What are our coaches’ qualifications?

The CDPP Health Coaches each have a background in the health field, and each hold a bachelors degree in health or social sciences. Many have additional qualifications such as a Registered Dietitian, and Certified Diabetes Educator. Each coach has received specific training in program content and coaching techniques for exemplary delivery of the CDPP program to our participants. The program completes ongoing quality assurance evaluations, which include audits of coaching calls, and ongoing coach mentorship, learning and upskilling opportunities provided by our coaching leadership team.

What have real participants said about our coaches?

“Jharna has been very motivational and very patient.”

“My health coach is prompt and always calls me right on time.”

“My coach [Marinoush] is extremely caring, knowledgeable, enthusiastic and supportive. She encourages me to make small, incremental exercise goals rather than large and lofty ones to ensure they are practical, achievable and sustainable.”

“The way Jennifer speaks to me is not forceful; she listens and suggests and doesn’t tell me what to do. A month into the program I wanted to quit. But I kept with it and I am so happy I did. Stick with it. Over the phone coaching really works!”

“With the help of Christina and INTERVENT [the CDPP’s platform], they educated me, came up with a plan I could follow and motivated me to get the realistic results that I could achieve. Now I am well on my way to reaching my goals and never felt better. Christina is a great coach.”

“Jharna doesn’t push anything on me, she just supports me as much as she can.”

“The 1 on 1 phone calls with my healthy coach are a huge motivator to be accountable to myself and stay on track to achieve a healthy lifestyle. Christina is knowledgeable, always positive and caring, even when I’m occasionally having a frustrating week where I don’t see the weight loss I hoped for, she’s support and she helps me to refocus. Through knowledge and positive individual health coaching, I’ve been given the power to effectively make changes in my lifestyle. “

Coach Biographies

Jennifer Chang has a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Nutrition and Food and a Master of Health Science degree in Nutrition Communication from Ryerson University.  She is registered with the College of Dietitians of Ontario. Jennifer has worked in clinical research at Nutrition Discovery Labs, where she was a published author on clinical trials. Participants who work with Jennifer say she is eager to support participants at every stage of their health and wellness journeys.

Christina Gomes has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Ryerson University. She has extensive training under the direction of a clinical psychologist and a nutritionist. Christina has worked as both a health coach and a health coach manager for over two years. She embraces diversity in all ways and strives to actively listen to participants and learn about their unique needs and circumstances.  Participants who work with Christina say she is understanding and supportive and makes the coaching experience fun.

Marinoush Megardichian holds a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Nutrition and Food from Ryerson University and a Bachelor of Education degree from Western University. She also is a certified personal trainer and achieved a black belt in Taekwondo. Previously Marinoush was a co-owner of a meal preparation company that featured healthy foods. She has also taught group education classes on nutrition and food topics. Marinoush loves to develop healthy recipes and live an active and healthy lifestyle. Participants who work with Marinoush say she is empathetic and encouraging. She hopes to apply her creative skills to make the coaching experience personable and enjoyable.

Alexandra Margina, one of our French-speaking coaches, has a Bachelor’s degree in Nutritional Science with a major in Dietetics from McGill University. She also speaks the Spanish and Romanian languages. She is registered with the College of Dietitians of Quebec.  Alexandra has recently worked with active individuals to help them achieve their athletic goals.  Alexandra is a great listener and she’s passionate about empowering participants on their journey to prevent diabetes and improve their quality of life.

Jharna Patel has a Master’s degree in Food and Nutrition with accreditation from Ryerson University. She is registered with the College of Dietitians of Ontario and is also a certified diabetes educator. Jharna has worked in the health care field for 12 years, serving people of all ages. She has served as a project associate for malnutrition programs with UNICEF, a health educator for a private organization and a community dietitian with a community health centre. Jharna is passionate about helping others. She has excellent listening and counselling skills and believes it is never too late to make changes for improving lifestyle and quality of life.