Jean Bacon, a respected voice in the Ontario HIV community for many years and who left the Ontario HIV Treatment Network (OHTN) earlier this year, is back as the organization’s new Interim Executive Director. She replaces Sean Rourke who has stepped down as Scientific and Executive Director to focus on his research responsibilities at St Michael's Hospital.
He remains listed on the OHTN website as an “OHTN Senior Affiliated Scientist”. Sean Rourke is also a Clinical Neuropsychologist and Scientist at St. Michael’s Hospital and a Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto.
Rourke enjoyed a good relationship with PositiveLite.com, co-chairing the Positive Quitting (smoking cessation) project with PositiveLite.com publisher Bob Leahy. We interviewed him several times on a variety of subjects. Rourke's leadership was instrumental in building the OHTN's reputation both nationally and internationally. He was a supporter of the U=U campaign, which the OHTN endorsed, seeing it as a game changer for us in Ontario, across Canada, and internationally.
His tenure at the OHTN though was marked by higher than average staff turnover of senior positions.
Jean Bacon, meanwhile, has been involved in the HIV/AIDS sector in Ontario since 1985. She has worked with stakeholder groups to develop health policies, public education programs and clinical and practice guidelines and to write HIV strategies for Ontario and Canada. As Director of Health Policy and KTE at the OHTN for 10 years, she worked closely with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, community-based HIV organizations and HIV clinics across Ontario to move evidence into practice. She is committed to improving services for people with and at risk of HIV.
Jean has also worked extensively on other health and social issues such as mental health and addiction services, public health programs and services, child and youth health, chronic disease management, palliative care, home care and long-term care, and health human resources planning.
PositiveLite.com wishes Sean Rourke well and extends congratulations to Jean Bacon in her new role.