Dr. Chris Steingart
Guelph/Wellington & Waterloo Region
Chris Steingart is the Founder and Executive Director of Sanguen Health Centre.
Dr. Chris Steingart trained at the University of Calgary where he received certification in Internal Medicine in 1995. After moving back to Ontario in 2002, Dr. Steingart accepted the position of Head of Infection Prevention and Control at Grand River and St. Mary’s Hospitals. During this time, Dr. Steingart began seeing more HIV and Hepatitis C patients. Seeing the need for more specialized care for the complex medical and psycho-social needs of his patients, Dr. Steingart decided to leave the hospital setting and in 2007, Dr. Steingart created the province’s first charitable Hepatitis C service organization, Sanguen Health Centre. With a dedicated team of nurses, social support workers, outreach workers, and peer support workers, Dr. Steingart sees the region’s most marginalized patients offering expert medical, social, and psychological support.
Guelph/Wellington & Waterloo Region
Michelle Steingart is Sanguen’s Administrator and Clinical Program Coordinator. She is the first person you are likely to meet when you come into the office.
It is no coincidence that she shares the same last name as the doctor — they are married and the two of them created Sanguen Health Centre in 2007.
Michelle’s role at Sanguen is to ensure the smooth operation of the clinic, everything from booking patient appointments and referrals for testing, to communicating with other specialists and organizations in the community.
Michelle’s most important role, however, is to make sure that you feel welcomed and comfortable when you come to your appointments.
Dr. Sidra Hassan
Dr. Sidra Hassan completed her Internal Medicine Residency at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York and Infectious Diseases Fellowship at the State University of New York in Buffalo.
She is a member of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC), Association of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Disease Canada (AMMI), American College of Physicians (ACP), Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) and HIV Medicine Association (HIVMA).Throughout her training, she has had the privilege of serving a socio-ethnically diverse population of patients.
She is now serving the broader Waterloo Region as an Infectious Diseases specialist, accepting referrals in General ID, HIV, Hepatitis C, HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), needlestick injuries, sexually transmitted infections including chlamydia/gonorrhea/syphilis, active/latent tuberculosis and so much more.
Site Supervisor, Consumption & Treatment Services (Kitchener)
Violet (she/her) has been with Sanguen since April 2011. She has held a variety of roles, including outreach, managing our peer program, providing substance and harm reduction-focused education, and overseeing The Van program.
In October of 2019, she shifted her focus and joyfully took on the task of managing the day-to-day operations of Kitchener’s Consumption & Treatment Services. A dream come true!
Violet believes that everyone in our community deserves to be safe, healthy, and happy - including people who take drugs. She also believes that people are the experts in themselves, and she strives to be nonjudgmental, honest and open, and to learn from the people around her.
When she’s not at work, Violet can be found hanging out with friends and family, wandering around in nature, eating snacks, washing her car, or reading a good book.
Phone: (519) 574-7222
Lindsay was thrilled to join the team at Sanguen in November 2020. Lindsay works out of the Kitchener and Guelph offices and supports program development within the agency.
Prior to working at Sanguen, Lindsay spent a number of years in the community development field focusing on harm reduction and addiction. She also worked as a systems coordinator for older adults at risk of abuse, and facilitated peer-based support groups for older adults experiencing mental health issues.
Lindsay has an academic background in Medical Anthropology, with a focus on HIV/AIDS and stigma. She is passionate about community work, and supporting vulnerable populations, and believes that all people deserve to be safe, healthy, treated with dignity, and welcomed in our community.
In her free time, Lindsay enjoys chasing her kids around, horse-back riding, traveling, and a good campfire.
Guelph/Wellington & Waterloo Region
Kathy is a Registered Nurse who joined the Sanguen Health Team in March 2020.
Kathy worked for 33 years in Public Health, most recently in the Harm Reduction Program. It was during this time that Kathy discovered her absolute passion was working with individuals who were experiencing negative health effects related to the social determinants of health. Initially she partnered as a Public Health Nurse with the Sanguen Van Team for several years, so the move to work as an Outreach Nurse with Sanguen was the next logical step in her nursing career.
Kathy works very much through a harm reduction lens and treats clients with the care, compassion and respect they deserve. She works hard to break down barriers that individuals experience in order to improve access to health care.
Kathy has been working to support the Mobile Health Bus and is expanding opportunities to connect with folks around testing and treatment for Hepatitis C.
When Kathy is not at work you will likely find her on the golf course or spending time with her family.
Jenny Harris has been a registered nurse with the Consumption & Treatment Services (CTS) team since the Kitchener site first opened in 2019.
Recognizing that the health care system can be challenging to navigate for people who use drugs - as a result of stigma - she practices from a harm reduction lens and strives to ensure that everyone who visits the CTS feels seen, heard, and cared-for as much as possible.
When she’s not working, Jenny spends her time hanging out with her family and cheering on the Jays.
Guelph/Wellington & Waterloo Region
Lachlyn started working for Sanguen’s CTS in January 2020. Her previous hospital nursing experience connected her with people experiencing inaccessibility to community support and health care.
Since working at CTS, Lachlyn has enjoyed working with the community members to increase understanding of harm reduction practices. She is a strong believer that harm reduction works and is essential in providing accessible/lower barrier care, decreasing the transmission of blood borne illnesses and ending stigma.
Lachlyn also works on the Mobile Community Health Van in Guelph & Rural Wellington. She provides Hepatitis C, HIV and STBBI testing and basic health care needs.
In her spare time Lachlyn loves being outdoors, hiking and hanging with friends.
Erika is our Nurse Practitioner who started at Sanguen Health Centre/CHC IPC in November 2020. Erika was excited and intrigued to join the newly launched Sanguen Mobile Primary Care Bus and brought with her a plethora of experience working with marginalized individuals.
Erika started her nursing career in 2007 working with individuals experiencing varied degrees of mental health and addiction.
Erika gained additional nursing experience working within the emergency department throughout her nursing career, which served to broaden her critical care expertise without losing the opportunity to incorporate care for stigmatized groups within a more urgent/emergent capacity.
Erika graduated from the University of Western Ontario in 2018 and began working within remote fly-in Indigenous communities within Northern Ontario. The opportunity to gain rich experiences working with First Nations peoples served to ignite a passion for providing healthcare targeting marginalized and vulnerable groups.
Erika has a passion for delivering healthcare to priority populations and those experiencing difficulty navigating healthcare and works to improve access by fostering a trauma-informed approach that encompasses a harm reduction lens.
She is a part of our Safer Supply Program & also works to provide ongoing education and mentorship with Nurse Practitioner Students through the University of Toronto and is a Nursing Educator with those pursuing Remote Northern Nursing within Canada.
Lili Berescu (she/they)
Lili is a registered nurse who has been working at the Kitchener CTS since it opened in October 2019. They have also had the privilege of working with the SOS team, the Kitchener LHIN clinic, and multiple programs with Region of Waterloo Public Health. They have various experiences volunteering in the KW community and is currently completing education in wound, ostomy, and continence care.”
Waterloo region is Lili’s home and they are incredibly honoured to be able serve the people in our community. Their personal and work experiences grew their passion as a mental health and harm reduction advocate. Working with Sanguen has provided Lili with unique opportunities, insight, and experiences that have helped them grow as both a nurse and a person.
Wherever Lili goes, their goal is to contribute to and promote spaces where people feel safe and heard.
In their spare time, Lili greatly enjoys the Harry Potter books/movies and eating way too many sour cream and onion chips.
Introduced to helping professions through work as a volunteer firefighter/first responder, Ray discovered a passion for work in service of community.
He has been working with people who use drugs since 2003, beginning with roles in withdrawal management and residential treatment. Later, Ray found new passion in harm reduction as Outreach Worker for the Hamilton Hep C Team and has been working at the Hamilton CTS since it opened in 2018. He is currently working toward a Bachelor of Health Sciences degree through online studies at Queen’s University.
His hobbies include golf and music and loves spending down-time with his partner Tammy and his cat Charlie.
Ray is thrilled to part of the Sanguen team.
Pete is Sanguen’s Social Support Coordinator in Kitchener/Waterloo and Cambridge. Pete joined the Sanguen team in June of 2015.
Pete sees harm reduction as part of daily life for all individuals and that all people have a right to choose what harm reduction means to them. As a Registered Social Worker he learns more from the strength displayed in the persons surrounding him than any academic classroom.
Pete approaches his work through the concept that every person struggles with life at times, and all of us are more similar than different. Through this we all have a valued place in our community. We all have something to teach.
Pete’s role is to be whatever Sanguen’s patrons need him to be. Counsellor, advocate, social worker, systems navigator – but first and foremost a human being like the individuals he serves.
Phone: (519) 497-0247
Alice works for Sanguen’s Consumption & Treatment Services as a Clinical Supervisor, providing support, debriefing and education for folks. She has been a registered social worker since 2010. Alice joined the Sanguen team in June 2017 as a Support Coordinator and started her role doing Clinical Supervision in 2019.
Alice has spent the last number of years supporting and working with a variety of folks including people who are homeless and street involved, people who use substances and people who are part of the LGBTQ community.
Alice is passionate about harm reduction, feminism, resiliency and anti-oppressive practice and believes that at the core of harm reduction is radical acceptance, love and connection.
Jamie joined Sanguen in late November 2019 as the Guelph Social Support Coordinator.
Jamie has a long history in HIV/HCV, harm reduction and activism work. Jamie got into HIV work in the late 90’s by working in rural Kenya with women and AIDS orphans, which began the start of over 15 years of HIV/HCV, harm reduction and addictions work in both East Africa and the BC Interior. Jamie returned to Guelph in the summer of 2018.
Jamie is passionate about harm reduction; LGBTQ2I; anti-oppression & anti-racism work; class analysis; feminism; narrative therapy; trauma based work and somatic body based healing.
Jamie sees harm reduction as a paradigm for operating in the world, and a practice to be mindful of inner bias and old, outdated conditioning. Meeting people where they are at is a value for every moment in life.
Jamie devoutly believes in the power of relationship based work; where relationship is the bridge to better health, access to services and a stronger, more cohesive community.
Phone: 519 835 6339
Anne was thrilled to join the Sanguen team in 2022. She supports Clinical Program development across the Region of Waterloo and provides support to the amazing leadership at CTS, Safer Supply, Primary Care outreach, Supportive Housing and Health and Hep C Teams.
Starting her career as a Registered Nurse, Anne has spent her career ensuring equitable access to the resources people seek to be healthy.
Especially committed to reducing health system inequities to those accessing primary care, mental health and addictions supports, Anne has a passion for building and supporting teams that are motivated and have the skills to offer quality, compassionate care.
When not at work, Anne enjoys heading out of town to places with trees, trails, water or snow - anywhere one can have an active day with family or friends.
Guelph/Wellington & Waterloo Region
Alaina is a Registered Nurse who has been working at Sanguen since January 2020. Alaina has prior experience working in harm reduction, public health, and acute medicine.
Alaina works at the Guelph and Waterloo offices, on the community health van, and in other outreach locations. The Sanguen nurses practice through a harm reduction lens to provide hepatitis C testing, treatment, and follow up.
Alaina believes that each person is the expert of their own health and will work with people to achieve their goals in a non-judgemental and lower-barrier harm reduction approach.
Alaina is a self-professed Star Wars geek and spends her time off work thinking about ways to smash the patriarchy.
Call/Text: (519) 500-8092
Amanda has been a Registered Nurse since 2007, and has experience in both acute and community care. Prior to working at Sanguen she worked as an outreach nurse in the downtown east side of Vancouver. Amanda joined Sanguen in October 2018.
Amanda works in Kitchener/Waterloo and Cambridge at the main office, on the community health van, and in other outreach locations. The Sanguen nurses practice through a harm reduction lens to provide hepatitis C testing, treatment, and follow up.
Amanda is passionate about social justice, mental health, and harm reduction. Amanda believes in breaking down the stigma around mental health and substance use. Amanda’s approach to our work at Sanguen is based on the belief that the best way to support folks is by providing lower-barrier services that meet people where they are at.
When she’s not at Sanguen, you can probably find her snuggling her cat Suki.
Phone: (519) 498-8438
Megan is a community navigator with the safer supply program. Her primary focus is to help promote and educate folxs on harm reduction, as well as helping those achieve their goals within the safer supply program.
Megan has been volunteering with Sanguen since 2018, and made the jump to join the Sanguen team full time in 2021. Along with Safer Supply, Megan is also part of the safe injection site family (CTS) as a peer support worker. She has always had a passion for harm reduction, and advocating for folxs who need it.
Aside from continuing her education in addiction and mental health, Megan also pushes for change through protests, rallies and educating as many people as possible about why harm reduction is important and necessary. She tries to always give folxs a non-judgmental space where they feel heard, included, and safe.
Phone: (519) 465-4229
Sade was brought on board with Sanguen in 2020. After spending time volunteering on The Van and completing a photo essay on Sanguen as part of a college project for her program, she was struck by the beauty of the relationships between Sanguen and their clients they served through mobile outreach.
When presented with the chance to become an official part of the team, there wasn’t any hesitation.
As Community Engagement Coordinator, Sade is responsible for delivering services and resources to individuals in areas throughout Waterloo Region, supporting clients, as well as being a first contact between clients and the Sanguen’s clinical and community programs.
Outside of her work at Sanguen, Sade is a professional corporate and event photographer, working locally and within the GTA.
Sarah is an Outreach Worker on the Primary Care Health Bus. Sarah provides supports to clients accessing the Primary Care Health Bus with a passion for low barrier healthcare and creating a non-judgmental, welcoming space for all!
Sarah has previous experience working within Emergency Shelter’s in Waterloo Region and a Diploma in Assaulted Women and Children’s Counselling/Advocacy. Sarah excels in providing community resources and accompanied supports for clients with the approach of meeting people where they’re at and advocating for clientele needs!
When Sarah’s not at Sanguen or out on the Bus, she’s involved with various Music Media platforms, production services and all things Heavy Metal!
Aaron has been working with Sanguen since 2018 providing support on the Kitchener-Waterloo Community Health Van.
On the van, you might see him on the back handing out harm reduction supplies or checking in with clients at the stops.
Aaron has an academic background in psychology and aims to support vulnerable populations in our community with kindness, compassion and dignity.
She believes everyone has the right to receive health care and support; free of stigma and judgment. She recognizes the power of community and the importance of feeling respected, accepted, and valued.
Phone: (226) 998-6331
Bree Woods (she/they)
Guelph and KW Region
Our sweary Manager of Community Engagement has a deep understanding of the importance of community involvement and is committed to creating meaningful connections and empowering each other within the context of harm reduction practices and low barrier care.
Working alongside an incredible team (also sweary), collaborating with various agencies and diverse communities we are captivated by the transformative potential of community engagement.
In their current role, Bree, oversees various initiatives related to all things community engagement with harm reduction and volunteer support. Let’s develop and implement programs that promote harm reduction practices, raise awareness, and reduce stigma.
Bree is inspired by you. You showing up makes our spaces better.
Phone/text: (226) 332-3220
Emily has been working with Sanguen since 2021 providing administrative support at the Waterloo office.
She is likely one of the first people to greet you when you visit us for an appointment. Emily takes care of answering the office phone, booking appointments, managing referrals and connecting with other organizations to facilitate client care.
Emily has an academic background in psychology and social work, and strives to provide a safe and judgment-free place for folx in the office.
Laura has been working for Sanguen since October 2022, initially working with outreach services on van, but more recently providing administrative support at the Guelph office, and social support at Kitchener CTS. She has previous experience in transitional housing, social support, and harm reduction.
Laura is passionate about harm reduction, a long time advocate for ending stigma around mental health and people who use drugs, and believes in the power of relationship based work.
In her spare time you can find Laura taking care of her ever growing family of plants, collaging, and spending time with her two bunny babies, Pepper and Mortimer.
Leigh has held many positions within Sanguen, since starting with them in March of 2020. Starting at kit group (volunteering), and moved on to the clothing program, Harm reduction van, WINS coordinator, a peer at Safe Consumption Site, and most recently is leading the new Drug Checking program out of the Safe Consumption Site in Kitchener.
Leigh brings to Sanguen valuable knowledge, education and lived experience as a past health professional (nursing) together with gut-level empathy and understanding of people who use drugs. She has always enjoyed working with our community, focusing on Harm Reduction and assisting to end the stigma associated with mental health issues and substance use.
When Leigh isn’t at work, you can find her at the arena watching her son play hockey, hanging out with her cat Doreen and frolicking in nature!.
Jason starting working with the WINS program in June 2018. He participates in a lot of community clean ups because public safety is very important to him. He is a dad of 2 boys and loves hockey. Go Avalanche go!
Barb has been with the WINS program since October 2018. She likes to give back to her community in any way she can because there weren’t many programs or people around to help when she was struggling with addiction. She loves to do jigsaw and crossword puzzles and to go walking in her free time
Cathy Green is a support worker with the mobile health team and at consumption and treatment services downtown kitchener.
Cathy provides support to the mobile health team, checking in with our amazing clients and providing resources for accessing community supports and medical care with our amazing nurses.
At the CTS, Cathy supports our clients and monitors them after they have used the consumption space.
Cathy has an undergraduate degree in public health and strives to provide compassionate care without judgement to our community.
She believes strongly in harm reduction and supporting people where they are at. Stop by the mobile health bus and say hi!
Steph is a Peer Outreach Worker with Sanguen. She has been doing peer work since 2014 with people who use substances or are experiencing homelessness.
Steph’s role with Sanguen includes, hanging out on the van, training folks in Naloxone and working at the Stay Sharp site. She likes reading, questioning everything, philosophical discussions and enjoying nature.
Jenn has been with Sanguen for 6 years (i think it is 6) and is a Peer Support Worker at our CTS site and Keyholder for our WINS program and with extra time helps out with our donations.
Jenn has gained much knowledge in her time with Sanguen but the one belief that never changed but grew stronger is that EVERYONE deserves to be treated with love and respect no matter what.
She values all aspects of her duties but her greatest reward is all the wonderful people she has met and have helped her grow into a better person. She believes ‘Share the Love’ needs to spread more in the world.
She brings a smile and spunk to every place she goes just wanting all to be happy. At home she is a furmumma to her dog Buttons and loves to create many things with her resin hobby.
Coco the Kitty
Coco is the “coolest cat” of Sanguen. If you come visit the Waterloo office, you might get to meet her.
She enjoys hanging out with Michelle and Emily at reception, often knocking things off the desk or napping in her bed.
If you would like to meet Coco, just ask! She loves to meet new friends.
Bailey is Sanguen’s “top dog”. If you are at the Waterloo Clinic on Wednesdays or Fridays, you may get to meet her. She enjoys long walks in the woods, quiet cuddles on the couch, and a good belly rub.
If you would like to say hello to Bailey when you come to your appointment, just ask Michelle. Bailey would be thrilled to meet you!