Paola Ardiles BSc MHSc MBA, Founder & President of Board

Paola is not only a current leader in health promotion in Canada, but she is destined to be a future one as well.”  Health Promotion Canada, National Mid-Career Award, Dec 2017.

Paola Ardiles is a public health advocate, an educator and a social entrepreneur. Throughout her career she has led various collaborative and innovative approaches in research, policy and practice, to enable a broader understanding of our collective role in promoting health and well-being for all.

Paola came to Canada as a refugee child in the mid-seventies and formed part of the Chilean diaspora who established itself in Toronto during the military dictatorship. Since then Paola has been driven to create social change by sharing knowledge and creating space for people’s voices to be heard.  Today, she serves as a bridge or a “knowledge broker” through her roles as a professor, mentor, advocate, researcher, policy analyst, entrepreneur, advisor, facilitator and public speaker. In 2017, Paola was recognized as one of TD Bank’s 10th Most Influential Hispanic Canadians.

Paola graduated with a Bachelor of Science (Psychology Specialist) and Master of Health Science (Health Promotion) at the University of Toronto gave her the initial tools to explore the complex systems, structures and understandings of health and wellbeing.  In 2008, she went on to study health policy and obtained the Investment for Health: Integrating Health in All Policies Diploma, from the University of Padova Medical School and WHO European Office for Investment for Health and Development; Venice, Italy.  Paola’s passion to promote global health led her to pursue the Global Health Diplomacy, Summer Executive Diploma from the prestigious Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies; Geneva, Switzerland. She is currently completing her Master of Business Administration (MBA) at the Beedie School of Business, Simon Fraser University (SFU), British Columbia, Canada.

Paola continues to be involved in academia and is currently a Lecturer with the Faculty of Health Sciences at SFU. She teaches and mentors undergraduate and graduate students interested in pursuing a career in Health Promotion and Social Innovation. In 2016 she co-developed Health Change Lab a new undergraduate interdisciplinary curriculum on social innovation and health, working in collaboration with the City of Surrey and Fraser Health Authority. Paola recently received Surrey Board of Trade’s Women in Business-Social Trailblazer award in recognition of her efforts to strengthen community-academic partnerships in Surrey, BC.

Paola was the founding manager for Canada’s first provincial multi-sectoral health literacy network in the area of mental health and substance use, and has led and supported the development of various health education campaigns and health promotion capacity building efforts over the years. She has participated in the planning and development of local, provincial and national workshops, conferences and community events. She has over 15 years of facilitation experience engaging with diverse audiences.

In September 2012, Paola was honoured to receive the Dr. Nancy Hall Public Policy Leadership Award of DistinctionPaola has worked throughout her career to promote a shift in the way mental health is conceptualized. She has had impact at local, provincial and national levels. She co-authored Towards Flourishing for All —which was an early contribution to Canada’s first national mental health strategy. Canadian Mental Health Association, BC Division.

Paola’s various professional roles as a change-agent and her lived experiences allows her to facilitate the exchange of knowledge between researchers, policy-makers, health & social service providers, educators, businesses and community members. This exchange promotes dialogue and the co-production of new knowledge, which can foster the development of relevant, practical and creative solutions to tackle complex health and social issues. Paola has been an active volunteer and board member of the Public Health Association of British Columbiaa provincial non-for-profit volunteer based organization for the last few years and in November 2015 she was elected as President of PHABC. She now serves as the immediate Past President on the board.

Paola founded Bridge for Health network in February 2013, as she was inspired by many colleagues, family and friends, who taught her over the years that together we are stronger. In this day in age, she thinks we have the capacity and technology to breakdown silos and create a space that brings people together from all walks of life, to find innovative solutions to our most complex issues we are facing today. Paola strongly believes that collectively we have the knowledge we need to flourish, if we were able to connect with compassion and share our resources responsibly. She has dedicated Bridge for Health to her mother and the Chilean women who came before her as role models of powerful & compassionate champions of social change.

Bilingual in Spanish/English, and advanced French, intermediate Portuguese.

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For more information on Paola including publications please visit:

Paola Ardiles LinkedIn Profile


Rebecca Zappelli BASc MHM, Vice President of Board & Global Partnerships Lead

Rebecca Zappelli

Rebecca Zappelli

Rebecca has 10 years of experience working in the health sector in health policy and health promotion roles for government, community and research organizations in Australia, the United Kingdom and Canada. Her skills in management, policy development, implementation, health promotion programming, research and community engagement have seen her contribute to a number of successful health programs and policy initiatives in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and Vietnam.

Whether it’s been backpacking across Egypt, volunteering in Peru, living in a Ger in Mongolia or travelling in an overland truck across East Africa, Rebecca has cultivated a passion for developing relationships that contribute to community development and global partnership. This passion has led her to work with Bridge for Health’s co-founders and network members to lead the cooperatives global engagement agenda, building its international network towards co-producing socially innovative solutions to complex health issues.

In addition to being a founding member and Bridge for Health’s International Partnerships Lead, Rebecca is the Director of Operations at the Centre for Applied Research in Mental Health and Addiction (CARMHA) at Simon Fraser University. It is in this role that Rebecca is responsible for managing CARMHA’s resources, developing and managing organizational and program budgets, supporting the planning and organization of research projects and the execution of research operations.

Rebecca has also held senior policy roles within the Western Australian (WA) government, including working for the WA Mental Health Commission: a government agency charged with state-wide mental health reform. Whilst at the WA Mental Health Commission, Rebecca was a part of the project team working with State and Federal governments to plan for the delivery of a comprehensive youth early psychosis service across WA. She also project managed a number of youth mental health initiatives and co-developed the ‘WA Mental Health Prevention and Anti-Stigma Framework 2011-13’ to guide the state governments strategic investment in the area.

Rebecca’s expertise in health have seen her present at a number of national and international conferences on health related topics such as; youth engagement, social marketing, collective impact, sexual and mental health and social inclusion.

Rebecca has completed a Masters in Health Management from the University of New South Wales and also has a Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Science (Health Promotion) Deakin University. Rebecca is also a member of a number of professional groups in public health and health promotion.


Natasha Moore, Co-founder & Secretary of Board

Natasha has over 10 years experience in the technology, health supports and market research sectors. Her work spans project management, community engagement, research and evaluation in Australia and Canada.

A growing interest in disrupters in the health and wellbeing space led to a connection with Bridge for Health’s co-founders and the opportunity to play a key role in the creation of the cooperatives business structure. 

Natasha is a founding member and co-Chair of Bridge for Health, as well as Research Analyst for Wellbeing at UBC. At UBC Natasha provides strategic and evaluation support for programs and projects that focus on wellbeing of community members. 

In the technology space Natasha contributed to the development Tyze Personal Networks, a care coordination platform. With a focus on research, community engagement and product management Natasha played a key role engaging users, developing resources and making strategic product improvements.

Natasha has a Bachelor of Social Science (RMIT University, Australia) and Graduate Certificate in International Management (Capilano University, Canada).

Shannon Turner PhD (c), Co-Founder & Treasurer

Shannon Turner, B.A., BSc., MSc., PhD(c)., is a well-respected senior public health administrator, researcher and advocate. Her lifelong commitment to social justice is reflected in Shannon’s nearly continuous volunteer and advocacy efforts over the last twenty years. Shannon served as President, Past President and chair of governance committee of the Public Health Association of British Columbia (PHABC) and currents serves as the Executive Director of PHABC.  Currently, Shannon is the National Co-Chair of Prevention of Violence Canada and an elected board member of the Canadian Public Health Association. Shannon is also committed member of the Global Violence Prevention Alliance, and has served on the Working Group for the Assets Database and participated in numerous VPA meetings and conferences.

Prior to undertaking full time Doctoral studies Shannon was Director of Public Health for the Vancouver Island Health Authority. In both her professional and personal life Shannon has been dedicated to the promotion of healthy communities, and social justice. For more than 25 years she has supported quality improvement activities across the health care continuum from local to international levels of governance. Shannon has provided decision support, health promotion, program management, information management, risk management, quality improvement and strategic planning consultant services. As a health promotion and health informatics consultant, Shannon has worked in multiple cross-cultural settings and has had a commitment to reducing health inequities particularly for indigenous people. Shannon served as a keynote in an international Speaking Tour in Sweden and Latvia in 1994 and 1996 and in 2008, she facilitated a thirteen country meeting in Uganda on behalf of the East, Central and South African Public Health Associations.

The University of Hawaii has named Shannon to the Delta Omega Society for outstanding contribution to public health. In 2008, she was awarded the James M. Robinson Award (UBC Public Health) for her significant contributions to public health. In 2009, she was presented with the President’s Award by the Public Health Association of BC for her work in rebuilding and renewing the association. Shannon Turner, has served as a foster parent, and is an honorary life member of the Vancouver Island Cooperative Preschool Association.