Dr. Karen Laframboise is a Canadian leader in pulmonary vascular disease and pulmonary hypertension. Dr. Laframboise received her MD from the University of Ottawa, and continued her post graduate training at both the University of Manitoba and University of Western Ontario. She is currently an Academic Member, Division of Respirology, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, where she provides respirology inpatient and outpatient care. Dr. Laframboise is the Director of the Saskatchewan Pulmonary Hypertension Multidisciplinary clinic. One of only 12 recognized expert clinics in the area of Pulmonary Hypertension in Canada, the clinic has led the way in teaching and educating patients out of hospital prior to starting them on intravenous continuous prostacyclin therapy. Dr. Laframboise has been actively involved in a number of research projects over the years, and has been the site Principal Investigator for a number of multi-centered trials in the area of Pulmonary Hypertension, ARDS, Sepsis and COPD.
Dr. Shane Shapera obtained his Doctor of Medicine in 2003 from the University of Toronto and went on to continue in Toronto during his Internal Medicine and Respirology residency training. With the help of The Dr. Cameron C. Gray Award, he completed an additional year of clinical fellowship with an emphasis in Interstitial Lung Diseases. He was appointed to the Faculty of Medicine as an Assistant Professor and Clinician Educator in December 2011. He has been an innovator in his role as an educator and has received numerous teaching awards since his appointment. He is currently the Director of the Interstitial Lung Diseases Program at the Toronto General Hospital, UHN. He also works with the Toronto Lung Transplant Program providing pre-lung transplant assessments for patients with ILDs. Dr. Shapera is also a key opinion leader in the area of Progressive Fibrosing Interstitial Lung Disease (PF-ILD).
Dr. Vivian Ramsden is a registered nurse with a master of science in community health administration and wellness promotion from the California College for Health Sciences. Her PhD is in the interdisciplinary areas of medicine, curriculum studies and education from the University of Saskatchewan. Today she lives in Saskatoon, where she is director of the Research Division for the Department of Academic Family Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan. Dr. Ramsden’s work has a strong focus on research in prevention and wellness. She established a program of research grounded in the principles and strategies of primary health care. This includes working with individuals and groups in underserved communities in Canada and in southern India to address their health needs in the context of socially accountable research that is designed, developed, and created with and by the community, with programs resulting from this engagement.
Norma Rabbitskin is a fluent Cree speaker and a member of the Big River First Nation, Saskatchewan. As the Senior Health Nurse at Sturgeon Lake Health Center, she oversees the primary care, community health, and home care programs. She is a strong proponent of the continual enhancement of community-based programs and research initiatives. Norma works with Elders and Knowledge Keepers to maintain traditional healing practices and achieve wellness in all aspects of daily life. In a professional capacity, she builds cultural competencies within the workplace to meet the relevant care needs of their clients, families, and communities. Norma is co-project lead in the Revitalizing Birthing/ Midwifery demonstration project for Sturgeon Lake First Nation.
Shirley Bighead is a Cree woman from Sturgeon Lake First Nation (SLFN), where she held the position of Health Director for 32 years. She has been involved in developing a national pro forma health agreement to guide the distribution of health funds to First Nations. Shirley's work involves child and family services (CFS) as well. While on the Board of Directors for CFS, she was part of developing a national agreement that was known as the Sturgeon Lake Wahpeton Model. Each word was negotiated via the Assistant Deputy Minister, the Chief of SLFN, and a former national Chief. Shirley has chaired the Prince Albert Grand Council Health Directors Working Group and the White Buffalo Youth Inhalant Solvent Abuse Treatment Center Board of Directors and was a member of the Parkland Regional Health Authority Board of Directors. She also chaired the Sturgeon Lake CFS Board of Directors for 10 years and was instrumental in that agency's development, along with developing a communications protocol. This detailed the working relationship between SLFN and the Ministry of Social Services. Shirley has been married for 49 years, and has a daughter and son, 5 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren. Work is important but family is everything.
Dr. Jaris Swidrovich (he/him/they/them) is an Assistant Professor in the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Toronto. He is a queer, Two Spirit, disabled, Saulteaux and Ukrainian pharmacist from Yellow Quill First Nation. Dr. Swidrovich was the first Indigenous Doctor of Pharmacy in Canada is the first and only Indigenous faculty member in pharmacy in North America. His mother was a 60s Scoop Survivor, and both his grandmother and great-grandmother were residential school survivors.
He received a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy from the University of Saskatchewan and a post-baccalaureate Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of Toronto. His areas of research and practice include HIV/AIDS, substance use disorders, pain, 2SLGBTQ+ health, Indigenous health, social justice, and health professions education. Dr. Swidrovich is also a PhD Candidate in Education at the University of Saskatchewan, where he is studying Indigenous Peoples’ experiences with pharmacy education in Canada.
Dr. Swidrovich recently founded and is the chair of the Indigenous Pharmacy Professionals of Canada, which is the first national organization for Indigenous pharmacy professionals in the world. He has been recognized with numerous awards and honours, such as the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal for service to the community and the National Patient Care Achievement Award from the Canadian Pharmacists Association.
Dr. Kate Everdell attended medical school at McMaster University in Hamilton and completed her family medicine residency at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, where she was based in the rural stream in Bracebridge. She currently practices family medicine in Port Hope, Ontario. Dr. Everdell is a firm believer in preventative medicine, with a focus on appropriate screening and vaccinations. Her approach to evidence-based medicine includes testing, prescribing medications (or not), and demonstrating a ‘benefits outweigh the risks’ analysis as she works to improve the health of her patients. Dr. Everdell serves on the physicians' group at the Port Hope Medical Centre, as well as attends to patients at the Northumberland Hills Hospital.
Dr. Satchan Takaya is an Infection Disease Specialist and a Clinical Associate Professor with the Division of Infectious Disease at The University of Saskatchewan. Her current role includes being the Saskatoon Pandemic Chief of Staff, Physician Lead in Covid-19 Early Therapeutics with SHA, Physician co-lead, Covid-19 Vaccine with IHICC Saskatoon and Physician Interim Lead in Infection Prevention and Control. Born in Japan but raised in Saskatoon, Dr. Takaya completed medical school and her internal medicine residency at the University of Saskatchewan. After her chief resident year in 1994, she moved to Vancouver to complete her infectious diseases fellowship at the University of British Columbia. Most of her time is spent at St Paul’s Hospital, but she balances this with an outpatient practice in all things infectious, including HIV, viral hepatitis, surgical infections, and now COVID-19 and pandemic planning.
Dr. Bhutani is a Professor of Medicine at the University of Alberta. His main clinical interests are in the fields of Asthma and COPD, and his work has led him to be involved in many local, provincial, and national initiatives in these areas of specialty. He is currently the clinical director of the Asthma and COPD clinics at the University of Alberta. Provincially, he is the Co-chair of the Alberta Health Services (AHS) COPD Connect Care Pathway development program. From 2014-2020 he was co-chair of the Airways Working Group of the AHS Respiratory Health Strategic Clinical Network.
Nationally, he is the past Co-chair of the Canadian Thoracic Society (CTS) COPD Clinical Assembly. He was elected to the CTS Executive in 2020 and currently serves as Treasurer for the CTS. He has a number of research interests in both COPD and Asthma and has received research funding from many public and private granting agencies including CIHR and Alberta Innovates.
Dr. Brian Graham is a world-renowned researcher on pulmonary function studies. Dr. Graham is the lead author of the 2019 ATS/ERS Spirometry Standards and a RESPTREC key opinion leader. He is an Emeritus Professor at the University of Saskatchewan in the Division of Respirology, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine and has been a member of the Division since 1976. He served as the CEO of The Lung Association – Saskatchewan from 1985-2016. Dr. Graham has served on several, provincial, national, and international committees and task forces related to lung health. He has most recently been a co-chair of the joint American Thoracic Society and European Respiratory Society task force in charge of developing international standards for the measurement of diffusing capacity of the lung for carbon monoxide.
Dr. Conne Yang is a pediatric respirologist at BC Children’s Hospital in Vancouver where she is the director of the Pediatric Asthma Program. She is currently the co-chair of the Asthma Assembly for the Canadian Thoracic Society (CTS) and led the development of the latest CTS Asthma Guideline on the Management of Very Mild and Mild Asthma. She is also the president of the Respiratory Health section of the Canadian Pediatric Society where she helps disseminate unified information on pediatric respiratory health topics.
Dr. Yang also serves as a medical advisor for the BC Lung Foundation. Her research is focused on finding the best way to diagnose and treat different types of asthma, with a particular interest in learning about the reasons why some children have severe, treatment resistant asthma and finding ways to treat those children effectively.
Dr. Scotty Butcher is an Associate Professor in the School of Rehabilitation Science at the University of Saskatchewan and founder of The Strength Jedi. He holds a BScPT and MScKin from the University of Saskatchewan and a PhD in Exercise Physiology and Experimental Medicine from the University of Alberta. He is certified as a Registered Clinical Exercise Physiologist (ACSM-RCEP), is a Crossfit Level 1 trainer (CF-L1), and is formerly certified as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (NSCA-CSCS); the latter of which he has formally relinquished. Most recently, Scotty has been certified as a Mindfulness and Meditation Teacher (CMMT), incorporates mindfulness into his research, and has a daily personal practice. Scotty teaches exercise physiology, prescription, and rehabilitation to physical therapy students and has published several peer reviewed articles and two book chapters related to exercise testing and prescription. He has a passion for strength training and translates this to promoting quality exercise training and rehabilitation practices for clinicians and students. His focus in research, teaching, and clinical work is on the hybrid rehabilitation/strength training approach and shares his views through blogging and vlogging.
Alan Kaplan is a Family Physician practicing in Richmond Hill, Ontario. He graduated with a medical degree from the University of Toronto. He is the Chairperson of the Family Physician Airways Group of Canada, a board member of the International Primary Care Respiratory Group (IPCRG) and President of the IPCRG 5th bi-annual world scientific meeting, “Making Every Breath Count,” Toronto 2010. He is a member of the Canadian Consensus Guidelines for Asthma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and Sinusitis and a representative of the College of Family Physicians of Canada to the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) clinical working group. He is a board member of the Canadian Network of Asthma Care, a member of the Chronic Respiratory Disease Surveillance Advisory Committee (Public Health Agency of Canada), and the International Editor for the International Primary Care Respiratory Journal.