e-Health Policy Symposium – Towards “Person-Centred” Integrated Health in Alberta

eHealth Policy Symposium: Key People

Biographies

Moderators

Dr. William Ghali, MD, MPH, FRCPC
Scientific Director, O’Brien Institute for Public Health
Professor, Departments of Medicine and Community Health Sciences, University of Calgary

William Ghali profile pictureDr. Ghali is a General Internist (MD, University of Calgary; FRCPC, Queen’s University) with methodological training in health services research and epidemiology (MPH) from the Boston University School of Public Health. He recently completed two terms as a Canada Research Chair in Health Services Research, and has also been funded as a Senior Health Scholar by Alberta Innovates Health Solutions. Dr. Ghali has held millions of dollars of peer- reviewed research funding from various agencies, has published over 390 papers in peer-reviewed journals, and has been the recipient of numerous local, national, and international awards. Dr. Ghali is involved in a number of research initiatives, with specific focus on interdisciplinary approaches to evaluating and improving health system performance to produce better patient outcomes and improved system efficiency.

Mr. John Sproule
Senior Policy Director, Institute of Health Economics (IHE)

John has been the IHE's Senior Policy Director since 2007. While at the Institute, he has regularly been seconded to work directly in an advisory capacity with government, in 2012-13 to the Office of the Minister of Health in Alberta and in 2015-16 with the Office of the Deputy Minister of Health. Prior to joining the Institute he served as Vice-President of Strategic Planning and Community Engagement at Vancouver Coastal Health Authority. From 1998 to 2005 he worked with Merck Frosst Canada Ltd and with Merck Sharpe Dohme Australia in health and industry policy planning. John worked with Alberta Health and Wellness as Director of the Office of the Deputy Minister of Health, from 1987 to 1998, managing significant policy and legislative changes in the Alberta health system. He has served on many federal/provincial committees in health and as a Board member with a number of health policy academic associations including Canadian Health Economics Research Association, Canadian Association for Population Therapeutics, Canadian Association for Health Services and Policy Research, Health Technology Assessment International and served as the Chair of the Pacific Northwest Economic Region Health Care Working Group.

Speakers

Dr. Carl Amrhein, MCIP, RPP
Deputy Minister, Alberta Health;
Professor, Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Alberta

Carl Amrhein profile pictureCarl Amrhein was appointed Deputy Minister, Alberta Health on August 4, 2015. Prior to this, he was the Official Administrator for Alberta Health Services.

Dr. Amrhein holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Geography from Pennsylvania State University (1978) and a Ph.D. in Geography from State University of New York at Buffalo (1984) with research interest in economic geography, labour markets, decision theory, migration, and quantitative methods.

Dr. Amrhein currently is a member of Fulbright Canada: Foundation for Educational Exchange between Canada and the United States of America; and a Fellow, Royal Canadian Geographic Society.

Dr. Amrhein served as Provost and Vice-President (Academic) at the University of Alberta from 2003 to 2014. He came to the University of Alberta following his 17 years at the University of Toronto. He also served as Visiting Professor, Graduate School of Education, Peking University, Haidian, Beijing, China, during October, 2012. Dr. Amrhein has a thorough understanding of good governance and the merits of an ethical approach, balancing objectives, and the importance of accountability and transparency in building a strong organization to enhance relationships regionally and internationally. Dr. Amrhein has shared his insights in guest lectures over the last several years at a number of Chinese Universities including East China Normal University, Fudan University, Peking University and Zhejiang University.

Dr. Amrhein was awarded the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Merit from the Federal Republic of Germany in 2011. He was named an honorary professor at Zhejiang University in 2012. In honour of his contributions in advancing the role of Traditional Knowledge of the First Nations in university programming while at the University of Alberta in 2014, Dr. Amrhein was awarded the prestigious Eagle Feather. Also in 2014 he was awarded the Alberta Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Excellence in Public Administration. In 2016, Dr. Amrhein was appointed Visiting Professor of the Fudan Development Institute (May 2016 – May 2019).

Ms. Annamarie A. Fuchs
IMAGINE Citizens, Collaborating for Health

Annamarie Fuchs profile pictureAnnamarie Fuchs is an independent consultant with 30 years of experience across healthcare. She spent 11 years as a Registered Nurse before eventually moving into leadership roles, project management, governance, strategic planning, policy, and business planning. She is currently supporting the HQCA’s FOCUS Primary Health Care Project. From 2014 to 2016 with the Alberta Medical Association, she co-led Primary Care Network Evolution which supported the efforts of family physicians to further enhance team-based care, continuity of care, and access to primary care across Alberta. She has also worked with the Canadian Patient Safety Institute (CPSI), The Canadian Society of Gastroenterology Nurses & Associates, and others.

In 2016 Annamarie completed two terms (6 years) as a member and Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of the Health Quality Council of Alberta (HQCA). She has also recently been appointed to the Board of Directors for the Alberta Benefits Corporation (Alberta Blue Cross). She is an ad-hoc member of EyeXperts Inc.’s Board of Directors and a member of “Imagine! Citizens Collaborating for Health’s” Steering Committee and supporting their E-Health and Primary Health Care priorities.

Annamarie brings passion, enthusiasm, and a wide perspective to the health care landscape in Alberta, blending her former clinical nursing practice with policy, governance, clinical informatics and project management knowledge to help to influence health care decision making in Alberta. She spent many years volunteering as a CPR Instructor, has taught swimming lessons, aquatic emergency care, chaired her local Library Board, and participated actively with her local Family Community Support Services Board. She is also a published author, speaker, facilitator, mentor, advocate, and educator.

Ms. Kathleen Ness
Assistant Deputy Minister, Health Service Delivery Division, Alberta Health

Kathleen Ness profile pictureKathleen is a leading senior management professional with over 25 years of leadership in senior executive level positions within Alberta Health and Alberta Health Services. This included roles overseeing business and operations management and providing strategic leadership for policies and initiatives that improve the health and quality of life for Albertans. In her current role, Kathleen is accountable for setting strategic direction and policies for Primary Health Care, Addictions and Mental health, Continuing Care, Emergency Health Services, and Provincial Health Services including Blood, and Organ and Tissue Transplant programs.

Kathleen completed a Masters in Public Health from the University of Minnesota, and holds an adjunct appointment in the Department of Public Health Sciences at the University of Alberta. She holds a Graduate Certificate in Health System Leadership from Royal Roads University and maintains certification as a Canadian Health Executive with the Canadian College of Health Leaders.

Dr. Doreen Rabi, MD, FRCPC, MSc

Dr. Doreen Rabi is a clinical endocrinologist at the Cummings School of Medicine and the O’Brien Institute for Public Health at the University of Calgary. She completed medical school at the University of Western Ontario and went on to complete her residency in Internal Medicine at Dalhousie University. She returned to Western to do her fellowship in Endocrinology and Metabolism. Dr. Rabi joined the Department of Medicine at the University of Calgary as a Clinical Scholar in 2003 and began graduate studies in clinical epidemiology within the Department of Community Health Sciences. She is now an Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine and has cross appointments with the Departments of Community Health and Cardiac Sciences. She is an Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research (AHFMR) Population Health Investigator and has funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Natural Science and Engineering Research Council and the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

Dr. Rabi has over 75 peer-reviewed publications and her research program is focused on the cardiovascular complications of diabetes. This researcher has a particular interest in sex differences in vascular complications and vascular outcomes in diabetes. She also has CIHR funding to investigate novel approaches to engaging patients in the self-management of chronic diseases like diabetes and hypertension. Dr. Rabi is a leader in national guidelines for cardiovascular risk reduction. She is the co-chair of the 2018 Canadian Diabetes Association Clinical Practice Guidelines Methods Committee and is the chair for the 2017 Hypertension Canada/CHEP recommendations

Dr. Robert Reid, MD, MPH, PhD
Chief Scientist, Institute for Better Health;
Senior Vice-President, Science, Trillium Health Partners

Robert Reid profile pictureWith his passion for health care transformation, Dr. Robert Reid is helping Trillium Health Partners deliver on the promise of building a new kind of health care for a healthier community, through research and innovation.

Dr. Reid received his medical degree from the University of Alberta and completed a master of public health in epidemiology and a doctorate of health policy and management for the John Hopkins University. He is internationally recognized for his research developing and testing population-based innovations in primary care delivery, prevention services, and chronic care.

A fellow of the American College of Preventive Medicine, he has lectured nationally and internationally on the organization, financing and delivery of care – from the Mayo Clinic, Kaiser Permanente, and Harvard, to OLawa, London, and Auckland. Dr. Reid has published nearly 140 articles in refereed journals and given over 130 scientific and policy talks.

In addition to his position at the Institute for Better Health, Dr. Reid is a professor at the University of Toronto’s Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, and McMaster University’s Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact. He also holds appointments as affiliate investigator at Group Health Research Institute, and affiliate associate professor at the University of Washington’s School of Public Health and Community Medicine.

Ms. Kim Wieringa
Assistant Deputy Minister and Chief Information Officer, Information Systems Division, Alberta Health

Kim Wieringa is the Assistant Deputy Minister and Chief Information Officer of Alberta Health’s Information Systems Division. During her 25+ year tenure with the Government of Alberta, she has participated in award winning strategies and overseen programs that continue to have positive impact to the health system and across government through improved service delivery for citizens. Most recently, as the Executive Director of the divisions’ Strategic IMT Services Branch, she provided oversight for the Provincial Electronic Health Record, Consumer Health and Ministry information management technology programs. In her current role, she is the executive sponsor of these programs while providing leadership, policy and governance for Alberta’s broadening health strategies.

Dr. Jennifer Zellmer, PhD
President, Azimuth Health Group
Editor-in-Chief, Healthcare Policy, Toronto, Ontario

Jennifer Zellmer profile pictureDr. Jennifer Zelmer is President of Azimuth Health Group. In this capacity, she provides a range of advisory services to local, national, and international clients who seek to advance health and health care. In addition, she is the Editor-in-Chief of Healthcare Policy, an Adjunct Faculty Member at the University of Victoria, and serves on a range of health- related advisory committees and boards.

Prior to founding Azimuth Health Group, Jennifer held a series of progressively responsible leadership positions in Canada and abroad, mostly recently as Executive Vice President at Canada Health Infoway, where she was executive lead for the organization’s national clinical adoption, innovation, consumer health, and communications programs, as well its Ontario investment porPolio. Before joining Infoway, Jennifer served as Chief Executive Officer of the International Health Terminology Standards Development Organization and as Vice President at the Canadian Institute for Health Information.

Jennifer received her PhD and MA in economics from McMaster University and her B.Sc. in health information science from the University of Victoria.