REACH staff provide the infrastructure to help community members, policy makers, front-line agencies, and researchers develop effective interdisciplinary teams and conduct research that will have an impact.

seanSean B. Rourke ( 
REACH Director

Sean B. Rourke is a clinical neuropsychologist and scientist at St. Michael’s Hospital, Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto, and Scientific and Executive Director of the Ontario Ministry of Health AIDS Bureau-funded Ontario HIV Treatment Network, a leading research and policy organization in Canada. He is also the director of three national centres: the CIHR Centre for REACH in HIV/AIDS (REACH 2.0), the CIHR CBR Collaborative: A Program of REACH, and Universities Without Walls (a CIHR program that is training the next generation of HIV researchers in Canada).

Sean is transforming how population health and community-based research is done to have a stronger impact on policies and front-line services, and to solve complex health problems for people living with or at risk for HIV/AIDS. With his novel effective approach to community stakeholder engagement, partnership development across disciplines and sectors, and innovative KTE and research-to-action strategies, Sean is having a major influence in getting us closer to ending the HIV epidemic in Canada.


jeanJean Bacon (
REACH Deputy Director

Jean Bacon has worked in HIV/AIDS since 1985, developing strategic plans, policy papers, consultation papers, reports, awareness campaigns, educational materials and clinical and practice guidelines for the province of Ontario, the government of Canada, community-based organizations and clinicians. She has also worked extensively on other health and social issues such as strategic planning for the health care system in Ontario, mental health and addiction services, child and youth health, chronic disease management, palliative care, health human resources planning, and pandemic planning. Her focus is on using research as well as front-line experience to identify and analyze trends, and to influence policy and practice. Jean also serves as the Ontario HIV Treatment Network’s Senior Director, Policy and Knowledge Translation and Exchange.


soniaSonia Gaudry (
Centre Manager

Sonia Gaudry has a background in both biological and social sciences, and a Master’s in Health Services Research. The common threads throughout her academic training have been the health and wellbeing of all community members, and the intersection of various research methods, theories, disciplines, sectors, and partners. Sonia also has a history of involvement with community-based organizations, including HIV/AIDS and hospice support. Sonia draws on her expertise in project management and research analysis to support research teams across Canada. One of the things that attracted her to REACH was the project’s solution-focused, multi-sector way of working, and she enjoys creating a space where people who are passionate about HIV research can bring their ideas to life.


davidDavid Seekings (
Manager, Evaluation & Program Science

David Seekings has over a decade of experience working in health and social policy research and evaluation with both the government of Canada and the province of Nova Scotia. He has extensive experience in strategic planning and policy development and has worked to build evaluation capacity with community organizations and government agencies in Canada, Cameroon and Jamaica. David holds a PhD in political science from the University of British Columbia, where he researched participatory approaches to developing and delivering foreign aid programs for HIV/AIDS. He has a strong commitment to building collaborative, evidenced-based responses to key health and social issues and looks forward the opportunity to continue to pursue this commitment through the work of REACH 2.0.


frannyFrancisco Ibàñez-Carrasco (
Universities Without Walls Program Manager

Francisco Ibàñez-Carrasco, a lifelong educator, AIDS activist and teacher, has a passion for building education programs. The driving force, with Sean Rourke and Cathy Worthington, behind Universities Without Walls (UWW), he works collaboratively with faculty, students and the community to review applications, develop and deliver the curriculum, create service learning opportunities, and give UWW fellows an education experience not available in traditional programs. His goal is to connect and inspire students.

janiceJanice Duddy (
Manager of Evaluation, PAN

Janice Duddy, MES, works for the Pacific AIDS Network and is the BC Evaluator for the CIHR Centre for REACH in HIV/AIDS. Previous to this role she was the Grants & Partnerships Coordinator with the CBR program at PAN and held a dual role with the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) as the Manager of the PHSA’s HIV/AIDS Program and the Operations Manager of the BC Centre for Disease Control’s Hepatitis Program. Janice has a passion for evaluation and has provided leadership on the Community HIV/HCV Evaluation and Reporting Tool at PAN and the BC Evaluation Advisory Committee. She is committed to building a stronger culture of evaluation in the region through engagement of stakeholders from across the sector and showing the value of moving research evidence into practice.

Alex Musten 200
Alexandra Musten (
Coordinator, REACH

Alex Musten has worked in the healthcare sector for over ten years. She holds an MA from York University’s Graduate Program in Disaster & Emergency Management, where she used every available opportunity to examine the social determinants of health in the broader context of Emergency Management. Her major research paper examined the myths surrounding HIV transmission and African state instability. Alex has volunteered with development organizations in India and Cameroon, and she’s excited to apply her skills to her new position as Coordinator for the CIHR CBR Collaborative: A Program of REACH.

RingaertLaurie Ringaert (
Manitoba CBR Coordinator, Nine Circles

Laurie Ringaert started in early November 2015 with Nine Circles Health Centre. She brings experience in developing networks, community engagement work, collective impact, developmental evaluation,  community based research and evaluation methods, working with indigenous communities, remote and rural communities,  and  knowledge translation. She has a passion for working with and bringing together various sectors to work on complex issues.

Caroline PloemCaroline Ploem (
Community-based Research Manager, AIRN

Caroline Ploem began in December 2015 as the AIRN/REACH Atlantic Community-based Research Manager based at Dalhousie University. Caroline’s greatest passions are related to harm reduction, social justice and health equity. She holds an MA in Applied Psychology and more than 20 years experience in health-related program planning, management and evaluation. Most of her earlier career (1990-2004) was dedicated to the field of HIV/AIDS-related research, focusing much of her work on the prevention of HIV/AIDS and HCV among vulnerable populations, particularly inmates and people who inject drugs.


Charlotte Guerlotté (
Community-based Research Coordinator, COCQ-SIDA

Charlotte holds a master’s degree in anthropology from the University of Montréal. Passionate about identity issues and intercultural relations, she has developed several research projects on these themes. Her master’s thesis dealt with identity dynamics of Guadeloupean youth from hip-hop culture and from disadvantaged neighborhoods. She has maintained a particular interest in populations considered marginalized or stigmatized with the aim to work with community to move beyond prejudices.


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