Sure - Canadian Substance Use Resource and Knowledge Exchange Centre

In April 2022, the Canadian Public Health Association and the Canadian Substance Use Resource and Knowledge Exchange Centre (SURE) presented a panel discussion entitled ‘Beyond Stigma’. The webinar centered around the Subject Matter Health Research Lab’s 2022 animated video ‘Beyond Stigma’, and featured a conversation with some of the videos creators on the realities and impacts of opioid related stigma, and ways that we can move beyond it. This is part of CPHA’s Substance Use Webinar Series.



Kirsten Dixon (she/her) graduated from the School of Medicine at Queen’s University in 2006 and completed her residency in Family Medicine through St. Michael’s Hospital at the University of Toronto. Dr. Dixon’s clinical work is focused on the care of people experiencing homelessness, mental illness and substance use disorders. She works with a shelter-based outreach team through the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and was the Lead Physician with Inner City Health Associates for Seaton House men’s shelter from 2017 to 2020. Since 2015, Dr. Dixon has worked with the Safer Opioid Prescribing Program at the University of Toronto on course development and facilitation. She is dedicated to enhancing education on opioid use disorder and to improving the quality of care delivered to people who use opioids.

Sean LeBlanc (he/him) left an abusive home situation in the Maritimes at age 13 and eventually put himself into university where the loss of his pregnant partner started a decade long run of addiction and homelessness. Sick and tired of being sick and tired he used his stubbornness and desire for positive change to eventually found a non-profit to advocate for drug users in Ottawa called DUAL, the Drug User Advocacy League in 2010. He spent years as a front line worker at Ottawa Inner City Health, and is now a Research Assistant and consultant with Mount Sinai, St Mike’s and a proud CAPUD (Canadian Association of People who Use Drugs) and ONPUD (Ontario Network of People who Use Drugs) board member. He is a huge Red Sox fan, and loves punk rock, harm reduction, bass guitar and his partner Catherine.

Kristan Ellis-MacDonald (she/her) is a Family Nurse Practitioner in the First Nations community of Wagmatcook located in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, where she has practiced for 3 years. Prior to this role, Kristan greatly enjoyed working as an NP in a rural community located in Northern British Columbia where a large part of her patients were of First Nations ancestry. Prior to her career as an NP, she worked as a Registered Nurse and specialized in vascular, general surgical, neurosurgical, and critical care ICU in Halifax, Nova Scotia. After being away from home for so long, she is happy to be back working where she was raised in Cape Breton and grateful to give back to the surrounding communities.

Abhimanyu Sud (he/him) is a family physician based in Toronto, Ontario. He is an Assistant Professor at the Temerty Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto and Research Chair of Primary Care & Population Health Systems at Humber River Hospital. His clinical, research, education, and advocacy focuses around the intersections of chronic pain, mental illness, and opioid use.