Doing the Right Thing ... Right: Evidence Informing Clinical Decision-Making Forum

Doing the Right Thing ... Right: Key People

Speaker Biograpies


Keynote Speakers

Dr. Brian O’Rourke

Dr. Brian O’Rourke is the President and Chief Executive Officer of CADTH. He joined CADTH in January of 2009 following a distinguished career as a Pharmacist and Health Service Executive with the Canadian military. With over 30 years of experience in health care, Brian actively positions CADTH as the leading source of health technology information in Canada. He has a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy from Dalhousie University and a Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of Toronto. Brian also serves as the Board Chair for the International Network of Agencies for Health Technology Assessment.

Dr. Sean Tunis

Sean Tunis, MD, MSc is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Center for Medical Technology Policy in Baltimore, Maryland. Dr. Tunis was a member of the Institute of Medicine Committee on Initial National Priorities for Comparative Effectiveness Research. He advises a wide range of domestic and international public and private healthcare organizations on issues of comparative effectiveness, evidence based medicine, clinical research, reimbursement, and health technology policy.

Through September of 2005, Dr. Tunis was the Director of the Office of Clinical Standards and Quality and Chief Medical Officer at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). In this role, he had lead responsibility for clinical policy and quality for the Medicare and Medicaid programs, which provide health coverage to over 100 million US citizens. Dr. Tunis supervised the development of national coverage policies, quality standards for Medicare and Medicaid providers, quality measurement and public reporting initiatives, and the Quality Improvement Organization program. As Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Tunis served as the senior advisor to the CMS Administrator on clinical and scientific policy. He also co-chaired the CMS Council on Technology and Innovation. He is board certified in Internal Medicine and holds adjunct faculty appointments at Johns Hopkins, Stanford and the University of California San Francisco Schools of Medicine.


Welcome and Opening Remarks

Dr. Chris McCabe

Dr. Christopher McCabe is the Executive Director and CEO of the Institute of Health Economics (IHE).

He was more recently a Professor of Health Economics at the University of Alberta, where he was appointed Capital Health Endowed Research Chair at the University of Alberta, leading two Genome Canada research groups focused on the evaluation, adoption and implementation of Precision Medicine technologies. He also served on the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health Care (CADTH) Health Economics Working Group, which authored the 4th Edition of the CADTH Guidelines for the Economic Evaluation of Health Technologies earlier this year. Prior to his work in Canada, Dr. McCabe was appointed to the Chair in Health Economics at the University of Leeds in 2007, and went on to be the Founding Director of the Academic Unit of Health Economics within the Leeds Institute of Health Science. He has also held Chairs in Health Economics at the Universities of Warwick and Sheffield.

Dr. McCabe received his PhD in Health Economics at the University of Sheffield in the UK.

Mr. Justin Riemer

As Assistant Deputy Minister of Alberta Health’s Innovation and Strategic Operations Division, Justin leads his team to facilitate increased innovation adoption in the health care system with the goal of building the strongest health innovation ecosystem in Canada. His portfolio includes Strategic Policy, Indigenous Health, Intergovernmental Relations, and Ministry Integration.

Since 1996 the Government of Alberta has been Justin’s employer of choice. He has had the opportunity to provide leadership and drive results in a variety of areas including research and innovation, economic development, competitiveness, international marketing, strategic planning, and policy development. He holds a Master’s Degree in International Affairs from Carleton University.


Panel Speakers

Dr. Allan Bailey

Dr. Bailey is a family physician and Clinical Professor, Department of Family Medicine, University of Alberta. He is interested in primary care reform for Alberta and has helped facilitate the implementation of the “medical home” through his roles as a community-based family physician, Board member of the Westview Primary Care Network, past chair of the Provincial PCN Leads Executive, member of the Representative Forum, and now Section of General Practice Executive member (Alberta Medical Association). As a member of the Alberta Health/AMA Primary Care Physician Compensation Working Group, he helped develop a blended-capitation remuneration option for Alberta physicians. His other roles include co-chair of the Enhanced Access Working Group and member of the Measurement and Evaluation Working Group under the PCN Evolution Implementation Committee.

He is Director of the Westview Physician Collaborative Community Teaching Site (University of Alberta – Department of Family Medicine), and Medical Director of Research and Evaluation for the Westview Physician Collaborative. Between 1999 and 2012, he served as Site Medical Director for Westview Health Centre in Stony Plain. He is the Principal Investigator of two research projects that focus on system change through interdisciplinary patient care and conducted clinical trials research for over 10 years.

Dr. Fiona Clement

Dr. Clement is an Associate Professor and the Director of the Health Technology Assessment Unit within the Department of Community Health Sciences at the University of Calgary. Her work includes health policy development on many topics important to Canadians. In 2014, she was selected as one of 12 Harkness fellows internationally, a unique opportunity to spend a year participating in US health policy development. She has also received the Maurice McGregor Award for outstanding leadership and excellence in HTA in Canada. She is the first from Alberta to be awarded either of these awards. As a result, in 2015, she was named one of Calgary’s Top 40 under 40 for her work in health policy.

Dr. Brian Holroyd

Dr. Holroyd is a Professor of Emergency Medicine at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, and is the Senior Medical Director of the Alberta Health Services Emergency Strategic Clinical Network. Brian is a practicing emergency physician, working clinically at the University of Alberta Hospital. His professional interests include emergency department operations, quality, and administration, health policy, medical education, EMS, cardiac emergencies, medical informatics, and clinical decision support. He has authored multiple publications and has made local and national presentations on topics related to EM operations, pre-hospital care, informatics, and quality improvement. Dr. Holroyd served as a member, Vice-Chair, and Chair of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada Specialty Committee for Emergency Medicine between 2004 and 2016. He was a member of the national Collaborative Working Group on the Future of Emergency Medicine in Canada. In December 2017, Brian was awarded the Order of the International Federation for Emergency Medicine (FIFEM).

Dr. Tina Korownyk

Dr. Korownyk is an Associate Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Alberta. She has worked as a Family Physician in Edmonton for the past 12 years. Tina is a founding member of PEER, an evidence-based medicine organization that seeks to improve patient care in the community through evidence synthesis and knowledge translation in the context of primary care. She is co-director of the ACFP’s Evidence and CPD program and actively involved in the development of Tools for Practice and Continuing Professional Development programs within Alberta and nationally. Her research interests include practical questions relating to the improvement of primary care. She is involved in the Pragmatic Trials Collaborative, which engages community physicians in clinical trials that seek to answer pivotal questions relating to improved patient outcomes. Tina is happily married with four kids, and enjoys most things outdoors.

Dr. Blair O’Neill

Dr. O'Neill has been a practicing cardiologist since 1990. Healthcare leadership experience includes Director of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory of the Victoria General Hospital and later the QEII Health Sciences Centre in Halifax. He went on to become Chief of the Division of Cardiology at the QEII Health Sciences Centre. In 2008, he was recruited as Division Director for the University of Alberta, Division of Cardiology and for the Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute. In 2012, he became Senior Medical Director for the Cardiovascular Health and Stroke Strategic Clinical Network for Alberta Health Services, and in 2015 became the Associate Chief Medical Officer for all Strategic Clinical Networks in the province of Alberta. He served on Council of the Canadian Cardiovascular Society (CCS) from 1995 until 2000, and on its Executive from 2008-2012, serving as President of the Society from 2010 to 2012. He served as Chair of the Access to Care Committee for the CCS, and was instrumental in setting the targets for cardiovascular services and procedures, which have been adopted nationally. He also chaired the CCS' Quality Initiative, which established common data-definitions for cardiovascular registries in Canada, as well as the initiative to define national quality indicators for cardiovascular conditions. He also served as Chair of the Quality Collaborative for the Canadian Medical Association.

Ms. Deborah Prowse, QC

Deborah has a professional background and training in Social Work and Law. As a private consultant, she has worked in the areas of respectful workplace, human rights and conflict management offering mediation, investigation, and training. Deborah served as Panel Chair for the Alberta Human Rights Commission and as a Sitting Justice of the Peace in the Provincial Court of Alberta Traffic Division.

Following the death of her mother from a potassium mix-up in 2004, Deborah became a very committed patient safety advocate. She has been a founding member of the Calgary Health Region's Patient/Family Safety Council, Patients for Patients Safety Canada, and most recently the Alberta Health Quality Council Patient/Family Safety Advisory Panel. She also served two terms as a board member with the Canadian Patient Safety Institute. Deborah has played a significant role in speaking about her family's experiences to advance patient safety culture, policies, and procedures. In July 2014, Deborah was appointed as the first permanent Alberta Health Advocate. Her responsibilities include implementing the provincial Health Charter, the first of its kind in Canada. This position brings together Deborah’s background and experience in law, social work, and health care in the pursuit of a promoting a responsive quality health care system.

Dr. Susan Ulan

Dr. Ulan is the Assistant Registrar for Registration at the College of Physicians & Surgeons of Alberta. She oversees Registration and Practice Readiness Assessments, including more than 600 new registrations in 2017, and annual renewals for the province’s entire physician workforce of more than 10,000. Previously she served as Assistant Registrar for the Physician Health Monitoring Program and the Triplicate Prescription Program, and as Senior Medical Advisor for the Physician Prescribing Practices Program.

Prior to joining the College in 2009, Dr. Ulan was an Assistant Clinical Professor at the University of Alberta and practiced family medicine in Edmonton for 20 years. She was involved with teaching medical students and family medicine residents in addition to her clinical roles.