Council Member Biographies

  • Dr. Robert Strang - Public Health Network Council Provincial/Territorial Co Chair
    Chief Medical Officer of Health, Department of Health and Wellness, Nova Scotia
  • Dr. Theresa Tam - Public Health Network Council Federal Co-Chair
    Chief Public Health Officer of Canada, Public Health Agency of Canada
  • Ms. Denise Perret- Provincial/Territorial Deputy Minister Liaison
    Deputy Minister, Department of Health and Wellness, Nova Scotia
  • Ms. Shauna Demers - Yukon
    A/Assistant Deputy Minister, Health Services, Health and Social Services
  • Dr. André Corriveau - Northwest Territories
    Chief Public Health Officer, Department of Health and Social Services
  • Dr. Kim Barker - Nunavut
    Chief Medical Officer of Health, Department of Health and Social Services
  • Dr. Perry Kendall - British Columbia
    Provincial Health Officer, Ministry of Health
  • Ms. Dawn Friesen - Alberta
    Acting Assistant Deputy Minister, Public Health and Compliance, Alberta Health
  • Dr. Saqib Shahab - Saskatchewan
    Chief Medical Health Officer, Saskatchewan Health
  • Ms. Avis Grey - Manitoba
    Assistant Deputy Minister, Public Health and Primary Care, Manitoba Health
  • Dr. David Williams - Ontario
    Chief Medical Officer of Health, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
  • Dr. Horacio Arruda - Québec
    Director of Public Health and Assistant Deputy Minister, Ministry of Health and Social Services
  • Dr. Jennifer Russell - New Brunswick
    Acting Chief Medical Officer of Health, Government of New Brunswick
  • Dr. Heather Morrison - Prince Edward Island
    Chief Public Health Officer, Department of Health and Wellness
  • Dr. David Allison - Newfoundland and Labrador
    Chief Medical Officer of Health, Department of Health and Community Services
  • Dr. Supriya Sharma - Federal
    Senior Medical Advisor, Health Canada

Dr. Robert Strang - Public Health Network Council Provincial/Territorial Co-Chair
Chief Medical Officer of Health, Department of Health and Wellness, Nova Scotia

Dr. Robert Strang is the Chief Medical Officer of Health for the province of Nova Scotia. He completed his medical degree (1990), family practice residency (1992) and Community Medicine Residency (1997) at the University of British Columbia. He was an Associate Medical Officer of Health in British Columbia from 1997-1999. In 1999, he moved to Halifax to become Medical Officer of Health for Capital District Health Authority. In January 2007 he became Acting Deputy Chief Medical Officer of Health for the province. Dr. Strang was appointed Nova Scotia's first Chief Public Health Officer in August 2007, before transitioning to the Chief Medical Officer of Health in 2016.


Dr. Theresa Tam - Public Health Network Council Federal Co-Chair
Chief Public Health Officer of Canada, Public Health Agency of Canada

Dr. Theresa Tam is the Chief Public Health Officer (CPHO) of the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC).

Formerly, Dr. Tam was PHAC’s Deputy Chief Public Health Officer. As Deputy CPHO, she provided support to Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer in day-to-day activities and responding to public health issues of high importance to Canadians.

She was also formerly the Assistant Deputy Minister responsible for the Infectious Diseases Prevention and Control Branch at the Agency. In this role, Dr. Tam oversaw activities aimed at making Canadians less vulnerable to impacts of infectious diseases. This includes surveillance, laboratory diagnostics, science research, policy development and national leadership for a wide range of infectious disease threats. Dr. Tam has previously provided senior leadership on key Agency initiatives and programs on immunization, respiratory infections, health emergency preparedness and response; public health at Canada’s borders and on public conveyances; laboratory biosecurity; public health workforce, surveillance and other infrastructure capacities; and implementation of the International Health Regulations.

Dr. Tam is a paediatric infectious disease specialist and field epidemiologist with extensive experience in the management of outbreaks and complex health emergency situations, including the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak; H1N1 Influenza Pandemic; and Ebola Virus Disease outbreak in West Africa. She has served as an international expert on a number of World Health Organization (WHO) committees and international missions, including the first WHO Influenza Pandemic Task Force. She has also served as a WHO consultant on multiple international missions related to influenza and Polio eradication in Bangladesh.


Ms. Denise Perret - Provincial/Territorial Deputy Minister Liaison
Deputy Minister, Department of Health and Wellness, Nova Scotia

Denise Perret was appointed Deputy Minister of the Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness on January 16, 2017. Denise has extensive experience in public law, policy development and management. She served as Corporate Counsel for Alberta Health, and then as the Department’s Assistant Deputy Minister of Strategic Planning and Policy Development. She has also served as Assistant Deputy Minister, Legal Services for Alberta’s Department of Justice and Solicitor General and Deputy Chief of the Policy Coordination Office in Alberta’s Executive Council. Prior to her work at the Alberta Public Service, Denise was in-house counsel for the Alberta Appeals Commission for Workers Compensation. She has worked in private legal practice and served as City Solicitor for an Alberta municipality. She has also held several policy and management positions in the Saskatchewan Public Service. Throughout her career she has worked with and provided analytical, strategic and legal advice at an executive leadership level. Denise has a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Alberta, and a Master of Public Administration Degree from Queen’s University. She received her Queen’s Counsel designation in 2013.


Ms. Shauna Demers - Yukon
A/Assistant Deputy Minister, Health Services, Health and Social Services

Ms. Shauna Demers is the Acting Assistant Deputy Minister of Health Services for the Government of Yukon. Before assuming this position, Shauna had been the Director of Insured Health Services and Registrar of Vital Statistics for five years and has worked with Government of Yukon for 18 years.


Dr. André Corriveau - Northwest Territories
Chief Public Health Officer, Department of Health and Social Services

On June 2012, Dr. André Corriveau was appointed as the Chief Medical Officer of Health for the Northwest Territories. His responsibilities include health promotion, disease surveillance, communicable disease control, chronic disease prevention, and environmental health.

From March 2009 to June 2012, Dr. Corriveau served as the Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMOH) for the province of Alberta.

April 1, 2010, Dr. Corriveau became the Provincial/Territorial Co-Chair of the Pan-Canadian Public Health Network. He is currently a member of the Advisory Council of the Canadian Institute of Health Information's Population Health Initiative, as well as the Advisory Council of the National Collaborating Centres for Public Health.

From 1998 to March 2009, Dr. Corriveau served as the Chief Medical Officer of Health for the Northwest Territories.

Dr. Corriveau received his degree in medicine from McGill University in 1981 and completed a residency in community medicine as well as a Master in Business Administration at Laval University in 1986.

Prior to moving to the Northwest Territories in 1994, Dr. Corriveau worked in Nova Scotia and Nunavik.


Dr. Kim Barker- Nunavut
Chief Medical Officer of Health, Department of Health and Social Services

Dr. Barker began her role as Nunavut’s Chief Medical Officer for Health in the spring of 2016 and was previously in the position of the Deputy Chief Medical Officer for Health, with the Government of Nunavut, Department of Health. Dr. Barker has a strong background in health care and in public health; her experience includes 20 years as a practicing physician and 12 years working in public health at the local, provincial, national and international level. She has expertise in Indigenous health: she served as the Public Health Advisor to the Assembly of First Nations and supported the work in chronic disease. She has also worked with the United Nations, UNICEF and the U.S. Peace Corp in health promotion. Dr. Barker is a Royal College member certified in PHPM; she holds a Master’s degree in Public Health, specializing in Epidemiology.


Dr. Perry Kendall - British Columbia
Provincial Health Officer, Ministry of Health

On May 3, 1999, Dr. Kendall was appointed Provincial Health Officer for the province of British Columbia. Dr. Kendall has more than 25 years of experience practicing public health and community medicine in Ontario and British Columbia at both the municipal and provincial levels of government.

He has served as Medical Officer of Health for the Capital Health Region in British Columbia and the City of Toronto in Ontario, has spent time as Special Advisor to the Deputy Minister in Ontario, was President and CEO of the Ontario Addiction Research Foundation for three years and spent one year as Vice President for Seniors Health in the Capital Health Region.

Dr. Kendall has served on numerous Federal/Provincial/Territorial Advisory Committees and co-chaired the Public Health Network Council from 2005-2010. Born in the United Kingdom in 1943, Dr. Kendall completed his undergraduate medical training at University College Hospital Medical School in 1968 and his specialty training in community medicine at the University of British Columbia in 1984.


Ms. Dawn Friesen - Alberta
Acting Assistant Deputy Minister, Public Health and Compliance, Alberta Health

Dawn Friesen is the Acting Assistant Deputy Minister, Health System Accountability and Performance Division, Ministry of Health. Dawn has a Masters degree in Nursing and has worked in clinical practice, research, education and government. Dawn has strong linkages with Alberta Health Services, the operational arm of the Ministry of Health. She works on many cross-Ministry initiatives and also as an Alberta representative on FPT committees in the area of environmental/public health.


Dr. Saqib Shahab - Saskatchewan
Chief Medical Health Officer, Saskatchewan Health

Dr Saqib Shahab took over as Saskatchewan's Provincial Chief Medical Health Officer in July 2012. Dr Shahab was Deputy Chief Medical Health Officer in the Saskatchewan Ministry of Health July 2009 till July 2012. Prior to joining the Ministry of Health, Dr Shahab has worked as a regional Medical Health Officer, as well as internationally as an internist, faculty at a school of public health, and public health expert with multilateral health and donor agencies. He is a past chair of the Medical Health Officers Council of Saskatchewan and past president of the Saskatchewan Public Health Association.

Dr Shahab is a Fellow in Public Health and Preventive Medicine of the Royal College of Physicians of Canada, having completed his training at the University of Alberta, has a Masters of Public Health from Johns Hopkins University, US, and is a Member of the Royal College of Physicians UK. He received his primary medical degree from the Rawalpindi Medical College, University of Punjab, Pakistan, from where he graduated at the top of his class. He is an adjunct professor at the University of Saskatchewan School of Public Health.


Ms. Avis Gray - Manitoba
Assistant Deputy Minister, Public Health and Primary Care, Manitoba Health

Avis Gray has an extensive career working in the public sector in the areas of population health, health and social service delivery. She has held a number of leadership positions in Continuing Care and Home Care, and Primary Health Care. Avis was instrumental in leading a committee of multi-sectoral professionals that developed a human resource strategy for midwifery implementation in Manitoba. The strategy resulted in implementation of midwifery services in the province; a payment model for midwives and a plan for midwifery service delivery and education that emphasized northern and indigenous priorities.

Avis has also worked in a large corporation where she specialized in government relations. In addition, during her career, she has served as a consultant who specialized in strategic planning, citizen engagement, and exporting knowledge services.

Avis’s has a degree in Home Economics from the University of Manitoba. Her rural background, and experience in working in the north, rural and urban areas of Manitoba has provided a deep understanding of the scope and breadth of health care service delivery, the necessity for provincial policy and standards development, and quality assurance programming.

Her current position is Assistant Deputy Minister, Public Health Primary Health Care Division within the Manitoba Health Healthy Living and Seniors department. This division has responsibility for Public health, communicable disease control, surveillance and epidemiology, maternal and child health and primary health care. As well the division is responsible for inter-governmental strategic relations; a branch that focuses on collaboration with First Nations, Metis and Inuit governments, the federal government, as well as provincial and territorial governments.


Dr. David Williams - Ontario
Chief Medical Officer of Health, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

Dr. David Williams is the Chief Medical Officer of Health for the province of Ontario. Dr. Williams returned to this position on July 1, 2015 having been in the position of Medical Officer of Health for the Thunder Bay District Board of Health from October 2011 to June 30, 2015. Prior to that, Dr. Williams had been at the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care from 2005 to 2011 as the Associate Chief Medical Officer of Health, Infectious Disease and Environmental Health Branch Director. During this time he was also the Acting Chief Medical Officer of Health for Ontario from November 2007 to June of 2009. Prior to working at the province Dr. Williams was the Medical Officer of Health and CEO for the Thunder Bay District Health Unit from 1991 to 2005.

Dr. Williams is a four time graduate of the University of Toronto receiving his BSc. MD, Masters in Community Health and Epidemiology (MHSc) and Fellowships in Community Medicine/Public Health and Preventive Medicine (FRCPS).

Prior to entering public health Dr. Williams practiced hospital based clinical practice as a GP and GP Anaesthetist at the Sioux Lookout Zone Hospital over a three year period and also in International Health at the United Mission to Nepal Mission Hospital, Tansen Nepal over an eight year period.


Dr. Horacio Arruda - Québec
Director of Public Health and Assistant Deputy Minister, Ministry of Health and Social Services

Dr. Arruda is a physician specializing in community health. He has worked specifically in the areas of surveillance, monitoring, intervention epidemiology, and infectious disease prevention and control.

Since 2000, he has been Director of Public Health with the Quebec Department of Health and Social Services, with responsibility for infectious and communicable diseases, hospital-acquired infections, and occupational and environmental health. He and his team are also responsible for the public health and civil emergency plans (pandemic readiness plan) components. He is Quebec's representative on the Pan-Canadian Public Health Network's new Communicable Disease Control Expert Group.

On May 9, he was appointed National Director of Public Health and Assistant Deputy Minister by Dr. Yves Bolduc, Quebec Minister of Health and Social Services. He took up his position on August 1.


Dr. Jennifer Russell - New Brunswick
Acting Chief Medical Officer of Health, Government of New Brunswick

Dr. Jennifer Russell was appointed as the Deputy Chief Medical Officer of Health for the Province of New Brunswick in August 2014 and has been acting as the Chief Medical Officer of Health since November 2015.

Dr. Jennifer Russell studied Medicine at Memorial University. She joined the Canadian Forces Medical Officer Training Program and served for 10 years, including 5 years in Ottawa as the Base Surgeon at the National Defense Medical Clinic, which served 8000 CF members in the Ottawa area. She was involved with the Preventative Medicine team as well as the travel and immunization clinics. She was very interested in cervical cancer screening and set up a pap registry for female CF members in Ottawa.

After moving to Fredericton, she left the CF and worked briefly with Veterans Affairs. She spent six years at Addiction Services at the Methadone Clinic at the Victoria Health Centre. Most recently she was working as a hospitalist looking after in-patients who did not have family doctors and filling in for Family Physicians on maternity leave.

Dr. Jennifer Russell's clinical work combined with her interest in preventative medicine attracted her to Public Health. She wanted to make a difference in the health of New Brunswickers as a whole, using all of her knowledge and various clinical and administrative experiences.

Dr. Jennifer Russell is married to Dr. Randy Russell (Ret'd LCol) and has two children.


Dr. Heather Morrison - Prince Edward Island
Chief Public Health Officer, Department of Health and Wellness

Dr. Heather Morrison was appointed Chief Health Officer for PEI in July 2007. As PEI's first female Rhodes Scholar, she completed both a Master's and Doctorate degree at University of Oxford in Comparative Social Research and Social Policy with a thesis dissertation in health policy decision-making. Dr. Morrison returned to Canada for her medicine training, completing her MD at Dalhousie University, followed by residency training in Community Medicine at the University of Toronto.

In addition to her involvement and interest in public health as PEI's Chief Health Officer, Dr. Morrison continues to practice emergency medicine in Charlottetown, where she lives with her husband and 3 young children.


Dr. David Allison - Newfoundland and Labrador
Chief Medical Officer of Health, Department of Health and Community Services

Dr. David Allison a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in Public Health and Preventive Medicine and presently serves as Chief Medical Officer of Health for the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Previously Medical Officer of Health in Eastern Health Region in St. John’s, he has lived in Newfoundland and Labrador since 2000. He is also a clinical associate professor in the Division of Community Health and Humanities of the Faculty of Medicine at Memorial University.

A graduate of Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario in 1976, he completed residency training in Community Medicine at the University of Ottawa and became a fellow of the Royal College in 1988. He has served in public health roles across the country in New Brunswick, Alberta and Saskatchewan since 1982. He has also worked in New Zealand, Australia, Sierra Leone and Nepal for periods of time.

Over the years he has pursued a variety of interests in national and international public health. He was Co-Chair and past co-chair of Immunize Canada, a coalition of government, non-government and professional organizations with an interest in encouraging the uptake of vaccines and the spread of information about immunization. He has been involved in environmental health research as an investigator reviewing and assessing concerns about environmental lead in St. John’s, NL. He is also an active member of the Emergency Response Unit (ERU) roster of the Canadian Red Cross and has completed short deployments in Haiti (July 2010), Sierra Leone (September 2012) and Nepal (June 2015).


Dr. Supriya Sharma - Federal
Senior Medical Advisor, Health Canada

Dr. Sharma took on the role of Senior Medical Advisor to the Deputy Minister at Health Canada in August 2015 in addition to her role as Senior Medical Advisor of the Health Products and Food Branch in the department.

Dr. Sharma completed her MD from the University of Ottawa. Further to that, she completed a pediatrics residency at the Alberta Children's Hospital in Calgary, with one year on exchange as a Senior Registrar in Brisbane Australia.

She was a Fellow in Hematology at the Hospital for Sick Children and the Toronto General Hospital with research in sickle cell disease and thalassemia, including a research project with Oxford University in Sri Lanka. Following that she completed a Masters of Public Health in International Health from the Harvard School of Public Health.

Dr. Sharma has held a number of regulatory and policy positions in Health Canada since 2002, and was most recently the Director General of the Therapeutic Products Directorate. She also took a sabbatical working in consulting and with an academic start up out of the University of Western Ontario focusing on innovation adoption in the health care system, returning to Health Canada in 2013 to take on the newly created Senior Medical Advisor role in the Health Products and Food Branch.