Backgrounder – Biography, National Seniors Council
Dr. Samir K. Sinha
Dr. Samir Sinha is a passionate and respected advocate for the needs of older adults. Dr. Sinha currently serves as the Director of Geriatrics of Sinai Health System and the University Health Network in Toronto, the Peter and Shelagh Godsoe Chair in Geriatrics at Mount Sinai Hospital, and the Director of Health Policy Research at the National Institute on Ageing at Ryerson University. He is also an Associate Professor in the Departments of Medicine, Family and Community Medicine, and the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto and an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
A Rhodes Scholar, after completing his undergraduate medical studies at the University of Western Ontario, he obtained a Masters in Medical History and a Doctorate in Sociology at the University of Oxford’s Institute of Ageing. He has pursued his postgraduate training in Internal Medicine at the University of Toronto and in Geriatrics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Sinha's breadth of international training and expertise in health policy and the delivery of services related to the care of the elderly have made him a highly regarded expert in the care of older adults.
Mrs. Linda Jeffrey
Linda Jeffrey has extensive experience in the public service, both at the municipal and provincial levels.
She served as city councillor for the City of Brampton from 1991 to 2003 before moving on to the provincial level from 2003 to 2014, where she represented the people of Brampton Springdale and Brampton Centre. During her time at the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, she served as Minister of Natural Resources, Seniors, Labour and Municipal Affairs and Housing. She returned to her municipal roots in 2014 and served as Mayor of the City of Brampton until 2018.
Prior to serving as Minister Responsible for Seniors, Mrs. Jeffrey lobbied with fire authorities, safety experts and coroners to have all retirement homes and nursing care homes in Ontario equipped with residential sprinklers. Once becoming Minister, she was able to make this installation mandatory. She also created new provincial licensing rules to target retirement homes in Ontario suspected of elder abuse and neglect through the Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority.
In 2012, she received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for public service.
Mrs. Jeffrey is also involved in projects regarding autism spectrum disorder and health and safety in the workplace.
Ms. Zena Simces
Zena Simces is an engaging, motivating leader who takes an inclusive, collaborative approach to everything she does. She is a published author and senior consultant with over 30 years of experience in the health (population and public health, primary care and mental health), social services, education, justice and employment sectors.
Ms. Simces holds a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Psychology from Queen’s University, and a master’s degree in Sociology from the University of New Brunswick. She has a great deal of experience managing complex projects and acting as a change agent at the national, provincial and community levels in New Brunswick, Ontario and British Columbia. Zena has facilitated numerous consultation sessions with a wide range of community organizations, professional groups, academics, diverse cultural groups, First Nations, women, seniors, families, youth, people with mental and physical challenges and the general public. Many of her projects have focused on improving the health and well-being of seniors.
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