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David Allison, MD, FRCPC

Dr. Allison is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in Public Health and Preventive Medicine and has served as Medical Officer of Health for Eastern Health Region in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador since 2000. He is also a clinical associate professor in the Division of Community Health and Humanities of the Faculty of Medicine at Memorial University. He has been a member of the Council of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada since 2013.

A graduate of Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario in 1976, he completed residency training in Community Medicine at the University of Ottawa and became a fellow of the Royal College in 1988. He has served in public health roles across the country in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario and New Brunswick since 1982. He has also worked in New Zealand, Australia, Sierra Leone and Nepal for periods of time.

His interests in national and international public health include immunization, environmental health and emergency planning and response. He is an active member of the Emergency Response Unit (ERU) roster of the Canadian Red Cross, and was deployed to Haiti in July 2010 following the earthquake and to Sierra Leone in September 2012 as part of the response to that country’s cholera epidemic.

In his home community of St. John’s, he is actively involved with the Rotary Club of St. John’s East and the St. Andrews Society of Newfoundland and Labrador and he is a piper with the City of St. John’s Pipe Band.


Chantal Bernier, LL.M., Public member

Ottawa, ON

Chantal Bernier joined the Privacy and Security practice of Dentons Canada LLP on October 6, 2014. She comes to Dentons after 5 ½ years leading the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) as Interim Privacy Commissioner and as Assistant Commissioner. She oversaw the operations of the OPC, including national and international privacy investigations in the public and private sectors, privacy audits, privacy impact assessment reviews as well as technological analysis, privacy policy development and research.

Prior to leading the OPC, Chantal worked at senior levels of the Government of Canada, including as Assistant Deputy Minister responsible for Socio-Economic Development at Aboriginal and Northern Affairs Canada, as Assistant Deputy Minister responsible for Community Safety and Partnerships at Public Safety Canada, and as Director of Operations for the Machinery of Government Secretariat of the Privy Council Office. Chantal also negotiated international conventions for Canada as part of the International and Constitutional Law Section of the Department of Justice.


Carrie Bourassa, Ph.D.

Carrie Bourassa was born and raised in Regina.  Carrie pursued both her undergraduate and graduate degrees at the University of Regina. She earned her Bachelor of Arts Honours degree in Political Science in 1995, graduated with her Master of Arts degree in 1999, and earned her Ph.D. in Social Studies in 2008.  Her book, based on her dissertation was released in the fall of 2012 entitled Métis Health: The Invisible Problem.

Carrie is a Professor in the Department of Indigenous Health, Education and Social Work and Special Advisor to the President, Research at the First Nations University of Canada teaching Indigenous Health Studies.  Carrie’s research interests include the impacts of colonization on the health of First Nations and Métis people; creating culturally safe care in health service delivery; Indigenous community-based health research methodologies; Indigenous end of life care; Indigenous dementia; HIV and AIDS among Indigenous women, Indigenous ethics and Indigenous women’s health.  Carrie recently completed her second 3 year term as a member of the Canadian Institute for Health Research Standing Committee on Ethics.  Carrie is a member of the Royal College Council, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and a member of the Saskatchewan RESOLVE Steering Committee.  Carrie recently completed a chapter for the Saskatchewan Child Welfare Review entitled Final Summary Review of the Manitoba Child Welfare System for the Saskatchewan Child Welfare Review Report.  She is also an accredited Aboriginal Cultural Awareness Program facilitator through the First Nations University of Canada.  Carrie is proud to be the successful Nominated Principal Investigator on a Canada Foundation for Innovation Grant that funded the Indigenous Community-based Health Research Labs at FNUniv. In 2004, Carrie was honoured when she was chosen as one of Saskatchewan’s ten Aboriginal Role Models by the Aboriginal Employment Development Program’s Provincial Aboriginal Representative Workforce Council (PARWC).  More recently, Carrie was a recipient of the Campion College Alumni of Distinction Award for Professional Achievement and was inducted into the Alpha Sigma Nu Honour Society of Jesuit Institutions of Higher Education in November 2010.  In 2012 Carrie won the Wiichihiwayshinawn Foundation Inc. Metis Award in Health and Science.

Carrie is Métis and belongs to the Riel Métis Council of Regina Inc. (RMCR, Local #34).  She resides in Regina with her husband, Chad and her daughters, Victoria, 15 and Lillie, 4.


Gaétan Brochu, MD, FRCSC

Gaétan Brochu BSc. MD, FRCSC, FACS is native of Inverness, Québec. He is a General Surgeon at the CHU de Québec and a Professor of Surgery at Université Laval.

Dr. Brochu received his Bachelor of Science in chemistry from Université Laval in 1980. He did graduate studies in physical chemistry at McGill University in Montreal, Que. He received his medical degree from Université Laval and completed his surgery training at the Université Laval with rotations in Boston, USA, and Montreal. He did a travelling scholarship in gastric surgery at the National Cancer Centre in Tokyo, Japan. He became a member of the Royal College in 1997 and since 2002 has been active with the Royal College on the General Surgery Examination Board, where he was the chair for five years. Dr. Brochu also sits on the Specialty Committee in General Surgery and Surgical Foundations. He is the current director of Surgical Foundations at Université Laval and is the founder president of the Canadian Hernia Society (2013).

Dr Brochu has strong interest in medical education and he received a Certificate of Merit for outstanding contributions to medical education from the Canadian Association for Medical Education (CAME) in 2012. He has strong interest in minimally invasive surgery and hernias and abdominal reconstruction. He also serves as the guest editor for Hernia: The World Journal of Hernia and Abdominal Wall Surgery. He is a member of many scholarly associations and is a member of the board directors of the James IV Association of Surgeons.

Dr. Brochu enjoys being physically active and has completed 10 marathons. He has also been participating in the Canadian Cross Country Ski Marathon since 1987.


Françoise P. Chagnon, MDCM, FRCS, FACS, CHE, ADM.A, C.Dir

Françoise P. Chagnon, MDCM, FRCSC, FACS, CHE, ADM.A, C.Dir, is a graduate of McGill University in Montreal and completed specialty training in Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery at McGill teaching hospitals. Following a fellowship in Laryngology, Voice Science and Care of the Professional Voice at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., she was named founding director of the Montreal General Hospital Voice Clinic.

Dr. Chagnon received a master’s degree in health administration and a certificate in insurance medicine and medico-legal expertise from the Université de Montreal. She is a former director of Professional Services at the McGill University Health Centre and at l’Institut de réadaptation Gingras Lindsay de Montréal. She has served on the board of directors of l’Association des cadres supérieurs, the Montreal General Hospital Corporation and the Canadian College of Health Service Executives. She is also a former member of the Canadian Medical Association’s Committee on Health Policy and Economics.

Dr. Chagnon currently holds appointments at the McGill University Health Centre, St. Mary’s Hospital Center, l’Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Montréal and the Douglas Mental Health University Institute. She is a consultant at Medisys-Plexo and the Queen Elisabeth Health Complex, and director of l’Association d’Hospitalisation Canassurance (Blue Cross) and McGill Montreal International. Dr. Chagnon is secretary of the board of directors of Lallemand Inc. and president of Vocalex Inc. She completed certification at Université Laval’s director’s college (Collège des administrateurs de sociétés).


Brian Clapson, MD, FRCSC

Dr. Brian Clapson earned his Bachelor of Science and medical degree, with honors, from the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alta. After graduation, he completed his family medicine training at the University of Calgary in 1982. Following this, he entered the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Program at the University of Saskatchewan – proceeding to a Hand and Microvascular Surgery Fellowship at the University of San Francisco, USA. He has been a practising plastic surgeon in Saskatoon, Sask., and a very active faculty member at the University of Saskatchewan since 1988.

Dr. Clapson’s involvement with the Royal College has been long standing, becoming a strong and identifiable characteristic as a physician and surgeon. He has been extensively involved with survey work and has visited most centres in Canada on more than one occasion. He also has served a term on the Accreditation Committee, as well as two terms on the Specialty Committee in Plastic Surgery. At the postgraduate level within his institution, he is frequently called upon to assist with both undergraduate and postgraduate issues and to chair upcoming review preparations. Accreditation is a fundamental aspect of our health care systems and he has participated with(on?) the Canadian Council on Health Care Accreditation.

Dr. Clapson has also spent considerable time with the Canadian Forces as both a flight surgeon and a general medical officer. He has held command positions and served on a number of overseas and continental missions. During this time – training, education and assessment– was a priority for him.

Administratively, Dr. Clapson has been Division Head at the University of Saskatchewan on two occasions – the last completed in 2014. He remains very active within the medical school and the department of surgery – with responsibilities for curriculum design and education within the department of surgery. In the past he has completed all levels of work for the school and the department including the running of the microsurgical research lab.

Dr. Clapson’s greatest satisfaction, outside of his family, continues to be that of medical education and the mentoring of young (and not so young) physicians. He looks forward to the opportunity to continue this work within a new role and capacity at the Royal College.


Louise Côté, MD, FRCPC

Dr. Louise Côté is a full professor and Director of the Department of Medicine, within the Faculty of Medicine at Laval University. She completed her postgraduate studies at Laval University and McGill University. Since 1980, she has practised at the Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Laval (Laval University-affiliated hospital) and at the Institut universitaire de cardiologie et de pneumologie de Québec (University Institute of Cardiology and Respirology of Québec). She has authored many scientific publications and given numerous presentations at national and international meetings.

Dr. Côté is involved in ongoing clinical research at the Centre de recherche en infectiologie du CHUQ (CHUQ’s Infectious Diseases Research Centre), and her area of interest is infection in the immunocompromised patient. She teaches at both the undergraduate and postgraduate medical education levels. She has been the Microbiology and Infectious Diseases residency Program Director for many years. She is a member of several provincial and national committees.


Elizabeth Cowden, MD, FRCPC

Dr. Elizabeth Cowden graduated with an MBChB and MD with Honours from Glasgow University and thereafter completed her specialist training in Internal Medicine and Endocrinology. She was the recipient of a Research Fellowship, National Kidney Disease Research Foundation (UK) and Canadian Medical Research Council Fellowship Award in the Department of Physiology, University of Manitoba. Dr. Cowden was on the faculty of the University of Manitoba from 1981 to 1996. She was head, Section of Endocrinology and Metabolism at St. Boniface General Hospital; acting head, University Section of Endocrinology and Metabolism; head, Department of Medicine at St. Boniface General Hospital; and associate head, Department of Medicine, University of Manitoba.

In July 1996, she moved to Halifax, N.S., to become head of the Department of Medicine at Dalhousie University and district chief of the Department of Medicine at Capital Health. Dr. Cowden served as joint academic and clinical head of the Department of Medicine at Dalhousie and QE II/Capital Health from July 1996 to February 2006.  She continued active clinical practice in Endocrinology and on the Medicine Teaching Units, during this time.

Dr. Cowden returned to Winnipeg, Man., in February 2006 and assumed the roles of chief medical officer at Grace Hospital, site medical director for the hospital’s Medicine Program and chief of its Clinical Teaching Unit. Dr. Cowden continues an active academic and clinical practice and feels privileged to work with a superb group of collaborators.


Robin Cox, MD, FRCPC

Pediatric anesthesiologist, Alberta Children’s Hospital
Professor of Anesthesia, Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary

Dr. Cox obtained his medical degree from the University of London, England, before receiving subspecialty training in pediatric anesthesia at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London. In 1985, Dr. Cox completed a fellowship in pediatric critical care at the Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, and in 1987 was appointed to the Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary, Alberta, as a pediatric anesthesiologist and intensivist. He later served as director of the hospital’s pediatric intensive care unit and as division head for pediatric anesthesia. Today, he remains in active practice as a pediatric anesthesiologist and is a tenured professor of anesthesia at the University of Calgary.

Dr. Cox is enthusiastic about education at all levels. He has participated in the clinical skills course for medical students in Calgary since 1997. His involvement in continuing professional development (CPD) includes serving on the CPD committees of the Cumming School of Medicine and the Association of Canadian University Departments of Anesthesiology. Dr. Cox regularly publishes educational and research articles pertaining to pediatric anesthesia, and is a frequently invited guest speaker.

At the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, Dr. Cox has sat on the Specialty Committee for Anesthesiology, and he has been a member of Council since 2010. He is currently Chair of the Professional Development Committee of the Royal College.

Dr. Cox has served on many other local and national committees, a few examples being Council of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta, Editorial Board of the Canadian Journal of Anesthesia, Board of the Alberta Medical Association, Admissions Committee of the Cumming School of Medicine, General Faculties Council of the University of Calgary, Board of the Health Quality Council of Alberta, and Ethics Committee of the Canadian Anesthesiologists’ Society.

Dr. Cox is a medical volunteer with Resurge International, which provides free reconstructive plastic surgery in developing countries, and has provided anesthesia care for cleft palate and other reconstructive surgery in Vietnam and Peru.


John Finley, MD, FRCPC

After studies in Physics at Dalhousie University and a Rhodes Scholarship at Oxford, Dr. Finley took his MD at McGill University. This was followed by residencies in Pediatrics at Montreal Children’s Hospital, Pediatric Cardiology at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto and cardiology research at the Toronto General Hospital. From 1978 to 2014, he was a Pediatric Cardiologist at the IWK Health Centre in Halifax, where he was Head of the Division from 1986 to 2007 and Chair of the Residency Program in Pediatric Cardiology for much of that period. He has been a staff cardiologist at the Adult Congenital Heart Clinic at the Halifax Infirmary since 1990. He is Professor of Pediatrics at Dalhousie University where he has a post retirement position.

For the Royal College, Dr. Finley has volunteered as chief examiner for Pediatric Cardiology from 1987-1990 and as a member of the Specialty Committee in Cardiology from 1987-1999.

Dr. Finley’s professional activities have included clinical practice and teaching of Pediatric and adult congenital Cardiology, as well as research in Cardiology and telemedicine, in which he has pioneered applications for remote diagnosis of heart disease in children. New methods of teaching of auscultation of heart sounds have been a longstanding research interest and are the subject of a recent book and new online murmur recognition program he developed.

Dr. Finley is a member of the Canadian Cardiovascular Society and the Canadian Pediatric Cardiology Association. In 2012-2013, he was president of Doctors Nova Scotia and chair of its board the following year.

Dr Finley’s many outside interests include performances with a local Irish band Dicey Reilly, sailing and kayaking in Mahone Bay, cycling, skiing, and travel, especially to Australia.


Katharine Gillis, MD, FRCPC

Dr Katharine Gillis was appointed Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Ottawa in 2009. She is Clinical Director of the Shared Care Mental Health Program at the Ottawa Hospital which provides clinical services combined with education and research opportunities in the teaching units of the Department of Family Medicine, University of Ottawa. She has a cross appointment to the Faculty of Family Medicine and is a member of their Behavioral Medicine teaching program for residents.

Dr Gillis is a 1982 graduate of Memorial University of Newfoundland Medical School and is a former family physician; during her medical career she has worked in Canada, the United States and New Zealand. She has been a national leader in psychiatry education since completion of a psychiatry residency in 1995. From 2004-2008 she was national Chair of the Psychiatry English Exam Board at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and a member of the Working Group on a National Strategy for enhancing Postgraduate Education in Psychiatry, of the Canadian Psychiatric Association. Dr Gillis has served on the RCPSC Evaluation Committee since 2009. She was the Psychiatry Residency Training Director for the University of Ottawa from 1999-2009.


BJ Hancock, MD, FRCSC

Dr. Hancock is a Pediatric Surgeon and Pediatric Intensivist at Children’s Hospital of Winnipeg. She completed Undergraduate Medical Education at the University of Manitoba (1980–1984), a rotating Internship at Dalhousie University (1984–5), General Surgery Residency training, including a Master of Science, at the University of Manitoba (1985–1990) and Fellowship training in Pediatric Surgery and Pediatric Critical Care at the University of Montreal (1990–1992 and 1992–93, respectively). She then returned to Winnipeg to assume a faculty position in the Departments of Surgery and Pediatrics and Child Health, University of Manitoba.

Currently, Dr. Hancock is Director of Pediatric Surgery at Children’s Hospital of Winnipeg, Department of Pediatrics and Child Health and has been Section Head for Pediatric Surgery, Department of Surgery since 2005. She was appointed to the Board of Regents, American College of Surgeons in October 2011 and is Secretary-Treasurer of the Canadian Association of Pediatric Surgeons. She is a member of a number of committees, patient care teams and professional associations. She administers the Advanced Trauma Life Support Program in Manitoba and is actively involved in several Postgraduate Medical Education resident and fellowship training programs.


Jasmine Hasselback, MD

Dr. Jasmine Hasselback completed her undergraduate studies in biochemistry and medicine at the University of Ottawa. She is currently completing her specialty training in Public Health and Preventive Medicine with the University of Saskatchewan.

Dr. Hasselback is a regular teacher with the College of Medicine and is a mentor to both colleagues and learners in both her academic and professional circles. Her areas of professional interest include building and maintaining healthy spaces and environments, communicable diseases and the interplay between culture and health. Her personal interests include all forms of playing outside, preferably with her dog.


Douglas M Hedden, MD, FRCSC

Dr Hedden received his medical degree followed by his orthopedic training at Queens’s University in Kingston, Ontario. He completed a pediatric orthopedic fellowship at the University of Toronto at the Hospital for Sick Children with a special interest in spinal deformity. He followed this with further training in Boston at the Massachusetts General Hospital where he completed a research fellowship through the Harvard University program.

He first started practice at Queen’s where he joined one other pediatric orthopedic surgeon. His interest in education was advanced there, as he became the director of the clerkship program. When he moved to Toronto Dr Hedden developed his pediatric spine practice at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto where he also held positions as medical director of the trauma program as well as being the program director for orthopedic surgery at the University of Toronto. In 2005 Dr Hedden moved his practice to the University of Alberta/Stollery Children’s Hospital within the Capital Health region where he was Chief of Pediatric Surgery at Stollery Children’s Hospital and Divisional Director of Pediatric Surgery at the University of Alberta. Since 2006 Dr. Hedden has been the Walter Stirling Anderson Professor and Chair of Surgery in the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Alberta. He is also the Zone Clinical Department Head, Surgery – Edmonton Zone within Alberta Health Services. He co-chairs the Surgical Operational Clinical Network for the Province of Alberta; a committee of Alberta Health Services.

Dr. Hedden has been involved at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons, where until July 2011 he was the Chair of the Specialty Committee for Orthopaedic Surgery, a position he held for 6 years; prior to that the served on that committee as a nucleus member for the pediatric stream and also as a program director. In 2010 he agreed to Chair the newly formed Surgical Foundations Advisory Committee. This position appoints him as an ex-officio member to all of the Specialty Committees that participate in Surgical Foundations. As well as being an active surveyor for the Royal College he also serves on the Accreditation Committee. He has also been active on the test committees for Orthopedics and Principles of Surgery (which has recently been renamed the Surgical Foundations exam) and served as an oral examiner for 6 years.

He has also been involved in several focus groups at the College; most recently he has served on the committee addressing Resident Duty Hours and the Steering Committee for the Surgical Summit that will be taking place in May. He has been an active participant at several ICRE and supports his program directors and program assistants to attend this important meeting.

Clinically he remains active with a practice dedicated to the treatment of children with spinal disorders and provides leadership to the community by being on the executive of the Canadian Spine Society and the Canadian Pediatric Spine Study Group. Internationally he sits on the Fellowship Committee of the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America.


Brian Hodges, MD, FRCPC

Dr. Brian Hodges graduated from Queen’s University Medical School in 1989, completed psychiatry residency at the University of Toronto in 1994, a Master’s of Higher Education in 1995 and a PhD in 2007. From 2003 until 2011, he served as Director of the University of Toronto Wilson Centre, one of the largest centres for health professional education research in the world. From 2004–2008 he was Chair of the Evaluation Committee at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons, overseeing assessment in the 62 specialty programs in Canada.

Dr. Hodges is a professor in the Faculty of Medicine and Faculty of Education at the University of Toronto in Toronto, Ont., where he is also the Richard and Elizabeth Currie Chair in Health Professions Education Research at the Wilson Centre for Research in Education. He is also vice president, Education, at the University Health Network in Toronto (e.g. Toronto General, Toronto Western, Princess Margaret and Toronto Rehabilitation Institute hospitals). He leads the AMS Phoenix Project: A Call to Caring, which is an initiative to rebalance the technical and compassionate dimensions of health care.

Internationally he has worked with medical schools and licensure organizations in New Zealand, Switzerland, Poland, Japan, Jordan, Israel, France, China, Australia and Ethiopia. In 2003 he spent a year at the University of Paris, earning a diploma in Health Economics and Social Sciences, and established collaborations with the University of Paris and the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Santé Publique (EHESP) where he serves as a member of the education board.


Kevin Imrie, MD, FRCPC, FACP

Kevin Imrie, MD, FRCPC, FACP, is the physician-in-chief and professor of medicine at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. A clinical hematologist, Dr. Imrie is also the Vice-Chair, Education for the University of Toronto’s department of medicine, overseeing the continuum of medical education in the department.

A dedicated physician and medical educator, Dr. Imrie has served in a number of leadership capacities, including Vice-President of Education with the Royal College and Director of Postgraduate Programs as well as Associate Dean, Admission and Evaluation in Postgraduate Medicine for the University of Toronto. He is also a “peer surveyor” with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario and has served with many other health care organizations across Canada.

Dr. Imrie is a highly regarded teacher and past recipient of a wide variety of teaching awards, including the University of Toronto’s prestigious Faculty of Medicine Award for Excellence in Postgraduate Medicine Education and the Department of Medicine’s Teacher of the Year.


Alika Lafontaine, BSc, MD, FRCPC

Dr. Alika Lafontaine is an Aboriginal physician of Cree and Anishinaabe heritage, born and raised in Southern Saskatchewan/Treaty 4 territory. After being labeled learning- disabled as a child, his parents made the difficult decision to homeschool him and at age 16 became one of the youngest recipients of a prestigious undergraduate NSERC research grant through the University of Regina.

After completing a Bachelor of Science in chemistry, he completed his MD at the University of Saskatchewan followed by a five-year fellowship in anesthesiology. In the midst of his fellowship, Lafontaine became CBC’s "Canada’s Next Great Prime Minister," winning the competition with a platform focused on reconciling the Treaty relationship between Canada’s Indigenous Peoples and Canadians. In addition to other awards and honours, Lafontaine remains the youngest recipient of the Indspire Award -- the highest honour Aboriginal Peoples give their own for the past 20 years -- and in 2015 he was selected as a recipient of the Canadian Medical Association Young Leaders Award (Early Career).

Though story-telling, real patient encounters and his own experience, Lafontaine lectures across Canada on the role bias, discrimination and racism has on patient care and why addressing these issues lies at the core of improving the health of First Nations, Metis and Inuit Peoples.

Lafontaine currently serves on the boards of several non-profits, including the Indigenous Physicians Association of Canada. He is an elected member of the representative forum of the Alberta Medical Association and is Medical Lead for the Aboriginal Health Program - North Zone of Alberta Health Services.


Robert LaRoche, MD, FRCSC

Dr. Robert LaRoche started his career in Halifax, N.S., as a pediatric ophthalmologist with a five-year plan “before moving to bigger and better places.” Yet the newly-redesigned Department of Ophthalmology at Dalhousie University and dynamic atmosphere that included working under the direction of the visionary Ray Leblanc, led Dr. LaRoche to instead stay and help support and develop an exciting environment where excellence in care, teaching and research could flourish. Pediatric ophthalmology, a small but rapidly developing field in the early 1980s, made it possible to become involved at many levels: teaching, research, influence on public health policies related to children’s vision, and administrative structures — all ready to welcome the growth of a new field of expertise, across the country and abroad.

Dr. LaRoche actively participated on many local, national and international committees in the subspecialty of pediatric ophthalmology and strabismus, to help support this new field. His appointment as residency program director of this area lasted 12 years, including three accreditation reviews. Those reviews led to a much better understanding of the educational process of young adults, and also the potential influence the Royal College could play in the further development of competent and ethical professionals throughout their careers.

Recently, work as a member of the Regional Advisory Committee for Region 5, and as a member of the Health and Public Policy Committee, has enabled Dr. LaRoche to see firsthand the broad influence of the Royal College’s activities. If given the opportunity, he would be honoured to serve on Council, to continue to learn and help the Royal College pursue its evolving mission in the Canadian health environment.


Marie-Hélène LeBlanc, MD, FRCPC

Dr. Marie-Hélène LeBlanc has been a cardiologist since 1981. She practises at l’Institut universitaire de cardiologie et de pneumologie de Québec (IUCPQ). She founded the Heart Failure and Transplant Clinic of that institution and is also a specialist in echocardiography. She is clinical associate professor at Laval University. Dr. LeBlanc was a founding member of the Canadian Heart Failure Network in 1998 and has participated in the realisation, as well as the dissemination of, the Canadian Cardiovascular Society Heart Failure Guidelines.

Dr. LeBlanc has also contributed to the elaboration of the Canadian Heart Transplant Guidelines. She is involved in many clinical research projects, and has published numerous publications and abstracts, as well as given several oral presentations and lectures. She is a reviewer for the Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation. She is an administrator for the Collège des médecins du Québec (since 2000) and has been vice-president since June 2011. She has also served on many of its committees and was president of the CMQ review committee from 2006 to 2011.


Sophia Leong

She is currently Director of Telfer Executive MBA Program, Executive-in-Residence of Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance, Advisory Board Member for Startup Canada and invited judge for multiple startup competitions. She is also Managing Director of 3Coins, an organization that provides strategic and management services to both local and international technology companies.

Sophia accepted the appointment to lead the Executive MBA program in an effort to give back to a program that has a profound impact on both her personal and professional life. Prior to the appointment, Sophia had held several executive positions including Vice-President of Business Development of KLOCwork Solutions, a software solution company she had co-founded and commercialized from Nortel Networks.

Sophia has extensive strategic and general management experience working with technology companies. While she was with Nortel Networks, she was directly engaged in commercializing business ventures by leveraging angel and venture capital markets. Sophia was involved with management of seven business ventures with global platform, involving technologies such as neural technology, speech recognition, e-commerce payment, digital content management/protection and mission critical assessment applications for software assets. She assumed an executive role when working directly with respective General Managers and was responsible in reporting to the respective Board of Directors.

She is a recipient of numerous awards for outstanding contribution and was also awarded a patent on software business process for Mergers and Acquisition during her time at Nortel Networks and Nortel Technology. She is currently Chair/Board Member of a few start-ups and has successfully exited from two startups that she co-founded.


Vivian McAlister, MB, FRCSC

Major, Royal Canadian Medical Service, Canadian Armed Forces; Professor, University of Western Ontario

Degrees / Fellowships / certifications:
M.B. (1979, Trinity College Dublin) Diploma Child Health (1981, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland); Licentiate Medical Council of Canada (1983); Certificant Canadian College of Family Physicians (1985); Fellow Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (1988); Fellow Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (1990); Specialist training completion certificate European Economic Union (1992); Member American Society of Transplant Surgeons (1992); Fellow American College of Surgeons (2009)

1981-1982, Staff Physician, Municipal Hospital, Uranium City, Saskatchewan
1982-1985, Staff Physician, Municipal Hospital, Lampman, Saskatchewan
1992-2001, Staff Surgeon, QE II Health Sciences Centre & IWK Children’s Hospital, Halifax, NS
2001-present, Staff Surgeon, London Health Sciences Centre, London, Ontario

Dalhousie University: 1992 -1997, Assistant Professor; 1997-present Associate professor; 1998 Tenure; Western University Canada: 2001-2003, Associate Professor; 2003 – present, Professor Canadian Journal of Surgery: 2013-present, Coeditor-in-chief.

Op Athena, Afghanistan 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011; Op Hestia, Haiti 2010; Op Attention, Afghanistan 2012/3

1997, Professor of the Year, Division of General Surgery Dalhousie University
2000, Travelling Fellowship, James IV Surgical Association, 2000
2008, Member, James IV Association of Surgeons
2010, Member, American Surgical Association
2012, Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal
2014, Angus D. McLachlin Chair of Surgery, Western University


Amy Nakajima, MD, FRCSC

Obstetrician-gynecologist, The Ottawa Hospital

Dr. Nakajima completed her residency training at the University of Saskatchewan and received her Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (ROYAL COLLEGE) certification in Obstetrics and Gynecology in 2000. She provides obstetrics and gynecology consultation services at the Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health, and at Bruyère Continuing Care, including the Saint-Vincent Hospital site for patients with complex care needs, in Ottawa.

Dr. Nakajima is an active clinician-teacher at the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Medicine, providing formal patient safety teaching at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels, in addition to teaching related to obstetrics and gynecology, and has a particular interest in using simulation modalities. She has contributed to The Good Practices Guide, the Canadian Medical Protective Association’s online patient safety curriculum for medical students and faculty. She regularly provides faculty development workshops at national medical education conferences, including the Canadian Conference on Medical Education, the ROYAL COLLEGE International Conference on Residency Education and the Simulation Summit, on the topic of teaching patient safety.

Dr. Nakajima was a member of the working groups authoring the Canadian Patient Safety Institute’s Canadian Disclosure Guidelines: Being Open with patient and families and the Canadian Framework for Teamwork and Communication. She has served as an advisory member on the Royal College CanMEDS 2015 Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Expert Working Group, whose aim is to enhance patient safety and quality improvement competencies in this next iteration of the CanMEDS Physician Competency Framework. She is the lead author on the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada Competence by Design white paper on patient safety, “Just Culture of Patient Safety.” Dr. Nakajima has actively been involved with the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada since 2003, having been a member of the Regional Advisory Committees for Region 1 and 3, and of Fellowship Affairs Committee. She is currently serving on Council, and is a member of the Governance Committee and Committee on Specialties. She welcomes the opportunity to serve a second term on Council.


Christopher O’Brien, CM, MD, FRCPC

Medical Director of Nuclear Medicine, Brantford General Hospital
President, Ontario Association of Nuclear Medicine

After graduating from McGill University Medical School in Montreal, Que., Dr. O’Brien began residency training at the University of Western Ontario leading to certification by the Royal College as a specialist in Nuclear Medicine. In 1994, he was recruited by the Brantford General Hospital to redevelop their Nuclear Medicine Program and was appointed Medical Director. He is also medical director of Nuclear Medicine at Stratford General Hospital and the Pembroke Regional Hospital.

Dr. O’Brien has also been an external consultant redeveloping the Nuclear Medicine programs of the Fraser Health Authority in British Columbia, the Thunder Bay Regional Hospital and the Quinte Health Center. In 2003, he established the Uganda Redevelopment Program of the Canadian Association of Nuclear Medicine. This program is helping redevelop the Nuclear Medicine department at the Mulago Hospital Complex in Kampala, Uganda.


James O’Brien, MD, FRCSC

Associate Professor Plastic Surgery, Dalhousie University

Born in St. John’s, NL, Dr. O’Brien received his medical degree from Memorial University of Newfoundland and received his Plastic Surgery certification from the Royal College in 1985 having completed residency at the University of Toronto. He completed a peripheral nerve fellowship and joined the staff at the Atlantic Health Sciences Corporation one year later, moving on to become Head of Plastic Surgery, then Director of Surgical Services. In 2001 he was appointed Chief of Staff and later Vice President of Medical Affairs.

In 2009 Dr. O’Brien was appointed special advisor for Medical Research with New Brunswick’s Horizon Health Network and in 2010 was appointed as Vice President Health Research and Innovation. He has taken part in numerous regional and national health care and health safety panels. Over the past decade Dr. O’Brien was a founding member of the New Brunswick Provincial Medical Education Steering Committee and also served as an advisor to the Deputy Minister post-secondary education on the management committee of the Dalhousie Medical Education Program project. These activities eventually led to the establishment of the Dalhousie Medicine New Brunswick Campus in 2010. Dr. O’Brien has completed an extra fellowship under the auspices of the Canadian Health Services Research Foundation and in the past has also served as a plastic surgery examiner for the Royal College.

At the present time Dr. O’Brien holds faculty appointments at Dalhousie University and Memorial University of Newfoundland. Dr. O’Brien has served on the council of the Royal College since 2010 and has served on many committees at the Royal College. These include Governance Committee, CEO Evaluation Committee, Fellowship Affairs Committee and the Chairmanship of the Regional Advisory Committee 5. Most recently he has assumed the chairmanship of the Corporate Affairs Committee and sits on the Executive Committee of Council for the Royal College.


Donald Palisaitis, MD, FRCPC

Degrees, certificates and diplomas
Université de Sherbrooke, MD, 1982; RCPSC Certification and Fellowship, Internal Medicine at McGill University, 1986, Cardiology at the University of Toronto, 1986-1987; Diplomat of the American Board of Internal Medicine,1986; Fellowship in Interventional Cardiology, Montreal Heart Institute, Université de Montréal 1987-1988.

Associate Professor of Medicine. Cardiologist at the Hôpital du Sacré-Coeur de Montréal since 1988. Member of the Department of Medicine, Université de Montréal since 1988; Director of the Coronary Care Unit 1994-1996; Chief of Cardiology Division at Hôpital Sacré-Coeur de Mtl 2000-2006; Director of the Adult Cardiology Training Program, Université de Montréal (2006–present); Member of the Specialty Committee in Cardiology at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada 2006-present.

Medical society memberships
Association des Cardiologues du Québec ; Collège des Médecins du Québec, American Board of Internal Medicine, Fédération des Médecins Spécialistes du Québec, Canadian Cardiovascular Society, member of the Quebec Heart Failure Society. Member of the Canadian Association of Interventional Cardiology.

Honours, grants, and awards
Prix d’excellence en enseignement (best professor) at the Hôpital du Sacré-Coeur de Montréal in 1994; Prix d’excellence en enseignement (best professor) for the Department of Medicine at the Université de Montréal.

Scientific activities
Dr. Palisaitis’s CV lists 16 peer reviewed articles. His main scientific interests include teaching to medical students and residents. He is an experienced clinician and interventional cardiologist. His expertise is the management of acute coronary syndromes and myocardial infarction.


Bill Pope, MD, FRCPC

Winnipeg-born, Dr. Bill Pope completed his medical school and Anesthesiology training at the University of Manitoba. He has been section head of Adult Anesthesia at the HSC, program director in Anesthesiology and undergraduate associate dean at the University of Manitoba, as well as chief oral examiner in Anesthesia for the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. He took a law degree in “late youth” and was executive vice-president, Medical Services for St. Joseph’s Hospital in Hamilton, Ont., returning to Winnipeg to be assistant registrar (Complaints) at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba. For the last thirteen years, he has been registrar and CEO of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba and has been president of the Federation of Medical Regulatory Authorities of Canada.

In the past, Dr. Pope has been a member of the Credentials and Accreditation committees of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, as well as a member of the Written Examination Committee and Chief Oral Examiner for Anesthesia.

He has been very involved in community, social and artistic organizations including on the boards of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Manitoba Opera, the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, Manitoba Music Baroque, Opera Hamilton, and the United Way of both Greater Winnipeg and Hamilton-Wentworth.  In addition, Dr. Pope sits on the Council of St. John’s College (Anglican) of the University of Manitoba and the Board of PLAN Canada (formerly Foster Parents Plan) where he is chair of the Planning and Program Committee.  For the last six years, he has been a member of the selection committees for the Rhodes Scholarship winners for Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta; the Future Leaders of Manitoba, and the winner of the Winnipeg Walk of Fame.


Richard Reznick, MD, FRCSC

Since his first faculty appointment at the University of Toronto in 1987, Dr. Reznick has been active in both colorectal surgery and research in medical education. He was instrumental in developing a performance-based examination, which is now used for medical licensure in Canada. He ran a research program on assessment of technical competence for surgeons and supervised a fellowship program in surgical education.

At the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine, he was the inaugural Director of the Faculty’s Centre for Research in Education at University Health Network (The Wilson Centre) from 1997 to 2002. In 1999 he was appointed Vice President of Education at University Health Network. He served eight years as the R. S. McLaughlin Professor and Chairman of the Department of Surgery at the University of Toronto from 2002-2010.

In July 2010, Dr. Reznick assumed the position of Dean, Faculty of Health Sciences at Queen’s University and Chief Executive Officer of the Southeastern Ontario Academic Medical Organization (SEAMO).

Dr. Reznick has received numerous awards for his work in education, including the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada Medal in Surgery, the Association for Surgical Education Distinguished Educator Award, the National Board of Medical Examiners John P. Hubbard Award, the Daniel C. Tosteson Award for Leadership in Medical Education, the 2006 Inaugural University of Toronto President’s Teaching Award and the Karolinska Institutet Prize for Research in Medical Education. In July of 2011 Dr. Reznick was awarded an honourary fellowship from the Royal College of Surgeons of Scotland, and in November of 2011, an honourary fellowship from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.


David Ross, MD, FRCSC

Born in Southern Ontario, Dr. Ross graduated from medical school at the University of Toronto. Following internship and a year of anesthesia training at McGill, he was a GP-Anesthetist in Northern Ontario for two years before undertaking General Surgery followed by Cardiovascular Thoracic Surgery training at Dalhousie University in Halifax. This was followed by two years of fellowship training in congenital cardiac surgery at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto and at the Royal Brompton National Heart Hospital in London, UK.

After eight years in practice as a pediatric and adult cardiac surgeon in Halifax, he relocated to Edmonton in 2001 to assist with the expansion occurring in the Stollery’s congenital cardiac surgery program.

Dr. Ross is the author or co-author of over 130 peer reviewed publications. His research interest is in the causes of failure of human valves used in children’s heart surgery and in neurodevelopmental outcomes of infant heart surgery. In 2010, he was appointed director of the division of cardiac surgery at the University of Alberta and the head of cardiac surgery for the Edmonton Zone, Alberta Health Services. He has just completed his term as President of the Canadian Society of Cardiac Surgeons (2012-2014).

Dr. Ross has been active in the Royal College as the first Residency Program Committee director for the six-year integrated Cardiac Surgery program at Dalhousie University (1997-2001), as a nucleus committee member (1995-2000) and chair (2000-2006) of the Specialty Committee in Cardiac Surgery, as vice-chair of the Cardiac Surgery Examination Board (1999-2001) and as a member of the Regional Advisory Committee for Region 1 (2009-present).

Married with twin 25 year olds, he spends his spare time in outdoor activities including skiing, hiking and piloting his light airplane.


Kamal Rungta, MD, FRCPC

Dr. Kamal Rungta obtained his MD in 1979 at the University of Toronto, Canada. He completed residency training in Psychiatry at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in 1983 and went on to qualify as an Accredited Clinical Polysomnographer in 1986 (evolved later to the American Board of Sleep Medicine). He served as a Co-director of the UBC Psychiatry Residency Program between 1996 and 2002 during which time he was promoted to Clinical Professor of Psychiatry. He served as Co-Associate Dean of Postgraduate Medical Education at UBC between 2002 and 2010. During this period the program grew from 450 residents to over 1,100 residents with a shift to a geographically distributed model of delivering medical education that has been recognized internationally as an effective and innovative approach. He was appointed as the Interim Executive Dean, Education 2011 and since 2012 has served as the Senior Advisor to the Executive Dean on Medical Education at UBC.

During the past 15 years, Dr. Rungta has been engaged by the Royal College primarily in the area of Accreditation of residency programs, Program Director and Surveyor development as well as Credentialing. He has participated in many RCPSC University Accreditation Survey teams, having chaired the University of Manitoba, McMaster University and University of Toronto surveys of postgraduate programs. He has also presented numerous workshops locally, nationally and internationally related to Postgraduate Medicine. In 2011, he was part of a Royal College team that reviewed residency programs at the Pontifical University of Chile in Santiago and presented on Professionalism in Medical School and Residency Training. In 2012 he participated in program consultation at the Peking First University Hospital and presented on Competency-Based Medical Education. In 2013, he visited the King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah to review their Postgraduate medical education system and potential development of “hybrid residency programs”. In 2014, he participated on a Royal College team visit to Kuwait and Oman. He is a past Chair of the Royal College Credentials Committee and a former nucleus member of the Royal College Education Committee. In November 2013, he was appointed the inaugural chair of the Royal College International Program Review Committee tasked with developing international accreditation standards and a process to review international residency programs. He was also appointed as a member of the Royal College Accreditation Committee in 2013.

Dr. Rungta led the UBC participation in the recently completed, Health Canada-funded Future of Medical Education in Canada Postgraduate (FMEC PG) project and is a member of the FMEC PG Steering Implementation Group. He co-chairs the committee responsible for the implementation of the project’s recommendation on transitions to, and from, residency training.

Dr. Rungta has maintained a part time clinical practice throughout his career. In addition to his interest and contributions in the area of postgraduate medical education, he has been engaged in assisting UBC develop an Aboriginal Health Strategy, reviewing the MD Aboriginal Admissions program and the undergraduate electives system. He chaired the MD Curriculum Renewal Steering Committee and is currently chair of the MD student promotion committees.


Robert Sabbagh, B Pharm, MD, MSc, FRCSC

Associate Professor and Research Chair , Department of Surgery, Université de Sherbrooke
Surgical Foundations Program Director, Université de Sherbrooke
Chair, Fellowship Affairs Committee, Member of Executive Committee and Council, Royal College

Dr. Robert Sabbagh is an associate professor at the Department of Surgery, Division of Urology at Université de Sherbrooke. He attended medical school at the University of Montreal before completing his urology residency at Laval University. He later completed two years of fellowship training in endourology/laparoscopy at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont., and in France.

Since 2007, Dr. Sabbagh has also served as the Université de Sherbrooke’s Surgical Foundation Program Director. He is actively involved in clinical, translation and education research projects.

Dr. Sabbagh has also served as an examiner for the Royal College urology examinations and as a surveyor for the Royal College.

Since January 2014, he is the research chair of his Surgery Department.


Bill Tholl M.A., ICD.D

Bill Tholl serves as the Founding President and CEO of HealthCareCAN (formerly the merged Association of Canadian Academic Healthcare Organizations and the Canadian Healthcare Association). The mandate of the new organization is to speak with one unified voice on behalf of Canada’s healthcare community to advance organizational and health system performance.

Prior to joining HealthCareCAN, Bill was the Founding Executive Director of the Canadian Health Leadership Network (2009-2014). This network was formed to increase leadership capacity throughout Canada’s health and healthcare systems.

Bill also served as CEO and Secretary General, Canadian Medical Association (2001-2008) and CEO of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada (1995-2001). The Globe and Mail has described Bill as “Medicare’s Mr. Fix-it”. He is a much sought-after speaker, being billed as a “leader of leaders” for his pioneering work with CHLNet.

He holds a graduate degree in health economics (from University of Manitoba) and has written on many topics, most recently as the co-author of “Bringing Leadership to Life in Health” (Springer, January 2014) and the lead author of “Twenty Tips for Surviving and Prospering in the Association World” (Canadian Society of Association Executives, 2010). He is the recipient of numerous national awards and is a Certified Corporate Director (ICD.D).

Born and raised in Saskatchewan, Bill and his wife, Paula, live in Ottawa and have three children and four grandchildren.


Jim Wilson, MD, FRCSC

Dr. James Wilson, a native of Port Colborne, Ont., received his medical degree from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ont., in 1977 and completed his residency education in Urology in 1982. Following a year of further training at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota (USA) he joined the Faculty of Medicine at Queen’s in the Department of Urology in 1983. His clinical interests are in urinary stone disease and voiding dysfunction related to neurological disease; he maintains a joint clinical program with Dr. Karen Smith of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation for this patient population. His research interests are clinically-oriented and he has over 50 publications and presentations.

Dr. Wilson was appointed department head of Urology in 1997, a position he held until 2012. He was president of the Clinical Teachers Association of Queen’s University from 1992-1994, during the establishment of the Alternative Funding Plan (AFP) for Queen’s University physicians; he was an active negotiator with the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care for the AFP. From 1995 to 1998, he was associate dean of Postgraduate Medical Education at Queen’s. He was chief examiner of Urology for the Royal College from 2000-2002 and chair of the Specialty Committee in Urology from 2002-2006. He was president of the Canadian Urological Association in 2002 and president of the Northeastern Section of the American Urological Association from 2007-2008.

In 2010 Dr. Wilson was awarded the Lifetime Achievement award of the Canadian Urological Association. He has been Chair of the Credentials Committee of the Royal College (2002-2006), the Committee on Specialties (2008-2013). He was elected to Council of the Royal College in 2011. In 2013, he retired from Queen’s University but maintains an ambulatory clinical practice. He was elected a Governor of the American College of Surgeons in 2013. In 2014 he was appointed as Chair of the Education Committee of the Royal College. He served on the Investigation, Complaints and Resolutions Committee for the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario beginning in 2008, and served as its vice-chair from 2011-2013. He currently holds the position of medical advisor for the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario.