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As the Vice President & Director of Communications 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.
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 health care client files including pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, patient association and foundations where she developed 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 media pitching skills, a passion for social media along with valuable editorial skills and looks forward to raising the profile of the Gairdner Foundation globally. In her spare time Sommer volunteers for the Canadian Cancer Society.