The Team

 Dr. William Montelpare, PhD Professor; Margaret and Wallace McCain Chair in Human Development and Health- Dr. Montelpare graduated from the University of Toronto with a Ph.D. in Community Health specializing in Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Exercise Science. He started his academic career in 1986 as an Assistant Professor at Brock University in St. Catharines where he served as the first Director of the Health Studies Program from 1991-1998 when it was granted official program status by the Legislative Assembly in the Province of Ontario.  In July 1998, Dr. Montelpare moved to Lakehead University where he served as the Director of the School of Kinesiology until January 1, 2001 when he was seconded to the role of Acting Dean of Graduate studies, a position he held until July 2003. While in the role of Acting Dean he co-developed the first Masters of Public Health (MPH) program to be offered in Canada, and to be offered completely online. In 2010 he accepted a research chair at the University of Leeds (Leeds, UK) and was appointed as Professor of Allied Health Sciences. He returned to Canada in July 2012 as the inaugural, Margaret and Wallace McCain Chair in Human Development and Health at the University of Prince Edward Island.

Throughout his academic career he has taught thousands of students in statistics, research methods, exercise physiology, and health courses, at the undergraduate and graduate levels. He has been elected to the Senates of both Brock and Lakehead Universities, and served on several university, Regional, Provincial and National committees in areas related to university issues as well as within the disciplines of Heath, and in Exercise Science.  As a respected researcher he has been invited to serve on more than 75 graduate thesis committees, research review boards, research grant evaluation committees, Faculty program reviews, and as external examiner for Graduate Dissertations, as well as Promotion and Tenure reviews. His current areas of research include the epidemiology of physical activity related injuries, return to play criteria, and research on human development from pre-conception through gestation to the first 2,000 days.


Dr. Gail Macartney completed her PhD in Nursing from Queen’s University in 2013. She maintains active licensure as a Nurse Practitioner with the College of Registered Nurses of Prince Edward Island and an Oncology Nursing Certification with the Canadian Nurses Association. Dr Macartney has an extensive nursing background in clinical practice, education and research. She has broad-based nursing expertise with pediatric, adolescent and adult patient populations in the acute, ambulatory and community care settings. Dr Macartney has been an active participant in nursing practice, education and research activities at the local, provincial and national levels. She has provided clinical mentorship and student supervision to many interdisciplinary health science undergraduate and post-graduate students. Before joining the Nursing Faculty at UPEI as an Assistant Professor in July 2019, Dr Macartney worked at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario in Ottawa, Ontario as a Nurse Practitioner in Pediatric Neurosurgery and Concussion Care. Dr Macartney was an expert panel member in the development of the Living Guideline for Diagnosing and Managing Pediatric Concussion. Her research interests in concussion care include symptom assessment, trajectory and management



Tessa Roche, Clinic Coordinator- Tessa graduated from University of Prince Edward Island with her Bachelor of Arts, majoring in English in 2012.  During her time at university she played on the UPEI Women’s Soccer and Hockey teams.  She completed her Master of Science in the Applied Health Sciences department at UPEI in 2016.  Her master’s research focused on test of dynamic balance, dual-task, and ocular reflexes (specifically the vestibulo-ocular and fixation) for concussion assessment.  During her time working as clinic coordinator she has worked with Health PEI on their ongoing Pulmonary and Cardiac Rehabilitation Programs, and has collaborated with the biomechanics group on Parkinson’s research studies.  She also works with a pilot program for concussion participants with persistent symptoms in co-operation with Workers Compensation Board of PEI.


Dr. Kate Kelly is a Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Health Centred Research Clinic at the University of Prince Edward Island. She holds a PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of New Brunswick. Her research interests include patient navigation and the use of social media to facilitate health-related knowledge exchange. She is currently leading the development, implementation, and evaluation of a province-wide immunization support program, specific to the COVID-19 vaccine, in Prince Edward Island. This program aims to support Islanders in their decision to become vaccinated and/or vaccinate their children against COVID-19.


Dr. Ahmad Abd-El-Aziz graduated from University of Prince Edward Island in 2021 with a PhD in Environmental Sciences.  Ahmad is a Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Health Centred Research Clinic at the University of Prince Edward Island and is currently working on a project with Janssen Pharmaceuticals on identification of disease profiles for patients diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).  His research interest is on the link between environmental impacts, such as climate change, and their measurable effects on health outcomes using biomarkers.  

Anja Salijevic, BSc, CHES, CTE-  Anja graduated from the University of Utah in 2012 with a BSc in Health Promotion & Education with an emphasis in Community and became CHES Certified (Certified Health Education Specialist). In 2014, she worked with the PEI Chapter of the Canadian Cancer Society as the Health Promotion Coordinator educating Islanders on Cancer Prevention and Smoking Cessation. During her time with the society, she became a Certified Tobacco Educator (CTE) implementing and evaluating a workplace wellness smoking cessation program. Anja has worked in the Health Centred Research Clinic as a Health Educator and Project Coordinator since 2017 for a variety of projects and programs. As a proud first-generation Bosnian, she is dedicated to applying her expertise through equitable, diverse, and inclusive health research through curriculum development, program implementation and evaluation, and overall engagement of various Island communities, with a focus on marginalized populations. She is a proud co-founder and member of the newly formed Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) health research committee within the clinic which works to uphold EDI practices across all health research activities in collaboration with various community organizations.


Leslie-Ann Ruben, CFE, FCCA, BBA- Leslie-Ann is the Network Project Manager for the Prince Edward Island Primary Integrated Healthcare Innovation Network.  She is also responsible for the clinic’s Administration including Human Resource Management, Finance, grants and contract management.  Leslie-Ann is a member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, a Certified Fraud Examiner, a member of the Canadian Association for Research Administration (CARA) and serves as a Director of the board of Atlantic Canada Chapter of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE). Leslie-Ann has over 20 years of experience working in accounting and auditing in the public and private sectors.


Laurie Michael (she/her), RD, MPH – Laurie has been working as a Registered Dietitian since 2008 after completing the Northern Ontario Dietetic Internship Program following a Bachelor of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Prince Edward Island (2007). She has also completed the Ryerson Food Security Certificate (2012) and a Master of Public Health from Lakehead University (2019). She has been privileged to work in a variety of practice settings in Ontario, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island including a family health team; hospital inpatients and outpatients; clinical long-term care; preschool nutrition policy; community health research; sessional nutrition lecturer; and outpatient clinical prenatal, postpartum, and pediatrics. She is a Board member of CHANCES Family Center and an active member of the PEI Working Group for a Livable Income. She is also the Vice President of the Primary Care Dietitian Association (PCDA) and co-facilitator of the PCDA Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Taskforce. She is also a private practitioner for clinical nutrition consulting in long term care facilities on PEI. As a proud mixed race Lebanese Canadian, she has been dedicated to gaining perspectives of diversity, equity, and inclusion in all areas of her life. She is also a co-founder and member of the newly formed Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) health research committee within the clinic which works to uphold EDI practices across all health research activities in collaboration with various Island community organizations. Laurie is honored to have joined the Health Centered Research Clinic in April 2021 as an RD and project coordinator.