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Network Contributors' Roundtable


The vision of the SouthWestern Academic Health Network (SWAHN) is to transform health in Southwestern Ontario (SWO) through integrated excellence in research, education and clinical practice. SWAHN’s mission is to improve the health of the SWO population and to be a national leader in health care, education and research.

To meet this purpose the Network has adopted the following value proposition:

SWAHN facilitates interprofessional collaboration, networking, and knowledge-sharing opportunities across health-care related education, research, health service providers, and other stakeholders in Southwestern Ontario to identify gaps and to improve the health of individuals, families, communities, and systems.

The Network Contributors’ Roundtable ensures that SWAHN’s vision and mission are achieved by overseeing the organization’s strategy, ensuring the alignment of practices and activities across the Network with the strategy, and by providing guidance to the Secretariat as it seeks to deliver positive outcomes through 1) the work of Project Teams and 2) regular networking meetings to share information and best practices.

The Network Contributors’ Roundtable will accomplish its work by:
  1. Facilitating collaboration and engagement to accelerate the development of innovative and value-added health care education, research, evaluation, and knowledge translation;
  2. Setting SWAHN’s strategy, strategic plan, and priorities annually (July 1- June 30) and approving the annual work plan and budget;
  3. Selecting topics for discussion, recommending speakers, and attending semi-annual Network Contributors’ Roundtable meetings;
  4. Engaging hospitals, educational and research institutions, and community partners to participate in SWAHN initiatives and to inform the academic service integration;
  5. Disseminating information to Network stakeholders and communities to raise awareness about SWAHN to enhance bidirectional communications (in order to support a process for feedback from stakeholders;
  6. Enhancing and advancing synergy and the sharing of resources between participating organizations for mutual benefit in integrated patient care, education and research;
  7. Monitoring the long-term financial sustainability of the network;
  8. Providing guidance and oversight for the SWAHN Secretariat;
  9. Advancing the profile and health impact of the network in and beyond Southwestern Ontario;
  10. Serving as SWAHN's ambassadors.


Dr. Gillian Kernaghan (Co-Chair); President & CEO, St Joseph's Health Care London

Dr. Kernaghan was appointed the President and Chief Executive Officer of St. Joseph's Health Care London in 2010. St. Joseph’s is a multi-sited academic health care organization serving London and the region.

Dr. Kernaghan’s passion for integrated patient care, leadership and performance excellence has inspired the organization to focus on the vision to “earn complete confidence in the care we provide.”

Prior to assuming this role, she served for 17 years as the Vice President, Medical for various hospitals in London and led the medical staff during complex restructuring in which four hospitals merged to form St. Joseph’s Health Care. Through this restructuring and various program transfers between organizations, the roles of the London hospitals dramatically changed.

In 1984, Gillian joined the medical staff of St. Joseph's, Parkwood Hospital and London Health Sciences Centre as a family physician. She completed her residency at St. Joseph’s Hospital in 1984 upon graduation from University of Western Ontario and was awarded her Fellowship in 2000.

Gillian currently serves on the Ontario Hospital Association Board, and the Council of Academic Hospitals of Ontario Executive and Council. She served as President of the Canadian Society of Physician Executives for 2010-2012. She is a past Board Member of Canadian Resident Matching Service and the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame. She has served on numerous regional, provincial and national committees.

She is a frequent speaker at conferences and a certified trainer in Crucial Conversations, Crucial Accountability and Influencer leadership courses.

She has been married for 37 years and is the proud mother of three sons, three daughters-in-law and one little grandson.

Dr. Ken Blanchette (Co-Chair); Chair; Associate Vice President, Academic, St. Clair College

Dr. Ken Blanchette is the Associate Vice President Academic at St. Clair College. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Windsor and completed his Doctor of Chiropractic from National Institute of Health Sciences in Chicago Illinois.

Dr. Blanchette practiced in the United States for 12 years, specializing in breach birth complications, epileptic case management and advancing spinal decompression within the region as well as creating an integrated health model between disciplines. In 2010, he joined St. Clair College and was involved in the building of a 32 million dollar state of the art simulation center. Following the completion of the capital project, he has created an opportunity for professional training within our region and internationally for Health Care Disciplines and organizations in gaining continuing education.

Dr. Blanchette is a current member of the board of directors for Hotel Dieu Grace Hospital and the Windsor Essex county Health Unit, as well as the Past Chair for the Heads of Health Sciences for Ontario Colleges.

Members (in order of organization):

Bluewater Health - Mr. Mike Lapaine, President & CEO

Mr. Mike Lapaine is a Certified Professional Accountant and holds a Masters of Business Administration and a degree in English literature. He has also completed the Rotman Advanced Health Leadership Program from the University of Toronto.

Mike joined Bluewater Health in 2008 as Vice-President of Operations and Chief Operating Officer and was appointed President and CEO in January 2016. He is acutely aware of the organization, its people and the challenges and opportunities ahead to move Bluewater Health forward in an ever-changing healthcare system.

Mike has a proven track record from his years of service at Bluewater Health in addition to healthcare leadership elsewhere in Ontario. He is committed, compassionate, known and trusted locally and beyond the Erie St. Clair region, and has strong communication and relationship building skills.

Mike serves on the Board of Governor's at Lambton College.

Chatham Kent Health Alliance - Ms. Lori Marshall, President & CEO

As President and Chief Executive Officer, Lori brings to the organization over 15 years of progressive leadership experience in Ontario’s acute and community care sectors, and a reputation as a patient-centred strategist with a track record of addressing complex issues through a shared vision and knowledge of the community and region. This is Lori’s third appointment as CEO, the first being in 2005 for Nipigon District Memorial Hospital and in 2014 for the Erie St. Clair Community Care Access Centre. She has served as Vice President at two hospitals including Oshawa General Hospital and Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, where she held the positions of VP Patient Care before being promoted to Executive Vice President, Strategy, Performance and Aboriginal Health.

Lori is a Registered Pharmacist with the Ontario College of Pharmacists and a Certified Health Executive with the Canadian College of Health Leaders. She holds a Health Leadership Certificate from the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management and a Masters in Health Administration from the University of Ottawa. Lori has a rich history of community service and has been active on many boards and committees at the provincial and local levels.

Erie St. Clair LHIN - Mr. Ralph Ganter, CEO

Ralph Ganter, the CEO for the Erie St. Clair LHIN, has over 30 years of health care experience. Staff know that the reason he comes into work every day is because he believes in what he is doing and strives to make a difference in people’s lives.

Originally trained as a Respiratory Therapist, Ralph’s experience continued to broaden as a Respiratory Therapy Director, a Utilization Manager, a Hospital Consultant, and a Program Manager, Hospitals, for the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. With this extensive health care experience, Ralph joined the ESC LHIN team in 2005 and worked as Senior Director, Health System Design and Implementation.

Ralph is a resident of Sarnia, and his education background includes a BA, Masters of Health, and Masters of Business Administration.

The ESC LHIN covers the regions of Chatham-Kent, Sarnia/Lambton, and Windsor/Essex which includes over 636,000 people. The ESC LHIN plans and funds over a billion dollars a year to our region’s health care providers – services from hospitals to Meals on Wheels. The LHIN also delivers and coordinates home and community care.

Fanshawe College (Faculty of Health, Community Studies and Public Safety) - Ms. Pam McLaughlin, Dean

Pam McLaughlin received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Queen’s University and completed a Master’s Degree in Education at Brock University.

Pam has held the position of Dean of Health Sciences and Human Services at Fanshawe College since January 2002. She first joined Fanshawe College as a part time professor as teaching, learning and educating caring professions have always been cornerstones of her career. Pam has worked in acute and community-based organizations in both the private and public sectors. She has served on the Board of Governors of several organizations including Fanshawe College, Children's Aid, Victorian Order of Nurses, and on the board committee of St. Joseph's Health Care London. She is passionate about both health care and education and is particularly interested in issues regarding public policy, governance and social justice.

At Fanshawe College, Pam was instrumental in the development of the Clinical Learning Suites. She has also been engaged in the continued development of the Interprofessional Education and Practice Agenda in concert with partners from Western University, and most recently with the City of London through the Child and Youth Network.

Grey Bruce Health Services - Mr. Gary Sims, President & CEO

Gary Sims, President and CEO of Grey Bruce Health Services, has over 30 years of healthcare experience. Gary has served as President and CEO for several healthcare organizations including Blanche River Health, Deep River and District Hospital, as well as St. Joseph’s at Fleming, a 200 bed long-term care home in Peterborough. He has experience in various for-profit and not-for-profit settings encompassing acute care (small, medium and large hospitals), rehab, community, CCAC, and LTC environments. Gary started in the industry at the grass-roots level in the dietary department of a large hospital, working his way through the healthcare continuum as an RN, Surgical Manager, Director of Surgical and Women & Child Programs, culminating in his current role as a President and CEO for the last decade.

Gary's educational background encompasses obtaining his RN, Master's Degree in Education, Advanced Healthcare Leadership Certificate from the Rotman School of Business, as well as executive training programs at Harvard Law School and, most recently, MIT. Past professional affiliations include teaching at Trent University and York University. Gary has also been a member of the OHA Small Rural Northern Advisory Council (2014-2019) and is an ardent advocate for small, rural and Northern healthcare issues.

Gary is patient focused, committed to the delivery of quality care and has an excellent understanding of the challenges of rural and multi-site healthcare.

Hotel Dieu Grace Healthcare - Ms. Janice Kaffer, President & CEO

Mrs. Janice Kaffer was appointed the President and Chief Executive Officer of Hotel-Dieu Grace Healthcare, Windsor, in September 2014. Hotel-Dieu Grace Healthcare is a premium healthcare centre offering Rehabilitation Services; Specialized Mental Health & Addictions; Complex Medical and Palliative Care; and Children and Youth Mental health Services. Prior to assuming this role, she was the Vice President Clinical Programs and Chief Nursing Executive with Hotel-Dieu Grace Hospital. She served as Vice President Health Services and Chief Nursing Official of the District in Pictou County Health Authority, New Glasgow, Nova Scotia and as General Manager, Northern, and Eastern Ontario, for Saint Elizabeth Health Care in Markham.

Janice has extensive experience across the continuum of healthcare service delivery with knowledge of and expertise in both community and institutional (hospital) care delivery. Janice has years of experience in healthcare, from the front lines of home care to the board room of a large community hospital and is available and eager to support the emerging transformation of healthcare.

Janice received her undergraduate degree for Administrative Studies from Trent University and completed her Masters of Public Administration from Queen’s University in Kingston. She currently serves as a member of the OHA Rehabilitation Committee and has contributed to the Ontario Trauma Advisory Committee, Provincial Neurosurgery Ontario, Co-chair of the Provincial advisory council on trauma rehab, Co-chair of the Leadership and Accountability working group addressing Prevention of Violence in the Workplace.

Previous to her time in Windsor, Janice held various positions in Nova Scotia. She was Co-Chair of the Nova Scotia Surgical Care Council accountable to the Deputy Minister of Health and Council of CEO’s, a member of the Department of Health working group to the Expenditure Management Initiative of government, the Steering Committee for Research to Action Nova Scotia project: partnership with government, unions and employers under the federal charter of Health Canada and CFNU, Steering Committee for Implementation of a provincial Bed Utilization program across acute care in Nova Scotia and a member of the Provincial Nursing Network which is led by the provincial Nursing Policy Advisor to the Department of Health.

Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance - Mr. Andrew Williams, President & Chief Executive Officer

Andrew is the President & Chief Executive Officer of the Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance (HPHA), a voluntary alliance of the hospitals in Clinton, St. Marys, Seaforth and Stratford, a position he has held since the organization’s formation in 2003. Throughout his 25+ year career in healthcare leadership, Andrew has had the opportunity to work in and with numerous healthcare organizations locally, and across Canada. His experience spans small, community, teaching and research hospitals, the community sector, regional systems, and private clinics.

He is a passionate advocate for patient and family centred care, and believes our healthcare system should be less about its structures and providers and more about ensuring the individual needs of the patients are met in the safest and most appropriate manner. Andrew holds and Honours Degree in Biology and Masters in Health Services Administration, both from Dalhousie University. He is an active Member of the Canadian College of Healthcare Leaders and the American College of Healthcare Executives and is a Surveyor with Accreditation Canada.

Lambton College - Mr. Karsten Henriksen, Vice-President, Academic

Karsten Henriksen joined Lambton College as the Vice President Academic (VPA) in June 2019. Prior to Lambton College, Karsten served as the Vice President at Nunavut Arctic College. He also held leadership roles at North Island College in British Columbia, Yukon College, and Grande Prairie Regional College. Karsten oversees all academic and training programs that aligns with the College’s strategic priorities and leadership in education, training and innovation.

Lawson Health Research Institute - Dr. David Hill, Scientific Director

Dr. David Hill is Scientific Director of the Lawson Health Research Institute (Lawson), one of Canada’s largest hospital-sponsored research institutes. He holds the Lawson Chair in Diabetes Research, and is a Professor in the Departments of Medicine, Physiology and Paediatrics, at The University of Western Ontario.

Educated at the University of Nottingham and at Worcester College, University of Oxford, he has published over 200 scientific papers and maintains an active program in diabetes research and stem cell biology. Dr. Hill has previously served as Chair for both Research Canada and the National Board of the Canadian Diabetes Association (CDA). He is a recipient of the CDA's Frederick G. Banting Award, as well as of the Medal of the Society for Endocrinology from the UK. Dr. Hill is a member and Past Board Chair of the Diabetic Pregnancy Study Group (DPSG), an affiliate of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes. He is also a Board member and Co-Chair of the Vice-Presidents Research Committee of Health Care Can, a member of the Research Committee, Council of Academic Hospitals of Ontario (CAHO), and a Board member of Research Canada. Dr. Hill was inducted as a fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences (CAHS) in 2011.

Dr. Hill’s research centres on the generation of new insulin producing beta cells in the pancreas as a strategy for the reversal of diabetes. Currently, he is researching the ability to manipulate stem cells to become beta cells, which could increase the supply of tissue available for human islet transplantation in those suffering from type 1 diabetes, but also the possibility of inducing targeted regeneration of new beta cells within the pancreas removing the need for transplantation. Other projects include looking at the linkage of low birth weight to an increased risk of diabetes in later life, and the ways in which environmental factors, such as nutrition might trigger or protect against diabetes.

London Health Sciences Centre - Dr. Paul Woods, President & CEO

Dr. Paul Woods is a senior health care leader with a wide range of clinical and administrative experience in both Canada and the United States, highly regarded for his understanding of health system dynamics and proven ability to lead positive change in complex environments.

Prior to joining LHSC, Dr. Woods was Senior Vice President, Provider Network Organization (PNO) for Trinity Health in Livonia, Michigan where he provided executive leadership and direction to the Trinity Health employed physician network. In this role he was responsible for the financial, quality and operational performance of this $3 billion enterprise encompassing sites across 22 states – each with their own local challenges and regulatory frameworks.

Dr. Woods successfully led strategies which improved quality of care and system standardization through the design and operationalization of an advanced care delivery model for people-centered care. This was a massive change initiative which engaged more than 7,000 physicians and advanced practice partners. Utilizing inter-disciplinary care models, Trinity’s PNO was able to serve more patients, improve health outcomes, create better patient and provider experiences, and reduce the overall cost of care delivery.

Dr. Woods has held various roles in the health system including: University of Calgary, Department of Family Medicine; Alberta Health Services; as well as Spectrum Health Medical Group and Michigan Center for Clinical Systems Improvement both in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

His insights have been sought through Board appointments, most recently as President of the Board of Directors for Trinity Health Coordinated Care, a four state Accountable Care Organization. He has also served as a Board member of Chicago Mercy Hospital, the first chartered hospital in Chicago which focuses on serving disadvantaged populations.

Originally from Ontario, Dr. Woods obtained his medical degree from the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry at Western University in London and his Master of Science degree from the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice in Hanover, New Hampshire.

South West Local Health Integration Network - Mr. Renato Discenza, CEO

Renato Discenza is an experienced senior level executive with over 30 years of successful management and governance leadership in public and private sector enterprises. He is currently the CEO at the South West LHIN, which serves almost one million residents.

He has had many senior executive roles at Bell Canada and AT&T Canada; spanning operations, customer service, sales, supply chain, business transformation, and other corporate portfolios. Renato has been the CEO at Invest Toronto, a foreign investment attraction agency, and a Senior Vice President at Infrastructure Ontario. He has a diverse background in health care; serving as Executive Vice President of Strategy and Innovation at Hamilton Health Services, a board member of Credit Valley Hospital, Michael Garron Hospital, the Change Foundation, and Mohawk Medbuy, the shared services organizations for hospitals.

Renato has sat on many public and private sector boards; including Waterfront Toronto, The Windsor International Airport board, an Income Trust board, Junior Achievement, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, and other community orientated boards. As a professional Engineer, with a master of business administration, and a certified director from the Director’s College, Renato is actively engaged in system transformation and lending his skills to help drive more integrated and patient-centric care in Ontario.

University of Waterloo, School of Pharmacy - Dr. David Edwards, Hallman Director and Associate Dean, Faculty of Science

David Edwards is the Hallman Director of the School of Pharmacy, University of Waterloo. He received his undergraduate pharmacy degree from the University of Toronto, completed a hospital pharmacy residency at Sunnybrook Medical Centre and graduated from the Doctor of Pharmacy program at the State University of New York at Buffalo where he did postdoctoral research in pharmacokinetics and drug metabolism. He also completed a Master in Public Health (MPH) degree at Wayne State University in Detroit where he was a faculty member, Chair of the Department of Pharmacy Practice and a pharmacist in the area of therapeutic drug monitoring at Detroit Receiving Hospital.

He is the author of more than 90 papers and book chapters related to therapeutic drug monitoring, drug interactions, pharmacokinetics and drug metabolism and is a co-author of the textbook “Evaluating Drug Literature: A Statistical Approach”. Dr. Edwards sits on the Council of the Ontario College of Pharmacists, is a member of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Pharmacists Association, serves as Vice-President of the Canadian Foundation for Pharmacy, and is Past-President of the Association of Faculties of Pharmacy of Canada (AFPC).

University of Windsor - Dr. Chris Houser, Dean, Faculty of Science

Chris Houser, PhD., is the Dean of Science at the University of Windsor (since July 1, 2016) and a Professor in the School of Environment. Prior to joining UWindsor, Dr. Houser was an Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Faculty Development at Texas A&M University and also served in the Office of the Provost. He oversees Health and Biomedical Science research and academic programs across multiple departments in the Faculty of Science that are also part of the newly established Windsor Health Institute. 

Western University - Dr. Davy Cheng, Acting Dean, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry

Dr. Davy Cheng currently serves as Acting Dean of the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry. He is a Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Anesthesia & Perioperative Medicine. Prior to his current role as Acting Dean, Dr. Cheng served as the Vice Dean of Faculty Affairs for the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry. He is recognized as a world expert in perioperative outcomes and resource utilization in cardiac surgery/anesthesia, critical care medicine, and perioperative evidence-based medicine.

Dr. Cheng served as the Chair/Chief of the Department of Anesthesia & Perioperative Medicine (2001-2017) and also as Chair of the Committee of Clinical Chairs (2012-2016). He holds a BSc (Hon) in Biochemistry from the University of Ottawa, an MSc in Biochemistry from Western University, and his MD from the University of Toronto, where he completed his internal medicine internship and anesthesia residency in 1987. Dr. Cheng joined the faculty at the University of Toronto following a Clinical Research Fellowship and a Cardiovascular Anesthesia Fellowship at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. Prior to joining Western in 2001, he was a Professor and Deputy Chief of Anesthesiology at Toronto General Hospital and he also served as Medical Director of the Cardiovascular Surgery Program for the University Health Network in Toronto.

Western University - Dr. Jayne Garland, Dean, Faculty of Health Sciences

Jayne Garland, PT, PhD, began her term as Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences at Western University on January 1, 2016. She arrived at Western from the University of British Columbia (UBC), where she served as head of the Department of Physical Therapy. Prior to joining UBC in 2009, Jayne was a member of Western’s Faculty of Health Sciences since 1989, including eight years as director of the School of Physical Therapy (2000-8). Prior to her faculty appointment at Western, she was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Arizona and practiced physiotherapy in Kitchener-Waterloo. Her research is in the fields of motor control and stroke rehabilitation.

Windsor Regional Hospital - Mr. David Musyj, President and CEO

David Musyj is the President and CEO of Windsor Regional Hospital (WRH). He is licensed to practice law in both Ontario and the State of Michigan.

Under David’s leadership, the Windsor Regional Hospital vision, Outstanding Care – No Exceptions is a living and breathing statement that inspires the entire team at the hospital. David believes the engine of WRH is its staff and he is committed to working with them to create a healthy, motivating and rewarding workplace. In keeping with this philosophy, WRH continues to strive for excellence and innovation.

Born and raised in Essex County, David is married to Elizabeth who is also a lawyer and is a partner with the Bartlet and Richards law firm. Elizabeth and David are the proud parents of a son, Maxim.