Council Member Biographies

  • Dr. Saqib Shahab - Public Health Network Council Provincial/Territorial Co Chair
    Chief Medical Health Officer, Saskatchewan Health
  • Dr. Theresa Tam - Public Health Network Council Federal Co-Chair
    Chief Public Health Officer of Canada, Public Health Agency of Canada
  • Mr. Max Hendricks- Provincial/Territorial Deputy Minister Liaison
    Deputy Minister, Saskatchewan Health
  • Mr. Philip Christoff - Yukon
    Assistant Deputy Minister, Health Services
  • Dr. Kami Kandola - Northwest Territories
    Chief Public Health Officer, Health and Social Services
  • Dr. Michael Patterson - Nunavut
    Chief Medical Officer of Health, Health and Social Services
  • Dr. Bonnie Henry - British Columbia
    Provincial Health Officer, Ministry of Health
  • Ms. Sherri Wilson - Alberta
    Assistant Deputy Minister, Public Health and Compliance
  • Ms. Tami Denomie - Saskatchewan
    Executive Director, Population Health Branch
  • Ms. Avis Gray - Manitoba
    Assistant Deputy Minister, Public Health and Primary Care, Manitoba Health
  • Dr. David Williams - Ontario
    Chief Medical Officer of Health, Health and Long-Term Care
  • Dr. Horacio Arruda - Québec
    Director of Public Health and Assistant Deputy Minister, Ministry of Health and Social Services
  • Dr. Robert Strang – Nova Scotia
    Chief Medical Officer of Health, Health Promotion and Protection
  • Dr. Jennifer Russell - New Brunswick
    Chief Medical Officer of Health, Government of New Brunswick
  • Dr. Heather Morrison - Prince Edward Island
    Chief Public Health Officer, Health and Wellness
  • Ms. Colleen Simms - Newfoundland and Labrador
    Assistant Deputy Minister, Population Health
  • Dr. Supriya Sharma - Federal
    Chief Medical Advisor, Health Canada

Dr. Saqib Shahab

Public Health Network Council Provincial/Territorial Co-Chair
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.

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.

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 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.

Mr. Max Hendricks

Provincial/Territorial Deputy Minister Liaison
Deputy Minister, Saskatchewan Health

Mr. Max Hendricks was appointed Deputy Minister of Saskatchewan Health on February 15, 2014.

On July 1, 2013, Max was appointed as the Acting Deputy Minister of Saskatchewan Health. Prior to that he was the Associate Deputy Minister of Strategy and Performance Management from April 2011 to June, 2013 and was responsible for Strategy and Innovation, Finance, Capital, Medical Services, Health Registration, labour relations, as well as chair of eHealth Saskatchewan, Physician Recruitment Agency of Saskatchewan and Saskatchewan Association of Health Organizations.

Max began his career with Saskatchewan Health in 1991 and has served in a number of progressively senior positions in the Departments of Health and Finance. Prior to being appointed Associate Deputy Minister he served as an Assistant Deputy Minister, Executive Director of Medical Services and Executive Director of Finance and Administration.

Mr. Philip Christoff

Yukon
Assistant Deputy Minister, Health Services

Biography to follow.

Dr. Kami Kandola

Northwest Territories
Chief Public Health Officer, Health and Social Services

Dr. Kami Kandola has been the Chief Public Health Officer for Northwest Territories since October 1, 2018. Dr. Kandola has served as the NWT Deputy Chief Public Health Officer since 2011. Previously, she was the Chief Medical Health Officer from 2009-2011, and also held the position of Stanton Medical Health Officer from 2003-2009.

She has extensive experience protecting the health of NWT residents, as well as the surveillance of disease conditions and monitoring of public health program activities. She served as the President of the Canadian Society for Circumpolar Health from 2012-2015. From 2005-2007, she was the President of the NWT Medical Association.

Dr. Kandola graduated from McGill University in the Faculty of Medicine in 1992. She trained in family medicine and holds a Fellowship in the College of Family Physicians of Canada. She also trained in public health and preventative medicine at Johns Hopkins University from 1996-1998, and is American Board Certified in Preventative Medicine. Prior to moving to the Northwest Territories, Dr. Kandola had an extensive career as an international health consultant, working with the Government of Canada, the World Health Organization, the World Bank and a number of charitable organizations working in the developing world.

Dr. Michael Patterson

Nunavut
Chief Medical Officer of Health, Health and Social Services

Dr. Michael Patterson completed family practice residency in 2001, and immediately began working for the JH Hildes Northern Medical Unit, providing service in Northern Manitoba and the Kivalliq region of Nunavut. In 2005 he entered private practice in Nova Scotia, returning to Nunavut in 2012. In 2017 he finished a MPH through the University of Victoria and began working as a Deputy Chief Medical Officer of Health for the government of Nunavut. In December 2018, he became the Chief Medical Officer of Health for Nunavut.

Dr. Bonnie Henry

British Columbia
Provincial Health Officer, Ministry of Health

Dr. Bonnie Henry was appointed as British Colombia’s provincial health officer February 1, 2018 following three years as the deputy provincial health officer.

Preceding this, Dr. Henry served as the interim provincial executive medical director of the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) and was the medical director of Communicable Disease Prevention and Control and Public Health Emergency Management with the BCCDC and medical director for the provincial emerging and vector-borne diseases program as well as a provincial program for surveillance and control of healthcare associated infections.

She joined Toronto Public Health in September 2001 as associate medical officer of health where she was responsible for the Emergency Services Unit and the Communicable Disease Liaison Unit. In 2003, she was the operational lead in the response to the SARS outbreak in Toronto.

Dr. Henry has worked internationally with the WHO/UNICEF polio eradication program in Pakistan and with the WHO to control the Ebola outbreak in Uganda.

She is a specialist in public health and preventive medicine and is board certified in preventive medicine in the U.S. She graduated from Dalhousie Medical School, completed a Masters in Public Health and residency training in preventive medicine at University of California, San Diego and in community medicine at University of Toronto.

Ms. Sherri Wilson

Alberta
Assistant Deputy Minister, Public Health and Compliance

Ms. Sherri Wilson is currently the Assistant Deputy Minister for Public Health and Compliance with the Ministry of Health. Prior to this position she had worked in Executive Council providing leadership and support in the Cabinet Coordination Office. With a 20 year career in Government, Sherri’s education and experience has focused on health, in particular promotion, prevention and public policy, however after many early years in Health she moved her skills to policy and operations in income support programs. Sherri brings experience in public policy, public relations, human resources, and branch management.

Ms. Tami Denomie

Saskatchewan
Executive Director, Population Health Branch

Ms. Tami Denomie’s leadership includes population and public health services and strategic initiatives with an emphasis on health system improvement, cross-sector partnership and system collaboration. Tami has recently returned to population and public health to take on the leadership role within the Population Health Branch. Prior to this new appointment, Tami was leading work on health system priorities, including emergency department waits, access to specialists, appropriateness, and patient safety. Tami spent much of her early career providing leadership in the area of Population Health Promotion and managed the development of new initiatives and policies in the areas of Tobacco Reduction, Injury Prevention, Comprehensive School Community Health and Early Childhood Development. Tami is known for her experience in the area of community and stakeholder engagement, capacity building and her innovative approaches to addressing issues. 

Ms. Avis Gray

Manitoba
Assistant Deputy Minister, Public Health and Primary Care

Ms. 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 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

Quebec
Director of Public Health and Assistant Deputy Minister, Ministry of Health and Social Services

Dr. Horacio Arruda is a medical specialist in community health. For many years, he focused in the fields of interventional epidemiology and the prevention and control of infectious diseases.

From 2000 to 2012, he served as the Director of Public Health at the Quebec Department of Health and Social Services. He was a leader in the fields of infectious and communicable diseases, nosocomial infections, occupational and environmental health and emergency measures.

In 2012, he was named National Director of Public Health and Assistant Deputy Minister at the Québec Department of Health and Social Services. Under his guidance, the first Preventative Health Policy was launched for the 2015-2025 period. From this, Dr. Arruda drafted the first ever Interdepartmental Action Plan for 2017-2021. This policy and the accompanied action plan are one of the first of their kind in North America in the field of preventative medicine.

Dr. Robert Strang

Nova Scotia
Chief Medical Officer of Health, Health Promotion and Protection

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. Jennifer Russell

New Brunswick
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 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 the people of New Brunswick as a whole, using all of her knowledge and various clinical and administrative experiences.

Dr. Heather Morrison

Prince Edward Island
Chief Public Health Officer, 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.

Ms. Colleen Simms

Newfoundland and Labrador
Assistant Deputy Minister, Population Health

Ms. Colleen Simms joined the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador in 2010 and was appointed to the position of Assistant Deputy Minister Population Health in April, 2019. Prior to this, Ms. Simms was the Director of Mental Health and Addictions with the Department of Health and Community Services. In this role, Ms. Simms provided leadership to government’s Towards Recovery: The Mental Health and Addictions Action Plan for Newfoundland and Labrador and was a team recipient of the Newfoundland and Labrador’s Public Service Award for Excellence.  Ms. Simms has over 30 years’ experience within progressive leadership roles in health care.  She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing and a Master’s of Science (Medicine) from Memorial University.

Dr. Supriya Sharma

Federal
Chief Medical Advisor, Health Canada

Dr. Supriya Sharma took on the role of Chief 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.