Our Team

Neil Ritchie – Executive Director


On September 4th, 2019, Neil Ritchie was appointed to the position of Executive Director of the Canadian Coalition for Green Health Care. Neil replaces Linda Varangu, the Coalition’s founding Executive Director. “I’m delighted to work with a group of people that are so passionate about their work and who have accomplished so much to reduce health care’s carbon footprint.” Previously, Neil led the Green Health Leaders Initiative for the Coalition which focused on enabling health executives, physician leaders and board members to become better environmental stewards. Neil is an experienced health care executive who has worked as a CEO, Chief Operating Officer and Vice President of large, multi-site academic teaching centers, regional health authorities and community hospitals in Canada. He’s also worked as an executive with a number of health technology start-up companies.

Neil holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from Dalhousie University and a Masters in Health Services Administration from the University of Alberta.

Neil can be reached at neil.ritchie@greenhealthcare.ca


Linda Varangu – Senior Advisor, Climate Change


Linda joined the Coalition in 2008 first as Partnership Director, and then as the founding Executive Director for another six years. As Executive Director, Linda led the Coalition from a voluntary network to a National incorporated not-for-profit membership-based organization which is now recognized as Canada’s primary thought leader on green health care and climate change resiliency. Under Linda’s leadership, important resources, toolkits, programs and pilots were created for health care facilities, earning the Coalition a strong and respected national voice. The Coalition has worked with numerous federal and provincial departments as well as various foundations, utilities, and private sector sponsors. In addition, under Linda’s leadership the Coalition explored the opportunities to develop social enterprises by piloting a Green Revolving Fund and an energy services consultancy through Health Care Energy Leaders Ontario (HELO). The HELO program continues to be offered, and is now available Canada-wide as HEL-C. The projects Linda has led for the Coalition have been recognized by national and international awards promoting energy efficiency in health care and action on climate change.

Linda has been empowering health care facilities to improve environmental stewardship since the 1980’s. Thankfully there has been much progress since then! Linda has led projects to reduce waste and use of toxic chemicals, provide healthy local foods, save energy and water and help facilities prepare and adapt to the impacts of climate change. Over the years Linda has contributed to a healthier planet by helping build coalitions, networks, social enterprises and not-for-profits with an environmental purpose.

Linda holds a Bachelor of Science (Chemistry and Biology) and Masters in Environmental Engineering.

In September Linda transitioned to a new position – Senior Advisor, Climate Change.

Linda can be reached at linda@greenhealthcare.ca


Kent Waddington – Communications Director


Kent Waddington, a freelance environmental coach and communicator, is a co-founder of the Canadian Coalition for Green Health Care and is currently the Coalition’s Communications Director. An environmentalist since high school, Kent has spent much of the past fifteen years engaged in coaching members of the Canadian health services sector as they develop and adopt more environmentally responsible practices within their organisations.

For seven years he developed programme content and educational collateral for the Canadian government’s Energy Innovators Initiative (NRCan) from within a health care framework as the Energy Efficiency Coordinator for the Canadian College of Health Services. Throughout that time, Kent created sector-specific initiatives related to environmental sustainability including National Health Care Energy Efficiency Awareness Week, Energy Perspectives, the sector’s first energy management newspaper, A Resource Guide for Energy Efficiency Awareness Champions, the CCHSE/OEE National Energy Management Award, and coordinated and assisted in the design, deployment and analysis of the first national research study to assess energy efficiency practices and awareness levels in the Canadian health services sector.

He has also developed materials and written for the Canadian Healthcare Engineering Society, the Canadian Council on Health Services Accreditation, the Royal Ottawa Hospital, and Natural Resources Canada’s CBIP Programme. Kent continues to author newsletters, web content and develop environmental stewardship Initiative materials for one of Canada’s largest Fortune 500 companies supporting health care sites across Canada. He has spoken on energy efficiency and the greening of health care at conferences across Canada and his writing and photography have appeared in local, national and foreign publications/websites including Healthcare Forum, Hospital News, Canadian Society of Nutrition Management News, Senor Care Canada, Canadian Property Management, Stride, Air Canada’s Enroute magazine, and Substance (UK).

Kent is also a past research team associate with Royal Roads University’s School of Environment and Sustainability and a founding Board member of the National Environmental Treasure, a people’s trust fund devoted to the exclusive funding of Canadian environmental organizations.

Kent can be reached at kent@greenhealthcare.ca


JJ Knott – Healthcare Energy Leaders Ontario (HELO) Program Lead


JJ works tirelessly to inspire colleagues in health care facilities across Canada to embrace energy efficiency practices and to incite them to make energy management an integral part of their facility management protocols.

He helped develop the concept, framework and delivery model of the HealthCare Energy Leaders Ontario (HELO) program. JJ worked within the HELO framework to identify energy conservation measures, deliver training, and follow‐up on opportunities for sites across Ontario, ensuring that projects were planned and budgeted for, as well as implemented. For over 2 decades he served as the Director of Plant Operations, and Project Manager at Norfolk General Hospital. JJ also played an instrumental role in helping Norfolk attain the 2012 OHA/Coalition Green Award for Overall Leadership and the 2008 Wayne McLellan Award from CHES for energy and environmental stewardship accomplishments.

J.J. helped develop the Green Revolving Fund (GRF) pilot initiative so that healthcare facilities across Ontario could benefit from funds raised through the carbon cap and trade program. JJ has taught hospital building performance courses (such as the Building Operators Certification Course though the Canadian Institute for Energy Training) and is actively involved in improving the sustainability of Ontario Hospitals. In recognition of his accomplishments he was the recipient of the 2014 Green Health Care Individual Leadership Award.

Between 2011-2013, JJ acted as President for the Canadian Healthcare Engineering Society (CHES) involving over 1000 members across Canada. JJ has remained a dedicated member of CHES for over 2 decades, and is also a member of the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE). He is Vice‐chair of the Canadian Coalition for Green Health Care (CCGHC) and a member of the CCGHC’s National Energy Advisory Committee. He has also assisted the Coalition, and their partners, in the lobbying of senior levels of government to look at alternatives to conventional financing models that bring an environmental stewardship slant to the funding of energy and infrastructure renewal projects. Furthermore, he has helped create awareness with decision makers across Ontario and Canada, including the Ontario Environment Commissioner, Energy Canada, and others.

JJ was also past Chair of a local distribution company where he provided guidance which he has now brought to his position as HELO Project Lead, where he is an authority on hospital power needs and how health care facilities interact with energy supply companies.

JJ can be reached at jj.knott@greenhealthcare.ca



Krishna Akella – Manager of Digital Marketing and Online Programs

Krishna is the Manager of Digital Marketing and Online programs and was previously a Health Services Researcher with the Coalition. Krishna has a bachelor’s degree in Electronics and Communication Engineering, and recently completed his MBA in Marketing and Operations. He is an avid enthusiast of digital and communications technology, and to that extent, has published a technical paper about vehicular networks on an IEEE peer-reviewed journal. Krishna has had prior work experience in the health care industry as a Marketing Specialist, a role that complimented his knowledge in medical electronics and his interest in marketing. Moreover, this opportunity also enabled him to gain a foothold in the industry while simultaneously igniting his interest in environmental sustainability.

Krishna can be reached at krishna@greenhealthcare.ca


Ozora Amin – Health Services Researcher

Ozora found her passion for sustainable health care practices and facilities while working in a Toronto hospital. She was inspired by the environmental challenges that she saw at work to seek formal education in how to develop sustainable operations within organizations. She is skilled in engaging diverse communities, project management and large-scale event management. She has an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Environmental Studies from the University of Toronto and a Masters degree in Environment and Business from the University of Waterloo.

Ozora can be reached at ozora@greenhealthcare.ca 

Spyridon Tsolakis – Digital Marketing Coordinator


Spiro is a recent university graduate passionate about digital marketing, sustainability and improving marketing communications for non-profits and small businesses. The climate crisis has inspired him to contribute his marketing knowledge towards bettering Canada’s health care systems. He has a Bachelor of Commerce, Major in Marketing, from the John Molson School of Business at Concordia University.

Spiro can be reached at spiro@greenhealthcare.ca