Speaker Bios




Armand Aalamian, MDCM, CCFP, FCFP

Dr. Armand Aalamian is the Executive Director of Learning at the Canadian Medical Protective Association. He has extensive experience in supporting and advancing medical education. He spent two decades with McGill University’s Faculty of Medicine as an associate professor, where he held numerous leadership positions, including Associate Dean of Postgraduate Medical Education, Director of Development of New Family Medicine Residency Teaching Sites, Assistant Dean of Postgraduate Resident Affairs, and Director of the Family Medicine Program.

Lisa Abel

Lisa Shawongonabe Abel is a citizen of M’Chigeeng First Nation. She has worked for over twenty-five years within the urban Indigenous community and in Francophone settings.

A survivor of the Sixties Scoop, Lisa spent her formative years in Sudbury. As a young adult, she began a life-long journey of reconnection with her Anishinaabe family and community.

Her education is rooted in her Anishinaabe culture, starting with a diploma in Binoojiinyag Kinoomaadwin (Native Early Childhood Education) from Cambrian College. Lisa continued to pursue her interests in writing, storytelling, and public speaking, and graduated in 2010 with a Bachelor of Journalism and Post-Graduate Certificate in Documentary Production from the University of Ottawa and Algonquin College. Lisa is currently based in Ottawa. She worked for just under a decade with the University of Ottawa Faculty of Medicine, in support of Indigenous medical education. She brings a wide range of communications skills to her work including the production of community radio, documentaries, and educational videos; photography, writing and editing, event coordination and community engagement, always with an eye to respecting Indigenous protocols, representation, and self-determination.

Eusang Ahn, MD, MSc (MedEd), Dipl. KSEM, FRCPC

Dr. Eusang Ahn is an emergency physician and clinician educator at the University of Ottawa. He serves as an external advisor to the Korean Society of Emergency Medicine’s task force for implementation of competency-based medical education. As a former international advertising account executive with a focus on consumer behavior, Dr. Ahn has a strong interest in culture and its role in workplace-based learning. He specializes in cross-cultural dissemination of best practices in creating learning cultures.

Callie Bland, PCC, CPCC, RN, BSN, BSc.

Ms. Callie Bland is a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach (CPCC), Professional Certified Coach (PCC) with the International Coach Federation, and a Registered Nurse. She is on faculty with the University of British Columbia Continuing Professional Development (UBC CPD) where she teaches the Communication Course for Healthcare Professionals. She also developed and teaches the leadership curriculum for UBCs Medical Oncology Residency Training Program. Ms. Bland has 20 years of experience working in both the public and private healthcare systems in Canada and the US as a facilitator and coach in various aspects of leadership development

Nicole Boutilier, BSC, MD, CCFP, FCFP, CCPE, CEC, ACC

Dr. Nicole Boutillier is the Executive Vice President of Medicine and Clinical Operations at Nova Scotia Health Authority. For more than 20 years, she has practiced in rural Nova Scotia in various settings including emergency medicine, collaborative primary health care, and youth health centres. She has also held a variety of progressive leadership positions during this time. Dr. Boutillier has received the CCPE credential, holds the Certified Executive Coach designation from Royal Roads University and is also certified with the International Coaching Federation.

Amanda Brisebois, MD, FRCPC, FACP, AoDI, PCC (ICF), CEC, MMgmt (IMHL), Med.

Dr. Amanda Brisebois is a Wellness, Healthcare and Executive Coach and mediator. Her leadership specialty is helping practitioners and teams find opportunity through conflict and creating successes through team playbooks. Dr. Brisebois is a multi-award-winning teacher, has been a keynote speaker at many international events and is a published author in her fields of expertise.

Phil Cady, CD, BSW, MA, DSocSci

Dr. Phil Cady is President of Cognitive Leadership Strategies West (CLSWEST). He has more than 25 years in applied leadership development services following his previous career as an officer in the Canadian Forces Health Services. Since 1997 Dr. Cady has enjoyed his role as an Adjunct Professor of Leadership in the Master of Arts in Leadership (Classic, Health Care Specialization, and Justice and Public Safety Leadership specializations) and MBA programs at Royal Roads University (RRU). He is also a faculty member for Canada’s Physician Leadership Institute, the Conference Board of Canada’s Director’s College and guest lecturer at the University of Bahrain. He has served on a variety of organizational boards and frequently volunteers his services to non-profit and social-mission-driven organizations. Dr. Cady achieved his Doctor of Social Sciences at RRU area of complexity science and health systems leadership.

Dr. Cady has brought leadership and learning opportunities to organizations of all sizes and complexity from across the world. His passion for studying, designing and facilitating whole systems transformation has afforded him many incredible opportunities to study and provide consultation on system leadership and strategy formulation for many private and public organizations. He has observed and coached over 1000 teams in simulation and workplace settings, designed, delivered and managed leadership development programs and online leadership assessment tools for a vast array of organizations.

Dr. Cady is a Certified Systems Mapper, Certified Systems Leader, a certified practitioner of Human Synergistics organizational performance diagnostics, the MBTI, a Licensed Cognitive Edge Practitioner, Friday Night at the ER Expert Panel Facilitator, and a licensed and certified Polarity Management PACT™ consultant. Dr. Cady also enjoys the privilege of being a Canadian Master Facilitator for Power and Systems in Boston, MA, bringing to life the seminal social systems work of renowned author Barry Oshry, one of the most powerful learning experiences for those who seek to deepen their systems leadership strategies.

Nadia Salvaterra, MD, CCFP, CCPE

Dr. Salvaterra is a dedicated family physician who serves as the Associate Zone Medical Director at Alberta Health Services. Prior to this, she spent a decade in Nunavut and the Northwest Territories, providing full-scope rural and remote family medicine with obstetrics and anesthesia and serving as regional and territorial medical director in the NWT. In Edmonton, she works clinically with the Indigenous Health Program and Academic Family Medicine. Alongside her extensive clinical work, Dr. Salvaterra is passionate about equity access and medical leadership and serves on the Board of the Canadian Society of Physician Leaders.

Ming-Ka Chan, BSc (Psych), MD, MHPE, FRCPC

Dr. Ming-Ka Chan, 陳明嘉 (she/her) is a pediatrics clinician educator and coach who focuses on healthcare leadership education and social justice. Her roles include Director, Office of Leadership Education at Rady Faculty Health Sciences, University of Manitoba; Pediatrics Lead, Antiracism and Social Justice; Doctors Manitoba’s Physician Health & Wellness Committee Chair; Sanokondu (a multinational learning community dedicated to fostering health leadership education), Executive Chair and President-Elect of the Canadian Association for Medical Education.

Zita Cobb

Zita Cobb is an eighth-generation Fogo Islander, Co-Founder and CEO of Shorefast, and Innkeeper of the Fogo Island Inn. A registered Canadian charity, Shorefast uses business-minded means to help secure economic and cultural resilience for Fogo Island, Newfoundland: a centuries-old settler fishing community off Newfoundland’s northeast coast. Zita graduated high school on Fogo Island before leaving home to study business in Ottawa. Following a subsequent successful career in high-tech, Zita returned to Fogo Island to help grow another leg on the Island’s struggling economy to complement its ever-important fishery.

Shorefast’s notable achievements to date comprise a holistic set of charitable initiatives, including the world-class artist-in-residence program Fogo Island Arts (fogoislandarts.ca), and three innovative social businesses whose operating surpluses are returned to Shorefast for reinvestment in further community development work. Specifically, Shorefast is behind the award-winning, 29-suite Fogo Island Inn (fogoislandinn.ca), Fogo Island Workshops (fogoislandworkshops.ca), and Fogo Island Fish. Shorefast has pioneered the innovative practice economic nutrition labelling for its social businesses, transparently demonstrating “where the money goes.” Shorefast’s model is both unwaveringly specific and universally applicable, holding relevance for communities worldwide.

Zita has been a Member of the Order of Canada since 2016 and was a 2020 inductee to Canada’s Business Hall of Fame. She holds honourary doctorates from McGill University, Memorial University of Newfoundland, the University of Ottawa, and Carleton University. She is an active CEO and volunteers her full time and energy for Shorefast’s work on Fogo Island

Graham Dickson, PhD

Dr. Graham Dickson is a Senior Research Advisor to the Canadian Society of Physician Leaders (CSPL) and the Canadian Health Leadership Network (CHLNet). He was principal investigator in a cross-Canada research project to develop LEADS in a Caring Environment Framework. He is the principal in LEADS Global, a not-for-profit enterprise to enable countries outside of Canada to use LEADS for leadership development.

He is professor emeritus at Royal Roads University, where he helped develop the Master of Arts in Leadership (Health specialization) and was the founding director of the Centre for Health Leadership and Research. He is helping Sanokondu build leadership curricula for residents.

Dr. Dickson has co-authored two editions of Bringing Leadership to Life in Health: LEADS in a Caring Environment book and has had peer-reviewed articles on leadership published in many journals.

Lisa Shawongonabe Abel

Lisa Shawongonabe Abel is a citizen of M’Chigeeng First Nation. She has worked for over twenty-five years within the urban Indigenous community and in Francophone settings.

A survivor of the Sixties Scoop, Lisa spent her formative years in Sudbury. As a young adult, she began a life-long journey of reconnection with her Anishinaabe family and community.

Her education is rooted in her Anishinaabe culture, starting with a diploma in Binoojiinyag Kinoomaadwin (Native Early Childhood Education) from Cambrian College. Lisa continued to pursue her interests in writing, storytelling, and public speaking, and graduated in 2010 with a Bachelor of Journalism and Post-Graduate Certificate in Documentary Production from the University of Ottawa and Algonquin College. Lisa is currently based in Ottawa. She worked for just under a decade with the University of Ottawa Faculty of Medicine, in support of Indigenous medical education. She brings a wide range of communications skills to her work including the production of community radio, documentaries, and educational videos; photography, writing and editing, event coordination and community engagement, always with an eye to respecting Indigenous protocols, representation, and self-determination.

Kaitlin Endres, MD

Dr. Kaitlin Endres is an emergency medicine resident at the University of Ottawa. She has a strong interest in medical education, having internationally published and presented research from the trainee’s perspective on navigating uncertainty of health advocacy teaching and evaluation. As a general council member on her provincial resident union and local residency progression committee, she received a Faculty of Medicine Award in Leadership for her work in creating a positive and equitable resident training experience.

Mamta Gautam, MD, MBA, FRCPC, CCPE, CPE

Dr. Mamta Gautam is an internationally renowned psychiatrist, consultant, certified coach, author and speaker. A trailblazer in the field of physician well-being, she is known as the “The Doctor’s Doctor”. Her work focuses on physician well-being and physician leadership. A respected medical leader in Canada, Dr. Gautam is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards for her innovative work in physician health and has been awarded Distinguished Fellowships in both the Canadian and American Psychiatric Associations.

Liisa Honey, MD, FRCSC

Dr. Liisa Honey is the Director of Safe Medical Care Learning at the Canadian Medical Protective Association (CMPA). Prior to joining the CMPA, she served as Department Chief, Medical Director and active member of the department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the Queensway Carleton Hospital in Ottawa. She completed a Master’s certificate in Physician Leadership Development through the Schulich School of Business, as well as the Quality Improvement and Patient Safety program through the Telfer School of Business. 


Dr. Eddy Lang is a professor and Department Head for Emergency Medicine at Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary and Alberta Health Services, Calgary Zone. Dr. Lang serves as Senior Editor for the Canadian Journal of Emergency Medicine, Associate Editor for both ACP Journal Club and the International Journal of Emergency Medicine. In addition, he is a member of the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care (CTFPHC) and was appointed as the Scientific Director of the Emergency Strategic Clinical Network (ESCN) in Alberta. Dr. Lang has received educational awards at the university, national and international levels. He was also inducted as a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences in 2022 and received the Canadian Certified Physician Executives credential the same year.

Jerry Maniate, MD, M.Ed, FRCPC, FACP, CCPE, CPC(HC), EMBA(C)

Dr. Jerry Maniate is a clinician-educator at The Ottawa Hospital, associate professor at the University of Ottawa, and EDIA Advisor and researcher at the Bruyère Research Institute. Dr. Maniate founded the Equity in Health Systems Lab (www.eqhslab.com), an international transdisciplinary team focused on addressing health equity, accessibility, and social justice challenges through collaborative partnerships using a scholarly lens.

Tamara McColl, MD, FRCPC, MMEd

Dr. Tamara McColl is an emergency physician in Winnipeg with a background in medical education. She is an assistant professor and the Director of Education Scholarship and Faculty Development within the department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Manitoba. She is also Chair of the Education Scholars Committee, sits on the Board of Directors for the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians and is Chair of the Royal College Specialty Committee for Emergency Medicine.

Anne McNamara, MBChB (Otago, NZ), FRACP, FRCPC, CEC

Originally from New Zealand, Anne McNamara has worked in FHA as a Respirologist, Intensivist and Physician Leader. These experiences led her to physician coaching. Anne coaches individual and groups of medical leaders, and is passionate about supporting leader awareness, relationships, influence, change and innovation.

Nancy Merrow, MD, CCFP(PC), FCFP, G(CEC) ICF ACC Certified Executive Coach

Dr. Nancy Merrow is a Certified Executive Coach (Royal Roads University 2014) with a career in senior medical leader roles since 2004, having served as Chief of Department, Chief of Staff and VP Medical, Regional Medical Director and Program Director with experience at small, medium and large sized community hospitals as well as regional and provincial initiatives. She is a family physician by training, with a focus in palliative medicine from 2004-2013. Dr. Merrow is recognized as a mentor and a role model among her peers and trainees. Her current career focus is on physician success and the advancement of medical practitioners in leadership roles.

Heather Murray, MD, MSc, FRCPC

Dr. Heather Murray is a Physician Advisor in the Safe Medical Care Learning department at the Canadian Medical Protective Association. She is a professor of Emergency Medicine at Queen’s and is cross-appointed to the Department of Public Health Sciences. She is also the Evidence-Based Medicine lead for the School of Medicine. Dr. Murray has authored a large number of peer-reviewed scientific papers, book chapters, editorials and commentaries. As well, she is the recipient of numerous teaching awards.

Otsi’tsakèn:ra (Charles Patton)

Otsi’tsakèn:ra (Charles Patton) is a respected elder of the Kanien’keha:ka community of Kahnawa:ke, on the south shore of Otsira:ke (Hochelaga/Montreal) – the northern section of Kanien’keha:ka ancestral territory. His name Otsi’tsakèn:ra means Spotted Flower; he is Rotiskarewake (Bear Clan), married to Niioie:ren for 51 years, with three sons and seven grandchildren. He has been involved in spiritual and civic affairs of the Ronatha:te Kanien’keha:ka (Mohawk Trail) Longhouse in Kahnawá:ke and throughout the Haudenosaunee territory for over 46 years. He is committed to ensuring the continuance of Kanien’kehá:ka tradition, language, spirituality, ceremony and culture.

Victoria Pawlowski, M.Ed., RCC

Ms. Victoria Pawlowski is a Registered Clinical Counsellor and certified teacher of Mindful Self-Compassion. She offers a compassion-focused and mindfulness-based holistic approach to counselling that integrates over 30 years of practice, education, professional training, life experience and a passion for health and healing.

André Picard

Mr. André Picard is a health reporter and columnist for The Globe and Mail, where he has been a staff writer since 1987. He is also the author of six bestselling books.

Mr. Picard is a two-time winner of the Columns category at Canada’s National Newspaper Awards, and past winner of prestigious Michener Award for meritorious public service journalism.

He was named Canada’s first Public Health Hero by the Canadian Public Health Association, a Champion of Mental Health by the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health and was awarded the Owen Adams Award of Honour, the highest Canadian Medical Association award available to a non-physician. He received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and was appointed to the Order of Canada for his dedication to advancing public health understanding and practices in Canada.

Mr. Picard is a graduate of the University of Ottawa and Carleton University and has received honorary doctorates from eight universities.

Jodi Ploquin, MSc, TIC, CWT, CHE

Ms. Jodi Poliquin is the Provincial Program Manager of Physician Wellness, Diversity and Development at Alberta Health Services. She is a medical health physicist who has worked as a change leader in radiation safety, nuclear security, patient safety and physician wellness. She sits on the expert panel for Healthcare Excellence Canada as a co-creator of the Leading Change Toolkit. Ms. Poliquin is also the co-creator of the SAFER leadership framework for safe, inclusive leadership in healthcare.

Deepti Ravi, MD, FRCPC, FCAP, Exec. MBA

Dr. Deepti Ravi is a GI/Liver pathologist in Saskatoon (Saskatchewan Health Authority). She is the team lead for the GI/HPB pathology service and director for the surgical pathology fellowship program at University of Saskatchewan. She graduated with an Executive MBA from the prestigious Johnson School of Business. A natural speaker, she has participated in several national and international conferences and is currently interested in applications of negotiation and marketing strategies to address health care needs in her community.

Shayne P. Taback, MD, FRCPC, CEC

Dr. Shayne Taback is an associate professor of Pediatrics and Child Health in Manitoba. He has a strong background in academic medicine and is the founding director of the Manitoba Clinician Investigator Program (CIP). In 2016, Dr. Taback graduated from the Royal Roads University Graduate Certificate Program in Executive Coaching. He is currently Vice-Chair of the Royal College’s National CIP Advisory Committee and President of the Canadian Physician Support Company.

Bill Tholl

Bill ThollBill Tholl is a former CEO of the Canadian Medical Association (2001-2008); HealthCareCAN (2014-2017); and Heart and Stroke Canada (1995-2001).  As a former senior official at Health and Welfare Canada (1978-1990), he helped frame the Canada Health Act in 1984. Bill has co-authored two leadership textbooks (Springer: LEADS in a Caring Environment 2014 and 2020).                

Mr. Tholl was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada (2019) and currently serves an Associate Professor at MacMaster University, in the Faculty of Health Sciences.

Kelly Tremblay, PhD, FAAA, CEC, ACC

Dr. Kelly Tremblay is a clinician and neuroscientist who co-authored the World Health Organization’s (WHO) new guidelines on integrated care for older people and was an invited contributor to the WHO’s World Report on Aging and Health. While working with the WHO she gained a deep understanding of how work contributes to our overall health and our sense of identity. She integrates elements from the WHO’s healthy work framework, along with evidence-based practices, when advising physicians and healthcare leaders. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Coaching at McLean, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School, an Executive Coach certified by the International Coaching Federation, and a member of the Canadian Physician Coaches Network. 

Johny Van Aerde, MD, MA, PhD, FRCPC

Dr. Johny Van Aerde has 25 years of experience as a neonatologist, first as a clinician-researcher and then in various 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. He is professor emeritus in Pediatrics at the University of Alberta and adjunct professor at the School of Leadership Studies, Royal Roads University. Dr. Van Aerde has published 100 peer-reviewed papers, two dozen book chapters and 150 abstracts on topics ranging from neonatal nutrition and metabolism to health system leadership.

Michelle Ward, MD

Dr. Michelle Ward is a health communications consultant, journalist, pediatrician, and associate professor in Ottawa. She is passionate about using communication to improve the health of Canadians. 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 consults to government and advocacy groups on child health. Also, Dr. Ward develops curricula, teaches all levels of medical learners, and authors scientific articles, commentaries, book chapters and clinical guidelines.

Jennifer Williams, BSc, MD, FRCPC

Dr. Jennifer Williams is a gastroenterologist  working and living in Nanaimo. She is a connecter of and with people and ideas, courageous ally, and challenger of the status quo. She has held various leadership, advocacy, and wellness roles, including medical lead Diversity, Wellness, Development at AHS, Board of Directors AMA, Deputy Department Chair at the University of Calgary, physician associate well doc Alberta, faculty CMA, and medical representative physician health and safety.  Dr. Williams is a co-creator of the SAFER leadership framework and founding member of Empowering HOPE. She is part of a movement to create humanity-centered healthcare through inspiring vision, empowering community and transforming at the speed of belonging and trust.

Kristy Williams, MD, CFPC

Dr. Kristy Williams is a family physician and teacher of mindful self-compassion (MSC) who finds MSC skills essential for both her personal well-being and for her patients. She has been teaching since 2018, specifically to those training and working in health care. 

Verna Yiu, MD

Dr. Verna Yiu is a highly regarded healthcare leader with over two decades of experience. She served as President and CEO of Alberta Health Services (AHS) from 2016 to 2022, overseeing the province’s largest healthcare system and leading its response to the pandemic. During her tenure, Dr. Yiu earned accolades for building trust and confidence both externally with Albertans and internally with AHS’s 100,000+ employees. Under her leadership, AHS received recognition as one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers for four consecutive years and earned several other employer awards. Dr. Yiu prioritized quality of care, resulting in reduced healthcare costs, and implemented operational best practices that significantly improved efficiencies. She spearheaded the launch of Connect Care, Canada’s largest clinical information system rollout, and guided AHS through one of the most challenging public health crises in history.


Dr. Yiu’s leadership extends beyond AHS to academia, where she held roles at the University of Alberta, including interim dean of the faculty of medicine and dentistry. She is known for her servant leadership approach, prioritizing the success of others for collective achievement. Dr. Yiu has received numerous awards, including the 2023 President’s Citation Award from the U of A’s Graduate Student Association and the 2022 Physician of the Year Award from the Edmonton Zone Medical Association. She was also ranked second on the Medical Post’s 2021 Power list of physicians in Canada.


Currently serving as Interim Provost and VP Academic at the University of Alberta, Dr. Yiu recently commenced a permanent role for a five-year term. She led the development of the university’s 10-year strategic plan, SHAPE, and played a key role in advancing equity, diversity, and inclusion initiatives. Dr. Yiu continues to provide care as a pediatric nephrologist at the Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton. She holds degrees from the University of Alberta and Harvard University and serves on several boards, including the Canadian Institute of Health Information and Health Workforce Canada.

Adrienne Zarem

Adrienne Zarem (she/her) is an embedded Patient Partner with Healthcare Excellence Canada’s Patient Safety, Equity and Engagement team, and a passionate advocate for patient engagement and partnership in healthcare. After her youngest daughter was diagnosed with a neurodevelopmental disorder, Adrienne embarked on a journey to partner with local and national organizations to help advance person-centred care through effective and meaningful patient and family engagement. She is a past co-chair of Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital’s Family Advisory Committee, a current member of Holland Bloorview’s Integrated Quality and Safety Steering Committee, a graduate of Canada’s first Family as Faculty program, a Parent Advisor and Hub-Team member of ECHO Ontario Autism, and one of Canada’s first Patient Surveyors with Accreditation Canada.