Conference Proceedings

Workshop Speakers Friday, April 28 — Day 1

Dr. Cecile Andreas MB,ChB, GCEC, ACPC(Group and Team) see workshop

Cecile is currently the Co-chair for the Kimberley-Cranbrook Child and Youth Mental Health Local Action Team. This collaboration has led to the creation of a multidisciplinary Eating Disorder Clinic serving the region. She is currently developing strategies to improve in collaborative care between mental health clinicians and family physicians and improvements in team based approaches to care for youth with mental health challenges.

Cecile brings her training as an Executive, Group and Team Coach to all her interactions: in leadership, collaboration, patient care, teaching and raising teenagers!


Cecile is known for her openness and her ability to ask the questions that focus on what is underneath resistance to change. She believes that trust is the foundation of collaborative work, and that who we are in our interactions, determines our success. Cecile trained in family medicine at the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa. She has worked in primary care in rural settings for the last 25 years, and continues to practice in Cranbrook, BC.

Dr. Alika Lafontaine is an award-winning physician, speaker, alignment consultant, and the first Indigenous physician listed by the Medical Post in Canada’s 50 Most Powerful Doctors. In 2016, he won the “Great Healthcare Debate” in behalf of the Indigenous Health Alliance, a competition voted on by more than 700 health leaders from across Canada.  Alika works with the IHA to align Indigenous communities, national medical organizations and health decision-makers towards practical implement of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action on health.  Alika currently sits on the council of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons, the board of HealthCareCAN and is immediate past-president of the Indigenous Physicians Association of Canada. see workshop

Anne Baldwin With over 25 years of healthcare experience, Anne Baldwin has worked in many aspects of the health care system, most recently focusing on digital health initiatives.  Anne has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of British Columbia and a Masters of Nursing from the University of Calgary. see workshop

Dr. Rashaad Bhyat is a Physician Leader in the Clinical Adoption team at Canada Health Infoway.


He is a family physician with a passion for Digital Health, advising Infoway on numerous projects across Canada since 2011. In this leadership role, he applies a broad knowledge of digital health, change management, health policy and professional practice in the Canadian health care system, towards addressing complex problems relating to the enhanced use of digital health solutions.


He currently practices in an EMR-enabled family practice in the Greater Toronto Area. In the past he has worked in three provinces, including as a Hospitalist in the Rouge Valley Health System. He is also an examiner for the College of Family Physicians of Canada. In his spare time, he enjoys recreational running (mostly after his two energetic small kids) and indoor rock climbing. see workshop

Dr. Eric Cadesky is full-service family physician in Vancouver, BC. He is a Clinical Assistant Professor at The University of British Columbia and chairs the Practice Survival Skills Conference for residents and early career physicians. He is the Medical Coordinator of the Louis Brier Home and Hospital, a 212 bed facility in Vancouver. A five-year board member with Doctors of British Columbia (formerly the BCMA), Dr. Cadesky currently sits as the Chair of the General Assembly and looks forward to leading a diverse Doctors of BC caucus at the 150th Canadian Medical Association General Council this summer in Quebec City. He can be followed on Twitter @DrCadesky

Scott Comber, Ph.D. is an associate professor in the Rowe School of Business, Dalhousie University. Scott’s teaching areas of foci are leadership and organizational behavior. His research agenda is in the areas of physician leadership development, values and ethics, and the scholarship of teaching and learning.


Scott refers to himself as a “pracademic,” a combination of seasoned practitioner and academic. Scott gained over 30 years of experience in the financial, IT, health care and consulting fields and established and incorporated two of his own companies before assuming his role at Dalhousie University. He has designed and led initiatives in organizations to develop leaders, create conflict resolution systems, and facilitate teams and leaders through change. He is action oriented and practical.


Scott is a keynote speaker, author and has been quoted in sources such as the Globe and Mail, Financial Post and Business Week. He is also certified as an Executive Coach and in Conflict Resolution and Negotiation.  see workshop

Dr. Dike Drummond is a Mayo trained Family Practice doctor, burnout survivor, author, executive coach and consultant to individual physicians and healthcare organizations across the USA. He teaches simple methods to lower stress, build more life balance and prevent burnout. Dr. Drummond has over 1700 hours of one on one physician coaching experience where the concepts and techniques you are about to learn were developed and tested in the real world.


Dr. Drummond is the CEO of with over 10,000 physician subscribers to his newsletter in 63 countries. He is the author of the book “Stop Physician Burnout – what to do when working harder isn’t working”, the first step by step burnout prevention manual for physicians.  see workshop


Lynn Edwards Senior Director of Primary Health Care/Chronic Disease Management, Nova Scotia Health Authority


 Lynn Edwards is the Senior Director of Primary Health Care / Chronic Disease Management with Nova Scotia Health Authority.


Lynn completed her BSc Nutrition at Mount Saint Vincent University, her internship at St. Michael’s hospital and her Masters in Health Administration from Dalhousie University. She has completed her EXTRA Fellowship from CFHI.


Lynn has worked in both rural and urban Nova Scotia as a health administrator and a clinical dietitian working in a variety of inter-professional collaborative teams, and at the Department of Health in Primary Health Care and as the Director of Acute and Tertiary Care.


Health system integration as well as chronic disease prevention and management is an area of interest and professional focus throughout her career.

Dr. Michael Figurski My name is Ronald Michael Figurski, and I have been a full service family physician for over 25 years.  My training includes a BSc(hons) from University of Windsor, MD from U of Manitoba, Diploma of  Rural Anesthesia and ICU from University of Manitoba, Anesthesia R2 fellowship from UCLA, and recently my CPHIMs.  certified.  I am also a Certified Aviation Medical Examiner, and over 20 years experience in Emergency and Sports Medicine.  My goal is to provide comprehensive medical service to my community, and improve access to health care in underserviced and remote areas.

I am also CEO of Vistacan, a health software company using open source medical applications to improve patient care by giving patients full access to their medical information and allowing them to share and review that information as they  see fit.   For the last 20 years I have been the only physician in Big White BC, where I continue to reside with my two children.. see workshop

Colleen Grady is a researcher with a special interest in physician leadership development and complexity science. She brings to her work several years of leadership experience in healthcare, social services and local government and has supported organizations both large and small in how they encourage and cultivate the talent within.  In the last several years her leadership work has been primarily focused around physicians which has been the most fascinating journey of all. She has worked with, and presented to, physicians in B.C. and Ontario in order to support them in the challenges they face working in a complex system with constantly-shifting priorities.  She has had the privilege of working with physicians in both acute care and primary care, including 3 years as Executive Director of a Family Health Team.  Colleen currently holds the position of Associate Professor and Research Manager with the Centre for Studies in Primary Care, Department of Family Medicine, at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. see workshop

Dr. Asim Masood, Chief Medical Officer, Canada Health Infoway

As Chief Medical Officer for Infoway, Dr. Asim Masood provides strategic direction, leadership and advice on the clinical perspective across the organization, as well as thought leadership externally with professional associations, health providers and organizations at the jurisdictional and national levels. Dr. Masood is a highly regarded emergency department physician who has a B.Sc. from the University of Guelph, an MBA from McMaster University and a Doctor of Medicine from the University of British Columbia. Asim began practising as an emergency department physician in 1999, and has served as emergency department chief. Over the past 10 years, he has led numerous initiatives related to improving clinical practice and the quality of patient care through the adoption and use of digital health. Dr. Masood also held the roles of Deputy Chief of Staff and Chief Medical Information Officer at William Osler Health System (Osler) from 2005 to 2015. In 2015, he was appointed as the Regional Chief Medical Information Officer for Osler, Headwaters Healthcare Centre and the Central West Community Care Access Centre in Brampton and Orangeville, Ontario. Dr. Masood’s unique MBA training allows him to assess systems for operational efficiency, with fiscal accountability. He is a data driven, results oriented and patient focused physician leader see workshop

Dr. Nancy Merrow trained in Family Medicine at the University of Toronto and is a fellow of the College of Family Physicians of Canada. She has 20 years of experience in comprehensive primary care practice in a small community, and presently has a focused practice in Medical Leadership and Administration. Dr. Merrow is currently the Chief of Staff and Vice President of Medical Affairs at Orillia Soldiers Memorial Hospital in Orillia Ontario. Dr. Merrow has developed major programs in the hospital and the community including a new site for the Family Medicine residency program for the University of Toronto at Southlake, and a comprehensive integrated hospice palliative care program for the Stronach Regional Cancer Centre. She is certified as an Executive Coach and is applying the coach approach to leadership and mentoring of medical leaders.

Dr. Merrow is known for her quick wit and direct approach. She says what others are thinking, and asks the salient questions that illuminate complex or hidden agendas. She has a deep and abiding respect for those who strive to make a difference in health care, however disparate their opinions and styles may be. She is recognized as a mentor and a role model among her peers and trainees, and constantly acts to learn and grow with them. Her current career focus is on physician hospital relations, and the advancement of medical practitioners in leadership roles. see workshop

Dr. Carl Nohr graduated from McGill University in 1978.  From 1985 to 1995, he had an academic career at McGill University in General and Transplantation Surgery.  He was a Surgery Program Director, and received an award for excellence in teaching.  He obtained a PhD, and engaged in basic and clinical research.  Since 1995, he was re-invented as a community general surgeon in Medicine Hat, Alberta.  He has served in some leadership roles, including president of the local medical staff association, co-chair of the working group that wrote the Alberta Health Services provincial Medical Staff Bylaws and Rules, member of College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta Council, Speaker of the Alberta Medical Association (AMA), and Past-President of the AMA.  He has a lifelong passion for patient care, expressed in his interest in professionalism, the social contract, and organized medicine generally.  He is an avid student of health legislation, rules of order, and communication skills. He feels it is both a privilege and a duty to assist with the needs of the profession at every level.  His vision for the health care system is based on the principles of shared accountability and stewardship.  He believes relationships between patient, provider and payer are all critical.  He treats patients in his office as his guests, and supports them as partners in the co-creation of value in health encounters.  The major areas of needed system change are integration, health information management, physician compensation, government relations, precision self-regulation and overall system innovation and design. He loves to study, ponder, write and talk about professional matters. see workshop


David Peachey is a principal of Health Intelligence Inc., a Halifax-based health care consulting firm with clients in the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors. Prior to establishing the consulting firm in 1995, he was the Director of Professional Affairs at the Ontario Medical Association for ten years.


His clinical experience included comprehensive family medicine, emergency medicine, and urgent care.

Consulting work has focused on physician compensation and funding models, provincial and territorial physician workforce and clinical services planning, fee schedule reform, clinical governance, compensation database development and analysis, physician accountability, and measurement of clinical performance.


In addition to successfully completing seven provincial workforce and clinical services plans, he has presented workshops on physician compensation models and performance measures, consulted on the reforming of medical services, and advised governments on delivery and funding models for medical care. He has been the lead consultant on a number of projects analyzing physician compensation models and trends, drafting revisions to fee schedules and preambles, and conducting inter-provincial fee schedule comparisons and billing scenario analyses.

Clients have included federal, provincial, and territorial governments, professional associations, and the Canadian Institute for Health Information.

see workshop


Dr. Intheran Pillay is the current President of the Saskatchewan Medical Association. He is passionate about health system redesign as well as the improvement of inequities that affect our marginalized communities in Canada.

Dr. Pillay graduated from the University of Cape Town’s Medical School and had worked in South Africa for four years prior to moving to Canada.  His original three month stint in Gravelbourg, Saskatchewan turned into a 24-year career as Senior Medical Officer at St. Joseph’s Hospital.

Dr. Pillay is committed to rural family practice and is a member of the community faculty of the University of Saskatchewan.

see workshop

Meghan Rossiter BPhil, MA, is Improvement Lead, Knowledge Translation and Policy (KTP) at the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement. She brings a background in qualitative research linked to effective governance and public policy theories, with interest in health systems and improvement. She is experienced in supporting quality improvement collaboratives, including the Atlantic Healthcare Collaboration for Innovation and Improvement in Chronic Disease (AHC) and the INSPIRED Approaches to COPD collaborative. Currently, Meghan supports the development and implementation of CFHI’s KTP strategy as well as providing hands-on KTP support to CFHI collaboratives and programming. Meghan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Leadership from the University of New Brunswick’s Renaissance College program and a Master of Arts in Public Administration from the University of Ottawa. She lives and works in New Brunswick.

Dr Guruswamy Sridhar trained in India and completed his Internal Medicine training in United Kingdom and University of Saskatchewan. He completed his training in Sleep Medicine in United States. He is practising as Consultant Physician in Regina specializing in Sleep Medicine. He served in Saskatchewan Medical Association in various committees including Finance, Health Information Technology, Legislative and Policy. He served as President of Saskatchewan Medical Association in 2010. He has been the Saskatchewan representative in Canadian Medical Association Board of Directors for the last two years. He is the recipient of Canadian certificate of Physician Executive in the first cohort and requalified recently. Recently he has completed the Institute of Corporate Directors course offered by Rotman School of Business and Institute of Corporate Directors and received designation of ICD.D see workshop


John Van Aerde, John has > 25 years of experience as a Neonatologist, the first 10 as a clinician-researcher, the next 15 in different leadership roles, including medical director of several neonatal intensive care units, the Child Home Nutrition Program for Northern Alberta, the neonatal initiative or Collaborative Practice and Quality Improvement and, Regional director of the Northern Alberta Neonatal Intensive Care Program. Under his leadership and with the support of a large team, the latter program integrated 115 neonatal beds and one follow-up clinic in 5 different hospitals under one functional umbrella. After Alberta, he also served as Regional Medical Director for Neonatology at Fraser Health, BC, until 2014. Presently, he is a Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the Universities of Alberta and BC, Associate Faculty for the Master’s Program in Health Leadership at Royal Roads University in Victoria, BC, and Faculty for the Physician Leadership Institute (PMI) in Ottawa. He served on many committees for regional, provincial and national organizations, including the Alberta Clinician Council,Faculty of Medicine at the University of Alberta, the Canadian Paediatric Society and, as the President of the Canadian Society for Physician Executives (2013-15).


John holds a PhD in Medical Sciences, a Master’s degree in Leadership Studies and has published >70 peer-reviewed papers, 20 book chapters and 140 abstracts. He is the editor of the Canadian Journal of Physician Leadership and researches several aspects of physician leadership. He has been an invited speaker or facilitator for national and international organizations. He has 20 years of medico-legal experience and has provided/continues to provide consulting services for many academic and health care organizations. John practices systems theory by living in a self-sustainable house and by exploring forest regeneration, while his wife grows year-round organic food in Ladysmith, BC. see workshop

Jenn Verma, MSc, Senior Director, Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement

As a Senior Director at the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement, Jenn Verma leads large-scale health system improvement partnerships and quality improvement collaboratives across Canada. Jenn brings expertise in applied health services research and policy as well as experience in sharing and spreading evidence-informed healthcare solutions, with particular expertise in Triple Aim and chronic care improvement. She has developed and led a variety of quality improvement and knowledge translation (KT) initiatives with the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement, where she has worked for the last decade in KT, policy and collaboration for innovation and improvement. Previously, Jenn worked in the Department of Quality and System Improvement at Eastern Health in Newfoundland and Labrador. She also worked in communications and broadcast journalism as a producer and reporter. She holds a Master of Science in Medicine in Applied Health Services Research from Memorial University of Newfoundland and is a journalism graduate from the University of King’s College in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

see workshop