Meet the team

Research Team

  • Dr. Heather Tulloch, PhD., C. Psych (Nominated Principal Investigator) is the Senior Psychologist, and member of the Heart Transplant Team and Women’s Heart Team at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute (UOHI).
  • Dr. Paul Greenman, PhD., C.Psych (Co-Principal Investigator) is a professor of clinical psychology and chair of the Department of Psychoeducation and Psychology at the Université du Québec en Outaouais in Gatineau, Québec.
  • Dr. Lisa Mielniczuk, MD, FRCPC, is a cardiologist and Director of the Advanced Heart Diseases Program at UOHI. She is an Associate Professor of Medicine, cross-appointed to the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine at the University of Ottawa.
  • Dr. Giorgio Tasca, PhD, C. Psych, is an Associate Professor in the School of Psychology at the University of Ottawa. Before moving to the university in 2016, he was a clinical psychologist at The Ottawa Hospital.
  • Dr. Jennifer Reed, PhD, is a Scientist in the Division of Cardiac Prevention and Rehabilitation and Director of the Exercise Physiology and Cardiovascular Health Laboratory at the UOHI.
  • Dr. Sue Johnson, EdD, is an author, clinical psychologist, researcher, professor, popular presenter and speaker and a leading innovator in the field of couple therapy and adult attachment.
  • Dr. Karen Bouchard, PhD, is a SSHRC-awarded postdoctoral fellow in health psychology, working under the supervision of Dr. Tulloch in the Cardiovascular Health Psychology Lab at the UOHI.
  • Dr. Kathleen Lalande, PhD., C.Psych, is a Clinical Psychologist and Research Associate within the Division of Cardiac Prevention and Rehabilitation at the UOHI.

Advisory Couple

Marc Cashman and his wife Gloria Higdon feel very grateful to the UOHI. After having a heart attack in May 2017, Marc went through the rehab program for his physical health but soon realized that his mental health was declining. After some prodding from Gloria, Marc reached out to the UOHI for some one-on-one mental health support. This enabled Marc to work through past traumas and learn new coping mechanisms.

In addition, Marc and Gloria benefitted from the Healing Hearts Together program whereby couples have an opportunity to share experiences, concerns and to celebrate triumphs with other couples. The HHT program offers couples experiential learning exercises focused on better supporting one another through recovery and beyond. Learning to be vulnerable, unlearning old behaviours and embracing new behaviours are at the core of the program.

Marc and Gloria believe that the combination of these supports offered by the UOHI helped them through some challenging times. They consider the treatment and support offered by the UOHI to have been both life saving and life changing. It has opened their minds and their hearts, encouraging them to share their journey to help others.

Healing Hearts Together Facilitators

  • Dr. Natasha Demidenko: C. Psych. Clinical, Health and Rehabilitation Psychologist, Regional Centre for the Treatment of Eating Disorders; The Ottawa Hospital, General Campus. Clinical Professor, University of Ottawa; Clinical interests: expertise in the treatment of eating disorders and group interpersonal psychotherapy; Attachment-based approach to treating eating disorders; treatment of complex PTSD; teaching and supervision; couples therapy using EFT.
  • Dr. Normand Gingras gingras studied clinical psychology at the University of Ottawa, where he worked with Dr. Sue Johnson, renowned international expert in couples therapy. He works in Private practice at the Ottawa Couple and Family Institute where he does individual and couples therapy. He has taught and conducted supervision in individual and couples therapy to students in the doctoral program at U of O and l’Université du Québec en Outaouais. Since 2016, he has worked with groups of Canadian Forces (CF) veterans struggling with trauma. He has recently retired from the federal Public Service where he worked as senior psychologist at the Executive Counselling Services of the Public Service Commission. He is an accredited supervisor and trainer with ICEEFT and offers EFT training in English and French in Canada, Switzerland and France. Normand holds an Electrical Engineering degree from the Royal Military College of Canada and worked as an aircraft maintenance officer within the CF until 1990. He is happily married to Chantale, they have a son Marc Antoine, and he enjoys cycling, skiing and has a passion for aviation.
  • Dr. Melanie Joanisse obtained a doctoral degree in clinical psychology from the University of Ottawa. She works as a clinical and health psychologist for the Hôpital Montfort’s Clinical Health Psychology Service where she works with patients suffering from complex llnesses and psychological difficulties. She co-founded the Orleans Psychological Health Team. She also works at the Ottawa Couple and Family Institute. She is a clinical professor at the University of Ottawa and at the Université du Québec en Outaouais. She is a certified EFT therapist. Her research interests centre on health psychology, women’s psychology, aging, and chronic disease management.
  • Dr. Elenor Riesen, Ph.D., C. Psych, provides services to individual and couples. Her areas of interest include relationship struggles; she is also currently involved in research project on sexual pain disorders in women. As a former nurse, Eleanor has particular interest in dealing with those suffering from grief and bereavement.