EKE: Perspectives Explored • Cardiovascular Network of Canada — CANet


Expert Knowledge Exchange

Perspectives Explored

Bridging the Gaps

Thank you for attending! To view a recap of our event, click here.

Join CANet at our upcoming Expert Knowledge Exchange titled “Perspectives Explored — Bridging the Gaps,” an event dedicated to students, residents/fellows, allied health professionals/research professionals, learners and patient partners.

Our symposium will be held October 24-25, 2023, at Le Westin Montreal in Montreal, Québec.

Our event brings together members of our organization to learn, network, and have fun! We aim to offer learning opportunities through interactive workshops and lectures to help build vital knowledge and skills for growing and continued career success.

Speaker Highlight

We look forward to a plenary lecture by the trio who make up Sickboy — Jeremie Saunders, Taylor Macgillivary and Brian Stever. Sickboy is determined to break down the stigma associated with illness and disease and work to tackle health taboos with people who have experienced them firsthand.

Their podcast was born in a public library recording room, and five years later, they are a CBC Podcast, using their voices to start conversations and create change in healthcare systems and homes around the world.

Stay tuned for our complete lineup of speakers and agenda!


Day 01 — Tuesday, October 24, 2023

07:30 am – 08:45 am Networking Breakfast
08:45 am – 09:00 am Welcome Ceremony & Opening Remarks
09:00 am – 10:15 am

Plenary Lecture: SickBoy

Speakers: Jeremie Saunders, Brian Stever, Taylor MacGillivary

10:15 am – 10:30 am Coffee Break
  Start of Breakout Sessions
10:30 am – 10:55 am

Workshop: Strategies for Enhancing Patient Engagement & Cultivating Robust Partnerships in Healthcare

Speaker(s): Julie Gerber

10:30 am – 10:55 am

Workshop: How to be a Reviewer for a Journal

Speaker(s): Katie Allan and Varinder Randhawa

11:00 am – 11:25 pm

Workshop: Role of Patient Support Groups in Healthcare

Speaker(s): Pam Husband

11:00 am – 11:25 pm

Workshop: The Relationship Between Industry and Academia Within Healthcare

Speaker(s): Joel Sherwood and Ian Swanson

  End of Breakout Sessions
11:30 am – 12:25 pm

Workshop: To A.I or not to A.I

Speaker(s): Danaka Porter and Bianca Mammarella

12:30 pm – 1:25 pm Networking Lunch
1:30 pm – 2:45 pm

Plenary Session: Indigenous Engagement in Research and Healthcare Service Delivery

Moderated by: Dr. Alexandra King and Prof. Malcolm King

2:45 pm – 3:15 pm Coffee Break and Poster Set-up
3:15 pm – 5:15 pm Poster Presentations Competition

Day 02 — Wednesday, October 25, 2023

08:30 am – 09:30 am Networking Breakfast
09:30 am – 10:30 am Scientific Oral Presentations
10:30 am – 11:00 am Coffee Break
11:00 am – 12:00 pm Allied Health & Research Professional Oral Presentations
12:00 pm – 1:30 pm Gala Awards Lunch & Closing Remarks
  End of Event — Start of Vascular 2023


Strategies for Enhancing Patient Engagement & Cultivating Robust Partnerships in Healthcare

Developing and fostering patient partnerships is an essential component in improving health outcomes. It’s like unlocking a secret treasure chest filled with opportunities to build stronger relationships with patients and care partners. It’s about making healthcare not just about treatments and medications but also about meaningful connections that foster trust and sustainably change. This approach, often referred to as patient engagement or patient-centered care, involves patients actively participating in healthcare initiatives, projects, and decisions. By engaging them, we ensure their voice is heard, and their preferences are acknowledged. But the art of patient engagement is about more than just listening to patients and care partners. It’s about building relationships based on mutual respect and understanding.

So, let’s dive into this exciting journey of patient engagement, and make healthcare more human, more compassionate and more effective!

Julie Gerber 

Julie Gerber, MSW, RSW is the Senior Patient Engagement Specialist at London Health Sciences Centre in London, Ontario. Focusing on the importance of people-centered care and the patient experience is one of the main reasons she was drawn to Patient Engagement after 10+ years of direct clinical experience, specializing in eating disorders. Her current role allows her to guide, support and educate leadership on how to include the patient voice in change initiatives within healthcare.

How to be a Reviewer for a Journal

How to become a pro journal reviewer! Everything you ever wanted to know about manuscript reviewing and more. In this workshop, CJC and CJCO Editorial Board Members Dr. Varinder Randhawa and Dr. Katherine Allan will provide hands on training using a recently published paper as an example. They will cover the basics of what goes into a review and how to provide constructive feedback to authors. Time will also be spent covering what opportunities are available for trainees to become involved as journal reviewers and gain valuable practice.

Dr. Katie Allan 

Dr. Allan is a PhD, mixed methods researcher at St. Michael’s Hospital, specializing in arrhythmia and resuscitation research. She has a strong interest in sudden cardiac arrest advocacy and is Chair and co-founder of CARE, a grassroots organization in Ontario that aims to increase awareness and survival from sudden cardiac arrest through various community based initiatives, including teaching all kids how to save a life.

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More recently, she started a new position in the Office of the Chief Coroner of Ontario as the Family Genetic Care Associate. The purpose of this role is to be a resource for the management of sudden and unexpected deaths, potentially caused by a heritable disease and to support families in the navigation after the sudden and unexpected deaths of a loved one, including answering questions, explaining processes or results, connecting the family to the appropriate clinical and support resources.

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Dr. Varinder Kaur Randhawa 

Dr. Varinder Kaur Randhawa is completing critical care fellowship training at the University of Toronto, having completed MD-PhD, internal medicine, core cardiology, heart failure-transplant cardiology and post-doctoral clinical and translational research training at the University of Toronto, Western University and Cleveland Clinic Foundation. She currently serves as the International Society Heart Lung Transplant (ISHLT) Cardiogenic Shock Task Force Section Co-Chair on Systems of Care, the Canadian Journal of Cardiology Associate Editor for Critical Care Cardiology, the Canadian Cardiovascular Society (CCS) Trainee Committee Chair, and a member of various groups including the Guidelines Knowledge Translation Working Group, the CANCARE Society, the Canadian Heart Failure Society, the Canadian Cardiac Transplant Network, and the Canadian Society for Echocardiography.

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She has over 70 peer-reviewed publications and 117 academic talks or workshops focused cardiovascular critical care healthcare disparities, device support and digital health tools, and shock-resuscitation sciences outcomes at local, national and international conferences. She has held the Canadian Institutes Health Research (CIHR) Doctoral and Kostuk Research Awards and a CIHR Planning and Dissemination Grant on gender diversity amongst other awards. She is a mixed media artist, an avid soccer fan, and a doting aunt to her niece Victoria. Her academic journey thus far positions her uniquely at the intersection of cardiovascular medicine and critical care for the care and research of patients with complex life-threatening cardiovascular and critical care illnesses.

She aspires to be an academic cardiac-intensivist and clinician-researcher in this space with a focus on evaluating health services outcomes and disparities with an equity diversity and inclusion (EDI) lens.

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Role of Patient Support Groups in Healthcare

Cardiac patient support/advocacy groups are building SADS Communities globally – the Canadian SADS Foundation is part of this global movement. Patient support/advocacy organizations have a significant role to play in enhancing the patient experience in healthcare for the overall betterment of all stakeholders: the patient, the healthcare provider, the community at large. Join Pam Husband, Executive Director at The Canadian SADS Foundation, in discussing how patient advocacy organizations work to enhance patient education about their conditions, create shared community, increase public awareness, and complement research and clinical trials. This session will explore the importance of amplifying the collective patient voice, Bridging the gap between a struggling healthcare system and the needs of patients, and more!

Pam Husband 

The Canadian SADS Foundation was established in 1995 by Pam Husband, in collaboration with a group of parents affected by inherited cardiac rhythm disorders and a history of sudden cardiac death, and with Dr. Robert Hamilton who acted as the inaugural scientific advisor for the organization. Pam now acts as the Executive Director of the Foundation.

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Pam’s son, Greg, died suddenly and unexpectedly at the age of 16 on September 11, 1990. He had been misdiagnosed with idiopathic epilepsy. His cause of death remained a mystery until Pam’s daughter was diagnosed with Long QT Syndrome 15 months later. Her daughter continues to live an active life as a daughter, a published Canadian poet, and a friend to many. In her spare time, she travels the world.

Over the last 25 years, Pam has spoken to thousands of patients and their families who have been impacted by inherited cardiac rhythm disorders or have a history of sudden cardiac death. Pam continues to be inspired by the courage and resiliency of these affected patients and their families.

Pam lives in Ottawa, ON and, in her spare time, enjoys socializing with her friends and family, traveling, playing and teaching duplicate bridge, reading, and generally embracing life as it comes.

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The Relationship Between Industry and Academia Within Healthcare

Details coming soon.

Joel Sherwood

Joel Sherwood has 15 years of sales experience in the med-tech industry, holding a variety of positions with companies like Johnson & Johnson and ZOLL Medical. Currently, Joel is serves as a senior account executive, field sales trainer, and member of the sales advisory committee for ZOLL Medical. In this field of work, Joel helps hospitals, EMS and other healthcare facilities treat and manage a wide variety cardiac patient across the continuum.

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He also works in collaboration with key opinion leaders improve sudden cardiac arrest survival across Canada. Joel received his undergrade from the University of Guelph with Honors in Kinesiology. He is a father of young 3 girls and promotes cardiac health in his community.

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Ian Swanson

Ian brings over 14 years of sales, operations, and business development experience in the medical device industry. After finishing his time on the lab bench, Ian joined the leading medical device market research company, Decision Resources Group, where he led global market research projects for cardiac medical device makers.

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He next joined Synaptive Medical, a neurosurgical medical device maker, as it exited stealth mode to lead business development efforts. Ian now leads the international sales and operations for Synaptive as they seek to bring enhanced safety and outcomes to the global neurosurgical community.

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To A.I or not to A.I

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become a household name and a staple in healthcare and research; however, should patients, researchers, physicians and clinicians rely on AI or even use it? This session explains what AI is and where it is used in healthcare. Patients, researchers, and physicians will learn about the underlying algorithms and explore the pros and cons of three commonly used pieces of AI: ChatGPT, Apple Watch, and AliveCor’s KardiaMobile. The session includes audience activities and finishes up with targeted takeaways and tips for how to best use A.I. in healthcare.

Bianca Mammarella

Bianca is a fourth-year Integrated Science student concentrating in Biology at McMaster University. She anticipates an interdisciplinary minor in community engagement as well as a concurrent certificate in leadership, equity and social change.

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Her research interests lie in atrial fibrillation, resuscitation, social determinates of health, oral anticoagulation and heart failure. She is a research student with Unity Health Toronto, Libin Cardiovascular Insitute and Population Health Research Insitute.

Under the supervision of Dr. Katherine Allan, Bianca is the co-first author of a systematic review and meta-analysis focusing on the most effective methods of teaching CPR to grade school children (aged 4-18). Additionally, under the supervision of Dr. Jeff Healey at PHRI, her undergraduate thesis will investigate the incidence of heart failure in patients with subclinical atrial fibrillation using the ARTESiA patient population.

Further, she is co-founder and co-president of McMaster Cardiovascular and Resuscitation, an initiative that advocates for bystander CPR and AED training and advocacy.

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Danaka Porter

Danaka obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies at UBC while competing for Team Canada in bobsled. Once retired and graduated she joined the working world but was not happy with any of the jobs until she found consulting. Wanting more education Danaka went to MIT to obtain her Master of Engineering in systems and supply chain. Since graduating from MIT Danaka became a partner at iota consulting, a management consulting firm, where she consults in Supply Chain, Project Management, and Data Analytics – specifically in heavy manufacturing and technology. Her work has included managing suppliers through automated compliance audits, optimizing the processes and inventory of large Defense contractors, and redesigning current supply chain processes at a global mine.

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Danaka has been a sessional lecturer since 2019 at the Dhillon School of Business, where she teaches Supply Chain and Project Management. Not enjoying the textbooks she had to teach from, she wrote her own! Stukent published her Principles of Supply Chain Management in the fall of 2022 which is now used in over 20 different universities in North America. Danaka is currently working on her second textbook Introduction to Project Management which will be available through Stukent in fall 2024. Her love of numbers and helping people combined with algorithm writing took her into the medical side; in 2019 Danaka cofounded VitaNova Technologies (VNT), a fertility company in the US, she is currently the COO. At VNT she wrote algorithms to better match surrogates and egg donors with intended parents. In keeping with a life of continuous learning, Danaka is currently completing her PhD in Cardiology at the Cumming School of Medicine where she is optimizing the workflow of specific cardiac software to better find, label and calculate two biological markers of sudden cardiac death.

Outside of work Danaka sits on the Training and Education committee and Patient Advisory Committee for CANet. She also sits on the board of motionball, a national fundraising committee dedicated to raising money for Special Olympics. Danaka is also an Educational Counselor with MIT where she works with admissions to find the best applicants that align with MIT’s mission. She is a certified coach and helps those she works with to achieve their goals and dreams and routinely mentors’ high school and university students, helping them to find their passions.

When Danaka isn’t doing any of the above she tends to her garden, spends time in the mountains, and or spends time with friends.

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Indigenous Engagement in Research and Healthcare Service Delivery

Join us for an enlightening presentation and panel discussion on the fundamentals of Indigenous engagement in health research and healthcare service delivery. In this session, we will discuss the importance of Indigenous-specific considerations in patient-oriented research and healthcare delivery. We will delve into the distinctions between Indigenous and Western approaches to research and healthcare, explore the core principles of Indigenous health engagement, including Etuaptmumk (Two-eyed Seeing) approaches, and provide practical guidance on their application in research and practice. Our panel of experts, comprised of Indigenous Elders, Knowledge Holders, individuals with lived experience of cardiac-related issues, and researchers and leaders in Indigenous health, will be on hand to address questions from the audience. Resources will also be provided for trainees, early career researchers and healthcare practitioners to help facilitate their first steps in Indigenous engagement.

Dr. Alexandra King

Dr. Alexandra King is a member of Nipissing First Nation (Ontario). She is an Internal Medicine Specialist with a focus on HIV, hepatitis C (HCV) and other conditions.

Alexandra is the Cameco Chair in Indigenous Health and Wellness at the University of Saskatchewan and co-leads Pewaseskwan (the Indigenous Wellness Research Group). She works with Indigenous communities and relevant stakeholders to understand the health and wellness needs of First Nations and Métis peoples and the structural changes needed for improved Indigenous health outcomes.

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Alexandra brings leadership skills in culturally safe and responsive research and care, reconciliation, etuaptmumk (Two-eyed Seeing), which brings together Indigenous and Western worldviews or forms of knowledge, and Ethical Space—which needs to be created when peoples with disparate worldviews engage with each other. She is a leader in developing Indigenous research methodology and was instrumental in the creation of the Indigenous Community Research Partnerships Training Resource through Queen’s University.

She serves on many initiatives including The Scientific Advisory Committee of ICES (formerly known as the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences), the Canadian Network on Hepatitis C (CanHepC), and the Indigenous Peoples’ Engagement and Research Council (IPERC), which provides guidance to health research projects including the Cardiac Arrhythmia Network of Canada (CANet) and the Canadian Heart Function (CHF) Alliance, both of which Pewaskeswan is involved with. Another project she is involved with is research into spinal-bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA), also known as Kennedy’s Disease, which impacts Indigenous people at much higher-than-average rates.

Alexandra supervises graduate students at Simon Fraser University and the University of Saskatchewan, focusing on wellness intervention research with Indigenous people in the areas of land-based healing, health determinants, mental health and addiction, blood-born and sexually transmitted infections and justice health (prisoner health).

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Dr. Malcolm King

Dr. Malcolm King, a member of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, is co-lead of Pewaseskwan (the Indigenous Wellness Research Group) and faculty in the Department of Community Health and Epidemiology at the University of Saskatchewan (USask) where he serves as the Scientific Director of SCPOR, the Saskatchewan Centre for Patient-Oriented Research.

Dr. King’s research is aimed at improving wellness and achieving health equity for First Nations, Métis and Inuit through strengths-based approaches that respect self-determination and privilege Indigenous ways of knowing.

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He was originally trained as a chemist and then as a biomedical researcher. Over a long career in pulmonary research, Malcolm developed new approaches to treat mucus clearance dysfunction in chronic lung disease, and continues to work on addressing issues in airborne disease transmission. After appointments at McGill University, the University of Alberta and Simon Fraser University, he joined USask in 2017. He also continues to teach and research in Indigenous health, with a particular focus on wellness and engagement.

From 2009 to 2016, Dr. King led the CIHR Institute of Aboriginal Peoples’ Health as its Scientific Director, spearheading the development of a national research agenda for Indigenous Peoples’ health and wellness. Dr. King was honoured with a National Aboriginal Achievement Award in 1999, and in 2016, he was named a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. In November 2021, he was inducted as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

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October 24 — 25, 2023

Le Westin Montreal
Montreal, Québec


Registration is free for all CHAT members (you may register for the EKE concurrently with an application to become a CHAT member).

Questions about this event?

Sarah Whibley
Training and Education Coordinator 
[email protected]