SMART Fund Committee
The CFAS is proud to announce the creation of a new segregated fund that will be specifically set aside to initiate, assist and further research and special projects by the CFAS and its members. Each year, together with the Board of Directors, a newly created sub-committee called the “SMART Fund Committee,” will identify funds to be allocated to projects that are aligned with the CFAS vision (promoting excellence in assisted reproduction) and mission (to advance reproductive science and medicine in Canada through leadership, research and guidance). The creation of this segregated fund is a bold step forward and a commitment by the CFAS to support research and innovation in ART within Canada.
The purpose of the Committee is to:
- Administer the SMART Fund in a legal and ethical manner;
- Identify and create initiatives of purpose and value;
- Set eligibility criteria and submission requirements for projects;
- Set terms of funding, including the requirement for regular reports from grantees to the CAC;
- Receive, review and evaluate submissions;
- Make awards based on the review of submissions having consideration of the relative merits of each request, the likelihood of and definition of success;
- Monitor and receive updates about each project; and
- Report to the CFAS Board
Sherry Levitan, LLB - Committee Chair
Sherry Levitan has worked in the field of fertility related law since 1991, and is proud to be the first lawyer to ever sit on the CFAS Board. Sitting on the CFAS Board has been a career highlight, but there is more work to do, and Sherry is eager to carry on with the numerous projects already underway.
Sherry started in the field as counsel to several infertility clinics, and shortly thereafter began representing intended parents who were working with a third party such as a surrogate or an egg donor. This relationship with IVF centres has formed her view of ART and she values the rapport that she enjoys with physicians and scientists working in the field. Sherry’s expertise has been recognized by the Federal Government, and she was appointed to sit on the CSA Taskforce to develop guidelines for the reimbursement of donors and surrogates. She was also invited to testify before the federal Standing Committee of Health and to participate in workshops and other programs sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Health in developing guidelines for the practice of third party reproduction.
Goldi Gill, MBA - CFAS Executive Director
Goldi Gill is an experienced executive leader who has demonstrated excellence in strategic and operational management in multi-site for-profit and not-for-profit organizations. Her professional experience is based on a strong foundation of evidence based organizational practices, theory, and research. Goldi comes to this position having been the Executive Director of The Arthritis Alliance of Canada, a pan-Canadian assembly, where she was successful in developing and implementing strategic goals in awareness, advocacy and fund development. Prior to working with The Arthritis Alliance of Canada, she held several roles within the public and private sectors. She has a solid background in leading teams in the areas of advocacy and strategic planning. Goldi possesses a strong political acumen and is well versed in working with not-for-profit organizations and government agencies. Goldi has a high regard for continuous learning and education. Her educational background includes a degree in communications, a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) from Queen’s University and she is a candidate for a PhD in Business Psychology at the Chicago School of Psychology.
Dr. Jason Hitkari, MD - President
Dr. Jason Hitkari is the Medical Director of Olive Fertility Centre in Vancouver. He did his Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility Fellowship at the University of Toronto (Mt. Sinai) before moving back to Vancouver to start his clinical practice in 2007.
He is also a Clinical Associate Professor at the University of British Columbia where he is the Week Chair for the medical undergraduate “Reproduction Week”. He has received three teaching awards from UBC during his time there.
He lives in Vancouver with his wife, Lucy, and their twins (from IVF!). In his free time, Jason likes to enjoy good food and good wine with family and friends. He also enjoys being active and getting out on the water.
Eileen McMahon, RN(EC), MN, PNC(C) - Past President
Eileen graduated from the University of Toronto with a baccalaureate degree in Nursing Science, a Masters in Nursing, and a post-Master’s Nurse Practitioner degree. She has also successfully obtained her Extended Class qualification and holds specialty certification in Perinatal Nursing from the Canadian Nurses Association. She is a Nurse Practitioner at Mount Sinai Fertility and an Adjunct Lecturer in the Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing at the University of Toronto. Eileen was awarded a Mount Sinai Hospital Research Award in 2011 and is actively involved in all aspects of fertility nursing, but focuses primarily on fertility preservation and counselling. She also has an interest in gender inclusive care.
Dr. Sony Sierra, MD - Treasurer
Dr. Sony Sierra has been a Reproductive Endocrinologist and Infertility since 2006. She completed residency at the University of Toronto, and then went on to a fellowship program at the University of British Columbia in GREI. During her fellowship, Dr. Sierra was trained in Recurrent Early Pregnancy Loss at the University of Chicago, under the mentorship of Dr. Mary Stephenson.
She is currently a physician in the practice, a partner at TRIO Fertility and the Deputy Medical Director, along with Dr. Ken Cadesky. In addition to her busy fertility practice, Dr. Sierra and Dr. Carl Laskin run the Recurrent Pregnancy Loss program at TRIO Fertility. This program continues to be the largest program in Canada focused on the investigation and management of recurrent pregnancy loss.
Dr. Sierra is also an Associate Physician at Women’s College Hospital where she specializes in Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, and is an Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology in the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at the University of Toronto. She enjoys her participation in teaching and training in undergraduate medical program, residency, and fellowship programs in both Gynecologic Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility and Maternal Fetal Medicine.
Jay Baltz, PhD
Jay Baltz is a Senior Scientist and Associate Scientific Director of the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, and Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Ottawa.
Jay has previously served as chair of the federal Stem Cell Oversight Committee, Associate Editor of Biology of Reproduction, Director of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Training Program in Reproduction, Early Development and the Impact on Health (REDIH), member and vice-chair of the Institute Advisory Board of the CIHR Institute of Human Development, Child and Youth Health (IHDCYH), and as Director of the Program on Oocyte Health, a CIHR Strategic Initiative program. In addition, he was Associate Scientific Director of the Ottawa Fertility Centre at the Ottawa Hospital from 1995-2005.
Neal Mahutte, MD
Neal Mahutte is the Medical Director of the Montreal Fertility Centre. Originally born and raised in Ontario, Neal did his undergraduate degree at Stanford University, followed by medical school and Ob/Gyn residency at McGill University. He then did a fellowship in reproductive endocrinology and infertility at Yale University followed by 4 years as an assistant professor at Dartmouth Medical School in New Hampshire.
In 2007 Neal returned to Montreal, and along with his wife Sophia, helped grow the Montreal Fertility Centre. The centre currently performs between 800 and 1000 IVF cycles per year and has a multiple pregnancy rate of 5%.
Neal is a fellow of Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and is also board certified in both Ob/Gyn and REI by the American College of Obstetrics & Gynecology. Neal served on the CFAS board of directors from 2013 until 2016 and was the society’s president of 2014-2015.
Marc-André Sirard, PhD
After graduate studies at University Laval on in vitro fertilization to generate the first clinical method to produce test-tubes calves in 1985, Marc-Andre went for a post-doctoral training to the laboratory of Neal First in Wisconsin to study in vitro maturation of oocytes. He came back to Québec in 1987 and became an industrial chair professor in 1990. He founded the Centre de Recherche en Biologie de la Reproduction in 1995 which has grown to include more than 100 people today. He obtained a senior Canadian Research Chair in 2000 on genomics applied to reproduction and is leading an international effort to define the normal genomic program in early mammalian embryos which has become an NSERC strategic network in 2008. He has published over 300 scientific papers and has been invited to give over 85 invited lectures in international meetings. His current research activities are focus on the influence of the ovarian environment on oocyte quality in human and large animals.