Skip to main content


Helen Angus (Setting the Stage)

At the time of the conference, Helen held the position of Interim Deputy Minister of Health and Long-Term Care and Associate Deputy Minister, Transformation Secretariat. Currently, Helen is Associate Deputy Minister, Policy and Transformation. Currently, four divisions – Health System Strategy and Policy, Health Human Resources Strategy, Health Promotion, and Public Health – as well as the Transformation Secretariat report directly to Helen. Prior to her current role, Helen held a number of executive positions in the health sector.

Penny Ballem (Deputy Panel)
Penny served as Deputy Minister of Health of British Columbia from 2001 to 2007. Over the course of her career, she has been a health administrator, an advisor to health policy-makers, both provincially and nationally, and a practicing academic hematologist. She served as the Vice-President of the Children’s and Women’s Health Centre of British Columbia, and Clinical Professor in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of British Columbia (UBC). Previously, she held the position of Deputy Medical Director of the Canadian Red Cross, Blood Transfusion Service in British Columbia. Penny received her medical degree in 1978, and her specialist fellowship in 1983, both from UBC.

R. Sacha Bhatia (Setting the Stage)
Sacha is the Director of Institute of Health System Solutions and Virtual Care at Women's College Hospital. Previously, he was a clinical and research fellow in cardiology at Massachusetts General Hospital, and a research fellow at Harvard University and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES). Sacha also served in the Office of the Premier as a health, research and innovation policy advisor. A recipient of the 2013 American College of Cardiology’s Young Investigator Award, Sacha sits on the Mission Committee of the Heart and Stroke Foundation and the cardiovascular working group of the Ontario Health Study. He received his medical degree and MBA at McGill University and received his internal medicine and cardiology training in Toronto.

Adalsteinn (Steini) D. Brown (Setting the Stage)
Adalsteinn (Steini) is the Director of the Institute for Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto. He also leads the Division of Public Health Policy at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health and is a Scientist at the Keenan Research Centre in the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute at St. Michael’s Hospital. Past roles include the Dalla Lana Chair of Public Health Policy at the University of Toronto, Assistant Deputy Minister for Strategy and Policy at the MOHLTC and Assistant Deputy Minister for Science and Research at the Ministry of Research and Innovation.

Anthony Dale (Advisory Committee Member)

Anthony is the President and CEO of the Ontario Hospital Administration (OHA), where he also served as the Vice President of Policy and Public Affairs. From 1995 to 2001, he served as an aide to the Premier of Ontario, and to the Ministers of Health & Long Term Care and Labor. Anthony is a Member of the Board of Directors for the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg and The Change Foundation. He previously served as a federal government appointee on the National Roundtable on the Environment and the Economy. Anthony holds a Master of Public Administration and B.A. in political studies from Queen's University.

Stacey Daub (Failure on the Hot Seat Round II)
Stacey is the Chief Executive Officer of the Toronto Central Community Care Access Centre (CCAC). She holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Western Ontario and is a graduate of the Advanced Health Leadership Program at the Rotman School of Business. Stacey is Co-Chair of the ED/ALC Expert Panel of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, Co-Chair of the Toronto Central LHIN Primary Care Steering Committee, a member of the MOHLTC Health Links Advisory and a member of the Ontario Hospital Association Board of Directors.

Tony Dean (Failure on the Hot Seat)
Tony is a Professor at the School of Public Policy and Governance, University of Toronto. From 2002 to 2008 he was Secretary of the Cabinet and Head of the Ontario Public Service, a position that was preceded by appointments as Deputy Minister of Labour and Deputy Minister and Associate Secretary of the Cabinet responsible for Policy. Tony has written on public administration and leadership for the Public Policy Forum, Canadian Government Executive magazine, and for The Guardian newspaper’s magazine Public. He has a B.A. in Sociology and Social Anthropology from the University of Hull, U.K., and an M.A. in Sociology from McMaster University.

Michael Decter (Deputy Panel)
Michael is a Harvard trained economist, an author and scholar. Michael served as the founding chair of the Health Council of Canada, the Chair of the Canadian Institute for Health Information, and as Deputy Minister of Ontario’s Ministry of Health & Long-Term Care and as Cabinet Secretary in the Government of Manitoba. He is also the Chair of St. Elizabeth Healthcare, the Ontario Cancer Quality Council, and is now the Chair of the Wait Times Data Certification Council of Ontario. He currently serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of the investment management firm, Lawrence Decter Investment Counsel Inc.

Irfan Dhalla (Failure on the Hot Seat Round I)
Irfan is Health Quality Ontario’s Vice President of Health System Performance. He is also an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Toronto, with a cross-appointment to the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation. Irfan continues to practice general internal medicine at St. Michael’s Hospital. He holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in Engineering Physics from the University of British Columbia, a Doctor of Medicine from the University of Toronto and a Master of Science in Health Policy, Planning and Financing from the London School of Economics, which he completed as a Commonwealth Scholar.

Ashley Good (Keynote Speaker)

Ashley is the CEO of Fail Forward and the Head of Failure with Engineers Without Borders Canada. Before launching Fail Forward, Ashley worked in Cairo with the United Nations Environment Programme and as a management consultant in Vancouver, Canada. In both lines of work, Ashley saw a fear of failure inhibit innovation, adaptation, and general growth. In response, she launched both and the consulting firm, Fail Forward, to spark a shift in how civil society perceives and talks about failure, and to help organizations learn, innovate and build resilience.

Dennis Kendel (Failure on the Hot Seat Round II)
Dennis is as councillor on the Health Council of Canada. The former Registrar of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan, Dennis is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the Canadian Health Services Research Foundation and Chair of the Finance Committee on the Medical Council of Canada. He also participates on the Board of Directors of the Saskatchewan Health Quality Council. A founder of the Canadian Society of Physician Executives (CPSE), Dennis received the 2010 CPSE Excellence in Medical Leadership Award. In honour of his contributions to educational opportunities for Saskatchewan physicians, he was awarded the Saskatchewan Order of Merit in 2004.

John Lavis (Advisory Committee Member)

John is the Director of the McMaster Health Forum, Associate Director of the Centre for Health Economics and Policy Analysis, and a Professor in the Departments of Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics and Political Science at McMaster University. He is also Adjunct Professor of Global Health, Department of Global Health and Population, Harvard School of Public Health. He is co-chair of the WHO-sponsored Evidence-Informed Policy Network Global Steering Group, president of the Pan American Health Organization Advisory Committee on Health Research, and a member of the WHO Advisory Committee on Health Research. He holds an MD from Queen's University, an MSc from the London School of Economics, and a PhD from Harvard University.

Steven Lewis (Advisory Committee Member)

Steven is a health policy and research consultant based in Saskatoon, and an Adjunct Professor of Health Policy at Simon Fraser University. Prior to resuming a full-time consulting practice, he headed a health research granting agency and spent seven years as CEO of the Health Services Utilization and Research Commission in Saskatchewan. He has served on various boards and committees, including the Governing Council of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Saskatchewan Health Quality Council, the Health Council of Canada, and the editorial boards of several journals, including Open Medicine.

Danielle Martin
Danielle is the Vice-President of Medical Affairs and Health System Solutions at Women's College Hospital. She is a family physician in the Family Practice Health Centre at WCH and an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Family and Community Medicine and Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto. Danielle helped launch Canadian Doctors for Medicare, serving as board chair, and sat two terms on the Health Council of Canada. Danielle is a recipient of the Canadian Medical Association Award for Young Leaders and was recently named by the Toronto Star in its list of the "13 People to Watch in 2013."

Anne Snowdon (Setting the Stage)
Anne is the Academic Chair of the International Centre for Health Innovation at the Ivey Business School. She is also a Professor at the Ivey Business School and Western University's Faculty of Health Sciences, and an Associate Professor to the adjunct academic staff of the School of Rehabilitation Therapy at Queen's University. Dr. Snowdon holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Western University, a Master of Science from McGill University and a PhD in Nursing from the University of Michigan. She is a Fulbright Scholar and was awarded the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Doctoral Fellowship for her doctoral research.

Joshua Tepper
Joshua is a family physician and the President and CEO of HQO. Previously, he served as the first Assistant Deputy Minister of the Health Human Resources Strategy Division of the MOHLTC. He was also the inaugural Vice President of Education at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, a senior medical officer for Health Canada, an adjunct scientist at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES), and a research consultant for the Canadian Institute of Health Information (CIHI). Joshua has a degree in Public Policy from Duke University, a Masters of Public Health from Harvard, and an MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business.

Johanna Trimble (Through the Eyes of the Patient)
Johanna Trimble is a passionate patient advocate. She is a member of the Patients as Partners | Patient Voices Network in BC, a member of Patients for Patient Safety Canada (a working group of the Canadian Patient Safety Institute) and a member of the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority’s Community Advisory Engagement Network. Her focus is working to prevent over-medication of the elderly and to improve home based, team-delivered care.

Jeremy Veillard (Deputy Panel)

Jeremy is CIHI’s Vice President of Research and Analysis and an assistant professor at the University of Toronto’s Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation. He is also President of the Canadian Association for Health Services and Policy Research (CAHSPR) for 2013–2014. His previous experience includes leading work on the Health Results Team at the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, serving as a policy advisor at the WHO/EURO in charge of hospital reforms and working as a hospital administrator in France. Jeremy has a PhD in health systems research from the faculty of medicine of the University of Amsterdam and two master’s degrees.

Sarita Verma (Failure on the Hot Seat Round I)
Sarita Verma is a Professor in the University of Toronto’s Department of Family and Community Medicine, Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, and Associate Vice-Provost Health Professions Education. A family physician, Sarita completed her medical degree at McMaster University. She is the 2006 recipient of the Donald Richards Wilson Award in medical education from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons and was a co-recipient of the 2009 May Cohen Gender Equity Award from the Association of Faculties of Medicine in Canada. Currently, she is the co-lead for the Canadian Interprofessional Health Leadership Collaborative (CIHLC) and nominee to the Institute of Medicine’s Global Forum on Health Professional Education.

Merrick Zwarenstein (Setting the Stage)
Merrick is a Senior Scientist with the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, as well as the Director of the Centre for Studies in Family Medicine, and a Director of Research in the Department of Family Medicine at the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry. Merrick trained at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, the London School of Hygiene in the UK and Witwatersrand University Medical School in South Africa, and worked briefly as a family doctor in Cape Town, South Africa. He recently co-authored a book on Teamwork in the Health professions and led the establishment of an evidence based hospital quality improvement program at his hospital.

Health Quality Ontario Logo        WIHV logo        Longwoods logo

Let’s make our health system healthier

Join Our Patient, Family and Public Advisors Program

Patients, families and the public are central to improving health quality.

Man smiling

Sign up for our newsletter

Are you passionate about quality health care for all Ontarians? Stay in-the-know about our newest programs, reports and news.

Health Quality Connect - Health Quality Ontario's newsletter - on an iPad and a cell phone