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SWAHN Secretariat


SWAHN’s Secretariat falls under the oversight of the Network Contributors’ Roundtable.

The purpose of the Secretariat is to facilitate and oversee the implementation of SWAHN’s activities by advancing the Network Contributors’ priorities and timelines, monitoring progress and reporting accomplishments to the Network Contributors’ Roundtable, and providing regular updates to the Network. .

To address its purpose, the Secretariat will:
  1. Set operational strategy based on the priorities established by the Network Contributors;
  2. Liaise with the Network Contributors’ Roundtable through regular reports and by asking for direction and advice;
  3. Liaise with SWAHN’s Project Teams via their value creation stream leads in Interprofessional Collaboration, Knowledge Generation & Translation, and Networking & Engagement;
  4. Lead the development of semi-annual Network Contributors’ Roundtable conferences under the Networking & Engagement Stream;
  5. Identify barriers/challenges, determine priorities, and provide direction/advice regarding deliverables to SWAHN’s Streams and Project Teams, seeking advice from the Network Contributors’ Roundtable where appropriate;
  6. Develop short and long term goals in collaboration with the Network Contributors’ Roundtable and Project Teams which will be specific, measurable, and achievable in one to two years (short term) and three to five years (long term);
  7. Identify appropriate performance measures to monitor progress and performance of the Network and Project Teams;
  8. Review existing and proposed projects on a regular basis to align resources to facilitate the operations of Project Teams, moving suggested projects into and out of “Strategic Opportunities” and establishing “sunsets” for  Project Teams;
  9. Recruit volunteers for SWAHN’s Project Teams and other committees;
  10. Review and monitor the alignment of Network activities to the objectives of the strategic plan;
  11. Manage the annual SWAHN budget as approved by the Network Contributors’ Roundtable;
  12. Oversee funding requests across the Network and provide regular updates to the Network Contributors’ Roundtable;
  13. Oversee communication within and between groups of the Network.
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); Associate Vice President, Academic, St. Clair College

Dr. Ken Blanchette is the Chair for the School of Health Sciences 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.

Dr. Andrea Lum, SWAHN Co-Lead overseeing the Knowledge Generation & Translation Stream; Vice Dean, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, Western University

Dr. Andrea Lum assumes the role of Vice Dean, Faculty Affairs, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, Western University in January 2020. In this role, Dr. Lum will serve as a co-lead for SWAHN, taking over from Dr. Davy Cheng.

In 2000, Dr. Lum was recruited to Schulich Medicine & Dentistry for her expertise in body CT/MRI imaging as Assistant Professor and served as the Program Director for the Diagnostic Radiology Residency Training Program; Director of Abdominal Imaging Radiology Resident Training; and Medical Leader of Abdominal Imaging.

She was promoted to Associate Professor and appointed Acting Chair of Medical Imaging in 2008, later becoming Chair in 2009. She became the first city-wide Chief of Diagnostic Radiology in 2011. In this role, she merged the departments of Diagnostic Radiology and Nuclear Medicine at London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) and St. Joseph’s Health Care London becoming the first combined Chair/Chief, Medical Imaging. During this time, Dr. Lum served as Interim Vice-Chair, LHSC Medical Advisory Committee (MAC). In 2016, she was appointed Chair, MAC and Director of Quality Medical Care.

Dr. Lum’s leadership accomplishments include leading physician engagement for the Accreditation Canada 2018 survey when LHSC achieved Exemplary recognition. She is also credited for introducing professional staff quality indicators integrated into LHSC's balanced scorecard at the MAC. She became the first LHSC physician leader to be awarded the Canadian Certified Physician Executive in 2012. Upon re-certifying in 2017, she joined the Editorial Board of the Canadian Journal of Physician Leadership.

For more than 30 years, Dr. Lum has volunteered with and led many associations including the Canadian Association of Radiologists; the Ontario Association of Radiologists', and the Canadian Medical Association. She is currently the Vice-President of the Canadian Radiological Foundation Board and serves on the Advisory Board of the Canadian Association of Radiologists Journal Editorial Board; the Medical Women Canada Foundation Awards Committee; and the Physician Provincial Leadership Council of Ontario Hospital Association.

Dr. Lum has received numerous awards, including the Chair’s Award of Inspiration in 2016 in recognition of exemplary humanitarian efforts and the MAC Award for Excellence in Leadership in 2017 and 2019. In June 2019, Dr. Lum was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Department of Medical Imaging at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, Western University.

Dr. William (Bill) Sischek, SWAHN Co-Lead overseeing the Interprofessional Collaboration Stream; Integrated Vice President, Medical & Academic Affairs, London Health Sciences Centre & St. Joseph’s Health Care London

Dr. Bill Sischek assumes the role of Integrated Vice President, Medical & Academic Affairs, St. Joseph’s Health Care London and London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) on September 30, 2019. In this role, Dr. Sischek will serve as a co-lead for SWAHN, taking over from Dr. Robin Walker who retired in June 2019.

Dr. Sischek is an Associate Professor of Anesthesia and Perioperative Medicine at Western University. He has been actively involved in the clinical academic life of the hospitals and the university for over 30 years. Having joined the Department of Anesthesia in 1988 as a cardiac anesthesiologist, he has practiced actively since then but has also contributed to many other roles over the years. Academically, Dr. Sischek has served the department’s post-graduate program as a site coordinator and joined the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada Oral Exam Board, eventually becoming Vice-Chair of that Board. In the university and hospital systems, he represented the nascent Clinical Teachers Association in white paper discussions with the Dean of Medicine and the clinical chairs group in 1992. In 1995, Dr. Sischek was appointed Site Chief of Anesthesia for the Victoria Campus of the newly formed London Health Sciences Centre.

Dr. Sischek’s service also extends to the executive of the London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) Professional Staff Organization as Secretary, Vice-President and President in the mid 1990’s and in 1999 became the Vice-Chair of the LHSC Board of Directors Medical Advisory Committee (MAC). He assumed the role of Chair for the first two-year term of the LHSC MAC Chair in 2000 and has continued to work with the MAC and its subcommittees for many years since.

Dr. Sischek returned to his home department as the Department of Anesthesia and Perioperative Medicine’s City-Wide Clinical Coordinator from 2011- 2017. Within that role, he oversaw the final reconfiguration of services which began under the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care’s Health Services Restructuring Commission.

Being committed to physician leadership, Dr. Sischek was granted the Canadian Society of Physician Leadership’s Canadian Certified Physician Executive (CCPE) designation in 2017 and continues to exercise his leadership skills in the health care system by mentoring new leaders. His latest efforts were directed to the Academic Medical Organization of Southwestern Ontario (AMOSO) where he was Vice-Chair for two years and most recently chaired the Governing Committee, overseeing the alternate funding plan (AFP) for the clinical academic physicians of London, until his appointment to the IVP of Medical and Academic Affairs position. 

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

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).

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

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.