Appointments

Linda Miller Appointed Executive Director of CHIEF

Canada's Health Informatics Association (COACH) is pleased to announce the appointment of Linda Miller – a former Alberta health and wellness deputy minister, chief information officer and assistant deputy minister of information strategic services – as the new executive director of Canada's Health Informatics Executive Forum (CHIEF). A strategic leader, astute executive and team player, Miller has a wealth of experience in dealing with complex large-scale systems (i.e., the provincial electronic health record [EHR]), developing and implementing policy, working in highly complex multi-stakeholder environments and influencing national health and information technology direction within the realities of healthcare delivery. Miller earned her master's degree in health services administration, a baccalaureate degree in nursing and a certificate in information technology management from the University of Alberta.

New Director at the International Consortium on Anti-Virals

The International Consortium on Anti-Virals (ICAV) is pleased to announce that Luis Barreto, MBBS, MD, MHSc, has been elected to its board of directors. Dr. Barreto is the former vice-president of immunization and science policy for Sanofi Pasteur Limited. He was born and educated in India, where he completed his medical degree and post-graduate degree in community medicine in 1975. After completing his master's degree in health sciences, in community medicine and epidemiology, at the University of Toronto in 1982, he worked as a territorial epidemiologist for the government of the Northwest Territories. At Sanofi Pasteur, he has held a number of senior leadership positions including director of medical and clinical affairs, vice-president of medical, clinical and regulatory affairs and director of corporate public policy–international public health affairs.

Ontario Appoints New Provincial Chief Nursing Officer

Ontario has appointed Debra Bournes as the new provincial chief nursing officer (PCNO). The PCNO helps to advance a nursing agenda that will benefit both nurses and patients. Bournes has been a nurse since 1990 and most recently has worked as the director of nursing, new knowledge and innovation, at the University Health Network in Toronto. She has been a leader in healthcare research and administration for more than 15 years. Her research in nursing recruitment and retention has been widely presented and published, and has led to collaboration among several provincial healthcare organizations and nursing unions. In 2009, she received the Leadership Award for Nursing Research from the Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario for her work on developing a research culture among health professionals.

New Appointments at GS1 Canada

GS1 Canada is pleased to announce the appointment of the new chair of its board of governors, Domenic Pilla, president of McKesson Canada, and to welcome to the board Margaret Hudson, president of Burnbrae Farms Ltd.

Pilla was appointed as president of McKesson Canada in December 2006. He joined McKesson Canada in 2001 as executive vice-president. In that role, he was responsible for all marketplace operations, sales and marketing functions as well as for corporate procurement for Canada. Before joining McKesson Canada, Pilla was president of Canadian operations for RNG Group; prior to that, he enjoyed an 18-year career with Petro-Canada, where he held the position of vice-president of the central region. Pilla graduated from McGill University with a bachelor's degree of engineering in chemical engineering. He is also a member of the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec.

As the president of Burnbrae Farms, Hudson has gained experience in a variety of Burnbrae divisions in over 20 years of corporate work. Most notably, she helped to lead the development and launch of several award-winning products that appeal strongly to health-conscious consumers. Burnbrae Farms now holds 13 Grand Prix New Product Awards and 15 product nominations. In her role, she oversees strategy development and general operations for the company and continues to champion family nutrition and the promotion of the benefits of eggs to health-conscious consumers across Canada. Margaret holds a bachelor's degree of science in business and environmental science from the University of Toronto, and an MBA from the University of Toronto's Executive MBA program.

Ontario Medical Association Names New President

Dr. Stewart Kennedy, a family physician from Thunder Bay, has been named president of the Ontario Medical Association. Dr. Kennedy is the association's 130th president and replaces Dr. Mark MacLeod, an orthopedic surgeon at the London Health Sciences Centre. Dr. Kennedy practises comprehensive family medicine with active hospital privileges in Thunder Bay and has been doing so for the past 25 years. He graduated and received his medical education at McMaster University and, following this, he became the chief resident in family practice at the Calgary General Hospital. Dr. Kennedy also obtained his master's degree in health administration from the University of Ottawa. In his community of Thunder Bay, Dr. Kennedy is an associate professor at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine.

Ontario Shores Appoints New Physician-in-Chief

Dr. Eric Fonberg, chair of the Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences Board of Directors, is pleased to announce the appointment of Ian Dawe, MHSc, MD, FRCP(C), to the position of physician-in-chief. Dr. Dawe joins Ontario Shores from St. Michael's Hospital, where he was the medical director of the Psychiatric Emergency Service and a research associate with both the Keenan Research Centre of the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St Michael's Hospital and the Arthur Sommer Rotenberg chair in suicide studies at the University of Toronto. In addition, Dr. Dawe is an associate professor of psychiatry and has been the head of the General Psychiatry Division, Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, since 2003. Dr. Dawe was the mental health lead for the Toronto Central Local Health Integration Network (TC-LHIN), providing expert advice to the TC-LHIN on performance and improvement opportunities in mental health systems within the Toronto region. He also served as the medical director of Toronto's Emergency Mental Health and Addictions Alliance, an initiative involving seven hospitals.

Awards and Announcements

New $50,000 Bloomberg Manulife Prize to Promote Research into Active Lifestyles

McGill University, together with Lawrence S. Bloomberg and Manulife Financial, is taking an instrumental step to combat the declining health of North Americans by establishing a major academic prize to recognize research achievements in the area of active health. The Bloomberg Manulife Prize for the Promotion of Active Health is valued at $50,000 annually – making it the largest prize of its kind in Canada.

The Bloomberg Manulife Prize was created through two generous $1 million gifts – one from McGill graduate Lawrence Bloomberg, MBA 1965, and the other from corporate partner Manulife Financial. The two have also established a fellowship fund in McGill's Faculty of Education to support PhD students entering the Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education and studying in an area related to physical activity, health and lifestyle.

The inaugural winner of the Bloomberg Manulife Prize is expected to be announced in the fall of 2011. The annual award will honour a researcher at a North American university whose work within the past five years has broadened our understanding of how physical activity, nutrition or psychosocial factors influence personal health and well-being. The prize will take the form of a stipend to fuel ongoing research, and the recipient will be invited to deliver a public lecture and participate in a roundtable discussion before a live audience. For further information, visit www.Bloomberg-ManulifePrize.ca.

Ontario Hospital Association Honoured with Prestigious Award

The Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) was presented with the prestigious Best Event Produced by an Association award, announced during the 14th Annual Canadian Event Industry Awards, a national program that recognizes outstanding achievements in Canadian special events. OHA was recognized for its progressive annual conference and exhibition, HealthAchieve, which has grown from being the association's annual convention to one of the largest healthcare shows of its kind in North America. The show also won a total of four awards in various categories at the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) Art of Show Competition in 2010, which recognizes excellence in promotional materials for the exhibitions and events industry.

HealthAchieve attracts more than 7,000 healthcare and business leaders and over 300 exhibiting companies from across the globe. Show participants and exhibitors have praised the HealthAchieve as an excellent opportunity to learn about the latest innovations in technology and healthcare, to hear from world-class speakers and experts from around the world and to network with colleagues from Ontario and beyond. For more information about HealthAchieve, visit www.healthachieve.com.

Dr. Jeff Cao Awarded CARO-Elekta 2011 Research Fellowship

Jeffrey Q. Cao, HBSc, MD, MBA, resident physician in radiation oncology at London Ontario's Regional Cancer Program, has been awarded the $75,000 Canadian Association of Radiation Oncology (CARO)-Elekta 2011 Research Fellowship for his study "Optimization of High-Precision Radiotherapy Utilization and Resource Allocation Using Operations Research Methodologies." Essentially, Dr. Cao's research will result in clinical implementation protocols for the most effective, efficient and fiscally responsible use of stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) in the treatment of cancer patients who previously had no other options.

Dr. Cao will be moving to Vancouver following the completion of his residency in London to begin his research work at the BC Cancer Agency (BCCA) on August 1, 2011. He will be collaborating with a number of BCCA radiologists including Dr. Scott Tyldesley, Dr. Rob Olson and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Team in Operations Research for Improved Cancer Care.

Canada Council Awards Five Prominent Scholars $100,000 Killam Prizes

The 2011 Killam Prizes, Canada's most distinguished annual awards, have been revealed for five outstanding Canadians for their career achievements in health sciences, engineering, humanities, natural sciences and social sciences. Their work in the fields of computer science, genetics, Aboriginal languages, antenna research and social psychology highlights Canadian success in global issues. The Canada Council for the Arts, which administers the Killam Program, announced the scholars: Professor Gilles Brassard, Dr. Michael Hayden, Professor Keren Rice, Dr. Lotfollah Shafai and Professor Mark Zanna.

Gilles Brassard, Université de Montréal, natural sciences. Professor Brassard is "one of Canada's science superstars" according to British astronomer David Darling. When many quantum physicists were only beginning to formulate their theories, Professor Brassard was already devising real world-applications for his own quantum theories. Today, he is acknowledged as one of the world's foremost computer scientists and best known pioneers in the field of quantum information science, in particular for his invention of quantum cryptography and teleportation.

In 1984, along with Charles H. Bennett, Professor Brassard developed the BB84 protocol, which is the most secure method of encrypting information for confidential transfer from one party to another. Their discovery was named one of the "10 emerging technologies that will change the world," by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2003. More recently, he has been working on the theoretical and experimental investigation of the art of flipping coins by use of quantum-mechanical phenomena. He dreams of new foundations for quantum mechanics based on information-theoretic principles.

Michael Hayden, University of British Columbia, health sciences. nternationally known for his genetic research, Dr. Hayden is best described as a humanitarian, one of those rare individuals whose life's work has bridged theory and practice. He is known as someone not averse to risk taking, particularly when confronted with patients who were once left to wonder whether they too might be afflicted with genetic diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease), Huntington's disease and coronary artery disease.

Dr. Hayden's scientific career began with investigations of Huntington's disease and his discovery of neuroendocrine abnormalities. Ultimately, his research led to predictive testing for this devastating disease. His later work has also contributed much to our understanding and gene identification of atherosclerosis, Huntington's disease and inherited lipid disorders, in which harmful amounts of fatty materials called lipids accumulate in the body.

Keren Rice, University of Toronto, humanities. Professor Keren Rice literally wrote the book on the Slavey (Dene) language, one of the official languages of Canada's Northwest Territories. A Grammar of Slave, a detailed study of grammar of the Dene language, was awarded the Bloomfield Book Award from the Linguistic Society of America and is still used some 20 years after publication. Her work has been critical in documenting one of Canada's living languages, an important element of our rich Aboriginal heritage.

A professor in linguistics and founding director of the Centre for Aboriginal Initiatives at the University of Toronto, Professor Rice has dedicated the past 30 years to her study of the Dene language and has been engaged in work to maintain and revitalize the language. She served on a committee that standardized the Dene writing system and has worked with a team to develop teaching materials for language teachers. In addition, she compiled a dictionary of one dialect of Dene. Professor Rice has also conducted in-depth research that helps to unlock the highly sophisticated system of word formation in Dene and related languages.

Lotfollah Shafai, University of Manitoba, engineering. Acknowledged as one of the world's most innovative antenna researchers, Dr. Shafai's groundbreaking research has led to a range of developments that are already in wide use in the broadband wireless and satellite communication industries. In recent years, Dr. Shafai's work has focused on the electromagnetic mapping of Arctic sea ice. His research has provided critical data for understanding the effects of climate-warming trends and more accurate predictions of the seasonal behaviour of Arctic ice. Dr. Shafai is Canada's leading expert in the field of applied electromagnetic and radiating systems. His early work led to the development of the first-generation pico terminals for the Canadian Hermes satellite – ultra-small, fully portable satellite ground stations with antennas now in use around the world.

Mark P. Zanna, University of Waterloo, social sciences. Professor Zanna is one of only a handful of academic social psychologists whose theories have been applied to major social issues such as racial prejudice. Described by his peers as one of the leading social psychologists in Canada, he is among the most cited social psychologists in the world.

Professor Zanna's research is enabling Canadians to better respond to some of the most challenging social issues of our time. Through his collaborative work on the International Tobacco Control Policy Survey, a population-based, national survey undertaken in 14 countries, he and his colleagues have made important contributions to the evaluation of national tobacco control policies. Continuing his health promotion efforts, Professor Zanna has evaluated Canada's cigarette warning labels and has tested the subtle effects of movie stars' smoking in films. Professor Zanna has given research into social attitudes' momentum and direction. He and his colleagues are credited with establishing one of the world's top social psychology programs at the University of Waterloo.

The Killam Prizes were inaugurated in 1981 with a donation by Mrs. Dorothy J. Killam in memory of her husband, Izaak Walton Killam. The prizes were created to honour eminent Canadian scholars and scientists actively engaged in research, whether in industry, government agencies or universities.

Nurses Recognize Top Employers

The Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) announced the winners of the 2011 CNA Employer Recognition Award. This prestigious prize honours employers who have shown an exceptional commitment to supporting registered nurses (RNs) pursuing and maintaining national certification in a range of nursing specialties/areas of nursing practice.

This year's top prize winner is Toronto's Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. The facility demonstrated exceptional commitment in encouraging certification among its nurses, who then integrate their knowledge into practice and maintain a high degree of competency in the delivery of mental health nursing care. The centre also provided outstanding educational support for participants of the CNA Certification Program by hosting an annual two-day intensive workshop by nurses specializing in different areas of mental health, thereby boosting nurses' chances of successfully earning their credential.

Honourable mentions were awarded to the following:

  • Fraser Health (British Columbia), where a high proportion of participants linked their participation in the CNA Certification Program to their annual continuing competence requirements for the renewal of their RN license
  • York Central Hospital (Ontario), which created an environment in which nurses are supported and encouraged to share their wealth of knowledge with colleagues
  • Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (Manitoba), which supports, rewards and recognizes nurses who are experts in their specialties and provide excellent patient care and mentorship

CNA also honours employers whose innovative tools and incentives support RNs' pursuit of certification. The following are this year's Innovation Award recipients:

  • Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre (Ontario), which strategically positioned itself for a funding opportunity in collaboration with the de Souza Institute and the Regional Cancer Program for nurses preparing for or renewing their CNA certification credential in oncology
  • Horizon Health Network, Saint John Regional Hospital (New Brunswick), which incorporated CNA certification into the professional development pathway for all newly hired RNs, enabling them to achieve certification within four years of hire

Education of Next Generation of Nurses to Include Effective Clinical Use of Information and Communications Technologies

A new initiative announced by the Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing (CASN) and Canada Health Infoway aims to prepare nursing students for practice in modern, technology-enabled clinical environments. Canada's nursing faculties and students will be involved in a three-year effort to strengthen learning on effective uses of information and communications technologies (ICT), now essential tools in clinical practice.

CASN, in partnership with Infoway, aims to help faculty and nursing students with the knowledge, tools and support they need to teach and practise in a technologically enabled practice setting. The program will engage educators, informatics experts and students at the 91 nursing degree–granting colleges and universities across Canada. Key program components will focus on the development, evaluation and sharing of curriculum-based resources and e-learning tools.

Infoway's investment in the CASN nurses in training program is supported by the $500 million in new funding provided by the government of Canada in its 2010 budget. This project is the second initiative of its kind launched by Infoway designed to enhance the effective clinical use of ICT among future healthcare providers.

Infoway Invests $380 Million to Help Physicians and Nurse Practitioners Implement EMR Systems

With its newest investment program, Canada Health Infoway is funding electronic medical record (EMR) systems in community-based practices and outpatient settings throughout Canada. Infoway president and CEO, Richard Alvarez, provided details about the $380 million fund that is designed to focus investment at the points of care, where the benefits of health information technology can deliver immediate value to patients and clinicians.

Infoway's investment in EMRs is part of the $500 million in new funding provided by the government of Canada in its 2010 budget. Through this program, Infoway will co-fund EMR systems for physicians and nurse practitioners, working through funding programs in provinces and territories throughout Canada. Infoway support will allow provinces and territories that have programs in place to expand their current programs. In jurisdictions planning to introduce a formal EMR program in the near future, Infoway will assist with start-up costs.

Infoway will also invest in clinical peer support networks so that health professionals using EMR systems can learn from others' experience and share best practices, innovation projects and other efforts to accelerate clinical value from the use of information and communications technologies. As well, support will be provided to qualifying information technology vendors needing to upgrade their current product lines to meet Infoway privacy, security and interoperability standards.

Infoway's investments in EMR systems will be tied to the extent to which health professionals derive clinical value, which will include using an EMR for functions such as entering patient information including notes, allergies, immunizations and prescribed medications or viewing laboratory tests. Additional clinical value will be derived from using the more advanced functionality of the EMR and supporting greater interoperability of the EMR with external systems.

Canada Health Infoway is an independent, not-for-profit organization funded by the federal government. Infoway jointly invests with every province and territory to accelerate the development and adoption of information and communications technology projects in Canada. Fully respecting patient confidentiality, these secure systems will provide clinicians and patients with the information they need to better support safe care decisions and manage their own health. Accessing this vital information quickly will help foster a more modern and sustainable healthcare system for all Canadians.

Homewood Health Centre Executives Announce Retirements

James Schlegel, CEO and president of Schlegel Health Care, announced the upcoming retirements of Edgardo Pérez, MD, CEO and president, and David Sands, chief operating officer, Homewood Health Centre. Dr. Pérez completed his duties as CEO and president of Homewood Health Centre on May 31, 2011; Sands will remain as chief operating officer until September 30, 2011. Both plan to formally retire from their current positions but remain connected to Homewood post-retirement.

Dr. Pérez came to Homewood in 1993 as executive vice-president and chief of staff. Over the past 18 years, he has served as CEO and president of Homewood Health Centre and Homewood Corporation; CEO of Homewood Employee Health; director of the Centre for Health at Homewood; and director general of the Homewood Research Institute. Under his leadership, Homewood has achieved national recognition, winning a number of awards, including the National Quality Institute's Canada Awards for Excellence Order of Excellence Award in the Quality and Healthy Workplace categories. He is also clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of Ottawa and McMaster University, and a clinical professor of both psychiatry and health policy, management and evaluation at the University of Toronto. Dr. Pérez will continue to maintain his medical appointment at Homewood and provide leadership to a revitalized Homewood Research Institute as it builds research capacity and gains increased emphasis within Homewood.

Sands began working at Homewood in 1972 as an accountant, taking on roles of increasing responsibility. Over his 38-year career, he has served as director of finance, chief financial officer and executive vice-president and chief operating officer of Homewood Health Centre and Homewood Corporation.