Canadian Northern and Remote Health Network Executive Committee Partners

The following executive committee partners have agreed to work with the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement (CFHI) to improve health and healthcare delivery for their populations. The partners meet monthly and together set the collaboration’s direction, identify/select priority areas of focus, assess needs and evaluate successes in their regions. They also act as advisors to the programming and activities offered by CFHI and facilitate the sharing of information and the spread and adoption of improvement initiatives that are effective in northern and remote areas of Canada.

Select a logo or scroll down to learn more about the partner organizations and their representatives on the Executive Committee.


Yukon Health logo
Ontario North East Local Health Integration Network Logo


North Zone, Alberta Health Services, Alberta

Executive Committee Member

Gregory Cummings, Chief Zone Officer, North Zone

Gregory Cummings took on the position of Chief Zone Officer for the North Zone of Alberta Health Services in September 2016. In this role, he has overall responsibility for the delivery of a full spectrum of health services and facilities stretching from just north of Edmonton to the Alberta/NWT border. Greg came to this position after seven years as the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Heartland Regional Health Authority in west central Saskatchewan.

From 2006 to 2009, Gregory was Assistant Deputy Minister for field operations and Deputy Minister for the Northwest Territories Department of Health and Social Services. He came to these roles after serving as the Chief Executive Officer for the Yellowknife Health and Social Services Authority (2003-2006) and the Tlicho Community Services Agency (2000-2003).

Greg is a professional Social Worker with many years of experience in the delivery and administration of primary care programs, in Northern Canada, British Columbia's Lower Mainland, Saskatchewan, and now Alberta.

During the 1980's, he worked in Northern Manitoba and the Kivalliq Region of Nunavut. Throughout the 1990s, he worked as a Director with Vancouver's University Hospital and as a senior manager with the Fraser Valley and Richmond Health Authorities.

Gregory holds Master of Business Administration and Master of Social Work degrees. He has postgraduate Diplomas in Continuing Care Management and Adult Education. He is a certified Lean Leader.

Gregory has served as a Board Member on the Canadian Healthcare Association, the Mental Health Commission of Canada, HIROC, HealthCareCan, and was Chair of the Board of the Saskatchewan Association for Safe Workplaces in Health. He has been a surveyor with Accreditation Canada for fifteen years.

Alberta Health Services

Mission: To provide a patient-focused, quality health system that is accessible and sustainable for all Albertans.

Leading with Values: Alberta Health Services' values have one thing in common: the quality of patient care. Our seven values - respect, accountability, transparency, engagement, safety, learning and performance - drive us, and unite us.

Strategic Directions:

  • Bringing Appropriate Care to Community
  • Partnering for Better Health Outcomes
  • Achieving Health System Sustainability

In addition to these directions, improving services for Albertans with Addiction and Mental Health issues is also a key focus. Alberta Health Services is working to ensure that Albertans are getting the right care, in the right place, at the right time no matter where they live in the province and is focusing on community-based care, reducing wait times for high priority procedures and treatments and taking better care of the vulnerable.

Northern Health Authority, British Columbia

Executive Committee Member
Cathy Ulrich, President and Chief Executive Officer

Cathy Ulrich has held the position of President and Chief Operating Officer since 2007. From 2002 to 2007, Cathy was the Vice President, Clinical Services and Chief Nursing Officer for Northern Health. Before the formation of Northern Health, she worked in a variety of nursing and management positions in Northern British Columbia, Manitoba, and Alberta. Most of her career has been in rural and northern communities where she has gained a solid understanding of the unique health needs of rural communities. Cathy has a nursing degree from the University of Alberta and a Master’s degree in community health sciences from the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC).

Northern Health Authority

Mission: Through the efforts of our dedicated staff and physicians, in partnership with communities and organizations, we provide exceptional health services for Northerners. Vision - A Picture of 2015: Northern Health leads the way in promoting health and providing health services for Northern and rural populations.

Strategic Plan 2009-2015 - Our Strategic Directions:

  • Integrated Accessible Health Services – Northern people will have access to integrated health services, built on a foundation of primary health care.
  • A Focus on Our People – Northern Health will create a dynamic work environment that engages, retains and attracts staff and physicians.
  • A Population Health Approach – Northern Health will lead initiatives that improve the health of the people we serve.
  • High Quality Services – Northern Health will ensure quality in all aspects of the organization.

Northern Regional Health Authority, Manitoba

Executive Committee Member
Helga Bryant, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Nursing Officer

Helga Bryant has been a registered nurse since 1974 and continues to be proud of this professional designation. Through a variety of opportunities in nursing leadership, Helga began specializing in nursing management health care leadership. Progressive roles from Patient Care Manager to Director to the first Vice-President Acute Care and Diagnostics for the newly formed Brandon Regional Health Authority in 1997. Four years later, Health Sciences Centre recruited Helga to the position of Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer from 2002-2009. She served as Executive Director for the College of Registered Nurses of Manitoba for a year before assuming the role of CEO of the NOR-MAN RHA; then, after amalgamation, to become the first CEO of the then newly formed Northern Health Region. Passion for patient care, leadership development and northern, rural and remote health care issues are hallmarks of Helga’s career.

Northern Health Region

Mission: The Northern Health Region is dedicated to providing quality, accessible and compassionate health services. This mission is used to achieve its vision of “Healthy People; Healthy North.”

Values: Trust, Respect, Integrity, Compassion, & Collaboration.

Strategic Directions:

  • Improve Population Health - focus on prevention and promotion activities; improve health equity throughout the region; work with people in our communities to live in more healthy ways, to better care for their own health when appropriate and to help them find the right health provider when health services are needed; reduce chronic and communicable disease rates across the Region; engage with Aboriginal and First Nations Leaders, Health Canada’s First Nations and Inuit Health Branch, and Manitoba Health in order to reduce health disparities across the Region.
  • Deliver Accessible, Quality Health Services – improve access to health services; promote a culture of patient safety; seek to offer services that ensure our patients’ health files will be accessible to any care provider or health facility in our Region so health status and care is uninterrupted and current information is available at all times for safe, rapid delivery of care; continue to actively promote a culture of safety within the organization through implementation and monitoring of best practices in our day-to-day operations; ensure measurement of Patient Satisfaction is part of the culture of the Northern Health Region both formally and informally.
  • Be a Sustainable and Innovative Organization – increase services closer to home as appropriate; ensure fiscal responsibility; continuously improve the services we provide and the way we provide them to ensure we will continue to have available the caregivers, communities, and other services needed to care for our patients well into the future.
  • Be an Employer of Choice – enhance recruitments; enhance employee engagement; focus on recruitment and retention of the best people who reflect the diversity of our Region; build a healthy, safe, respectful and supportive work environment; provide opportunities for education and development.

Prince Albert Parkland Health Region, Saskatchewan

Executive Committee Member
Cecile Hunt, Chief Executive Officer

Cecile Hunt has been the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Prince Albert Parkland Health Region since March 2006. Ms. Hunt started her career in healthcare more than 30 years ago as a registered nurse in a small rural acute care facility. Throughout her career, she has been a nursing educator, administrative nurse and a member of senior management at the Prairie North Health Region, North Battleford, SK. She holds an MSc of Nursing from the University of Saskatchewan. Cecile was a board member of Saskatchewan’s Health Quality Council and the province’s Health Services Utilization and Research Commission. She has served as chairperson of the Saskatchewan Association for Safe Workplace in Health. She has been recently appointed to the Saskatchewan’s Health Research Foundation Board of Directors.

Prince Albert Parkland Health Region

Mission: The Prince Albert Parkland Health Region works with people and communities to promote health, prevent illness and provide safe, quality health services.

Vision: Healthy Living in Healthy Communities

Saskatchewan’s Healthcare System Five-Year Strategic Priorities:

  • Better Health - Improve population health through health promotion, protection and disease prevention, and collaborating with communities and different government organizations to close the health disparity gap.
  • Better Care - In partnership with patients and families, improve the individual’s experience, achieve timely access and continuously improve healthcare safety.
  • Better Values - Achieve best value for money, improve transparency and accountability, and strategically invest in facilities, equipment and information infrastructure.
  • Better Teams - Build safe, supportive and quality workplaces that support patient- and family-centred care and collaborative practices, and develop a highly skilled, professional and diverse workforce that has a sufficient number and mix of service providers.

Western Health, Newfoundland and Labrador

Executive Committee Member
Susan Gillam, Chief Executive Officer

Since 2005, Dr. Susan Gillam has been the Chief Executive Officer for the Western Regional Health Authority. Prior to that, Dr. Gillam was CEO of Health and Community Services Western. Dr. Gillam is a registered nurse and holds a Master of Nursing from Memorial University of Newfoundland, an MSc in administration from the University of Notre Dame, and a PhD in Nursing from McGill University.

Western Health

Vision: The vision of Western Health is that the people of Western Newfoundland have the highest level of health and well-being possible - Your Health Our Priority.

Mission: The mission of Western Heath is that by March 31, 2017, Western Health will have enhanced programs and services, in priority areas, to address the population health needs within the Western region.


  • Respect: Each person shows courtesy, appreciation and consideration for other individuals.
  • Equity: Each person provides individuals access to programs and services within the Western region in a fair manner.
  • Transparency: Each person is honest and open in communication with others and is forthcoming with all information related to decision-making, except where prohibited by legislation.
  • Advocacy: Each person supports individuals in meeting their needs or overcoming barriers.
  • Collaboration: Each person works with others to enhance service delivery and maximize the use of resources.
  • Excellence: Each person is committed to life-long learning and will do the best work possible within their skills and the resources available.
  • Innovation: Each person identifies opportunities to enhance programs and services.
  • Accountability: Each person follows through on his/her duties and responsibilities.

Strategic Goals 2014-2017:
By March 31, 2017, Western Health will have:

  • Enhanced cardiovascular programs and services in keeping with the expanded chronic care model.
  • Enhanced medication safety to improve outcomes for clients, patients, residents and staff.
  • Improved access to emergency room services in keeping with the provincial strategy.
  • Enhanced access to information about programs and services through the implementation of a communication strategy.

Northwest Territories Department of Health and Social Services

Executive Committee Member
Sue Cullen, Assistant Deputy Minister – Operations

Sue Cullen is the Assistant Deputy Minister, Operations with the Department of Health and Social Services in the Northwest Territories. Ms. Cullen began her career in healthcare in the 1980’s and has worked in healthcare leadership positions in Western and Eastern Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States. In 2009 Ms. Cullen joined the healthcare system in the Northwest Territories as Chief Executive Officer of the Hay River Health and Social Services Authority and became Assistant Deputy Minister in 2013.

Northwest Territories Department of Health and Social Services

Vision: Healthy people, healthy families, healthy communities

Mission: To promote, protect and provide for the health and well-being of the people of the Northwest Territories

Guiding Principles:

  • Personal Responsibility– Individuals, families and communities have a lead role in achieving their own overall health and well-being
  • Collaboration– Working together to ensure individuals, families and communities make well informed decisions about their health and wellness
  • Core Need– Publicly funded programs and services that support basic health and social needs
  • Opportunities for Engagement– Community provides input/advice on health and social service matters affecting their community
  • Patient/Client Safety– Health and social services are delivered within acceptable practice and clinical standards
  • Transparency – Outcomes are measured, assessed and publicly reported

Strategic Priorities 2011-2016:

  1. Enhance services for children and families
  2. Improve the health status of the population
  3. Deliver core community health and social services through innovative service delivery
  4. Ensure one territorial integrated system with local delivery
  5. Ensure patient/client safety and system quality
  6. Outcomes of health and social services are measured, assessed and publicly reported

Nunavut Department of Health

Executive Committee Member
Lynn Ryan MacKenzie Executive Director, Mental Health and Addictions

Lynn has worked for the Government of Nunavut for three and a half years, and is currently serving as the Executive Director Mental Health and Addictions within the Department of Health. Prior to her move to Iqaluit, she worked in the field of children’s mental health, including serving on the Advisory Council of the Ontario Provincial Centre of Excellence for Children and Youth Mental Health, and as Chair of the Evidence-based Practices Committee for Children’s Mental Health Ontario. Lynn is a former Senior Research Associate with the National Centre for Juvenile Justice in Pittsburgh. She holds a PhD from Cornell University in human services administration, with a focus on program planning and evaluation. She was formerly a Certified Manager of Quality and Organizational Excellence (American Society for Quality).

Nunavut Department of Health

Mission: To promote, protect and enhance the health and well-being of all Nunavummiut, incorporating Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit at all levels of service delivery and design.

Vision: We envision the well-being of all Nunavummiut, with individuals leading productive lives in self-reliant and healthy communities throughout the territory.

Health Strategies:

  • Maternal and Newborn Health Care Strategy 2009 – 2014
  • Nunavut Suicide Prevention Strategy
  • Nunavut Suicide Prevention Strategy Action Plan 2011 - 2014 (extended to March 31, 2015)
  • Nutrition in Nunavut: A Framework for Action
  • Nunavut Sexual Health Framework for Action
  • Tobacco Reduction Framework for Action
  • Nunavut Food Security Strategy and Action Plan

Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement

Executive Committee Member
Maria Judd, Vice-President, Programs

Maria Judd, Vice-President, Programs, brings over a decade of progressively senior leadership at the Foundation and has played a key role in CFHI’s evolution, including strategic planning, partnership development and the creation and implementation of new programs.

Maria brings a passion for healthcare improvement, and a patient-first perspective, that has evolved from her diverse roles within the health system over the past 21 years, as a community health centre board member, clinician, program manager and researcher. She has extensive experience in knowledge transfer and exchange, establishing and promoting new ventures, creating education programs, developing clinical practice guidelines and convening expert groups. Maria holds a Master of Science in Epidemiology and Community Medicine from the University of Ottawa and a Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy from the University of Toronto.

Mission: The Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement is dedicated to accelerating healthcare improvement and transformation for Canadians. We collaborate with governments, policy-makers, and health system leaders to convert evidence and innovative practices into actionable policies, programs, tools and leadership development.

Vision: Timely, appropriate, efficient and high-quality services that improve the health of Canadians.

First Nations Health Authority, British Columbia

Executive Committee Member
Sonia Isaac-Mann, Vice President Programs, Services, Research & Knowledge Exchange

Sonia Isaac-Mann is of Listuguj Mi’gmaq First Nation ancestry and serves as the VP, Programs, Services, Research and Knowledge Exchange.

As a key member of the Chief Operating Officer’s team, Sonia leads Community Health and Wellness Services and brings a community-oriented approach to the delivery of services and program supports to BC First Nations. A critical function of her role is to provide professional advice to BC First Nations, First Nation Health Service Organizations, Health Directors and Regional Directors.

Sonia has worked in the area of First Nations health for over 20 years and has extensive community, regional and national experience. She advocates for culturally-appropriate health policies that lead to better programs and health service delivery for First Nations. Prior to joining the FNHA in 2015 Sonia worked with the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) as the Associate Director of Health.

Sonia holds a Master of Science degree in Medical Sciences – Public Health Sciences with a focus on Population Health from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Alberta. She also holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from Bishop’s University.

First Nations Health Authority

Vision: Healthy, self-determining and vibrant, BC First Nations children, families and communities

Values: Respect, Discipline, Relationships, Culture, Excellence & Fairness


  1. Community Driven, Nation Based
  2. Increase First Nations Decision-Making
  3. Improve Services<
  4. Foster Meaningful Collaboration and Partnerships
  5. Develop Human and Economic Capacity
  6. Be without Prejudice to First Nations Interests
  7. Function at a High Operational Standard

What We Do: The FNHA will plan, design, manage, deliver and fund the delivery of First Nations Health Programs across British Columbia.

  • Healthy Living
  • Communicable Disease Control
  • eHealth
  • Environmental Health
  • Health Human Resources
  • Research Analysis and Knowledge Management
  • Health and Wellness Planning
  • Child, Youth and Maternal Health
  • Traditional Healing
  • Nursing Services

Churchill Health Centre Division, Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, Manitoba

Executive Committee Member
Laura Wessman, Chief Operating Officer

Laura has held positions at the Senior Vice president level in both operations and corporate development. In addition to her strong skill set and leadership experience in the corporate environment, Laura has an accomplished academic background including a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry, Bachelor of Applied Science in chemical Engineering and a Masters of Business Administration – all form universities in British Columbia.

Vision: To be recognized as a centre of excellence for our unique model of Northern Health and Wellness.

Mission: Working together for the better health of everyone we serve.


  • We value people - In an atmosphere of dignity, respect and open communication we provide unique Northern programs and forge collaborative relationships with consumers, colleagues and partners.
  • We value safety and quality care - We strive to ensure the safety of clients and staff and are committed to lifelong learning to assist in the creation of quality services that reflect current standards and our cultural diversity.
  • We value teamwork - We rely on ethical, accountable leadership, open communication and creative teams to promote program innovation and resource management.

Winnipeg Regional Health Authority

Mission: To co-ordinate and deliver safe and caring services that promote health and well-being

Vision: Healthy People. Vibrant Communities. Care for All.


  • Dignity - as a reflection of the self-worth of every person
  • Care - as an unwavering expectation of every person
  • Respect - as a measure of the importance of every person

Strategic Directions 2011-2016

  • Enhance Patient Experience - Enhance patient experience and outcomes by listening more carefully to patients and considering their needs when designing and delivering services.
  • Improve Quality and Integration - Improve access to quality and safe care through improved integration of services and then use of evidence informed practice.
  • Foster Public Engagement - Work with the community to improve its health and well-being by forging partnerships and collaborating with those we serve.
  • Support a Positive Work Environment - Enhance quality care by fostering a work environment where staff are valued, supported and accountable, and who reflect the diverse nature of our community.
  • Advance Research and Education - Work with stakeholders to enhance academic performance through the development of an academic health sciences network where clinical education and research activities are better aligned and integrated.
  • Build Sustainability - Balance the provision of health-care services within the available resources to ensure a sustainable health-care system.


Yukon Department of Health and Social Services

Executive Committee Member
Paddy Meade, Deputy Minister

Paddy Meade was named the Deputy Minister of Health and Social Services on January 11, 2013. Ms. Meade is a seasoned senior administrator whose career includes more than 25 years of experience in senior positions in other governments. Prior to her appointment to the Deputy Minister position, Ms. Meade was CEO for Alberta Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission (1998-2001), Deputy Minister of Alberta Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development (2001-2004), Deputy Minister of Alberta Health and Wellness (2004-2008), Executive Operating Officer for Alberta Health Services Board (2008-2009), Deputy Minister of NWT Health and Social Services (2009-2011), and CEO for Institute for Health System Transformation and Sustainability (IHSTS) (2011-2013).

Yukon Department of Health and Social Services

Mission : To promote, protect, and enhance the well-being of Yukon people through a continuum of quality, accessible, and appropriate health and social services.  Progress towards our vision of healthy communities and wellness for all will be achieved by

  • Promoting optimal physical and mental wellbeing for our clients;
  • Creating safety and wellbeing for vulnerable/”hard to serve” populations and those with complex conditions;
  • Providing access to integrated, quality services;
  • Recruiting, developing and engaging talented people to provide high quality service to the public;
  • Practicing open, accountable, and fiscally responsible government; and
  • Advancing strategic corporate initiatives through our work with other governments, departments, and stakeholders.

Our objectives will support progress towards our aim of healthy, vibrant communities and populations; maximize use of limited resources; innovative approaches to increase access and quality; Patient/Client-centred service delivery; appropriate resource use; and Yukon services, designed and structured based on needs and aligned with best practices.

North East Local Health Integration Network

Executive Committee Member
Carol Philbin Jolette, Director of Population Equity, James Bay Coast

Carol Philbin Jolette was born and raised in Northern East Ontario. She studied social sciences and psychology at Ottawa University and proceeded to work in Health Care Administration for the last 21 years.  Passionate about her work, Carol held various senior positions from Director of Care at the Community Care Access Centre, Director of Communications at the North East Mental Health Centre, Senior Consultant at the North East Local Health Integration Network (NE LHIN). More recently Carol accepted the position of Director overseeing the regional files related to mental health and addictions, indigenous population, French language services and the James Bay Coast. Carol is a mother of two and is now very active with her four grand-children. In her free time, Carol enjoys travelling with her husband and family, fully enjoys her lakefront property and is an outdoor enthusiast.

Mission: To strengthen the coordination of health care services and improve access.

Vision: Quality health care when you need it.


  • People-Centered: We commit that people come first in our decision making.
  • Listen: We engage and ensure Northerners are heard in the development of a better health care system.
  • Cultural Diversity: We recognize our region’s cultural diversity and will include the health care needs of Aboriginal and Francophone people in our decision making.
  • Integrity: We are accountable for our actions.
  • Proactive: We collaborate on innovative approaches for a stronger Northern system of care.
  • Equitable: We work to enhance access to health care services for all Northerners.
  • Transparent: We uphold efforts to openly inform and support the health care needs of Northerners.

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