Susan Fitzpatrick was appointed Interim Chief Executive Officer of Ontario Health in April 2019, and is responsible for the start-up of the new agency. Overseeing one of the largest mergers in recent health history, Ontario health will bring together 20 agencies, $30 billion in funding, and over 12, 000 employees. She will draw on her background in health care and extensive network of relationships to ensure a seamless patient experience throughout this transition phase.
Previous to Ontario Health, since 2015, Susan was the Chief Executive Officer of the Toronto Central LHIN following a career in the Ontario Public Service that spanned more than three decades. Prior to joining the LHIN, Susan was Associate Deputy Minister, Health System Delivery and Implementation, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.
Susan is known for building strong relationships and partnerships through a collaborative and energetic approach. Fostering strong local collaborations has led to accelerated integration activity at the system, organization, and neighbourhood levels. In 2017, Susan successfully merged two organizations (LHIN and CCAC), while fostering greater alignment between home care and community health service providers.
As Associate Deputy Minister, Susan was responsible for working with hospitals, community health centres, long-term care homes, physicians and provincial programs to create close program alignment with a focus on delivering quality health services to patients. Areas of expertise include physician compensation, provincial programs, integrated funding models, primary care, and quality-based care.
Teresa Chan is an associate professor at McMaster University. Currently, she is the Assistant Dean, Program for Faculty Development in the Faculty of Health Sciences at McMaster. She is also the Director of the RCPSC Clinician Educator Area of Focused Competency Diploma program, and the Competency Committee Co-Director for the RCPSC emergency medicine residency program. Additionally, she serves as the Social Media Lead for the McMaster Department of Medicine.
She is a nationally-recognized educator, receiving the 2017 Young Educator’s Award from the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada and the 2019 Canadian Association of Medical Education Meridith Marks New Educator Award. She is the national RCPSC’s Specialty Committee Chair of the Clinician Educator Area of Focused Competency program. She is presently the Communications Director of the Canadian Association of Medical Educators, and also serves in a similar role within the executive council of the Canadian Early Career Medical Educators group. She serves on the editorial boards of six journals including: AEM Education & Training, Canadian Journal of Emergency Medicine, Journal of Graduate Medical Education, Perspectives in Medical Education, the Journal of Education and Training in Emergency Medicine (JETem), and BMJ’s Journal of Simulation and Technology-Enhanced Learning
Dr. Chan is very well known for her online education research and efforts. She is one of the founding members of the CanadiEM website (www.canadiem.org), the MedEdLIFE research collaborative, and a key member of the METRIQ Study Group. She is the Chief Strategic Officer of the international Faculty Incubator program for the Academic Life in Emergency Medicine (ALiEM) group. For ALiEM, she has also serves on their Editorial Board and is a lead of the Medical Education in Cases Series (www.aliem.com/medic). She also contributes to other FOAM organizations such as FeminEM, EM Cases, International Clinician Educator blog, and EM Sim Cases
Dr. Chan is also interested in developing medical education innovations (and evaluating them!). For instance, she has co-developed and is evaluating a serious game about emergency department flow called GridlockED (www.gridlockedgame.com)
In her free time, Dr. Chan enjoys writing music. You can follow her online as @TChanMD on Twitter, or check out her work at www.tchanmd.com.
Noah Ivers (MD, CCFP, PhD) is a family physician at Women’s College Hospital, scientist at Women’s College Research Institute, and innovation fellow at the Women’s College Institute for Health System Solutions. He is also an Associate Professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine and at the Institute for Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto. He holds a Canada Research Chair in the Implementation of Evidence Based Practice. Noah’s research focuses on the use of data to drive evidence-based, patient-centered improvements in healthcare. He has conducted multiple pragmatic randomized trials, systematic reviews, and qualitative work on health services and quality improvement interventions
John Flanneryhas been a specialist in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation for almost 25 years. He has been the Medical Director of the MSK and Multisystem Rehab Program at Toronto Rehab since 2003. In 2013, he was selected by peers and administrators in the GTA as one of 30 top “Toronto Docs” and profiled in Toronto Life magazine for his compassionate care and leadership in Rehab.
Currently, in his leadership role in the MSK Program, his main areas of focus include educational system level endeavors. This includes his role as the Co-Director of the “Project ECHO (Extension of Community Healthcare Outcomes) Superhub Training. As well, he is the physician lead for the Comprehensive Integrated Pain Program (CIPP) and the recently launched Research Pain Institute (RPI).
Allison Crawford is a psychiatrist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) and an associate professor in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto. She provides leadership for a continuum of psychiatric outreach services as Associate Chief of Outreach and Telemental Health, and as medical director of the Ontario Psychiatric Outreach Program. She is co-chair of ECHO Ontario Mental Health and co-chair of the ECHO Ontario Superhub. Allison’s research focuses on achieving quality and equitable health care through technological innovation, working together with communities to provide care that is culturally relevant. In addition to doing clinical work in Nunavut, she is involved in policy development, including the development of the National Inuit Suicide Prevention Strategy with Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, and as Scientific Advisor to the Inuit Circumpolar Council, and the Sustainable Development Working Group of the Arctic Council.
Emma Firsten-Kaufman has a Master’s of Public Health and a Certificate in Project Management from the University of Toronto, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in International Development from McGill University. With a background in health promotion and global health, she has contributed to various research projects, knowledge exchange portfolios, and programs in Toronto and internationally. Emma is dedicated to improving health equity and access to health services and resources for women, youth, and diverse under-served or marginalized populations.
Simon Landry is a bilingual knowledge broker with a background in science communications and innovative technology startups. While working with York University’s knowledge mobilization unit, he developed a framework for scientists to achieve impact beyond academia. As an Acadian, he is proud to work on providing better access to mental health and addiction services to Franco-Ontarians. He holds a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences from the Université de Montréal and runs his life using a complex system of lists.
Cindy Plunkett is the Director, Learning & Development at PointClickCare and is a PhD(c) specializing in online learning. Prior to PCC Cindy worked in healthcare for 18 years, most recently at Baycrest Health Sciences as the Manager, eLearning and Educational Technologies. Cindy is an Executive Director for the Canadian eLearning Conference and a part-time professor in the education faculty at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology.
Emily Angl’s patient journey has taken her through ER’s, OR’s, MRI’s and many acronyms in between. Her broad range of experiences led to a keen interest in how patients can become partners in their own care, in research and in health system improvement. Emily has been exploring and trying to understand the concept of ‘patient engagement’ care for over ten years. During this time she has consulted with and advised hospitals, government agencies, research institutes and other organizations across Canada. She currently has roles with The Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) Collection for Patient Oriented Research panel, Health Quality Ontario’s Health System Performance committee and The Patient Advisors Network (PAN). Emily also works as Director of Health Engagement and Communication with Reframe Health Lab where she specializes in bringing the patient perspective to evidence-based health and wellness communication.
Salina Eldon is presently the project manager for ECHO Ontario Autism. She has over 20 years of experience working with children, youth and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). She worked as a psychometrist for a number of years, and later took on a supervisory role in a day treatment program for children and youth with dual diagnoses. In this position she provided training and programming support to TDSB teachers, and other staff members. Salina was then promoted to Manager of Children’s Day Treatment Services, where she ran two programs (in Toronto and York Region). She later entered the area of research as the site coordinator of the Autism Treatment Network (ATN), a multi-site research and clinical program which developed a North American wide research registry. Through the ATN, Salina also worked on a multi-site study looking at effectiveness of using the ECHO model to increase the capacity of community paediatricians in diagnosis and management of ASD. Salina has worked with many families over the years, which gives her a unique perspective and understanding of difficulties faced in navigating our system of services. Her passion for ECHO comes from her belief that this program has the ability to transform care.
Panel & Other Speakers
Sanjeev Arora is the Director and Founder of Project ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes). He is a Distinguished and Regent’s Professor with tenure in the Department of Internal Medicine at University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center. Dr. Arora developed the ECHO model as a way to dramatically improve both capacity and access to specialty care for rural and underserved populations. This is accomplished by linking expert inter-disciplinary specialist teams with primary care clinicians through teleECHO clinics, where the experts mentor primary care clinicians to treat complex conditions via guidance, feedback and didactic education. This helps rural clinicians develop knowledge and self-efficacy so they can adopt research findings and deliver best practice care.
The first teleECHO clinic was developed in 2003 to respond to a growing health crisis hepatitis C and has since expanded to cover over 60 disease areas and complex issues at over 100 academic medical centers in 21 countries. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Defense have also adopted the ECHO model to enhance access to specialty care. In 2007, Project ECHO came in first among more than 300 entries from 27 countries in winning the Changemakers award. This international competition was sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and Ashoka Foundation to identify programs that are changing the paradigm of how medicine is practiced.
In 2011, ECHO published a prospective cohort study in the New England Journal of Medicine, to prove that treatment for HCV by primary care providers using the ECHO model is as safe and effective as treatment by specialists at an academic medical center.
Over the last 13 years Dr Arora has received more than 65 million dollars of grant support. Dr Arora has been awarded numerous prestigious awards including: the Teresa Heinz and the Heinz Family Foundation 19th Heinz Award for Public Policy, the Second Rosenthal Award from the Rosenthal Family Foundation, the Presidential Award of Distinction from the University of New Mexico and the American College of Physicians and the American Telemedicine Association (ATA) President’s Award. Dr Arora was also recognized during World Hepatitis Day 2014, at the White House in Washington DC, as a leader in advancing efforts to address viral hepatitis and the goals of the Action Plan for the Prevention, Care, and Treatment of Viral Hepatitis.
In very recent developments, the ECHO Act, initiated by ECHO partners across the U.S., was passed unanimously through both houses of Congress and signed into law by President Obama on December 14, 2016. This legislation mandates and empowers two federal agencies (the General Accounting Office, or GAO, and the Health Resources and Services Administration, or HRSA) to study the impact of Project ECHO on the U.S. health system, and will serve to lay the pathway for sustainable funding of the model.
Cindy Dawson (CYC Cert.) is a Certified Child and Youth Counsellor who works at the CHEO as the Team Leader of Centralized Mental Health Intake. Cindy has joined ECHO Ontario CYMH as the Systems Navigator due to her extensive mental health experience in working with community partners, families and high-risk youth. Cindy is a strong advocate for self-care, balancing family and her passion for running.
Ghyslaine Paquette (CYC Cert.) has been a Child & Youth Counsellor for the past 20 years with CHEO. Her career exploits include in-patient mental health, the Eating Disorders Day Treatment Program, Outreach, Mental Health Intake, Tele-Mental Health Service and ECHO Ontario CYMH. Ghyslaine is passionate about assisting families and community mental health providers’ access services and education in their local communities across the province of Ontario. She is an avid traveler, a fun spirit and a football mom.
Andrea Furlan is an Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Toronto and a Staff Physician and Senior Scientist at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute. She is also a Scientist at the Institute for Work & Health in Toronto. She obtained her PhD in Clinical Epidemiology from the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto. She has extensive experience in reviewing the scientific literature for the Cochrane Collaboration and for clinical practice guidelines. She received a CIHR New Investigator Award, and her research focus is on treatments of chronic pain including medications, complementary and alternative therapies, and rehabilitation. She was the team leader for the development of the Canadian Opioid Guideline, and is now involved with Guideline’s National Faculty in the dissemination and implementation of the guideline across Canada. She developed the Opioid Manager™, a point-of-care tool for physicians prescribing opioids to help manage chronic pain, which is available in many EMR platforms and as an App for iPad/iPhone. She is the author of the My Opioid Manager, a book and App for patients using opioids for chronic pain. Dr. Furlan is a co-Chair of Echo Ontario Chronic Pain and Opioid Stewardship at UHN.
Eva Serhal is the Director of Outreach, Telemental Health and Project ECHO at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Ontario, Canada and Director of the ECHO Ontario Superhub, a collaboration between CAMH and UHN that provides training and implementation support to new ECHO projects throughout Canada. Eva has an MBA, and is working towards completing a PhD in Health Services Research at the University of Toronto, with a focus on implementation, outcomes and evaluation in virtual models of healthcare. Eva’s current research assesses the implementation, adoption and economic factors of telepsychiatry in Ontario. Eva also has significant experience with leadership and governance; she currently co-chairs the Toronto Telemedicine Collaborative, which supports telemedicine programs throughout the Greater Toronto Area, and sits as a board member of the Children’s Aid Society of Toronto.