Syntax launches new Health Practice led by Marjolaine Provost and Dr. Katharine Smart, Past President of the Canadian Medical Association
Ottawa – December 19, 2022
Syntax Strategic (Syntax) is pleased to announce the creation of a new Health Practice to support current and future clients as they navigate the complex healthcare system. The practice will provide clients with full-service support including advocacy and public affairs, strategic communications, media relations, marketing, events and campaigns.
“Our new Health Practice builds on our subject matter expertise and will offer exceptional services to our existing and future clients. It is being led by an incredibly strong team who will provide top-tier strategic advice and counsel to our clients as they manage this challenging healthcare environment.”
- Jennifer Stewart, Founder and CEO of Syntax Strategic
The Health Practice will be led by Marjolaine Provost, former Director of Communications for Minister of Health Jean-Yves Duclos, with strategic counsel and guidance from Dr. Katharine Smart, Past President of the Canadian Medical Association.
Provost brings more than 15 years of experience in strategic communications, storytelling, and relationship-building. She has been involved with the Liberal party for years, supporting several election campaigns including a role in the war room during the 2021 federal election. Prior to her role with the Minister of Health, Provost served as Director of Communications and Operations for Marco Mendicino when he held the Immigration portfolio and was also an advisor to then-Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains.
Dr. Smart is the Past President of the Canadian Medical Association (CMA). In 2021, she became the 10th woman to serve in the organization’s 155-year history. She has been recognized as one of Canada’s 100 Most Powerful Women with the Medical Post’s Changemaker Media Award and the Waterfalls Global Award. In recognition of her advocacy for primary care and family medicine, she received an honourary membership from the College of Family Physicians of Canada. She has held many leadership positions including president of the Yukon Medical Association and sits on the board of Ronald McDonald House charities.
“Our clients are being led by the very best. Provost is an authentic and dynamic communications expert who will guide clients on how to navigate traditional and digital media and build strong relationships with stakeholders and potential partners,” said Stewart. “Dr. Smart is a highly respected and listened-to voice on medical issues in Canada. I feel honoured to have such a strong, authentic leader from the sector join us in providing support to our clients in the healthcare sector.”
About Marjolaine Provost | Political Communications Veteran and Relationship-Builder
Marjolaine is an authentic and dynamic fully bilingual strategic communications expert accomplished in traditional and digital media with over 15 years of experience in storytelling and relationship-building. She has a proven ability to combine political acumen and writing skills to create strong brands and craft relevant and clear messages. She’s been leading and supporting stakeholder engagement, reputation management, relationship building and communication projects and outreach at the highest levels of decision making, including in Liberal cabinet ministers’ offices, and most recently as Director of Communications for the Minister of Health. Marjolaine has been involved with the Liberal Party for years, working in the war room during the 2021 election and previously volunteering on other campaigns. Marjolaine earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Canadian Studies from McGill University as well as a Master’s Degree in Public Affairs and Lobbying from the Institut de Sciences Politique Bordeaux in France. She is Co-President of the Overbrook Community Association and teaches part-time at the University of Ottawa’s Department of Communications.
About Dr. Katharine Smart | Pediatrician, Medical Leader, Passionate Advocate
Dr. Katharine Smart is an experienced medical leader and advocate who constantly challenges the status quo in medicine. A pediatrician in Canada’s north, her work focuses on innovative and collaborative partnerships between community and government to serve marginalized children in rural and remote areas. An outspoken advocate against misinformation, Dr. Smart regularly uses her voice to bring evidence and facts to the forefront of health communication.
Dr. Smart is the past president of the Canadian Medical Association (CMA), where in 2021 she became the 10th woman to serve in the organization’s 155-year history. A fierce and authentic leader, she has become a recognized and respected medical voice in Canada. Dr. Smart has been recognized as one of Canada’s 100 Most Powerful Women, with the Medical Post’s Changemaker Media Award and the Waterfalls Global Award. In recognition of her advocacy for primary care and family medicine she received an honourary membership from the College of Family Physicians of Canada. She has held many leadership positions including president of the Yukon Medical Association and sits on the board of Ronald McDonald House charities.
Dr. Smart is a passionate communicator and sought-after media expert, keynote speaker, panelist and podcast guest. She is the host of SPARK: Conversations, Children’s Healthcare Canada’s monthly podcast series.
Dr. Smart’s clinical work has spanned the breadth of pediatrics. She started her career as a pediatric emergency medicine physician at the Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary. She has worked in Australia, Vancouver and across Canada’s north. Her current clinical focus is providing care to children who have experienced adverse childhood events using a model of social pediatrics in the Yukon.
Founded in 2010 by President and CEO Jennifer Stewart, Syntax is a full-service firm specializing in media relations, strategic communications, marketing, design, policy and public affairs. Syntax has worked with a broad range of clients, including several national and international clients in government, academia, non-profit, and the private sector covering topics that span health sciences, health advocacy, social impact, development, cleantech, governance and more.