Our Team

  • Sarah Konwahahawi
    IHPP Director

  • Romina Pace, MD, FRCPC
    IHPP Associate Director

  • Alex Allard-Gray
    BSc, Listuguj Mi'gmaq
    IHPP Program Manager

  • Calvin Jacobs
    Elder-in-Residence IHPP, Language and culture co-ordination KMHC/traditional medicine helper KMHC, Faith keeper Haudenosaunee longhouse

  • Hiba Zafran, PhD.
    IHPP Curriculum Developer

  • Kent Saylor, MD, FRCPC
    Inaugural IHPP Director



Sarah Konwahahawi Rourke succeeds Kent Saylor, MD, who was the inaugural director of the IHPP when it launched in 2017. Ms. Rourke, a member of the Akwesasne Mohawk Nation, will lead the IHPP in the ongoing implementation and evolution of its long-term action plan to increase the number of Indigenous students in all health-related professional programs. Her work will be based on needs and priorities identified by Indigenous communities, in particular within the McGill Réseau Universitaire Intégré de Santé et Services Sociaux. She is also appointed as a part-time Faculty Lecturer in the Department of Family Medicine.

Dr. Romina Pace is a daughter of immigrants whose family now calls Tiohtià:ke/ Montréal home. She was introduced to Indigenous health during her medical training at McGill University. Since 2015, she has worked as a General Internist in the Eeyou Iscthee territory. She has been building relationships with community members, local healthcare staff and public health officials to gain an understanding of the specific needs of the community members. She has been working with the Cree Board of Health and McGill researchers to catalyze the development of a diabetes prevention program in Cree communities of Quebec and assist in building local research capacity.

Alex Allard-Gray is a member of the Listuguj Mi’gmaq First Nation located in the Gaspé region of Quebec. Being raised by his school teacher mother, Alex came to understand the importance of higher education in the Indigenous community and was always encouraged to be an ambitious learner. Alex’s initial exposure to post-secondary education began with his participation in the 2006 Eagle Spirit High Performance Camp hosted at McGill University. This would have a lasting effect on him, as he chose to complete his B.Sc. in Physiology and Kinesiology at McGill. Alex remained involved with the Eagle Spirit Camp throughout his undergraduate studies, while participating in other Indigenous-led initiatives. This would include acting as President of the McGill Chapter of the Canadian Indigenous Science and Engineering Society and being Drumkeeper of the First Peoples’ House drum group, Medicine Bear Singers.

Calvin Jacobs is from Kahnawake. As a young child, Calvin, was introduced to the Culture and the medicines by his Aunt. For the last 25 years Calvin has worked with Traditional Elders and Medicine People gaining knowledge about tradition and culture of Haudenosaunee people. He has been working at the Kateri Hospital for the last 37 years as Rehabilitation assistant, 15 years as Language culture coordinator and traditional medicine helper. He is also a faithkeeper in the Longhouse of the Haudenosaunee. Calvin is a proud father of Two, traditional drummer and singer. He also helps to perform ceremonies and traditional healings.

Hiba Zafran, PhD, is a multiple migrant who has learnt to call Tiohtiá:ke/Montréal one of her homes. She is an occupational therapist-psychotherapist whose clinical and doctoral expertise is in youth mental health. For 15 years she worked with emerging adults experiencing suicidality, psychosis, traumas, grief, gender questioning and sexual diversity in the context of immigration, dispossession, racism and marginalization. As an Assistant Professor (Professional) in the Occupational Therapy program her pedagogical commitment is to responsive and socially accountable curricula, with a focus on experiential and transformative learning for critical reflexivity, cultural safety, equity and justice. https://www.mcgill.ca/spot/hiba-zafran

Dr. Kent Saylor is a member of the Mohawk Nation. He received his medical degree from Stanford University and completed his pediatric residency in the United States at the University of Washington Seattle Children’s Hospital. His Canadian training was completed at McGill University - Montreal Children’s Hospital. Since 2000, he has worked as a consultant pediatrician with the Northern and Native Child Health Program of the Montreal Children’s Hospital. As a consultant pediatrician, he has provided care for numerous Indigenous children throughout Quebec. He is the former chair of the First Nations, Inuit and Métis Health Committee of the Canadian Paediatric Society. Since 2009 he has been involved with the implementation of the Indigenous Health Curriculum at the Faculty of Medicine of McGill, and became director in 2014. He is the recipient of numerous awards recognizing his dedication towards the health and well-being of Indigenous peoples.











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