Nursing Leadership

Nursing Leadership 20(4) December 2007 : 12-17.doi:10.12927/cjnl.2007.19460

Awards and Appointments


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Falk Appointed Managing Director
Will Falk has been appointed Accenture's Health & Life Sciences managing director for Canada. Falk is a recognized leader in the health and life sciences industry, with over 15 years of experience in the field. He has advised leading academic medical centres and health systems across North America on their clinical, teaching and research operations. He has been a leader in the application of information technology to healthcare (eHealth) for more than a decade. He is well known to key policy makers within government and to healthcare executives across the country as an innovative thinker. Falk holds a bachelor of science degree from University of Toronto's Trinity College and a master's degree in public and private management from Yale University's School of Management; during the 2002-2003 academic year, he was a visiting research fellow at Yale's School of Management.

New President for St. Paul's Hospital Foundation
Stephen Shapiro is the new president and CEO of St. Paul's Hospital Foundation. Shapiro was most recently associate vice-president, Global Development and Principal Gifts in the Office of the Vice-President, External Relations, at the University of Alberta. Shapiro's fundraising career includes 20 years of experience in government, healthcare, arts and culture, community and recreation and the university sectors. From 2000 to 2006, he served as director of Development, Leadership Gifts and President's Circle at the University of British Columbia under the leadership of former president Martha C. Piper. St. Paul's Hospital Foundation raises funds for St. Paul's, a teaching hospital renowned for excellence in both patient care and research. The hospital cares for patients from across British Columbia who need specialized or one-of-a-kind health services for the heart, kidneys or human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS), for example. St. Paul's also serves the healthcare needs of people who come to downtown Vancouver to live, work or visit.

VON Canada Foundation Appoints New Board Chair
Ambrose Hearn is the new chair of the Victorian Order of Nurses (VON) Canada Foundation. Founded in 2000, VON Canada Foundation raises funds to support the work of VON across Canada. The foundation provides funding for education, research and program development initiatives, all of which ensure that VON will continue to deliver home care and community support programs to Canadians when and where they need them.

Hearn has had a distinguished career in healthcare administration in Canada, over a period of more than 25 years. He brings a wealth of experience to his new role. His most recent position was president and CEO of VON Canada from 1999 to 2003. Prior to that time, he served as president and CEO of the Ottawa Civic Hospital, a major teaching hospital in the nation's capital. He previously held the position of CEO of the Canadian Council of Health Services Accreditation, the national organization that sets standards for and accredits healthcare organizations. Hearn was also deputy minister of health for the province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Inaugural Director Appointed for Innovative New Institute at St. Paul's Hospital
The fight to detect, prevent and care for heart and lung diseases has taken a significant leap forward with the appointment of internationally renowned heart and lung researcher Dr. Bruce McManus as the inaugural director of the Providence Heart + Lung Institute at St. Paul's Hospital. Launched in June 2007, the Providence Heart + Lung Institute at St. Paul's Hospital merges and integrates all of Providence's heart and lung research, education and care programs under one umbrella. It is the only institute of its kind in Canada.

St. Paul's Hospital has been providing cardiovascular care since 1950. Its cardiac program - now at home in the Heart Centre within the Heart + Lung Institute - provides a broad spectrum of cardiovascular care including many leading provincial programs in areas of need, such as healthy heart programs, adult congenital heart disease care, heart failure, heart transplantation, heart valve replacement without the need for surgery and several others. Research and care are closely linked and will be further developed together in the Heart + Lung Institute.

New Deputy Minister of Health and Community Services in Newfoundland and Labrador
Don Keats has been appointed deputy minister of health and community services for Newfoundland and Labrador. Keats has an extensive background in senior executive leadership in healthcare and the public sector. His career has included roles as CEO of three former provincial health corporations: Central West, General Hospital and Grand Falls and District. Keats has also served as CEO of Queensway-Carleton Hospital in Ontario, assistant deputy minister of the Department of Health and Community Services and assistant deputy minister with the Nova Scotia Department of Health. He holds a master's degree in health services administration from the University of Alberta and a bachelor of commerce degree from Memorial University. Keats's background includes service on the boards of the Newfoundland and Labrador Hospital and Nursing Home Association, the Canadian Health Care Association and the Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Health Information. His past accomplishments include recognition as one of the top healthcare executives in North America.

OHA Appoints New President and CEO
Tom Closson will become president and CEO of the Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) effective January 14, 2008. Closson is one of Canada's most prominent healthcare leaders. He has previously served as president and CEO of three of the nation's leading healthcare organizations: the University Health Network in Toronto, Ontario, the Capital Health Region in Victoria, British Columbia, and Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, also in Toronto. He is a professional engineer, holds a master's degree in business administration and has extensive experience in healthcare management and governance, leadership and facilitation, change management, strategy development and e-health implementation.

Closson will assume his responsibilities after the retirement of current OHA President and CEO Hilary Short, following her 34 years of exemplary service to the organization.

Bruno Giros Joins Douglas Institute and McGill as Graham Boeckh Chair in Schizophrenia
One of the world's leading figures in the study and treatment of schizophrenia is joining the Douglas Mental Health University Institute and McGill University as the new Graham Boeckh chair in schizophrenia. Bruno Giros, PhD, who created the Neurobiology and Psychiatry Laboratory at France's Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale (INSERM), officially joined Douglas and McGill on November 29 as the second Graham Boeckh chair in schizophrenia. He succeeds Dr. Guy Rouleau, who held the chair from 1998 to 2004.

Giros, who is also McGill's Canada Research chair in neurobiology of mental disorders, has been a pioneer in the molecular characterization, cloning and study of a large number of dopamine and glutamate receptors and transporters. These represent some of the main targets for widely used psychotropic drugs. He is also one of the leading scientists developing the first genetic models in mice that could allow us to link these molecules to integrated brain functions and enable us to model certain types of psychosis.

Canada's Top Health Researchers Recognized
Canada's top health researchers were recognized in November at the Sixth Annual Canadian Health Research Awards - A Celebration of Excellence. These awards are among the Canadian research community's highest honours. The following individuals and organizations were recognized for their outstanding contributions to improving the health of Canadians:
  • Dr. Francis Plummer (chief science advisory and scientific director general, National Microbiology Laboratory, Public Health Agency of Canada) was the recipient of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Michael Smith Prize in Health Research - Canada's Health Researcher of the Year in the category of Biomedical and Clinical Research. This award recognizes innovation, creativity, leadership and dedication to health research. Dr. Plummer is one of the world's leading specialists in HIV/AIDS. His work has also led to low-cost interventions to reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS, tools that have been adopted by UNAIDS and the World Bank.

  • Dr. Peter Singer (senior scientist, McLaughlin Rotman Centre, University Health Network, and professor of medicine at the University of Toronto) received the CIHR Michael Smith Prize in Health Research - Canada's Health Researcher of the Year in the category of Health Services and Systems and Population Health Research. Dr. Singer's research is at the nexus of life sciences and the developing world. His core ideas include learning how to move life sciences technologies from "lab to village" and determining how countries can accelerate commercialization of life sciences for health and economic development.

  • Dr. Wilbert J. Keon (senator, Senate of Canada) was the 2007 Champion of Health Research. He received the CIHR Distinguished Leadership Award, which recognizes outstanding leadership qualities and support by individuals for health research. Dr. Keon's has pioneered many groundbreaking clinical innovations that are now standard practice; these include surgical reperfusion in acute heart attacks. He has also established broad-based research programs. As a senator, he has participated in numerous major health- and science-related reports, including reports on Canada's healthcare system and on mental health.

  • Dr. Michael B. Reed (assistant professor, Faculty of Medicine, McGill University) was the recipient of the Peter Lougheed/CIHR New Investigator Award - Canada's Premier Young Researcher. This award is given to Canada's brightest young health researchers at the beginning of their careers. Dr. Reed's research focuses on better understanding strain variations within the tuberculosis bacterium, studying and characterizing the unique attributes of the Beijing strain lineage that help it adapt to the diverse environmental conditions it encounters within the human host. His research could lead to improved treatments for tuberculosis and an improved way to identify patients most at risk for developing active disease.

  • Dr. Thomas Kerr (Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research scholar, research scientist, BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, assistant professor, Department of Medicine, University of British Columbia) was the national recipient of the CIHR Knowledge Translation Award. This award recognizes an exceptional individual or team currently involved in a collaborative health research or development project that aims to advance and expand the understanding of knowledge translation. Dr. Kerr's research evaluating North America's first safe injecting facility, Vancouver's Eastside medical injection site program, has contributed significantly to academic, public and government discussions on the subject of injection drug use and HIV/AIDS.

  • Dr. Ron Zernicke (executive director, Alberta Bone and Joint Health Institute) received the CIHR Partnership Award for his work designing one-stop clinics for hip and knee replacements, where patients have access to a multidisciplinary team of healthcare providers. This award recognizes partnerships that bring health research communities together to create innovative approaches to important research challenges. The Alberta Bone and Joint Health Institute worked with the Alberta Orthopaedic Society, three regional health authorities (Calgary, Capital and David Thompson) and Alberta Health and Wellness on a one-year randomized controlled study of the new approach. It was one of the most extensive research efforts in health services delivery ever in North America. The model is now being expanded to all health regions in Alberta, and the knowledge is being shared with healthcare providers across Canada.

  • Pamela A. Kolopack (graduate student, University of Toronto) was the recipient of the CIHR Douglas Kinsella Doctoral Award for Research in Bioethics. This award honours the accomplishments of Dr. T. Douglas Kinsella in bioethics and his lifelong promotion of the ethical treatment of humans in research. Kolopack's work will contribute to the development of an improved framework for the analysis of the ethics of proposed public health research initiatives.

  • Dr. Filio Billia (clinician-scientist trainee, University Health Network) was awarded the CIHR BIOTECanada Schering Plough Canada Fellowship. The award is presented to the highest-ranked postdoctoral fellowship candidate in the fields of immunology, infectious and inflammatory diseases, cardiovascular conditions, allergies and respiratory problems. Working under Dr. Rudiger van Harsdorf of the University Health Network, Dr. Billia is studying why the cardiac muscle cells that make up the heart are unable to replicate, by identifying signalling pathways that are responsible for keeping the cells in this state of arrest. The fellowship will help to support her further research training as a clinician scientist, focusing on new approaches to treating heart failure.

  • Mr. Bechara Saab (PhD student, Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute, Mount Sinai Hospital, University of Toronto) received the CIHR Synapse Youth Mentorship Award. This award recognizes the efforts of a graduate student or postdoctoral fellow who has made exceptional efforts to promote health research among Canada's high-school students. Saab is involved with a variety of activities to motivate youth to learn about science, including SciHigh, the youth outreach program of the Samuel Lunenfeld Institute.

Canadian Partnership against Cancer Names Advisory Council
The Canadian Partnership against Cancer Board of Directors has announced the members of its first national Advisory Council on Cancer Control. The council's members are drawn from across the country and encompass a wide spectrum of stakeholders in Canada's cancer community. The council will provide expert advice to the partnership on emerging issues, best practices and priorities in cancer control and on implementation of the Canada-wide strategy.

Dr. Simon Sutcliffe is chair of the advisory council. Dr. Sutcliffe also serves as vice-chair of the partnership's board of directors. Members of the advisory council include Vice-Chair Heather Bryant, Partnership CEO Jessica Hill, Harley Ast, Carrie Bourassa, Dr. Mark Elwood, Dr. Eva Grunfeld, Barbara Kaminsky, Dr. Jean Latreille, Elisa Levi, Ellen Murphy, Dr. Mike Richards, Dr. Paul Rogers, Dr. Jack Siemiatycki, Jack Shapiro, Dr. Sylvie Stachenko and Dr. Isaac Sobol.Canadian Partnership against Cancer Action group chairs are as follows:

  • Dr. Alan Katz, Primary Prevention Action Group

  • Dr. Verna Mai, Screening Action Group

  • Dr. Brent Schacter, Standards Action Group

  • Dr. George Browman, Cancer Guidelines Group

  • Dr. Margaret Fitch, Rebalance Focus Action Group

  • Dr. Andrew Padmos, Human Resources Action Group

  • Bob Allen, Surveillance Action Group

  • Dr. Philip Branton, Research Action Group

  • Dr. Tony Miller, Quality and Performance Action Group

Information about the members of the council is available at

CHEO Welcomes New Chief of Staff
Dr. Michael Leonard is the new chief of staff at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO). Dr. Leonard is replacing Dr. Sharon Whitting, who is now assistant dean, Hospital Relations, at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa. Dr. Leonard was recruited to CHEO in 1999 as chief of the Division of Urology. He is a fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Canada in Urology and of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Dr. Leonard is an active clinician, an avid researcher and an assistant professor with the University of Ottawa. Prior to his appointment as chief of staff, Dr. Leonard was the president of the medical staff at the hospital.

CASN Welcomes New Executive Director
Dr. Ellen Rukholm has accepted the position of executive director of the Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing (CASN). Dr. Rukholm joins CASN with a wealth of experience as a teacher, researcher and administrator. She has extensive background in the development and implementation of innovative quality nursing and interdisciplinary programs and courses offered through both traditional as well as distance education delivery modes. In addition, she has initiated, supported and/or developed nursing programs serving a range of student populations including Aboriginal and francophone as well as rural and urban populations.

Dr. Rukholm is a team player, as is evidenced by her leadership and commitment to the development and implementation of innovative quality programs such as collaborative nursing undergraduate education and graduate programs in nursing, health services and health policy and interdisciplinary rural and northern health.

She is a fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, was a mentor in the FUTURE program - an innovative national cardiovascular nurse scientist training program funded by CIHR - director of a graduate training program in health services and health policy research. Her experience and knowledge of health services and health policy research and practice will prove invaluable to advancing the mission and goals of CASN.

2007 Recipients of the CHSRF/CIHR Achievement Award in Nursing/Health Human Resources
Canadian Health Services Research Foundation (CHSRF)/CIHR Achievement Awards in Nursing/Health Human Resources, sponsored by Dr. Linda O'Brien-Pallas through her role as CHSRF/CIHR National Chair in Nursing Health Human Resources, was presented in Prince Edward Island, Ontario, Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia this year.

To recognize the contributions of Mae Gallant who passed away in December, Dr. O'Brien-Pallas presented the award to her family in Prince Edward Island. Throughout her career as staff nurse, administrator, researcher and educator, Gallant was a strong advocate for nurses and actively promoted change to improve nursing work life.

Saint Elizabeth Health Care (SEHC), the award recipient in Ontario, was recognized for initiatives including research, best practice guidelines, evidence-informed decision-making, tuition assistance, mentorship programs and e-learning. SEHC was nominated by Nancy Lefebre, senior VP, Knowledge and Practice.

Dr. Marlene Smadu, the award recipient in Saskatchewan, was praised highly for her contributions in nursing education, research, advocacy and policy in the province and throughout Canada. The Membership Advisory Committee of Saskatchewan Registered Nurses' Association (SRNA) put Dr. Smadu's name forward for this award.

In Nova Scotia, Dr. Gail Tomblin Murphy was presented with the award in recognition of her significant contributions to health human resource research and policy development provincially, nationally and internationally. Dr. Tomblin Murphy was nominated by Donna Denney, nursing policy advisor at the Nova Scotia Department of Health. For more information about the CHSRF/CIHR Achievement Award, please contact Laureen Hayes at

There's a new disease out there
The majority of Canadians are unaware of the prevalence of complex chronic disease and its impact on society according to a survey released by Bridgepoint Health in October 2007.

In response, Bridgepoint Health has launched a public awareness initiative to create understanding and dialogue around Complex Chronic Disease. The campaign capitalizes on the theme of "a new disease out there" by running the names of several common chronic diseases together to draw attention to the current reality. For example: Osteocanceritis, Neurodiabesity, Arthrostrokoma. The campaign comprises outdoor and transit shelter and print advertising and is supported by an informational website (

The survey, conducted by Harris/Decima Research, showed

  • 69% of Canadians confirmed that they - or someone close to them - are living with Complex Chronic Disease.

  • 4 out of 5 Canadians perceive Complex Chronic Disease to have a large or very large impact on the country.

  • Yet, 92% claim they are not hearing about Complex Chronic Disease.

  • Barely half (52%) of Canadians feel the current health care system is meeting the needs of individuals with chronic disease.

  • And, when it comes to meeting the needs of people living with Complex Chronic disease, 60% of Canadians rated the system as fair or poor.

"What this study reinforced for us is the disconnect between public understanding of the prevalence of complex chronic disease, the number of Canadians touched by it, how strongly Canadians feel about the issue, and how the system needs to respond," says Marian Walsh, President and CEO, Bridgepoint Health. "That's why we've launched a public awareness initiative ..."

The findings also demonstrated that 40% of those surveyed would not want to live an additional 20 years beyond normal life expectancy for reasons of quality of life and fears of being a burden to loved ones.

Bridgepoint Health is Canada's largest and most progressive health care network focused exclusively on "changing the world" for the growing numbers of people in need of complex medical care and rehabilitation. Bridgepoint Health is affiliated with the University of Toronto and comprised of: Bridgepoint Hospital, Bridgepoint Community Rehab, Bridgepoint Health Centre for Research and Education, Bridgepoint Health Foundation and Bridgepoint Family Health Team. Visit for more information.


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