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Event Speakers

Adam Van Koeverden, MP


Parliamentary Secretary to the Minster of Health & Sport, Government of Canada 

Libby Znaimer is a prominent Canadian journalist specializing in current affairs and health. After working in television news covering business and politics for 15 years at City-TV, she joined Zoomer Media in 2006. She serves as Vice-President of News and Information for both Classical 96.3FM and AM740/96.7FM. She hosts the daily call-in show “Fight Back with Libby Znaimer” as well as weekly half-hour magazine show “The Zoomer Week in Review” and The Zoomer Report, a short information feature focusing on health and wellness. Libby also writes a regular column for Zoomer Magazine, co-hosts “TheZoomertv” on VisionTV. and she produced Her first book, In Cancerland – Living Well Is The Best Revenge – was published by Key Porter
in October 2007.

Libby Znaimer


VP News & Information, Host, Columnist, The Zoomer Report

Libby Znaimer is a prominent Canadian journalist specializing in current affairs and health. After working in television news covering business and politics for 15 years at City-TV, she joined Zoomer Media in 2006. She serves as Vice-President of News and Information for both Classical 96.3FM and AM740/96.7FM. She hosts the daily call-in show “Fight Back with Libby Znaimer” as well as weekly half-hour magazine show “The Zoomer Week in Review” and The Zoomer Report, a short information feature focusing on health and wellness. Libby also writes a regular column for Zoomer Magazine, co-hosts “TheZoomertv” on VisionTV. and she produced Her first book, In Cancerland – Living Well Is The Best Revenge – was published by Key Porter
in October 2007.

Jennifer Chan


Vice President, Policy and Government Affairs, Merck Canada Inc. 

Jennifer Chan is Vice President, Policy and Government Affairs, at Merck Canada Inc. and is responsible for the company’s team of government relations and public affairs specialists. Prior to this role, she held the position of Vice President, Policy and Communications at Merck Canada since December 2011. A native of Montreal, Jennifer began her career in academic research before joining Schering-Plough in 1993 as a Clinical Research Associate.

Jennifer is a member of the Board of Directors of the Quebec Consortium for Drug Discovery and the Montreal Chamber of Commerce. She has served as a Merck for Mothers ambassador in Canada since the program was launched in 2011. Jennifer holds a Bachelor of Science degree in physiology and a Master of Science degree in pharmacology and therapeutics, both from McGill University in Montreal.

Dr. Stuart Edmonds


Executive Vice-President, Mission, Research and Advocacy, Canadian Cancer Society

Stuart joined the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) in February 2020 following the amalgamation with Prostate Cancer Canada (PCC). As Executive Vice President of Mission, he oversees the Research and Advocacy teams.

Prior to the amalgamation, Stuart spent 8 years at PCC as Vice President of Research, Health Promotion and Survivorship. He has held leadership roles at several national cancer research institutes and government agencies. Stuart holds a Doctorate in pharmacology from Oxford University.

Dr. Malcom J. Moore, MD


Medical Oncologist, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre

Malcolm J. Moore, MD PhD trained as a Medical Oncologist and Clinical Pharmacologist and spent most of his career at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto where he was Head of Medical Oncology and Hematology, the Director of the Drug Development Program, and the Director of the McCain Centre for Pancreatic Cancer. He was integrally involved with the development and subsequent approval of several new drugs for the treatment of cancer. In 2015 -2019 he served as the President of BC Cancer before returning to Princess Margaret in 2020. BC Cancer has over 3500 employees and provides cancer services and coordinates cancer care for all British Columbians. Dr. Moore has published over 350 peer-reviewed manuscripts and given over 200 invited lectures internationally.

Fred Horne


Senior Advisor, 3Sixty Public Affairs

Fred Horne is a Canadian health policy consultant and served as Alberta’s Minister of Health from 2011-2014.

A frequent speaker and panelist on health system issues, he is currently Principal of Horne and Associates, Health Policy Consultants; Senior Advisor to Ottawa-based 3Sixty Public Affairs; and Chair of Mohawk Medbuy Corporation, a national, not-for profit shared services organization.

Horne serves as Adjunct Professor at the University of Alberta’s School of Public Health and volunteers his time to support policy education and patient education and engagement initiatives across the country.

Horne’s career in health policy spans over thirty years. Current areas of focus include value-based health care, seniors care, health system governance and pharmaceutical policy.

Horne also currently serves on the boards of the Canadian Frailty Network (National Centre of Excellence) and Providence Living (BC).

Gaby Bourbara


Vice President and General Manager, Alexion AstraZeneca Rare Disease in Canada

Gaby Bourbara joined Alexion as the Vice President and General Manager for Canada effective January 1, 2023. He began his career at AstraZeneca as a McMaster student and over the past 20 years has grown within the company to help bring new medicines to Canadians. He has served in senior leadership roles across North America, most recently as the Global Commercial Head for the Oncology Portfolio. Under his leadership, billion-dollar projects were advanced, and investments secured to deliver industry leading science for Canadian patients. Responsible for growing Alexion in Canada, Bourbara is a very proud Canadian who lives in Oakville.

Bourbara has an MBA and BAs in Economics and Kinesiology from McMaster University, Ontario.

Mike Colledge


President, Canadian Public Affairs, Ipsos

Mike joined Ipsos in 1997 after more than twelve years of working within both social and economic portfolios of the Government of Canada.

His background includes all facets of public and private sector research and communications as well as government policy and program development. He has examined issues that range from encouraging people to donate blood, to positioning the Government of Canada’s annual Budget, to helping businesses understand the impact of social change on their operations and their reputation.

Today, Mike works with both public sector and private sector clients. As the line between citizens’ and consumers’ expectations of companies and governments increasingly blurs Mike helps clients discover and understand the social truths that allow them to better define their goals, actions and purpose in the context of the public and what matters to them.

Mike oversees a cross country team of researchers and consultants who help their clients better understand the world around them. Whether it is through surveys, consultations or social listening, the Public Affairs Group provides clients with the evidence, insight and advice they need to move their organizations forward.

Ian Stedman


Assistant Professor, Canadian Public Law & Governance, School of Public Policy & Administration, York University

Finally diagnosed with Muckle Wells Syndrome in his early 30s, Ian is a rare disease patient, parent, advocate and researcher. An assistant professor in the School of Public Policy and Administration at York University, Ian also holds graduate appointments at Osgoode Hall Law School and in Science and Technology Studies.

Ian believes that the rare disease community will play a pivotal role in helping to re-shape healthcare as it enters the digital era. His academic work is accordingly focused on the laws, technologies and policies that are driving greater personalization in scientific research, medicine, and healthcare. Ian currently sits as a Vice Chair of the CIHR Institute of Genetics’ Advisory Board, as a legal member on the Research Ethics Board at Toronto’s SickKids Hospital, and as an Executive Member of York University’s Centre for AI & Society.

Trish Barbato


President and CEO, Arthritis Society Canada

Trish Barbato brings more than 20 years of experience as a senior executive in healthcare, spanning the entire healthcare spectrum, in both the private and public sectors. She has built an impressive reputation as an innovative leader skilled at driving organizational change, empowering teams to innovate, harnessing technology and inspiring people to achieve clear strategic objectives.

Trish has held various executive positions, including, Senior Vice President at Revera Living, President and CEO at COTA Health, Vice President, Corporate Services and Chief Financial Officer at Providence Healthcare and Managing Director at Bayshore Healthcare. Trish holds an Economics degree and is a Fellow Chartered Professional Accountant
Trish is a published author, international speaker and recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Award.

Zayna Khayat, Ph.D.


Health Futurist, Deloitte Canada

Zayna is adjunct faculty in the Health Sector Strategy stream at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto where she instructs a course in healthcare innovation in the health MBA program. Zayna is a Growth Advisor at Teladoc Health in Canada, and is the in-house health futurist with Deloitte Canada’s Healthcare practice. Zayna previously led the Futures team with national home healthcare and aging social enterprise, SE Health, as their Future Strategist. Dr. Khayat was previously the lead of health system innovation at MaRS Discovery District, a health innovation hub in Toronto, Canada. In 2017 she was seconded to the REshape Innovation Centre at Radboud university medical centre in the Netherlands. Zayna completed her Ph.D. in diabetes research from the University of Toronto (2001), followed by a career in strategy consulting, including as a Principal in the healthcare practice of The Boston Consulting Group (BCG). She currently resides in Toronto with her husband and three children and is proficient in French and Arabic languages (and a bit of Dutch!).

Eva Villalba


Executive Director, Quebec Cancer Coalition

Eva Villalba is the Executive Director of the Quebec Cancer Coalition, which is dedicated to improving Quebec’s health care system for people affected by cancer. She graduated from McGill University with a degree in psychology and applied linguistics, and from HEC Montreal with an MBA. Eva is a board member of the Artificial Intelligence Impact Alliance (AIIA) and sees great potential in applying AI and technological innovations to the healthcare sector to prevent and improve health outcomes. As the first Quebecer and Canadian to earn a graduate degree in Value-Based Healthcare (VBHC) with a MSc. in Health Transformation at the University of Texas at Austin with Professor Elizabeth Teisberg and other VBHC experts, she strongly believes in the potential of the Quebec healthcare system to become a world-class pioneer in value-based care. She is a VBHC Green Belt certified by the VBHC Center Europe and is their official Canadian ambassador. Eva is also co-chair of the Resilient Healthcare Coalition (RHC), a diverse group of public, private and not-for-profit health system leaders committed to helping Canadian health systems improve patient care and health outcomes by becoming faster, more agile, and better able to adapt to future shocks.

Dr. Shawn Whatley


Munk Senior Fellow (Health Policy), Macdonald-Laurier Institute

Dr. Shawn Whatley is Munk Senior Fellow with the Macdonald-Laurier Institute. Shawn is a physician and author of the recent book, When Politics Comes Before Patients – Why and how Canadian Medicare is failing. He is also the author of the highly-praised book on how to fix emergency wait times in Canada, No More Lethal Waits. He has extensive experience in healthcare administration and medical politics. He is a past President of the Ontario Medical Association (OMA).

Jane Taber


Vice President, NATIONAL Public Relations

Jane Taber is a former Globe and Mail political journalist who spent more than 25 years covering Parliament Hill and Queen’s Park. During her tenure on Parliament Hill with the Globe, Jane was also co-host of CTV’s Question Period – and she has spent more hours than she can count on campaign buses and planes following the leaders during federal election campaigns. She’s interviewed the country’s main political players, covered leadership contests, trade deals, international summits and the important issues of the day. She also worked as communications director to the former Premier of Nova Scotia. Jane specializes in media training, having coached CEOs of major Canadian companies, the heads of national law firms and senior cabinet ministers and MPs. In addition to media training and coaching, Jane is also focused on media relations and speech writing, crisis communications and post-secondary labour issues. Jane is a graduate of Carleton University’s journalism program and was appointed to the Carleton University Board of Governors in June 2019 and re-appointed to another three-year term in 2022. Jane also served as a mentor to the Public Policy Forum’s Action Canada leadership fellows.

Dr. Sacha Bhatia


Population Health & Values Based Health Systems Executive, Ontario Health

Dr. Sacha Bhatia brings a unique mix of clinical, operational, health system and population health leadership experience to Ontario Health. He is charged with helping advance the agency’s commitment to overall population health with a special focus on the equitable distribution of health care across the system. Sacha’s portfolio also aims to improve outcomes—as well as the experience of patients and care providers alike. Sacha helps lead Ontario Health’s work to support the implementation of Ontario Health Teams, enabling a better-integrated health system backed by evidence-based tools and digital technology. He is also responsible for the development of new models of care, the expansion of virtual care, and Ontario Health’s collaboration with primary care partners, focused on the social determinants of health. Before joining Ontario Health, Sacha was Chief Medical Innovation Officer and Interim Executive Lead of Academics at Women’s College Hospital (WCH), as well as the F. M. Hill Chair in Health Systems Solutions and the Division Head of Cardiology. He is also a staff cardiologist at University Health Network, a scientist at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, and an Associate Professor at the University of Toronto. In 2013, Sacha co-founded the WCH Institute for Health System Solutions and Virtual Care, where he served as Director until 2019. He has published more than 100 peer-reviewed papers in prestigious international journals, including the New England Journal of Medicine, the Journal of the American Medical Association, and the British Medical Journal.

Dr. Vivien Brown, MDCM, CCFP, FCFP, NCMP


Family Physician & Author

Dr. Vivien Brown, MDCM, CCFP, FCFP, NCMP, is a family physician in a busy Toronto practice. She is a pioneer and tireless advocate on a national and international scale in raising awareness about women’s health issues, preventative healthcare, and healthy aging. She is a noted speaker in Canada, the US, and Internationally.

She is a recognized leader in her field as an outstanding family physician and educator. She was honoured to be named among the Top 25 Influential Women 2023 by the Women of Influence in Canada. She was awarded Family Physician of the Year 2012 by the Ontario College of Family Physicians.
In 2018, the North American Menopause Society awarded Dr.Brown the Media Award for her work in raising awareness about women’s health issues and healthy aging through her numerous speaking engagements and book, A Woman’s Guide to Healthy Aging: 7 Proven Ways to Keep You Vibrant, Happy & Strong.

Her new book, The NEW Woman’s Guide to Healthy Aging, 8 Proven Ways to Keep You Vibrant, Happy & Strong will be released on February 16, 2021. Available on & as well as book stores. Dr. Brown also works to help shape health policy in Canada, through numerous advisory bodies including as past President of the Federation of Medical Women of Canada, Immunize Canada, and the Women’s Brain Health Initiative, Medical Board of Directors, HealthChoicesFirst, Past Chair of the Consumer Education Committee of the North American Menopause Society, Member, Faculty Advisor, McGill Medical School. She is VP for North America Medical Women’s International Association. Dr. Brown is an Assistant Professor, Faculty of Medicine, at the University of Toronto, in the Department of Family and Community Medicine. Dr. Brown received her medical degree at McGill University and has been practicing family medicine in Toronto since 1982. She and her husband have two grown children and four grandchildren.

Dr. David Fisman


Infectious Disease Epidemiologist and Physician, Dalla Lana School of Public Health 

Dr. Fisman is a physician-epidemiologist with research interests that fall at the intersection of applied epidemiology, mathematical modeling, and applied health economics. He trained in medicine and epidemiology at Western, McGill, Brown and Harvard Universities, and has held faculty appointments at Drexel, McMaster, Princeton and the University of Toronto, where he is currently Professor of Epidemiology. During the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic he served on both national and provincial advisory groups, and held emergency COVID-19 research funds from Canadian Institutes of Health Research. He leads the Pandemic Readiness stream at the recently-founded University of Toronto Institute for Pandemics.

Jody Jollimore


Executive Director, CATIE (Canada’s Source for HIV & Hepatitis C Information)

Jody Jollimore joined CATIE, Canada’s source for HIV and hepatitis C information, as its executive director in 2022. He has two decades of experience in community-based research, program planning and service delivery. Jody got his start in community health promotion at the innovative “for youth, by youth” Head & Hands clinic in Montreal. Before joining CATIE, he was most recently the executive director of Community-Based Research Centre in Vancouver, where he led that organization through five years of growth and organizational development, successfully advocating for queer and trans health at all levels of government. Jody has a Master’s in Public Policy, a beautiful daughter and currently lives in Toronto, the traditional territories of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples.

André Picard


Award Winning Author & Journalist, Health Columnist, Globe and Mail

André Picard is one of Canada’s top health & public policy observers and commentators. He has been a part of The Globe and Mail team since 1987, where he is a health reporter and columnist. He is also the author of five bestselling books. Picard is an eight-time nominee for the National Newspaper Awards, Canada’s top journalism prize, and past winner of the prestigious Michener Award for Meritorious Public Service Journalism.

He was named Canada’s first “Public Health Hero” by the Canadian Public Health Association, as a “Champion of Mental Health” by the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health, and received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, for his dedication to improving healthcare.

A graduate of the University of Ottawa and Carleton University, André has received honorary doctorates from six universities, including UBC and the University of Toronto. He is a seasoned communicator who employs a conversational style to reach his audience. Additionally, he enlivens his research and commentary with personal stories to provide context for his audience. Fluently bilingual, André will enlighten and pique a sense of curiosity of audience members from all educational backgrounds. Behind the placid exterior lies an inquisitive, perceptive and industrious scribe for whom the work only begins with the official story.

The University of British Columbia recently announced André Picard as one of the Asper Visiting Professors at the School of Journalism, Writing, and Media for the 2020-2021 academic year, winter session. In 2020, Picard was awarded The Owen Adams Award of Honour. This award is the highest CMA award available to a non-physician.

Paula Allen


Global Leader Research & Client Insights, TELUS Health 

Paula Allen is the Global Leader, Research and Client Insights at TELUS Health (formerly LifeWorks). In this role she manages the research agenda for TELUS Health, which includes primary research, exploratory data science, research collaborations and meta-analyses. Her focus is on discovering defining and communicating industry trends; service development that aligns with emerging market needs; and supporting TELUS Health’s clients with insights and data-driven decision guidance.

Paula is a well-recognized expert in all areas of workplace mental health, learning strategies, disability management and drug plan management. She is a sought-after speaker by media, organizations, and conferences for her knowledge and expertise in current issues and the future direction of health, wellbeing, productivity, and related risk management.

Paula is a member of the Women’s College Hospital’s Board of Directors; on the technical committee for the National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace; on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Club of Toronto; a member of the One Mind at Work Guiding Council; a member of the Virtual Learning Advisory Board consulting to the public sector’s post-secondary on-line learning strategy; and a Civic Action Diversity Fellow mentor. She was also Co-chair of Civic Action’s Champions Council on workplace mental health; was a member of the Income Security Working Group providing advice to the Ontario Government on issues relating to disability and income support; and sits on several research and strategy advisory boards that address issues ranging from e-mental health solutions to substance abuse in the workplace.

Paula completed undergraduate and graduate degrees at the University of Toronto in psychological research and neuropsychological testing and clinical intervention. She has more than 20 years of experience relating to workplace research, product development and operational leadership that spans the range of EFAP, Workplace Learning, Attendance and Disability Management and Health and Benefits Consulting.

Dr. Matthew Chow, MD


Chief Mental Health Officer, TELUS HEALTH

Dr. Matthew Chow is an experienced leader, clinician, and innovator. He served as President of Doctors of British Columbia in 2021, leading 14,000 physicians through the challenges of a global pandemic, mass immunization campaign, and multiple climate-related disasters. He joined the TELUS Consumer Health team as Chief Mental Health Officer in 2022, and contributes to the national commentary on healthcare reform, mental health care, and digitalization.

Dr. Chow’s leadership experience includes co-chairing the Specialist Services Committee, a joint initiative of Doctors of BC and the BC Ministry of Health to improve services such as surgical and mental health care, and an appointment to the Medical Services Commission of BC, overseeing more than $3 billion in annual public healthcare spending.

Dr. Chow is a clinical specialist in mental health, with a subspecialty focus on children, youth, and families. He was one of the first in Canada to see patients in their homes via video – a decade before such visits became popular during the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Chow has also contributed to community-based programs such as Foundry BC, tertiary acute care services at BC Children’s Hospital, and taught medical trainees at the University of British Columbia.

Dr. Sean Kidd


Clinical Phycologist, Senior Scientist and Division Chief of Phycology, CAMH 

Sean Kidd is a Clinical Psychologist, Senior Scientist, and the Division Chief of Psychology at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and an Associate Professor in the University of Toronto Department of Psychiatry.

Areas of focus have included developing and trialling interventions for individuals with severe mental illnesses and youth who have experienced homelessness. His research has included trials of cognitive and critical time interventions for schizophrenia spectrum populations, housing stabilization interventions for homeless youth, digital health interventions for severe mental illness, and global health work in the area of climate change and homelessness.

Dr. Talia Varley, MD, BSc, MPH, CCFP


Physician Lead, Advisory Services, Cleveland Clinic Canada

Talia Varley, MD, is the Physician Lead for Advisory Services at Cleveland Clinic Canada. Dr. Varley has a unique background that combines the rigour of medicine with the corporate training excellence of management consulting.

Dr. Varley holds a Masters of Public Health from Harvard University, a Bachelor of Science from Western University, as well as an MD and a Certification in the College of Family Physicians from McMaster University.

As the Physician Lead of Advisory Services, Dr. Varley drives the Medical Director program to provide non-healthcare organizations with a Chief Medical Director (CMD), backed by the Cleveland Clinic global enterprise. Dr. Varley is a member of Cleveland Clinic Canada’s senior leadership team and complements her management role with ongoing medical practice in the growing fields of addiction medicine and chronic pain.

Known for her leadership skills, Dr. Varley has held strategic roles at Harvard Business School, the University of Toronto, McMaster University and SickKids Hospital. She previously worked in management consulting at McKinsey & Company across a broad spectrum of corporate mandates, from due diligence and cost reduction initiatives to employee experience design and digital lab strategy & launch. While there, she helped to build a digital talent engine and launch an enterprise agility transformation.

Dr. Varley has a keen interest in research and has been involved in numerous projects, including patient safety and quality improvement, neuromuscular disease, endocrinology and evidence-based medicine. Her research has been published on topics such as opioid use, surgical reconstruction and osteoporosis. She is actively involved in her community, volunteering her time with the Harvard Alumni Network, and previously at the National Ballet of Canada and Baycrest Center for Geriatric Care.

When she’s not leading Advisory Services, Dr. Varley enjoys sculpture, creative writing, ballet dancing & barre classes, classical piano, scuba diving, sailing and playing volleyball.