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Public members, Fellows-at-large and resident member: 8 vacancies

Royal College Council may consist of up to five public members, two Fellows-at-large and one resident member (Article 11.1.3). All eight of these positions are due for election in February 2019.

Council has nominated eight individuals to serve on Council in the above-mentioned roles, based on recommendations made by the Nominating Committee.

Council elections regulations

Advanced voting ballots will not be distributed to elect this group of Council members. Fellows need to attend the AMM, either in-person or by webinar, to participate in this branch of the Council elections process. Nominees who get the majority support of those in attendance at the AMM will be elected.

Public members

Major-General J.J.-R.S. Bernier

Major-General J.J.-R.S. Bernier, OMM, CD, QHP, BA (Hons), MD, MPH, DEH, DSc(hon), FRCPSC (Hon), KM
NEW (2019-2021)
Ottawa, Ontario

Originally from Sarnia, Ont., Major-General Jean-Robert Bernier graduated from the Royal Military College in 1982. He served in Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry before studying medicine at McMaster University.

After graduating with his MD, he served as a regimental and hospital medical officer in Germany and commanded MacPherson Hospital in Calgary. He trained in medical, nuclear, biological and chemical defence with US research institutes. He also completed postgraduate environmental and public health programs at the US Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and served with the US National Center for Medical Intelligence at Fort Detrick. Major-General Bernier subsequently expanded defensive medical capabilities against hostile threats in his role as head of Operational Medicine. He also chaired the CAN-UK-US Medical Countermeasures Coordinating Committee and the AUS-CAN-UK-US Medical Intelligence Analysts' Working Group. He was vice-chair of NATO's Biomedical Defence Advisory Committee.

After serving as head of Occupational and Environmental Health at the National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa, Major-General Bernier led the Canadian Armed Forces’ public health agency as its director of Force Health Protection. In his later role as director, Health Services Operations, he chaired the multi-national steering group coordinating NATO health resources in southern Afghanistan and was responsible for providing support to all Canadian missions. This included the combat hospital in Kandahar, for which Canada received NATO's highest honour for medical support.

As deputy surgeon general, Major-General Bernier chaired the health, medicine and protection research committee of NATO's Science and Technology Organization, the world's largest research network. From 2012 to 2015, he served as the 38th Canadian surgeon general, head of the Royal Canadian Medical Service and commander of the Canadian Forces Health Services Group. In this role, he expanded military, operational and mental health capabilities while generating health service support to several humanitarian, development and combat missions. In 2015, he was unanimously elected chief medical adviser to the North Atlantic Alliance as the seventh chair of the committee of NATO Surgeons General (COMEDS). He also represented the allied nations' medical community on the NATO Science and Technology Board, and served on the Governing Council of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and its executive committee. Upon completion of his terms in 2018, he transferred to the Supplementary Reserve. He now serves on the board of the Royal Ottawa's Institute of Mental Health Research.

Major-General Bernier is a graduate of the Canadian Army Command and Staff College, and the Advanced Military Studies Program. He also completed the Public Executive Program at Queen’s University.

Major-General Bernier has received the Royal Military College History Prize, the US Army Medical Department Center and School Commanding General's Award, an Honorary Doctorate of Science from Queen’s University, and a NATO Science and Technology Organization Award of Excellence. He is an honorary physician to Her Majesty the Queen, an Officer of the Order of Military Merit, a Knight of Malta, an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, an elect of the US Public Health Honor Society and an honorary graduate of the US Interagency Institute for Federal Healthcare Executives.

Carrie A. Bourassa, PhD

Carrie A. Bourassa, PhD
INCUMBENT (2019-2021)
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Dr. Carrie Bourassa is the scientific director of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research's Institute of Indigenous Peoples’ Health (IIPH). Through IIPH, she leads the advancement of a national health research agenda to improve and promote the health of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples in Canada. First housed in the Health Sciences North Research Institute in Sudbury, Ont., the institute is now operating from the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Sask.

Dr. Bourassa spent over 15 years serving Indigenous communities as a professor of Indigenous health studies in the Department of Indigenous Health, Education and Social Work at the First Nations University of Canada (FNUniv) in Regina, Sask. She is an Indigenous community-based researcher and is proud to be the principal investigator on two Canada Foundation for Innovation grants that funded the Indigenous Community-Based Health Research Lab in 2010 (re-named Morning Star Lodge) and most recently, in April 2016, the Cultural Safety Evaluation, Training and Research Lab.

Dr. Bourassa is a member of the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists of the Royal Society of Canada and a public member of the Council of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. She also serves on the Royal College’s Indigenous Health Advisory Committee and Health and Public Policy Committee.

In 2012, Dr. Bourassa won the Wiichihiwayshinawn Foundation Inc.’s Métis Award in Health and Science. Dr. Bourassa is Métis and belongs to the Riel Métis Council of Regina Inc. (RMCR, Local #34). She earned her Master of Arts degree in political science and PhD in social studies at the University of Regina.

Sophia Leong, MBA

Sophia Leong, MBA
INCUMBENT (2019-2021)
Ottawa, Ontario

Ms. Sophia Leong is currently executive director of Development and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa, responsible for executive leadership and management training for local, national and global markets. She was previously executive director of the Telfer Executive MBA Program. She progressively grew the “global, practical, relevant” executive learning platform. The program was ranked the top Global Executive MBA by CEO Magazine for two years running (2017 and 2018). It was also included in the Financial Times’ top 100 (FT 100) in 2018.

Ms. Leong sits on both local and national boards. Her roles include being an advisory board member of Startup Canada and executive-in-residence of the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance. She is a recurring judge for Start-Up Chile and for the Verizon Powerful Answers Award. She co‐founded three companies and was previously vice‐president of Business Development of Klocwork Solutions — a software solution company she commercialized from Nortel Networks. She has successfully exited from two of the three companies.

Ms. Leong has served as a public member of the Council of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada since 2016. She also sits on Council’s Governance Committee. She is currently active on the board of directors of Royal College International (RCI) and was a member of the Strategic Planning Working Group of RCI from 2017-2018. Ms. Leong chairs the RCI Financial Operations Committee and is the RCI board representative on Council’s Financial Reporting and Risk Oversight Committee. She is also a member of the Royal College’s CEO Evaluation and Compensation Committee.

Ms. Leong has extensive strategic and general management experience working with technology companies and on executive leadership education. She has advised over 200 companies and worked with business leaders selected by Ottawa’s Forty Under 40 (co-presented by the Ottawa Business Journal and Ottawa Chamber of Commerce) on “self -leadership and self-branding.” While she was with Nortel Networks, she was directly engaged in commercializing business ventures by leveraging angel and venture capital markets. Ms. Leong was involved with the management of seven business ventures, three of which were global, involving technologies such as neural technology, speech recognition, e‐commerce payment, digital content management/protection and mission-critical assessment applications for software assets. She represented the interests of Nortel Networks when working with respective general managers and its board of directors.

Ms. Leong is the recipient of numerous awards for outstanding contributions. She was a patent recipient on the software business process for Mergers and Acquisition during her time at Nortel Networks and Nortel Technology. She is often tapped to speak on local, national and international platforms.

Bill Tholl, MA, ICD.D

Bill Tholl, MA, ICD.D
INCUMBENT (2019-2020)
Ottawa, Ontario

Mr. Bill Tholl currently serves as a senior executive consultant and thought-leader in health policy and leadership development. Until July 2017, he served as the founding president and CEO of HealthCareCAN: the voice of Canada’s health care organizations and hospitals. Prior to that appointment in March 2014, Mr. Tholl served as founding executive director of the Canadian Health Leadership Network (2009-2014). From 2001-2008, he was CEO and secretary general of the Canadian Medical Association and, before that, CEO of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada (1995-2001).

The Globe and Mail has described Mr. Tholl as “Medicare’s Mr. Fix-it.” He is a sought-after speaker, and was recently billed by CHLNet (Canadian Health Leadership Network) as a “leader of leaders” on the Canadian health scene.

Mr. Tholl holds a graduate degree in health economics. He has written on many topics. Most recently, he was the co-author of “Bringing Leadership to Life in Health: LEADS in a Caring Environment” (Dickson and Tholl: Springer, 2014). He is also the lead author of “Twenty Tips for Surviving and Prospering in the Association World” (Tholl, Weber and Robertson, Canadian Society of Association Executives, 2010). He is the recipient of numerous national awards and is a Certified Corporate Director (ICD.D, 2009).

Mr. Tholl is currently an active member on the board of directors of Royal College International, the Council of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and Council’s Nominating Committee. From 2017-2018, he served as a member of the Strategic Planning Working Group of Council and as a member of the Committee on Specialties.

Born and raised in Saskatchewan, Mr. Tholl and his wife, Paula, live in Ottawa and have three children and four grandchildren.

Irit Weiser, LLB

Irit Weiser, LLB
INCUMBENT (2019-2021)
Ottawa, Ontario

Ms. Irit Weiser is a retired lawyer. She is currently an active member of several boards. These include the board of directors of Royal College International, the Royal College’s Health and Public Policy Committee and the Council of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. She is a new member of Council’s Governance Committee. She also sits on the Strategic Governance Committee of the Royal Ottawa Hospital and is a member of the Research Ethics Board of the Ottawa Health Science Network. Ms. Weiser is also on the editorial board of the Philippe Kirsch Institute (PKI) Global Justice Journal.

Prior to retiring, Ms. Weiser was senior general counsel and head of Legal Services for Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada — a unit of approximately 100 counsel, paralegals and support staff. In addition to her management responsibilities, she provided legal, policy and strategic advice to senior levels of government regarding such health-related matters as the Canada Health Act, health delivery on First Nations reserves, food and drug regulation, quarantine and tobacco.

Other positions previously held by Ms. Weiser include general counsel and director of the Human Rights Law Section from 1998-2003. During that time, she provided legal and policy advice, and litigation support on the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Canadian Human Rights Act and international human rights law.

Ms. Weiser has taught International Human Rights Law at the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law, and has written articles and presented papers on international human rights matters, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and health law. She continues to write on international law matters for the PKI Global Justice Journal. As well, she provides pro bono legal services through the Refugee Sponsorship Support Program to persons seeking to privately sponsor refugees.

Fellows-at-large

Alika Lafontaine, BSc, MD, FRCPC

Alika Lafontaine, BSc, MD, FRCPC
INCUMBENT (2019-2021)
Grande Prairie, Alberta

Dr. Alika Lafontaine is an award-winning physician, speaker and alignment consultant. He is the first Indigenous physician to be listed as one of Canada’s 50 Most Powerful Doctors by the Medical Post. He is a recognized expert on Indigenous health systems and health policy, institutional bias, racism and reflective practice. For three years, he led the Indigenous Health Alliance project whose mission was to establish health transformation within Indigenous health systems. This group was politically led by Indigenous leadership representing more than 150 First Nations across three provinces. In 2018, 68 million dollars of federal funding was committed towards health transformation within these Indigenous territorial regions.

Dr. Lafontaine has been a northern representative to the Alberta Medical Association since 2011. He has held various leadership positions within the Alberta Medical Association and the Canadian Medical Association. He currently chairs the Governance Committee of the Canadian Medical Association Journal and is a board member of HealthCareCAN. He was president of the Indigenous Physicians Association of Canada from 2015-2016.

Dr. Lafontaine has served as a Fellow-at-large on the Council of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada since 2016. He also served on the Strategic Planning Working Group of Council from 2017-2018. He is currently the chair of Regional Advisory Committee 1 and sits on the Fellowship Affairs Committee. He is a past member of the Indigenous Health Advisory Committee.

Dr. Lafontaine holds operational roles with Alberta Health Services and is medical director for the Indigenous Health Program in AHS North Zone, as well as a past interim head of Anesthesia.

He lives in Grande Prairie, Alta., with his family and continues to practice full time as an anesthesiologist.

Richard K. Reznick, MD, FRCSC

Richard K. Reznick, MD, FRCSC
INCUMBENT (2019-2021)
Kingston, Ontario

In July 2010, Dr. Richard Reznick assumed the position of dean, Faculty of Health Sciences at Queen’s University, and chief executive officer of the Southeastern Ontario Academic Medical Organization (SEAMO). He is currently serving his second five-year appointment in these roles. Under his leadership, Queen’s has become the first school in Canada to launch competency-based medical education in all postgraduate specialty training programs.

Since his first faculty appointment at the University of Toronto in 1987, Dr. Reznick has been active in both colorectal surgery and research in medical education. He was instrumental in developing a performance-based examination, which is now used for medical licensure in Canada. He ran a research program on assessment of technical competence for surgeons and supervised a fellowship program in surgical education.

At the University of Toronto, Faculty of Medicine, he was the inaugural director of the Centre for Research in Education at the University Health Network (The Wilson Centre) from 1997 to 2002. In 1999, he was appointed vice-president of education at University Health Network. He served eight years, from 2002-2010, as the R. S. McLaughlin professor and chairman of the Department of Surgery at the University of Toronto.

Dr. Reznick is still active in research and teaching activities. He lectures widely, and has given invited presentations at over 300 universities and learned societies.

Dr. Reznick has received numerous awards and honours for his work in surgery and medical education. These include the Karolinska Institutet Prize for Research in Medical Education (2010), the Medicine Alumni Global Award for Lifetime Achievement from McGill University (2015) and the Medical Council of Canada’s Outstanding Achievement Award in the Evaluation of Clinical Competence (2017). He has also been recognized by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada with the Annual Medal Award in Surgery (1993) and the James H. Graham Award of Merit (2013). In 2011, he received honourary fellowships from the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland; in 2018, he received honorary fellowship from the Royal College of Surgeons (England).

Dr. Reznick has been involved with several Royal College activities, spanning many years. He was a member of the Royal College’s Colorectal Surgery Nucleus Committee from 1991-1998, and a member of the Educational Research and Development Committee from 2002-2004. From 2004-2010, he served on Council as a RAC 3 representative in the Division of Surgery. Dr. Reznick also served as the Royal College’s vice president, Education, and as chair of the Education Committee from 2009-2010. He served on several committees related to the latter appointment: the Executive Committee of Council (2009-2011), the Residency-Accreditation Committee, Committee on Specialties and Examination Committee (2009-2010). More recently, Dr. Reznick has served on Council as a Fellow-at-large (since 2013).

Dr. Reznick has also been a member of the board of directors of Royal College International (RCI) since 2011, and currently serves as its first vice-chair. He has been a member of RCI’s Financial Operations Committee since 2015.

In 2018, Dr. Reznick served as the Royal College’s inaugural Professor-in-Residence. In this role, he engaged staff across all levels to inform and advance corporate activities, programs and scholarship. Dr. Reznick also delivered the inaugural Professor-in-Residence lecture titled “CBME: a strong value proposition and a necessary direction for our changing times.”

Resident member

Stéphanie Dufour, MDCM

Stéphanie Dufour, MDCM
NEW (2019-2021)
Québec, Québec

Dr. Stéphanie Dufour is in her third year of residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Laval University in Quebec City, Que. She completed her MD at McGill University in 2016, with an integrated clerkship in Gatineau, Que. She has a particular interest in pediatric- and adolescent-gynecology, and women’s health and pediatrics; she has completed medical electives in these areas, respectively, at the University of Ottawa in Ontario and in Bluefields, Nicaragua. Dr. Dufour is also active on the research front. She participated in three studies over the last two years, including a randomized control study in fertility as her main research activity. One of these studies was published in 2017; the other two are ongoing. She is a past recipient of the Newell W. Philpott Prize in Obstetrics and Gynecology for Pediatrics Excellence from the Montreal Children’s Hospital.

Dr. Dufour has been involved in several academic activities since beginning her medical studies. In 2016, she was elected to represent her resident association on the Academic Affairs Committee – Specialties of the Fédération des médecins résidents du Québec (FMRQ) — a position for which her colleagues renewed their support of her this year. She also sits on her university’s Faculty Fellowship Committee and is a Competence by Design (CBD) resident leader in her program. She was one of the residents closely involved in the semi-structured interviews performed with the residents from the two CBD programs last year, which led to the FMRQ’s Report on CBD and ensuing recommendations.

Dr. Dufour is very aware of the academic requirements in other programs. She was a visiting resident surveyor in internal reviews in two programs at Laval Unviersity. She has also been a member of the FMRQ’s Academic Affairs Committee – Specialties since July 2017 and is an FMRQ delegate. As a delegate, she meets three times a year with the other delegates to discuss major issues and to establish guidelines and recommendations for the FMRQ Board of Directors.