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Food and Nutrition

Infant Feeding Expert Advisory Group

Membership

Meetings

Biographies of Members

Alison Barrett (retired April 2011)
Alliston, Ontario

Dr. Alison Barrett has over 15 years of experience as a lactation consultant and specialist obstetrician and gynaecologist, and is a member of medical professional associations in Canada and abroad. She currently holds the position of Chief of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Stevenson Memorial Hospital. Dr Barrett has served on several committees on infant feeding issues in Canada and also in New Zealand, including the National Breastfeeding Advisory Committee for the New Zealand Ministry of Health. She also has worked with non-governmental organizations, serving on the New Zealand La Leche League's Board of Consultants, helping to develop and disseminate evidence-based guidance on infant feeding to a wide range of stakeholders. She has been a peer reviewer for the Journal of Pediatrics and the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Journal on infant feeding research. Dr. Barrett is frequently invited to speak at conferences and seminars on breastfeeding.

Gisèle Conway
Orleans, Ontario

Gisèle Conway is currently a stay at home mother of three children, all of whom were breastfed. She received a Bachelor's degree of science in Communicative Disorders from the University of Western Ontario and worked as a Speech-Language Pathologist in hospital and rehabilitation centre settings for 7 years. She was a member of both the Canadian and New Brunswick Associations of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists (CASLPA and NBSLPA respectively). Following the arrival of her second child, Gisèle began to combine her experience in one-on-one teaching of children of all abilities with her lifelong love of cooking. She started her own business, 'Cooking's Cool,' to provide cooking lessons for children 4 to 16 years of age. Gisèle volunteers in the community in the interests of children and mothers, with services that include fundraising, committee/planning tasks, and acting as a facilitator for adult learning programs. She is also fluently bilingual.

James Friel (retired July 2012)
Winnipeg, Manitoba

Dr. James Friel is a Professor at the Department of Human Nutritional Sciences and in the Department of Pediatrics and Child Health in University of Manitoba. He was the Head of the Department of Human Nutritional Sciences from 2002-2004. Dr. Friel's research expertise focuses primarily on infant nutrition and mother's milk. He works to identify bioactive molecules in premature and mature infant's nutrition that influence, or may be applied to other areas of the life cycle. He has published over 200 publications and holds 4 patents. Dr. Friel's research is funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Networks of Centres of Excellence of Canada (NCE) and Manitoba Health Research Council (MHRC). Since 2002-2006 he was a member of CIHR Nutrition and Foods Committee and since 2002 he has sat on the Governing Council of Free Radical Society for Biology and Medicine (CFRBM) as the Canadian Representative. Dr. Friel is a reviewer and is on the Editorial Boards for many prestigious journals on Pediatrics and on Nutrition. He is a frequent guest speaker at child nutrition conferences and is often interviewed in media on child nutrition and feeding topics.

Laura Haiek
St. Lambert, Quebec

Dr. Laura Haiek is a family physician with masters' degrees in Human Nutrition (Columbia University) and Epidemiology and Biostatistics (McGill University). She holds a part-time assistant professor position at McGill's Department of Family Medicine. For the past 20 years, she has worked promoting maternal-infant health at different levels of Quebec's healthcare system: two community health centers (CLSCs), a regional public health agency (Agence de la santé et des services sociaux de la Montérégie) and at the provincial level (Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux and Institut national de santé publique du Québec). In this context, she has contributed to the implementation and the evaluation of Québec's Breastfeeding Guidelines and Public Health Program, which include WHO/UNICEF's Baby-Friendly Initiative (BFI) as a priority target. Dr. Haiek has 20 years of clinical experience in Family Medicine and more recently, has established a community-based Breastfeeding Clinic. She is a member of the Canadian College of Family Physicians, Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine and Québec's BFI Certification Committee, as well as a certified BFI evaluator. Among her research interests, she has developed a methodology to monitor BFI compliance used in regional- and province-wide assessments. She also participates in a Nordic-countries working group aimed at the expansion of the BFI to NICUs caring for premature and ill infants.

Sheila Innis
Vancouver, British Columbia

Dr. Sheila Innis is a Professor in the Department of Paediatrics, Faculty of Medicine at the University of British Columbia, and the Director of the Nutrition and Metabolism Program at the Child and Family Research Institute. She also holds a scientific and professional staff appointment at the Children's and Women's Hospital in Vancouver, where she is in the Division of Neonatology. She also co-chairs the nutrition committees for intensive newborn care nursery, and the BC Children's and Women's Hospital, and is a member of the executive of the International Society for Research on Human Milk and Lactation. Dr. Innis completed her PhD at the University of Toronto in nutrition and joined the University of British Columbia initially in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, and then moved to Paediatrics. Dr. Innis has a long-standing research and academic career in infant and child nutrition, growth and development. Her expertise relates largely to lipids and essential fatty acids. She has over 200 peer-reviewed publications and has been continuously funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).

Gerry Kasten
Vancouver, British Columbia

Gerry Kasten is from an Alberta farming family and works as a Community Nutritionist with Vancouver Coastal Health in Squamish, British Columbia. In 1983, he received an Honours Diploma in Commercial Cooking from the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology and later graduated from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor's degree in Foods and Nutrition. He has worked in Public Health for the past twenty years and gained valuable practical experience in community settings, talking with moms about feeding their babies. He has been an active member of both regional and provincial child feeding committees, including the editorial committee for the 3rd edition of the BC Community Nutritionists Council's Compendium of Breastmilk Substitutes. He has led the board of directors of both Dietitians of Canada and the BC Agriculture in the Classroom Foundation. In 2009, he was awarded a Master of Science in Human Nutrition degree from the University of British Columbia and is a Sessional Instructor in UBC's Dietetics program. He also works at Spectrum Health, a multidisciplinary Primary Care clinic in downtown Vancouver. Gerry looks forward to bringing his passion for growing, harvesting, cooking and eating delicious food to the Infant Feeding Advisory Group.

Jack Newman
Toronto, Ontario

Dr. Jack Newman is the co-founder and co-director of the Newman Breastfeeding Clinic & Institute (NBCI). The NBCI provides help for breastfeeding women and babies, does research in breastfeeding and has a formal training program for health professionals as well as for those wishing to become lactation consultants. In 1970, he graduated as a medical doctor from the University of Toronto and received his fellowship in paediatrics from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in 1981. Jack is also a founding member of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine. He has published numerous journal articles and editorials on breastfeeding. Jack is also a regular speaker at conferences in Canada and internationally on topics such as "Controversies in breastfeeding," and "Bottle feeding mentality, breastfeeding myths." In 2005, he received the Award of Excellence from La Leche League International.

Daniel Roth (retired September 2012)
Toronto, Ontario

Daniel Roth, MD PhD, is an associate staff paediatrician and clinician-scientist in the Division of Paediatric Medicine at The Hospital for Sick Children and the Department of Paediatrics at the University of Toronto.  In 2002, Daniel received his medical degree from the University of British Columbia, and then completed his pediatric residency training at the University of Alberta (2002-06). He recently earned a PhD in international public health and human nutrition at The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore. Daniel has a long-standing interest in maternal and infant nutrition, with a particular emphasis on the role of vitamin D in maternal and early infant health. He has previously published several studies exploring the association between vitamin D and infection, based on work conducted in Canada, Peru, and Bangladesh. He is currently conducting a randomized trial of vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Daniel was supported during his PhD by a Clinician-Scientist (Phase 1) award from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), a clinical fellowship award from the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research (AHFMR), and a Sommer Scholarship from Johns Hopkins University.

Nancy Watters
Ottawa, Ontario

Nancy Watters is a member of the nursing faculty at the University of Ottawa and is a part-time public health nurse for the City of Ottawa's Healthy Babies Healthy Children Program. She has focused on community health and maternal-newborn care through her experiences as an educator, consultant and clinical expert with a regional perinatal education program, faculty appointments at three university schools of nursing and as a consultant for Health Canada, the Canadian Institute of Child Health and the Canadian Nurses Association. Nancy Watters was an expert reviewer for the 2008 revised Ontario Public Health Standards; the 2010 collaborative statement - Promoting Optimal Monitoring of Child Growth in Canada - Using the New World Health Organization [WHO] Growth Charts. She is a current member of the Breastfeeding Supports and Services Work Group of the Ontario Provincial Council for Maternal and Child Health. She is an author and/or principal researcher on projects such as Family-Centred Maternity and Newborn Care: National Guidelines, Breastfeeding Guidelines for Health Care Providers, Prevention of Low Birth Weight in Canada and Neurodevelopmental Research: Implications for Excellent Caregiver Practices - Synthesis report of the literature review. She is a registered nurse, holds BScN and MScN degrees and has maintained certification as an international board certified lactation consultant (IBCLC) from 1990 to 2010. She is a board member of the Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario and a past president of the Childbirth Nurses' Interest Group of Ontario.

Summary of Expertise, Experience, and Affiliations and Interests

The following summary presents the information about expertise, experience, and affiliations and interests relevant to the Infant Feeding Expert Advisory Group mandate declared in forms completed by group members. Health Canada considered these declarations as part of the selection process and has made this summary available as part of its commitment to be transparent about the membership of its advisory bodies.

Form Template

Indicated Expertise and Experience

Expertise:
Allergy sensitization
Breastfeeding research
Infant development
Lactation
Nutrient Needs in infancy

Experience:
Government
Health professional
Industry
Other
Parent
Research/Academia

Indicated Affiliations and Interest

1. Direct financial interests

  1. Current employment, investments in companies, partnerships, equity, royalties, joint ventures, trusts, real property, stocks, shares, or bonds with the regulated industry.

2. Indirect financial interests

  1. Within the past five years, payment from the regulated industry for work done or being done, including past employment, contracts, or consulting; or financial support including research support, personal education grants, contributions, fellowships, sponsorships, and honorariaFootnote 1.
  2. Within the past five years, materials, discounted products, gifts, or other benefits, or attendance at meetings where all or part of the travel and accommodation costs were provided by the regulated industryFootnote 2.
  3. Within the last three years, grants or other funding from the regulated industry to any of the organizations where you are currently employed or participate in internal decision makingFootnote 3.

3. Intellectual interests

  1. Within the last five years, any formal advice or opinion to industry, a government organization, or a non-government organization.
  2. Within the last five years, any published or publicly stated point of view.
  3. Current professional or volunteer affiliations such as membership of professional societies, lobbying, public interest, or advocacy groups.

4. Other

  1. Any other affiliations and interests or potential circumstances that might give a well-informed member of the public reasonable grounds for concern regarding the integrity and objectivity of your participation.

Summary of Responses

Alison Barrett

Expertise: Breastfeeding research, Infant development, Lactation, Nutrient needs in infancy

Experience: Health professional

  • 1a. No
  • 2a. No
  • 2b. No
  • 2c. No
  • 3a. Yes
  • 3b. Yes
  • 3c. Yes
  • 4a. No

Comments: Alison has presented to health professionals and the public on breastfeeding, the Baby-friendly Initiative and milk banking. She has advocated to the New Zealand Human Rights Commission on breastfeeding issues. She also serves as a volunteer on the La Leche League New Zealand Board of Consultants.

Gisèle Conway

Knowledge : Feeding infants and young children, allergies and special diets, food preparation, current nutrition guidelines, infant and child developmental milestones

Experience: Parent, committee member, document reviewer, peer counsellor

  • 1a. No
  • 2a. No
  • 2b. No
  • 2c. No
  • 3a. No
  • 3b. No
  • 3c. No
  • 4a. No

Comments: N/A

James Friel

Expertise: Breastfeeding research, Infant development, Lactation, Nutrient needs in infancy

Experience: Health professional, Parent, Research/Academia

  • 1a. No
  • 2a. Yes
  • 2b. No
  • 2c. No
  • 3a. No
  • 3b. No
  • 3c. No
  • 4a. No

Comments: James serves on advisory boards for Heinz Canada and Danone Canada.

Laura Haiek

Expertise: Breastfeeding research, Lactation

Experience: Government, Health professional, Parent, Research/Academia

  • 1a. No
  • 2a. No
  • 2b. No
  • 2c. No
  • 3a. Yes
  • 3b. Yes
  • 3c. Yes
  • 4a. No

Comments: Laura has advised provincial, regional and local governments in Quebec on infant feeding issues and has been an advocate for the implementation of the Baby-friendly Initiative.

Sheila Innis

Expertise: Breastfeeding research, Infant development, Nutrient needs in infancy

Experience: Health professional, Parent, Research/Academia

  • 1a. No
  • 2a. Yes
  • 2b. Yes
  • 2c. Yes
  • 3a. Yes
  • 3b. No
  • 3c.Yes
  • 4a. No

Comments: Sheila has received research funding from Mead Johnson Nutritional (U.S.), Abbott Laboratories (U.S.), and DSM (EU). She received honoraria from Mead Johnson, and DSM, and DSM has also subsidized her conference fees in 2010. She is a member of Dietitians of Canada, the Canadian Society for Nutrition and nutrition organizations in the U.S.

Gerry Kasten

Expertise: Allergy sensitization, Breastfeeding research, Lactation, Nutrient needs in infancy

Experience: Health professional

  • 1a. No
  • 2a. No
  • 2b. No
  • 2c. No
  • 3a. Yes
  • 3b. No
  • 3c. Yes
  • 4a. No

Comments: Gerry has spoken to health professionals and the public on a variety of nutrition and health promotion issues on behalf of non-governmental organizations such as Dietitians of Canada, BC Cancer Agency, and for the BC First Nations Health Authority and Sport Med BC.

Jack Newman

Expertise: Lactation, Nutrient needs in infancy

Experience: Health professional, Parent

  • 1a. No
  • 2a. No
  • 2b. No
  • 2c. No
  • 3a. Yes
  • 3b. Yes
  • 3c. Yes
  • 4a. No

Comments: Jack has advised the Ministry of Health in Ontario on breastfeeding issues. He advises the public on breastfeeding issues through his clinic's website. He gives 20 to 30 presentations per year in Canada and internationally on the benefits of breastfeeding and the risks of bottle feeding. Jack is the current chairman of INFACT Canada.

Daniel Roth

Expertise: Nutrient needs in infancy

Experience: Health professional, Research/Academia

  • 1a. No
  • 2a. No
  • 2b. Yes
  • 2c. No
  • 3a. Yes
  • 3b. Yes
  • 3c. Yes
  • 4a. No

Comments: Daniel received a travel grant to attend the International Congress of Nutrition from the Organizing Committee sponsored by Coca Cola. He has presented to the World Health Organization on nutrition interventions for pneumonia prevention, and has published journal commentary on vitamin D supplementation and vitamin D in bone health. He is a member of several medical professional associations, the American Society for Nutrition and the Canadian Paediatric Society.

Nancy Watters

Expertise: Breastfeeding research, Infant development, Lactation

Experience: Health professional, Research/Academia

  • 1a. No
  • 2a. No
  • 2b. No
  • 2c. No
  • 3a. Yes
  • 3b. Yes
  • 3c. Yes
  • 4a. No

Comments: Nancy has volunteered as an advisor to provincial and national public health groups on maternal and paediatric issues. She has been a breastfeeding advocate in Ontario.

Meetings of the Infant Feeding Expert Advisory Group

Footnotes

Footnote 1

Other than from present employer.

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Footnote 2

Other than from present employer, over $1,000.

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Footnote 3

"participate in internal decision making" means as a board member, or as an executive or non-executive director.

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