Accelerating Knowledge and Advancing Practice
The Nutrition Connections team includes registered dietitians, consultants and coordinators who work together to meet the needs of health promotion professionals striving to accelerate knowledge and advance practice in nutrition.
Sandy Maxwell, Senior Nutrition Policy and Program Analyst
Sandy started working with OPHA’s Nutrition Connections (NC) centre as a consultant on various projects last year from updating resources such as Healthy Eating for a Healthy Baby, Feeding Your Baby to supporting the transitioning of NC’s Healthy Eating Manual to a Toolkit. Sandy also worked with NC to update the 2020 Student Nutrition Program Nutrition Guidelines for the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services.
Sandy officially joined the NC team in December 2020. She is contributing to NC’s next action plan, the content strategy for our new subscription service, developing our channel training service, growing our relationship with the Ellyn Satter Institute and more.
Sandy earned her BASc from the University of Guelph and completed an internship at Toronto Western Hospital. She has worked as a registered dietitian in a variety of practice settings over the past 31 years, including as a public health dietitian for over two decades. She has contributed to a variety of initiatives, including: co-creating and managing You’re the Chef (2005 – 2019), representing Ontario Dietitians in Public Health on the Ontario Ministry of Education’s Healthy Schools Working Table (2010 – 2018), leading the development of BrightBites.ca (2014 – 2018), consulting on the nutrition and food literacy aspects of the Niagara Healthy Kids Community Challenge and integrating Ellyn Satter’s Feeding Dynamics into programming at Niagara Region Public Health among others. She has extensive experience developing and delivering nutrition education programs and services, primarily aimed at parents/caregivers and community stakeholders who work with young children and their parents.
Erin Colburn, Program Consultant
Erin is a Registered Dietitian and reprised her role as Program Consultant with NC in 2016. Previously, she oversaw the provincial Eat Smart!® School and Workplace Programs, developing and dissemination program materials and providing consultative support. Currently, her responsibilities include consultations, knowledge translation, and resource and program development.
Previous to NC, Erin worked at the Canadian Sugar Institute as Coordinator of Communications for their Nutrition Information Service. She has also worked for many years as a nutrition consultant, with a focus on childcare menu evaluations.
Erin holds a Master of Health Science degree in Community Nutrition from the Department of Public Health Sciences at the University of Toronto. She also has a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Food and Nutrition from Ryerson University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from the University of Western Ontario.
Marissa Lustri, Program Assistant
Marissa is a Registered Dietitian and Program Assistant for Nutrition Connections. Her primary responsibilities include developing and implementing NC’s communications, coordinating the annual Forum, and supporting program and project development. She is also the key liaison for NC subscription’s services “Connected Insider” and coordinates fulfillment services for NC resources.
Marissa completed a BASc in Nutrition and Food from Ryerson University and then went on to complete her Master’s of Public Health at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. She came to work at Nutrition Connections as an intern and stayed on as an employee starting in April 2020.
Nutrition Connections has two standing committees – the Advisory Committee and the Provincial Roundtable Committee – comprised of stakeholder representatives from among our clients and partner organizations.
The Advisory Committee provides subject matter advice and guidance on our strategic and operational goals. The committee is a network of individuals from across Ontario who work in a variety of disciplines (i.e., public health, community health centres, family health teams and academia).
Advisory Committee Members
- Elizabeth Smith, Ontario Dietitians in Public Health (ODPH)
- Krystyna Lewicki, Four Villages Community Health Centre
- Jessica Wegener, Ryerson University
- Jennelle Arnew, Chatham-Kent Public Health
- Jessica Hrgetic, Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington (KFL&A) Public Health
- Marisa LeBlanc, Bruyère Academic Family Health Team/Association of Family Health Teams of Ontario (AFHTO)
- Xavier Debane, Manulife
- Sandeep Gill, Association of Family Health Teams of Ontario (AFHTO)
- Cara Rosenbloom, Words to Eat By
- Andrea Licursi, Halton Region Health Department
Provincial Roundtable Committee
The Provincial Roundtable Committee includes representatives from Ontario’s public health units, community health centres, and family health teams. The Provincial Roundtable Committee discusses current public health priorities in the area of healthy eating and nutrition, provides updates on NC initiatives and activities, and identifies provincial needs required for supporting healthy eating and nutrition in Ontario.