The Team

We are solution designers, health planners, public health professionals, and social scientists. We bring together partners to co-create solutions in the places where people live. Feel free to reach out with a question, idea for a new project or advice.

picture of Sophie Ikura

Sophia Ikura

Sophia is the Executive Director. She launched Health Commons Solutions Lab to create a space dedicated to building practical solutions to address health disparities. The mission and vision for the Lab is the culmination of nearly 18 years of learning in health and social policy roles.

Prior to this role, Sophia was the Senior Director of Strategy and Community Engagement for health services planning in Canada’s largest urban centre. She served as Senior Policy Advisor to three Ministers of Health and as Senior Health Advisor to the Premier of Ontario. Before that she worked in several Ministries of Government and led the design and implementation of a four year strategy to hire 12,000 nurses and improve workforce retention.

Sophia holds a Masters of Public Administration from Queens University.

picture of Zulf Kassam

Zulf Kassam

Zulf is the Director of Operations at Health Commons Solutions Lab. Since the Lab's inception, he has helped grow the organization from paper concept to an active suite of projects and talented teams. Currently, Zulf oversees the Lab’s day-to-day activities, financial operations, staff recruitment and management, and strategic and operational planning. He is passionate about bringing new ideas to life and seeing individuals and teams thrive. 

Contact Zulf if you're interested in working with the Lab's community of talented staff and partners. 

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Sonia Gaudry

Sonia is a Senior Project Lead committed to mobilizing communities in support of population health system improvement. With a background in social and biological sciences, and health services research, Sonia is interested in solution-focused, multi-sector ways of working. She enjoys creating a space where people who are passionate about health equity can bring their ideas to life.

Contact Sonia to learn more about the Neighbours initiative.

picture of Kandace Ryckman

Kandace Ryckman

Kandace is a Senior Project Lead at the Lab working on the Tools for Ontario Health Teams project. An epidemiologist by training, Kandace brings technical expertise in statistics and research methods to the organizations. She is excited about bringing together health care and public health systems to solve some of the enduring challenges facing health planners.

Contact Kandace for more information on the Tools for Ontario Health Teams project or the Mapping Neighbourhoods project.

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Jasmine Pawa

Dr. Jasmine Pawa is a public health physician with dual license as both a family physician and public health and preventive medicine specialist. With the Lab, she leads the Clinician Tools project working on population health approaches in primary care. Dr. Pawa currently works as a public health physician consultant to a range of organizations at local, provincial, and federal levels; she also provides medical officer of health locum services and remote support as Deputy Chief Medical Officer of Health for Nunavut.

Contact Jasmine about primary care and population health.

picture of Hope Humphrey

Hope Humphrey

Hope is the Community Outreach Worker for the Neighbours initiative. Hope is on the frontlines, working with the host social service agency staff and older adults to make culture change happen. Hope has taught at a Peel District School Board Alternative school Individual Education Centre and at T.L. Kennedy S.S. for ten years. She has a background in Gerontology from George Brown College and worked at Christie Gardens Apt & Care developing innovative older adult experiences for 4 years.

Caroline Ambrose picture

Caroline Ambrose

As a seasoned, high-performing “right hand” with extensive experience in office management, Caroline provides senior support to the Executive Director and Director of Operations, as well as administrative coordination for the Lab.

Caroline’s passion for the healthcare sector led her to become the founder of a successful non-profit that raises money for children’s hospitals within Ontario.

For all office matters related to the Lab, contact Caroline.



Gideon is an Information and Data Analyst working on the Neighbours project at the Lab. Gideon is a health promoter by training, with a Master’s degree in Public Health and background in health policy. He brings experience conducting community-based research, and a proficiency in evaluative methods and data management strategies. He is interested in exploring how social theory and community-based research can be leveraged to foster health equity, and inform policy recommendations around social programming for marginalized populations.


Fran Quintero Rawlings

Fran Quintero Rawlings is a Service Designer at the Lab. Her diverse experience includes frontline community development and strategy building, spanning across multiple sectors such as government, non-profits and healthcare. Fran is passionate about design practice, demystifying systems thinking, and creating bridges from bold ideas to action.

Currently, Fran is completing her Master of Design in Strategic Foresight & Innovation at OCAD University.

Lief Pagalan

Lief is an Information Designer. He contributes his expertise in epidemiology, health analytics, geography, and data visualization to the Tools for Ontario Health Teams project. Lief is interested in harnessing population health data to solve health system challenges and make the places where we live, work, and play happier, healthier, and more equitable.



Hannah is a Design Researcher and Strategist completing a Masters of Design at OCADU. She is working with the Tools for Ontario Health Teams project as a summer student. Hannah draws from a diverse toolkit of design, research, and strategic foresight. She loves the challenge of untangling complexities, and finding new opportunities to reimagine and foster a health ecosystem that is equitable to all.