OPA Council

Executive Committee


Dr. Angela Ho

Dr Angela Ho is a psychiatrist in Toronto working on a case management team for marginally-housed individuals with psychotic, substance use and trauma disorders. She also has a part-time practice focused on family/couples therapy. Dr. Ho is an Assistant Professor with the University of Toronto, Faculty  of Medicine. With the Ontario Medical Association, she is a member of the Priority & Leadership Group and Section on Psychiatry Executive. She also sits on the Board of Directors for Inner City Health Associates. 

Past President

Dr. Renata M. Villela

I work in independent community practice in Thornhill, focusing on individual long-term psychodynamic psychotherapy and on couples therapy.  I am on the OPA Council to optimize advocacy for our patients and for our profession.  I am also serving as the Co-Chair of the Coalition of Ontario Psychiatrists and as Chair of the Ontario Medical Association's Section on Psychiatry.


Dr. Karen Shin

My practice focuses on adult general psychiatry, and is based out of St. Michael’s in Toronto, where I am the Medical Director of the Ambulatory Mental Health Service. My clinical roles include working in an acute ambulatory mental health clinic, participating in collaborative care within a St. Michael’s family health team, co-leading psychiatric services for an intensive case management program and developing a dedicated practice in cognitive behavioural therapy. As part of my work, I am an Assistant Professor with the University of Toronto, and have the privilege to educate learners from the Faculty of Medicine. Joining the OPA is important to me because it provides an opportunity to bridge my experiences in clinical practice with advocacy for our profession and patients alike. A strong, thoughtful and unified voice from our profession advances all aspects of mental healthcare in our community. 


Dr. Yusra Ahmad

My name is Yusra and I am a psychiatrist practicing in Toronto, ON.  My interests involve tackling the root causes of suffering & trauma on a social & global scale including structural inequalities, socioeconomic disparity, gender-based violence, racism, discrimination and displacement due to war & conflict.  I believe in creative approaches to therapy & community building.  I have developed a program called Mindfully Muslim which incorporates mindfulness, poetry & faith-based practices that help address the mental health needs of the Muslim community.  I also have a strong interest in the power of storytelling through film & have worked on the primetime medical drama, Transplant.  I joined the OPA because of my desire to advocate for the voiceless & the marginalized & to do my part to work towards a more balanced, healthier, vibrant & beautiful world, one in which everyone is afforded the dignity, respect & opportunity to live up to his/her/their full potential.  


Dr. Valérie Primeau

Valerie Primeau, MD, FRCPC is a bilingual psychiatrist in North Bay.  She has been actively involved in the treatment of concurrent disorders.  She assisted in the implementation of medically supervised withdrawal management beds at the North Bay Regional Health Centre (NBRHC) acute inpatient psychiatry unit, and is the physician lead for the rural implementation of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) Integrated Care Pathway on alcohol use disorder and depression.  Most recently, she has been appointed the physician lead for the implementation of a Rapid Access Addiction Medicine (RAAM) clinic at the Community Counselling Centre of Nipissing.  She currently sits on the Health Quality Ontario Alcohol Use Disorder Quality Standard Advisory Committee and is helping revise the Withdrawal Management Standards with Addictions and Mental Health Ontario.  She is highly involved in resident education and is currently the North Bay Site Director, Psychotherapy Coordinator and Academic Coordinator for the Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM) Psychiatry Residency Program.


Council Members


Dr. Desi Brownstone

I am a private practice psychiatrist. I also do sessional in a community health centre. I am married with 3 children. I enjoy plays, art, music, wine, scotch and playing golf badly. I live in London, Ontario.


Dr. Shabbir Amanullah

Dr Shabbir Amanullah, DPM, MD, FRCPsych, CCT, FRCPC, DFCPA, FIIOPM, is the Chair and Clinical Director, Division of Psychiatry at Queen’s University. He is also President, Canadian Academy of Geriatric Psychiatry and President, Oxford County Medical Society.
He is Chair and Scientific Chair of the Indo Canadian Psychiatric Association, and is on the Board of Directors for the Canadian Psychiatric Association. 
Dr Amanullah is former Chief of Psychiatry at Woodstock Hospital and the former Chief of Psychiatry for the province of PEI. 
Dr Amanalluh’s areas of interest lie in physician health, autism and ADHD in the elderly, and dementia.


Dr. Hussein Hirjee

I am an early career psychiatrist working in private practice in Toronto and will be joining University Health Network’s community mental health program. I have a background in computer science and am interested in the applications of technology to improve mental health care including patient outcomes and provider workflow. Outside of work, I enjoy food and cooking and often look forward to trying new restaurants and recipes. I joined the OPA to expand my professional network and advocate to improve the quality of psychiatric care, service, and education in our province.


Dr. Lyndal Petit

I work as a consult liaison and outpatient perinatal psychiatrist at the Ottawa Hospital, General Site where I also lead the Consult Liaison Team. Academically, I am an assistant professor at the University of Ottawa, the undergraduate education site director at the General Site and a regular medical student and resident supervisor and lecturer. I joined the OPA because of its mental health advocacy and leadership. In 2020, I joined the OPA's Mental Health Law Reform Task Force, and I was impressed with how individuals, families and frontline physicians came together to identify areas needing mental health law reform and areas that would improve patient access to care. I joined the OPA Council to move these important issues forward.


Dr. Sephora Tang

Dr. Sephora Tang works as a general adult psychiatrist at the Ottawa Hospital.  She is an assistant professor at the University of Ottawa and Postgraduate Site Education Director at the Ottawa Hospital’s General Campus where she teaches and supervises medical students and residents.  In her clinical work, she provides care to patients with complex mental health and medical needs.  Her concern for the care of vulnerable and marginalized people has led her to become involved in grassroots advocacy that has brought her to speak before the Canadian Senate as an expert witness, as well as in various media channels.  She joined the OPA with a desire to advocate at a higher level for systemic change.  She hopes her engagement will help to improve the delivery of mental health care in Ontario by highlighting under-recognized psychosocial determinants of health, and advocating for the development of necessary infrastructure to deliver coordinated mental health and primary health care.  She collaborates closely with some of the brightest leaders in mental health care and medical education, and hopes to bring her energy and passion in these areas to the OPA to further a shared vision of improving the mental health of our communities.


MIT Council Members


Dr. Gurvir Rai

Dr. Gurvir Rai, a first-year psychiatry resident at the University of Ottawa, joins the Ontario Psychiatric Association Council as a Member-In-Training. Gurvir's interests include forensic psychiatry, culturally adapted cognitive behavioral therapy, and the role of technology in medical education. He is currently investigating the cultural and systemic barriers to receiving mental health care for patients of South Asian descent. Outside of his professional pursuits, Gurvir enjoys writing poetry, playing guitar, watching hockey, traveling, and hiking. 

Gurvir holds a steadfast commitment to promoting equity, inclusivity, and culturally sensitive care. By joining the OPA, Gurvir seeks to engage in the community outreach and political advocacy efforts led by the OPA, seeking valuable opportunities for participation and learning. Gurvir seeks to advocate for cultural competence and inclusive care in medicine. A graduate of the University of Calgary's Cumming School of Medicine, Gurvir aims to draw from his experiences in the Alberta healthcare system to help address the needs of Ontario's diverse patient populations. 



Dr. Nikhita Singhal

I am a psychiatry resident at the University of Toronto with clinical and academic interests in child and adolescent psychiatry, addictions medicine, psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy, and medical education. My interest in joining the OPA stems from my desire to engage in advocacy work, develop leadership skills, and connect with peers and leaders in our field — with the ultimate goal of striving for patient empowerment and collaboratively improving our healthcare system. In my free time, I love hiking, travelling, photography, and practising yoga.


Council Members' Duties and Responsibilities


Council Members function within the mandate of the OPA Constitution and By-laws, and are responsible, collectively, to govern and lead the Association by:

  • Determining the vision, mission, values or beliefs of the Association;
  • Setting and approving goals and objectives including overall operating and financial plans designed to achieve certain goals and objectives;
  • Identifying and managing any and all risks to the Association;
  • Verifying the integrity of internal control and management information systems;
  • Ensuring cost-effective, efficient operations within legal requirements, ethical and quality standards;
  • Monitoring communications within and outside the Association;
  • Recruiting, orienting and training new Council members; and,
  • Adopting a strategic planning process to determine short term and long term goals and objectives for the Association.

Council members serve for a three-year term, may serve for two consecutive terms and are not eligible for re-election for a period of three years following the end of their second term and then may only serve one additional term.  Two Council members shall be Members-in-Training, elected for a term of two years, one Member-in-Training to be elected in each succeeding year.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Prepares for and attends all meetings of Council and the Annual General Meeting and any other General and Special meetings of the Association;
  • Establishes and reviews documents such as the values, vision and mission of the Association;
  • Complies with the Constitution and Bylaws and policies of the Association and ensures compliance by others;
  • Reviews strategic plans, goals and objectives, financial information and the annual budget;
  • Formulates and approves policies and procedures;
  • Actively promotes and supports the Association and its activities;
  • Discloses a conflict of interest to Council as soon as he/she becomes aware of the conflict;
  • Remains informed about Association issues and concerns and Council matters;
  • Identifies the needs of the members, emerging issues and opportunities for the profession of psychiatry;
  • Contributes to the Association’s newsletter;
  • Recruits new members;
  • Fulfills other assignments as Chair or committee members, and other duties as required.


  • Full Member of the Association (9 of the positions) or Member-in-Training (2 of the positions) Elected to office, or, through vacancy only, by appointment.

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