Our Team

Administrative Staff

Annette Molina

Executive Assistant to the CEO

Annette has always had a passion for helping and caring for others. This moved her to begin her career in the medical sector. She started as a Medical Assistant in 2010for a recognized weight loss clinic in Toronto. She later obtained her certificate in Medical Terminology from Medix School, as well as her certificate in Male/Female Infertility & Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) from the European Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (EACCME).

Since then, she has strived to help others by viewing matters from the patient’s perspective. Annette joined the Anova Fertility Team in 2014 as a part-time Medical Assistant to Dr. Marjorie Dixon. In 2015, she became the Operations Administrative Assistant for Anova & is now our new Executive Asst to the CEO. Annette’s love for the ever-advancing Assisted Reproductive Technologies, moves her to help others in achieving their most precious dream of becoming a parent – a gift we ALL deserve.

Susie Calabretta

Patient Services Coordinator

Susie enjoys working in an environment where she can help and make a difference in the lives of others. She completed her schooling at Seneca College in 1997 and has been working in the medical field for over 10 years. Susie joined our team in October 2012 where she enjoys interacting with people on a daily basis.

Patricia Mangahis

Patient Services Coordinator for Dr. Timea Belej-Rak

Patricia graduated from the University of Waterloo co-operative program.

During one of her work terms she had worked in a chiropractic clinic as a medical admin and enjoyed interacting with patients. She joined the team as a part-time reception in Fall 2015 and then transitioned to full-time at our new centre.

Avery Culligan

System & Inventory Control Administator

 

She joined our team in the fall of 2012 as a Medical Receptionist.  Avery completed her schooling at George Brown College in 2011. She also volunteered her time in various medical settings, such as West Park Healthcare Centre and Sick Kids Hospital to help broaden her knowledge while gaining experience. 
 
She is always ready and willing to solve problems as well as face new challenges as they come. Most recently, she has acted as our Augment and International Patient Concierge.  Now, she is responsible for the smooth running of all systems in our new Centre along with keeping track of inventory  in all departments. 

Teresa Reid

Financial Services Manager

Teresa joined the practice as a bookkeeper subcontractor in January 2012. While juggling several clients for 16 years in various industries, her focus has always been from a financial standpoint.

Teresa has enjoyed learning about the fertility industry and developed a strong appreciation for the doctors , nurses and patients. Therefore, when she was asked to be part of the Anova Fertility team as the Financial Services Manager it was a no brainer.

Vanesa Molina

Billing Administrator 

Vanesa pursued a Medical administrative assistant career at Medix College since November 2012, and worked in the field prior to her schooling. She has 5 years experience as an administrator, which has helped advance her knowledge in the office.

Vanesa joined our team in 2014 and is our office's OHIP billing administrator.  She is the cheerful person at Reception who will greet you during Cycle Monitoring on daily basis.

Laboratory Staff & Scientific Staff

Dr. Abdul Munaf Sultan Ahamed, MS, MSc, PG, PhD

Director of IVF Laboratories / Scientific Director

Dr Munaf acquired his PhD at the University of Kentucky, MSc at the University of Central Lancashire, Preston, U.K, Post-graduate in Assisted Reproductive Technology at the University of Warwick, Coventry, U.K, MS in Clinical Embryology at the University of Valencia, completed his embryology Training and certification at Bourn Hall, Cambridge, UK and PGD training at the University of London, U.K. Mind Body Medicine at Harvard Medical School, Boston, U.S.A

Dr. Munaf worked as a Director of IVF Laboratories for Hartland Fertility & Gynecology Clinic, Winnipeg, MB and Group of Procrea Fertility Centers / IntegraMed Fertility; Consultant Embryologist at Center for Reproductive Medicine & Robotic Surgery , St Louis, U.S.A.; Senior Embryologist at Kentucky Center for Reproductive Medicine, Kentucky, U.S.A.; Senior Embryologist at TCART, Toronto, Canada.

Dr. Munaf is one of the founding members of Anova Fertility & Reproductive Health, an experience that is a great challenge and continues to contribute to his expertise in implementing innovate IVF labs.

He has contributed and presented in many Research Abstracts, presentations and Publications. He has contributed a chapter to the Textbook "Contemporary Perspectives on Assisted Reproductive Technology" (Elsevier, 2005). And "A Practical Guide to Mouse Preimplantation Embryology and Human Assisted Reproductive Technology" (Lady Brook Minarva, Australia).

He is one of the reviewers for the Journal of Assisted Reproductive and Genetics (JARG), U.S.A.

Dr. Munaf has extensive working experience as a Clinical Embryologist in the IVF Laboratories of different parts of the world. His research focus is on Morphometric Analysis of Oocytes and Embryos, morphokinetic characteristics of human embryo developments, role of Complimentary Medicine (Homeopathy) in IVF treatments and Regenerative Medicine. He is a registered and certifed homeopath from College of Homeopaths of Ontario.  

Dr Munaf is a Certified Embryologist from Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society (CFAS) The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM); American Association of Bioanalysis (AAB); American College of Embryology (ACE).

Connie Chau

Senior Embyologist 

Connie graduated with Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry from the University of Manitoba in 1990. She started her embryology career in IVF Canada Fertility Centre in Toronto, Canada.

With 25 years of laboratory experience as a senior embryologist, Connie has joined Anova Fertility and Reproductive Health to continue to help families make their dreams come true.
She is a certified embryologist and a member of the Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society (CFAS). She is fluent in Cantonese, Mandarin, Vietnamese and English.

R.M.Ruvana Fonseka

Embyologist

Ruvana obtained her degree in microbiology from McGill University in Montreal in 2010. After working in microbiology research for 2 years after graduating, she moved onto an Embryology lab and has not looked back.

She completed the Assisted Reproductive Techniques course from National University Hospital, Singapore and also the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) Embryology Certificate Course. During the course of her career, she has worked in labs in Montreal (Montreal Fertility Clinic and Procrea), Sri Lanka (Prarthana Fertility) and is now here in Toronto at Anova Fertility and Reproductive Health.

Musarrath Begum

Junior Embyologist

Musarrath received the Bachelor’s degree in Medical Laboratory Technology from Manipal University, India. She completed the Medical Lab Tech course from Algonquin Careers Academy, Canada to become a certified Medical Lab Tech by Ontario Society of Medical Technologists (OSMT). She has enrolled for MSc. in Clinical Embryology at University of Valencia.

She worked as a Jr. Embryologist in Saudi Arabia for 4 years. In Canada, she worked as a Production Supervisor at Qvotek Reproductive Technology for 5 years, manufacturing ICSI, holding, PGD, Assisted Hatching and Stem Cell injection pipettes. She is also specialized in making custom micropipettes for Robotic injection of Zebra fish embryos. Alongside, she worked part time as a Medical Lab Tech at a Medical Center and is a member of CFAS (Canadian Fertility & Andrology Society).

She has a special interest in designing the pipettes for mitochondrial and cytoplasmic transfer.

Maria Pecho

Lab Technology Supervisor 

Having completed a Bachelor of Science in Medical Technology degree in 1984, Maria began her career by working in a private hospital in the Philippines.

Moving to Canada in 1990, she completed the program as a Medical Laboratory Technician at Robetech Institute in 1992, becoming a registered Medical Laboratory Technician member of the Ontario Society of Medical Technology a year later.

In 2000, she started working at the Canadian Medical Laboratory (CML) and did part-time work at another fertility clinic. She first joined our team in 2008 aas Phlebotomist/ Technician doing blood and andrology procedures before becoming our Lab Technology Supervisor.

Manuelea Batiller

Laboratory Technician

 

Lea finished her degree in Bachelor of Science in Medical Technology in Philippines. She has gained experience in a private laboratory and blood bank. Before coming to Canada, she worked as a Medical Technologist in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia for 9 years, rotating in all sections in the clinical laboratory. She migrated to Canada in 2000 and started working in a family doctor's office clinic and as a part time phlebotomist in a fertility clinic. In 2011 she started working for Dr. Dixon as a Medical Laboratory Technician. She is a certified Medical Laboratory Technician by Ontario Society of Medical Technologists (OSMT).

 

Maria Liza Ochea

Laboratory Technician

Liza obtained her degree in Bachelor of Science in Medical Technology in the Phillippines.  As a Licensed Medical Technologist, she worked in a private, tertiary training hospital for 16 years rotating through many different sections of the laboratory.  Liza was the Chief Medical Technologist of the laboratory department, and was in charge of the section of chemistry.

In 2002, she and her family migrated to Canada.  She was certified by the Ontario Society of Medical Technologists (OSMT) in 2003.  She has gained valuable experience for 8 years in different fertility clinics.  She joined First Steps Fertility in 2012 as a Laboratory Technician.

Redempta 'Tootsie' de la Cerna

Laboratory Technician

Tootsie received her degree of Bachelor of Science in Medical Technology in the Philippines. She worked as a registered medical technologist for more than 10 years in the Provincial Medical Center, a tertiary hospital with automated facilities. She performed all routine procedures in several different departments as well as specializing in Clinical Chemistry.

Tootsie has been a member of the American Medical Technologist Association since 2004. She immigrated to Canada together with her husband and three children. She attended seminars and training to upgrade her skills and became a certified Medical Laboratory Assistant by the Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Sciences (CSMLS) in 2006. She provided volunteer work in a fertility clinic, acquiring additional technical laboratory skills. She joined the First Steps Fertility team in 2008.

Ultrasound

Deepkiran Saggu

Ultrasound Supervisor

Deepkiran had obtained a computer science degree in India and continued her studies in nursing. After she came to Canada she started working as a medical office co-ordinator in a medical office. where she was inspired to choose ultrasound as her profession.

She has since worked in different fertility clinics, found a passion for working with people and I loves her profession.

Kristin Chittenden

Ultrasound Technologist

After volunteering in a hospital Emergency Room for five years, Kristin knew she wanted to work in healthcare. She went on to pursue her bachelor of Health Sciences degree at the University of Western Ontario and then her Ultrasound advanced graduate diploma at The Michener Institute for Applied Health Sciences. Upon completion of her internship at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and becoming licensed, she began her career in fertility and has been working in fertility ever since.

Halina Voitka

Ultrasound Technologist

Halina Voitka obtained her bachelor's degree in Business Management at Belarus State University in 1997. She was working in Healthcare Management in a medical centre until she came to Canada in 2005. She then became certified as an Ultrasound Technologist by The American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography in 2011 . Halina has gained valuable experience in different fertility clinics since 2013 and is a goal-oriented person with a keen attention to details to ensure the thorough completion of assigned tasks.

Nurses

Tatiana Mantescu, RPN

Nurse Manager

Tatiana graduated from a Romanian nursing college obtaining her RN diploma in June 1994. She specialized in cardiology early on in her career. Upon moving to Canada, Tatiana attended college to obtain her Ontario nursing license.

Tatiana has been registered with the College of Nurses of Ontario since December 2006. Tatiana has worked in IVF since February 2006, preparing patients, assisting with procedures and caring for patients in recovery. She has become an irreplaceable team member of Dr. Dixon's and has been working with her since February 2007, directing her care to the attention of patients facing infertility.  Now as our Nurse Manager, she leads our nursing team to provide excellent patient care as well as is our main point of contact for those patients who need the additional support and services of egg donation, sperm donation or gestational surrogacy to help grow their families.

Karen Lonzaga, RPN

IVF Nurse

Prior to transitioning to a nursing career, Karen worked in pharmaceutical clinical research, but felt the need to focus on patient-centered care. She pursued a nursing career and is registered with the College of Nurses of Ontario since July 2012. She has clinical experiences in complex continuing care and rehab, with work experience in health studies research.

Karen became a fertility nurse in November 2012 and is excited to continue to grow with the Anova Fertility family. She has a great interest in infertility and family planning, with plans to continue education in maternity and obstetrics.

Angie Ines, RPN

Angie attended the Humber College School of Health Sciences for nursing and obtained her license in September 2010. 

In January 2011 she worked in fertility and mental health and discovered that she preferred being a fertility nurse. Angie joined Dr. Dixon’s fertility team in November 2014, a place she describes as her work home. 

Yuko Arnold, RPN

Before joining Anova Fertility, Yuko was a registered nurse in Japan for five years where she worked in the pediatrics department. In 2001 she moved to Canada where she worked as an RPN in both geriatrics and in the O.R.

Yuko decided to take her nursing career in the fertility direction in November 2014. After having gone through IVF herself, she developed a strong passion for helping those going through similar challenges, and is excited about the future of the fertility industry. 

Counselling/Allied Health

Dara Roth Edney, MSW, RSW

Counsellor

Professionally, Dara has been practicing social work in Toronto, Canada for more than 15 years. Her focus includes assisted reproductive counselling as well as research in mental health. She is committed to providing service that is anti-discriminatory, inclusive and non-judgmental.

Dara holds a Master degree in Social Work (MSW) from the University of Toronto and Bachelor Degrees from York University (BSW) and McGill University (BA). She is a Registered Social Worker with the Ontario College of Social Workers (RSW), a member of the Ontario Association of Social Workers (OASW) and a professional member of Fertility Matters (also known as Infertility Awareness Association of Canada (IAAC)). She is also a member of the Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society (CFAS) and the Canadian Counselling Special Interest Group (CCSIG) of the CFAS. Dara works closely with professional and community organizations and is a regularly invited speaker at the 519 LGBTQ Fertility Fair.

In her daily practice, Dara draws from numerous therapy models, including: Solution-Focused/Oriented Therapy, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Narrative Therapy, Structural and Systems Therapy.

In 2001, while experiencing her own struggles with infertility, Dara became very involved in the developing legislation around Assisted Human Reproductive Technologies. She was invited to speak before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Health in 2002 and continued to consult with Assisted Human Reproduction Canada (AHRC) for many years. Dara continues to work with professional and public stakeholders to inform and advocate about issues relating to Assisted Reproduction (AR) and infertility.

Personally, after surviving many years of infertility and undergoing numerous tests, medications, surgeries, unsuccessful intrauterine inseminations (IUIs) and in-vitro fertilizations (IVFs), Dara and her partner turned to gestational surrogacy. Today, they are the very lucky parents of two young daughters; each one carried by a different and wonderful Gestational Surrogate.

Dara feels very fortunate that her professional training, personal experience with infertility and family’s journey through surrogacy (twice!) combine to provide a unique and empathetic perspective from a fertility counsellor. Her ability to respond to the particular needs of Intended Parents as well as Donors and Surrogates allow her to provide support and guidance that gets to the heart of the matter, while being respectful, helpful and compassionate.

For more information about Dara and her services, please visit her website by selecting Informed Fertility.

Dr. Via Bitidis, ND

Naturopathic Doctor

Dr. Via Bitidis is the Co-Founder and Clinic Director of the North Toronto Naturopathic Clinic. She is a graduate of the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM), while attending CCNM Via served on the school’s Board of Governors and was actively involved in promoting naturopathic medicine and integrative health care. Dr. Bitidis was also the past Vice-Chair on the Board of Directors of the Ontario Association of Naturopathic Doctors (OAND).

Dr. Bitidis is passionate about helping people to improve their health! She believes that her patient’s should be actively involved in all decisions regarding their healthcare and well-being. Her philosophy is that every patient is unique and therefore she approaches each patient’s treatment plan differently, so that it best suits their individual needs. She cares for patients using all aspects of naturopathic treatment, including nutritional counseling, botanical medicine, homeopathy, Chinese medicine and acupuncture.

Dr. Bitidis has a special interest in women’s health issues, infertility and pregnancy. She has over 10 years of experience working successfully to help couples achieve their dream of having a family.

Seya Moosai-Maharaj, B.A., R.Ac

Registered Acupuncturist

Seya graduated with High Honours from both the Acupuncture and Shiatsu programs at the S.S.C Acupuncture Institute and the Shiatsu School of Canada. The 3.5 year combined program focused on both Eastern and Western medical theory covering anatomy, physiology and pathology, as well as Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). She continues to broaden her expertise through workshops and conferences globally. 

Seya is a skilled and compassionate therapist whose clients range from children to seniors. Seya treats a wide variety of health conditions with a special focus on fertility and pregnancy, as well as stress-related disorders. Her treatments combine the best of Eastern and Western approaches to acupuncture. She’s also trained in shiatsu therapy, cupping, guasha and moxibustion. 

In addition to offering fertility acupuncture treatments for patients at Anova Fertility, Seya also practices at The Granite Club and is the founder of Channel Health Acupuncture Studio in Toronto. She is a member of the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine & Acupuncturists of Ontario (CTCMPAO) and is a member of the Board of Directors for Traditional Chinese Medicine Ontario (TCMO).

Susan Shipton, RMT

Registered Massage Therapist

Susan Shipton is a registered massage therapist and graduate of Sutherland-Chan School and Teaching Clinic, one of North America’s leading schools of massage therapy.

Susan is a caring and empathetic therapist who offers a combination of clinical training and keen analysis within a nurturing environment. She has experience treating people with diverse health conditions, including anxiety and depression, chronic pain, multiple sclerosis, cancer, repetitive strain injuries, and low back issues. She has helped people recover from spinal cord injuries at Lyndhurst Rehabilitation Centre and received training from the Canadian Institute of Palliative Massage. Susan tailors each treatment to the individual and may begin with a thorough orthopaedic assessment to ascertain the source of the problem. Drawing on her experience as a teacher, Susan explains clearly and simply what is happening during the treatment and shows clients what they can do outside of the massage room to reach their goals. Susan has advanced training in therapeutic breast massage.

Susan’s care for women extends to her work at Anova Fertility supporting women through their journey to conceive, and to her training and experience in pregnancy massage.  Susan also provides her services at Toronto Physiotherapy.