306-668-8810 ext 145
Prior to taking on the role of researcher at the Health Quality Council in June 2017, Maureen worked as a public health epidemiologist at the local, provincial, and federal levels in a variety of Canadian jurisdictions (B.C., Saskatchewan, Ontario, and Prince Edward Island) and in a variety of public health content areas (communicable disease, outbreak investigation, surveillance, environmental health, and non-communicable disease).
Maureen obtained her Master's degree in Epidemiology from the University of Saskatchewan and is a graduate of the Canadian Field Epidemiology Program (Outbreak Management Division, Public Health Agency of Canada, Guelph, Ontario). She is currently a PhD candidate in Epidemiology at the University of Prince Edward Island.
Maureen is passionate about public health and applying a population health perspective to data analyses. She feels fortunate to have the opportunity to apply her knowledge and experience in her hometown of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, where she lives with her three favourite people: her husband, Aaron, and their two daughters, Eleanor and Charlotte.
Project Consultant, Emergency Department Waits and Patient Flow Initiative
Appropriateness of Care Measurement Specialist/Researcher
306-668-8810 ext 125
306-668-8810 ext 111
Greg Basky has been with the Health Quality Council since its launch in January 2003. He brings to the position more than 15 years of experience in print journalism, government public affairs, advertising, and research-related communications.
Over the years, Greg has worked as a newspaper reporter, freelance writer/editor (with publishing credits that include the Medical Post, Canadian Medical Association Journal, British Medical Journal, and WebMD), copywriter at an ad agency, and communications officer with Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Health. Prior to joining HQC, he was communications director for the Council’s predecessor, the Health Services Utilization and Research Commission (HSURC).
Greg has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Saskatchewan and a Certificate in Public Relations from the University of Regina. He is also a certified Lean Leader.
Provincial Improvement Consultant
306-668-8810 ext 126
Glenda Beauchamp joined the Health Quality Council in April 2014. She is a registered dietitian who has practiced throughout Saskatchewan, mostly in the acute care setting. Her specialty areas of interest are surgery and critical care.
In her current role as a Provincial Improvement Consultant at HQC, Glenda works with the Provincial Integrated Learning System team and is focused on various projects that involve developing content to support learning pathways and provincial competencies. She is also involved in supporting and coaching regional partners with the implementation of outputs of the Emergency Department Waits and Patient Flow Initiative.
Glenda received both her Bachelor of Science (nutrition) and Bachelor of Arts (psychology) degrees from the University of Saskatchewan. She is also a certified Lean Leader.
Patient Engagement Specialist
306-668-8810 ext 151
Sarah Bocking joined the Health Quality Council in May 2017. She is currently the Patient Engagement Specialist with the Saskatchewan Centre for Patient-Oriented Research (SCPOR). Her work focuses on facilitating meaningful engagement in research between patients and families, decision-makers, and researchers.
Sarah has a Bachelor of Science degree and a Bachelor of Nursing degree from the University of Saskatchewan. She also has a Master of Science degree from McGill University. Throughout her career she has worked to coordinate and assist with research projects using many different approaches, including basic research, clinical trials, investigator-initiated studies, and, more recently, qualitative research studies.
Sarah’s background in science and nursing has led to her keen interest in patients and families engaging in research. Her work with HQC will support the SCPOR vision of patient-oriented research in Saskatchewan.
(306)-668-8810 ext 112
Shannon Boklaschuk joined the Health Quality Council in July 2014, bringing journalism, communications, and marketing experience to her communications consultant role. She has worked as a journalist at the Saskatoon StarPhoenix, the Edmonton Sun, and the Saskatoon Express, and her articles have been printed in a variety of other publications, including magazines and newspapers throughout Canada.
Shannon currently provides communications support and strategic advice to a number of HQC portfolios and initiatives. She previously held communications positions at the Saskatoon Health Region, the Saskatchewan Association for Community Living, and the University of Saskatchewan. She also served as a project coordinator at the University of Saskatchewan’s College of Medicine, where she wrote the Future of Medical Education in Canada (FMEC) implementation report entitled MD Education at the University of Saskatchewan’s College of Medicine: Looking to the Future.
Shannon has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Saskatchewan, a Bachelor of Journalism degree from the University of King’s College in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and a Master of Public Administration degree from the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy at the University of Saskatchewan. Outside of her work at HQC, Shannon continues to write for the Saskatoon Express weekly newspaper, with a focus on the visual and performing arts, and serves as a public relations volunteer with the Saskatoon chapter of Crohn's and Colitis Canada.
306-668-8810 ext 155
Doug Campbell joined the Health Quality Council in August 2014 as a Kaizen Specialist. In his current role as a Provincial Improvement Consultant, Doug works in the area of Health System Planning and Reporting while supporting other areas, such as the Provincial Integrated Learning System and the Clinical Quality Improvement Program.
Prior to joining HQC, Doug worked as an R&D engineer at Case New Holland. Doug was also a research fellow within the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) – Techniques in Health Research Using Synchrotron Technology (THRUST) program, where his area of research was reducing the pain of pediatric vaccinations by improving needle design. Doug is a co-founder of Anadote Designs, a medical device design partnership that has been involved in three different and distinct inventions.
Doug has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and a master’s degree in biomedical engineering with a specialization in clinical engineering, both from the University of Saskatchewan. He is currently working on a Master of Science degree at the University of Saskatchewan. He is also a certified Lean Leader.
Project and Policy Consultant, Emergency Department Waits and Patient Flow Initiative
(306)-668-8810 ext 137
Adrienne Danyliw joined the Health Quality Council as a researcher in July 2010. She is trained as a registered dietitian and has practised in community-based organizations and First Nations communities across Saskatchewan. Prior to coming to HQC, she spent four years with the health promotion department of public health services in Saskatoon Health Region.
Adrienne completed her Master’s degree in nutrition at the University of Saskatchewan with additional courses in epidemiology, biostatistics, and community health. Her graduate work involved using the large dataset of the Canadian Community Health Survey.
At HQC Adrienne has worked to collaboratively develop measurement infrastructure to support provincial quality improvement. She is now working to improve patient flow throughout the health system, focusing on building supportive processes in hospital and in the community and on bringing key stakeholders together to rapidly learn and share successes and failures as they implement changes in this area.She became a certified Lean Leader in January 2017.
Director, Finance and Corporate Services
306-668-8810 ext 157
Peter Deegan joined HQC in May 2016, bringing with him extensive experience in the areas of finance and corporate services.
Peter’s early career was in financial services before he took on senior finance roles in the not-for-profit and public health sectors in Ireland. Before coming to Canada in 2013, Peter had responsibility for Finance, HR, IT and Facilities Management for an international peace-building charity. Prior to joining HQC, Peter worked as the Director of Finance for the Keewatin Yatthé Regional Health Authority in northern Saskatchewan.
Peter is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA), a member of CGA Canada, and a fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. He also holds a Master’s degree in Public Management and is a certified Lean Leader.
Executive Assistant, Emergency Department Waits and Patient Flow Initiative
306-668-8810 ext 108
Gloria Erb joined the Health Quality Council in April 2011. She started out assisting in the Accounting Department as well as with Administrative duties. More recently, she has served as the Executive Assistant for the provincial Emergency Department Waits and Patient Flow Initiative.
Prior to joining HQC, Gloria held positions as Office Manager/Accountant in several businesses in Saskatoon, as well as assisted in her family's racing business. She has completed her certification in Business, Interior Design, and Fashion.
Director, Health System Planning and Reporting
306-668-8810 ext 116
Patrick Falastein joined the Health Quality Council as Director, Health System Planning and Reporting, in May 2016. From 2013-2015, Patrick was a Policy and Project Specialist with the Emergency Department Waits and Patient Flow Initiative at HQC. During this time, he was instrumental in launching the initiative and leading the first instance of provincial integrated kaizen planning.
From 2015-2016 Patrick was Administrative Fellow with the St. Paul’s Hospital leadership team and reported directly to the Hospital’s CEO. His responsibilities included working with community partners to develop a community-based HIV hospice and serving as co-chair of several committees, such as Occupational Health and Safety and Emergency Preparedness.
Lead, Emergency Department Waits and Patient Flow Initiative
(306)-668-8810 ext 106
Graham is the Lead for the ED Waits and Patient Flow Initiative. He is seconded to the Health Quality Council from the Saskatoon Health Region, where he has worked as a Director of Acute and Complex Medicine and, most recently, as Interim Vice President of Integrated Health Services. Graham has clinical and administrative experience in both the private and public sectors of health care; he owned and operated rehabilitation clinics in Saskatchewan prior to moving into public health care administration. Graham graduated with a degree in physical therapy from the University of Saskatchewan in 1989.
Graham is a certified Lean Leader. He lives with his wife, Joanne, and three children, Hayden, Quincy and Meeka, in Saskatoon.
306-668-8810 ext 117
Catherine Flegel joined the Health Quality Council in January 2005, following previous employment at the Saskatchewan Association of Health Organizations (SAHO). In her role as Network Administrator at HQC, she provides network and software support to the organization's employees.
306-668-8810 ext 143
Carla Flogan joined the Health Quality Council as a Quality Improvement Consultant in March 2012. Carla's portfolio at that time included providing support to coaches involved in the Clinical Practice Redesign program.
Carla is trained as a registered dietitian and practiced for more than six years in acute care and outpatient settings working with pediatric patients and their families. She completed both her Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in nutrition at the University of Saskatchewan.
In her current role as a Provincial Improvement Consultant at HQC, Carla serves as the program lead for the Clinical Quality Improvement Program (CQIP). CQIP is geared toward physicians and is designed to build capacity in leading improvement work, with a particular focus on clinical quality projects. Carla has supported a number of quality improvement projects across the province and completed the Lean Leader certification requirements in July 2014.
Director, Learning and Development
306-668-8810 ext 133
Shari Furniss first joined the Health Quality Council in 2004. In October 2011, after a two-year leave, she returned to the organization. She is part of the Learning and Implementation Services team, with a focus on building system capability in using quality improvement tools, concepts, and philosophies.
In her role as Director (Learning and Development), Shari works with provincial health system partners to create innovative and effective learning programs. In addition to designing curriculum, she also develops resource materials and online modules. A key component of her work is ensuring that adult learning principles are embedded throughout the learning experience.
Prior to joining HQC, Shari was an instructional designer at the University of Saskatchewan, where she focused primarily on graduate-level health science courses. In that role, she designed distance and blended programs and used technology-enhanced learning strategies.
Shari holds a Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Saskatchewan, a Bachelor of Arts in Communications Studies degree from the University of Calgary, and a Master of Education degree from Athabasca University. She has also completed the Comprehensive Instructor Workshop through the Harvard Center for Medical Simulation.
(306)-668-8810 ext 131
Jessica Hamilton joined the Health Quality Council as a researcher in March 2011. She currently supports the Variation and Appropriateness Working Group project, the Provincial Pathway projects and the emergency department initiative by helping teams include measurement into their daily work. She was previously involved with the Releasing Time to CareTM evaluation project.
Jessica received her Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Mount Allison University in New Brunswick and completed her Master of Science degree in community health and epidemiology from the University of Saskatchewan. Her research focused on tuberculosis transmission in indigenous people in Canada and New Zealand.
While pursuing her Master’s degree, Jessica worked as a research assistant for the Saskatchewan Population Health and Evaluation Research Unit, Prairie Women’s Health Centre of Excellence, Community-University Institute for Social Research and the Canadian Centre for Health and Safety in Agriculture.
306-668-8810 ext 205
Nianping Hu joined the Health Quality Council in January 2012 and is currently working on a variety of measurement projects. Prior to his employment at HQC, Nianping was a statistician with the Pharmaceutical Economics Research Group in the Department of Health Policy and Management, University of Pittsburgh.
Nianping is interested in clinical trials, survival analysis, and health economics and has many years of experience working in cancer research. He obtained a Master of Science degree in Biostatistics from Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, and a MD and PhD in Molecular Biology from the Xiangya School of Medicine, Central South University, China.
306-668-8810 ext 114
Nedeene Hudema has been a Research Analyst with the Health Quality Council since its launch in January 2003. She moved to the Senior Analyst position in January 2010. Before joining HQC, Nedeene was a Research Analyst with HQC's predecessor, the Health Services Utilization and Research Commission of Saskatchewan (HSURC).
One of Nedeene’s major responsibilities is data infrastructure maintenance and development, including scheduling, training, procedures, and processes related to the administrative data that HQC accesses, as well as data acquisitions and development of data knowledge. As a Senior Analyst, Nedeene supports the HQC Research Analysts in their work with coaching and development, primarily in the areas of administrative data and documentation.
Nedeene holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from the University of Saskatchewan, as well as a Bachelor of Science degree (with specialization) in Statistics and Applied Probability and a Master of Science degree in Biostatistics, both from the University of Alberta.
(306)-668-8810 ext 123
Amanda Hutton joined the Health Quality Council in November 2009. She is currently working with the data warehouse, completing data quality checks on HQC administrative data, as well as compiling metadata on several of the databases. Amanda also helps manage HQC's research intake process.
Amanda previously worked as a warranty administrator in the sleep therapy and diagnostics division of a large health care products company in Ottawa. She has also worked as a coder and in data analysis for a research company in Saskatoon.
Amanda has a Bachelor of Arts degree in business economics from the University of Saskatchewan.
306-668-8810 ext 144
Shan joined the Health Quality Council as a Research Analyst in November 2013. She is interested in using administrative data for epidemiological research, and is experienced in data management and quantitative analysis. She has been involved in pharma-epidemiology research, QI reporting, and other research.
Prior to joining HQC, Shan worked as a research assistant at the Department of Community Health and Epidemiology at the University of Saskatchewan (U of S). She received a Master’s degree in Community Health and Epidemiology from the U of S, and a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Beijing Institute of Technology.
Patient Engagement & Empowerment Platform Lead, SCPOR
306-668-8810 ext 156
Malori Keller joined the Health Quality Council in August 2014 as a Kaizen Specialist. She is currently a Provincial Improvement Consultant at HQC and the Patient Engagement & Empowerment Platform Lead with the Saskatchewan Centre for Patient-Oriented Research (SCPOR). Her work focuses on supporting the advancement of patient engagement and patient- and family-centred care (PFCC) in health research and health system improvement.
Malori has a Bachelor of Public Administration degree from the University of Saskatchewan and a Master of Public Administration degree from the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy at the University of Regina. She started her career as a major gifts officer with the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation and as employee education coordinator for the Sunrise Health Region. In 2010, Malori joined the Saskatoon Health Region as a patient- and family-centred care specialist and, in 2012, she became the provincial program manager for the Saskatchewan Transplant Program.
Malori has had several interactions as a patient and a family member in Saskatchewan's health care system. This has led her to have a keen interest in patient- and family-centred care. Her work at HQC supports the integration of this philosophy throughout Saskatchewan. Malori is also a certified Lean Leader.
306-668-8810 ext 107
Kelsey Kevinsen is a project and policy consultant with the Emergency Department Waits and Patient Flow Initiative. She is seconded to the Health Quality Council from the Saskatoon Health Region, where she worked as a kaizen operations specialist for the Adult Medicine and Complex Care Service Line. Kelsey started her career at the Saskatoon Health Region in 2009 as a client care coordinator for Client Patient Access Services.
Kelsey has a Bachelor of Social Work degree from the University of Regina and a Master of Public Administration degree from the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy at the University of Saskatchewan. Kelsey is also a certified Lean Leader.
306-668-8810 ext 164
(306)-668-8810 ext 124
Wenbin has a MSc. in Epidemiology with emphasis on Biostatistics from the Queen's University and a PhD. in Biology from Hainan University, China.
He is interested in using administrative data for epidemiological research and has strong data managing and reporting experience on quantitative analysis. He is currently involved in pharmaco-epidemiology research as well as a number of other research collaborations.
Prior to rejoining HQC, He worked with the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute as a methodologist for one and a half years, and worked with HQC for two years (2010-12), and before that he had enjoyed a productive career in plant biology.
(306)-668-8810 ext 206
Xinya joined the Health Quality Council as a Research Analyst in January 2013.
Prior to joining HQC, Xinya worked as an SAS Analyst with the College of Pharmacy and Nutrition at the University of Saskatchewan.
Xinya received a Master's degree in Public Health from the University of Saskatchewan, and a PhD in microbiology from the Chinese Academy of Science in China.
(306)-668-8810 ext 103
Prior to joining the HQC team in 2010, Sandy worked as the Accountant and Office Manager for a number of businesses in Saskatoon.
She brings many years of accounting and financial management experience to our organization.
306-668-8810 ext 104
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Beliz Acan Osman joined the Health Quality Council as a Researcher in September 2010. Prior to that, she worked as a Research Coordinator at the School of Public Health, University of Saskatchewan, and as a part-time Statistical Assistant at the Saskatchewan Research Data Centre (SKY-RDC).
Beliz is currently collaborating with University of Saskatchewan research partners, including the Rural Dementia Action Research Team, on various projects to describe the quality of care and health service utilization patterns of people in Saskatchewan with dementia and economic analyses of ongoing initiatives. She also supports HQC's Health System Planning and Reporting team with indicator and measurement framework development.
Beliz received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Bilkent University, Turkey, and her Master of Arts degree in Economics, with a specialization in Health Economics, from the University of Saskatchewan. For her Master's degree project, she investigated the effects of obesity on employment in Canada by using the Canadian Community Health Survey Cycle 3.1 master data file. In addition, she also worked on projects related to chronic disease prevalence in the Northwest Territories.
306-668-8810 ext 146
Meric Osman joined the Health Quality Council as a Research Analyst in January 2012 before taking on a Researcher role at the organization in June 2014.
Meric is currently part of the Rural Dementia Action Research Team (RaDAR) working in multiple projects investigating health care utilization, comparisons, and trajectories of people living with dementia. His responsibilities also include developing costing methodologies using Saskatchewan administrative databases. As well, Meric is involved in other research projects with health system partners -- including the Ministry of Health, the University of Saskatchewan, and clinicians -- in issues around mental health and addictions, burden of illnesses, and treatment evaluation.
Meric received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Bilkent University, Turkey, and a Master of Arts degree in Economics, with a specialization in Health Economics, from the University of Saskatchewan. In his Master’s project, Meric investigated the relationship between patterns of alcohol consumption and employment status using data from the Canadian Community Health Survey.
Meric has also participated in research concerning obesity and chronic conditions, such as diabetes, asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). In addition, he has been a part of Episodes of Care, the Variation and Appropriateness Working Group, and the lung, abdominal aortic aneurysms, and hotspotting teams.
306-668-8810 ext 127
Senior Business Analyst
(306)-668-8810 ext 207
David Pinelle joined the Health Quality Council in February 2012. He works on several HQC initiatives, including KaizenTracker.ca, measurement, and reporting.
David has worked as a project manager in the Department of Medical Imaging at the University of Saskatchewan, as an associate researcher at the National Research Council of Canada, and as an assistant professor in computer science at University of Nevada Las Vegas. He completed postdoctoral fellowships at McGill University and at the University of Saskatchewan. He also has several years of clinical experience working as an occupational therapist in a variety of settings.
David has a B.Sc. degree in occupational therapy from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and a Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Saskatchewan.
(306)-668-8810 ext 154
Brendan Pikaluk is a Provincial Improvement Consultant who supports Measurement and Knowledge Integration work at the Health Quality Council. He joined HQC in August 2014 as a Kaizen Specialist on the health systems planning and reporting team. In September 2015, he began working with the Safety Alert/Stop the Line Initiative team as a Project and Policy Consultant, before taking on his current role as a Provincial Improvement Consultant in April 2017.
Brendan was previously employed as an exercise therapist in chronic disease management in the Prairie North Health Region, where he worked to set up and run chronic disease exercise programs across the region. He has a Bachelor of Science degree and a Master of Science degree in kinesiology from the University of Saskatchewan.
Brendan received a graduate student award from the Canadian Association of Cardiac Rehabilitation for his Master’s degree research, which involved improving exercise protocols for people with heart failure. From 2008 - 2011, he worked in several labs that focused on exercise science at the University of Saskatchewan.
306-668-8810 ext 202
Jacqueline Quail has worked as a researcher at the Health Quality Council since 2008 and works with many research partners in Saskatchewan and across Canada.
Jacqueline is a member of the Canadian Respiratory Research Network and is the Saskatchewan lead of the multi-provincial research project “Long-term clinical and financial impact of asthma control during pregnancy and preschool years on disease evolution until adulthood.” She is also the Saskatchewan lead of the joint Ontario-Saskatchewan CIHR-funded Pan-Canadian Strategy for Patient Oriented Research in Primary & Integrated Health Care Innovations Quick Strike project “HOTSPOTTING: Identifying superusers of health care services with mental health and addiction problems.” Additionally, Jacqueline collaborates with University of Saskatchewan research partners, including the Rural Dementia Action Research Team and the Quality of Care in Rheumatoid Arthritis team, both of which seek to describe the quality of care and services available for people in Saskatchewan with the respective diseases in hopes of improving both.
Prior to her Master’s degree and PhD studies, Jacqueline’s career as a physical therapist included work in a variety of clinical areas and settings in the U.S. and Canada, including acute care hospitals, nursing homes, community outreach, and public schools. Jacqueline holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Therapy and a Master of Science degree in Community Health and Epidemiology from the University of Saskatchewan, and a doctorate degree in Epidemiology and Biostatistics from McGill University.
306-668-8810 ext 150
Chelsea Schwartz joined the Health Quality Council in June 2010 as a Research Coordinator, and became a Quality Improvement Consultant in February 2011. As a Quality Improvement Consultant, Chelsea provided health-system partners with training, coaching, and mentoring around change management and measurement for improvement.
In February 2013, Chelsea was part of the transition team to set up the Provincial Kaizen Promotion Office within HQC. She became a Kaizen Specialist in September 2013.
In her current role as a Provincial Improvement Consultant, Chelsea leads work related to system and stakeholder networking and engagement, supporting work within the Provincial Integrated Learning System portfolio. She draws her energy from helping others learn new skills, and helping them approach old problems with new ways of thinking.
Chelsea became a certified Lean Leader in May 2014. She received her Bachelor of Science in nutrition and Bachelor of Arts in English degrees from the University of Saskatchewan.
306-668-8810 ext 132
Director, Data Analysis and Research Partnerships
306-668-8810 ext 167
Tracey Sherin joined the Health Quality Council as a Researcher in April 2005. She has contributed to improvement initiatives in drug management in long-term care, chronic disease management, Clinical Practice Redesign(TM), and leadership for improvement. She was also a faculty member and coach for the Quality Improvement Consultant Program. Before joining HQC, Tracey worked as a Project Coordinator with the Ontario Tobacco Research Unit.
Tracey is currently the Director of Data Analysis and Research Partnerships at HQC, where she leads a team of researchers and research analysts who work to generate new knowledge through research conducted with academic and health system partners. Working with partners at eHealth Saskatchewan, she also co-leads the Data Services Platform at the Saskatchewan Centre for Patient-Oriented Research (SCPOR), which aims to increase access to high-quality health-related data and information for patient-oriented research, develop new data sources for collecting clinical process data, and build health data competencies in patient-oriented research teams. Tracey also serves as HQC’s Privacy Officer.
Tracey holds a Bachelor of Science (High Honours) in Microbiology and Immunology from the University of Saskatchewan and a Master of Science in Health Care and Epidemiology from the University of British Columbia. In 2009, Tracey completed the Advanced Training Program in Health Care Delivery Improvement from Intermountain Healthcare in Salt Lake City, Utah.
(306)-668-8810 ext 115
Nirmal Sidhu joined the Health Quality Council in 2004. Since then, he has served as an analyst on HQC's drug management of seniors, public health promotion, diabetes care and patient experience surveys projects.
Nirmal has also worked on long-term care, diabetes and asthma projects using Saskatchewan administrative databases. Presently his focus is on patient experience surveys in acute care, primary care and emergency departments, and quality of care indicators in different areas of care in Saskatchewan.
Before moving to Canada, he worked as a health economist with Punjab Health Systems Corporation in Chandigarh, India. His research focused on performance evaluation of hospitals in the province of Punjab. In addition to his extensive research experience, he also taught econometrics at an undergraduate level at the University of Calgary and a variety of economics courses at D.A.V. College, Chandigarh and G N Engineering College in Ludhiana, India.
Nirmal’s thesis, “The Role of Cognitive Ability in the Health-Education Nexus,” tested the hypothesis that health effects – thought to be due to education – could be partially due to cognitive ability. A paper based on this thesis has been published in Health Econ. 14: 1019 - 1034 (2005).
Nirmal received his Master of Science (Hons.) degree in economics with distinction from Guru Nanak Dev University in Amritsar, India, and a Master of Arts degree in health economics from the University of Calgary.
(306)-668-8810 ext 140
Dr. Gary Teare joined the Health Quality Council in January 2005 as Director of Quality Measurement and Analysis. In April 2015, he became HQC’s Chief Executive Officer.
Gary is passionate about developing Saskatchewan health care into a rapid learning health care system -- that is, a provincial health care system that purposefully brings together knowledge, information and tools with a clear purpose, so that patients/clients, health care professionals, administrators, and researchers can effectively work and learn together to create better health services.
To this end, Gary has led development of health care quality measurement and research at HQC over the last decade and has fostered many applied research collaborations, both provincially and nationally. He is currently providing leadership in the development of the Saskatchewan Centre for Patient-Oriented Research (SCPOR) – the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR) co-funded Patient-Oriented Research SUPPORT Unit in Saskatchewan. This partnership – together with HQC’s other initiatives in education, performance measurement and learning networks – will be instrumental in accelerating the development of a rapid-learning health system in Saskatchewan.
Gary is Adjunct Professor in the College of Medicine and Affiliate Scientist at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences in Toronto. He has been principal investigator for the Saskatchewan site of the CIHR-funded Canadian Network for Observational Drug Effect Studies (DSEN-CNODES) since its inception in 2010.
Gary served on the Institute Advisory Board of the CIHR Institute of Aging from 2008 to 2013, has consulted on several expert working groups for the Canadian Institute for Health Information during the past 15 years, and is secretary-treasurer of the Board of the Community Safety Knowledge Alliance. Gary has earned degrees in Veterinary Medicine (DVM), Immunology (MSc) and Epidemiology (PhD).
(306)-668-8810 ext 105
Yuan Tian joined the Health Quality Council as a researcher in January 2015. She is working with the Emergency Department Waits and Patient Flow Initiative team. Her work includes the development of simulation models to inform understanding of the patient flow, staffing schedule, and health policy trade-offs.
Prior to joining HQC, Yuan worked as a research associate at Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School in Singapore. She has a Master’s degree in computer science from the University of Saskatchewan and a Bachelor’s degree in information management and information systems from Jinan University, China. She is a certified advanced SAS programmer.
Executive Director, Measurement and Knowledge Integration
306-668-8810 ext 142
Tanya Verrall joined the Health Quality Council in May 2005. Since that time, she has worked on various projects in the areas of drug management and chronic disease care, in addition to the design and evaluation of quality improvement initiatives, including the co-investigation of the Releasing Time to Care initiative. As an executive director, Tanya's current portfolio includes oversight of measurement and analysis activity at HQC, as well as the development of networks and other supportive tools to accelerate shared learning and the spread of improvement across our health system.
Prior to joining HQC, Tanya was a Research Associate with the College of Kinesiology at the University of Saskatchewan.Her doctoral research involved the implementation and evaluation of an infant nutrition intervention with a First Nations community in northern Quebec.Tanya has extensive research and work experience in planning and evaluating health promotion initiatives, and she has worked with a variety of population groups in both community and clinical settings.
Tanya obtained her PhD (nutrition) from McGill University and her MSc (nutrition) from the University of Saskatchewan. She also obtained her professional degree (BSc in nutrition) from the University of Saskatchewan and the Kingston General Hospital (dietetic internship). She served as a member of the CIHR Institute of Nutrition, Metabolism and Diabetes advisory board from 2008-2013. In 2009, Tanya completed the improvement advisor program and in 2012 she completed the graduate advisor program from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) in the U.S. She is also a certified Lean Leader.
Executive Services Coordinator
(306)-668-8810 ext 121
Alejandra Villanueva joined the Health Quality Council in April 2016, bringing internal communications, human resources, project management and executive assistant experience to her current role.
Alejandra has held positions in the private sector, including financial services and real estate. Prior to joining the HQC team, Alejandra lived in Mexico City and worked for eight years at HSBC’s corporate office. At HSBC, she was an executive assistant and grew into other roles such as implementation manager and project manager. Before that, she worked as customer service supervisor for Ivanhoé Cambridge in Montreal, Quebec.
Alejandra holds a Bachelors of Applied Human Sciences from Concordia University and a graduate certificate in business administration from Universidad de las Americas in Mexico.
In her free time, Alejandra loves to travel and enjoys being surrounded by family and friends.
(306)-668-8810 ext 129
Valérie Wanner joined the Health Quality Council in September 2013 as a research assistant on the Provincial Kaizen Operations Team for ED Waits and Patient Flow and is currently working as part of the health system planning and reporting team.
Prior to joining HQC, Valérie worked as a research assistant in the College of Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan, where she performed research on emerging technologies to enhance geriatric patients’ medical care. She has experience in ergonomic improvements in the manufacturing field and she is practiced in assessing human performances through her work with the University of Saskatchewan Biomechanics of Balance and Movement lab.
Valérie is an engineer-in-training who received a computer science technical diploma from Bois-de-Boulogne College, Montréal, and a bachelor’s degree in automated production engineering with a minor in healthcare technologies from l’École de Technologie Supérieure, Montréal. She then studied the heel compliance and walking mechanics of men with transtibial amputation using the Niagara Foot prosthesis during the completion of her Master of Science degree in biomedical engineering at the University of Saskatchewan.
Executive Director, Learning and Innovation/ Deputy CEO
306-668-8810 ext 110
Debra-Jane Wright joined the Health Quality Council in July 2006. Since that time, Debra-Jane has been involved in a variety of improvement initiatives, including the Reducing Waits for Breast Cancer Care Project and the Clinical Practice Redesign Program. She also led the physician engagement strategy within the Accelerating Excellence Program and has served as leadership coach for teams enrolled in the Quality as Business Strategy Leadership Learning Collaborative.
As an executive director, Debra-Jane’s current portfolio includes oversight of the learning and capability building programming at HQC, as well supporting the spread of improvement throughout the health system through networks and other system initiatives and events, such as HQC’s Quality Summit. Debra-Jane also fulfills the Deputy CEO role for HQC.
Debra-Jane has a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Therapy from the University of Saskatchewan and a graduate degree in Health Promotion Studies from the University of Alberta. Debra-Jane is also a graduate of HQC's Quality Improvement Consultant Program and a graduate of the University of Alberta’s Fellowship Program, in Health System Improvement.
Choosing Wisely Saskatchewan Coordinator
306-668-8810 ext 136
Jennifer Wright joined the Health Quality Council in July 2011 as a Quality Improvement Consultant. During her time at HQC, she has provided coaching and facilitation support to quality improvement teams across the province. Jennifer has also supported the implementation of the provincial Patient and Family-Centred Care strategy and is committed to engaging patients and families in all aspects of health care. She became a certified Lean Leader in September 2014.
In her current role as the Choosing Wisely Saskatchewan Coordinator, Jennifer collaborates with the Saskatchewan Medical Association, the University of Saskatchewan College of Medicine, the Provincial Appropriateness of Care Program and Appropriateness of Care Network, clinicians, patients, and families across Saskatchewan to implement strategies to identify, integrate, and implement Choosing Wisely Canada recommendations. She liaises with Choosing Wisely Canada and other Choosing Wisely coordinators from across the country to facilitate information sharing, learning, and best practices.
As a registered dietitian, Jennifer has practiced as a community nutritionist in First Nations communities within Saskatchewan and as a clinical dietitian in British Columbia and Alberta. She also has experience as a research assistant/coordinator in clinical nutrition studies. She completed both her Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in nutrition at the University of Saskatchewan.
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