Our Team

Ana Padron, Executive Director

As a business executive for the last decade, Ana has held various roles in healthcare, the innovative pharmaceutical industry and in the non-for-profit sectors. Ana is a big-picture thinker who understands how to set a strategy, and how that strategy may need to change in order to adapt to a changing environment.

Ana’s key areas of expertise are business start-ups, business development, strategic planning, team management, set up/management of charitable and non-for-profit entities.

In the non-for-profit sector, Ana volunteered for four years (2012-2016) as a member of the Board of Directors at the Canadian Association for Healthcare Reimbursement (CAHR), acting as Director of Sponsorships, and as Director of Events and Education. CAHR is a non-for-profit entity that represents professionals with an interest in public and private reimbursement for pharmaceuticals within the Canadian health care system.

At SFIRM Ana worked on the application process to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) which led to inception of SFIRM as a charity on November 2, 2017. The setup of the governance structure, internal controls processes, policies, and strategic planning have been part of Ana’s responsibilities, as well as ensuring that SFIRM complies with all requirements necessary for maintaining its charitable status and thrives to enable the institute to operate diligently and transparently as per CRA and Canada Business Corporations Act (CBCA) standards.

She moved to Canada from Cuba in 2006, and settled in Oakville where she raised her two sons, now in their 20s.

Ana is passionate about SFIRM’s mission, so through collaboration with the board of directors and team members, Ana has set a new strategic framework that will guide SFIRM’s next phase of growth.

Jill Furnival, Development Manager and Scientific Lead

Jill is a Masters-trained, Canadian board-certified, genetic counsellor with over fifteen years of experience in clinical genetics. SFIRM is her foray into the non-profit space.

Jill spent almost 10 years working as a genetic counsellor in the North York General Hospital Genetics program, focused on prenatal and cancer genetics. In 2012, Jill joined the Medcan Genetics program, where she continues to provide genetic counselling in a preventive healthcare setting on a part-time basis.

As a genetic counsellor, she is trained to simplify complex scientific concepts in a clear, sensitive and accurate way. In 2010, she took advantage of her experience and passion for the written word to launch her own freelance medical writing business specializing in patient-focused health literature, called Words On Call. She continues to take on freelance projects on a part-time basis.

In 2018, she developed a keen interest in regenerative medicine, when she took on a pilot role as a regenerative medicine counsellor in Dr. Robert Francis’ medical clinic. In this role, Jill helped patients (with questions) navigate information about innovative therapies and clinical trials in regenerative medicine. She discussed stem cell science with patients and helped them to decipher between the hype in the media and the real promise of stem cell therapies.

Born and raised in Toronto, Jill lives in the city with her husband and two teenage sons.

In her role as development manager and scientific lead at SFIRM, Jill is keen to use her communication skills to fulfill SFIRM’s mission to create awareness in regenerative medicine. With one successful grant competition under her belt, Jill looks forward to leading future grant competitions with the goal of funding impactful projects in the regenerative medicine space.