Keynote Speakers

Get to know our keynote speakers, panelists, moderators, and breakout session speakers

Dr. Gigi Osler

Dr. Osler is an assistant professor in the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Manitoba, and a dedicated advocate for equity and diversity, physician wellness, global health, and virtual care.

As the self-described first female surgeon and woman of colour to serve as CMA President, she has been an inspiration to young medical women across Canada.

In 2019 she was named one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women by the Women’sExecutiveNetwork and a CMA Physician Changemaker.

Sarah McVanel

A speaker, author, and a Certified Speaking Professional, Sarah helps organizations leverage the exponential power of recognition to retain top talent & delight customers.

She has a BA in Psychology, MSc in Family Relations, and multiple certifications in Human Resources, Organizational Development, and Coaching.

6 years ago, Sarah left a senior leadership role to launch “Greatness Magnified”, leaving more time to speak, write, tap dance, and spend time with her family.


Dr. Tasleem Nimjee

Dr. Nimjee is an Emergency Physician and Senior Director of Medical Innovation at North America’s first fully digital hospital, Humber River Hospital. She plays a pivotal leadership role as the Physician Lead for the COVID-19 Emergency Response, providing strategic guidance within the organization and at provincial tables. She represents five hospitals in the central north Toronto at the Greater Toronto Area Hospital COVID-19 IMS table.

Dr. Nimjee performed one of the very first COVID-19-related intubations and has led the rapid creation of policies and procedures to support patient care during the pandemic. She has been featured in Toronto Life Magazine as one of The 50 Most Influential Torontonians of 2020 along with five other outstanding front-line workers in the number one spot.

Sonia Pagura

Sonia Pagura is currently the Director of Quality, Safety, Risk, and Patient Relations at Niagara Health. She has helped develop the Niagara Health Engagement Network, empowering patients to engage in their healthcare. She is an experienced Senior Director of Quality with progressive leadership and a demonstrated history of working across the hospital and health care sectors.

Sonia is skilled in Public Speaking, Healthcare & Project Management, and was a surveyor for Health Standards Organization and Master Facilitator for CPSI in patient safety. She is currently completing a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) focused in Paediatrics from University of Toronto.

Dr. Joshua Liu

Dr. Joshua Liu is a physician turned entrepreneur and co-founder/CEO of SeamlessMD, which provides the leading platform for health systems to engage, monitor and stay connected with patients. Joshua previously served as Chair of the Joule Innovation Council for the Canadian Medical Association and on the Advisory Group to the Office of the Chief Health Innovation Strategist for the Ontario Ministry of Health.

Joshua has been named a Forbes 30 Under 30 in Healthcare, and holds a MD from the University of Toronto and a BSc from York University.

Panel Moderator

Dr. Zayna Khayat

Dr. Khayat is Future Strategist with SE Health, a health and social impact enterprise with a major focus on creating a better future for aging adults in their homes and communities. She is faculty at Singularity University’s Exponential Medicine, and adjunct faculty in Health Sector Strategy at the Rotman School of Management, UofT.

She also led the health system innovation at MaRS Discovery District. Zayna completed her Ph.D. in diabetes research from the University of Toronto (2001), and was a Principal in the healthcare practice of The Boston Consulting Group (BCG).

Breakout Session Speakers

Sime Pavolic

#1 Sime Pavolic is the Sector Vice President at CGI, responsible for the Information, Communications and Technology strategy and implementation within Ontario Public Sector, Healthcare, Transportation & Regulatory.

Prior to joining CGI, Sime has held various senior executive roles as a strategic, client-focused leader. He has experience directing and planning the execution of high-priority healthcare and information technology initiatives for the private and public sectors including the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Government Service, and eHealth Ontario.

Sime’s goal has been simple – implement strategies that advance digital health innovation to improve the delivery of services for healthcare providers and their patients.

Jake Hirsch-Allen

Jake Hirsch-Allen works with North America's governments, workforce development organizations, colleges and universities, to leverage LinkedIn's Learning Solutions and Economic Graph data to close skills gaps. Jake is passionate about supporting disadvantaged groups such as newcomers and refugees, indigenous populations, the formerly incarcerated and people with disabilities.

Jake founded Lighthouse Labs, a software development bootcamp, and Hacking Health. A former intellectual property and international criminal lawyer, Jake was also Chair of the Technology Committee of the Global Education Platform, taught Global Health at McMaster University, and clerked at the Supreme Court of Israel.

Dr. Joshua Liu

Alicia Polachek

Alicia Polachek is Research Assistant Professor within the Department of Medicine at the University of Calgary as well as the Co-Lead and Program Manager for Well Doc Alberta, which is a new provincial initiative aimed at advancing a collaborative, co-operative approach to physician wellness.

Over the past 10 years, Alicia has worked on numerous studies in the area of physician wellness, such as physician resilience, the transition to independent medical practice, the role of the MTU preceptor/attending physician, anticipatory stress regarding trainees’ future job prospects, and patients’ perception of physician wellness.

Her work has been published several times, and she received the “2018 Physician Well-Being Article” award from The WellMD Center at Stanford Medicine. Alicia has also helped co-develop several workshops about physician wellness based on their team’s research, considering both individual- and system-level factors.

Seana Adams

Seana Adams is a 3rd year medical student at the University of Toronto. During her time in medical training, she has led initiatives such as co-founding the “Mental Health in the Black Community” speaker series which brought together over 1,000 community members for collective learning, networking, and solidarity on this topic.

Seana has presented the impact of the events at various advocacy conferences in order to increase institutional support and investment in Black mental health across Canada. Seana is completing two qualitative research projects on wellness in medicine and the need for transformational change at all levels of training.

She also has done extensive mentorship with pre-medical students and hosted advocacy workshops. She is passionate about upstream solutions and collective organizing on the ground.

Dr. Eva Klein

Dr. Eva Klein is a corporate and clinical psychologist and a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences in the Faculty of Health Sciences at McMaster University. She has both an undergraduate and master degree in Mathematics from McGill University, a master’s degree in Psycholinguistics from Stanford University and a PhD in clinical psychology from Rutgers University. She has been a registered psychologist in New York state, UK, Alberta and Ontario.

Dr. Klein’s current research interests include identifying the characteristics of late bloomers, (i.e. those who succeed later in their careers) and the factors of successful aging.  As part of that endeavour her academic interest in fashion and ageism is recent and has led to talks at the Musee des Beaux Arts in Montreal, and research into the psychology of fashion.

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