24-Nov-2016 5:00 PM - 8:30 PM

Southwestern Ontario Chapter Present
Designing Healthcare Services to Improve Health Equity & Patient Experiences

The Ministry of Health and Long Term Care has identified equity as a key component of quality care.

Through their varied perspectives and experiences, our panel will highlight the importance of incorporating the voice of the patient, especially patients that experience disparities in health and healthcare equity.

Learn meaningful and effective patient engagement strategies that you can apply in your own settings.

Don’t miss this opportunity for an insightful discussion on November 24, 2016.


Dr. Suzanne Johnston, Panel Moderator
President & CEO, Niagara Health System

Vanessa Ambtman-Smith
Aboriginal Health Lead, Southwest LHIN, and Co-Chair, Provincial Aboriginal LHIN Network (PALN)

Dr. Abe Oudshoorn

Assistant Professor, Western University

Dr. Karima Velji

Vice President Patient Care and Quality, St. Joseph’s Health Care, London

Thursday, November 24, 2016
5:00 – 5:30 p.m. Networking
5:30 – 6:30 p.m. Dinner
6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Presentation


Greenhills Golf Club
4838 Colonel Talbot Rd, London, ON


$60 Members
$70 Non-Members
$50 Students

Registration Deadline: November 18, 2016

For more information, contact:
Julie Campbell: juliemaycampbell@gmail.com or
Jennifer McCullough: jennifer.mccullough@lhins.on.ca

Dr. Suzanne Johnston, President & CEO Niagara Health System
Suzanne will introduce the importance of incorporating the patient voice in healthcare delivery and will also serve as the panel moderator.  She will bring unique perspectives from both BC and Ontario experiences.

Vanessa Ambtman-Smith, Aboriginal Health Lead, South West Local Health Integration Network & Co-Chair, Provincial Aboriginal LHIN Network (PALN)
Vanessa advised in the foundational work of Health Quality Ontario’s Health Equity Plan (2016) and will introduce the concept of health equity and healthcare equity.  She will draw on her experience in effectively engaging Indigenous communities.

Dr. Karima Velji, Vice President Patient Care & Quality, St. Joseph’s Health Care
Karima is leading the roll-out of Patient Partnerships across St. Joseph's and will speak to her work on patient experience.  She has a passion for incorporating the patient voice and serving the vulnerable, specifically as it relates to mental health care.  

Dr. Abe Oudshoorn, Assistant Professor, Western University
Abe is an educator, researcher and involved community leader who was awarded the Western Humanitarian Award in 2016 for his work on ending homelessness. He will speak about patients who use substances and/or experience homelessness and identify negative experiences within the healthcare system as their primary barrier to seeking treatment. Abe will also address how healthcare leaders and providers can ensure satisfaction with care for individuals who engage in difficult behaviours.

Thank you to our sponsors:  



Speaker Biographies:

Dr. Suzanne Johnston, President
Dr. Johnston has more than 25 years of leadership experience in health care and government. Before taking on her current role with NHS, Dr. Johnston served as Vice President, Clinical Programs, and Chief Nursing Officer at Northern Health Authority, an organization serving northern B.C. with over 24 hospitals, 14 long-term care facilities, and community services providing specialized services to diverse populations including aboriginal Canadians. Dr. Johnston was also Chief Operating Officer for Northern Health Authority’s northwest region, and has worked at the NHA since 2000.
Dr. Johnston obtained both her undergraduate and graduate degrees in nursing from the University of New Brunswick and completed her doctoral studies at the University of Arizona. She participated in executive education at the Wharton Business School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Suzanne is a caring and compassionate health care leader with extensive experience as a registered nurse and senior executive in health care and government services. Suzanne is an inspirational leader who fosters a work environment characterized by a commitment to values, engagement, innovation, problem-solving, and continuous improvement. Suzanne believes transformational change work is needed in our health caring system and calls for unwavering commitment on the part of every leader to dig deep and lead with presence and the belief in people's desire to do the right thing.

Dr. Abe Oudshoorn, Assistant Professor
Dr. Abe Oudshoorn is an Assistant Professor in the Arthur Labatt Family School of Nursing at Western University, as well as the Department of Psychiatry Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, and Associate Scientist with Lawson Health Research Institute.  Having worked as a nurse with people experiencing homelessness, Abe’s research focuses on health, homelessness, gender, housing policy, and poverty.  Outside of the University, Abe has the privilege of Chairing the London Homeless Coalition, is a board member with the United Way of London & Middlesex, and sat on the Mayor’s Advisory Panel on Poverty. Abe is the recipient of Western’s 2016 Humanitarian Award.

Dr. Karima Velji, Vice President Patient Care & Quality, St. Joseph’s Health Care
Dr. Karima Velji is a health care executive with progressive leadership experience spanning the full continuum of care. Her expertise encompasses development and implementation of innovative models of care, interprofessional practice, and quality and safety systems to foster patient-centered outcomes.

Dr. Velji holds the position of Vice President Patient Care and Quality at St. Joseph’s Health Care in London Ontario. Most recently, she was the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Nursing Executive at Baycrest, a global leader in innovations in aging and brain health and Vice President of Patient Care and Chief Nursing Executive at Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, which is now a program of University Health Network.

Dr. Velji is a sought after consultant for system level projects. She has led the development of patient experience projects for the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care and the Local Health Integration Networks in Ontario. She has led external reviews of several organizations including Sunnybrook Health Science Centre, Bruyere Continuing Care and Schlegel Villages.

Dr. Velji’s responsibilities extend to provincial and national leadership. She is Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of Accreditation Canada and the 2016 United Way Campaign Chair for London Middlesex. Dr. Velji has completed her term as President and Chair of the Board of Directors of Canadian Nurses Association (2014-16).

Dr. Velji has cross-appointments to the University of Toronto, University of Western Ontario, McMaster and Nippissing University.  She has won several outstanding achievement awards including the Sigma Theta Tau Excellence in Administration award, University of Toronto Distinguished Alumni award, Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) Margaret Comack Award of Excellence in Nursing Leadership, and the Award of Excellence in Teaching (student nominated) from the Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing at University of Toronto. She is profiled in the boundless banner campaign as an outstanding alumnus of University of Toronto.

At the system/global level, Dr. Velji is a consultant to global sites, including East Africa, the Middle East and Asia, for development of quality of care and academic plans.

Vanessa Ambtman-Smith, Aboriginal Health Lead, South West Local Health Integration Network & Co-Chair, Provincial Aboriginal LHIN Network (PALN)
(Bio to follow)

Attendance at this program entitles certified Canadian College of Health Leaders members (CHE / Fellow) to 2.00 Category I  credits toward their maintenance of certification requirement.