Tel: (613) 549-6666 x 7965 Kidd House, 100 Stuart Street Kingston, ON K7L 3N6
Technology and health care for the elderly medical research studies

Our mission: improve care for frail elderly Canadians.

Strategic vision and leadership for CFN

Board of Directors

The Board of Directors is responsible for the governance of the Network, and is an active, working body which provides strategic vision and leadership to the Network.

Directors of the Board reflect the interests and concerns of the public, private and academic sectors involved in the Network and have a varied skill set to meet the leadership needs of the Board.

Board members may also sit on two advisory committees to the Board:

  • The Executive Committee advises the Board on management issues, and is responsible for generally overseeing the corporation and providing direction to staff between Board meetings. Members are indicated below by *. 
  • The Audit and Finance Committee advises the Board on audit and financial management issues, and is responsible for the sound fiscal management of the corporation's finances and financial reporting to the Board. Members are indicated below by °.

Board of Directors 2015-2016

Russell Williams, Chair*

 Williams, Russell HEAD & SHOULDERS

Russell Williams is the president of Innovative Medicines Canada, an industry association representing the dedicated professionals in more than 50 member companies. Russell leads the organization as it works to improve the pharmaceutical access and regulatory environment, to pave the way for innovation in Canada by advocating for a world class intellectual property regime, and to bring the innovative pharmaceutical industry to the table with all other partners in an effort to ensure Canadians benefit from a sustainable healthcare system. Russell brings a passion for and a life-long commitment to the health of Canadians to this national association, ensuring that discussions around the role of innovative medicines and vaccines reflect their overall value and potential.  Prior to joining Innovative Medicines Canada, he had a successful career in provincial politics and community service. For 15 years, he represented the Montreal riding of Nelligan in the National Assembly of Quebec. During his career as Liberal MNA, he led numerous public policy debates on complex health issues, such as the role of government in research and development (R&D), compensation for victims of contaminated blood, access to services for the disabled and pre-hospital emergency services. He is well known for his advocacy for individual rights and government services focused on the needs of citizens. He continues active volunteer involvement in palliative care, He continues active volunteer involvement in palliative care, and in January of 2014 received the Quality End-of-Life Care Coalition of Canada (QELCCC) second annual Award of Excellence in Advocacy for his tireless advocacy for hospice palliative care, from his involvement in establishing the West Island Palliative Care Residence to his advocacy efforts as a member of the Champions Council of the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association (CHPCA). In November of 2014, Russell was awarded the inaugual Research Canada Leadership Award, created to honour champions who have made outstanding efforts in advocating for Canadian health research at the local, provincial and/or national level.

Vice-Chair: Brian Gray * 

Gray, Brian

Brian Gray is a senior partner at Norton Rose LLP in Toronto, where he specializes in intellectual property. He counsels and represents clients in disputes and transactions involving intellectual property and advises entrepreneurs and start-up companies on the financing and commercialization of intellectual property. Brian has served for over ten years on the board of the National Biotechnology Advisory Committee reporting to the Minister of Industry on Science Policy. Brian has also been the lawyer for one of Ontario’s leading bioscience companies.   His experience includes brand name pharmaceutical patent litigation and notice of compliance cases, inventorship claims and patent disputes in the academic sector, trade secret cases, technology transfer and intellectual property commercialization, financing and licensing; patent drafting and patent opinions. For 7 years, Brian served on the board of PARTEQ Innovations Inc., a non-profit technology transfer firm affiliated with Queen's University and is a board member of the International Consortium on Anti-Virals (ICAV) another non-profit based at York University. Brian's legal firm also has a satellite office in the MaRS Discovery District, a major life sciences incubator with sponsorship from the Ontario government, University of Toronto and major Toronto hospitals.

Richard Birtwhistle

 Birtwhistle, Richard

Dr. Richard Birtwhistle is a family physician and clinical epidemiologist. He is a Professor in the departments of Family Medicine and Community Health and Epidemiology and is currently Director of the Centre for Studies in Primary Care in the department of Family Medicine at Queen’s University. He also served as the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Medical Education in the School of Medicine at Queen’s from 1996-2004. He continues to practice family medicine in clinic 2 days per week. His primary research interests include hypertension, chronic disease management, and the evaluation of primary care models. Since 2008 he has been the principal investigator and is the current Chair for the Canadian Primary Care Sentinel Surveillance Network (CPCSSN) which is a national project funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada ($11.8M). Its aim is to develop a central repository of de-identified patient data on chronic diseases from a network of primary care practitioners using electronic medical records. This data source will be available to health care providers and researchers for surveillance and research purposes, ideally leading to improved chronic disease care in Canada.  He received the Researcher of the Year award in 2010 by the College of Family Physicians of Canada in recognition of the successes of CPCSSN. He is also the Vice Chair of the newly reconstituted Canadian Task Force in Primary Healthcare which is producing evidence based guidelines for primary care practitioners.  He served as the Interim Scientific Director for CFN from February 1 2013 to August 31, 2013.

Jeff Blackmer

Blackmer Jeff 2015 09

Dr. Jeff Blackmer is the Vice President, Medical Professionalism at the Canadian Medical Association. Previously, he served for 12 years as Executive Director of the CMA’s Office of Ethics, Professionalism and International Affairs.  He has also been the interim Director of Ethics for the World Medical Association in Geneva. 

Dr. Blackmer completed his medical training at Western University and his residency training in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Saskatchewan. Following residency, he completed a Master’s degree in medical ethics at the University of Toronto’s Joint Centre for Bioethics. 

He contributes to national and international efforts in medical ethics and professionalism by serving as an expert advisor to the World Health Organization and the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva, serving as the Chief Ethics Advisor to the World Medical Association, chairing various international ethics working groups, and speaking at numerous national and international medical ethics meetings and conferences throughout the year. 

He has published and lectured extensively on medical ethics, and authored policies on medical ethics and professionalism.  He has been an invited lecturer and visiting professor in medical ethics at institutions such as Harvard University, the University of Notre Dame, the United States National Naval Medical Centre and the Steve Biko Centre for Bioethics at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg.  He was a recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012 for his contributions to the fields of medical ethics and international medicine. His current areas of focus include medical professionalism, human rights, end-of-life care and conflict of interest. 

Dr. Blackmer is a clinical ethicist and also continues to practice spinal cord injury medicine at Ottawa Hospital Rehabilitation Centre. He is Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Ottawa, has authored peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on spinal cord injury medicine, and serves as a clinical and leadership resource to national and international clinical organizations.

Dan Ciuriak °

Ciuriak, Dan

Dan Ciuriak is Director and Principal, Ciuriak Consulting Inc. (Ottawa), Research Fellow with the C.D. Howe Institute (Toronto), and Associate with BKP Development Research & Consulting GmbH (Munich). He concluded a 31-year career with the federal public service as Deputy Chief Economist at the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT). Prior positions include deputy to the Chair of the APEC Economic Committee (1994-1998), Finance Counsellor at Canada's Embassy in Germany (1990-1994), and Chief, Financial Institutions, and Project Director, Financial Institutions Reform with Canada’s Finance Department (1982-1990). He is widely published and serves as peer reviewer for a number of journals. His most recent major publication is as contributing co-editor of the Guide to International Antidumping Practice (Kluwer Law International, 2013). With co-author John Curtis, he recently invoked a public debate with the study, "What if Everything We Know About Economic Policy is Wrong?” which reviews the mismatch between modern economic and trade practices against policy objectives for health, wellness and other social prerogatives.

David Crane °


David Crane is an award-winning Canadian writer on economic, political and environmental issues. His writings appear in publications across Canada. He is a member of the National Statistics Council, an advisory body to Statistics Canada and the advisory committee of the Canada-U.S. Law Institute.  He has also served as a board member of the University of Toronto’s Innovations Foundation, a member of the Ontario Science and Technology Council, a member of the original steering committee of the Toronto Vital Signs Project, and a member of the President’s International Advisory Council at the University of Toronto David Crane also served for five years as a judge for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award. He is a graduate of the University of Toronto. David Crane has an Arbor Award from the University of Toronto for his contributions to the university, honourary doctorates from Wilfrid Laurier University and Victoria University (affiliated with the University of Toronto), and an award of recognition from Conestoga College.  He was awarded the Queen’s Jubilee Medal for his contribution to Canadian life. He was also awarded a Social Work Doctoral Award by the Social Work Doctors’ Colloquium. He has written several books, including The Next Canadian Century, The Canadian Dictionary of Business and Economics, and Controlling Interest. He has also been a contributor to a number of other books. He recently completed a monograph for the Blue Water project on how to develop a strategy for Canada’s water industry. 

Jean Gray

Jean Gray

Jean Gray, CM, MD, FRCPC, LLD, DSc, FCAHS, is Professor Emeritus and was the founding Head of the Division of General Medicine, Associate Dean of Postgraduate Medical Education and Associate Dean of Continuing Medical Education in the Faculty of Medicine at Dalhousie University. She graduated from the University of Alberta in Chemistry and Medicine. Her research interests focused on clinical pharmacology (drug metabolism and human toxicology) as well as hypertension and women’s health. She was Editor-in-Chief of five editions of the textbook Therapeutic Choices. Dr. Gray belongs to the Fellowship of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences and the Order of Canada. She also holds two honorary doctorates.

She currently chairs the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame and the CAHS Standing Committee on Assessments, and is the President of the Jury for Prix Galien Canada. She also sits as a member of the CIHR Drug Safety and Effectiveness Network (DSEN) Steering Committee and the Canadian Council of Academies Scientific Advisory Committee. Previously she served in leadership roles for numerous organizations: American Society of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Association of Canadian Medical Colleges, Canadian Association for Medical Education, Canadian Institute of Academic Medicine (predecessor to CAHS), Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technology in Health (CADTH) MRI Expert Advisory Panel, Canadian Society for Clinical Investigation, Canadian Society of Clinical Pharmacology, CIHR Institute of Gender and Health Advisory Board, CMAJ Journal Oversight Committee, Cochrane Canada Advisory Board, Government of Canada Patented Medicine Prices Review Board Human Drug Advisory Panel, the Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation, and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

Fred Horne

Horne Fred 2015 09

Fred Horne was Alberta Minister of Health from 2011 to 2014 and MLA for Edmonton-Rutherford from 2008 to 2015.  A frequent speaker and panelist on health system issues, he is currently a health policy consultant and Adjunct Professor with the University of Alberta’s School of Public Health. Mr. Horne began his career as a community health planner and has over 30 years’ experience in health policy development, health system design and transformation, and stakeholder engagement.  He has worked extensively with provincial governments, and national and international research and stakeholder organizations including Ontario Ministry of Health, Alberta Health, Conference Board of Canada and Mayo Clinic. He holds an MBA from Royal Roads University and a Certificate in Dispute Resolution from York University.  He serves on a number of volunteer and private sector boards, including the Canadian Physiotherapy Association and Medbuy Corporation. As Minister of Health for Alberta, Mr. Horne was responsible for an $18 billion health budget, the Ministry of Health and Alberta Health Services, the province’s health delivery organization and the fifth largest employer in Canada.  Prior to this, he led several transformational initiatives in Alberta’s health system, including:

  • Development and implementation of Alberta’s Primary Health Care Strategy; including enhancements to fully integrate primary care delivery and strategies to support a long-term resource shift from acute care to primary and community-based care;
  • Negotiation of a landmark seven-year agreement with the province’s physicians, including a permanent structure to provide for ongoing value-based adjustments to fees and the introduction of new, non-fee for service compensation models; 
  • A Foundation for Alberta’s Health System and Putting People First: two reports that reviewed Alberta’s health care system; proposed measures to move Alberta to a community-based, patient-centered care model; guided legislative reform; and, supported evidence-based decision-making; 
  • The Alberta Health Act: new principles-based legislation to guide decision-making in the health care system
  • Establishment of a Health Advocate and Health Charter for Alberta;
  • Expansion of mental health services for children and youth within and beyond the health sector, and appointment of Canada’s first Chief Mental Health and Addictions Officer to oversee prevention, service delivery and whole- government initiatives;
  • Expansion of scopes of practice for pharmacists, optometrists and other health professionals to support new roles in primary health care delivery; and 
  • Establishment of the Pharmacy Services Framework: Canada’s first compensation framework for pharmacies to support delivery of primary health care services in over 1000 community pharmacies.

He also served as Chair of the Provincial and Territorial Ministers of Health, co-lead of the Council of the Federation’s Health Care Innovation Working Group, and was one of the principals behind the Pan-Canadian Pharmaceutical Alliance.

Yolande James

 Yolande James

Yolande James, BCL, LLB, is currently a political analyst with RDI television, after leaving provincial politics in 2014 to devote herself to her family. She grew up in Montreal’s West Island and attended a francophone primary school. Ms. James received a bachelor’s degree in civil law from Université de Montréal, and a bachelor’s degree in common law from Queen’s University.

She was the first black female MNA in Quebec history, and the youngest, as well as the first black cabinet minister. She served as Minister of Immigration and Cultural Communities from 2007 to 2010 and as Minister of Family from 2010 to 2014. She was first elected to the National Assembly of Quebec for the riding of Nelligan in a by-election held in 2004 and was re-elected in 2007. Her political career began as Political Advisor in the office of the Minister of Health and Social Services, and she was the political aid of a former MNA as well.

She is an active volunteer in palliative care, as a Foundation Board Director with the West Island Palliative Care Residence in Montreal.

Andreas Laupacis*

Laupacis, Andreas

Andreas Laupacis, MD, MSc, BA, FRCPC, is a general internist who currently practices palliative care at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, and the Executive Director of the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute at St. Michael’s. He is a Professor at the University of Toronto in the both the Department of Medicine and the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation. His research interests are broad; he has published over 315 peer-reviewed articles, covering a variety of topics. Recently he has become interested in engaging the public about health care issues (he founded the website He holds a Canada Research Chair in Health Policy and Citizen Engagement, and is Chair of the Institute Advisory Board for the CIHR's Institute of Health Services and Policy Research. In addition to his academic work, Dr. Laupacis is the board chair for Health Quality Ontario (since 2013) and is also a board member of Cancer Care Ontario (since 2011).

His leadership and dedication to bettering health care and research has been recognized through many awards. In 2010 he was named the Justice Emmett Hall Laureate by the Canadian Association for Health Services and Policy Research (CAHSPR). In 2011, Dr. Laupacis received the annual Health Services Research Advancement Award from the Canadian Health, and Services Research Foundation (now CFHI – Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement) and the inaugural Jill M. Sanders Award of Excellence in Health Technology Assessment (HTA) from the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH). In 2013, Dr. Laupacis received the inaugural CIHR Barer-Flood Prize in Health Services and Policy Research.

Steven Liss *

Liss, Steven

Dr. Steven N. Liss is the Vice-Principal Research at Queen’s University and a full Professor of Environmental Studies and Chemical Engineering at Queen’s, with research focused on environmental biotechnology and engineering, applied microbiology, wastewater and water management, and fate of contaminants in engineered and natural environmental systems. He has also played a significant leadership role in the advancement of university education at the undergraduate and graduate level at several universities. He is a member and Chair of a number of Boards and management groups as part of his role in supporting research and innovation across Canada and is the Vice-Chair of the Ontario Council on University Research (OCUR) and Chair of TRIUMF, Canada’s national laboratory for particle and nuclear physics.  Professor Liss was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012 for his contributions to advancing research across Canada.

John Muscedere *

John Muscedere

John Muscedere, MD, FRCPC, was appointed Scientific Director of Canadian Frailty Network, effective August 1, 2013. Dr. Muscedere is an intensivist at Kingston General Hospital (KGH), and Professor of Critical Care Medicine, in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Queen’s University. He is the Research Director of the Critical Care Program at Queen’s and KGH. Dr. Muscedere is Co-Chair of the Canadian Critical Care Trials Group (CCCTG) Knowledge Translation Committee. He is an accomplished critical care researcher whose primary research interests include nosocomial infections, clinical practice guidelines, knowledge translation and critical care outcomes. As an Intensivist, he has first-hand knowledge of caring for critically ill frail elderly. He has been involved with CFN since its inception, having participated in the Network’s initial proposal for Network of Centres of Excellence (NCE) funding, as well as serving as Chair of the CFN Knowledge Translation Committee in its first year.

Tom Noseworthy*

Tom Noseworthy

Dr. Tom Noseworthy is a professor of health policy and management at University of Calgary’s Department of Community Health Sciences and Institute for Public Health. He is the former vice-president (medical services), and CEO of the Royal Alexandra Hospitals, Edmonton and chair of the Department of Public Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Alberta.  He holds an MSc in experimental medicine from the University of Alberta, and a Master of Public Health in health policy and management from Harvard. He has been a member of the National Statistics Council since 1999.  He served as a member of the Prime Minister’s National Forum on Health from 1994-1997, and chaired the steering committee; co-chaired the Advisory Council on Health Infrastructure (Federal Health Minister) from 1997-1999; chaired the Senior Reference Committee for Alberta Wellnet from 1997-2002; and, was Chair of the Western Canada Waiting List Project from 1999-2006, and now chairs the research collaboration known as the Western Canada Waiting List Investigators, a CIHR- funded Emerging Team.  His research has been published in more than 100 papers and book chapters and focuses on health care access and improving quality management of waiting times for scheduled services. He was a founding Director of Canadian Doctors for Medicare in 2007. In 2005, he was awarded the Alberta Centennial Medal by the Province of Alberta for contributions to health care and policy. In that same year, he was also named as one of Alberta’s Top 100 Physicians of the Century by his peers in the Alberta Medical Association and College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta. In 2007, Dr Noseworthy was appointed by the Governor General as Member of the Order of Canada, for contributions to health policy and Medicare. Dr Noseworthy joined Alberta Health Services in January 2012 as Associate Chief Medical Officer, Strategic Clinical Networks & Clinical Care Pathways.

Joyce Resin

Joyce Resin

Joyce Resin has a Master’s Degree in Social Work with a specialty in community development. She has many years of community capacity-building and citizen engagement experience. Joyce has also lectured in Social Policy at Vancouver Community College. For 25 years, she worked in broadcasting at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver. She has also worked in print and radio communications. As Director of the Healthy Heart Society, she used her marketing, communications and community development expertise to build an innovative suite of successful initiatives around British Columbia. Most recently, she served as Executive Director of ImpactBC, and led several initiatives related to patient engagement.

Duncan Sinclair

Sinclair, Duncan

Duncan Sinclair, PhD, MSc, DVM, LLD, is an emeritus Professor of Physiology and Fellow of the School of Policy Studies of Queen's University, and Former Vice-Principal (Health Sciences) and Past Dean, Faculty of Medicine at Queen’s, where he was the first non-MD to serve as a Dean of Medicine and Vice Principal of Health Sciences in Canada.

Dr. Sinclair has also contributed widely beyond the confines of academe, and his astute and pragmatic leadership has often been called upon in health care reform in Ontario, and nationally. In Ontario, he served on the Ministry of Health’s Steering Committee for review of the Public Hospitals Act and chaired the Task Group on Governance; he was a member of the Premier's Council on Health, Well-Being and Social Justice and acted as Chair of the Council's Research Steering Committee. And as chair of the Health Services Restructuring Commission (HSRC) of Ontario from 1996 until its sunset in 2000, his diplomatic leadership led to a re‐defined health system in Ontario. Dr. Sinclair achieved national recognition as a member of the National Forum on Health, and also served as the founding Chair and acting CEO of Canada Health Infoway.

His leadership has been recognized in numerous ways, most notably by an Honourary Fellowship in the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in recognition of his contributions to medical scholarship and education, and his April 23, 2015 induction into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame for significant contributions to the improvement of health and health care in Canada and worldwide.

Sharon Straus

 Sharon Straus

Dr.  E. Sharon Straus, MD, MSc, HBSc, FRCPC, is a geriatrician/general internist/clinical epidemiologist. She is Director of the Knowledge Translation (KT) Program at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, as well as Deputy, Physician-in-Chief of St. Michael’s.  She is Vice Chair, Medicine (Mentorship, Equity, Diversity) and the Division Director for Geriatric Medicine at the University of Toronto.  She completed her MD and residencies in internal medicine and geriatric medicine at the University of Toronto. She also earned an MSc in clinical epidemiology at the University of Toronto.

She holds a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Knowledge Translation and Quality of Care and has obtained more than $30 million in peer-reviewed research grants as a principal investigator. Dr. Straus has over 350 publications, and has supervised over25 graduate students from different disciplines including clinical epidemiology, health informatics and human factors engineering. Her research interests are in evidence-based medicine, knowledge translation, diagnostic tests and health informatics. Dr. Straus is also co-Principal Investigator of KT Canada, a CIHR and CFI funded national clinical research initiative, and serves as the Principal Investigator for KT Canada’s Strategic Training Initiative in Health Research (STIHR), with a transdisciplinary research team which includes colleagues from human factors engineering, computer science, health informatics, and clinical epidemiology amongst others.

She has authored three books. Evidence-based medicine: How to practice and teach it is in its fourth edition, and has been published in eight languages; Knowledge Translation in Health Care is now in its second edition; and with David L. Sackett, the first edition of Mentorship in Academic Medicine. 

Deborah Thorlakson °

 Thorlakson, Deborah

Deborah Thorlakson has been on the Manitoba Foundation for the Arts Board of Directors since 1998, and currently serves as Treasurer. Mrs. Thorlakson is Chair of the Nomination Committee for the Health Sciences Centre Foundation, was a member of the Aboriginal Achievement Awards Gala Committee in 2002, and has Chaired the Winnipeg Chinese Cultural and Community Centre Dinner Committee for the Golden Dragon Fundraising Event in 1997, 1999, 2001, & 2003. She has sat on the Board of Directors for the Health Sciences Centre, has served as a member of the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame, the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, the Diabetes Treatment and Research Foundation, the Winter Cities Mayor’s Conference, the Manitoba Opera, the Manitoba Arts Council, the Junior League of Winnipeg, the Physicians for Social Responsibility, the Manitoba Association of Registered Nurses, and the Manitoba Heart and Stroke Foundation.  She is the President of Prairie Action Foundation: Supporting Solutions to Violence and Abuse, and received the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal from the Lieutenant Governor in November 2002.  She holds her Masters of Education and Bachelor of Nursing from the University of Manitoba.

Fouad Elgindy, NCE Liaison (non-voting member)

Elgindy, Fouad

Fouad Elgindy is Senior Program Manager at the Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) Secretariat.  He manages a portfolio of recipient clients, providing strategic leadership and direction as well as program management.  He is a strong proponent of governance and is well versed in this subject as it relates to Canadian not-for-profits, having participated as the NCE Liaison on over a dozen Boards of Directors. Prior to his role with the NCE Secretariat, Fouad spent five years as the Science and Research Manager at an NCE Network hosted by the University of Guelph.

Carol Barrie, CFN Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer (non-voting member) * °

BARRIE 2013 06

Carol Barrie, BComm, CPA, CA is our Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer. Prior to her appointment as CFN Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer in June of 2014, Carol served as CFN’s Chief Financial Officer since our start-up in 2012, and also participated in developing the initial proposal. She has a wealth of experience leading teams in the post-secondary education sector, serving as Director of Research Finance and Administration at Queen’s University, in the not-for-profit sector, heading Finance and Administration at the South East Community Care Access Centre and also at the Prince Edward Association for Community Living, and as an independent consultant working with independent researchers and start-up organizations.