Quality, Safety & Strategy and Chief Medical Office
Quality, Safety and Strategy
The Quality, Safety and Strategy (QSS) portfolio, led by Vice President Beth Vachon and Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr. Susan Shaw, partners throughout the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) to create a culture of continuous learning and improvement that supports a healthy workplace and the delivery of safe, high quality, patient and family-centred care.
The QSS and CMO portfolio has ten segments:
- Academics and Learning
- Clinical Standards
- First Nations and Metis Health
- Population Health
- Patient and Client Experience
- Quality and Safety
- Strategy and Innovation
- Deputy Chief Medical Officer
- Senior Medical Health Officer
- Practitioner Staff Affairs.
In total, Executive Leadership and Senior Leadership for QSS is comprised of 11 members, who are geographically located across the province.
Beth Vachon - Vice President, Quality Safety & Strategy
Beth Vachon served as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of former Cypress Health Region since April 2010. Prior to her CEO appointment, she worked in a variety of leadership positions within former Cypress Health Region and the Swift Current Health District, including as a member of the senior leadership team and as the executive director of Community Health Services.
Beth has an extensive nursing background, having been employed in health care for more than 30 years as a registered psychiatric nurse and manager. Beth achieved her diploma in Psychiatric Nursing at the Wascana Institute of Applied Science and Technology, and holds active registration status with the Registered Psychiatric Nursing Association of Saskatchewan.
Tanya Dunn-Pierce - Executive Director, Population Health
Tanya Dunn-Pierce is the Executive Director of the provincial department of Population Health, with her office located in Saskatoon. She has been a manager or director in the public health care system since 2003, and prior to that worked as a documentalist, evaluator, process facilitator, epidemiologist, and consultant with former health regions, Health Quality Council, Health Services Utilization and Research Commission, Indigenous organizations, Ministry of Health, and community-based organizations.
Tanya’s areas of expertise/interest include: population health, health equity, cultural responsiveness and safety, quality improvement, organization development, and community development. She is a past recipient of the City of Saskatoon’s Living in Harmony Award, and of the national Terry Fox Humanitarian Award.
Tanya holds an MSc (1997) from the Department of Community Health and Epidemiology and a BSc (1994) in Nutrition and Dietetics, both from the University of Saskatchewan. She has been married to Tim Pierce (a Saskatoon and North Battleford dentist) for 28 years and their two daughters are pursuing degrees at the University of Saskatchewan and Texas Woman’s University respectively. She does her best to be a competitive athlete (with only slight peer pressure from her Ironman husband and NCAA gymnast daughter), continuing to play soccer, touch football, and basketball in Saskatoon women’s leagues.
Thona Longneck - Executive Director, First Nations and Métis Health
Thona Longneck is the Executive Director of First Nations and Metis Health for the Saskatchewan Health Authority. Thona has served as the Regional Manager for Saskatchewan & Manitoba with the Frontier College, Registrar for the Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies, Manager at First Nations Trust, Director of Casino Operations for the Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority and as a Manager of Finance with the Northern Lights Casino.
Working in diverse sectors throughout her career have provided her with extensive experience in managing high level projects with management and staff across a large organization. Through working in business operations, human resources, financial management and reporting, budgeting, accounting, and payroll, she has gained a broad knowledge base of many different areas and developed project management and program coordination skills. Developing innovative programming to support organizational strategic direction is one of her strengths.
Thona is Saulteaux from the Fishing Lake First Nation in Saskatchewan. She has spent most of her career devoted to improving the quality of life of others. As an Indigenous woman with an extensive leadership background and education, Thona provides considerable leadership support to the First Nations and Metis Health portfolio within Quality, Safety and Strategy.
Tammy Martins - Executive Director, Quality and Safety
For over 20 years, Tammy has dedicated herself to quality improvement in the healthcare, education, financial services, and manufacturing industries. No matter the arena, Tammy has been a committed leader with a passion for transformative change and continuous improvement that makes a meaningful difference in the lives of others.
Tammy has served as a Kaizen Operations Team Lead, Kaizen Fellow, and the Director of Home Care for the former Saskatoon Health Region. Prior to joining the Saskatchewan Health Authority, she held the position of Chief Business Transformation and Strategy Officer with TCU Financial Group and was responsible for Human Resources, Systems, Information Technology, Facilities, and Strategy.
Tammy graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Athabasca University and completed her Master’s in Business Administration from Royal Roads University (2012). She is a Six Sigma Blackbelt, certified Lean Leader, Project Management Professional (PMP) and in 2021 she received her Certified Chief Executive (CCE) designation.
Gaylene Molnar - Executive Director, Clinical Standards
As the Executive Director of Clinical Standards for the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA), Gaylene Molnar will provide leadership for interprofessional practice, clinical standards development and maintenance, clinical pathway development and appropriateness of care.
Gaylene brings many years of healthcare experience in a variety of settings and comes to this role from the former Saskatoon Health Region where she was the Director of Nursing Practice and Education. She has held various direct care and leadership roles throughout her career including Nurses Aide, Direct Care Nurse, Clinical Nurse Educator, Clinical Instructor, Clinical Nurse Specialist and Program Manager of Geriatric Evaluation and Management Services.
Gaylene holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a Master of Nursing from the University of Saskatchewan. As a Registered Nurse, she is licensed with the Saskatchewan Registered Nurses Association, a member of the Academy of Canadian Executive Nurses, holds a Certification in Gerontological Nursing with the Canadian Nurses Association and is lean leader certified.
Gaylene is passionate about providing safe, client centered care through Interdisciplinary collaboration and coordination. She brings a collaborative leadership style to the teams she leads. Gaylene is excited about the opportunity to engage clients and professionals in the development of care standards that will ensure improved health outcomes for the residents of Saskatchewan through excellence in care and service delivery.
Michelle Schmalenberg - Executive Director, Strategy and Innovation
Michelle Schmalenberg is the Executive Director of Transformation and Innovation and joins the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) from the Ministry of Health. For the past ten years she has held several progressively responsible roles including, Communication Consultant, Executive Assistant to the Deputy Minister, Assistant Director Kaizen Promotion Office, Director Health Information and Privacy and Director Health Policy and Innovation. For the past 10 months, she has played a key role in leading the health system amalgamation as a Project Manager with the Transition Team.
Michelle is a certified Lean Leader and holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Regina. Her role leading health policy, coupled with her time on the Transition Team, has afforded her a system level perspective of the issues and challenges facing the health system as well as a strong understanding of the context in which successful transformational change must occur.
As part of the SHA’s leadership team, Michelle brings a collaborative leadership style, a strategic focus and an ability to see the big picture. Through collaboration and engagement, Michelle and her team will work cross functionally as strategic integrators to provide leadership and support on a number of transformational initiatives across many portfolios. Michelle is committed to playing her part in achieving a high performing health system for the benefit of the patients and families we collectively serve.
Felecia Watson - Executive Director, Patient and Client Experience
As the new Executive Director of Patient and Client Experience, Felecia joins the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) as a passionate transformational leader with a strong commitment to continuous quality improvement and Patient and Family Centred Care.
Felecia has more than 20 years of experience working in health care. She led the coordination of four Accreditation Canada surveys for three different organizations. She has worked as an Epidemiologist, Research Officer, Provincial Lead for Early Detection and in a variety of Quality Improvement and Patient Safety Roles. Felecia developed and implemented a plan for Patient and Family Centred Care in the former Sun Country Health Region and led the formation of their first Patient and Family Advisory Council. Felecia is a certified Lean Leader, LEADS facilitator and holds a Masters degree in Community Health and Epidemiology as well as a Bachelor of Commerce degree with a Health Care Administration major.
Felecia has been fortunate to have worked with many Patient and Family Partners as either members of the Patient and Family Advisory Committee or as ad hoc Partners on a variety of improvement events. She looks forward to enhancing partnerships with patients, clients and providers to improve care and services for the people of Saskatchewan.
Dr. Brandy Winquist - Executive Director, Academics and Learning
As Executive Director of Academics and Learning, Dr. Brandy Winquist will provide leadership for the Saskatchewan Health Authority’s academic mandate, research and ethics. Brandy completed her doctorate in Community and Population Health Sciences at the University of Saskatchewan, and now holds an adjunct faculty position within the College of Medicine. She has extensive experience in leading research in the areas of maternal and child health, health services and population health.
As the Director of Decision Support in the former Cypress Health Region, Brandy has cultivated expertise in applied research, medical ethics, analytics and health information systems. Collaborating with the Saskatchewan Health Quality Council and the Canadian Network for Observational Drug Effects Studies, she has led the Saskatchewan component of four multi-province studies investigating prescription medication use during pregnancy. Much of her career has been dedicated to informing, evaluating and improving health service delivery in Saskatchewan. She currently serves as Chairperson for the Ethics Committee in Swift Current and for the Saskatchewan Epidemiology Association.
Brandy has worked closely with health system partners throughout her career, and is committed to continuing and building new relationships in her role as Executive Director of Academics and Learning.
Dr. Gary Groot - Medical Director of Clinical Quality Improvement
Dr. Groot brings years of experience in the Saskatchewan healthcare system together with his academic position, work with the Ministry of Health in Appropriateness of Care and faculty experience with the provincial Clinical Quality Improvement training program (CQIP) to this new role within the SHA.
Dr. Groot is dedicated to the creation of a culture and organizational structure that will result in "the right care, provided by the right providers, to the right patient, in the right place, at the right time, resulting in optimal care."
Dr. Groot is a Professor in the College of Medicine with a joint appointment in the Departments of Community Health and Epidemiology and Surgery. Based out of Saskatoon, Dr. Groot provides general surgical oncology care to patients in Saskatchewan. Gary has served as the Department Head for the former Saskatoon Health Region and is currently the Director of Surgical Oncology and Interim Director of Quality Improvement for the Department of Surgery. He has served as the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer's Equity Advisory Committee Chair and on the Quality Committee for the American Head and Neck Society. Gary has been faculty for the provincial CQIP training program that he helped establish from its inception, a program modelled after the highly regarded Intermountain Health mini-advanced training program.
Chief Medical Officer
Dr. Susan Shaw - Chief Medical Officer
Dr. Susan Shaw balances a rewarding career in Critical Care Medicine and Anesthesiology with clinical and system improvement work at the local, regional and provincial level in Saskatchewan. She has been a successful department head, a physician leader with the Saskatchewan Surgical Initiative and co-lead of the former Saskatoon Health Region's Safer Every Day Breakthrough Initiative. Prior to joining the Saskatchewan Health Authority, Dr. Shaw worked with the Saskatchewan Medical Association as Director of Physician Advocacy and Leadership.
Dr. Shaw is currently board chair for the Saskatchewan Health Quality Council and is looked to as a leader in patient-centred care, physician leadership, continuous improvement and large scale change.
Dr. Phillip Fourie - Deputy Chief Medical Officer
Dr. Phillip Fourie comes to his new role from Yorkton, where he has been a practicing family physician since 1999. Since 2013, Dr. Fourie worked as Vice President of Medical Affairs and Senior Medical Officer for the former Sunrise Health Region.
Dr. Fourie’s education includes a Medical Degree and Diploma in Anesthesia, as well as leadership training through the Physician Leadership Institute. His commitment to patient and family centred care is demonstrated through his passion for safe and high quality services. He has furthered his education in health system quality improvement at Inter-Mountain Health Care (mini-Advanced Training Program) and is a Certified Lean Leader. He is a champion of change and a coach and faculty member of the Saskatchewan Clinical Quality Improvement Program (CQIP) for physicians.
He has served in several local and provincial physician leadership roles including as President of the Saskatchewan Medical Association (2011). Dr. Fourie is dedicated to collaboratively improving the Saskatchewan Health Care System, to provide high quality patient centred care.
Dr. Cory Neudorf - Interim Senior Medical Health Officer
Dr. Cory Neudorf is the Interim Senior Medical Health Officer, and Associate Professor in the Department of Community Health and Epidemiology at the University of Saskatchewan. He received his medical degree from the University of Saskatchewan, a Master’s of Health Science degree (Community Health and Epidemiology) from the University of Toronto, and is a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada with Certification in the specialty of Public Health a nd Preventive Medicine.
He has held various leadership roles in public health at the national level in Canada, including: Chair of the Canadian Population Health Initiative Council, President of the Canadian Public Health Association and President of the Public Health Physicians of Canada. He is currently serving on the Strategic Analytic Advisory Committee of the Canadian Institutes for Health Information, the Institute Advisory Board of the CIHR Institute of Public and Population Health, and the Editorial Board of the Canadian Journal of Public Health. He is the president of the Urban Public Health Network of Canada and is a liaison member with the Regions for Health Network (WHO Europe). His research interests include improving health equity, health status indicators and surveys, and integrating population health into health system performance improvement.
Rob Gentes - Executive Director, Practitioner Staff Affairs
As the Executive Director, Practitioner Staff Affairs within the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA), Rob Gentes will provide leadership for Practitioner Staff Affairs teams and support to physicians across the province.
Throughout his career Rob has held a number of positions including, Chief Financial Officer in the former Moose Mountain Health District, Manager of Rehab Services in Mental Health, Adult Services Manager in Mental Health and Addictions Services, Administrative Fellow at St Paul’s Hospital and Director of Practitioner Staff Affairs in the former Saskatoon Health Region.
Rob received his Masters of Business Administration from the University of Regina and is a Certified Lean Leader. Rob brings over 20 years of leadership experience to the position and is excited about the opportunity to work collaboratively to support the vision of the SHA and improve the quality of care to the people of Saskatchewan.
Area Chiefs of Staff
Dr. Eileen Dahl - Area Chief of Staff, Saskatoon
Dr. Eileen Dahl is a graduate of the College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, and is certified with the College of Family Physicians of Canada. In addition to enjoying a career in family practice, she is a clinical lecturer with the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the College of Medicine and a graduate of the Health Quality Council CQIP (Clinical Quality Improvement Process) program. Dr. Dahl served as the Chief of Family Medicine for the city-wide Department of Family Medicine from 1994 to 2000. In 2000, she received Saskatchewan’s Family Physician of the Year award by the Saskatchewan chapter of the Canadian College of Family Physicians.
Currently, Dr. Dahl serves as the Chair of AARC, which reviews physician credentials, and she is working to improve processes around patient discharge. She is also supportive of the development of community-based health networks to improve care to patients in their homes. Dr. Dahl likes to balance her part-time administrative duties with her urban family practice. She is quick to admit that her patients have been her greatest teachers and considers it a privilege to practice family medicine in Saskatoon and in this province. When not at work, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, cycling, reading and ballroom dancing.
Dr. Randall Friesen - Area Chief of Staff, Northeast
Dr. Randall Friesen is from Saskatchewan and has practiced General Surgery in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan for almost three decades, in the process, becoming increasingly involved in administrative matters as Chief of Surgery and more recently as a Senior Medical Officer.
Dr. Friesen began his journey in medical administration early in his career, volunteering for committee work with the Saskatchewan Medical Association (SMA), and serving on Council for the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan. He was then appointed Chief of Surgery for the former health region, and was an early member and supporter of the Saskatchewan Surgical Care Network which eventually became the Saskatchewan Surgical Initiative. He took numerous Physician Leadership Institute courses with support from the SMA and the former region, eventually earning the Canadian Certified Physician Executive credential. He graduated with distinction from the College of Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan (MD, 1984), completing a Rotating Internship at St. Paul’s Hospital in 1985, and Residency in General Surgery ( Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Canada) in 1990 (Regina and Saskatoon). He is a member of Canadian Association of General Surgeons (CAGS) and sits on their Global Surgery and Rural Surgery Committees. He was recently appointed by CAGS to represent them on a working group to establish an assessment process for Enhanced Surgical Skills.
Dr. Friesen believes that his experience and perspectives will enhance the ability of the Saskatchewan Health Authority to deliver care that is safe, equitable, timely and sustainable.
Dr. John Froh - Area Chief of Staff, Saskatoon
Dr. John Froh is an emergency, trauma and transport physician who practices in Saskatoon where he lives with his family.
Dr. Froh holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Science from the University of Regina, as well as a Medical Degree from the University of Saskatchewan. He completed his residency in Family and Emergency Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan. He has been a leader in EMS, ER and critical care transport (STARS). He has special clinical interests in resuscitation, simulation and disaster medicine.
Dr. Froh thinks that physician leadership within the SHA is crucial to its success and is excited to have the opportunity to contribute.
Dr. Melissa McGee - Area Chief of Staff, Northwest
From The Battlefords, Saskatchewan, Dr. McGee was pleased to return to her home community in 2012, and establish her practice as a general surgeon and endoscopist. She attended the University of Saskatchewan for her Bachelor of Science, receiving the President’s Medal, and to become a medical doctor. This was followed by a surgical residency at McMaster University. Melissa has served as the President of the Prairie North Regional Medical Association. She is a Clinical Assistant Professor with the College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, and helps to support the Regional Family Medicine Training Program in North Battleford through faculty development.
Dr. McGee is excited to work towards stronger patient and family centred care, recognizing the differences within our rural and regional communities. She is a leader by example and a strong believer in continuous quality improvement initiatives.
Dr. Hein de Klerk - Area Chief of Staff, Southwest
Dr. Hein de Klerk is a family physician from Swift Current. He is responsible for providing leadership to the practitioner staff, ensuring appropriate practitioner staff review and appointments, supporting and leading quality initiatives, coordinating clinical organization within the southwest area, as well as collaborating with the other area chiefs of staff to conform clinical pathways and processes across Saskatchewan.
Dr. de Klerk has practiced Comprehensive Family Medicine and Emergency Medicine in Swift Current, Saskatchewan for the last 18 years. He served as Director of Family Medicine for former Cypress Health Region Vice President of the Cypress Regional Medical Association, as a member of the Saskatchewan Medical Association Committee on Rural and Regional Practice, and on Quality Care Committees of former Cypress Health Region . He obtained his medical degree at the University of the Free State in South Africa.
Dr. de Klerk is active in his community and shares responsibilities as a team physician, caring for the medical needs of the WHL Swift Current Broncos. He strives to build on the professional relationships he has with his colleagues in the Southwest and forge new strong relationships with healthcare professionals and communities to create a robust, competent, and caring human resource team that always focuses on the care of our patients.
Dr. Ajibola Ogunbiyi - Area Chief of Staff, Southeast
Dr. Ajibola Ogunbiyi comes from former Sunrise Health Region in east central Saskatchewan, where he practices as a consultant psychiatrist. He has served as the President of the Regional Medical Association and Co-Chair of the Regional Health Authority Practitioner Liaison Council.
Dr. Ogunbiyi completed his residency training in psychiatry in Ireland. He obtained his certification in Clinical Psychiatry from the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland and he holds a Master’s Degree in Child Health from the University of Dublin, Ireland. He maintains active memberships in several professional organizations, including the Saskatchewan Medical Association, the Saskatchewan Psychiatric Association and the Canadian Psychiatric Association.
As an advocate of patient-centred care, Dr. Ogunbiyi is committed to physician engagement and health system quality improvement. He looks forward to fostering collaborative relationships and integrated healthcare services for Saskatchewan's unique and diverse citizens.
Dr. Ivo Radevski - Area Chief of Staff, Southwest
Dr. Ivo Radevski brings considerable administrative and physician leadership experience to his position of one of Saskatchewan Health Authority’s Area Chief of Staff, Southwest. He has been the Senior Medical Officer, former Cypress Health Region since 2004 and also served as Vice President, Acute Care in the region since 2015. Dr. Radevski practiced as family physician in Shaunavon, Saskatchewan from 2001 to 2005 and Maple Creek, Saskatchewan from 2009 to 2012. Since 2005, he has been working part time as family and emergency physician in Swift Current, Saskatchewan.
Dr. Radevski is a Fellow of the College of Family Physicians of Canada and holds the Certified Physician Executive designation from the Canadian Society of Physician Leaders. He has also gained in-depth knowledge of quality improvement methodology and holds Lean Leader Certification.
Dr. Radevski is a strong believer in patient and family centred care and is an advocate for physician wellbeing. Through his knowledge of rural practice and long physician leadership experience, Dr. Radevski intends to support the provision of quality accessible services to Southwest Saskatchewan.
Dr. Grant Stoneham - Area Chief of Staff, Saskatoon
Dr. Grant Stoneham is an Interventional Radiologist who practices at the Royal University Hospital in Saskatoon. He has been practicing Radiology in Saskatoon for the past 22 years and has been the Associate Dean for Saskatoon Programs since 2010.
Dr. Stoneham holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Saskatchewan, as well as a Medical Degree from the University of Calgary. He completed his rotating internship at the Rockyview General and Holy Cross Hospitals in Calgary, his residency in Diagnostic Radiology at the University of Saskatchewan, and a fellowship in Angiography and Interventional Radiology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.
He is actively involved with the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, as well as the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan.
Dr. Dorothy Thomas - Area Chief of Staff, Regina
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Dr. Peter John Vertue - Area Chief of Staff, Southwest
Dr. Peter John (PJ) Vertue is an emergency physician from Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan with special interests in Medical IT, ultrasonography and strong physician leadership. He is happily married and a father of two beautiful girls.
Dr. Vertue received his medical degree from the University of Pretoria in South Africa and holds Canadian College of Family Physicians and Canadian College of Family Physicians – Emergency Medicine certification. He was the Head of Emergency Services in Moose Jaw from 2011-2013 and serves as Treasurer for the Moose Jaw Regional Medical Association. He helped plan and design the Emergency room of the new Dr. F.H. Wigmore Regional Hospital and is currently working to get the emergency department paperless, with active work in Sunrise Clinical Manager. He is a member of the Canadian Family Physicians of Canada, Canadian Emergency Ultrasound Society and the Canadian Academy of Emergency Physicians. PJ has completed multiple ultrasound courses as well as a micro-fellowship in chest ultrasound at the University of Toronto.
The opportunity to serve in the role of Area Chief of Staff, Southwest in the new Saskatchewan Health Authority has rekindled his desire to make Saskatchewan a better place to receive healthcare and practice medicine.
Dr. Gill White - Area Chief of Staff, Regina
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Dr. Jordan Wingate - Area Chief of Staff, Northeast
Dr. Jordan Wingate is a rural family physician originally from Regina, Saskatchewan. After receiving his medical degree from the University of Saskatchewan in 1996, he completed his residency in Family Medicine through the University of Saskatchewan’s rural residency training program. Dr. Wingate has worked in Melfort, Saskatchewan since 1998 where he practices medicine, emergency, obstetrics and hospital care.
Dr. Wingate served as the Senior Medical and Vice President of Medical Services, former Kelsey Trail Health Region, since 2012. Prior to that, he held a variety of leadership roles in the region such as President of the Melfort Medical Advisory Committee and Regional Medical Advisor. He is also a clinical professor for the University of Saskatchewan and site coordinator for the Department of Family Medicine.
Dr. Wingate promotes sustainability of medical care in rural Saskatchewan. He advocates on behalf of rural physicians providing comprehensive care in a rural setting. He believes in and supports that sustaining rural medicine requires a healthy relationship with the University of Saskatchewan’s College of Medicine and the Department of Family Medicine Residency Training Program.
Dr. Lyle Williams - Area Chief of Staff, Northwest
Dr. Williams comes to his role from Unity, Saskatchewan where he has been a practicing family physician for the last ten years. He also has served as the Senior Medical Officer since 2014 and prior to that as the Deputy Senior Medical Officer, former Heartland Health Region. Dr. Williams has worked towards improving the rural standards of care and implementation of patient and family centred care in the rural setting. He has also served on the Saskatchewan Medical Association Representative Assembly for the former Heartland Health Region and is a certified Lean Leader.
Dr. Williams is passionate about primary and emergency care in the rural setting and is excited to work towards addressing the challenges in the northwest area through continuous improvement initiatives and a focus on improving the patient experience.
Dr. Malin Clark - Provincial Health, Psychiatry
Dr. Malin Clark is a clinical associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry. She was appointed to the role of Interim Provincial Head of the Department in November 1, 2019.
Dr. Clark completed her MD and psychiatry residency training at the University of Saskatchewan and joined the Department of Psychiatry faculty in 2000 as a child and adolescent psychiatrist. Since then she has been actively involved in medical education, taking on many roles over the years to support both undergraduate and postgraduate teaching. Most recently, she was associate program director for the psychiatry residency program and program director for the child and adolescent psychiatry subspecialty program. In addition, she has been directly involved in developing courses and curriculum for psychiatry training. In 2014-15 she was recognized by the residents with the department Faculty Teaching Award.
Dr. Clark is actively involved with the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, being a senior member of the Psychiatry Examination Board and having served on the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Specialty Committee.
During her time as Interim Provincial Head, she looks forward to providing leadership to an ever-increasingly connected team of provincial psychiatrists, and supporting initiatives to improve quality of mental health care for the people of Saskatchewan.
Dr. Haissam (Sam) Haddad - Provincial Health, Medicine
Dr. Haissam (Sam) Haddad received his B.Sc. from Tichreen University in Syria in 1980 and graduated from Medical School at Tichreen University in 1983. Following a family medicine practice in Syria, Dr. Haddad immigrated to Canada and trained in Internal Medicine at Dalhousie University and successfully completed training in cardiology at the University of Alberta and training in heart failure and transplant at Dalhousie University. In July 1997, Dr. Haddad joined the Division of Cardiology, Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre, Dalhousie University in Halifax, N.S. and was Medical Director of the Heart Transplant Program and Director of the Cardiac Rehabilitation Program. In September 2001, Dr. Haddad joined the University of Ottawa Heart Institute and was the Director of the Heart Failure Program, and Medical Director of Heart Transplant Program from 2001 to 2016.
Dr. Haddad is a member of the Panel of the Canadian Cardiovascular Society’s consensus conferences on the management of heart failure (2001-2017), on heart transplantation in adults (2003) and on heart transplantation in pediatrics (2005). He also chaired the Society’s consensus conference for heart transplant in 2008 and Evaluation and Management of Cardiovascular Complications of Cancer Therapy 2016. Dr. Haddad has earned numerous prestigious awards, namely the Anemia Institute for Research and Education Award in 2005, the 1st Award Prize in the International Competition of the American College of Physicians in 2000, and The UOHI CEO and President TEAM SPIRIT award 2016. Dr. Haddad was elected and served as Chair of the Board of Directors to the Canadian Heart Failure Society from April 2015 to Sept 2017. He moved to Saskatchewan in April 2016 to be the Unified Head of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan and Saskatoon Health Region.
Dr. Kathy Lawrence - Provincial Head, Family Medicine
Dr. Kathy Lawrence is from Regina and completed her medical degree (1994) and Family Medicine residency training (1996) at the University of Saskatchewan (Regina Campus). She received Certification in Family Medicine in 1996 and became a Fellow of the CFPC in 2007. She also received a BSc in Biology from the University of Regina in 1992. She has practiced at the Family Medicine Teaching Unit at the Regina Centre Crossing throughout her career. She is an Associate Professor with the University of Saskatchewan and served as the Postgraduate Director for Family Medicine from 2005 to 2018.
Dr. Lawrence served as a member of the College of Family Physicians of Canada’s National Executive Committee in 2010 and completed terms as Honorary Secretary-Treasurer, President-Elect, Chair of the Board, President and Past President. In addition, she served as Board Member of the Saskatchewan College of Family Physicians (SCFP) from 1998 to 2003 and as President from 2005 to 2007. She currently chairs the CFPC’s Postgraduate Education Committee and is a member of the CFPC’s Committee on Examinations, Certification and Assessment Committee, Program Evaluation Advisory Group, Specialty Committee, Accreditation Committee and Advisory Committee for the CFPC Outcomes of Training Project. In addition, she is the family medicine representative to the Canadian Residency Accreditation Consortium’s Accreditation Process Advisory Committee.
Dr. Gary Linassi - Provincial Head, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Dr. Linassi is a Physiatrist and the Provincial Head for Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R). After working as a gold geologist for 10 years, he completed medical school in Ireland and Royal College residency in PM&R in Saskatoon. His clinical practice is focused on spinal cord injury, amputation and ALS, corresponding with his research interests as an Associate Professor with the College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan. He is a medical educator with past appointments as UGME Program and PGME Program Director in Saskatoon and Dalhousie University and Assistant Dean UGME with the College of Medicine.
He has current appointments as a national and international Royal College examiner. He is passionate about advocating for people with disabilities and has sat on many provincial and national advisory committees and non-profit boards. Dr. Linassi feels privileged to work with an outstanding team of professionals, based in Regina and Saskatoon, who serve the province through a dedicated tertiary level rehabilitation service model and who contribute to educational excellence. As a rehabilitation specialist, Dr. Linassi regularly works with a diverse group of widely dispersed health care providers and sees the creation of the SHA as an opportunity to improve care by building a large team with dedicated, interconnected members.
Dr. Fergall Magee - Provincial Head, Pathology and Laboratory
Dr. Fergall Magee completed his residency in Anatomic Pathology at the University of British Columbia (UBC), followed by Pediatric Pathology at the BC Children's Hospital, and a staff position for 10 years. Prior to leaving Vancouver, he completed a Masters in Clinical Epidemiology at the UBC School of Population and Public Health. In 2005, he relocated to IWK Health Centre/Dalhousie with a Pathology appointment and cross appointment in pediatrics and bioethics.
In 2015, Dr. Magee was appointed as Department Head, for Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Saskatchewan. In 2018, he also assumed the role as Interim Provincial Medical Director, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine for the Saskatchewan Health Authority. Dr. Magee is currently an active member of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons, serving as Chair of the Credentials Committee, member of the Health Systems and Policy Committee, and Assessment Committee.
Dr. Ivar Mendez - Provincial Head, Surgery
As a Clinician and Scientist, Dr. Ivar Mendez’ research focus is in functional neurosurgery, brain repair, stem cells and remote presence robotic technology. His laboratory research has been supported by peer-reviewed funding from a number of sources, including the Canada National Centres of Excellence, Canadian Institutes of Health Research and Canada Foundation for Innovation. For the past decade, he has worked in the use of remote-presence robotic technology. His work in robotics has focused in rural and remote health care with particular emphasis in improving health care access to First Nation’s communities. In 2002, Dr. Mendez and his team performed the first long distance telementoring neurosurgery in the world, and in 2013, he reported the first experience in remote programming for neuromodulation devices.
Dr. Mendez has published over 190 scientific publications and has given over 230 national and international lectures. He has received numerous awards, including the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada Medal Award in Surgery, the 2010 Canadian Red Cross Humanitarian Award, the 2011 Health Canada Award for his contribution to the improvement of the health of Canadians, and the 2016 Government of Canada Public Service Award of Excellence for the use of remote presence robotic technology in the Canadian North.
Dr. Mateen Raazi - Provincial Head, Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Management
Dr. Mateen Raazi became the first Provincial Head in Anesthesiology for the Saskatchewan Health Authority and the University of Saskatchewan on January 1, 2018. Prior to that, he spent 15 years as the Program Director and the Executive Director of Education in Anesthesiology, a role that encompassed a range of portfolios in medical education, administration, scholarship and innovation at the local, regional, national and international levels.
A highly regarded medical educator and administrator, he completed his undergraduate medical studies at the King Edward Medical College in Pakistan. He subsequently completed his postgraduate medical education in anesthesiology and fellowships in Pediatric Anesthesiology and Pediatric Critical Care at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, University of Philadelphia (Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia) and the University of Pittsburgh.
Dr. Raazi’s current research interests encompass medical and health care systems administration, medical education, physician wellness and pediatric perioperative anxiety. His scholastic interests outside of medicine include contemporary history, philosophy, comparative religious and spiritual traditions, and interfaith harmony. He enjoys classical music (eastern and western) and jazz, is an amateur percussionist and an advocate of physical, mental and spiritual health.
Dr. James Stempien - Provincial Head, Emergency Medicine
Dr. James Stempien completed medical school at the University of Toronto in 1984. His first job was as a GP anesthetist in Inuvik in 1986. He then spent the next 10 years working in northern Canada and isolated areas internationally.
Dr. Stempien has been working in Saskatoon as the Head of Emergency Medicine since 2007 and has been the Interim Provincial Head since 2016. He lives on an acreage just east of the city with his wife, three children, 20 chickens and four hives of bees.
Dr. Stempien is interested in quality improvement and patient-centred research. As Provincial Head, he is looking towards a provincial approach for quality care and system improvement.
Dr. Sheldon Wiebe - Provincial Head, Medical Imaging
Dr. Sheldon Wiebe is a professor in the Department of Medical Imaging and took over the role of Interim Provincial Head of the Department in January 2018. While in this interim role, he has worked with radiologists and others to create an open and transparent department that is patient-centred and creates clinical and academic value to the system.
Dr. Wiebe completed his undergraduate and postgraduate medical training in Saskatchewan. He undertook a Pediatric Radiology fellowship at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto from 2002 to 2004, accepted an academic position at the University of Saskatchewan in July 2004, and has been practicing at the Royal University Hospital since. Soon after beginning, he became interested in the imaging research possibilities at the Canadian Light Source and began working with Dr. Dean Chapman and members of the Biomedical Imaging and Therapy (BMIT) beamline community. Through his involvement in this work, he earned an MSc degree in 2012.
Dr. Wiebe has been an active member at the Radiology Society of Saskatchewan (Provincial Radiology). He was previously the Acting Head of the Department (UofS/SHR) from 2006 to 2009, and again in 2010, prior to Dr. Paul Babyn taking the position in December 2010. He was active at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons as a member of the specialty committee for Pediatric Radiology and was the inaugural chair of the exam board for the RCPSC specialty exam for Pediatric radiology; through that work he was awarded the title of "Founder of Pediatric Radiology" in 2011. He has recently accepted a position as a Board Member of the Canadian Association of Radiologists.
Medical Health Officers (MHOs)
Dr. Tania Diener - MHO Area Department Lead, Urban (Regina)
Dr. Tania Diener is the Medical Health Officer Area Department Lead for the Regina area, as well as the Medical Director for Immunization and International Travel. In 1987, she obtained her Bachelor in Medicine and Surgery (M.B., Ch.B.) degree from the University of Stellenbosch, Cape Town, South Africa. She continued her studies at the same university and obtained a Master of Medicine (Fellowship equivalency - Community Health) (M.Med) degree, as well as a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree. Apart from her earlier clinical work at the Tygerberg Hospital (tertiary academic complex) in South Africa, she also did research at an epidemiological unit in the area of quality improvement. This led to her involvement in the establishment of The Council for Health Service Accreditation of Southern Africa (COHSASA) in 1996.
In July 1997, she emigrated with her family to Regina and took up the position of Deputy Medical Health Officer, which she held until September 1999 when she became the Medical Health Officer for the Regina Health District and then the Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region. In 2004, she wrote and passed the first International Certificate of Knowledge Exam of the International Society of Travel Medicine in New York and in 2007 she obtained a Diploma in Travel Health through the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow and Health Protection Scotland, where she is also a member of their Faculty of Travel Medicine. Dr. Diener is also an assistant professor in the Department of Community Health and Epidemiology, College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan.
Dr. Jasmine Hasselback - MHO Area Department Lead, Urban (Saskatoon)
Dr. Jasmine Hasselback is a Public Health and Preventative Medicine specialist and Medical Health Officer for the Saskatchewan Health Authority in Saskatoon. Her work is focused on preventing disease and injury, and in promoting health and well-being. Her work often includes partnerships with many non-healthcare related programs, services, and organizations because she knows that although her job is to keep people from getting sick, the “sickcare” system holds very few of the levers to make that happen.
Dr. Hasselback completed her studies at the Universities of Ottawa and Saskatchewan, and has worked in various settings, including both rural and remote, and large metropolitan. Although her practice has been extremely varied, of note she has supported the development of safer policies at the local level with the legalization of cannabis, she has engaged in intersectoral partnerships to develop better early childhood development services and supports, and has been fully immersed in containing communicable disease threats including the large scale outbreaks of Ebola, pork E.Coli 0157:H7 and COVID-19.
Dr. Mandiangu Nsungu - MHO Area Department Lead (North)
Dr. Mandiangu Nsungu is the Medical Health Officer Area Department Lead for the North. He has been a Medical Health Officer in North Battleford since June 2015. He came to North Battleford from Yorkton, where he was the Medical Health Officer for the former Sunrise Health Region from April 2010 to June 2015. Prior to that, he was the Medical Health Officer for the Northern Inter-Tribal Health Authority (NITHA) from April 2003 to April 2010.
Before immigrating to Canada in April 2003, Dr. Nsungu spent 15 years working as a general practitioner and a public health practitioner in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zimbabwe, South Africa and Namibia. His education includes a Medical Degree from the Democratic Republic of Congo, a Diploma in Obstetrics from South Africa and a Master of Public Health from Belgium. Dr. Nsungu has Lean Leader Certification and is particularly interested in continuous improvement pertaining to communicable diseases and immunizations.
Dr. David Torr - MHO Area Department Lead (South)
Dr. David Torr is a physician with just over three decades of experience in the medical field. He has studied in a number of universities, including Saskatchewan, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, London, Makerere and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical medicine.
Dr. Torr has worked in Europe, Africa, Asia and North America and has a strong passion for population health and illness prevention. Both abroad and in Saskatchewan, Dr. Torr has worked in urban and rural settings, including acute, long-term care and community-based facilities. He has also worked with multiple authorities, including governments, boards of health, regional health authorities, municipalities, health care and other organizations.
Aside from working as a medical health officer, Dr. Torr is a physician leader with a number of leadership roles, including Chair of the Medical Health Officers’ Council of Saskatchewan and the Saskatchewan Liaison Leader for the Public Health Physicians of Canada. He holds the award of Canadian Certified Physician Executive and is an associate Clinical Professor, Department of Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan.