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As the Executive Vice President Sommer leads a comprehensive portfolio that aims to raise the profile of the Canada Gairdner Awards, Canada’s most prestigious biomedical prize. Her responsibilities include leading the strategic planning process along with the President to increase the Foundation’s brand visibility, stakeholder engagement and fundraising efforts. Sommer also oversees the communications for the Foundation along with leading fundraising efforts and key stakeholder relations.
Prior to joining the Gairdner Foundation, Sommer was a Senior Consultant with Hill+Knowlton, an international public relations agency. In this role she led numerous healthcare client files including pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, patient association and foundations where she developed and executed their strategic communications planning. Previously, Sommer worked for the University Health Network (UHN) in various roles where she focused on media relations, social media strategy and internal communications. Sommer graduated from Western University with a bachelor of health sciences and also received a post-graduate certificate in public relations from Humber College. She brings strong healthcare experience and connections to the Gairdner Foundation and an enthusiasm for story telling.