Interim Clinical Director


Elissa Flagg, M.H.Sc., Ph.D., Reg. CASLPO, SLP(C), Speech-Language Pathologist

Elissa joined The Speech & Stuttering Institute in 2013 after receiving her Master of Health Science in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Toronto. Prior to becoming a registered Speech-Language Pathologist, Elissa earned a Ph.D. in Linguistics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, completed a post-doctoral research fellowship at the University of Toronto/University Health Network, and taught Linguistics. At The Speech & Stuttering Institute, Elissa has worked with children and their families as an SLP in the Children’s Speech Therapy Program, creating individualized therapy programs to help children with speech production and motor speech difficulties to improve their communication skills. Elissa has also served as Program Evaluator for The Speech & Stuttering Institute’s MCCSS-funded provincial training programs. Elissa also currently serves on the Council of CASLPO, the regulatory college for the professions of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology in Ontario.  Email Elissa Flagg at:

Director, Ministry Relations and E-Learning Champion

Margit Pukonen, M.H.Sc., Reg. CASLPO

Margit Pukonen is the Program Director at The Speech & Stuttering Institute.  She received her Master of Health Science degree in speech-language pathology from the University of Toronto and has worked at The SSI (formerly Speech Foundation of Ontario) since it opened its doors in the 1980s. She has been a front line clinician, managed the clinical programs and has overseen the development and evaluation of new treatment and professional training programs for children with motor speech disorders.  She has participated in research studies and coauthored publications on the subject. She also has  extensive experience running and developing group therapy programs and professional training workshops. Under Margit’s professional leadership we continue to offer our unique brand of excellence in care, education, research, and adaptability to help serve our clients best! Email Margit Pukonen at:

LK photoDirector of Development 

Loriellen Karam

Loriellen Karam is the Director of Development for The Speech & Stuttering Institute.  Loriellen has a long history in the not-for-profit industry, most recently as a Development Specialist for Major Gifts at the Baycrest Foundation and previously, as the Director of Membership for Holy Blossom.  Loriellen has a passion for being able to make a lasting and meaningful positive impact on the lives of others.  In her role at The SSI, Loriellen’s current goal is to make major inroads to increase fundraising and effective communication to increase awareness and support for the organization’s mandate. Email Loriellen Karam at: