- Date: Wednesday, October 27, 2021
- Time: 11:30 am - 12:15 pm
- Style: Panel Discussion
The Power of Social Media during COVID
The Information Age started in the 20th century, but the misinformation age exploded with social media. Before COVID, we marvelled at how fast it could connect people across the globe, unite them in common cause and help bring important issues into the light. We also saw how easily it could be used to sow discord about even benign topics. Now, during COVID, health experts use it to push back on messaging that put peoples’ lives in danger. Our panelists have experienced it all and will discuss the power and perils of social media during the pandemic.
- Dr. Allan Grill– Lead Physician, Markham FHT; President and Chair, AFHTO
- Amanda Higginson- Project Officer, Ottawa Public Health
- Kevin Parent- Program and Project Management Officer, Ottawa Public Health
- Sabina Vohra-Miller- Founder, Unambiguous Science; co-founder, the Vohra-Miller Foundation
- Michelle Smyth, Social Media Lead, Vaccine Hunters Canada
Dr. Allan Grill– Lead Physician, Markham FHT; President and Chair, AFHTO
Dr. Allan Grill obtained his M.D. and Family Medicine training from the University of Toronto (UofT) and completed his Master of Public Health degree at Harvard University. He is an Associate Professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at UofT, and Chief of Family Medicine at Oak Valley Health (Markham Stouffville Hospital site). Allan enjoys an active community-based clinical practice as the Lead Physician at the Markham Family Health Team, and also works as a part-time Physician Advisor for The College of Family Physicians of Canada.
Through his various primary care leadership roles, he is currently involved in COVID-19 pandemic planning for the Eastern York Region North Durham Ontario Health Team as well as the Ontario Health Central Region Primary Care Council, and is currently serving as the 2020/21 President of the Association of Family Health Teams of Ontario (AFHTO) Board of Directors. Recognizing competency and excellence in physician leadership, Dr. Grill is also a recipient of the Canadian Certified Physician Executive (CCPE) credential from the Canadian Medical Association and Canadian Society of Physician Leaders.
Amanda Higginson- Project Officer, Ottawa Public Health
Amanda is a Project Officer with Ottawa Public Health. Joining the social media team in 2020 she specializes in youth and young adult content and Instagram! Amanda graduated from Carleton University in Health Sciences with a concentration in Global Health.
Kevin Parent- Program and Project Management Officer, Ottawa Public HealthKevin is a Program and Project Management Officer with Ottawa Public Health (OPH). He has been the social media lead at OPH since 2018. He graduated from Carleton University with a major in Communications and a minor in Sociology and is perpetually tired due to working in health comms during a pandemic whilst also having 3 kids at home (including a newborn). Kevin is a ginger.
Sabina Vohra-Miller- Founder, Unambiguous Science; co-founder, the Vohra-Miller Foundation
Sabina Vohra-Miller has an MSc in clinical pharmacology and toxicology. She previously worked in biotech as a scientific advisor. In 2016, she retired from her role in biotech and with her husband, she co-founded the Vohra-Miller Foundation, a philanthropic endeavor with the goal of making systemic, sustainable, and meaningful changes to healthcare in Canada.
Michelle Smyth, Social Media Lead, Vaccine Hunters Canada
Michelle Smyth joined Vaccine Hunters Canada in April 2021, as a Social Media Lead and member of the Brand Communications team. She developed her social media expertise over the past decade while leading teams at two of Canada’s biggest companies: RBC and Sun Life Financial. Michelle is now the Senior Digital Client Service Director for PRAXIS, a leading marketing communications agency.
Vaccine Hunters Canada was founded with a mission to connect eligible Canadians with vaccination appointments and get more shots in arms. The group has grown to include over 100 devoted volunteers from coast to coast to coast, who’ve worked tirelessly to provide answers, information and support to all Canadians. They’ve amassed an enormous and loyal following on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat and Discord, who’ve supported and encouraged them every step of the way, and are grateful to all their partners, collaborators, supporters and followers who have joined them on this journey. Vaccine Hunters Canada is an independent, nonpartisan, volunteer-run community.