Québec

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Anick Bérard, PhD, FISPE

Anick Bérard holds a Bachelor’s degree in Statistics from Laval University and a Master’s degree in Clinical Sciences from the University of Sherbrooke. She obtained her PhD in Epidemiology and Biostatistics from McGill University in 1999. From 1999-2000, Dr. Bérard conducted postdoctoral research studies at Harvard School of Medicine in Boston. She was recruited in 2000 as Assistant Professor at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. In 2002, Dr. Bérard joined the Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Montreal and the CHU Sainte-Justine Research Center. Anick Bérard is a tenured professor at the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Montreal, and holds the Louis-Boivin Family Pharmaceutical Chair on Medications, Pregnancy and Lactation. In addition, she holds career awards from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Women’s Health Research Foundation of Canada. With a passion for all topics concerning drug use in pregnancy, Dr. Bérard aims to further scientific knowledge for the wellbeing of pregnant women and their unborn children.

Sasha Bernatsky, MD, FRCPC, PhD

Dr. Sasha Bernatsky is a rheumatologist, epidemiologist, and a James McGill Professor of Medicine at McGill University in the divisions of rheumatology and clinical epidemiology. She is a member of the Centre for Health Outcomes Research (CORE) at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre and a senior scientist affiliated with the Infectious Diseases and Immunity in Global Health Program. Dr. Bernatsky is the nominated PI of the CAN-AIM team (CAnadian Network for Advanced Interdisciplinary Methods for comparative effectiveness research), a pan-Canadian research network funded by the Drug Safety and Effectiveness Network (DSEN), a collaboration between CIHR and Health Canada. CAN-AIM team’s mandate is to provide new, accurate data on long-term, real-world outcomes of drug therapies. Her work on drug safety and effectiveness includes a recent national project to establish a registry of patients exposed to biosimilar agents and their legacy drugs. Dr. Bernatsky is also a mentor within the CIHR Drug Safety and Effectiveness Cross-Disciplinary Training (DSECT) Program, which provides a training environment for future scientists in Canada regarding high-quality post-market research in drug safety and effectiveness.

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Évelyne Vinet, MD, PhD

Dr. Vinet’s research has focused on reproductive issues in women with rheumatic diseases, with the goal of improving reproductive outcomes in women with rheumatic disease and their offspring. 

She has created the world’s largest cohort of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) offspring, leading to novel findings on the increased risk of autism spectrum disorders, congenital heart defects, and stillbirths in SLE offspring. Using various administrative database sources, she has also evaluated other outcomes in SLE and rheumatoid arthritis. Currently, Dr. Vinet is establishing an international cohort of SLE pregnancies, conducting a randomized controlled trial to improve preeclampsia knowledge and aspirin adherence in pregnant SLE women, and performing a focus group study assessing pregnancy counselling in RA and SLE women.

Ontario

Steven Hawken, PhD MSc, BSc

Dr. Hawken completed his Master of Science in Applied Statistics at the University of Guelph in 2001, and then began the first phase of his career as a biostatistician with the Population Health Research Institute (PHRI) at McMaster University/Hamilton Health Sciences under the leadership of Salim Yusuf, Sonia Anand and Hertzel Gerstein, providing statistical expertise for large international clinical trials and epidemiological studies. He later joined the University of Ottawa to work with Dr. Julian Little as Biostatistician and Research Manager for his Human Genome Epidemiology Research program. Dr. Hawken served as the founding Lead Analyst for ICES uOttawa, the Ottawa satellite unit of the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences from 2010 to 2015, under the leadership of Carl van Walraven and Kumanan Wilson, during which time he completed his PhD in Epidemiology at the University of Ottawa (graduated 2014). 

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Ann Sprague, RN, BN, MEd., PhD 

Dr. Ann Sprague has long been involved in maternal child care and research initiatives at the regional, national and international levels. Ann has worked in direct patient care, as a regional perinatal coordinator, as the founding Scientific Manager of BORN Ontario, as a researcher, and mentor to many students.   She has obtained grants, led teams and fostered research and published in the clinical areas of dashboard use to improve care, birth centres, patient safety programs, H1N1 in pregnancy, hyperbilirubinemia, fetal fibronectin use, late preterm birth, fetal surveillance, bed rest in pregnancy, second stage of labour, and many others. 

She is currently a project advisor for BORN responsible for new projects such as investigating maternal mortality and building an electronic Ontario perinatal record.   

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Mark Walker, MD, FRCSC, MSC, MHCM

Dr. Walker earned his Medical Degree from Queens University, Kingston, Ontario (1993). His Residency Training in OB/GYN was completed at the University of Ottawa, Ontario (1998); followed by his Fellowship in Maternal-Fetal Medicine at the University of Toronto. He graduated from Harvard University with a Masters in Health Care Management. Dr. Mark Walker is a high-risk obstetrician and Clinical Epidemiologist at the University of Ottawa. He has published over 250 peer reviewed articles and has made a significant impact in our understanding of folic acid in pregnancy, thrombophilia in pregnancy. Dr. Walker is highly involved in public policy at the provincial and national levels advocating for women and children’s health.

Dr. Walker’s leadership roles include Scientific Director of BORN Ontario and Co-Lead of Safer Birth, a new initiate launched by the Provincial Council for Maternal and Child Health to improve quality and of maternity care throughout Ontario. He held a Tier 1 Chair from the University of Ottawa in Perinatal Research. Dr. Walker is currently the Chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Ottawa and Chief of the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Newborn Care at the Ottawa Hospital.

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Ruth Rennicks White, RN, BScN

As a founding member of OMNI, Ruth has an extensive background in obstetrical nursing of over 35 years, business management and over 20 years of clinical research experience, which has been instrumental as the Research Manager for the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Newborn Care at The Ottawa Hospital and the OMNI Research Group at the OHRI. She provides guidance and mentorship to the research team members and is instrumental in the development, implementation and progress of all protocols, and all fiscal aspects of the group. More recently Ruth has also assisted other groups, in the role of Acting Scientific Manager for BORN Ontario and then the Manager of Operations for the mHealth program and the CANImmunize app at The Ottawa Hospital.

Manitoba

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Dan Chateau, PhD

Dan Chateau is a Research Scientist at the Manitoba Centre for Health Policy and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences at University of Manitoba. He completed a PhD in Cognitive Psychology at the University of Western Ontario, and has conducted research at both MCHP, and as a consultant in the Biostatistics Consulting Unit in the Max Rady College of Medicine, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences. These positions provided a strong base in health services research and quantitative research methods. Dr. Chateau has worked on a broad range of projects for organizations as diverse as the Division Scolaire Franco-Manitobaine, WRHA, Manitoba Health, the Canadian Science Centre for Human and Animal Health, and with numerous clinicians, such as ICU specialists, pharmacists, nurses, and members of other departments at the University of Manitoba and beyond. In addition to contributing to numerous deliverables at MCHP, at present Dan is a member of the quantitative methods team for the Canadian Network of Observational Drugs Effect Studies (CNODES), and a co-PI on a large multi-year grant investigating the effects of policies and interventions on health equity in Manitoba’s children.

Sherif Eltonsy, PhD

Dr. Eltonsy is a pharmacoepidemiologist with an academic focus on drug safety and effectiveness and real-world evidence. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy and Master’s and PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences, Epidemiology and Biostatistics from the Université de Montreal. He completed a Post-doctoral Fellowship at the Centre de formation médicale du Nouveau-Brunswick (Université de Sherbrooke and Université de Moncton) and worked as Pharmacoepidemiologist with the Maritime SPOR SUPPORT Unit (MSSU). Throughout his academic progress, Sherif accumulated numerous honors including the Rising-Star Award in two Canadian provinces. Dr. Eltonsy is a Research Scientist at the Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba (CHRIM), also a member of the Canadian Network for Observational Drug Effect Studies. Dr. Eltonsy main area of research is drug safety evaluation with a special focus on mother-infant health. The Eltonsy lab aims to provide clinically relevant evidence that improves prescribing standards for pregnant women and facilitate evidence-based decision-making by health professionals and policy makers.

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Saskatchewan

Brandace (Brandy) Winquist, PhD

Brandy Winquist holds a Bachelor’s degree (hons) in Sociology and Master’s of Science in Community Health & Epidemiology from the University of Saskatchewan. She obtained her PhD in Community and Population Health Sciences in 2014, after completing a strategic training fellowship in the CIHR-funded Community and Population Health Research training program. Brandy has led and collaborated on research studies in the areas of maternal and child health, health services and population health. As a member of the Canadian Network for Observational Drug Effects Studies, she has served as the Saskatchewan lead on several multi-province studies investigating maternal-infant outcomes following prenatal exposure to prescription medications. Brandy is an adjunct professor in the College of Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan and a member of the Saskatchewan Health Authority’s senior leadership team providing oversight for the research, ethics, and academic health sciences departments. Brandy’s work within the health system has enabled her to cultivate expertise in areas of real-world evidence, medical ethics, analytics and health information systems. 

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Alberta

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Padma Kaul, PHD

Dr. Kaul is an Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and an Adjunct Assistant Research Professor at Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina and an Adjunct Professor at the School of Public Health at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. She is an Alberta Innovates – Health Solutions Population Health Investigator. Dr. Kaul is an epidemiologist and policy analyst by training. Her research interests include examining issues related to access and delivery of care for women with cardiovascular disease. She is also the PI of a CIHR grant examining the impact of Gestational Diabetes Mellitus on cardiovascular outcomes of moms and babies using population level data.

British Columbia

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Gillian Hanley, PhD

Dr. Gillian Hanley is an Assistant Professor in the department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology at the University of British Columbia. She is a CIHR New Investigator and Michael Smith Foundation Scholar. She obtained her BSc at Dalhousie University where she did a combined Honours in Biology and Economics, followed by a MA at McMaster University in Economics with a concentration in health economics. More recently, she completed her doctorate studies at UBC in the School of Population and Public Health. Her research focus combines her substantive interest in women’s health with her training in economics, health services research, and epidemiology to answer questions related to gynecologic cancer, primarily ovarian cancer prevention, as well as healthy reproduction and pregnancy.

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Tom Oberlander, MD, PHD

Dr. Tim Oberlander is a physician-scientist whose work bridges developmental neurosciences and community child health. As a clinician, he manages pain in children with developmental disabilities. As a researcher, his primary interest has been in studying how early life experiences shape stress/pain and related neurobehavioral outcomes during childhood. As a developmental pediatrician, he studies how early social experience (prenatal maternal mental illness and psychotropic medication exposure) influences the developmental origins of stress and self-regulation and its impact on thinking, learning and behaviour during childhood.