About AFHTO

Board of Directors

Executive Committee

  • President and Chair: Dr. Rob Annis (Physician, North Perth FHT – Listowel)
  • Vice President: Ms. Beth Cowper-Fung (Clinic Director / Lead Nurse Practitioner, Georgina NPLC – Sutton)
  • Treasurer: Ms. Michelle Karker (Executive Director, East Wellington FHT – Erin)
  • Secretary: Dr. Allan Grill (Lead Physician, Markham FHT – Markham)
  • Past President: Ms. Marg Alfieri (Clinical Dietitian, Centre for Family Medicine FHT – Kitchener)

Directors

  • Dr. Veronica Asgary-Eden (Clinical Psychologist, Family First FHT – Ottawa)
  • Ms. Julie Campbell (Executive Director, Fort William FHT – Thunder Bay)
  • Ms. Sara Dalo (Manager of Quality, Experience and Patient Safety, Windsor FHT – Windsor)
  • Ms. Kaela Hilderley (Registered Respiratory Therapist, Elliot Lake FHT – Elliot Lake)
  • Dr. Alan McLean (Lead Physician, Superior FHT – Sault Ste. Marie)
  • Dr. Jay Mercer (Lead Physician and Board Chair, Bruyère Academic Family Health Team – Ottawa)
  • Dr. Thomas Richard (Physician and Director, Peterborough FHT – Peterborough)
  • Ms. Clarys Tirel (Executive Director, Mount Sinai Academic FHT – Toronto)

Biographies

President and Chair

Dr. Rob Annis

| Physician,
North Perth FHT - Listowel

Rob Annis has been a family physician in Listowel Ontario for the last 23 years, and maintains an active practice that includes emergency room shifts, obstetrics, and surgical assists. While working in various Primary Care models, including a Community Health Centre, private practice, and, in the last 12 years, with the North Perth Family Health Team, Rob has held numerous leadership positions. He was Medical Director of the Fordwich Village Nursing Home from 1994 to 2005, Chief of Staff of the Listowel Memorial Hospital from 2005-2010, the Lead Physician in the development of the North Perth Family Health Team from 2005 to 2006, Chair of the North Perth Family Health Team Board 2006-2010, Co-Chair of the South West LHIN Health System Leadership Council from 2010 to 2013 as well as a member of numerous SW LHIN committees including their Strategic Advisory Group and Chronic Disease Steering Committee.

Rob was also the Regional Primary Care Lead for the SW Regional Cancer Program from 2008 to 2012, the Primary Care Lead for the SW LHIN 2012- 2014, and the Co-Chair of the SW Primary Care Network, a network which he created while working as the Cancer Lead. He has worked with the Canadian Patient Safety Institute and AFHTO as a Peer Facilitator in the Effective Governance for Quality and Patient Safety Program. Rob received an Award of Excellence from the Canadian College of Family Physicians in 2011, and a Community Care Access Award in 2001.

Vice President

Ms. Beth Cowper-Fung

| Clinic Director / Lead Nurse Practitioner,
Georgina NPLC - Sutton

Beth Cowper-Fung is a founder and Clinic Director / Lead Nurse Practitioner for the Georgina Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinic in Sutton Ontario since 2011. She is a Past President of the Nurse Practitioners Association of Ontario (NPAO) where she has served for the past 6 years. As well as her 3 year commitment in the Tri-Leadership positions she served as Treasurer. In her roles with NPAO as well as her Clinic Director role she has participated in multiple provincial level working groups and leads the NPLC-NPAO Leadership Network for 25 clinics across Ontario. Beth is also a member of the Health Professions Advisory Committee for the Central LHIN and is on the Steering Committee for the South Simcoe Northern York Region Health Link.

Beth graduated from the Council of Ontario University Programs in Nursing – Primary Health Care Nurse Practitioner Program through Ryerson University in 2008. She also holds a Master of Nursing from the University of Toronto. Beth’s previous work experience includes: Unit Manager at North York General Hospital, Clinical Nurse Educator in the Medicine Department at North York General Hospital and Emergency Department RN at Southlake Regional Health Center. Currently she practices as an NP-PHC at the Georgina NPLC in addition to her leadership responsibilities.

Treasurer

Ms. Michelle Karker

| Executive Director,
East Wellington FHT - Erin

Michelle Karker is the founding Executive Director of the East Wellington FHT, a rural community led primary health care team for over 7 years. She is an experienced leader with expertise in not only health care operations and governance but also in health system needs, issues and trends. Michelle has been involved with numbers AFHTO working groups and committees: EDAC representative for WW LHIN; ED resource toolkit development working group, ARI working group, Schedule working group, Executive Director mentorship program development working group, QIDSS host site and resource tool kit participant, TELUS PSS community of practice working group, QIDSS promotional video participant, AFHTO conference working group on 2012 and 2013, and the operational working group that proceeded the EDAC team who meet with the Primary Health Care Branch of the Ministry of Health and Long-term Care to discuss FHT operational issues. Michelle sits on the Hospice Wellington Quality Improvement Committee and the Cancer Quality Council of Ontario. Michelle graduated from the University of Western Ontario with a Business Administration and Labour History degree, and received a Bachelor of Education degree from Brock University. She has a masters degree from the University of Guelph and completed the Advanced Health Leadership at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management.

Secretary

Dr. Allan Grill

| Lead Physician,
Markham FHT - Markham

Allan Grill is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Family & Community Medicine at the University of Toronto and is the Lead Physician at the Markham Family Health Team. He has a staff appointment at Markham Stouffville Hospital, and also teaches medical students and family medicine residents at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in the Division of Long-Term Care. Allan completed a Master Certificate in Physician Leadership from the Schulich School of Business in 2012, and serves in several other primary care leadership roles. As the Provincial Primary Care Lead for the Ontario Renal Network, he focuses on innovative ways to improve Early Detection and Prevention of Progression of Chronic Kidney Disease in the primary care setting. He is also the current Chair of the Committee to Evaluate Drugs (CED), an expert advisory committee to the Ontario Ministry of Health & Long-Term Care on drug policy issues, and a member of the Central LHIN Primary Care Council.

Past President

Ms. Marg Alfieri

| Clinical Dietitan,
Centre for Family Medicine FHT - Kitchener

Marg Alfieri is a Clinical Dietitian who has worked in a wide variety of health care settings, from tertiary care, research, private practice and finally to her delight in primary care – family health teams. She is an Associate Professor at McMaster’s School of Medicine. In 2005 Marg founded the FHT RD network. She has been instrumental in the creation of AFHTO’s Community of Practice for nursing, admins and IHPS. Her current research grant involves the incidence of both macrocytic and microcytic anemia in a primary care OB clinic.  She has published an even dozen peer reviewed research papers. In 2011 the Family Medicine Residents awarded her the IHP Preceptor of the year. In 2014, Marg was named “Fellow of Dietitians of Canada” for her contributions to primary care nutrition.

Director

Dr. Veronica Asgary-Eden

| Clinical Psychologist and Mental Health Lead,
Family First FHT - Ottawa

Veronica Asgary-Eden earned her PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Ottawa and completed her pre-doctoral residency at London Health Sciences Centre, focusing on health and rehabilitation psychology. She has conducted research on the delivery of evidence-based services in agencies across Ontario and she has published numerous peer-reviewed articles. She has presented at international conferences on evidence-based practice and service delivery as well as on the relationship between psychological factors and physical health.

Veronica has experience as the mental health team coordinator at Family First FHT. She spearheaded the development of the mental health program from inception to implementation. As a bilingual clinician, she enthusiastically promotes the integration of mental health services and increased access to psychological care for patients in primary care. In addition, she has played a founding role in creating a network of psychologists practicing in primary care settings in the Ottawa region along with actively participating in a regional network of mental health clinicians working in FHTs. As part of an AFHTO led initiative to support professional networks, Veronica is the coordinator for the psychology community of practice.

Director

Ms. Julie Campbell

| Executive Director,
Fort William FHT - Thunder Bay

Julie Campbell is the Executive Director of the Fort William Family Health Team in Thunder Bay.  In her previous role, she was the founding Clinic Administrator of the Lakehead Nurse Practitioner Led Clinic. Julie currently sits on the City of Thunder Bay Health Links Steering Committee, and the Thunder Bay Physician Retention and Recruitment Council.

Along with a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA/CMA) designation, Julie holds an Honours Bachelor of Commerce degree from Lakehead University, and a Master’s degree in Education from the University of Toronto with a speciality in administration and leadership.

Director

Ms. Sara Dalo

| Manager of Quality,
Experience and Patient Safety,
Windsor FHT - Windsor

Sara is the Manager of Quality, Experience and Patient Safety at the Windsor Family Health Team. Previous to this role she supported nine Family Health Teams across the Erie St. Clair region as a Quality Improvement Decision Support Specialist. Her professional experience also includes working as a Decision Support Analyst at Windsor Regional Hospital, providing expertise, data analysis and evaluation. Sara has served on multiple local, regional and provincial committees. She was part of AFHTO’s D2D Indicator Working Group, EMR Data Management Committee and is actively involved in the marketing side of the Algorithm Project (AP) Team. She collaborates with Public Health Ontario, Health Quality Ontario, Windsor-Essex County Health Unit, Erie St. Clair Local Health Integration Network, Hospital, Community Agencies and other Family Health Teams to coordinate policies, programs, and service delivery.  She is a project advisor and facilitator to second year Schulich Medical Students as well as University of Windsor Nursing Students tackling quality improvement initiatives and implementing strategies to increase access to community-based programs.

Sara graduated from McMaster with a MSc in eHealth and is currently pursuing a PhD in Performance Measurement and Evaluation through Wayne State University. She has also completed numerous workshops pertaining to Quality Improvement and Health System Performance.

Director

Ms. Kaela Hilderley

| Registered Respiratory Therapist,
Elliot Lake FHT - Elliot Lake

Kaela Hilderley is the Registered Respiratory Therapist and Certified Educator with the Elliot Lake Family Health Team. Since accepting the position in 2012, she has been expanding the role of the Respiratory Therapist within the FHT. Kaela has acquired numerous certifications since 2012 and is currently working towards a Bachelor of Education in Adult Education as she is passionate about health education. She brings to the AFHTO board the diversification of being an IHP from Northern Ontario. The experience Kaela is quickly gaining in leadership, project management and innovation are shaping the personal and professional qualities she sees as being very applicable, in addition to the diversity her membership on the board brings. Each of these qualities reflects the mission of AFHTO, to facilitate the “expansion of high quality, comprehensive, well-integrated interprofessional primary care for the benefit of all Ontarians”.

Director

Dr. Alan McLean

| Lead Physician,
Superior FHT - Sault Ste. Marie

Alan McLean has been practicing family medicine for 26 years in Sault Ste. Marie. He started Superior Family Health Team in 2011 and continues in his role as the Physician Lead.  During his career he has worked in various models of care, including Fee For Service, Family Health Group (FHG) and the Group Health Centre.  Alan worked as Chief of Staff at the Sault Area Hospital for six years and is the past Primary Care Lead for the North East LHIN.

He has always enjoyed teaching residents and students and is an associate professor with the Northern Ontario School of Medicine.   Alan is always looking for innovative ways to deliver Primary Care to the community.

Director

Dr. Jay Mercer

| Lead Physician and Board Chair,
Bruyère Academic Family Health Team - Ottawa

Jay Mercer has been a member and more recently board chair and lead physician at the Bruyere Academic Family Health Team for the past seven years. Prior to that he have worked in office practice in both rural and urban environments as well as working as an inpatient and emergency medicine physician in a rural setting. Jay completed the rural family medicine residency program in Thunder Bay Ontario and also did an additional year of emergency medicine training in London Ontario. Prior to entering medicine, he obtained undergraduate degrees in strategy and psychology and held several administrative and leadership positions. Throughout his medical career, Jay has done committee work and advocacy both at the provincial and national level.

Director

Dr. Thomas Richard

| Physician and Director,
Peterborough FHT - Peterborough

Tom Richard is a community family physician practicing in Peterborough since 2003. He has been heavily involved in the Peterborough Family Health Team since its inception. PFHT is comprised of 5 FHO’s that serve over 105,000 people. It is made up of over 80 physicians and over 80 Allied Health Providers. Since 2006 he has served as a Board Director for PFHT and for the last 5 years served as Chair. Tom also enjoys his role as an Assistant Professor with the Department of Family Medicine at Queen’s University since 2010 and enjoys teaching Residents and Medical Students.

Tom graduated from Western University’s Family Medicine Program in 1989 before practicing rural medicine in Gananoque, Ontario from 1989 until 2003. In 2015, he received the Chartered Director designation from The Director’s College at DeGroote Business School. He has a keen interest in governance and strategic planning.

Director

Ms. Clarys Tirel

| Executive Director,
Mount Sinai Academic Family Health Team

Clarys Tirel has worked in the healthcare system since the mid-1980s. She started as a psychiatric social worker (MSW), but moved to administrative positions in the early 1990s. Clarys was the Executive Director of a branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association for 10 years in Duncan, British Columbia. As part of her work in mental health, she worked closely with patients to develop patient advisory committees. She was also involved in the regionalization processes at the time and participated in regional and provincial committees. Clarys has been involved in Primary Care since the initial reforms that were spearheaded by the Romanow report in 2002. In British Columbia, she worked on several Primary Care Transition Projects funded by the Federal government and developed a strong understanding of primary care. She has strong ties with the IHPME at the University of Toronto, where she completed a Masters in Health Administration in 2005. Clarys had the opportunity to work on a quality improvement project in primary care after she completed her MHSc.

Her experience with Family Health Teams started as the Executive Director of the North York Family Health Team from 2008 to 2011. Clarys is currently the Executive Director of the Mount Sinai Academic Family Health Team. She was also the Governance and Leadership Lead for AFHTO in 2013 – 14.