Speaker Bios

PERFORMER: Emma Heimbecker

Emma Heimbecker is delighted to be a part of CMCCtalks 2019. She is a second-year student at CMCC who completed her Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology with Honours at the University of Waterloo. Through the University’s Co-operative Education Program, she has held teaching positions at Centennial College, University of Waterloo’s Professional Development Program, and Humber College’s Human Anatomy Lab. Shortly after graduating, she became a Certified Exercise Physiologist with the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology.

Along with her academic pursuits in the sciences, Emma has always had a passion for music and the performing arts. She classically trained with the Royal Conservatory of Music having completed Grade 8 Piano and Grade 9 Voice obtaining First Class Honours with Distinction. She continues to perform professionally when given the opportunity.

At the age of seven, Emma began Ottawa Valley Step Dancing at Chanda’s School of Dance in her home town of Orangeville, Ontario where she later taught for seven years. Emma and her dance group have competed across the province and have performed with Canadian musicians, Natalie MacMaster and members of the group, Leahy. Other notable performances include the 2010 Olympic Torch Relay and the Rick Hansen Man in Motion 25th Anniversary World Tour. Emma has explored numerous other styles of dance; she has recently performed and choreographed as a member of the Equilibrium Dance Collective.

Although she may appear quiet, unassuming, and near invisible in her day to day life, Emma welcomes the opportunity to express herself through music and dance.

Dr. Nora Bakaa

Dr. Bakaa began her post-secondary education at McMaster University, obtaining a BSc (hons) in Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour.After her experiences with chiropractic in treating her own pain, she decided to pursue her Doctor of Chiropractic. Dr. Bakaa attended the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College (CMCC) and graduated with honours in June 2018.

During her time at CMCC, she was awarded the CIHR Health Professional Student Research Grant and had the opportunity to work with many influential experts in our field, researching a wide variety of topics —from molecular biology to interprofessional collaboration. Following these experiences, she was determined to continue in research, however, with a more clinical approach. She is currently completing her Masters in Health Sciences at McMaster University, and hopes to contribute to the chiropractic profession through research. She is a strong believer in life-long learning, both professionally and academically. In addition to her research, Dr. Bakaa also works part-time at the Physiocare Wellness Clinic and Canadian Chiropractic Association, where she is continually contributing to the profession through treating patients and advocacy efforts.


The choir/music club is a group of student singers and performers across all four years. The members of choir have a range of experience, from amateur singers to professionally trained musicians. The club aims to achieve three goals: 1) Help enhance the culture of CMCC through the performing arts, 2) Create a median to continue the passion of music and music education, 3) Leverage the power of music for personal development of each individual by building confidence in public communications, encouraging teamwork, and providing stress relief.

The choir sings at many events throughout the year, including the Remembrance Day ceremony, Holiday Market, Valentine’s day, and the Anatomy Memorial Service. The choir shares their love of music with the CMCC community and aims to bring joy through their vocal frequencies.

Dr. Natalie Labelle, BA (Hons) Kin, DC, ICSSD

Dr. Natalie Labelle grew up in Montreal and moved to Markham, Ontario in her early teens. A local chiropractor whom she first saw for a running injury inspired her to pursue chiropractic as career. She completed her Kinesiology Degree with Honours from the University of Western Ontario in 1996, followed by her Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College in 2000. After graduating from CMCC, she completed her International Chiropractic Sports Science Diploma through the International Federation of Sports Chiropractic in 2007.

Upon graduation and for the next 15 years, she worked in a busy multidisciplinary sports injury clinic in Markham. She was the Team Chiropractor for the Toronto FCOF soccer team for many years and has had the privilege to work with active (or aspiring to be more active) people of all ages and levels of competition, from weekend warriors to Olympians. She has a special focus on performing gait and movement-based analysis to determine the biomechanical faults that can lead to injury.

Dr. Labelle has been a tutor in the Technique Department at CMCC for the last 10 years. She is passionate about helping to teach all chiropractic students, regardless of size and strength, to use their bodies most efficiently and effectively in order to treat their patients.

Dr. Labelle is an avid runner and five-time marathoner who just completed the Chicago Marathon in October 2018. She feels lucky to have a wonderful, supportive husband and extremely grateful to be the mother of a beautiful 3-year-old boy.

PERFORMER: Sarah Koughan

Sarah Koughan is originally from the sleepy, cottage town of Orillia, Ontario. She began her post-secondary education at Queen’s University, where she obtained an Honours Bachelor of Science. After graduation, she was delighted to accept her offer to attend CMCC as a member of the class of 2020.

In addition to academics, music has always represented an essential part of Sarah’s life. Singing and performing from a young age has provided her many opportunities to face her fears, and express the sides of herself which may otherwise be left invisible.

While you may recognize Sarah from the halls of CMCC, you may not know that she, like many other familiar faces, has persevered through an anxiety disorder and depression. While these experiences were at times extremely challenging, she remains incredibly thankful, as they strengthened her passion for mental health advocacy and the provision of patient-centered care.

Sam Yaghmour

Sam Yaghmour is a Year III chiropractic student who has established himself as the go-to guy for competitive swimmers and triathletes. He graduated from the University of Toronto with a Bachelor of Kinesiology with High Honors. Sam has earned numerous academic excellence awards, as well as multiple academic All-Canadian statuses. When he completed his post-secondary studies, he was inducted to the R. Tait McKenzie Academic Honor Society recognizing outstanding students.

Sam’s competitive swimming journey took off after winning a silver medal at the Canadian Junior National Championships. He later joined the prestigious varsity swim team at the University of Toronto, where he had the opportunity to train with two of Canada’s top high-performance coaches. He also accomplished his dream of representing his home country, Lebanon, on the international stage, where he broke several national records.

After 16 years of competitive swimming, he hung up his goggles to pursue his new obsession…chiropractic.

Dr. Varsha Kumar

Dr. Varsha Kumar was born in India, was a toddler in Dubai, spent a large part of her professional career in the USA but is a proud Torontonian.

She completed her undergraduate degree in Nutritional Sciences and Economics from the University of Toronto. Upon her graduation from CMCC, she spent 2 years practicing in various multidisciplinary clinics, however, having developed a passion for radiology during her chiropractic training, she wanted to take her career in radiology further. She successfully completed her American board exams and relocated to California for the residency program at the Southern California University of Health Sciences and acquired the Diplomate of the American Chiropractic Board of Radiology (DACBR).

Dr. Kumar moved back to Toronto in 2015 and began her journey at CMCC again as the Diagnostic Imaging Program Coordinator in the Graduate Studies department. While enjoying her involvement with the residents, she craved an interaction with the undergraduate students as well and further expanded her role to not only teaching select undergraduate radiology courses but also acting as a resource instructor in the Clinical Sciences department.

She describes her role as very unique, challenging, yet fulfilling as she’s the sole faculty member at CMCC who works 50% within Graduate Studies and 50% within Undergraduate Education and tries her best to balance her time and contribution to both worlds.

Dr. Kumar reports that some of her greatest professional accomplishments are: presenting a poster at the world’s largest medical radiology conference (The Radiological Society of North America), completing her DACBR early and being the youngest Imaging Residency Program Coordinators in a chiropractic institution.