Speaker Biographies


The Honourable Yves Bolduc. A native of Lac St-Jean, Dr. Yves Bolduc earned a Ph.D. in medicine in 1981. He also holds a master’s degree in public administration from the École nationale d’administration publique and a diploma in bio-ethics from the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi. Dr. Bolduc’s career has taken him to various regions, where he has practised general medicine; he has also served as emergency physician and as coroner. Dr. Bolduc has a reputation for efficiency and has made access to services his key point of focus. His experience as director of professional services, professor and President of the Association des conseils des médecins, dentistes et pharmaciens du Québec propelled him to his current position as Québec’s Minister of Health and Social Services on June 25, 2008.

Adalsteinn Brown became the Dalla Lana Chair of Public Health Policy at the University of Toronto and a Scientist in the Keenan Research Centre of the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael’s Hospital on January 1, 2011. Past roles span the public, private, and government sectors and include Assistant Deputy Minister for strategy at the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and for science and research at the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation, Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Policy, Management & Evaluation (University of Toronto), and a founding role in consulting, software and internet companies. Brown received his bachelor’s degree in government from Harvard University and his doctorate from the University of Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. In 2003, he was named one of Canada’s “Top 40 Under 40” in recognition for his work on performance measurement in healthcare.

Ann Colbourne is a Professor of Medicine at University of Alberta. Her university administrative roles include Division Director (General Internal Medicine) and, until July 2011, Associate Chair-Clinical, Department of Medicine. Her Alberta Health Services administrative roles currently include Associate Zone Medical Director (Integrated Quality Management), Edmonton Zone Division Chief (General Internal Medicine) and Site Service Chief Medicine at the University of Alberta Hospital. Until July 2011, Colbourne was also the Deputy Zone Clinical Department Head (Medicine). In her provincial capacity as Medical Director, Care Transformation, Alberta Health Services, Colbourne is working with clinical teams, middle managers and decision-makers to transform care processes towards an interprofessional integrated plan of care for all patients and families. Colbourne’s lifelong learning journey has seen her travel from Newfoundland and Labrador via a Rhodes Scholarship (1980) to Oxford, back to Newfoundland and then on to Mayo Clinic for Internal Medicine. She holds degrees in biochemistry, theology and medicine. Colbourne’s clinical passion is diabetes care with emphasis on health promotion and disease prevention. Colbourne currently leads a thriving Telehealth initiative for insulin pump patients in Newfoundland. This year, Colbourne is formalizing a linkage with a Primary Care Network in Alberta to explore issues in clinical care delivery as well as capacity enhancement for diabetes care. Colbourne has health policy experience with the Newfoundland Labrador Ministry of Health as the Newfoundland and Labrador physician lead for Chronic Disease Prevention and Management.

Irfan Dhalla practices general internal medicine at St. Michael’s Hospital in downtown Toronto. He also performs research to understand how we can improve health outcomes by implementing and evaluating changes in healthcare policy. In particular, he focuses on the organization, delivery and financing of care provided to individuals with complex chronic diseases and on the regulatory framework for prescription drugs. He is the Director of the Toronto Virtual Ward, a multi-organizational initiative designed to improve post-hospital care. A CIHR-funded randomized controlled trial of the Virtual Ward is expected to be completed in 2013. He also serves on the board of Canadian Doctors for Medicare, an organization that advocates for improvements in healthcare for all Canadians, on the Committee to Evaluate Drugs, which makes recommendations to the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care regarding which drugs should be publicly funded and under what conditions, and on Health Quality Ontario’s Governing Council for the Avoidable Hospitalization Strategy. In 2010, he received a CIHR Rising Star Award for his research on harm arising from the use of prescription opioids.

Robert J. Howard is one of Canada’s leading healthcare administrators. He is the President and Chief Executive Officer of St. Michael’s Hospital, an academic hospital dedicated to caring for the critically-ill and society’s most vulnerable. St. Michael’s Hospital is known as Toronto’s Urban Angel. Bob Howard is a well-respected cardiologist and is also known in the healthcare world for his leadership in quality improvement. He has made it the cornerstone of the Hospital’s strategic plan, and his work in this area is setting the benchmark among the Toronto Central LHIN and within Ontario. Under Bob’s leadership, St. Michael’s officially opened two linked buildings—the Keenan Research Centre and the Li Ka Shing International Healthcare Education Centre—that together form the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute. This innovative facility brings the worlds of health sciences research and medical education together to advance patient care. Prior to his appointment as President and CEO, Bob was the Executive Vice-President, Programs and Education at St. Michael’s. Under his leadership, the hospital saw unprecedented growth in the education and academic partnerships portfolio. Bob has an undergraduate degree in industrial engineering from the University of Toronto, a medical degree from McMaster University, and an executive MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business, and is a professor in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto.

Alain Larouche is well known to the main players in the health and social services network. His reputation has been built on more than 30 years of general practice, both as an active clinical practitioner and as an administrator. Larouche is thoroughly familiar with Québec’s healthcare system and the organizations that comprise it, and with the legislative and professional environment surrounding it. Since 2001 he has been working for the Groupe conseil santé Concerto. As a clinician, he spent ten years working full time in a fast-paced regional emergency ward (CHR de Sept-îles). He has developed particular expertise on the impacts of chronic disease on the patients and the healthcare system and on ways of adapting the care and service response to those needs. He has also conducted studies on major users of the healthcare system. He has given talks on the subject and has several projects in hand related to those issues. Larouche is currently a member of the disciplinary board of the Collège des médecins du Québec.

Thomas H. Lee is an internist and cardiologist, as well as Network President for Partners Healthcare System, the integrated delivery system founded by Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital, and Chief Executive Officer for Partners Community HealthCare. He is a graduate of Harvard College, Cornell University Medical College and Harvard School of Public Health. He is a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Professor of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard School of Public Health. His research interests include risk stratification and optimal management strategies for common cardiovascular problems, and improvement of quality of care, with a particular focus on critical pathways, guideline development and implementation and managed care. Lee is a member of the Massachusetts Health Care Quality and Cost Council, the Board of Directors of Geisinger Health System and the Panel of Health Advisors of the Congressional Budget Office. With James J. Mongan, MD, he is the author of Chaos and Organization in Health Care (MIT Press, 2009). He is an Associate Editor of The New England Journal of Medicine.

David Levine has been president and executive director of the Montreal Regional Health and Social Services Agency since 2002. The agency is responsible for all health and social services offered to more than two million people by 47 public institutions and 42 private institutions on the Island of Montreal. Levine was named junior minister of health in 2002 and delegate general for Quebec in New York City in 1997. Between 1977 and 1980, he also worked as special consultant in the executive branch of the Government of Quebec for the minister of state for economic development. In the field of healthcare and social services, Levine has held the position of president and CEO of the Ottawa Hospital, Notre-Dame Hospital in Montreal, the Verdun General Hospital and CLSC St -Louis-du-Parc, before being named t o the Montreal Regional Health and Social Services Agency. Levine has served as President of the Association of CEOs of Quebec and the Association of Teaching Hospitals of Canada, board member of the Ontario Hospital Association, the Quebec Hospital Association and the Canadian Institute for Health Information. Levine was a surveyor for the Canadian Council on Health Services Accreditation for many years. Levine holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from McGill University (1970), a master of philosophy degree in biomedical engineering from the University of London (1972) as well as a master in health administration from the University of Montreal (1975). Professor at the Quebec School of Public Administration, Levine has taught courses at McGill University, University of Montreal and University of Toronto.

Dante Morra is the Medical Director, Centre for Innovation in Complex Care; Associate Director, Center for Interprofessional Education and Collaboration, University of Toronto; Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, University of Toronto; and Adjunct Professor, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto. His work in system transformation has been recognized with numerous individual and team awards, including the 3M national quality award and the Goldie award for leadership. He is an award-winning teacher and serves as the manager theme director for the undergraduate curriculum in the Faculty of Medicine. Morra is the co-founder and medical director of the Center for Innovation in Complex Care, which pioneers new models of care with the goal of healthcare transformation. He is a recognized leader in hospital process improvement, healthcare innovation and effective allocation of resources. Morra and his research have received national and international media attention including recent articles in the Toronto Star, Globe and Mail, Maclean’s and the New York Times.

Nigel Murray is the President and CEO of Fraser Health Authority. He is responsible for overall management and delivery of health programs and services in one of the largest health regions in Canada, overseeing acute-care hospitals as well as community-based residential, home health, mental health and public health services. Fraser Health serves 1.5 million people from Burnaby to White Rock to Boston Bar, with an annual budget of $1.8 billion and employing 22,000 people. Murray was previously the Interim CEO of the Southland District Health Board and the Lead CEO for New Zealand Health Sector Industrial and Employee Relations. Before that, he worked in senior health administration roles, including Acting General Manager, National Women’s Hospital; General Manager, Planning and Development, Auckland District Health Board; and General Manager, Health Services Delivery Plan. In 1995, he was named a Member of the Order of the British Empire for services to health in the New Zealand Defence Force. Murray has a Bachelor of Arts (Dartmouth College); Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery (University of Otago Medical School); and a Masters of Occupational Medicine (Harvard University School of Public Health).

Tammy O’Rourke is the Clinical Lead Nurse Practitioner (NP) at the Belleville NP-led Clinic and a professor in the Brock University-Loyalist College Collaborative Undergraduate Nursing Program. The vision of the Belleville NP-led clinic is to establish itself as a known provider of comprehensive, innovative, high-quality, evidence-based, accessible primary healthcare in collaboration with community partners and patients in Belleville and the surrounding area. O’Rourke firmly believes that nursing can and will play a key role in the sustainability of our publicly funded provincial healthcare system and has, therefore, taken a leadership role in the development of the Belleville NP-led clinic. She is also a Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) Best Practice Champion; a member of the RN AO Nursing Best Practice Research Unit; a student in the CHSRF/CIHR Advanced Practice Nursing Chair Program and a doctoral candidate at the University of Ottawa. O’Rourke has received several practice and research awards throughout her nursing career. She originally graduated from Sir Sandford Fleming College in 1992 with a nursing diploma. Since then she has travelled and held a variety of positions in both hospital and homecare, mostly in medical nursing. In 2000, she graduated from State University of New York at Buffalo with a combined Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in the Science of Nursing with a focus on Family Practice. She practiced as an NP in New York for about a year before returning to Ontario. She started to practice as an NP again in Ontario about five years ago. O’Rourke’s doctoral research seeks to develop knowledge about stakeholder participation in the process that led to the introduction and sustainability of the first NP-led clinic in Ontario, the Sudbury District Nurse Practitioner Clinic. Tammy continues to be involved in development of other NP-led clinics through the sharing of information to assist these clinics in their efforts to provide high-quality, evidence-based primary healthcare to patients across the province of Ontario.

André Picard is one of Canada’s top public policy writers. He is the public health reporter at The Globe and Mail and author of the best-selling books Critical Care: Canadian Nurses Speak For Change and The Gift of Death: Confronting Canada’s Tainted Blood Tragedy. He is also the author of A Call to Alms: The New Face of Charity in Canada. Picard has received much acclaim for his writing, including the Michener Award for Meritorious Public Service Journalism, the Canadian Policy Research Award and the Atkinson Fellowship for Public Policy Research. In 2002, he received the Centennial Prize of the Pan-American Health Organization as the top public health reporter in the Americas. In 2005, he was named Canada’s first Public Health Hero by the Canadian Public Health Association. In 2007, he was awarded a National Newspaper Award for his contribution to a series about cancer care in Canada. He is a former member of the advisory committees of the Canadian Institute for Child Health, Active Healthy Kids Canada, Centraide/United Way Montréal and the Canadian Medical Association Journal. He is also a parent representative on the Montreal School Board.

Shirlee Sharkey is president and CEO of Saint Elizabeth Health Care, a leading national healthcare organization known for its social innovation, strong financial performance and pioneering practices. As an award-winning and diversified not-for-profit organization, Saint Elizabeth delivers five million healthcare visits annually and employs almost 6,000 people providing nursing, rehabilitation, personal support, research and consulting services. With a century of experience and powerful vision for the future, Saint Elizabeth is committed to empowering clients, families and staff; championing compassion; and pursuing high value and quality. As an organization firmly fixed on honouring human experiences in healthcare, Saint Elizabeth pursues innovative and exemplary practices to make a wider societal impact. Sharkey’s commitment to community advancement is evident in her leadership and involvement in many not-for-profit boards, ranging from health to education. She is a past chair of George Brown College in Toronto and a former president of the Canadian Home Care Association. Internationally, she is chair of the World Homecare and Hospice Organization. She is also a past president of the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario. In 2007, the Ontario Minister of Health and Long-Term Care appointed Sharkey as an expert advisor on staffing and care standards for long-term care homes in the province. Her insights and belief in unleashing people’s potential and creativity have generated a host of achievements and accolades. In 2010, she received the Innovation Award for Healthcare Leadership from the Canadian College of Health Leaders. This same year, she also accepted the National Quality Institute’s Gold Award for Organizational Quality and Healthy Workplace. Additionally, she has been recognized with the University of Toronto’s 2008 Graduate Leadership Award, Department of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation; Canada’s 100 Most Powerful Women from the Women’s Executive Network in 2007; Award of Excellence in Nursing Leadership, Ontario Hospital Association in 2005; and a Golden Jubilee Medal of Queen Elizabeth II in 2003.

Kaveh Shojania is Director of the Centre for Patient Safety at the University of Toronto, where he also sees patients as a general internist. His work has appeared in leading journals, such as the New England Journal of Medicine, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), and the Annals of Internal Medicine. He has lectured widely on issues related to the scholarly advancement of patient safety and quality improvement, including twice delivering invited lectures to the US Institute of Medicine. In January 2011, Shojania became Editor-in-Chief of the British Medical Journal Group journal, BMJ Quality and Safety, which has the highest impact factor in the fields of quality improvement and patient safety.

John Sloan is a family physician in Vancouver with a special interest in the frail elderly. He is a Clinical Professor with the Division of Community Geriatrics of the Family Practice Department at the University of British Columbia. His clinical practice is confined to providing care at home for homebound older people. Sloan has published “Protocols in Primary Care Geriatrics,” produced two videos on geriatrics, organized and taught in more than 100 courses and conferences in Canada, the U. S. and Europe and written 17 articles on the elderly, including original research. He has prepared reports for the B.C. Ministry of Health on organizing community programs for the elderly. He regularly evaluates capability in the elderly and provides medical consultation services for Veterans Affairs Canada, Health Canada and private insurers. Non-medical interests include cooking, wine, classical music, fiction and metaphysics; Sloan has published articles on travel and wine in magazines. He lives with his family in Vancouver.

Terrence Sullivan is the former President and CEO of Cancer Care Ontario. He joined the provincial cancer agency in 2001 and occupied successively more responsible positions in preventive oncology and research. From 1993 to 2001, Sullivan held the position of president of the Institute for Work & Health (IWH), a private not-for-profit institute affiliated with the University of Toronto, which he developed into North America’s leading research centre on work-related injury. Sullivan has held senior roles in the Ontario ministries of health and intergovernmental affairs and in Ontario’s Cabinet Office. He served two successive premiers of Ontario as executive director of the Premier’s Council on Health Strategy, including a period of time as Deputy Minister. Sullivan is an active behavioural scientist with research and practice interests in cancer prevention and health-system performance. He holds faculty appointments in the departments of health policy, management and evaluation and the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. Among his voluntary commitments, he is vice-chair of the Public Health Ontario (formerly the Ontario Agency for Health Protection and Promotion). He also chairs the Performance Committee of the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer and is the incoming independent chair of the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH).