Facebook icon.Twitter icon.Youtube icon.RSS Feed.

Canadian Congenital Heart Alliance

Board of Directors

You are here


Krista Vriend - President

Krista is a CHD patient, with over 15 years of marketing experience in the financial industry. She is currently the Director of Global Marketing for Insurance at Scotiabank. She has also run her own event management company, and has served on the Board of Directors, Chaired the Special Events Fundraising Committee, and been a Ski School Director, for the Ontario Track 3 Ski Association. She lives in Toronto and is married with children.


Jennifer Graham - Vice President

Jennifer Graham is a CHD patient with congenitally corrected transposition of the great arteries (ccTGA) and has been a part of CCHA since 2006.  She graduated from Carleton University with a B.Sc Hon in Biology and Psychology.  During her career she has held various positions including Project Manager, Computer System designer and developer, Process Re-engineering Analyst and National Trainer in the Insurance and Pharmaceutical industry.

While part of the CCHA team, she has helped organize events such as the Fund a Fellow Film night fundraiser; social events;  as well as, representing CCHA at CCS congress, the Sick Kids Family Education Days, Sick Kids Transition Nights and ISACHD symposium.

In 2010, Jennifer initiated the partnership between CCHA and the Cardiac Health Foundation of Canada in their annual Walk of Life fundraiser, to raise funds for CCHA programs and cardiac rehabilitation programs across Canada, programs often used by CHD patients.  Since then Jennifer has organized CCHA’s team each May and to date they have raised almost $46,000.  In 2012 she was invited by the Cardiac Health Foundation to join their Walk of Life’s organizing committee.

Personally, Jennifer enjoys travelling around the world, cottaging and spending time with her family and friends.


Christina Ding

Christina has a Bachelor’s Degree from McGill University, where she studied Neuroscience and Management. She is the Co-Founder of Heart 4 Heart, an organization that raises funds to provide surgeries for children with Congenital Heart Defects in developing countries. Christina lives in Montreal, QC and she enjoys following the stock market, doing marathons/triathlons, and reading. 



Saad Minhas - Chair, Advocacy & Awareness Committee

Saad is a CHD patient and works as a Contracts and Commerical Specialist at Lakeland Consulting in Oakville, ON. He has a law degree from the University of Westminster in the UK and certificate in Construction Law from Osgoode Hall. He was the President of the Law Society at the University of Westminster and the editor-in-chief of the Westminster Law Review. He is involved in CivicAction's Emerging Leader Network and is a committee member of RICS Matrics, a youth recruitment and mentorship initiative. Saad lives in Toronto, ON.


Stella Cockett


Stella is a nurse clinician at BC Children’s Hospital (BCCH) where she has worked in cardiac sciences for over 20 years.  As well as nursing on the cardiac unit, she has held positions as cardiac nurse educator and clinical instructor for the University of British Columbia.  She currently coordinates the BCCH Cardiology Partnership
Program which provides traveling pediatric cardiology clinics to 10 communities throughout BC and the Yukon.  For the past several years her special interest has been improving the process of transitioning teens from BC Children’s Hospital to the adult medical system.  She is one of the cardiac science representatives on the Specialist Services Committee Youth Transition Project, and is a past board member of the Children’s Heart Network.


Joanna Hunt

Joanna Hunt is a lawyer working in family practice at Epstein Cole LLP. Joanna received her Honours Bachelor of Arts (Economics & Global Development Studies), Masters of Public Administration and Juris Doctor from Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. Prior to entering private legal practice, Joanna held student positions at the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General and the Federal Department of Justice. Before joining CCHA, Joanna served for three years on the Board of Directors of the Sexual Assault Centre Kingston.

Joanna lives in Toronto with her partner Dan, who was born with Tetralogy of Fallot. Joanna and Dan enjoy hiking, distance running, cycling and travel.


Jordan Hier

Jordan is a CHD patient. Moreover, he is a project manager for Trois Prime, which is digital communication agency that services the pharmaceutical and health care industries. He graduated with a B.B.A. in both marketing andfinance from Bishop’s University. Jordan previously was an organizer of the Coeur-a-Coeur Congenital Camp arranged by the Maude Unit. He enjoys following the stock market, exercising, playing sports, playing cards. Jordan currently lives in Montreal.




Robbyn McLellan

Robbyn is a CHD patient with Tetralogy of Fallot and a Human Resources Professional. She is a graduate of Sheridan College and Lakehead University (BA). She has over 20 years’ experience in various roles within Human Resources but has spent much of her career as a Compensation Consultant. Currently, she is taking a break from the corporate world to spend time with her family and get more involved with organization’s that are making a difference.

Robbyn has been actively involved in the community by volunteering for the United Way, The Children’s Foundation, School Parent Council, and Treasurer of the girls’ softball rep team.

She lives in Guelph, enjoys reading, travel, weight training and bootcamp classes. Robbyn is married with two children.


Meaghan Sharp

Meaghan is a CHD patient, and has called Canada home for the last 18 years. Born in Sydney , Australia, Meaghan is extremely passionate about ensuring CHD patients receive quality care continue in the pursuit of excellence in patient and family centered care. Meaghan is a Registered Nurse, and is currently the Director of Cardiovascular and Stroke Programs, at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre. Meaghan has over 15 years of extensive management and leadership experience in health care. She has a clinical background in acute care, holds a Masters Degree in Nursing, and is currently enrolled in a Masters of Business Administration Program. Outside of  her career, Meaghan is  married and the mum of one child. She is passionate about fitness and has returned to competitive swimming in the Fall of 2017. Her inspiration for her return is her 13 year old daughter, who is an active competitive swimmer. Meaghan also adores gardening and fashion.


Andrea van Rossum

Andrea is passionate about sharing stories that connect people. With +16 years’ experience in communications and marketing, she has the luxury of making her passion her career.

Graduating from Vancouver Island University with a Bachelor of Arts in Marketing and Management, Andrea has worked in both the private and not-for profit sectors and is excited to bring her knowledge and experience to the Canadian Congenital Heart Alliance as a board member.

Andrea loves serving her community and planning a good fundraising event! When she’s not working with her corporate clients or planning a community event, you can find her with her family having a dance party in the kitchen, exploring the mountains and beaches of Vancouver Island or hosting a house full of friends on a Friday night.


Effie Slapnicar

Effie is the Bursar and Chief Administrative Officer at the University of St. Michael’s College.  Prior to this role, Effie has worked in non-for profit and higher education sectors and most recently as the Director of Operations at the University of Toronto medical school.  Effie received her Masters of Business Education at the Schulich School of Business and completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Toronto.  She lives in Toronto with her two children and husband Sean who was born with transposition of the great arteries.  


Farrukh Aman - Honorary Board Member

Farrukh is the Senior Manager, Digital Enablement for Creditor Insurance products at Scotiabank. Farrukh has over 13 years of experience working in the financial sector within digital strategy, product, retail banking and sales management. Prior to joining the CCHA, Farrukh volunteered his time with United Way, Junior Achievers and the Oakville Trafalgar hospital. Farrukh holds a B.A. in English from the University of Toronto and is currently completing his MBA. Farrukh and his wife live in Toronto.





About the Author

No bio available.
Are you an adult with congenital heart diseases? To find a cardiologist with specialized training in adult congenital heart disease, please read for important info.


Sorry, there are no posts at this time.