Surprise management change at the OHTN

Published 07, Sep, 2017
Author // Bob Leahy - Publisher

Sean Rourke is out, Jean Bacon is back in as Interim Executive Director of the Ontario HIV Treatment Network

Surprise management change at the OHTN

Jean Bacon, a respected voice in the Ontario HIV community for many years and who left the Ontario HIV Treatment Network (OHTN) earlier this year, is back as the organization’s new Interim Executive Director. She replaces Sean Rourke who has stepped down as Scientific and Executive Director to focus on his research responsibilities at St Michael's Hospital.

He remains listed on the OHTN website as an “OHTN Senior Affiliated Scientist”. Sean Rourke is also a Clinical Neuropsychologist and Scientist at St. Michael’s Hospital and a Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto.

Rourke enjoyed a good relationship with, co-chairing the Positive Quitting (smoking cessation) project with publisher Bob Leahy. We interviewed him several times on a variety of subjects. Rourke's leadership was instrumental in building the OHTN's reputation both nationally and internationally. He was a supporter of the U=U campaign, which the OHTN endorsed, seeing it as a game changer for us in Ontario, across Canada, and internationally.

His tenure at the OHTN though was marked by higher than average staff turnover of senior positions.

Jean Bacon, meanwhile,  has been involved in the HIV/AIDS sector in Ontario since 1985. She has worked with stakeholder groups to develop health policies, public education programs and clinical and practice guidelines and to write HIV strategies for Ontario and Canada. As Director of Health Policy and KTE at the OHTN for 10 years, she worked closely with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, community-based HIV organizations and HIV clinics across Ontario to move evidence into practice. She is committed to improving services for people with and at risk of HIV.

Jean has also worked extensively on other health and social issues such as mental health and addiction services, public health programs and services, child and youth health, chronic disease management, palliative care, home care and long-term care, and health human resources planning. wishes Sean Rourke well and extends congratulations to Jean Bacon in her new role.

About the Author

Bob Leahy - Publisher

Bob Leahy - Publisher

Award-winning blogger Bob Leahy first made his social media mark a decade ago on where there are still to this day almost 3,000 entries of his available to be read. He was a featured blogger on Ontario’s campaign, along with founder Brian Finch. He joined at its inception in 2009 and became it's Editor a year later.

Born in the UK, Bob’s background is in corporate banking, which he gladly left in 1994, after being diagnosed with HIV the previous year.  He has chaired the board of PARN (Peterborough AIDS Resource Network) and has been an executive board member of both the Ontario HIV Treatment Network (OHTN) and the Canadian AIDS Society (CAS).  He was inducted in to the Ontario AIDS Network’s Honour Roll in 2005.  Bob is currently a member of Ontario’s GMSH (Gay Men’s Sexual Health Alliance). He also writes for

In 2012, Bob was honoured with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal for his work and commitment to HIV/AIDS in Canada.

Bob continues to write for this site while in the Positivelite.Com editor’s seat, with a particular interest  in HIV prevention, theatre and the arts in general. He is accredited media for a number of Toronto theatres. He lives in Warkworth, Ontario with his partner of thirty-two years and three dogs.

Canadian Positive People Network/Reseau canadienne des personnes seropositives
Canadian Positive People Network/Reseau canadienne des personnes seropositives
The Village Pharmacy