HVVC welcomes three new distinguished Board Members

June 26, 2023

On June 22nd, 2023, we welcomed Len Crispino, Dr. Janine Eckstein and Christian Nielsen to our Board of Directors. Each board member brings with them a unique blend of personal experience, expertise, and unwavering dedication to our organization's mission.

Len Crispino

Len Crispino is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, and a heart valve patient. His journey with heart disease began in high school when he was first diagnosed. This experience ignited his passion for creating meaningful change for others facing similar health challenges.

His instrumental contributions include founding the Ontario Economic Summit and Hang Tough, an initiative in support of the University Health Network (UHN). Hang Tough aims to address the unintended consequences of medical treatments and create a new integrated model of care for patients. Hang Tough has raised $1.2 million dollars to date.

Len has held senior leadership roles in the Business, Entrepreneurship, Public Service, and Not-for-Profit sectors. He holds an ICD.D designation - a designation given to individuals who demonstrate extensive knowledge of board governance. He also has 15 years of experience serving on various boards, including as the co-chair of the William Osler Health Centre Foundation, and chair, of Niagara College.

Dr. Janine Eckstein

As an interventional cardiologist at the University of Saskatchewan, Dr. Janine Eckstein brings valuable medical insight to our board. Through her daily practice, she understands the impact of heart valve disease on patients and their families. She also successfully championed better access to valve disease treatments in Saskatchewan. Dr. Eckstein's persistent advocacy led to the introduction of two minimally invasive treatments for valve patients at the Royal University Hospital (RUH); the Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation (TAVI) program and the Transcatheter Mitral Valve Repair (TMVr) program. On January 12th, 2023, Dr. Eckstein and Dr. Buchko performed the first minimally invasive mitral valve repair in Saskatchewan on an 83-year-old heart valve patient from Saskatoon.

Beyond her clinical work, Dr. Eckstein has published numerous articles and taught students, physicians, and allied health specialties. Dr. Eckstein also serves as a Saskatchewan Heart and Stroke Foundation board member, Treasurer for the Canadian Association of Interventional Cardiology (CAIC) and Chair of the Awareness and Education Committee of the Canadian Cardiovascular Society Heart Valve Disease Working Group.

Christian Nielsen

Known for his drive, forward-thinking mindset, and problem-solving abilities, Christian Nielsen has spent over 15 years as a management consultant, helping businesses improve their operations through people and technology. He is also a graduate of the University of Southern Denmark and has a Master of Science in Management of Innovation and Business Development from Copenhagen Business School.

Having personally battled heart valve disease, Christian understands the challenges faced by individuals impacted by this condition. After his diagnosis, Christian’s surgeon recommended Heart Valve Voice UK. This pivotal moment in his life sparked a deep appreciation for the work done by Heart Valve Voice, inspiring Christian to connect with Heart Valve Voice Canada upon his move to Canada to contribute in any way he could. To date, Christian has actively supported Heart Valve Voice by sharing his story, contributing to awareness campaigns, and even assisting with the upcoming website refresh.  

His expertise as a management consultant and his dedication to leveraging technology for the betterment of businesses will be instrumental in driving our digital initiatives forward.

Christian currently resides in Vancouver with his wife and two children.

To find out more about our other board members, please visit https://www.heartvalvevoice.ca/about

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