Carolyn is the Director of Guidelines and Knowledge Translation at the Canadian Cardiovascular Society (CCS). Carolyn joined CCS in June 2020 to oversee and direct all aspects of the knowledge-to-action cycle for the Canadian cardiovascular care community. The team she leads applies best/promising practices in developing comprehensive, long-term strategies for the dissemination and implementation of national clinical practice guidelines with the aim of informing practice, improving patient outcomes and influencing policy.
For ten years prior to joining CCS, Carolyn led Guideline Dissemination and Implementation (D&I) at Diabetes Canada (DC) and worked in strong collaboration with staff teams and professional volunteer committees. Successes from the DC Guideline D&I strategies culminated in 12 peer-reviewed publications that document D&I processes and reach, outcomes, and knowledge and confidence changes for healthcare providers in practice.
Carolyn studied clinical nutrition at the University of Guelph. In addition, she has developed complementary expertise through completing studies in equity, diversity and inclusion, research ethics from Health Canada and the University of Miami. She has also developed advanced knowledge and skills in organizational leadership, program implementation and communications. Prior to joining CCS and Diabetes Canada, Carolyn spent several years in the food and clinical nutrition industry where she supported product development and expert sensory evaluation. She also created optimal nutrition and wellness communication and education tools for Canadians.
Carolyn lives in Oshawa with her husband and two teenage daughters.
Janet Gunderson taught for 20 years but in 1999 she had to go on long term disability due to a diagnosis of vasculitis. Janet and her husband live in rural Saskatchewan. Since leaving teaching she has volunteered with several groups.
Janet has been a volunteer with The Arthritis Society for many years. For the last seven years she has been on the steering committee with The Canadian Arthritis Patient Alliance. Janet also spent five years as a patient on the Consumer Advisory Council with The Canadian Arthritis Network. She has been a volunteer with the Cochrane Collaboration for many years.
Janet is a Patient Family Advisor with The Saskatchewan Centre for Patient Oriented Research Patient and Family Advisor Council. She is also a patient partner with the SPOR Chronic Pain Network.
Janet is also a patient representative with the Canadian Institute of Health Research Drug safety and Effectiveness Network.
Davina Banner is an Associate Professor in the School of Nursing at the University of Northern British Columbia and a cardiovascular and rural health researcher, educator, and palliative care nurse. Davina leads an interdisciplinary program of research and has a special interest in integrated knowledge translation and patient engagement. Davina is a mother of three, fitness enthusiast, and eternal optimist.
As President & CEO of the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR), Bev is focused on the funding, production and uptake of health research and health care-related evidence in British Columbia (BC), Canada. Since joining MSFHR in 2010, Bev has supported the Foundation through a period of organizational redesign, established MSFHR as a leader in knowledge translation, and supported the launch of a new suite of funding programs focused on developing, retaining, and recruiting BC health research talent. An active and respected member of the health research community, Bev’s research interests include knowledge translation, discourse analysis, health communication, risk communication, and public involvement in health research.
Jennifer Walker is a Haudenosaunee member of Six Nations of the Grand River with a Ph.D. in Community Health Services (Epidemiology) from the University of Calgary. She is an Associate Professor at McMaster University in the Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence, & Impact. Dr. Walker’s work focuses largely on Indigenous community-engaged health research using large health services databases through her work as a Core Scientist and Indigenous Health Lead at ICES in Ontario and through the Health Data Research Network Canada.
Dr. Walker has an active research community-engaged research program in aging and dementia. She is the co-lead of the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration and Aging’s (CCNA) Team 18 – Issues in Dementia Care for Indigenous Populations and the lead for the Indigenous Cognitive Health Program. She has also led the validation of the Canadian Indigenous Cognitive Assessment tool and the implementation of the tool in Anishinabek communities of Northern Ontario.
Charlene Soobiah is a PhD Candidate at the Institute for Health Policy, Management & Evaluation at the University of Toronto and a graduate student in the Knowledge Translation Program at St. Michael’s Hospital. Her dissertation focuses on evaluating the effectiveness of geriatrician-led care models and seeks to identify optimal care models to improve health outcomes. Charlene has a background in systematic reviews and knowledge translation, and has contributed to over 15 systematic reviews and several papers on knowledge synthesis methods. Charlene is focused on finding ways to engage patients, clinicians and policymakers in systematic review processes to optimize uptake of evidence into clinical practice.
Kelly Mrklas is a national expert, co-investigator, and consultant supporting the development, execution and evaluation of knowledge translation (KT) and implementation science (IS) strategies on local, provincial, national and international scales. Kelly helps clinicians, researchers, decision- and policy makers, health care leaders and staff across Alberta turn high quality knowledge, innovations and improvements into daily work. Kelly works in partnership to design and troubleshoot implementation within workflow, care pathways, research and improvement programs for efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability. Kelly is a named KT/IS investigator, collaborator and/or knowledge user on 30 major research initiatives totaling more than $23M and facilitated over double that number of major funding submissions in the past 6 years. During the same time, she conducted more than 300 consults, gave 85 presentations, with roles as lead/co-lead in clinical and research initiatives involving knowledge synthesis, integrated KT, implementation and its evaluation, and sustainability. Kelly’s doctoral work focuses on tools for assessing the outcomes and impacts of health research partnerships and integrated KT, supported by a CIHR Foundation Scheme (FDN#143237).
Rita Wiebe comes to us, as a Patient Partner from a small city in Northern BC. Prince George BC is what she has called home for her entire life. With a background in “real-life, citizen centred” outreach, brings a Patient partner lens to rural communities and cities, so prevalent in our great Nation.
Her post secondary education also includes many facets of communication, social and media relations.
She is no stranger to writing content for blogs, media releases and websites and especially enjoys being able to apply that “plain language” humanistic approach!
She has been a Patient Partner in various capacities for the past decade, starting with Patient Voices Network in BC. She has held engagements with the BC Cancer Agency, has worked on a couple engagements with a cancer researcher from Eastern Canada, is part of the BC Support Unit Patient Council and others.
Rita became serious about the “Citizen approach” to Patient Engagement about two years ago, after the death of her son from pancreatic cancer. The passing was with assistance from the MAiD (Medical Assistance in Dying) program. At that time, it was within the first 1000 cases since legalization in Canada.
Her journey as a team caregiver created a painful awareness of the need for a more humanizing lens for patients and families, which continues to fuel her passion. Her other passion lies with the 45-64 age demographic in terms of living a purposeful, engaged life for as long as possible. She reminds us that the ages of 45-64 is the best time to intentionally unlearn bad habits and replace with healthier ones.
This preventative, holistic (body, mind & spirit) approach has gained more traction since COVID. The healthcare decision makers seem to recognize the importance of going into the 65+ years with less health concerns. From the Citizen (patient) perspective, she knows the importance of the “whole person approach” to wellness!
Dr. Tanya Horsley is the Associate Director, Research, at the Royal College. She is also the Principal Scientist with over 100 peer-reviewed abstracts and publications. She is a proud faculty member within the School of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Ottawa, where she teaches approaches to evidence syntheses including systematic and scoping review methods. Tanya leads a program of research looking at the formalization of integrated knowledge translation for the co-creation, use and influence of research and complex systems of care with an interest on patient & caregiver engagement. She is frequently sought after for her expertise in evidence synthesis approaches and work in reporting guideline development.