NCCMT Team Members

Scientific Director

Maureen Dobbins
Maureen Dobbins, RN, PhD

Maureen is a professor in the School of Nursing at McMaster University. Her research efforts seek to understand knowledge translation among public health decision makers in Canada. Her program of research has: identified barriers and facilitators to research use; explored the information needs of public health decision makers; and developed, implemented and evaluated a variety of knowledge translation strategies for public health decision makers. Since 2001, she has been the Director of Health Evidence (, a single source of high quality effectiveness evidence and one component of a comprehensive knowledge translation strategy for public health decision makers worldwide. Since, 2011, Maureen has been the Scientific Director of the National Collaborating Centre Methods and Tools, one of six National Collaborating Centres for Public Health in Canada. The NCCMT provides leadership and expertise in helping public health professionals put research evidence into policy and practice.

Project Staff

Jo Beyers, MA  
Senior Knowledge Translation Specialist

Jo is a Senior Knowledge Translation Specialist with NCCMT. During a career in Northern Ontario Jo has worked as a hospital dietitian, public health nutritionist, researcher, and educator. She worked for almost three decades at the Sudbury & District Health Unit most notably in the teaching health unit (PHRED) program, ending her time there as a Foundational Standard Specialist. She is also faculty at The Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM – Human Sciences Division) and Laurentian University (School of Nursing).

Donna Ciliska
Donna Ciliska, RN, PhD
Senior Knowledge Translation Advisor

Donna is a Professor Emeritus in the School of Nursing at McMaster University and a Senior Knowledge Translation Advisor to the NCCMT. She was the inaugural Scientific Director of the National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools, and was the Co-principal Investigator of the CIHR-funded McMaster Evidence Review and Synthesis Centre, a systematic review group supporting the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Services. For many years, she was a consultant with the Hamilton Public Health Research Education and Development (Teaching Health Unit and PHRED) program and led the Effective Public Health Practice Project. She has authored several papers on knowledge translation and evidence-based practice.

Emily ClarkEmily Clark, MSc
Knowledge Broker

Emily’s role at NCCMT involves networking and outreach to public health decision makers and practitioners. This includes development of workshops and online learning modules, as well as helping deliver webinar series. In addition to a BSc in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Waterloo, Emily has earned MSc degrees in Health Research Methodology from McMaster University, and in Biology from McGill University. Most recently, Emily worked as a Clinical Research Coordinator for Hamilton Health Sciences.

Emily Clark

Victoria Cole, RN, MSN
Outreach Liaison

Victoria's role at NCCMT involves developing and delivering outreach programming to key stakeholders. Victoria completed her Bacherlors degree of Nursing Science from Queen's University and her Master's of Nursing Science degree from the University of British Columbia. She spent the last ten years as a public health practitioner. Her interest is in Evidence Informed Decision Making and Scholarly Communication. Victoria is a Master's of Information Studies candidate at the University of Ottawa. 

Rawan FarranRawan Farran, MSc
Research Coordinator

Rawan completed both her Master of Science in Global Health and Bachelor of Science in Life Sciences at McMaster University. Through these academic endeavors, she worked to develop an interdisciplinary skillset that allows her to apply a global outlook to her work in the public health sector. Rawan is interested in health education and promotion, and the ways in which we can disseminate engaging and accessible research knowledge to diverse populations.

Darci Hill, BA
Administrative Assistant

Darci provides administrative support to the Scientific Director, the Administrative Director and the NCCMT Team. Darci completed a BA in English with a minor in Business Administration from McMaster University.

Claire HowarthClaire Howarth, MPH
Research Coordinator

Claire completed her Master of Public Health degree at Memorial University of Newfoundland and her undergraduate degree in Psychology at McMaster University. Her role at the NCCMT includes coordinating evidence-informed decision making capacity building activities as well as the dissemination of the NCCMT’s resources through newsletters, social media, and external email blasts. She is also involved with Health Evidence™ to identify relevant review articles for inclusion on the registry and complete quality assessments.

Heather Husson
Heather Husson, BA
Administrative Director

Heather is responsible for oversight and direction of finance, human resources, and operations of the National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools (NCCMT). Heather has completed an HonBA at the University of Toronto, as well as project management and executive management training at McMaster University.  Heather came to this role with 15 years of experience in research and project management, working within McMaster University since 2007 as the Manager of Health Evidence (

Kristin Read
Kristin Read, MPH
Research Coordinator

Kristin completed her Master of Public Health at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. Her role at the NCCMT includes leading the coordination of the Health Evidence™ registry of quality-rated systematic reviews on the effectiveness of public health interventions and the NCCMT’s Registry of Methods and Tools, an online collection of evidence-informed methods and tools for knowledge translation in public health. She also helps support networking and outreach opportunities with public health decision makers and practitioners across Canada.

Susan Snelling
Susan Snelling, PhD
Senior Knowledge Translation Specialist

Susan works part-time with NCCMT as a Senior Knowledge Translation Specialist to link public health agencies across the country with methods and tools for using evidence in their organizations and deliver training related to evidence-informed decision making. Susan was part of a team that completed an Executive Training in Research Application (EXTRA) fellowship through the Canadian Health Services Research Foundation, focusing on using evidence to improve health equity. She worked for 10 years at the Sudbury & District Health Unit where she was Manager, Research and Evaluation. She has also worked at Public Health Ontario, providing training and consulting on health promotion evaluation. Susan holds a PhD in Psychology and has the Credentialed Evaluator designation from the Canadian Evaluation Society.

Kate Turner, MPH
Research Assistant

Kate completed her Master of Public Health at Western University and undergraduate degree at the University of Guelph in Psychology and Mathematical Sciences. Most recently she has worked with the Chatham-Kent Public Health Unit in both a planning and evaluation capacity and through an epidemiology-based Master's practicum. Originally from a rural setting, Kate has a strong interest in rural health and well-being and ensuring evidence informed public health services are provided for her community.

Colleen van Berkel
Colleen van Berkel, RN, MHSc

Senior Knowledge Translation Specialist

Colleen has held a clinical cross-appointment with the  McMaster University  School of Nursing and during that time, she collaborated with the Hamilton Public Health Research Education and Development (Teaching Health Unit and PHRED) program.  Colleen also sat as a member of the NCCMT Advisory Group.  Colleen  managed a variety of  public health programs during her thirty-one years  with the City of Hamilton Public Health Services, where she most recently  was  the manager of the Applied Research and Evaluation team.  Colleen completed her BScN from Queen’s University and her Master of Health Science from McMaster University.