Workshop Speakers Friday, May 29 — Day 1

Ewan Affleck CM., BSc., MDCM A graduate of the McGill School of Medicine, and Dalhousie University where he studied history, Ewan Affleck has worked and lived in northern Canada since 1992. He is currently serving as the Senior Medical Advisor - Health Informatics, College of Physicians & Surgeons of Alberta, and is co-chair of the National Task Force on Virtual Care. He is the past Medical Director of the Yellowknife Health and Social Services Authority, Clinical Director of Family Medicine at Stanton Territorial Hospital, and Chief Medical Information Officer of the Northwest Territories. A digital health information systems expert, he pioneered the implementation of an enterprise electronic medical record system in the Northwest Territories that is unprecedented in Canada in its level of integration. He is passionate about developing sustainable health services for northern communities. He serves on boards in both the public and private sector, is a faculty member of the University of Calgary, and maintains a clinical practice in Yellowknife. He is the executive producer of The Patient’s Voice, a newly launched documentary film health advocacy project. He is an avid outdoorsman and adventurer, having participated in more than 10 human powered expeditions around the world. In 2013, he was appointed to the Order of Canada for his contribution to northern health care. Ewan is married and has two children. Workshop 1B

Rashaad Bhyat, MD

Dr. Rashaad Bhyat is a Physician Leader in the Access Health Services 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, including PrescribeIT and Access Health. In this leadership role, he applies a broad knowledge of digital health, change management, health policy and professional practice in the Canadian healthcare system, towards a goal of enhancing the use of digital health solutions. He currently practices in an EMR-enabled family medicine clinic in Brampton, Ontario. In his spare time, he enjoys coaching little league soccer, and recreational running (mostly after his two energetic young children). Workshop 1B Top


John Clarke, BA (Arts), Bed, MEd

John is a Training Associate for Thinking Collaborative (www.thinkingcollaborative.com). He is authorized to offer all levels of Cognitive Coaching Seminars®. John works with Corporate and Health Care Organizations, and School Districts in the areas of Leadership Development, Change Management, Communication Skills and the creation and sustainability of effective professional communities. He was a teacher, counselor, department head, assistant principal and principal with the Calgary Board of Education for 31 years.  Workshops 1G, 2G  Top

Dan Diamond, MD, Assistant Clinical Professor, Elson S. Floyd School of Medicine, Washington State University, Bremerton, WA, USA Well known for his work with corporations around the country, Dr. Dan Diamond equips leaders to make a difference when times are tough. Far from just motivational fluff, his rock-solid experience and trench-tested insights have been forged from the “front lines” of disasters around the globe. He was the Director of the Medical Triage Unit at the New Orleans Convention Center following Hurricane Katrina, led one of the first teams into Haiti after their devastating earthquake, and deployed to the Philippines following Typhoon Yolanda. Dr. Diamond is a Clinical Assistant Professor at the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine at Washington State University. He has received multiple awards including the Red Cross Real Hero Award, the Washington State Governor’s Award of Excellence, and President Obama’s Volunteer Service Award. He’s been seen on CNN, Anderson Cooper, and Larry King Live. This guy’s got something to say. Workshop 2B Top

Steve Foran, Founder, Gratitude at Work, Halifax, NS I began exploring the relationship between gratitude and philanthropic giving while completing Master's studies at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Since then, I’ve been writing and conducting practice-based gratitude research and teaching the habits of gratefulness - close to fifteen years now. What has emerged is our science-based program, Gratitude At Work. It's a simple, yet innovative approach to thriving leadership and business growth.


I founded Gratitude at Work in 2007 and started hosting conversations in my community which have since grown into work across Canada and the United States with leaders who want to put an end to entitlement and complacency at work.


Don’t blame me for being an electrical engineer. You’ll love the attention to detail and my thoughtful approach. My 2019 book, Surviving to Thriving - The 10 Laws of Grateful Leadership, made the recommended reading lists for Greater Good Science Center at University of California Berkeley and inc.com. I was an inaugural winner of Canada's CEO Trusted Advisor Awards Program in 2019.


I’m a son, brother, husband, father and newly minted grandfather. My kids poke fun at my gratitude work (air quotes) and in 2017, I was awarded the highest earned designation in professional speaking (CSP). I recently created STATUSGRO to give everyone easy on-line access to the secrets of gratitude and thriving leadership. I’m a lifelong resident of Halifax and doing my part to make my community a better place to live. Workshops 1A, 2A Top

Darren Larsen, MD, Chief Medical Officer, OntarioMD Inc., Lecturer, Institute for Health Policy Management and Evaluation, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, and Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON Over his 26 years as a comprehensive care Family Physician Darren has been involved in many provincial and national Health IT, Quality and Leadership initiatives in Canada.  He has advised and acted for OntarioMD, Joule, the Ontario Medical Association, and the Canadian Medical Association. He serves on multiple digital health, primary care and quality committees for Health Quality Ontario, eHealth Ontario and Cancer Care Ontario and the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care.  He is currently vice chair of the Cancer Quality Council of Ontario and a senior fellow at WIHV (Women’s College Hospital Institute for Health System Solutions and Virtual Care). His digital health interest include data analytics, measurement for quality improvement and accountability, physician change and issues of scale and spread.


Darren obtained his Bachelor of Science at the University of Alberta, Medical Doctorate at the University of Calgary, did residency at the University of Ottawa and holds a Masters Certificate in Physician Leadership from York University’s Schulich School of Executive Management.  He currently works as Chief Medical Officer for OntarioMD and teaches in the Department of Family and Community Medicine as well as the Institute for Health Policy Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto. Workshops 1F, 2F


Cathy MacLean, MD, Director, Faculty Development, College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK Dr. Cathy MacLean received her MD from Dalhousie University in 1985 and followed with her family medicine residency there before establishing a family practice “from scratch” at the Moncton Medical Clinic in 1987. She was soon teaching residents and medical students in her comprehensive practice that included obstetrics, in-patient hospital work, palliative care and emergency. She moved to academic family medicine at the University of Western Ontario in 1992 where she became Undergraduate Family Medicine Director. In 1997, she took the same role at Dalhousie. From 2007 to 2012, Dr. MacLean was Professor and head of the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Calgary and was chair at Memorial following this for 2013 to 2015.  She took on the Lead for Accreditation at MUN for FM until August 2016.  In October 2016 she joined the Department of Academic Family Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan.


In January, 2017 Dr. Cathy MacLean became the Director of Faculty Development for the College of Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan as well as continuing her practice involvement at West Winds in the Academic Department of Family Medicine.


Dr. MacLean has completed a Masters in Clinical Science in Family Medicine at Western University and later received a Masters in Business Administration from Saint Mary’s University in Halifax. She has been active in teaching and research throughout her career.  The highlight of her research has been working with Dr. Pat McGrath on the Strongest Families program which has won national recognition for health services innovation.


On the national front, Dr. MacLean has been involved with the College of Family Physicians of Canada for many years, serving on various committees and the national executive. She served two years as President of the Nova Scotia College of Family Physicians and was President of the College of Family Physicians of Canada in 2009/2010.  She served as chair of the national Patient Education Committee until 2018 and the Patients’ Medical Home Steering Committee until 2019.


In her leadership roles, she has successfully implemented initiatives for an alternate funding plan, expansions in both UG and PG family medicine programs, implementation of Triple C curriculum and new distributed models to enhance recruitment and retention of family physicians, improved matches to family medicine as a career choice, introduced inter-professional team based care in microsystems and has started a Patients Advisory Council within the Patients Medical Home model.  Her primary interests are in systems transformation using the “quadruple aim” targets and meeting societal needs in a more coordinated and accountable primary care system.  She continues to be interested in research and scholarship in medical education focusing on physician behaviour change. Workshop 1B Top

Jodi Ploquin, MSc, Senior Consultant, Medical Staff Diversity, Wellness & Development, Alberta Health Services, Calgary, AB Jodi has a clinical background in medical and health physics. She completed her undergraduate degree at McMaster University, and graduate degree at University of Calgary.  She dedicated 12 years to leadership in radiation and laser safety before personal experiences with the healthcare system inspired her to pivot her focus to patient safety.  She became a NHS certified change agent, a fellow of the D4 Design Lab, passionate about developing proactive, innovative approaches to patient safety.  Her work in this area led to invitations to national expert panels on patient safety, and scientific committees to develop national training for disclosure of harm.  With the link between provider wellness and error rates, and her lived experience interviewing providers after adverse events, her interest in proactive approaches to patient safety led to a new role.  Jodi is now applying design thinking and large-scale change methodology to physician wellness, diversity and development. Workshops 1D, 2D Top

Susan Shaw, MD, Chief Medical Officer and Dyad Partner, Quality, Safety and Strategy, Saskatchewan Health Authority, Saskatoon, SK Dr. Susan Shaw balances a rewarding career in Critical Care Medicine and Anesthesiology with clinical and system improvement work at the local, regional and provincial level in Saskatchewan. She has been a successful department head, a physician leader with the Saskatchewan Surgical Initiative and co-lead of the former Saskatoon Health Region's Safer Every Day Breakthrough Initiative. Prior to joining the Saskatchewan Health Authority, Dr. Shaw worked with the Saskatchewan Medical Association as Director of Physician Advocacy and Leadership.

Dr. Shaw is currently board chair for the Saskatchewan Health Quality Council and is looked to as a leader in patient-centred care, physician leadership, continuous improvement and large scale change. Workshops 1H, 2H Top

Margie Sills-Maerov, BScOT, MBA, CHE Margie is a passionate change leader with 25 years of experience at clinical, management and policy levels who is naturally curious as to how to learn from other sectors to impact and sustain improvement. She approaches opportunities using complexity theory, coaching and impacting culture, quality improvement and human-centred design – all at a practical level to support change in culture and practice. She is the Education Program Officer at the Department of Lifelong Learning at the University of Alberta Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, and a Senior Director at Thought Architects, an organization committed to helping physicians in their clinics with their Human Resource Management, Improvement Initiatives and Leadership and Coaching skills. You can view her ongoing thoughts about physician leadership on her blog at https://www.thoughtarchitects.ca/blog. Workshops 1G, 2G Top

Beth Vachon, Vice President Quality, Safety and Strategy, Saskatchewan Health Authority, Swift Current, SK Beth Vachon served as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of former Cypress Health Region since April 2010. Prior to her CEO appointment, she served in a variety of leadership positions within former Cypress Health Region and the Swift Current Health District, including as a member of the senior leadership team and as the executive director of Community Health Services.


Beth has an extensive nursing background, having been employed in health care for more than 30 years as a registered psychiatric nurse and manager. Beth achieved her diploma in Psychiatric Nursing at the Wascana Institute of Applied Science and Technology, and holds active registration status with the Registered Psychiatric Nursing Association of Saskatchewan.


Beth is an advocate for building effective community partnerships and engaging health providers in the provision of a patient-first health environment.  Workshops 1H, 2H Top

Martin Wale, MD, Martin Wale Consulting Inc., Victoria, BC Dr. Martin Wale is a UK-trained medical microbiologist and public health doc, and has spent much of his career in leadership roles.  After a career with the UK Public Health Laboratory Service, then as Regional Director of the UK Health Protection Agency, he became an Inaugural Fellow of the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement, working on improvement across the English NHS.  After coming to Canada in 2008, he worked for ten years at Island Health on Vancouver Island, in quality, safety and research, and as Deputy CMO.  He has been involved in commissioning or conducting reviews in the UK and Canada covering outbreaks of communicable disease, including a fatal outbreak of hospital-acquired malaria; “Must Never Happen” events such as wrong-sided surgery or perinatal death; reviews to investigate conflict or alleged unprofessional behaviour; and published reviews including a BC-wide review of radiology following issues with CT scan interpretation.  The methodology described in the session was developed and used by Martin in the UK, and further refined in Canada.  He now runs Martin Wale Consulting Inc, focusing on high-integrity reviews.


Martin has been on faculty for the BC Quality Academy and Clinician Quality Academy since their inception, and for the Canadian Patient Safety Officer Course since 2012.  He chairs the Advisory Board of the Institute on Aging and Lifelong Health at the University of Victoria.


Outside work, Martin is President of the Saturna Island Marine Research and Education Society, and a keen photographer.  Workshops 1C, 2C


Debrah Wirtzfeld, MD, Associate Chief Medical Officer, Physician Health, Diversity & Wellness, Alberta Health Services, Edmonton, AB Dr. Wirtzfeld is an established Surgical Oncologist who previously served as the Provincial Lead for Surgical Oncology and the Section Lead for General Surgery, Winnipeg Regional Health Authority and the University of Manitoba. She also served as the Director of Leadership Development for Dean’s Council, Max Rady College of Medicine. In 2019, she was recruited to Alberta as the Associate Chief Medical Officer of Physician Health, Diversity & Wellness, Alberta Health Services.


Dr. Wirtzfeld has a Graduate Certificate in Executive Coaching (CEC) from Royal Roads University, is certified as an instructor in Crucial Conversations, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and the Emotional Quotient Inventory (EQi-2.0).   She is a certified LEADS instructor and has developed and facilitated many seminars, workshops, and retreats focused on leadership development, most specifically on improving self-awareness and engaging others.  She is a Canadian Certified Physician Executive (CCPE) and a certified Corporate Board Director (ICD.D). She recently completed an eMBA with a specialization in management consulting in July 2019.


Dr. Wirtzfeld believes that physicians who have taken the time to develop themselves as leaders can successfully promote an environment which supports improved physician health, increased diversity, and better patient outcomes.  Workshops 1D, 2D


Jason Woo, MD, Senior Consultant, Health Care Solutions, Arbinger Institute, Rockville, MD, USA CAPT Jason Woo, MD, MPH, FACOG is the Senior Medical Officer in the Office of Generic Drugs, Center for Drug Evaluation, U.S. Food and Drug Administration. As a board-certified obstetrician/gynecologist, Dr. Woo has over 30 years in multiple leadership roles as a Commissioned Corps officer of the U.S. Public Health Service. His leadership and senior executive experience covers the spectrum of roles as a hospital and clinic provider, director, and administrator, and public health leadership roles in research, education, regulation, emergency response and in leading direct patient care, process improvement, staff development and infrastructure initiatives.


Dr. Woo became a student of leadership and systems change when studying economic development at the London School of Economics. His understanding of the failures of so many of the first world and second world approaches to third world problems ingrained the need for a systems thinking and wholistic perspective to implement lasting change. Throughout his career he has utilized this perspective to initiate change, process improvement, and team and individual growth and development.


Dr. Woo received a BA in Economics/Chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  He studied Economic Development at the London School of Economics.  He received his medical degree from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and completed a residency in Obstetrics/Gynecology at the Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D.C. Workshops 1E, 2E


updated March 13,  2020