With the addition of hospice to our Campus of Care, we are strengthened by the many individuals who join our community to serve our mission of care.

St. Joseph’s Villa Foundation is proud to introduce Sarina Isenberg, the newest member of the Foundation Board of Directors and our Community of Care. Sarina is the Chair in Mixed Methods, Palliative Care Research at Bruyère Research Institute and an Assistant Professor at the University of Ottawa, bringing 10 years of experience in palliative care research and a diverse academic background to our team.

Sarina began her studies in English Literature at McGill University while devoting her spare time to healthcare-related initiatives from safe injection sites to HIV/AIDS advocacy. Though healthcare was not her primary area of study at the time, she did not let that prevent her from getting involved.

“I was always passionate about healthcare-related work,” says Sarina. “Looking back, it seems clear that I wanted to make an impact in a health-related manner, but it took me some time to realize that.”

This realization clicked when Sarina was working on her Master of Arts in English Literature at Queen’s University. What was intended to be a filler class in health policy turned out to be her favourite course of the year, further encouraging her to scratch the itch that lingered for so long.

Sarina’s next step was to redirect her focus to healthcare, and she was hired as a management consultant on Deloitte’s National Health Services Team. Working with diverse clients from across the country, she worked with several Canadian academics who were shaping the healthcare system through their innovative research. Sarina realized she wanted to become one of them.

Sarina went on to do her Ph.D. at John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland, where she specialized in palliative and end-of-life research.

“My family had been touched by palliative care with the care for my uncle and grandfather,” says Sarina. “I understood how beneficial it could be for the patient and their family to address physical, psychosocial, and spiritual needs, as well as help to facilitate a dignified and comfortable death.”

Sarina now focuses on research in access to palliative care for marginalized and non-cancer patients. Through her mentorship, she leads the next generation of health care professionals in their studies of palliative care research.

Outside of work, you can find Sarina hiking or cycling the local trails or exploring her new home of Dundas, a town she has fallen in love with since moving there.

“I absolutely love Dundas,” says Sarina. “It is such a gorgeous town with rich history and such a tight-knit, caring community. I grew up in the suburbs of Toronto so it’s quite the contrast, but I love it.”

Sarina’s expertise, passion and care for her community will be a great asset to the St. Joseph’s Villa Foundation Board of Directors. And above all, she hopes to have a positive impact on Dundas.

“I want to be an active member of the Dundas community and a good neighbour to those around me,” says Sarina. “I hope to shed light on the benefits of palliative and end-of-life care and hopefully this awareness will engage others and encourage more in our community to support the great work of our Foundation.”


Welcome to our Community of Care, Sarina. We are grateful to have you!

 Help us continue to bring music to our residents’ ears through a Gift of Care! Your Gift of Care helps us provide the vital services and programs needed, like music therapy, at St. Joseph’s Villa and Margaret’s Place Hospice. Give a Gift of Care today!

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