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Our Theme Leads

Chad Saunders is an Associate Professor in Entrepreneurship & Innovation at the Haskayne School of Business, University of Calgary. Chad holds adjunct appointments with the Department of Community Health Sciences and the Department of Medicine at the Cumming School of Medicine.  Chad received both a BSc (Applied Mathematics) and MBA from Memorial University of Newfoundland and a PhD (Management Information Systems) from the Haskayne School of Business. Chad also holds the ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors.  His research interests focus on the support that entrepreneurs draw upon in starting and scaling their ventures, and addressing the barriers that innovation ecosystems pose by not necessarily providing equal or equitable support to all individuals, especially intersectional entrepreneurs (e.g., women, Indigenous, immigrants). His work is published in leading journals, including Journal of Medical Internet Research, BMC Health Services Research, Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, Journal of Business Venturing, International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, Journal of Business Venturing Insights, and Research Policy.

Integrated Innovation Ecosystem Support Lead

Chad Saunders

Dr. Martin Ferguson-Pell, a distinguished biomedical engineer and former Dean of the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine at the University of Alberta, is a leader in the field of rehabilitation and biomedical research. As the co-director of the University of Alberta's Rehabilitation Robotics Laboratory and a Principal Investigator in the Smart Network, he spearheads the development of virtual reality systems for healthcare learning objects and biomechanics research. Beyond academia, he played a pivotal role in establishing the Peter Lougheed Leadership College and actively supports leadership skills and mentorship for students. Serving as the CEO of the Alberta Bone and Joint Health Institute, Dr. Ferguson-Pell utilizes clinical data to drive innovations in bone and joint health, collaborating with the Bone and Joint Health Strategic Clinical Network. His extensive credentials include being a Fellow of Rehabilitation Engineering Society of America, a Chartered Physicist, a Certified Clinical Scientist, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. Notably, he co-founded Click&Push Accessibility Inc., a startup addressing barriers for individuals with mobility limitations, exemplifying his commitment to advancing accessibility and inclusivity.

Remote Monitoring and Virtual Care Lead

Dr. Martin Ferguson-Pell

Dr. Mary Brindle is a distinguished pediatric surgeon and serves as the Director of The EQuIS (Efficiency Quality Innovation and Safety) Research platform at Alberta Children's Hospital. In this role, she leads a chair-supported program dedicated to addressing health system issues related to pediatric surgery, fostering innovation, and ensuring safety through international and national collaboration. Dr. Brindle is at the forefront of advancing medical practices, particularly as the leader of the international ERAS (Enhanced Recovery After Surgery) neonatal abdominal surgery team and as the Secretary of the International ERAS Society. Additionally, she holds key roles as the Director of Safe Surgery and Safe Systems at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Scientific. Her extensive research, which has received funding from sources including CIHR, and NIH/AHRQ is presented globally, reflecting her commitment to advancing surgical care. Dr. Brindle's influence extends to her role as the Chair of the Canadian Association of Chairs of Surgical Research and the co-chair of the Inclusion Diversity Equity and Access Committee for the Canadian Association for Pediatric Surgery, emphasizing her dedication to shaping the future of surgery through a combination of implementation science and rigorous quantitative and qualitative research methodologies. 

Remote Monitoring and Virtual Care Lead

Dr. Mary Brindle

Portrait of Doctor Matthew James in professional attire, exuding competence and approachability.

Dr. Matthew James is a distinguished specialist in Nephrology, holding the position of Associate Professor in the Departments of Medicine and Community Health Sciences at the University of Calgary. His research program is dedicated to patient-oriented research, with a specific focus on the development and implementation of risk prediction and clinical decision support tools aimed at enhancing the quality of care. Driven by a commitment to advancing healthcare, he also engages in pragmatic clinical trials centered around kidney and cardiovascular disease, contributing significantly to the ongoing evolution of medical practices in these critical areas.

Bridging Community and Acute Care Lead

Dr. Matthew James

Portrait of a doctor Neesh Pannu in professional attire, conveying expertise, compassion, and commitment to healthcare
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Dr. Neesh Pannu, a distinguished nephrologist and Professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Alberta, is a highly accomplished medical professional. She obtained her medical degree from the University of Alberta and furthered her training at Stanford University, culminating in a master's degree in Epidemiology and Biostatistics from Harvard University. Dr. Pannu's research focuses on acute kidney injury, delving into aspects of diagnosis, management, and outcomes in this critical field. Actively engaged in impactful organizations such as the Alberta Kidney Disease Network (AKDN) and the Interdisciplinary Chronic Disease Collaboration (ICDC), she contributes significantly to advancements in nephrology. Beyond her research endeavors, Dr. Pannu holds key leadership positions as the co-Scientific Director of the Kidney Strategic Clinical Network and the assistant Dean of Clinical Research Platforms at the University of Alberta, showcasing her commitment to advancing healthcare and clinical research.

Bridging Community and Acute Care Lead

Dr. Neesh Pannu

Tyler Williamson serves as the Director of the Centre for Health Informatics, previously holding the position of Associate Director. Simultaneously, he holds the role of Associate Professor of Biostatistics in the Department of Community Health Sciences and directs the Health Data Science and Biostatistics Diploma Program at the University of Calgary. Actively contributing to research, he is a member of the O'Brien Institute of Public Health and the Alberta Children's Hospital Research Institute. Dr. Williamson's academic journey includes earning a BSc in Statistics in 2005 and a PhD in Biostatistics in 2011, reflecting his commitment to advancing statistical methodologies in the realm of health research. In 2018, he was honored with the NAPCRG New Investigator Award for outstanding contributions as a new primary care investigator within the North American Primary Care Research Group, the largest primary care research organization globally. He is also a also a member of the Libin Cardiovascular institute and his research expertise lies in health data integration, chronic disease surveillance, and the utilization of electronic medical record data for public health surveillance and practice quality improvement. Recognized both nationally and internationally, he collaborates with esteemed organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO), Public Health Agency of Canada and Health Canada to solidify his impact on health services research and public health initiatives.

Connectivity and Data Access Lead

Tyler Williamson

Portrait of a Doctor Tom Stelfox in professional attire, exuding confidence and expertise.
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Dr. Tom Stelfox is the inaugural Deputy Dean for the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry at the University of Alberta. He received his MD from the University of Alberta, completed his internal medicine residency at the University of Toronto, earned a Ph.D. in health care policy at Harvard University and did a critical care fellowship at the Massachusetts General Hospital. He served as joint clinical and academic chair of the Department of Critical Care Medicine, University of Calgary and Alberta Health Services where he reorganized the delivery of physician patient care services. He is the past Scientific Director of the O’Brien Institute for Public Health, University of Calgary where he established the Centre for Health Policy. His research focuses on the application of health-services research methods to improve the quality of health-care delivery to critically ill patients.

Oversight Committee Chair

Dr. Tom Stelfox

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