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Bonnie Henry, MD, Provincial Health Officer, British Columbia
As British Columbia’s most senior public health official, Dr. Henry is responsible for monitoring the health of all British Columbians and undertaking measures for disease prevention and control and health protection. Most recently, she led the province’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its drug overdose emergency.
Dr. Henry’s experience in public health, preventative medicine, and global pandemics has extended throughout her career. She was deputy provincial health officer for three years and also served as the medical director of Communicable Disease Prevention and Control and Public Health Emergency Management with the BC Centre for Disease Control. From 2005 to 2014, she was medical director for the province’s emerging and vector-borne diseases program, as well as a program for surveillance and control of health care associated infections.
In 2003, Dr. Henry was with Toronto Public Health where she was the operational lead in the response to the SARS outbreak. She was also a member of the executive team of the Ontario SARS Scientific Advisory Committee. She has also worked internationally for the WHO in its polio eradication program in Pakistan and Ebola control in Uganda.
Dr. Henry is a specialist in public health and is board certified in preventive medicine in the United States. She graduated from Dalhousie Medical School and completed a master’s in public health in San Diego, residency training in preventive medicine at the University of California, San Diego, and in community medicine at the University of Toronto
Thomas Homer-Dixon, PhD, Executive Director, Cascade Institute, Royal Roads University
Homer-Dixon is founder and director of the Cascade Institute at Royal Roads University. Until 2022, he held a University Research Chair at the University of Waterloo and before that he held the George Ignatieff Chair in Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Toronto. Born in Victoria, British Columbia, he received his BA in political science from Carleton University and his PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in international relations, defense policy, and conflict theory. Called “one of the best-informed and most brilliant writers on global affairs today,” by the Guardian, he is considered among the world’s leading experts on the intricate links between nature, technology, and society.
Homer-Dixon writes regularly for the Globe and Mail and has published in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, Scientific American, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Financial Times. A bestselling author, his award-winning books include Environment, Scarcity, and Violence; The Ingenuity Gap; and The Upside of Down. His latest book, Commanding Hope, was published by Knopf Canada in 2020.
Alika Lafontaine, MD, President, Canadian Medical Association
An award-winning physician and social innovator, Dr. Lafontaine is the first Indigenous doctor listed in Medical Post’s 50 most powerful doctors and the first Indigenous physician to serve as president of the Canadian Medical Association. Born and raised in southern Saskatchewan, he has a mixed Indigenous ancestry of Métis, Anishinaabe, Cree, and Pacific Islander.
For almost two decades, he has held provincial and national medical leadership positions and is a respected authority on health systems, change management, social innovation, anti-racism, and reflective practice.
From 2013 to 2017, Dr. Lafontaine co-led the Indigenous Health Alliance project, one of the most ambitious health transformation initiatives in Canadian history. This alliance of Indigenous leaders representing more than 150 First Nations gained $68 million in federal funding for Indigenous health transformation in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario. Dr. Lafontaine was recognized for this work by the Public Policy Forum, with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau presenting the award.
In 2020, Dr. Lafontaine co-founded Safespace Networks with his brother Kamea, an Indigenous dentist and software developer. Safespace Networks is a learning platform for safe and anonymous reporting of health care harm and waste. Patients and providers use the platform to share their lived and observed experiences, providing insights into health care systems without risk of retaliation. These insights can be used by patients to better navigate health systems or by decision-makers, advocates, and funders to make better informed decisions.
Dr. Lafontaine continues to practise anesthesia in Northern Alberta.
Victoria Sweet, MD, Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco
Dr. Sweet is an associate clinical professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, and a prize-winning historian with a PhD in history. She practised medicine for over 20 years at Laguna Honda Hospital in San Francisco, where she began writing.
Her published works include God’s Hotel: A Doctor, a Hospital, and a Pilgrimage to the Heart of Medicine (Riverhead, 2012). In this book she lays out evidence — in stories of her patients and her hospital — for some radically new ideas about medicine and health care. In Slow Medicine: The Way to Healing, she expands and builds on those ideas and stories. In trying to control costs by privileging “efficiency,” she suggests, we’ve been headed down the wrong path. Medicine works best — i.e., arrives at the right diagnosis and the right treatment for the least amount of money — when it is personal and face-to-face, when the doctor has enough time to do a good job and pays attention, not only to the patient but to what’s around the patient.
Dr. Sweet speaks frequently to medical professionals and the public about “slow medicine” and related topics. The New York Times has called her ideas “hard-core subversion”; Vanity Fair judged God’s Hotel to be a “radical and compassionate alternative to modern healthcare”; and Health Affairs has described Dr. Sweet as a “visionary” and “subversive in all the best ways.” In 2014, she was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for Slow Medicine.
Debate Session Speakers
Eric Cadesky, MD
Dr. Cadesky is a full-service family and residential care doctor in Vancouver. He is an Associate Professor of Medicine at UBC and was the 2018-19 President of Doctors of BC where he currently serves as the Speaker of the Representative Assembly.
Ramneek Dosanjh, MD
Dr. Dosnajh is a family physician, hospitalist and child and youth mental health advocate. The immediate past-president of Doctors of BC, Dr. Dosanjh has held other leadership positions including Secretary and President of BC Family Doctors, member of Doctors of BC’s Representative Assembly and Board member on the Division of Family Practice. She has also served as the physician lead for Child Youth Mental Health Substance Use Collaborative in White Rock South Surrey.
Dietrich Furstenburg, MD, Anesthesiology Resident, McGill University
Dr. Dietrich Furstenburg is currently a PGY2 Anesthesiology resident at McGill University. Prior to his current residency, he spent several years practicing as a full service Family Physician in Rural Northern B.C. as well as a full time ER physician in Prince George B.C. He has held multiple senior regional medical leadership roles within a Health Authority and has served on several strategic provincial committees. He holds a Masters of Management from McGill University focused on Health Leadership. He presently serves on the Board of the Canadian Society of Physician Leadership.
Senator Gigi Osler, MD, Winnipeg, MB
Senator Osler was appointed to the Senate of Canada on September 26, 2022.
Flordeliz (Gigi) Osler is an internationally renowned surgeon and a dedicated advocate for health and health care. Born and raised in Winnipeg to immigrant parents from the Philippines and India, she completed her medical school and residency training in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Manitoba. She then did further subspecialty training at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver. Dr. Osler holds a Graduate Certificate in Global Surgical Care from the University of British Columbia and has completed the Director’s Education Program from the Institute for Corporate Directors-Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto. Senator Osler has been a key voice for health care system reform and has raised awareness of the health impacts of climate change in Canada.
Senator Osler is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Manitoba and was the Head of the Section of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck at St. Boniface Hospital in Winnipeg from 2010 to 2019. In 2018, she became the first female surgeon and the first racialized woman elected as President of the Canadian Medical Association (CMA). While at the CMA she championed principles of equity, diversity and inclusion within medicine and led the development of the CMA’s first ever policy on equity and diversity. Senator Osler has held leadership roles with the Canadian Society of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, was the 2021-22 President of the Federation of Medical Women of Canada, the 2022-22 Chair of the Canadian Medical Forum, and Co-Chair of the Virtual Care Task Force from 2019-2022.
Senator Osler is the recipient of numerous honours and awards, including the University of Manitoba Distinguished Alumni Award and the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada May Cohen Equity, Diversity and Gender Award. She has been named as a Women’s Executive Network (WXN) 2019 Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award Winner and to the Medical Post’s 2021 Power List. Senator Osler was also inducted into the Government of Canada’s Women of Impact in Canada online gallery in 2022.
Kathleen Ross, MD
Dr. Ross is a family physician in Coquitlam and New Westminster, British Columbia; she works clinically in community primary care, including obstetrics and surgical assists in cardiovascular surgery, at Royal Columbian Hospital (RCH). She holds a MSc in Pathology and a MD from the University of British Columbia and teaches in the UBC Department of Medicine undergraduate and postgraduate programs.
Numerous leadership roles have provided Dr. Ross the opportunity to establish health care policy and lead grassroots improvement in both community and acute care services, including: past president of Doctors of BC; founding member and chair of the Fraser Northwest Division of Family Practice (FNDFP), RCH’s Collaborative Services Council and FNWDFP’s Shared Care Committee; and president of the RCH Medical Staff Association.
As a founding member of Doctors of BC’s Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Group in 2018 and physician lead for RCH’s Antiracism and Unconscious Bias Working Group in 2021, Dr. Ross remains committed to fostering learning, awareness, education and ongoing implementation of inclusive, diverse and antiracist practices in health care.
In recognition of her long-standing community and international volunteer and service work, Dr. Ross was inducted into the Terry Fox Wall of Fame in Port Coquitlam in 2019.
Rashaad Bhyat, MD, Clinician Leader, Engagement and Marketing, Canada Health Infoway
Dr. Rashaad Bhyat serves as Clinician Leader on the Engagement team at Canada Health Infoway. He is a practicing family physician with a passion for Digital Health technology and an accomplished medical communicator. Over the past decade, he has advised Infoway on numerous initiatives across Canada, including virtual care, EMR/EHR adoption and optimization, electronic prescribing (PrescribeIT), remote patient monitoring, increasing patient access to health records, and clinician-focused digital transformation.
In addition to his medical training, Dr. Bhyat completed a Masters Certificate in Physician Leadership from York University’s Schulich School of Executive Management, a Certificate in Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare from McMaster University, and executive education in Leading Digital Transformation at Harvard Medical School.
Currently he practices in an EMR-enabled family medicine clinic in the Greater Toronto Area.
Ming-Ka Chan, MD, Pediatrics Clinician Educator and Co-Director, Office of Leadership Education, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba
Ming-Ka Chan is a Pediatrics Clinician Educator at the University of Manitoba and The Children’s Hospital of Winnipeg. She is the Co-Director, Office of Leadership Education, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences and Pediatrics Lead, Equity, Diversity, Inclusivity and Social Justice. She is also the Chair, Sanokondu Leadership & Governance Team, a learning community dedicated to health leadership education.
Amanda Condon, MD, Associate Dean, PGME Student Affairs and Wellness, Max Rady College of Medicine, University of Manitoba
Dr. Condon is a family physician practicing comprehensive family medicine in Notre Dame de Lourdes, MB. She provides full-service family practice, including, clinic, hospital and long-term care. She regularly teaches medical students and family medicine residents as part of my clinical work. Dr. Condon is also the Associate Dean PGME Student Affairs and Wellness at the Max Rady College of Medicine and the Director of Immunization for Rady Faculty of Health Sciences.
Graham Dickson, PhD, Partner, LEADS Global, Senior Research Advisor, Canadian Society of Physician Leaders
Graham Dickson is a Senior Research Advisor to the Canadian Society of Physician Leaders (CSPL) and the Canadian Health Leadership Network (CHLNet). Dr. Dickson’s research work includes as PI for a four-year Canadian Institutes of Health Research and Michael Smith Foundation’s Partnership for Health Systems Improvement grant-funded national project; PI for two studies on physician leadership and engagement for the CSPL, and recently, with Doctors BC, exploring the leadership needs of Medical Association Executive in BC hospitals.
Dr. Dickson has co-authored a book entitled Bringing Leadership to Life in Health: LEADS in a Caring Environment. He has had peer-reviewed articles on leadership published in many journals.
Dr. Dickson is the principal in LEADS Global, a not-for-profit enterprise to enable countries outside of Canada to use LEADS for leadership development. He helped to develop the Master of Arts in Leadership (Health specialization) for Royal Roads University and was the founding Director of the Centre for Health Leadership and Research.
Renee Fernandez, MD, Executive Director, BC Family Doctors
Dr. Renée Fernandez is a physician leader who is committed to transforming healthcare to create health, healing and justice for all.
She is a practicing family doctor in Vancouver and the Executive Director of BC Family Doctors. She is passionate about promoting diversity of thinking and courageous leadership. She believes in the power of relationships and community to create meaningful change.
Pat Ferris, MSW, RCSW, M.SC., Ph.D., Consultant, Trainer and Coach
Pat has worked in the field of Respect in the Workplace, including discrimination, harassment, and bullying for 30 years. She provides organizational training to employees and management on Respect in the Workplace, consults about policy, provides facilitated conversations, and team repair in the wake of harassment and bullying incidents. Pat also provides clinical treatment of those injured by harassment and bullying and coaching for those who have been abrasive or engaged in founded misconduct.
Pat is currently on the IAWBH Committee on Sexual Harassment in the workplace and is involved with starting the non-profit organization HOPE: Humanizing and Optimizing Provider/Patient/Public Experience. She has published journal articles and chapters in Handbooks on the topic of workplace bullying and harassment and is currently writing a book on the management of the dynamics of workplace bullying and harassment.
Her Ph.D. is in Organizational Psychology where she studied the quality of work-life issues such as bullying and stress and their relationship to cardiovascular disease.
Jackie Gruber, MSc
Jackie Gruber currently is the Director of the Respect, Diversity, and Inclusion office at British Columbia Institute of Technology where she supports the Institute’s values of championing diversity and inclusion, engaging with respect and pursuing collaboration. Ms. Gruber worked at the University of Manitoba as the Human Rights and Conflict Management Officer and as the inaugural Director of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) for the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences. She was recently appointed by British Columbia’s Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction to the Technical Committee on Accessible Service Delivery in support of the Accessible BC Act.
Mary-Ellen Hynd, MBA, CPCC, PCC, ICF-Accredited Global Coach and Organizational Strategist
A seasoned International Coach Federation (ICF)-accredited coach and organizational strategist, Mary-Ellen Hynd is known for unlocking potential and turning ideas into meaningful action through leadership, sustainability, and communication. She specializes in coaching to develop a creative versus reactive mindset, using personal values to access resiliency and as a compass for communication and decision-making. Physician burnout and leadership coaching are her areas of expertise and passion, sparked in 2013 when she was recruited for the Schulich Executive Education Centre’s 10-month Physician Leadership Development Program to provide individual and group coaching plus guidance for complex action learning projects designed to improve the health care sector. Ms. Hynd is an active member and advocate for the ICF and the Canadian Physician Coaches Network.
Robert S. Johnston, MD, Physician Advisor, Safe Medical Care Learning, CMPA
Dr. Johnson is a physician advisor, safe medical care learning, at the Canadian Medical Protective Association (CMPA). A graduate of the University of Toronto Medical School, he completed a residency in family medicine at the University of Ottawa and later obtained flight surgeon qualification from the Defence Research and Development Canada School of Environmental Medicine.
After training in anesthesiology and fellowships in thoracic anesthesiology and medical informatics, Dr. Johnston practised clinical anesthesiology at the Ottawa Hospital and l’Hôpital Montfort. He has served as a trauma team leader at the Ottawa Hospital, a critical care air evacuation physician with the Royal Canadian Air Force, and medical director of the Canadian Armed Forces Medical Simulation Centre at CFB Valcartier.
A retired lieutenant-colonel, Dr. Johnston spent 20 years in the Canadian Armed Forces before joining the CMPA in 2017. He held many clinical, advisory, and educational roles in the CAF, including designing and delivering numerous military courses and training events. Because of his worldwide experience providing resuscitative care and his training in simulated crisis management and team dynamics, he has been influential in shaping military critical care and tactical care capabilities.
Katherine Larivière, MD, CCFP, FCFP, Physician Advisor, Safe Medical Care Learning, CMPA
Dr. Larivière is a physician advisor, safe medical care learning, at the Canadian Medical Protective Association (CMPA). Before joining the CMPA, she worked as an academic, full-time family physician and residency program site director with the University of Ottawa’s Department of Family Medicine.
She earned her medical degree at the University of Ottawa, where she also completed a family medicine residency. Her family practice included home visits, palliative care, inpatient care, and had a focus on geriatrics. She has been involved in resident education and wellness initiatives and has pursued training in quality improvement.
Jerry Maniate, MD, Founding Director, Equity in Health Systems Lab
Jerry Maniate is a physician, educator, researcher and leader, and an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Ottawa/The Ottawa Hospital. He is the Founding Director of the Equity in Health Systems Lab (www.eqhslab.com), a transdisciplinary team working to identify and address inequities in the health care system that are experienced by patients, families, and health care providers.
Ray Markham, MD, Executive Director, Rural Coordination Centre of BC
Dr. Markham is executive director of the Rural Coordination Centre of BC, a clinical professor in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of British Columbia, and a health systems advisor at UBC Health. He has worked in rural family practice for over 20 years and currently lives in Valemount, BC, where he practises full-service rural generalist family medicine in the Robson Valley. His diverse and productive medical career has taken him across the globe, including to South Africa, the United Kingdom, Antarctica, Kenya, Haiti, and Zimbabwe. He is passionate about rural medicine in BC, where he helped establish Northern Interior’s Rural Division of Family Practice as one of its founding directors and led its primary care network implementation.
Anne Matlow, MD, FRCPC, CEC, Professor, Departments of Medicine and Pediatrics, University of Toronto
Dr. Matlow is a professor of medicine and pediatrics at the University of Toronto‘s Temerty Faculty of Medicine where she is faculty lead, PG leadership, and codirector of the PG Leadership Certificate Program. Over her career, she has held numerous leadership positions in patient safety and infection control at the provincial, national, and international levels. As safety systems educator at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) and in partnership with CSPL and LEADS Global, she led the committee that developed the popular leadership simulation game, SimuLEADerShip. She is now a subject matter expert on quality improvement at the RCPSC. Anne is a founding member and is on the Governance and Leadership Committee of Sanokondu, a community of practice dedicated to fostering leadership education for health care professionals worldwide. She recently became a certified executive coach.
Nancy M. Merrow, MD, CCFP(PC), FCFP, G(CEC), former Chief of Staff and Vice President, Medical Affairs, Orillia Soldiers Memorial Hospital
Dr. Merrow is a Certified Executive Coach with a career in senior medical leader roles. Her clinical background is in family medicine and palliative care. She recently retired as chief of staff and vice president of medical affairs at Orillia Soldiers Memorial Hospital. Her previous experience includes over 20 years as chief of staff at hospitals ranging from small rural to large regional organizations. She has successfully navigated most of the sticky situations that arise in managing the medical staff in hospitals.
Dr. Merrow 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 success and the advancement of medical practitioners in leadership roles.
Tach Murray, B.Sc., MPH, Director, Operations and Finance, East Toronto Family Practice Network
Tach Murray is director of operations and finance for the East Toronto Family Practice Network (East Toronto Ontario Health Team), where she leads the design, implementation, and evaluation of East Toronto health systems, together with the East Toronto community and family practice community. Beginning her career as a civil servant with Toronto Public Health and Public Health Ontario, Ms. Murray’s portfolio includes developing regional and provincial health policies and programs in the areas of public health epidemiology, communicable diseases, infection prevention and control, health promotion, and chronic disease management. She holds a master’s degree in public health from the University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health.
Birinder Narang, MD, Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Family Practice, University of British Columbia
Dr. Birinder Narang is a notable medical professional and influential community leader. He is a Clinical Assistant Professor with the Department of Family Practice at the University of British Columbia, a Medical Contributor for Global BC and CKNW 980, and a Family Physician for the REACH Community Health Centre. His innate leadership qualities also see him in the role of Chair for the Board of Directors at Burnaby Divisions of Family Practice, as well as the Board of Governors for the South Asian Community Health Task Force where he also co-founded the ‘This Is Our Shot’ Vaccine Confidence Campaign across Canada.
Dr. Narang is a community champion of health, advocacy, and culture and has made notable contributions, both medically and communally. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Narang has played a pivotal role in the dissemination of resources, support, and health information to the community and has quickly become a trusted, reliable health source for his community members. As such, he received the 2021 College of Family Physicians of Canada’s Award of Excellence.
He is also a memorable cultural personality within the South Asian community. He is a professional “Dhol” drum player, lover of music and Punjabi culture, and passionate about mentoring young community members.
Malcolm Ogborn, MBBS, FRCPC, COC, PCC, Coaching Lead, The Optimistic Doc
Dr. Ogborn is a retired pediatric nephrologist and senior physician leader, who now focuses on physician coaching and leadership development. He holds certifications in organizational coaching, emotional intelligence, and conflict management. He is a member of the Canadian Society of Physician Leaders’ coaches group and vice chair of the Canadian Physician Coaches Network.
Much of Dr. Ogborn’s coaching and leadership consulting now involves assisting individual physicians and health care organizations where conflict between physicians is impacting patient care. He provides coaching and leadership development support internationally from his home base in Kelowna, BC, when not hauling kokanee and rainbow trout out of the lakes in summer and skiing in winter. He is the author of Sudden Leadership – A Survival Guide for Physicians.
John Pawlovich, MD, Chair, Rural Health, University of British Columbia, Virtual Health Lead, Rural Coordination Centre of BC
Dr. Pawlovich is a clinical professor and the chair in rural health at the University of British Columbia. He acts as director of the Rural Education Action Plan, medical director for Carrier Sekani Family Services, and the virtual health lead for the Rural Coordination Centre of BC. In these roles, Dr. Pawlovich draws on his rural health care experience to innovate services and supports in remote regions and better address inequities in the health care system.
Michael Quon, MD
Dr. Quon is a General Internal Medicine specialist at The Ottawa Hospital (TOH). The start of his career was delayed because of a terrible road cycling crash and a traumatic brain injury. Since his rehabilitation and clinical work reintegration, he has been focused on improving support, accommodations and opportunities for physicians with disabilities.
Dr. Quon successfully helped develop both a position statement and accommodations policy for physicians with disabilities at TOH. These initiatives were the first of their kind nationally. He is also collaborating with innovative Doctors with Disabilities Initiative in the United States and the Canadian Medical Association to develop best practice policies and accelerate improvements on disability inclusion.
Saleem Razack, MD, Professor, Department of Pediatrics, BCCH Research Institute and Centre for Health Education Scholarship, University of British Columbia
Dr. Razack recently joined the faculty at UBC/BC Children’s Hospital, after a 25-year career as a pediatric intensivist and medical educator/education researcher at McGill University. A graduate of the University of Toronto, he has held senior clinical leadership and educational positions throughout his career. His research Interests include the teaching of leadership and its overlap with health equity, and the intersection of assessment and professionalism with representation; equality-diversity-inclusion; and anti-racism.
Dr. Razack is a recipient of the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada’s May Cohen award for outstanding contributions to equity in medical education, the Haile T. Debas award for contributions to equity in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at McGill, and the Pediatric Chairs of Canada award for outstanding contribution to medical education.
Aaron Sacheli, MD, CCFP, Department of Family And Community Medicine, University of Toronto
Dr. Sacheli is a family physician with the Bridgepoint Family Health Team in Toronto, where he provides team-based primary care. During his residency, he held leadership positions with the Department of Family Medicine at Western University (Schulich) and the Ontario College of Family Physicians. Over the past year, Dr. Sacheli has helped develop and implement primary care capacity-building strategies as a physician lead with the East Toronto Family Practice Network. Through the network, he continues to support community-based primary care sustainability projects. Dr. Sacheli received his medical degree from St. George’s University and completed a residency at Western University (Schulich). He holds a clinical appointment with the Department of Community and Family Medicine at the University of Toronto.
Nadia Salvaterra, MD, Indigenous Health Program, Zone Clinical Department Head Family Medicine, Alberta Health Services
Dr. Nadia Salvaterra is a settler on Treaty 6 territory and lives in Edmonton with her husband and three lively children aged 7 to 10. She is a family physician and has been the Department Head of Family Medicine at Alberta Health Services for three years. Prior to this, she lived in the arctic for 10 years where she provided full-scope rural and remote family medicine and served as regional and territorial medical director in the NWT. Since moving to Edmonton, she has worked clinically with the Indigenous Health Program providing community primary care to the urban Indigenous population. As Department Head, Dr. Salvaterra has been instrumental in planning and leading the COVID response across Edmonton’s nine acute care hospitals, including planning and running Alberta’s only operational field hospital in wave five of COVID. Dr. Salvaterra is passionate about equitable access to care, health policies to support sustainable primary care and leadership development. She has been a member of CSPL since 2014 and serves on the Board.
Anurag Saxena, MD, MEd, MBA, CHE, CCPE, Professor of Pathology, Associate Dean, Postgraduate Medical Education, University of Saskatchewan
Dr. Saxena is a professor of pathology and associate dean, Postgraduate Medical Education, at the University of Saskatchewan. In addition to certifications in medicine and pathology in India, Canada, and the USA, he has qualifications in education; business and health care administration; coaching; emotional intelligence training; business analytics; and equality, diversity and inclusion. He is engaged in clinical service, administration, teaching, and research. He also consults and coaches, both nationally and internationally.
Dr. Saxena has influenced change and developed and implemented policy and strategy in many areas, including accreditation, competency-based medical education, quality improvement, and transformative learning and social responsiveness. He has combined data-driven decision-making with human factors to re-engineer business processes, including LEAN management in medical education. He serves on the council of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and has been a member of various other boards.
Dr. Saxena has received many awards for teaching. He has conducted research in cancer and heart disease, but his current research and scholarly work focus on leadership: praxis, leadership development, systems thinking, and societal change. With a dialectic worldview integrating philosophy with pragmatism, he is committed to promoting healthy, balanced societies and personal well-being.
Lyn Sonnenberg, MD. Professor Pediatrics, University of Alberta, Director, Learning, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada
An educational innovator, Lyn Sonnenberg is a forward-thinking, intuitive, and strategic advisor who inspires and empowers. An experienced clinical and academic leader with advanced skills in assessment and education technology, she is recognized nationally and internationally for her teaching excellence, both as a medical education futurist and an equity, diversity, inclusivity, and ableism champion. She is a Professor of Pediatrics and practicing neurodevelopmental pediatrician at the University of Alberta and is the Director, Learning at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.
Andrew Travers, MD, MSc, FRCPC, CCPE, Provincial Medical Director, Emergency Health Services, Nova Scotia
Andrew Travers is a native of Nova Scotia having completed his undergraduate BSc and Medical degrees at Dalhousie University. He pursued postgraduate training in Epidemiology at the University of Alberta, Faculty of Public Health and received his fellowship training in Emergency Medicine with the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in 1999. Currently he is professor and attending medical staff in the Dalhousie Department of Emergency Medicine, with cross-appointments in Community Health & Epidemiology, and is the Provincial Medical Director for Emergency Health Services Nova Scotia. In 2017, he was awarded the credential Canadian Certified Physician Executive from the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) and the Canadian Society of Physician Leaders.
Johny Van Aerde, MD, PhD, Health System Consultant
Dr. Van Aerde has 25 years of experience as a Neonatologist, the first 10 years as a clinician-researcher, the next 15 years in different leadership roles, including medical director of several neonatal intensive care units, the Pediatric Home Nutrition Program for Northern Alberta, the neonatal initiative for Collaborative Practice and Quality Improvement and, Regional Director of the Northern Alberta Neonatal Intensive Care Program. Dr. Van Aerde 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.
Dr. Van Aerde holds a PhD in Medical Sciences, a Master’s Degree in Leadership Studies and has published over 80 peer-reviewed papers, 20 book chapters and 150 abstracts. He has 20 years of medico-legal experience and has provided and continues to provide consulting services for many academic and health care organizations.
Karan Vats, MD, General Pathology Resident, University of Saskatchewan
Karan Vats is a 4th year General Pathology resident at the University of Saskatchewan. He is the Past-President of Resident Doctors of Saskatchewan (RDoS) and has been a board director of Resident Doctors of Canada (RDoC) since 2021. Karan values equity in medical education and continuous quality improvement in residency programs across Canada. He is a member of various committees at the Royal College of Surgeons and Physicians of Canada and is also a part of the medical education team at RDoC.
Katherine Ward, Network Health Reporter, Global News
Katherine Ward is an award-winning multi-platform journalist with over a decade of experience working on air as a reporter and anchor. She is currently Global News’ network health reporter. She writes stories on a wide range of topics from COVID and ICUs to tornadoes. She has produced feature length series, such as examining how people experiencing homelessness receive palliative care. She was recently part of an investigative team that won a national award for exposing the prevalence of lead contamination in drinking water. Ms. Ward is known for her on-air skills, multi-media innovations in telling stories, connecting with the communities she covers, and finding the humanity in every story. She holds a BA in theatre performance and English (University of Toronto) and a postgraduate journalism degree (Humber College).
Michelle Ward, MD, Communications Expert, Associate Professor, University of Ottawa
Dr. Ward is a communications expert, pediatrician, and associate professor in Ottawa. She believes that good health communication leads to better health. Throughout her 20 years in general pediatric and child maltreatment medicine, she has focused on translating complex health information for a wide audience, including patients, parents, health professionals, lawyers, and police officers. She is adept at connecting and communicating in high-stakes situations. She teaches and mentors other professionals, improving their clinical, educational, medicolegal, and media communication skills.
She completed a fellowship in global journalism (University of Toronto) and a postgraduate certificate in media and medicine (Harvard University). In addition to appearances on radio and TV news, her work as a journalist has appeared in The Globe and Mail, National Post, Toronto Star, CBC, CTV, and many other outlets.
Jennifer Williams, MD
Dr. Williams is a connector with and of people and ideas, who believes that we can transform our systems by creating healing, restorative, and transformative cultures. Formerly, a clinical associate professor at the Cumming School of Medicine in Calgary, Dr. Williams has practised gastroenterology for 15 years. She has held numerous leadership roles including on the Alberta Medical Association’s Board of Directors where she was integral in the development of the AMA’s Healthy Work Environment Framework, was a founding member of the Specialty Care Alliance, and a courageous ally and advocate for physicians and patients. Dr. Williams has completed additional leadership and wellness training through the Haskayne School of Business and has Chief Wellness Officer certification from Stanford. She has served in leadership roles in AHS in the Diversity, Wellness and Development; as a physician associate and collaborator with Well Doc Alberta; and as the deputy Department of Medicine chair (clinical).
Dr. Williams currently works with Island Health as the first gastroenterologist in Nanaimo. She is a member of the Endoscopy Quality Council and Working Group for Creating Trauma Informed Endoscopy Units. She and Jodi Ploquin created SAFER trauma informed leadership. She is also a founding member of Project HOPE (Humanizing and Optimizing the Provider Experience) aimed at empowering healing, restorative and ultimately transformational teams and systems by weaving humanity into everything we do.
Kim Williams, BScN, MScN, Networks Director, Rural Coordination Centre of British Columbia
Kim received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Victoria and her Master of Science in Nursing from the University of British Columbia. She also has certificates in both leadership and engagement. Kim’s commitment to interdisciplinary collaborative care and equitable access to safe care as close to home as possible has led her to participate in many provincial initiatives. Kim joined the Rural Coordination Centre of BC in 2017 to co-lead the Rural Surgical and Obstetrical Networks initiative. She continues to work in collaboration with others to help improve the health of rural citizens and communities. Kim enjoys being on the water and in the mountains with friends and family.
Valerie Williams, Director, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba
Valerie Williams is Black Canadian, born and raised on Treaty 1 Territory. In her role as the Director, Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba, Valerie delivers an EDI Strategy grounded in social justice.
Debrah Wirtzfeld, MD, Executive Coach
Dr. Wirtzfeld is an executive coach with over 10 years of experience working with senior and executive leaders in developing their potential and recognizing their preferred future. She has a passion for helping clients navigate sustainable and impactful career transitions. The power of her approach is in engaging clients around the equation “empowered performance = potential – interference” (Tom Gallwey). She challenges clients to expand their strategic networks, focus their time and attention, step up to act despite fear or a lack of confidence, and own their successes to optimize their potential. She has incorporated her approach into her successful She Knows ShiFt! Career Transitions Coaching Package.
Dr. Wirtzfeld holds an MD from the University of Calgary, an ICD.D from Rotman, and an MBA and Certificate in Executive Coaching from Royal Roads University. She is accredited in the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, PROSCI® Change Management, EQi-2.0, and as a facilitator for Crucial Conversations.