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OSSU Coordinating Centre


The OSSU Coordinating Centre, located in Toronto, is the central hub for all OSSU related activity in the province. It is the first point of contact for stakeholders interested in learning more about support for patient-oriented research in Ontario. It is also a gateway to other aspects of SPOR located in Ontario.

Contact Us

Ontario SPOR Support Unit

MaRS Centre, West Tower
661 University Avenue, Suite 495
Toronto, ON. M5G 1M1

Email: ossu@ossu.ca
Twitter: @OSSUtweets
Phone: 416-673-8451


Dr. Vasanthi Srinivasan, Executive Director

Dr. Vasanthi Srinivasan, Executive Director

Dr. Vasanthi Srinivasan, the former Assistant Deputy Minister of the Health Systems Strategy and Policy Division at the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC), is the founding Executive Director of the Ontario Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR) SUPPORT Unit. Vasanthi led the MOHLTC Research Program and has held several senior management positions at the federal and provincial levels of government. During her tenure in the Policy Research Initiative of the Privy Council Office of Canada, she was seconded to the Cabinet Office in the United Kingdom to the Performance and Innovation Unit, and she has won awards for her policy work on immigration, indigenous and mental health policy issues. Vasanthi has her PhD from the University of Ottawa.

Carolyn Genautis, Executive Coordinator

Carolyn Genautis

Carolyn is the Executive Coordinator of the Ontario SPOR SUPPORT Unit, responsible for the coordination and administrative operations of the Coordinating Centre.

Carolyn graduated from the University of Guelph with an Honours Bachelor of Science in Human Biology and Nutrition. Upon completing her degree she was given an opportunity to explore the world of finance which led her to a 16-year career within the financial sector at a portfolio management software firm. During her tenure she held various management positions where she excelled in the role of customer focused business development and sales management. Her portfolio included banks, mutual fund companies and asset management companies in major financial centres within North America and Europe.

John Riley, Assistant Director

John Riley

John Riley, Assistant Director at OSSU, is responsible for finance and budgeting, contract negotiations and management, communications and knowledge translation.

Prior to OSSU, John held executive leadership roles with several national research networks funded under the Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE), most notably with the Canadian Arthritis Network, and The Arthritis Society, Canada’s leading arthritis charity. He has consulted with numerous research teams on new/renewal NCE funding applications and has over 18 years experience working in patient partnership in research. Prior to this, John worked for the BC Ministry of Health and in the hospital sector in BC. He holds undergraduate degrees in Biochemistry and Medical Laboratory Science as well as a Master’s in Health Administration from the University of British Columbia.

Hilary Edelstein

Hilary is an Assistant Director with OSSU overseeing the portfolios of patient partnership, knowledge translation, evaluation and impact. She comes to OSSU from working as a Knowledge Translation Specialist and Program Lead in a variety of health not-for-profit organizations. Hilary has published articles and book chapters on knowledge translation and the importance of partnerships for research impact. She has also been integral in the organizations she has worked for in writing and creating clinical manuals and other resources that synthesize health research to improve clinical practice for frontline health workers. Hilary holds a PhD from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education/University of Toronto with a focus on research partnerships for knowledge translation impact.

Kim Barnhardt, Strategic Communications Advisor

Kim Barnhardt

Kim is strategic communications advisor with OSSU. She also advises other health care organizations and researchers, such as CANImmunize/Ottawa hHealth Lab and Newborn Screening Ontario, on communications strategy, planning, media and social media, issues management and more. She presents on communications as part of KT Canada’s end-of-grant KT workshops for researchers.

Kim is also responsible for communications at CMAJ, Canada’s major medical journal, generating awareness of health care research and the journal in general.

She has worked in communications in a variety of sectors, including the arts, social services, municipal government as well as health care.