Puja Ahluwalia - National Lead, Rehabilitation, Optimal Health and Wellbeing
Puja is a physiotherapist with a background in disability and rehabilitation. She has extensive experience in the fields of pediatrics, global health, and research. Puja most recently worked in the primary care sector where she was involved in engaging patients and clinicians in the process of determining how to measure quality in primary care. She also has a Masters of Public Health in Health Promotion from the University of Toronto.
Melissa Egan - National Lead, Episodic Disabilities
Melissa has worked in the field of health and HIV for over 15 years as an educator and facilitator, developing and delivering workshops to diverse audiences across Canada. She has worked extensively with marginalized, LGBTQ, and Indigenous people. Melissa’s experience includes front-line work at YouthCO in Vancouver, 8 years at CATIE as Regional Educator for the Prairies, and has helped create online learning courses using her background in curriculum development and adult education.
Caroline Kovesi - Program Assistant
Caroline Kovesi is eager to begin her foray into the world of non-profit work. She completed a SSHRC-funded Master’s degree in critical disability studies at York University in 2019 following a BA with honours in sociology and a minor in philosophy at Mount Allison University in New Brunswick. Her research and work on the disabling impacts of environmental racism as well as the treatment of students with mental illnesses in post-secondary education are informed by this interdisciplinary background. Prior to joining Realize, she served on the Canadian Disability Studies Association executive board for two years. She also works as a freelance editor for academics and is interested in knowledge mobilization and accessible digital communications that advance social justice.
Cathy Kozuch - Bookkeeper
As a member of the senior management team for a number of organizations, Catharine has been a part of the financial decision making process in companies from both the private and public sectors. After obtaining a degree in Economics from York University, Catharine worked for many years at the original IBM manufacturing plant in Don Mills, Toronto, Ontario. Following her tenure at IBM, Catharine went on to freelance as an accounting advisor at a number of small businesses in various sectors, such as, educational publishing, cellular systems, and group homes. Catherine, a long time social activist, is excited to work with an organization that is committed to improving the lives of people living with, and those affected by, HIV.
Janet London - Manager, Program Support
Janet brings extensive experience in small business management to her role as Manager, Program Support at Realize.
Kate Murzin - National Program Lead
In July 2013, Kate transitioned into the position of Aging Initiatives Lead after joining Realize to work on the Equitable Access to Rehabilitation project and in March 2015, she was promoted to the position of Health Programs Specialist. In this role, her objective is to build and nurture collaborative working relationships between the HIV, aging and/or chronic illness sectors leading to joint initiatives which improve the health and quality of life of people and communities aging with HIV. Kate was previously Group Programs Coordinator at the AIDS Committee of Toronto (ACT) and played an integral role in developing, implementing and evaluating a programing on HIV and aging. Kate has experience in health promotion program planning, health communications and policy advocacy. She is also a trained group facilitator and has experience in adult education. Kate studied biomedical sciences and received her Masters of Public Health degree from the University of Toronto.
Tammy C. Yates - Executive Director
Tammy joined the Realize Team in January 2013. She has worked for over twelve years in the field of program management. Prior to joining Realize, Tammy was the National Program Manager of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Trinidad & Tobago Branch Office. She has extensive experience in Gender & Development and Sexual & Reproductive Health, including HIV/AIDS, having worked previously as a Program Officer with the Secretariat of the Caribbean Regional Network of Persons Living With HIV (CRN+) and serving as Chair of the Theme Group on Gender of the United Nations System in Trinidad & Tobago. She is a graduate of Wolfson College, Cambridge University, England and the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad.