About REACH Nexus

We are a team of implementation science experts working to end Canada’s HIV epidemic by 2025 with bold approaches and pragmatic solutions.

REACH Nexus is an ambitious national research group working on how to address HIV, Hepatitis C and other STBBIs (sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections) in Canada. Our focus is on reaching the undiagnosed, implementing and scaling up new testing options, strengthening connections to care, improving access to options for prevention (PrEP and PEP) and ending HIV stigma.

REACH Nexus is part of MAP Centre for Urban Health Solutions at St. Michael's Hospital, Unity Health Toronto, and is funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

How we work

Collaboration and

Collaboration is central to our work.

We work in collaboration and partnership with people living with HIV; community-based organizations; front-line service providers; healthcare providers and decision makers; public health agencies; researchers; business leaders; and federal, provincial and regional policymakers.

Supportive infrastructure

The national infrastructure and support we provide allows our members to collaborate across geographic boundaries, disciplines and sectors.

Our goal is to create and support interdisciplinary research, practice, policy, and community-based teams to advance our vision. As part of this, we will:


Create a strong training and capacity-building program for implementation and program science.


Support and share expertise with frontline organizations and service providers, so they can actively engage in the evaluation and “real life” impacts of their programs and services.


Implement and scale interventions that address the needs of the populations most affected by HIV, Hepatitis C and other STBBIs.


Adapt effective interventions for Canadian contexts, including assessing the feasibility, effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of interventions, and identifying factors that might affect scale-up and sustainability.


Collaborate and support other CIHR-funded centres to maximize the impact of research and knowledge translation resources to address STBBIs in Canada.

Our principles

We are committed to, and demonstrate, the following critical components and philosophy in our work.

Our work is driven by community needs where all partners have an equal and valued voice around the table. We actively and meaningfully engage people with lived experience at all stages of the research and implementation science process. We fully support the Greater and Meaningful Engagement of People Living with HIV/AIDS (GIPA/MIPA) principles in the practices of REACH Nexus.
Our best work is done when community members work closely with researchers who have strong training in methodologies, and when academics work closely with community members who understand the needs and concerns of populations most affected by HIV, as well as the challenges of delivering programs and services.

Through this process, communities learn more about research, while researchers learn more about community. Experts in each context mentor and support one another, and together, they create opportunities for meaningful change and impact.
Our work is most effective when it is focused on a number of key values, including empowerment; social change; respect for diversity; cultural safety and appropriateness; and health equity. Our work is client-centred, which builds a culture of learning, equity, connectedness and community.
To be effective with KTE, all knowledge users (people working at the front lines, decision-makers or people living with HIV) are actively involved in the research process
from the beginning—and at all places where those voices and perspectives can inform our efforts. Our results need to be readily available and presented in ways that are accessible and understandable to our audiences, including policymakers, community
partners, and people with lived experience.

REACH Nexus leadership team

The REACH Nexus leadership team collaborates across Canada. We also work closely with a strong team of core staff.

Rick Galli

Director of Testing and Clinical Trials Implementation

Rick Galli began his extensive career in research and diagnostic laboratory sciences with the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care Public Health Laboratory in Toronto in 1973 and has continued to work in senior positions in health-related settings including the Ontario HIV Treatment Network, BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS and bioLytical Laboratories. Rick joined REACH 3.0 at St. Michael’sHospital, Toronto in 2019 and currently serves as the Director of Testing and Clinical Trials Implementation.

Kristin MacLennan, M.Sc, CCRP, PMP

Program Manager

Kristin has over 10 years of experience managing clinical research projects and trials in both academia and industry. She is a certified clinical research, and project management professional holding both CCRP and PMP designations. Her experience as a project manager has involved a variety of therapeutic areas, from pediatrics, neurology and immunology to her current role in HIV and STBBIs.

J. Evin Jones

Executive Director, Pacific AIDS Network

J. Evin Jones, BaH, Juris Doctor, is a recognized leader within the community-based response to HIV and hepatitis C. She has worked as PAN’s Executive Director since 2008. She first started working in the sector in 1996 as an advocate and prior to joining PAN, she held the positions of Executive Director of the Vancouver Friends For Life Society as well as at YouthCO. She is passionate about social justice, and has worked to facilitate key policy changes and collective action around HIV, harm reduction, health equity and other key issues in BC and across the country. She has been an active voice in building regional, provincial and national multi-sectoral partnerships. She has extensive involvement in community-based research, and is honoured to be the co-lead (along with Dr. Cathy Worthington) of the BC Team for the CIHR CBR Collaborative Centre & REACH Nexus.

Catherine Worthington

BC Co-Lead, REACH Nexus, Co-Director, CIHR CBR Collaborative and UVIC Professor

Catherine (Cathy) Worthington is a BC Co-Lead, REACH Nexus, a Co-Director for the CBR Collaborative, and a Professor, Public Health and Social Policy at the University of Victoria. Her current work focuses on HIV/STBBI services development with First Nation and Métis communities; social inclusion (housing, stigma, comorbidities); and training/mentoring in community-engaged research. She is on the leadership teams for the DRUM & SASH HIV/STBBI Implementation Science team grant, the GetCheckedOnline Implementation Science team grant, and the CIHR Canadian Clinical HIV Trials Network (CTN).

Dr. Sean B. Rourke, PhD, FCAHS


Sean B. Rourke is a Clinical Neuropsychologist and Scientist with MAP Centre for Urban Health Solutions at St. Michael’s Hospital, and Professor of Psychiatry, University of Toronto. He is an international expert in the neurobehavioural complications of HIV. He is also the Director of two national centres funded by Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR): the CIHR Centre for REACH in HIV/AIDS, and the CIHR Community-Based Research (CBR) Collaboration Centre for HIV, which support pragmatic solutions to address the HIV epidemics across Canada. Sean is also the Director of Universities Without Walls 2.0 which is training the next generation of HIV researchers in Canada.

Colleen Westendorf

Manager, Communications and Public Affairs

Colleen has been leading public-sector communications for over 10 years in the healthcare, social services and justice sectors. She was also briefly a flight attendant. She is passionate about all areas of communications, especially web, information design and plain-language writing. As someone who's from Vancouver and lived in Montreal before settling in Toronto, Colleen calls a few parts of Canada home. She recently joined REACH Nexus in fall 2020 and is elated to be part of the team.

Michael Payne

Executive Director, Nine Circles CHC

Mike is the Executive Director of Nine Circles Community Health Centre and the Administrative Lead for the Manitoba HIV Program Leadership Team. Nine Circles is a community-based health centre, specializing in care, treatment and support for Manitobans Living with HIV and HCV. Nine Circles is committed to evidence-based programming and operates as the community site of the Manitoba HIV Program. Mike's responsibilities include oversight of regional and national collaborations including the Manitoba HIV Program Collective Impact Network and Manitoba's Community Based Research Program (in collaboration with REACH 3.0 and the St. Michaels Hospital). Mike has been with Nine Circles since its inception in 1998 and Executive Director since 2005. Mike’s educational background includes a degree in Sociology through the University of Winnipeg and certification through the University of Manitoba’s Canadian Institute of Management (CIM).

Ken Monteith

Executive Director, COCQ-SIDA

Ken Monteith is the Executive Director of COCQ-SIDA (la Coalition des organismes communautaires québécois de lutte contre le sida). Trained as a lawyer, he worked in the community youth sector and in the HIV/AIDS sector. He participates actively in research, especially projects concerning the quality of life of people living with HIV and prevention for men who have sex with men.He holds degrees in Industrial Relations, Common and Civil Law from McGill University and was a member of the Québec Bar from 1991 to 2001, when he resigned to devote himself more fully to his community work on HIV/AIDS. Ken Monteith was diagnosed with advanced HIV infection in 1997.

Janice Duddy

REACH Evaluation Manager, Director of Evaluation and Community-Based Research at PAN

Janice Duddy, MES, is the Director of Evaluation and Community-Based Research at the Pacific AIDS Network and the Evaluation Manager at REACH and has worked with the CIHR Centre for REACH in HIV/AIDS since 2013. Previous to this role she was the Grants & Partnerships Coordinator with the CBR program at PAN and held a dual role with the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) as the Manager of the PHSA’s HIV/AIDS Program and the Operations Manager of the BC Centre for Disease Control’s Hepatitis Program. Janice is very committed to engaging community as active members of research and evaluation teams. She has a passion for building a stronger culture of evaluation in the region through engagement of stakeholders from across the sector and showing the value of moving research evidence into practice.

Jacqueline Gahagan, PhD


My primary research objectives are: 1. to undertake applied, policy-relevant health promotion research that works toward addressing the determinants of health that can negatively impact on health; and 2. to improve health outcomes among populations often marginalized by mainstream approaches to, and understandings of, health and illness through community-engaged health promotion research.

Our funders and supporters

We're thankful for the financial support and in-kind contributions of our funders and supporters.