Who We Are

We are the Canadian Digestive Health Foundation, Canada’s trusted resource on digestive health. Committed to providing useful, up-to-date information and research to help Canadians better manage digestive conditions and live healthier lives.

Our Mission

To reduce suffering and improve quality of life by providing trusted, accessible, and accurate information about digestive health and disease.

Our Vision

To empower all Canadians to manage their digestive health with confidence and optimism.

Canadian Association of Gastroenterology

The Canadian Association of Gastroenterology is CDHF’s association. Over 1100 members including gastroenterologists, surgeons, pediatricians, basic scientists and nurses comprise the Association. The CAG provides professional gastroenterological education and funding opportunities for gastrointestinal health and disease research, and more recently, has advocated for improved timeliness and quality of digestive health care for Canadians. 


We are Jeff, Kelsey, Tara, Nella, Sophie, Kate and YOU

Tara Petch joined the Canadian Digestive Health Foundation in 2020 as the Director, Partnerships & Strategic Initiatives. Tara’s focus is on broadening and building partnerships with the CDHF. These strategic partnerships will help support educational and research initiatives, and enable the development of National programs; which will provide more solutions and options for those suffering from digestive health conditions.

Tara has extensive background in the CPG industry with success in sales, shopper marketing and agency marketing roles, as well as in the non-profit experience, working on well known brands.

She attended University of Guelph and played varsity soccer while there. She has a genuine interest in wellness and athletics. Tara is part of the alumni committee for University of Guelph Gryphons Women’s Soccer and lead the establishment of the first alumni scholarship; committed to helping current and future players. She is on the Elementary School Council and recently became a certified 200hr Hatha Yoga instructor. This interest in healthy living and wellness, spills over into her appreciation for working for the Canadian Digestive Health Foundation.

She is very happy to have the opportunity to collaborate with others to help Canadians dealing with digestive health conditions, live better lives.

Kelsey Cheyne joined the Canadian Digestive Health Foundation in 2015 as the Communications Coordinator and since has become the Executive Director.

Kelsey’s primary focus is to continually increase brand awareness to help drive business results.

In addition to directing media relations, branding, and website development, Kelsey manages and oversees social media channels, CDHF events, and more.

Kelsey attended the University of Guelph, where she graduated with a B. Comm. Marketing Management. Before joining CDHF, Kelsey worked with a multitude of stakeholders and diverse teams across the country including Ontario Mutual Insurance Association, the University of Guelph, AMS Canada Inc. and African Lion Safari. As co-founder and designer of Pretty in Print Invitations, Kelsey designs personalized wedding invitations, greeting cards, and other unique pieces in print.

Kelsey is a high-energy, intuitive individual who is passionate about health and fitness. She is happy to be a part of foundation that has a direct impact on the digestive – and overall — health of Canadians.

Sophie joined CDHF in 2022. She completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Media, Information and Technoculture at Western University, followed by a Master’s degree in Media, Journalism and Communications at Western University. 

Sophie has experience in content creation, copywriting and storytelling. She has led events and developed marketing strategies for non-profit organizations such as ConnexOntario and Big Brothers Big Sisters. Sophie’s deep knowledge of social media platforms and understanding of trends and behaviours is employed to build rich social media campaigns.

Nella began her career at Export Development Corporation in Ottawa. She later relocated to Toronto where she joined Baxter Canada as a Marketing Analyst holding various positions over a 15 year period.

As a mother of two, she also enjoyed volunteering. She joined the board of a local not for profit offering recreational and competitive programs for children where she held numerous positions but lastly as Treasurer for over ten years.

She joined the CDHF Family in 2015 and is honoured to be part of a growing team.

Jeff Suggitt CEO of CDHF

Jeff Suggitt’s extensive experience in the health care sector has focused on the direction, production and implementation of interactive media, Internet, and wireless applications for continuing medical education, patient education, brand/product marketing, and market research/analysis initiatives.

His entrepreneurial ventures have enabled him to obtain the necessary skills required to succeed in new business development and the building and maintaining of strategic alliances and client relationships. His experiences have given him a competence to manage the whole picture while ensuring the successful execution of several projects.

The combination of his directorship at the University of Toronto and years of teaching at a community college level have provided him with exceptional presentation skills, a solid understanding of adult learning principles, and a wealth of interpersonal communication and managerial skills. The opportunity to truly put the well-being of patients first was what brought Jeff to CDHF.

He is committed to providing patients who are affected by digestive conditions access to the most trustworthy and current resources and tools to help improve their outcomes and their quality of life.

Kate Murray – Executive Advisor

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Everyday Canadian heroes like you.

Who inspire us to live our best lives

CDHF Governance

Board of Directors

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Stephanie Simmons

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Cheryl Mclaughlin