Advisory Board

Robert McMaster, Chair

Dr. McMaster received a Bachelor and Master of Science from the University of British  Columbia  (UBC)  that  was followed  by a  D.Phil. from  the  University of Oxford. His research interests are in the areas of molecular immunology, parasitology and transplant immunology and is co-lead on a multi-million initiative “Biomarkers in Transplantation” with funding from Genome Canada/Genome BC and the Prevention for Organ Failure (PROOF) Center of Excellence Centre. He is actively involved with national and international granting agencies including the World Health Organization, Canadian Institutes of Health Research where he serves as the as Scientific Officer for the Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Peer Review Grant Committee, and the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research, having served as Chair of the Research Advisory Council. Dr. McMaster is a Professor in the Department of Medical Genetics and was Head of the Department, 2000-2010. Dr. McMaster also held the positions as Director of the Immunity and Infection Research Centre at Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute (VCHRI) and Director of Transplant Immunology for British Columbia Transplant, and was appointed the Vice President Research Vancouver Coastal Health, Executive Director, Vancouver Coastal Health Reasearch Institute, and Associate Dean of Research, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia in 2010.  As well, he is a member of   the Executive Management Team of the BC Clinical  Research  Infrastructure  Network  and  a  member  of  the  BC  Health Research Council.

John A Cairns, Vice-Chair

John Cairns, MD, FRCPC, FRCP (Lond), FCAHS, FACC is a Professor of Medicine at UBC. He is a cardiologist whose research has focused on the measurement and modification of myocardial infarct size, antithrombotic therapies for acute ischemic syndromes, atrial fibrillation and post-myocardial infarction arrhythmias. He has over 170 peer-review publications and co-edits the textbook “Evidence-Based Cardiology”.  He has been a member of the editorial boards of several peer-review journals, has served on numerous scientific committees of peer-review agencies and professional/scientific societies and has chaired or been a member of the Steering Committees and Data Safety Monitoring Boards of numerous large clinical trials. He has held a number of academic leadership roles, most recently as Dean of Medicine, UBC (1996-2003), where he worked closely with UBC and the provincial government to build the rationale and plans for the two-fold expansion of the Medical School in partnership with the Universities of Victoria and Northern BC. He is currently co-chair of the Steering Committee of CANNeCTIN, a Canadian and international clinical trials network funded by CFI and CIHR and headquartered at McMaster University. He is the President of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences.

Kori Kingsbury

As CEO, Kori Kingsbury is responsible for all operations and activities of the Cardiac Care Network (CCN), including advising key stakeholders on matters pertaining to adult cardiovascular services in Ontario. CCN serves as system support and is dedicated to improving quality, efficiency, access and equity in the delivery of adult cardiovascular services in Ontario. Prior to joining CCN, Kori held the role of Provincial Executive Director Cardiac Services for B.C., responsible for the coordination, evaluation and funding of cardiac services in B.C.

With over 20 years in the field of cardiovascular service delivery, Kori has also held key clinical leadership positions in acute care and cardiac rehabilitation/prevention programs. Kori has also worked extensively as a cardiovascular/ health services consultant, providing advice and leadership on quality, key performance indicators, strategic planning, and program re‐design for public and private sector initiatives.

Kori holds a Masters of Public Administration (Queens), a Masters of Nursing – Research (University of British Columbia), and several clinical designations, including certification as an Exercise Specialist by the American College of Sports Medicine. Kori is a member of the Canadian Cardiovascular Society, a past Board Member of Hypertension Canada and is active on a number of national and provincial committees.

Adrienne Bakker

Adrienne Bakker joined the Heart and Stroke Foundation on April 1, 2014 as COO and incoming CEO, effective July 1st.  Adrienne is a strategic, collaborative and results-oriented leader with more than 20 years of experience developing and leading high performance teams in Fund Development and Marketing and Communications at Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation, CNIB, Canadian Red Cross and within the private sector.

During her tenure as CEO of the Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation (RCHF), Adrienne led the team to achieve $50 million in revenue over 8 years, providing funding for research, education and capital projects – including a new ICU, Cardiac and Neuro interventional suites, and the Heart Function Clinic. She also managed $8 million in donor-designated funds and successfully led the government advocacy strategy with the Board and partners for the redevelopment of Royal Columbian Hospital. Her past accomplishments include leading the BC/Yukon component of the $33 million national capital campaign for the Canadian Institute for the Blind (CNIB) Library for the Blind as Director of Development.

Through her work with RCHF, Adrienne developed a strong understanding of the work of the Heart and Stroke Foundation. She has a keen interest in the Foundation’s mission to prevent disease, save lives, and promote recovery—reducing the impact of heart disease and stroke through the advancement of research and its application, the promotion of healthy living, and advocacy.

Martha Mackay

Dr. Mackay is a clinician-scientist, combining the roles of Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) in Cardiology at St. Paul’s Heart Centre and Clinical Associate Professor at UBC School of Nursing. Completing her initial nursing education at George Brown College (Toronto), and earning her PhD at UBC, she has practiced for 37 years in critical care and cardiac nursing, with the past 20 as a CNS. Dr. Mackay’s clinical focus is on improving the care of patients with acute coronary syndrome and myocardial infarction. Dr. Mackay’s expertise and leadership in cardiovascular nursing is recognized nationally and has earned her several awards.

Dr. Mackay has received several provincial and national research awards, and currently holds a Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Scholar Award and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Embedded Clinician Researcher Award. Her research examines sociodemographic and behavioural influences on cardiac health, such as sex/gender, ethnicity and depression.

William Ghali

Dr. Ghali, MD, MPH, is the Scientific Director of the Institute for Public Health at the University of Calgary.  He is also a Professor in the Departments of Medicine and Community Health Sciences at the University of Calgary, and a practicing physician specialized in Internal Medicine.  He recently completed two terms as a Canada Research Chair in Health Services Research, and is funded as a Senior Health Scholar by the Alberta Innovates Health Solutions.  Clinically, he is trained as a General Internist (MD [‘90]  – University of Calgary, FRCP(C) [‘94] – Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario), and completed methodological training in health services research and epidemiology at the Boston University School of Public Health (MPH [‘95]).

Dr. Ghali’s research program is in the general area of health services research and his work focuses on interdisciplinary approaches to evaluating and improving health system performance to produce better patient outcomes and improved system efficiency.  He leads or co-leads three inter-related research and innovation initiatives:  1) the Alberta Provincial Project for Outcome Assessment in Coronary Heart Disease (APPROACH – see;  2) the Ward of the 21st Century initiative (W21C – see; and 3) the International Methodology Consortium for Coded Health Information (IMECCHI – , with strong linkages to the World Health Organization.   These three initiatives share the overriding goal of enhancing the use of health information to produced applicable knowledge on system performance and patient outcomes, and through knowledge translation, tangible health system improvements.

Dr. Ghali has held millions of dollars of peer-reviewed research funding from various agencies, and has published over 320 papers in peer-reviewed journals.   He has received numerous awards, including a Canadian Top 40 Under 40 Award from the Caldwell Group (2006), the David Sackett Senior Investigator Award from the Canadian Society of Internal Medicine, and Distinguished Alumni Awards from both the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Medicine (2009) and the Boston University School of Public Health (2001).   He was also featured recently by the Globe and Mail (April 2012) as the Canadian public health researcher with the highest publication H-index, a bibliometric measure of publication impact. 

Colleen Hart

Colleen is the Vice President of Provincial Population Health, Chronic Conditions and Specialized Populations at the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA). She brings 25 years of health care leadership at the strategic and operational levels, across the continuum of care.  She held several vice president roles with the Fraser Health Authority, leading diverse portfolios including Patient Experience, Clinical Capacity Optimization and Clinical Operations and Professional Practice.  Colleen has a nursing background with a BScN from the University of British Columbia and a Masters in Health Science (Health Administration) from the University of Toronto.  Her clinical experience was primarily in medicine and care of the older adult.

Her portfolio at PHSA includes BC Provincial Renal Agency, BC Transplant, Cardiac Services BC, Stroke Services BC, BC Centre for Disease Control, Population Health, Trans Care and Aboriginal Health.

John A. Spertus

John Spertus, MD, MPH, FACC, is a cardiologist and the Lauer/Missouri Endowed Chair and Professor of Medicine at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, where he serves as Clinical Director of Outcomes Research at Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute. He is a graduate of UCSF Medical School and completed his internal medicine, cardiology and health services training at the University of Washington. He has served on numerous national committees for the American College of Cardiology, American Heart Association, American Medical Association, National Quality Forum, Medicare and United Healthcare. His research activities led to his induction into the American Society of Clinical Investigation in 2006. He also founded the Cardiovascular Outcomes Research Consortium and CV Outcomes, a non-profit corporation dedicated to advancing healthcare quality and outcomes research in cardiovascular disease and Health Outcomes Sciences, a biotechnology start-up to support the implementation of evidence-based medicine, one patient at a time, throughout the country.  Dr. Spertus and his collaborators have published over 350 peer-reviewed articles.

Dr. Spertus’ research focus on methods for assessing patients’ health outcomes, measuring healthcare quality, and the use of information technology to guide medical decision-making based on risk-prediction models so that treatment can be safer, more cost-effective, evidence-based and patient-centered.  He developed the Seattle Angina Questionnaire (SAQ), and the Kansas City Cardiomyopathy Questionnaire (KCCQ), which have both been translated into over 50 languages and are emerging as the gold standards for measuring patients’ symptoms, function and quality of life in coronary artery disease and heart failure.  Most recently, Dr. Spertus has extended his translational research to illuminate the prognostic significance of genetic and other biomarkers on cardiovascular outcomes. Since arriving in Kansas City, Dr. Spertus has continuously supported his research program through extramural funding and currently supports over 18 employees. His group was one of 4 recipients of the American Heart Association’s Outcomes Research Center Awards and serves as an analytic center for the ACC’s NCDR.

The ability to determine a patient’s specific health status has matured rapidly overthe past decade. These more standardized approaches, which measure symptoms, function,and quality of life in patients withcardiovascular disease, provide the opportunity to use these metrics asoutcomes in clinical trials, tools for patient management, selectioncriteria for disease management programs, methods for qualityassessment/improvement, and tools for allowing patients to participatein their medical decision making. The ability of physicians to base treatment decisions on predictive models, combined with data guiding a patient’s understanding of all treatment options and potential outcomes, is a paradigmatic shift in the process of medical care that offers the potential to significantly improve the quality and personalization of healthcare.

Ian Graham

Dr. Ian Graham, MA, PhD, FCAHS, is Senior Scientist in the Clinical Epidemiology Program of the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and Professor in the department of Epidemiology & Community Medicine, of the University of Ottawa. He is an adjunct associate professor in the School of Nursing at Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario. From 2006-2012 he was on an interchange with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research where he held the position of Vice-President of the Knowledge Translation and Public Outreach. He holds a PhD in medical sociology from McGill University.

Dr. Graham’s research focuses on knowledge translation (the process of research use) and conducting applied research on strategies to increase implementation of evidence-informed practice. He has published over 250 peer reviewed articles and is co-editor of Knowledge Translation in Health Care (2009) and Evaluating the Impact of Implementing Evidence-based Practice (2010). Ian was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his “leadership contributions to CIHR and for changing the way research knowledge is used and demonstrating to funding agencies around the world how to move knowledgeinto action.”

Paul Man

Dr. S.F. Paul Man earned his medical degree from the University of Alberta in Edmonton in 1970. He did post-graduate training in Internal Medicine and Respirology at the University of Toronto and a research fellowship at both the University of Toronto and Johns Hopkins University. He completed his FRCPC in Internal Medicine and Respirology in 1975. In 1983, he attended Yale University as a Visiting Research Scholar, and was presented with the AHFMR Visiting Scientist Award. He has also been awarded with the Alberta Lung Association Lorraine Foundation Award, 1999; the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal, 2002; and the University of Alberta McCalla Research Professorship, 2003-2004.

Dr. Man’s research expertise is in clinical trials and translational research, particularly in chronic obstructive lung disease. He has had over 200 publications in many high-caliber publications such as Thorax, Chest, and Circulation, to name a few. In addition, he has been the recipient of more than twenty research grants from agencies such as Canadian Institute for Health Research (CIHR), BC Lung Association, and the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR).

He is currently the Associate Dean, Research, UBC Faculty of Medicine, the President of the Providence Health Care Research Institute, the Vice-Present of Research and Academic Affairs for PHC, Physician-In-Chief at St. Paul’s Hospital and the Head of the Department of Medicine at Providence Health Care. He is also currently a Professor and Deputy Head of the Department of Medicine, University of British Columbia.

Denise Johnson

Patient Representative

Denise has had a wonderful career as an educator over the past 34 years.  She first entered the field through the encouragement of a masterful Kindergarten teacher, with whom she worked as a classroom aide, while completing her undergraduate degree. After completing her B.A. in Child Development, Denise pursued her first teaching credential in regular education at the California State University in L.A. From there, she went onto San Diego State University where she completed two additional post graduate years to complete her Learning Handicapped Specialist, Special Education teaching credential.

Upon moving to Vancouver, Denise pursued her Master’s degree in special education at UBC.  Her first teaching contract in Vancouver was to open a new program for Intermediate aged students with Neurological Disorders (seizure disorders) that resulted in various learning disabilities. This was the beginning of Denise’s 29 year career with the Vancouver School Board, which led to her most recent role as Director of Instruction with the VSB, having had a chance to work closely with the Senior and District Management team for over four years. In this role, Denise supervised as many as 38 secondary and elementary schools, along with supporting and further developing various district portfolios including: professional learning, assessment for learning, building leadership capacity, teacher inquiry, teacher and administrator mentorship and promoting physical literacy. For this wonderful career, Denise is truly grateful.

Carl Challborn

Patient Representative

Carl recently retired from an accomplished career in education.  During these 27 years he has taught at the elementary, middle school, high school and adult education levels. Most recently, he was instrumental in establishing a framework to support students at his school who enroll in distance education courses not available on-site.

Carl engaged with students outside of class by coaching sports teams, organizing extra-curricular activities and sponsoring various clubs. He was also engaged with his colleagues through his involvement in a variety of professional endeavors at both the local and provincial levels. For many years he represented teachers at the British Columbia Teachers’ Federation and also served as a council member on the British Columbia College of Teachers.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts (McGill), a Bachelor of Education (U of A) and a Master of Education (Athabasca).

As a long term resident of a small community, Carl has seen directly how social determinants of health impact individuals and families. He also knows that being an active participant in one’s own health care can lead to improved outcomes for the individual. He believes it is essential that both non-professionals and practitioners have ready access to current research and promising best practices so that informed health care decisions can be made.