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NAPHRO welcomes a new Executive Director!

On behalf of the members of the National Alliance of Provincial Health Research Organizations, we are proud to announce the appointment of Michelle Gagnon as Executive Director for NAPHRO.

Based in Ottawa, Michelle is a versatile leader who brings expertise in executive management, health policy, research, and knowledge mobilization. Adept at working across sectors, communities, and disciplines with a broad and inclusive mindset, her career spans national and provincial leadership roles.

Initially trained as a nurse (BScN, RN), she went on to pursue a graduate degree in management (MBA). In Ottawa, Michelle worked with the Policy Research Initiative in the Privy Council Office, and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) - Assistant Director (Institutes of Health Services and Policy Research, and Population and Public Health) and Director, Knowledge Translation, and Director, Research Capacity Development. In 2011, Michelle relocated to Calgary, initially working with Alberta Health Services, Strategic Clinical Networks. She then became COO and then CEO of the Palix Foundation, leading the organization’s internationally recognized knowledge mobilization program to promote positive mental health outcomes for children and youth. Having completed a doctorate (PhD) in population health policy, Michelle was an Adjunct Professor at the University of Calgary, Department of Community Health Sciences.

Since returning to Ottawa in 2021, she has worked as a consultant to various organizations, including CIHR, StrategyCorp, the Atlas Institute for Veterans and Families, Health Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada, the PEI Alliance for Mental Well-being working with the Michel Perron Advisory Group (MPAG), and the Brain-Heart Interconnectome, a Canada First Research Excellence Funded program. Michelle brings substantive experience serving on advisory committees and Boards of Directors and holds the Institute of Corporate Directors, Director designation (ICD.D, 2018).

As NAPHRO co-chairs, Freyja and I are excited to work with Michelle. Her vast experience with CIHR, Health Canada, and Palix Foundation, and her ability to harness the knowledge and passion of multiple stakeholders to achieve key strategic objectives and affect cultural change, is exciting to explore. With Michelle, NAPHRO looks to continue the work of the Alliance to create a strong and vibrant health research ecosystem in Canada.

Patrick Odnokon

CEO, Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation



Freya Arnason

Director of Strategy and Programs, Research Manitoba


The National Alliance of Provincial Health Research Organizations

Our Vision: 

NAPHRO as an alliance is a recognized and trusted resource, facilitator of partnerships, and a convener of dialogue on issues related to health research enterprise in Canada. 

Our Mandate: 

NAPHRO’s primary role is to facilitate coordination, communication, strategic alignment, convergence, and quality leadership through inter-provincial and national efforts.

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