teresa and Amelie, and is now our National School Liaison helping to arrange Teresa’s presentations across Canada to raise awareness about HPV and deliver sexual health education to teens.
Emilie Blanchard is Coordinator of the Internship Programs at HPV Awareness . Among other things, she recruits, supervises and orients students and coordinates with school administrators, HPV Awareness members and the Board of Directors.
She graduated from McGill University in 2012 with a joint degree in common law and civil law, and a minor concentration in Hispanic languages. During her law studies, she was on the varsity synchronized swimming team and she was a journalist in the arts section of Le Délit. In 2011, she participated in an academic student exchange program on human rights and cultural diversity at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
She was admitted to the Quebec Bar Association in 2013. She completed her articling at a small litigation firm in downtown Montreal. Since October 2014, she has been a lawyer at the Gaspé Peninsula and Magdalen Islands Community Justice Centre. She has prepared and presented multiple legal information sessions on various legal topics such as mediation and de facto spouses. She is a certified Small Claims mediator since February 2015.
She is passionate about arts and was classically trained in violin for 15 years. She is fluent in French, English and Spanish, and has basic knowledge of Portuguese.
Elizabeth Parenteau is one of the sexual health experts answering the inquiries we get from Canadian students. We receive hundreds of inquiries from Canadian youth about various sexual health topics. Elizabeth holds a BA in Sexology and is a candidate for the Master in Sexology at the Université du Québec à Montreal. She is interested in issues faced by trans people in their daily lives. Specifically, she studied identity transition into the workplace. During her masters, she did an internship at the Public health expertise and reference centre (INSPQ) on the use of new information and communications technology in the prevention of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). As part of her bachelor’s degree in Sexology, she completed an internship at IRIS Estrie, an HIV and STI prevention organization in the Eastern Townships. She also participated in Camp Sexo, organized by the University of Sherbrooke, to educate medical students on topics related to human sexuality.